Alarming blood tests
The week after the race blood tests were done and a CSK score of 3200, when below 150 is considered normal, was rather alarming. Both Renee McGregor, my sports dietician, and the fine doctor in Chamonix were a little concerned but as we didn’t know the score before Belfast it was unclear whether it was a reason for the performance or just because of it.
An all clear ultrasound and starting to feel normal again has lowered concern, but racing the 16km Eiger Trail was out of the question until a second blood test to show a decreased score. I love to race, but when long term health is in question, there needs to be sensible decisions made.
The toughest format of ultra marathon
Regardless of the reasons, the 24hr hour race was disrespected a little. It is by far the toughest format of ultra marathon, trying to get the best possible performance out of one single day, and something about this 24 hours of misery will always keep me coming back for more, even if I take a break for a few years.
Every race you do is a lesson in some way, but only if you listen.
There were positives to Belfast (one being stuffing my face went very well), but many more negatives to learn fr0m and adapt for the future.
In some ways a bad performance is more valuable than a good one for long term goals and my fire to win the World 24hr Championships still burns strong, but my body and mind need a rest after seven Championship events in four years.
Whatever race you are doing, show it some respect, whether it’s a 5k or a 100 mile race and add some specificity. Get your body and your mind ready for what is ahead and you’ll make race day a whole lot easier.
Unless it turns out it was my liver’s fault, then my mountain training for flat 24hrs races theory still could work, but I don’t think I’ll chance it next time.