I wrote a couple of months ago:
I'll try to run the UTMB only if I manage to run a marathon with good feelings, whatever the time, by the 30th June.
I then had a plan to increase progressively my training distance and to run a marathon on the last week-end of June. The second half of this plan was a bit messed up for various reasons. One of them is that I start to feel fed up with Hyde Park and pre-formatted training in general. I just want to run long distances on novel paths. Anyway, I had only ran up to 19km so far and planed to run 32km on the week-end of the 17th. But when I woke up on the Saturday morning I decided to go for 42.2km.
I took my water tank and left at 8:30. I crossed Kensington gardens, went down High Street Kensington up to Hammersmith where I caught the Thames Path. I then followed the Thames up to Kingston, where the GPS gave me 21.1km. The outward was pretty nice, good feelings and still relatively fresh under the trees and bushes. I made it in around 1h50, which is nothing outstanding, but not too bad either. However, from the middle I started to feel pretty dizzy, probably a bit dehydrated. The return was then quite hard, walking long bits far too often, but I managed to finish anyway in 4h20 (ie. 2h30 for the second half-marathon, arg! ). At least, I was just right on time to watch the airplane show for Her Majesty's birthday...

Good points:
  • My hip didn't complain, neither during the run nor the following days - great news !
  • I tested the so-called Cyrano method (*) to save up the legs. It consists of alternating running and walking in order to use different kinds of muscle cells. I started by 1 minute walking every 15 minutes. Then it was more once every 10 minutes. It is very important to do that since the beginning when everything is fine, not only when muscles start to be painful. The method worked quite well, as I didn't feel too much pain in the afternoon and the following days.
  • Porridge went pretty fine.
Factors that didn't help:
  • The temperature was already too high for such a run.
  • I just started to train seriously again.
  • I had no psychological preparation, I just left like that (and not a long night either).
What's still wrong:
  • I'm clearly not at the level I was last year on that kind of distance. During London to Brighton (same kind of conditions), I ran the first 42km in about 4h, and didn't decrease so much afterwards.
  • I'm still not very good at managing my drinking/eating during the race.

Yesterday I went with Fred to Guildford (where Mommas lives) from Surbiton. That's a lovely 36km walk along the Thames and the Wey, in the meadows and the reeds that went pretty easily in 9h, including breaks. Slightly encouraging as well.

So, unfortunately, no firm conclusion about my participation at the UTMB yet ... To be decided this week.

Ultra test.

(*) named after the nickname of a French ultrarunner that made a couple of experiments around this method - Run less to run more (in French).