Friday, 30 October 2009

Two months later High Peak 40

So, did some stuff over the next two months or so, all off road running. Got back to Club nights at the track too. This was to get some speed work done prior to Snowdon marathon 09 due in October (Last weekend in real time) It was during these sessions that I tempted Vince to do the HP-40 with me. A few training sessions with him later I decided that I wouldn't be doing it with him, but some way behind him! he was running well. He had a target set in his mind of 6hrs 30min which would have put him in the top 10 area. Looking at some of the running he was doing in our training jaunts, I wasn't doubting him.

Meanwhile back at the track, things were getting better for me, I was getting quicker over the short distances yet my weekend long slow ones were feeling good. Track work really pays. In august I was out on hill session with Dot, Had 25m planned over a lot of climbing approx 3,500 ft. The weather was threatening from the outset, 15m from home I could see the squalls storming in from the West and the direction of Snowdonia. When they hit, they hit with a chill. Dot was feeling the wind that day, I could tell because she'd use the deep heather as a wind break whenever it gusted. I decided 20m was enough and dropped down from the hill to an old village named Cilcain. There was a big banner spanning the narrow road advertising their summer fete (Which included a Mountain Race from the village to the summit of Moel Famau via a route I didn't know too well. I thought no more of it and organised a lift home for me and the pooch forthwith. that night I decided to tuck into a nice bottle of red wine, even nicer when you know you've got 20 hard gained miles in your legs.

Next morning I was up and without thinking, sorted my kit out for the race, penance for giving in to the weather and for greedily guzzling a bottle of red. At the village there was a carnival atmosphere, with crowds of runners milling about prior to the start. I came across my niece who was wearing stilts! Bizzar! - I was glad to see she hadn't entered the race. The race was brutal affair 4m ish 1200 ft straight from the village to the top of Moel Famau and straight down again. I ran it ok, (43min 17sec) but felt the climbing on used legs, also if you were stuck behind someone slow on narrow sections you couldn't pass them. Managed a good strong decent though, passing many competitors who'd climbed better than me, but didn't have down-hill legs at all. After the race I bumped into an old friend of mine in the village pub The White Horse and sank a few ales in the pleasant afternoon sun. That wasn't a bad weekend, some decent running, friends and a few beers. tbc.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Now then where was I....?

View North from Carlton Bank

For some reason I stopped posting, don't know why really? I guess I wasn't sure how my running was going at the time - plus outside influences, mainly troublesome teenagers and the ever draining work needed to finish my house. All very demanding. I've come to the end of my mentally set running calender. Last week Snowdon Marathon 09 was the mark. Somehow though, this year, I'm feeling like I've got more running to do. So I'm going to do some!

Since last posting back in April!!! I've achieved things that there is no way I thought I was capable of. I'll have to check back and see where i was, but no doubt I was training for Osmotherley Phoenix Ultra my first Ultra. The training up to it went well, Dot (my little Jack Russel) and I out most weekends on long hill runs anything up to 4 hours in mostly wet hill weather. I think the longest she run was a 30 miler - fair play. Anyway race day came in July, I took the long journey up to the North Yorkshire Moors on my own. It seemed 'wrong' not taking my little hound with me. On that morning she was up for it - tail wagging, I had to leave her wondering why the hell she'd done all that training???

Anyway I ran the race on my own as my training partner pulled out with an ankle injury etc so on my own I set about my first Ultra. The first 12 miles were ok, but little did I know the sun was taking t out of me, by mile 15 with 18 to go it started to feel like a run. I got to mile 25 (the last checkpoint) in good time 5hrs 8mins or so. Shortly after that the wheels came off as they say. These last 7-8 miles is where you find out what you're made of. There was no way I was going to DNF, so I slowed down to cope with the horrible effects of dehydration and fatigue. This got me to the finish and my first Ultra done in 7hrs 6mins. I'll be back for this one. The course was brilliant, great running and great scenery. The atmosphere back in the village was brilliant, welly throwing and beer in the afternoon sun. I hung around and sampled a well earned beer. (not before a couple of cups of tea though!) It took 12 hours for me to recover from this one - drinking 12 litres of fluid that day! Within a few days I decided I couldn't leave my first Ultra performance at that and signed up for the High Peak 40. tbc.