Monday, 27 April 2009

3 Peaks Race

24 miles, 1500m ascent.
I've had better days.
Got to Horton reasonably early and was registered by 9am - over an hour before the race start. Went back to the van to get changed and found I'd picked up the bag with cycling shoes in, rather than running shoes - not good. A quick phone call confirmed that the desired running shoes were back at Diane's house in Bentham and they were promptly delivered to me in Horton 7 minutes before the race start.
Up Pen-y-gent was fine. On the way down I was consciously trying to take it easy and was probably being too casual about it until I tripped and landed flat on my face. No real damage done, the bloke behind asked if I was OK and then remarked "well, it looked quite good!". I was feeling fine at Ribblehead and shortly afterwards I passed Cath and then Derek from Tod Harriers and had a few words with them. Started feeling less good as the climb up Whernside steepened. Cath passed me, then Derek and we had a few words. Just below the summit I felt a twinge in my right calf, but nothing serious, had a quick stretch against the wall at the top, because I'd read that it was a good idea to help stave off the "Whernside cramps" and set off along the windy ridge.
At the first stile my right calf locked up - I could see the muscle was in spasm - assumed it was cramp, tried to stretch it off and it calmed down but it didn't go away. Walked on for a bit, stretched some more, shuffled on, stretched again, but it wasn't really getting better - I was going to have to do the rest of the route with just one good leg. Walking was OK, I could do a slow run with short strides, but my right leg wasn't doing anymore than that. It had stopped being a race for me (not sure what I was racing against, but still...) and was just about finishing now. I briefly considered retiring at the Hill Inn, but decided to push on because I could.
Eventually shuffled into Horton in 4h57m, feeling a bit tired and a bit frustrated, which was a bit weird as I didn't have a target in mind - I suppose I just wanted to go as fast as I could - and that didn't happen. But you can't take anything for granted in something like the 3 Peaks. Even though I felt fit enough, strong enough and pretty confident before the start, it's still a hard route and there's plenty of scope for things to go wrong.
Guess I'll have to do it again next year :)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Ras Moel Tryfan

Damn, that was windy!
First race of the Great Arete Tuesday night series last night, a 3m dash up Moel Tryfan from Y Fron. One of the windiest races I've ever done, which certainly spiced things up a bit - almost came to a dead stop at one point when I sort of ran into a wall of wind. No idea where I finished but it felt like I was going OK and I crossed the line in 22m15s - which probably qualifies as the shortest/fastest race I've ever done.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Damn fine weekend

Went for an early run up Snowdon yesterday with Matt as a sort of early practice for the Snowdon Race. Nice steady run up the Llanberis path (well, a fair bit of walking up to and beyond Clogwyn) got to the summit in about 1h10m, had a short faff with shoes and came down in about 40 mins. At the last but one gate a walker asked if there was a good view from the top, I couldn't help laughing and pointed at the cloud which was sitting at about 800m, "no, it's kind of cloudy and windy up there!". If his eye sight was so bad he couldn't see the clouds, why was he bothered about the view? Anyhoo...

Had a short rehab ride with Sue in the afternoon from Capel Curig - Ogwen and back. Dinner at every Londoner's favourite Snowdonia pub - it's never a good sign when your fish pie is vaguely tepid, so I'll not be going back there in a hurry. On a brighter note, stopped off at the Fricsan on the way home for a majestic pint of Purple Moose Glaslyn - so good I had 2 in fact.

Today was another rehab ride with Sue from Bontnewydd to Felinheli, taking in the Garddfon (Hartleys Cumbria Way) and Yr Harbor (er, J20 - no beer worth drinking). Got home and walked down to the Snowdonia Inn with Pippa (Jennings Cocker Hoop).
As if all that wasn't good enough, it hasn't even rained. Brilliant!