Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mynydd Troedd

How the hell do you pronounce that anyway? So how did the race go? Pretty good actually. The gloves were off - or should that be the cap - 'cause there was no filming today - this one was a full on race. I met a few of the usual faces beforehand and then we were off.

The weather wasn't good - strong winds and persistent rain - but having said that it could have been a whole lot worse - at least we could see the summit - if barely - way way up in the sky! This was a race of three halves or should that be climbs. They weren't as steep as, say, Blorenge, but pretty hard effort was required all the same.

I took things steady early on because I'm still not sure of my strength on the hills yet. I have to say, I still don't feel at home on the way up, my calves were burning but I got there and that's what matters. I felt I was in a race today and there was a bit of moving backwards and forwards through the field - gained a few then lost a few then gained a few. I also had in mind a time I wanted to beat.

As I stood at the top of the final descent I needed to get to the finish in under 4 minutes and with the descent somewhere in the region of 900 feet, that was that, the brain had to be switched off - there was no other option - as caution was fed to the sharks. I felt I was sprinting, hurtling towards the finish at break neck speed. Whether it was really that fast is up for debate but to me it felt frighteningly, arms waving around in the air like a right spanner, fast. It was to the point where the brain doesn't have time to calculate where to put the feet and instinct takes over. With 50 metres to the finish I was flying - really - I was flying, the earth just dropped away beneath my feet as I soared like an eagle .......... but that quickly turned to dropping like a stone as the reappearing earth was, sadly, beyond my Herculean jump and I came back to earth with an almighty bump followed by a quick forward roll and I was straight back up on my feet and through the finish.

I have sustained substantial bruising to my right knee. Nothing feels broken or out of place but it is damn sore at the moment - and five hours later it's still 'tingling'. No fell race is without risk and if you come down like a mad man - or mad runner - then you have to expect a bit of collateral damage. Anyway, as you all know, I am indestructible so I fully expect to be up and running at the Bridge Inn 5k on Tuesday, if not even a short training run tomorrow.

The big question, did I beat the target time? Well, as a matter of fact, yes I did, all the ones, 1:11:11 - 'ave it. And as a factoid, the final 700m (that's distance to the finish not height) of the descent took a mere 65s - so I guess I really was going pretty fast - that's 2:30 mile pace! (Disclaimer, all facts and figures are from my GPS, the speed of which can go up and well as down, for independent advice contact your independent GPS advisor)

Thought for the day: If you run downhill like a fool expect to get hurt