Saturday, May 29, 2010

Unchartered territory

After putting it off for as long as I could, once the rain stopped I had no excuse. After feeling up for it last night, this morning I didn't. I know that if I want to run the challenges I'm hoping to then I have to just do it. So I programmed in the route, donned my running threads and fired up the Kia.

I started from the top of Lansdown by the monument and headed towards Old Sodbury. I've not run that section of the Cotswold Way before - to be fair I've not really run much of any of the Cotswold Way bar the first twelve or so miles of the northern end.

The route winds its way in a generally north/south direction but with a bit of east/west as well. The route heads over to Cold Ashton, through Pennsylvania, round the back of Dyrham Park. Then it's over to Tormarton - where I have to admit I wasn't too sure of the route and the way markers seemed to disappear. I do believe I looked the complete nobber having to run past the same group of walkers three times - and coming at them from different directions each time - doh. Still, I managed to get back on route eventually.

From Tormartin it's not too far over to Old Sodbury but you do have to go through the worlds longest field - took me nigh on half an hour to traverse (joke). Once safely in Old Sodbury I stopped for a few moments to take on board some fuel before hitting reverse and returning from whence I came.

I was fairly comfortable for most of the run but once I got past twenty miles I began to feel myself fading. I dug in to get back to the car and really only had to walk on the final major climb back up to the top of Lansdown - but by then I was just preying for the end.

The rain held off for much of the run except I did get soaked just after leaving Old S when the heavens opened for a brief - but very wet - five minutes.

In all I covered about twenty four and a half miles with 3,000 feet of ascent in about four and a quarter hours. Pretty slow I'll admit - although I did lose about quarter of an hour arsing around in Tormarton. Ultimately I'm just glad to have built up to that kind of distance in a relatively short space of time. I've not been near that kind of territory for over three years. The speed will come later - much, much later...