Saturday, March 26, 2011

Activated The Escape Route

Yes, my estimate of the timings for today's long run were way off. And, come to think of it, so was the intended route length. As it was, having activated the emergency short cut, I still managed to clock up 24 miles with 6,100 feet of ascent. And believe me, the short cut really was quite a descent short cut. I reckon had I run to the plan I would have been out beyond 30 miles - I reckon someone's been tampering with my measuring string...

Anyway, I was up at the cra .. I was up early and over to the mountains before eight, kitted up and set off. The weather was glorious - at least at first and for most of the run. I ran within myself trying to estimate the effort of the real traverse. Still think I'm gunning just a little too hard but better that way than too easy. The energy gel intake was successful again. Really getting to grips with taking on board the fuel at regular intervals and all in all it was a good days training.

I planned the route to give me a proper crack across from Waun Fach to the forest descent. Managed to successfully find the route points from the first recce and got through to the road in the valley in good speed. Also managed to run what I think is a faster way across from Pen-y-Gadair Fawr to Pen Twyn Mawr. I followed the slightly longer, curved route on the firm track as opposed to the direct but somewhat more boggy route. I think the track is faster. I was able to run a nice steady, easy pace all the way apart from the last 300m. I reckon it's a couple of minutes quicker - off to examine the data...

Tried out a different route up to Chwarel y Fan from the road as well - that's the point of recce - but the jury is out on that one. It was certainly more 'smash your way through the forest' but it did seem to get the climb out the way in one short blast. Back to the data....

Finally, from Chwarel y Fan I ran along the ridge for a kilometre or so before dropping down to valley and up the other side to Offa's Dyke. From there it was three miles back along the dyke to Llanthony.

Oddly, as I approached Llanthony the route was marked with flags - it was only the flippin' Llanthony Fell Race. Start time 2pm and as I hit the end of my run it was only 1:30pm - I had time to run it and for the briefest of moments I truly was tempted. If I'm honest, if I wasn't going out tonight I damn well would have run it! As The Mad Runner it's what people expect. And what's another three miles when you've already done 24? Sadly, I let them down, as sense prevailed. I bid my fell running friends a good race and left the scene, stage left.

Well I can't sit here typing all day, got a night out to prepare for. Right, where are my dancing shoes...

Today's route:-