Sunday, February 19, 2012

Almost Perfect

Yes, the conditions today, as I headed across the Malvern Skyline, were almost perfect. You could see for miles. A little chilly on the high points if you hung around - I didn't hang around. Out there today, running freely, I felt great. I don't just mean the actual running, it was more the being there on the hill, with nothing to think about except putting one foot in front of the other. Simply ace and there were tons of other people out there also enjoying the hills. There was a massive group of runners going in the other direction that I met going in each direction. Must have been 20+. Well done them, and if I had to guess I would suspect they were the Malvern Joggers.

Anyway, to the run. I decided to try something a little different from the normal Malverns out and back. I parked up in a small lay-by just off junction 2 of the M50 and started my run from there. A short section of road led me onto the Three Choirs footpath which I followed over to Hollybush - my normal starting point for the Malverns out and back. The new section was pretty descent. Quite flat to get you in the mood before you get to the hills and quite scenic and most importantly it adds on 12k to the normal out and back meaning I can use it as a long run.

With time at a premium I set myself a 90 minute cut off. Meaning when I hit 90 minutes running I would stop where I was, about face, and run back. With the extended route I knew I wouldn't make it all the way to the Worcestershire Beacon but I wasn't actually that far short. By my reckoning I was less than two kilometres shy of it which means the new route will be just over 30km with about 4,400 feet of ascent. My abbreviated run took me close to 27km with around 3,700 feet in a a pretty descent 2 hours 40. I seemed to flow today.

The other good thing about the Malverns is they provide a great hill session as a bonus. None of the climbs are massive but they are quite steep. What that means, provided you work them, is that you can give yourself a pretty good hill work-out. In today's run - and with hard effort - I managed to run all but one of the 14 climbs and yes, I did miss out miss out Midsummer Hill on the way back but as I didn't walk it I'm not counting it in the stats. Was a really good work out and in some way I feel I put in more than enough effort to compensate for being a lazy bar-steward yesterday. So if you ever find yourself in the vicinity of the Malverns I highly recommend a run...

Today's extended Malverns Out and Back..