Sunday, April 08, 2012

Maiden Voyage Complete

and not an iceberg in sight - although there were still a few patches of snow hanging around. I can safely Vera passed with flying colours. The bed was fairly comfy for a few pieces of foam and the curtains, front and back, kept out most of the light. In fact they worked too well as I overslept and my 8am start slipped back to 9am.

So, up late I cooked up breakfast, brewed up a strong black coffee and headed out. My legs felt OK but I wasn't sure I'd replaced enough calories after yesterdays (corrected) training stats of 21.5 miles (up from 20) with only 4,500 feet of ascent (down from 5,000). I had already planned to reduce today's target on account of how tired the legs felt last night. I estimated the new route to be about 15 miles - but I was wrong as it turns out, it was almost 18 miles and another 4,500 feet of ascent.

My fear of not having consumed enough last night became a sure thing and I struggled... I took a bucket load of gels with me and was shoving 'em down at regular intervals but when you've emptied the tank no amount of temporary top-ups can really get you back on track. That wasn't to say I didn't enjoy the run. In a way I enjoyed it all the more as I was able to take in the views more thoroughly than I normally would.

Anyway, I wound my way west and north to pick up the Shropshire way - that path seems to be everywhere! At about nine miles I linked up with the Offa's Dyke for the section out from Churchtown (just to the west of Mainstone) and followed both routes until they split just below Hergan hill. From there the route (back on the Shropshire Way) wound its way down to the village of Clun - and why does almost every village in the area begin with, end with or generally have the word 'clun' in it? Clun, Clunton, Aston on Clun, Clunclun - I made that one up, Clungunford - that one's true, Clunbury... Then again, I'm guessing it has something to do with the River Clun...

Anyway, having safely made it to Clun and viewed the ruins of Castle Clun, which dates back to William the Conqueror, I headed back north from whence I had come. Back at the van I packed things up, secured my little nik-naks - shh, no, stop it - and camping wot-nots and headed home having had a thoroughly carefree couple of days. Back to normality I suppose...

Day 1: 21.5 miles and 4,500 feet of ascent

Day 2: 18 miles and 4,500 feet of ascent