Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time On My Hands

Well my left leg remains a little sore, mainly the bit round the back on my knee, those tendony/liagamenty bits - you can tell I'm not a biologist. Not going to be doing much today - which is a good thing as it is pissing down. Luckily for me the neighbour has a small ark and I've booked me a double - well you are supposed to go on these things two by two according to the song. Any takers?

Back to yesterday's race, I didn't want to pass judgement as to whether conditions in the race were tough or not. Having never run it before I wasn't in a position to say one way or the other. Having now read a few reports from others who have, it appears conditions were on the tougher side, mainly down to the gusting winds although it appears the ground was slightly more soggy than average as well. I'm glad because I found it bloody tough going and if that was an easy year...

That said, although I enjoyed the race and I'm glad to have ticked it off. Not sure it's one I will rave about though. Don't get me wrong though, the organisation was amongst the best of any race I have ever run. It all ran like clockwork - and I'm talking Swiss made. The marshals, the supporters - the tin whistle lady below Ingleborough - and the water stations were spot on - to which I thank them all, but it's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, I consider it a challenge before the  whole human race and I ain't gonna lose - losing it, must.. get back.. reality...

No, it doesn't make my top ten on account that there is so much damn running to be done. Mainly the section from Pen y Ghent to Ribblehead. It just goes on and on - and on. Felt more like a road race than a fell race on that section - although more squiggy underfoot of course. And that's not to say I hated that part because I didn't. I was catching runners all the way - always good - but it was just a total gut wrenching slog the entire way. It was a kind of half marathon within an already tough race. I'm more a fan of races with (the necessary) steep ascent - to which I freely admit I am appalling at - followed by technical, steep descent - to which, I'm not bad at - and if there is going to be some flat it needs to be rocky, tussocky shite that I can, again, make the most of it. None of this level, flat ground if you please.

And now for a bit of number crunching - as you do. I've processed my splits verses the four hour schedule. I was in the region of 10% to 16% better on the descent - not bad, happy with that. I was an awe inspiring 20% to 43%!!! worse on the ascent. Forty-bloody-three percent! That truly is gob-smackingly pants. I think I can see where I can get some improvement with a bit of training...

Can't finish without once again thanking the race organisers and everyone involved for putting on such a well organised race. I did enjoy it - even if it might be low down on my list of races to run again...

Pen y Ghent..

Whernside - a long way off..

Whernside - closer but it looks a lot steeper now..

Ingleborough - dear god, no..

You can almost see the finish from Ingleborough - almost..