Sunday, March 23, 2014

Well That Wasn't At All Completely Knackering

Today's destination was Tal-y-bont reservoir for a loop of the Brecon Beacons race route. I was out there with Pat W  and I was glad of the company. Conditions were a little iffy and I'm not sure it would have as enjoyable solo - sssh, no, stop it. To be fair I think we got away with the weather. True, there was a little hail, a little snow and quite of bit of gale force winds. Possibly even nudging into storm force on the final ridge run towards Waun Rydd but over all - oh, and the cold, the terrible terrible cold - as I was saying, over all one mustn't grumble. It could have been far worse.

I got my first scare on the descent of Tor-y-Foel. I got a shooting pain in my right foot. Like I'd stepped on drawing pin bare foot. I stopped and took my shoe off but couldn't find anything. I set off again and took a few more steps, there it was again - oh, and it began to hail. Anyway, I hobble down off the top and sheltered behind the wall to investigate. Still couldn't find anything so we carried on. Fortunately it didn't really raise it's ugly head again and it was limited to the very occasional spark of pain every now and then. Odd, very odd.

We followed the normal route - as you do - and by the time we hit the main ridge, above Neuadd Res, we were touching the snow and the further along the ridge we ran the more snow we hit until we were running in the snow proper. I have to admit I was struggling a little. I think the after shocks from yesterday's night race were kicking in... Not wanting to hold Pat back, with conditions okay and visibility good, I decided I would side-step Corn Du and Cribyn to allow Pat to crack on. The legs feeling how they felt at that point it would have definitely been a mistake for me to hit Cribyn.

The hail and snow came and went every so often but the wind remained strong throughout. Eventually, having got past the big hills, we hit the finishing straight. Saying that, the ridge run to Waun Rydd and the 5k descent back down to Tal-y-bont reservoir is one hell of a long finishing straight and I certainly wasn't feeling strong at that point but certainly not wasted. I started to get sense of humour failure along the ridge though. The wind started gusting all the more strongly, at points it brought me to a stand still and what little power I had left was draining fast. Eventually, turning out of the wind, we made our way back down to the car and headed home. It's been a good days training weighing in at around 31km and 1200+ metres of ascent...