Saturday, August 15, 2015

Well That Was Hard Work...

Conditions were good if a little on the hot side for the first hour. Sunblocked up we set off at 10:30 on the 19mile loop and 1400m ascent that is the Brecon Beacons fell race.

I started steadily and eased into it on the first long slog to Carn Pica and then held a good pace across the top and the ridge. The climbs to Cribyn and Pen y Fan weren't quick but not a disaster. The ridge run towards the trig that I don't know the name of, however, went a bit a wrong. I was running okay but I had a few tummy troubles - let's just say we won't mention the name Paula. From there I went down hill fast - but not in a good way...

By the time I got the other trig point that I also don't know the name of (second to last check point) I was beginning to dehydrate and cramp set in. Despite seeing Tor y Foel in the distance it didn't seem to get any closer as my pace took a dive. It took forever to finally reach the base of Tor y Foel and for a moment I was tempted to end the agony and skip it but I have my record to uphold - the never not finished a race I've started thing.

So I eventually made the summit of TyF before the fast descent - okay, not so fast today - back down to the finish. My competitive spirit kicked in, despite losing place after place along the ridge, as I pushed to gain one meaningless place. That, as it turned out, wasn't the greatest thing to have done because as I reached the dam my calves completely and totally cramped and I was reduced to a pitiful hoppy walk affair in order to retain the place I'd gain on the descent. Finally across the line, the agony was at an end. Except it wasn't as I had to get back the van in order to change. I spent ten minutes easy stretching which had a measure of success. After a further twenty minutes, changed and feeling cleaner, I felt more human - and could walk a little more normally.