Saturday, April 30, 2016

Almost Felt The Power...

That was by far my best training run to date. I was expecting close to 4 hours. What I got was 3 hours 32 minutes for the 27.5km Black Mountains race route with 1700m of ascent. I will admit that I decided to run it in reverse because I'm not sure I ever have - and I felt the run in, on tired legs would be easier. I think it's probably a slightly easier run anti-clockwise but still, 3 hours 30 in a training run.

Anyway, I headed over mid morning - nothings gets in the way of a lie in - except Squeaker jumping on the bed right in front of your face and, well, squeaking at 6am. One was not amused.

The weather looked fab but in the far distance I could espy some darker, ominous looking cloud. The kind of cloud that releases the wet stuff. The forecast said it would be rolling in from the west so I was prepared.

I set off steadily with the aim of getting around just on the right side of 4 hours. My plan was to work hard but not kill myself. To push myself to run as much of the sections the old me would have run - that's not old as in age now, old as in a long time ago in a galax... er, back when I was 'good' at running.

I ran most of the way to Crug Mawr apart the steeper climbs and felt pretty good. I didn't really go for it on the descent as I wanted to be able to work the harder sections. The climb to Bal Mawr went slightly awry directionally but not overly so and then I had a really good ridge run to Chwarel y Fan.

I wasn't looking forward to the ascent of Pen y Gadir Fawr. It's a long old slog and as I headed up the dark clouds finally caught up to me and it started to snow so I stopped to put on my jacket as it was getting cold. I finally got over the top and then from there, with more than half the distance covered and the longer climbs out the way I started to relax a little and enjoy it.

As I dropped down into the valley, the snow stopped and I started to overheat so I had to stop to take the jacket off. Down and back up the other side of the valley in short order I suddenly realised I was going to round in well under 4 hours. Then as I headed to across to Pen Allt-mawr the dark clouds swelled again, releasing hail stones this time so - you guessed it- I had to stop again to the put the jacket back on.

From Pen Allt-mawr I pootled across to Pen Cerrig-calch. After a few minutes the hail died off and I started to get hot again but this time I couldn't be arsed to stop. By the time I got over PCC I was starting to cramp up a little and feel slightly thirsty - having left my prepared bottle of water back in my kitchen - doh. I finally made it back to the car and felt like I'd been boiled in the bag.

Really pleased with how I ran. Longest run with most ascent so far. I'm coming back....