Friday, 22 August 2008

Sedbergh Hills

Last Week
33 miles, 7062 ft, 05:56:52

Sedbergh Hills race might seem an odd way to start to taper but way back in 2004 it was my first long fell race and it seemed a pity not to have another run round the route. Four years ago I the descents were a shock and I didn't really know what 6000 feet of ascent really meant, especially in only 14 miles when it was accompanied by 6000 feet of descent in the same 14 miles. This race is as good a way of finding as any. I had run further in a day (in LDWA events) and climbed more on long days in the Lakes but neither really prepare you properly. The whole experience confirmed my (then) recent decision to join Horwich RMI because I couldn't train myself to run this sort of race and I hadn't even considered Ennerdale, Wasdale or a Bob Graham then.

I mis-remembered the number of climbs between CP3 & CP4 (that was disappointing, I can tell you) but this time the descents were less intimidating and the whole thing was much more enjoyable. Being a club championship race there were plenty of Horwich vests, a couple to chase in the closing stages and the race was won by Darran Kaye. I took half an hour off my 2004 time to finish in 3:04 and I think a sub 3 hour time might have been achievable had conditions not deteriorated over The Calf. I was reluctant to contour Calders in the clag and I think a more direct descent from Winder would have been quicker but that is what next year is for. A welcome massage for my quads on Monday made a big difference to their recovery and then just a few more miles and last night's hills session to finish the week.

Next Week
I am still looking for one runner for Leg 2 and the details of everything else need finalising but there is little running left to do, perhaps just a short run out over Winter Hill on Saturday and two more short road sessions at the beginning of the week. These last two weeks are the most difficult weeks of the preparation - I would rather be running - but I have reached here, injury-free, looking forward to it and now I really just need to rest and remember there is a whole week's running to do a week tomorrow.

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