Last Week: 64.6 miles, 4750 feet, 10:35:04
Run up Winter Hill, out and back from the house, on Saturday morning rather than the usual 20 miles to try and avoid the high mileage and torn calf of this time last year, knowing That’s Lyth on Sunday would provide another 21 miles.
An organisational problem at the first check point where I was marshalling meant I couldn’t have my porridge before setting off. I thought a sandwich and some malt loaf (I couldn’t manage any doughnuts for breakfast) would be sufficient. In the absence of any alternative they were going to have to be sufficient but more of that later. The CP was entirely outside and so no hot drinks for anyone which meant I was probably not properly hydrated and despite the extra clothes (while marshalling) both David and I were pretty cold when we set off. As before, we went at our pace and I was soon on my own passing the slowest of the walkers. The first seven miles or so to CP2 were fine despite the cold head wind. At CP3 a number of nearly under control dogs were milling about in the entrance, barking loudly, pulling on their leads and completely blocking the doorway. I wasn’t at all hungry and so decided not to stop – I was carrying some food and water anyway. At the last CP I was a couple of minutes down on last year and feeling OK, a little weary but not hungry. A couple of biscuits and some cold water to see me to Kendal. The long down hill into Kendal although it is on the road is always good and even knowing I was going to have to turn run and get back up it didn’t spoil the pleasure. Still not hungry, I passed on the peaches and rice but had some water and set off back to the last CP. By the top of the hill I didn’t feel too bad – last year I stopped for food and my legs were very tight and stiff when I left Kendal and I was pleased to have avoided that. The last two miles down off Scout Scar were great and I didn’t feel bad when I finished until I checked my splits and found I was about 30 minutes slower than last year – almost all the time was lost into and out of Kendal and almost certainly due to nearly no food and not enough water. Maybe too much malt loaf at the start but I should have known I wasn’t eating or drinking enough – last year this happened at the Anglezark Amble. It seems like I need to “learn” again, every year, that eating and drinking has to happen on long runs! If that is this year’s lesson out of the way before any serious then perhaps it is for best – but how can I forget stuff as basic at that so easily?
A rest day Monday to make sure any ill-effects from Sunday were gone and to keep the week’s mileage in the mid 60s. Nearly good track session – I find it very difficult to pace track sessions and need to find another runner to chase (thanks, Gaynor for last Tuesday) and even then I struggle to get to the end of the session without ‘dying’. Congestion on the motorway in the aftermath of a serious crash last night prevented me getting to Horwich in time for the Hills session so I finished the week with 5.5 mile road run. Tuesday morning’s run was especially good because, just as I was finishing the first light of the day was brightening the sky. Not the first Cuckoo but a reminder that the days are getting longer.
A run in the Lakes on Saturday with Colin Jones and perhaps Paul Murray, if he has recovered from bruised ribs caused by falling on his ice axe last weekend in Wales. Lunch in Staveley, on Sunday, our final “Xmas Lunch” of the season with a LDWA group and then whatever can be fitted in as the final preparation for the first race of the year – Winter Hill on the 8th February.