Well, one week to go before the Para’s 10 in Colchester. I have to say I’m a little nervous. I haven’t had the time to put in as many longer distance runs over the last 6 weeks or so but the hill reps have improved :-).
Three weeks to go before my first Summer Fan dance event and booked the hog roast after. if nothing else pushes me along it will be to get back in time before all the other hungry buggers eat my portion of pork.
The weather up Pen Y Fan today was the usual changeable story. Left home at 18’C sunshine, arrive at the Storey arms an hour later and its 13.5’C and covered in low cloud and wind about 20mph. Very few people on this side of the hill so it left you with a slightly isolated feeling but also one of me and the elements. Very different to the lovely sunshine two weeks ago this week visibility at for the first hour was down to about 100yds.
The good thing though with the wind was the body regulated itself well. Still pushing out an enormous amount of heat but cooled by the wind and moisture from the cloud. I had to remind myself a few time though that despite the weather I would still be sweating loads and needed to take some water onboard.
I have to say the climb up Corn Du and Pen Y Fan doesn’t get any easier the more I do it. It gets slightly quicker ( a whole minute quicker this week ) but doesn’t feel you full of the flat running joy of having an easier 10k run then go out and walk the dog after as if I hadn’t been out training at all.
Heading Down Jacob’s ladder was full of its usual hazards. With the ground getting hards the rocks are looser under foot and made for under foot instability. I decided to go to the right of the track to run down until after a couple of near misses with rabbit holes and water gullies covered with heather i decided to cut back on the track. With no give on the track it certainly makes for uncomfortable feed on the run. The arches get a real pounding and you had to really pick you feet up to avoid going over ( which I did for the second time in three training sessions on hill ).
Roman road isn’t much better but with the slight decline over the next 3 miles I was able to get into a steady jog ( if you call it that, I guess it was more a shuffle) but I made time up, although I occasionally had to get out of the way of mountain bikers who were deciding to hog their position coming up the track avoid the same protruding rocks that I was also desperately trying to avoid. I see them doing that when theres as few hundred of us in three weeks time :-).
I ran down past the woods, and through the gate for another mile to the car park, turned around and did the whole thing in Reverse. The most painful bit it on Jacob’s ladder on the way up. Every time you go up that incline it hurts. Legs, back, lower abs and lungs are screaming at you by the time you are half way up, let alone the near vertical block shaped rocks that feel as if you are taking five stairs at a time. Once you crest the top its exhilarating in the knowledge that the next 256 minutes or so is down hill. The legs still hurt, the lungs still shout but its the homeward stretch and you know there are no more inclines to complete today.
All in all a good session. Very happy with the result. 12.5 miles completed at an average pace of 18m 35s. a full minute and a half quicker than 6 weeks ago.
A few more pictures of today below for enjoyment. Next instalment after the Para’s 10 then you’ll have to wait two weeks until the summer edition of the Fan Dance is complete.