Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Getting up to date!

Though I should maybe bring this up to date, now I have a follower!!
I'll leave out the depressing bits...

Few race updates from my blog on Fetch.

APRIL 14th 
Tomorrow I shall be embarking on my longest race/run to date, the Guisborough Moors fell race. It's almost a half marathon fell race, 4 good climbs and the possibility of snow. Eep.

I'm not going to attempt to 'race' it. Just run the runnable bits, walk the tough bits, and get round in one piece. That's the plan anyway!
Having a bigger dilemma over what to wear than the distance at the moment. 

Thursday evening I went for a run with a lady from club. She matches me almost to the second on races, sprints etc and it generally gets a little competitive if we're next to each other training!! We went to Kilburn Woods, just a short drive away, and explored! We didn't get lost, we were route finding *cough cough* But it was really pleasant to run with someone at my pace, nice and relaxed, no worry about time (or direction particularly!) and it restored my faith a little in the whole running business. 
Since then, I have done very little, resting up prior to tomorrow's aforementioned adventure... *frantically crams in more pasta*

APRIL 15th - Guisborough Moors Fell Race

I packed my bags last night, jelly babies, cake waterproofs etc. Ate loads of calories and got a good sleep.
Glad I checked my Facebook this morning as my friend decided we should set off 10 mins earlier than we'd planned as parking can be a bit tight. A Brisk walk in the sunshine got me to our designated meeting point in plenty of time!

It was the right decision as there were rugby matches going on the rugby club (how dare they!) and parking was limited.

There was a good turnout and it was with great trepidation I paid my fee. Part of me was calm, I had brought food, water and last weekend we'd walked the route. The other part of me was terrified!! "12 miles is a f*cking long way with some f*cking big hills!! AArgh!!"

Had a quick chat with Flip who was casually supping a mug of coffee...

My plan was simple, run the flat bits, walk the steep bits, have the odd jelly baby and get round in one piece.

Before too long it was 11am and we gathered on the road, ready for the off.
Straight into climbing!! Up through Guisborough Woods on a very muddy, quite steep bank. About 3/4 of the way up I realised I'd have to come down this...
Like everyone, I managed to run past the photographer!

Out onto the moor along a narrow path through the heather. The sun was out, the going was good, a few good bogs but they were easily avoided. Then onto a good track skirting Codhill Heights. I was quite hot so took off my jacket. A gradual decent made for some good running before jumping a stream then climbing out onto Percy Cross Rigg.
Here the headwind hampered the progress somewhat but it was only a short section and I chatted to another runner before we turned onto a muddy track and steeply downhill.
Which of course meant an even steeper uphill! Had to walk that! 
We entered the plantation of Coate Moor which winds it's way through the trees to eventually reach Captain Cook's Monument. The sky was now brooding and a little hail fell.
Fast down Cock Shaw Hill, navigating the fallen tree and a welcome water station in the carpark at Gribdale. The chap asked me if I was ok and I managed to make some joke. I was surprised to find I was quite ok. 
Another stiff climb out of Gribdale, the hard bit was to come in about a mile... Roseberry Topping, followed by Little Roseberry. Oh my. Walked all the way up, bit of a faff on the way down cost me a place then my calves were screaming on the way up Little Roseberry. I tried going sideways a little, it sort of helped but was hard work!!

Now across the moor.

I could see the sky to the north was black, and before long the blizzard started. Horizontal, in your face snow. We were on a narrow, muddy path and it was difficult to see where I was going. I had to stop to tighten my shoe laces and it was nice that a (passing) runner AND some walkers both asked if I was ok! I suppose I was hunched over in the heather, in a blizzard.

At that point, I must admit I thought I've had enough now.

Then I fell over!
Thankfully a soft landing, I have a bruised bum but I think I'll survive...
The snow continued as we passed High Cliff Farm. The small stand of trees just off the moor looked quite pretty in the snow.
Last steep bit onto Highcliffe Nab where the photographer was perched and I managed to give him the thumbs up and a cheesy grin! Not far to go now!
Back into the woods, I was amazed I was still running. Well, not walking anyway. Did start feeling a bit sick though.
Then the drop down the muddy bank. My legs were a bit weak by now and I walked down most of it. At the bottom it levelled out and I finished the race at a run! Hurrah! I had a little 'hands-in-the-air' celebration as I crossed the line!

I walked back to the rugby club where my friend was waiting for me.

I peeled off my mud caked clothes and got a nice cup of tea. I felt too sick to eat the cake I brought, but everyone else tucked in.
My friend had won her age category and came away with two bottles of red.

All in all, I enjoyed it. Challenging race on good terrain, had I have been up to it, there were chips and bacon butties on sale afterwards too.
It was nice to see Flip and Phil G and my old boss from when I worked at Scunny General, he'd really enjoyed it too.

By the time I'd got home, my stomach had stopped churning and I was ready for chocolate and pasta! 

So what have I learnt today?
- I am improving BUT there is still a lot of work to do.
- I need to work on my downhill technique/guts! That cost me at least 3 places alone. 
- Jelly babies are very tasty, but hard to chew!

And I've got my first race-tumble out of the way.

Oh, and I wasn't last.

MAY 11th - Three Races In One Week!

Not quite the 10-in-10 but even so!

1. First Harrogate and District Summer Race League (HDSRL) fixture at Ilkley. Good turn out of runners and T+S Harriers. We managed to organise ourselves and mostly car share. 
Grey and drizzly and quite cool, but I managed to run in just my vest. (Well, leggings and trainers too of course *shocked smilie* )
The course went up 'that hill' which if anyone has been to Ilkley will know what I mean! Of course, what goes up must come down.
I was meant to be taking this as a training run, but it turned out I'd put out 8 1/2 minute miles which is quite good for me! Ran the whole hill, which was tough.
The HDSRL events are all catered afterwards, so I tucked into sarnies, crisps and cold sausage, nommy. Late night getting home.

2. First NEHRA summer series fell race, Carlton Challenge. Only a short race, but with twice the ascent of last nights road race!!
It was even colder, with mist on top this time too. I had long sleeves and started in my cagoule! Legs didn't feel too bad while running (walking up the big climb) but I later found the only reason I wasn't last was because one lady's calf went 'ping' about half way round so she and her friend walked the rest of the course...
I did however bag 2 bottles of wine for no particular reason!

Couple of days to rest, then...

3. Bluebell Trail 10 at Halifax, hosted by the Stainland Lions. Lovely weather at last! Very interesting course, a little narrow at the start with a couple of busy road crossings, but otherwise quite pleasant. I did get stuck behind some dithering little old ladies in the woods not far off the start and wondered if this is what it's like getting stuck behind me on a fell descent... I took off over rocks and through mud to get around. (Impatient young whipper snapper!)
Trooper Lane was everything it promised to be, and I gladly took a jelly worm from a marshall to munch! The race ends with a river crossing, I think a couple of other people have posted pics in the gallery. It was knee deep and quite refreshing, then it's a short squelch across the grass to the finish. 
Lovely course, well organised and marshalled and the goodie bag contained a Buff and a Lion bar, om nom nom!
Managed 10 1/2 ish minute miles for that one, I could have run faster (only a little bit!) but I wasn't *racing* as such so that was ok.

That'll do. Thank goodness for 'copy and paste'!

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