Saturday, 19 September 2015

Long time no chat...

Been a long time since I last posted, such a lot has happened! Been a long time since I felt I could talk about it all...

I will bring you up to speed on what has been happening since I last wrote.

Ossy Oiks - One of my favourite fell races. As usual it was hot and I was tired. Got round, but really quite slow.

Hardmoors Rosedale Marathon - 27 miles of misery. At 'just' 2000ft of ascent, this is essentially a flat route with a couple of sharp climbs thrown in. The rain came in at 10 miles and by then I was already bored. I wanted to quit, but when I got to the half way point (complete with a nice warm pub to retire into) I found one of my Club mates manning the checkpoint. I couldn't face the embarrasement of having to explain to her I wanted to pull out even though I wasn't ill or injured. The next checkpoint was a windswept car boot in the middle of nowhere and by the time I'd reached the next suitable point to pull out, I only had about 3.5 miles left to go! So I finished, in my fastest marathon time to date, 5hrs 41mins. I still hated every minute of it though.

HDSRL Wetherby - So close after the marathon, I just went for a jog round and ended up getting a really good time and thoroughly enjoying myself! This running is a funny business I did however eat more calories than I'd burnt at the post race supper...

Whorlton Run - Legs still heavy and I found this hard going and it was once again quite hot. Again though, I had quite a reasonable run.

Cleveland Way Relays - I think this is where it started going wrong. Becky and I ran the first leg, which set off at 5am, yes, 5AM from Filey which meant we'd had a 3am start. My body did not want to know and I was running on shear will power. I felt sick and woozy for most of the day, had to take a travel sick pill as we were in a mini-bus all day. Let me tell you, trying to run after taking a travel sick pill does not work... Our second leg was even tougher, through Saltburn and Becky had to run on without me for the last mile as I was walking and throwing up. Well, dry heaving.
After this I managed to eat then ate everything in my bag pretty much!! Felt better after that.
We ran the last couple of miles into Helmsley and at this point I felt great and could have run more despite having already covered over 20 miles in the day.

All that plus other bits and bobs gave me a total of 108 miles covered in June!

July and our trip to the Dales to see Hester and have a jaunt around the Three Peaks. Quite a gang of us met at Hester's house and off we trotted, straight into the first climb up Pen-y-Ghent. We were taking it steady on the climb, still able to chat as we worked our way upwards. Just before the first summit, about 1.5 miles into the run (only another 20 to go...) I started to feel sick. I ignored it initially as I sometimes do feel sick, and the climb was bloody tough.

Hester, Sarah, me, Lorraine, Sharon, Nicky, Hilary and John on top of Pen-y-ghent. Brian was this side of the camera!

We ran on, the fun descent took away the sickness and we then had a long stretch of quite flat ground to cover. It was good to catch up with Hester who we hadn't seen for a while.
I was also having problems with my drink bladder, it wouldn't stay fastened in place inside my rucksack and as a consequence it was leaking all down my back and bum! Yuk.
As we approached the Ribblehead Viaduct (and what a structure that is to behold!) I was aware I was flagging. The others passed me easily, even though we were just trotting along and soon I was at the back. As we hit a slight gradient, I had to walk. I felt sick and my legs had nothing in them at all. Sarah hung back with me, and we decided maybe we'd walk the rest of the route. However, as we started the climb up the flank of Whernside, I realised there was no way I was going to get up there. After calling Hester back, we discussed our options, it was decided I should take the low level route to a farm that sold drinks and we'd regroup there. I was insistant that I would be ok by myself, but Hester came with me, and really I'm glad she did as I wasn't in a good place at all. It was a gentle stroll along the valley bottom through grassy meadows, but I couldn't enjoy it as my insides were on fire. We sat down for a minute while I ate some sweets and I immeadiately went into cramp. We made it to the farm and while Hester purchased some squash, I went off to throw my guts up. Nice. Some squash just made me more sick, nothing was staying down any more. A nice local couple offered to give me a ride to Horton, but we had to wait for the others to catch up as Brian had the house keys! With the keys in hand I gratefully accepted the lift to Horton and let myself into Hester and Brian's little cottage. I managed to get cleaned up and changed into dry clothes without any more vomiting and basically relaxed with the dogs and lots of water until the others returned a few hours later.
Absolutely gutted that I hadn't made it. Stupid body, conking out like that. My only consolation was that I made the right decision to pull out, otherwise I would have been sick out on the fell and put everyones trip/safety at risk.

It later transpired that Brian hadn't been very well either, suffering a 'cardiac episode' which turned out to be pericarditis!!

I don't know what had triggered me blowing up like that, dehydration? I was drinking despite my leaky pack. Insufficient fuel? I seem to remember eating well the night before. It was quite warm, but I have run in hotter conditions without being ill. Had I simply done too much in the month leading up to the trip? Dunno.

For the rest of July I did very little. Neither my body nor my heart was up for the task. I got really quite down about the whole thing really.
After a couple of weeks though, Hilary's husband Gavin dragged me off the sofa for an 11 mile trail run!! Having not run for that time, I was buggered afterwards but I was very grateful for him dragging me off my arse.

I ran a couple more times before the end of the month clocking up a grand total of just 48 miles, including the the failed 3 Peaks trip.

August was kicked off with another long run with Gavin. It was bloody hard work, but I mostly enjoyed it...

Early in the month I bought a Garmin Forerunner 220 and I think that has helped a little in getting me out of the door.

I managed one run totally by myself and lots more in company.

During this time Dave Parry from Esk Valley fell club was taken ill and the remaining summer series of fell races was cancelled, effectivly wiping my race calender clean. We wish him well and hope to see him return to the fells soon.

The only race I did was the Sessay Swift 6 and I can't say I raced it as I was sweeper. It was a lovely evening and the girl at the back did a grand job and ran her furthest distant to date on that night.

In total I ran 78 miles at a leisurly average pace of 11:17min/miles during August. Mostly just finding my feet once more.

Early September and I found myself on the start line for the Guisborough Three Tops, slightly modified route for the British Fell Championships. I was nervous as hell!
The race was horrendous. I knew the route well, but with two really tough climbs in the first couple of miles, my legs were empty already with another 8 miles to go. It was also a warm day and I was for too hot in my long sleeved top. I toussled with Claire from club on and off all the way round. I walked more than I should have done, I wasn't enjoying myself at all. On the climb up Roseberry Topping, I actually had to stop for a moment to let my spinning tummy and head calm down. Here Claire passed me and I never caught her again. I took longer to get round than I had back in April when I'd just done HM55 a couple of weeks before. Indeed, Claire's fiancee Bryan said they were considering coming back up the route to look for us as we had been so long.
I was dehydrated and sore for a couple of days after the race.

Claire and I happy to have finished! Photo curtesy David Aspin.
A week later, Paul and I went to Great Langdale in the Lake District for a few days. We managed three hikes, collecting 6 Wainwrights (need to add those to my list!) It was good to get away for a little while.

More recently, I have felt a lot better, in myself and my running. Last couple of interval sessions I have really worked hard and today I ran a 25:26 5km at our local Parkrun. I need to get faster if I am going to get back in front of Claire!!

Tomorrow I will be racing at the Vikings 4 Peaks Chase and I know it's a toughie, so no doubt I will be telling my tales of running woe tomorrow evening...