March! What happened to January & February?
Two more races under my belt so far this year. The first was Tarren Hendre which I entered for the first time. Sadly due to an horrendous forecast the route was changed to keep us well away from the exposed summit, clearly the organiser’s were as disappointed as the runners at this decision but that didn’t stop 49 of us from giving it a go & experiencing a harder & longer climb than I’d imagined on the forest track. 17th place was pretty pleasing & made all the more so by a certain Kean Rowlands coming in 18th!
A couple of weeks later it was time to remove a monkey from my back in the shape of the Moel y Ci race. In 2012 I had a disaster in it having over trained & paid too little attention to nutrition & hydration, I crossed the line that day a quivering wreck & feeling like I was having a heart attack for the next 30 minutes or so. It took me two months & a reasonable showing in the Moelwyn Race to restore some confidence. Thankfully 2014 was to bring no such drama’s, I deliberately ran within myself (well most of the time but a race is a race after all) to record a respectable if not a great time or position. Despite Kean’s heckles from the sidelines of something like ‘Well done Paul but I would have beaten you’ I was pleased with my effort & ability to learn from my past mistakes.
I have been clocking up the miles so far this year in a serious attempt to get in condition for the Marathon’s that lie ahead (Will Coed y Brenin’s Trail Marathon Wales go ahead after the absolute devastation caused by the storm 2 weeks ago?) as well as the Welsh 1,000’s & Paddy Buckley (still on the cards, had a great day recceing the Hebogs & Nantles with Kean, he has his uses you know). I am feeling in the shape of my Life despite the increase in mileage causing the occasional foot & ankle pain. My new Core exercises are making me feel stronger too, thanks to Iain & Andy at the North Wales Spinal Clinic for their insight into how my body actually works & can be improved, facinating & certainly not yawn inducing for me at least.
A recent trip to Italy was not as glamorous as it may sound but one of the two runs I slotted in out there was particularly pleasing despite the hobbling it resulted in due to too many hard yards on tarmac. This run was from my House to the statue of Christ the Redeemer & back, 24K is a reasonable training run for me but this one included a 10K hill, climbing from Sea level to over 2,000 feet on a constant gradient. I had been thinking of doing it for almost 3 years & it felt great to put my head down & get it done, my Italian Neighbour believes this was confirmation of my insanity but I’d prefer my pain to his in-activity based back pain any day of the week.
Hoping to make a reappearance at the Eryri SMTR this Sunday, come along if you can for some good camaraderie & chance to discover new routes. Next week promises more of the recently returned sun to the Mountains of Snowdonia, how great will that be!