This might go on a bit but it is after all one of the 2 key races that make up my summer.
With a feeling that this great race was suddenly upon me & that I had failed to get enough serious hill work in things suddenly took a turn for the better the Sunday before last.
Kean & Sandra walked into the Cafe to join me & my hangover (a long story involving our sell out Quiz night (well done Mike Lees, great job yet again), wine with friends & a knock on the window by Michael at 02:30 on Sunday morning, I ask you??). Our conversation soon turned away from my lack of sleep to Kean’s plan to trot out to Snowdon’s South Ridge to watch the runners in the inaugural Beddgelert Forest to Snowdon summit race. I latched onto this chance for fresh air & avoidance of pot washing on a Bank Holiday Sunday like a Tick to my Blood vessels (won’t say anymore on that one) & we were soon heading off to the Watkin Path with the plan of Sandra collecting us at Llanberis later in the day.
It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered, a hill walk/run with a friend of similar pace, the motivation of seeing some seriously good athletes working hard on their way to the summit & a first full on hill assault for some weeks were all just what the Doctor ordered & a catalyst to some serious prep that followed.
Next evening after a hard day at the Cafe I was back out on Siabod descending to Pen y Gwryd where this time Michael’s presence for a lift back to Capel was a little more conducive to my training needs.
Core exercises & a good trail run in the Coed y Brenin then led on Friday to my first Fell run assault on Cader for almost a year, a pb later, I was beginning to feel good so rewarded myself with a pint of Betty Bach at the excellent Gwernan Lake Hotel before heading home to cook Chicken & Pasta for my extended family at Aber Eden.
Saturday came as did Kean so we set off to Recce the first half of the Carneddau race route. Timings were a bit disappointing but some good knowledge of the initial climb was gained & after the pb less than 24 hours earlier I have to accept that just to be out again was good.
On to Sunday, a feeling of fatique failed to stop me going for a Recce of the second half of the route, this was very worthwhile for several reasons, firstly I took two good new lines on the Glyders, secondly in between these two I took one disastrous line, got lost & ended up 180 metres (yes metres not feet) higher than I should have been, race wake up call keep your compass in your pocket & not your bag Paul! Thirdly despite this costing me over 15 minutes I still reached Snowdon’s summit in a faster split than race time last year so any disappointment from Saturday was banished into history. Thanks to Dorina too for the lift out & back.
From here on the plan is to taper back just to Core work, a recovery run or two & trust that I have put in the missing hard yards (18,000 feet & 53 miles in 8 days). I don’t even want to think how far off Snowdon looked from the Yr Araf check point on Saturday, it’s all in the mind, get that right & I think my body is pretty much where it needs to be, only race day itself can answer that now though.
If you are in the area on Saturday 7th & see some distressed racers please remember we only want two things, a hearty cheer us on our way & move out of our way if you possibly can, probably not in that order!
Thanks in advance to the organisers & lets pray for some 2013 type weather & not that of 2012.
Bring it on.