Paul’s Blog

Where to start, well not Rugby for sure.

Firstly Café events:-

Our next Open MIC Night has been moved to Saturday 23rd November. Then a new date for your diary, on 22nd February 2020 we are delighted to be hosting Jim Langley & Paul Gannon who will give a presentation about their forthcoming book about Alpine Flora & Geology. Knowing Jim & Paul this should be a fascinating insight for those Alpine enthusiasts who often gaze in wonder, click our camera’s but are not always sure what we are looking at. Ticket prices & more details should be available in December but put the date in your diary now.

Ticket Sales for Mick Fowler’s presentation on 4th January are going well so if you don’t want to miss it please call the café on 01690 720429 or book at our counter.

Finally (events wise) don’t miss Mike Lees’ Xmas quiz in aid of OVMRO on 14th December. when setting this date did Mike somehow know that there would be a General Election just two days before? He’s sure to throw in a hot political potato question or two into the mix.

The Saturday before last saw me running in the Snowdon marathon & once again early on as I began to climb the Llanberis pass my thoughts turned to ‘you idiot Paul, this is going to be harder than you thought’ & it was. That said having recorded 5 consecutive times of between 3:31 & 3:37 I stuck to my mantra of ‘if you are going to go sub 3:30 just go for it the worst that can happen is you’ll blow up’. This I duly did (both Part 1 & Part 2!)

Part 1 went well, with none of last years headwind on the climb out of Beddgelert it felt better than last year & my pace after Rhyd Ddu was maintained sufficiently for a while but soon after passing the foot of the Snowdon Ranger Path trouble smacked me in the face or to be more precise my legs deserted me & my mind played games with itself. The next 4 miles or so were purgatory but thankfully I reached Waunfawr with the unusual feeling that at least I could ‘respectfully’ be seen walking the hill when I chose to, I was going to finish after all. On the muddy & very slippery descent into Llanberis my choice of trail shoe saw me flying past the ‘roadies’ on their slicks & swear I heard a couple of spectators say ‘look at that Eryri go’ i.e. a local who knows how to descend mountain terrain. Of course I did NOT call back ‘yes but look what I’ve got on my feet’.

I crossed the line to a warm welcome from several club mates to then fall into the arms of a waiting Angel & the questioning words ‘you were going so well?’. In truth my time of 3:39:08 was not as bad as it felt just easing me into the top 10% of my age group & a couple of places outside the top 10% for the race overall. Later reflections to Dorina & Ali (both of whom had looks of concern on me at the finish) were based on when am I going to take this race seriously & give myself a chance of sub 3:30, next year do, don’t, don’t………. the list went on.

3 Hours later I joined Nicky Spinks on a 4.5 mile jog around Capel led by Jools of Joe Brown’s. This made me feel better as a) I could actually run & b) I was in the company of a running great among other smiling runners running ‘my’ circuit just before dusk, doesn’t get much better than that.

Shortly after this as Nicky gave her presentation at the Café my thoughts turned to ‘Man Up, Paul, you’ve just beaten your mind senseless for an hour or so in a little marathon whilst Nicky probably goes for little dips lasting 10 hours or so before running through the other side. For those who don’t know of Nicky consider this: Imagine running a mountain circuit with 47 Peaks, 28,000 feet of ascent (& descent which is harder on the legs) whilst covering 67 miles in roughly 24 hours & then sitting down to eat whilst thinking ‘now I’ve got to stand up, turn around & run the whole thing again around the other way. Yes exactly ‘Man Up you wimp’. Nicky you were an inspiration to the entire audience, an un-assuming star!

I’m going on I know but something I don’t think I’ve mentioned in my blogs this year is that I have a target to exceed 2,000 running miles this year which would beat the 1,825 I set back in 2014. Ali has been keeping a close monitor on my recent weekly totals to see if I am on track & with good totals in all but one week since my Llyn run in mid-September I finally feel confident to say ‘I’m on track Ali’. Last week my total for the year went past my 2014 total & I am on track to hit 1,900 by the time I leave the U.K. on 14th November leaving only a hundred miles to go. This means that I am currently averaging an average of 6 miles a day but believe me that feels a lot more than it sounds. The 2014 total allowed me to set more pb’s in 2015 than in any other year so I live in hope for a good 2020 as long as I do the do’s & don’t….

& so finally to that leaving the U.K. with Dorina on 14th November. We can’t believe it has come around so quickly, for me the Original Everest Marathon, for Dorina a first sight of the Himalaya, Ama Dablam, Everest et al, only a final Rabies jab for me & packing for us both remain. All very exciting but almost overshadowed by my June & July diary next year ‘stop Paul, Original Everest Marathon first, plenty of steps, but one at a time & no falls please’.

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