Paul’s Blog – New Year arrives with a plan

Am I growing up? Well after leaving Capel’s pubs at a relatively respectable 2:00am on New Years Day I actually felt O.K. when Dorina dropped me off at Pen y Pass 8 & a half hours later so that I could register for the Llyn Llydaw race. As expected there was soon a lot of psyching going on with Kean Rowlands claiming that he’d been wrapped up in Bed by 10:00pm & that he was raring to go. Inevitably we were to set off only seconds apart as battle commenced just before the clock struck eleven. Clearly his strategy was to let me pass then keep me in his sights until the technical stuff around the Lake came to his assistance. 10 minutes or so later as I left the Miner’s track a quick glance back saw the old chap too close for comfort, I knew my Goose was cooked for the second time over the festive period & resigned myself to being reeled in.

Kean was the first of five faster runners including Matt, Martin & Adrian to come past me around the Lake but to my surprise I passed twice as many myself before feeling great bounding back down the Miner’s to the finish. As to time & placing I am still in the dark & am waiting for the results to be published. I will be disappointed if I didn’t manage to improve on last years effort. Despite the atrocious conditions approx. 70 runners braved the elements, great turnout & camaraderie, thanks as always to the Marshalls & Organisers. I may be mad but I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing on New Years morning & with smiles on so many faces I clearly wasn’t alone, although I was glad to see Roger waiting to give me a lift back to the Cafe at the end.

Now onto that plan, or to be more precise ‘year planner’, yes for the first time in my Life I’ve actually filled one out with the Key races for the year ahead. There are 15 dates filled in between January & November & include some particular goals such as:-

June – Welsh 1,000 metres – pb & retain the 4 peak Mountaineering Class I won last year, easier said than done now that there is no 5 peak Mountaineering Class so in effect no split field.

June – Wales Trail Marathon – on my home patch, to improve on last year & get sub-4 hours.

August – To enter Team Siabod into the Oggie 8 Challenge & beat our nemesis’ from Prestatyn.

Half Marathon (not yet on that planner)- To find a flat local event to avoid a 5th trip to London whilst still enabling me to improve on my great pb of 2013.

But the most significant challenge is not yet on that year planner & may well be beyond me, an assault on The Paddy Buckley round. At 61 miles, 42 Summits & 28,000′ of climb, preferably in less than 24 hours is this realistic for a mid-pack Fell runner, only one way to find out! Endurance training already underway with a Full Marathon training run last weekend, further training will probably include such ‘triffles’ as attempting to lower my time for the Cafes ‘Siabod Challenge’, another Welsh 3,000’s, West Highland Way in 2 Days, & plenty of Recces’s of the 5 Stages of the Paddy itself. Could this be the year of all years, well running in the Hills lets you know anything can happen so one step at a time, may they all be safe ones if not entirely sensible.

But first, it’s Friday night, where did I put that Bottle of Wine? It’s a balance thing you know!

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