Paul’s Blog – Snowdon Marathon Prep – Posted 24-10-17

We were delighted to again host Team 333 for their AGM on Saturday & presented them with a 20th Anniversary cake to celebrate their 20 years of helping to raise funds for OVMRO. It was great that they took time to acknowledge Gaby & her team for providing a gourmet buffet. An added benefit was the evening included a presentation of OVMRO visits to Sweden to train other rescue organisations, this included shots of Stockholm, now firmly on my to visit list, the Stockholm Marathon needs some urgent googling!

Talking about Marathon’s, Snowdon’s very own is only 5 days away, it has become an annual highlight for me in my running calender. Of course as with many runners I’m talking down my chances but for once for justifiable reasons. However having had 3 good back to back runs the week before last I had at least developed hope that a corner had been turned & I might not totally embarrass myself.

A few days rest followed these runs but last Wednesday more or less as planned I set off from home at 5:00 pm for a planned three & a half hours & hopefully at least 20 miles, this being (I hoped) the main part of my final prep. The idea was simply, run to Dolgellau, pick up the Mawdach trail, keep running & turn around when the watch recorded the 1:45 mark. Now the good thing about an out & back is every step taken going out doubles the length of the run. The bad is you know there is only one way back & you have every detail of it fresh in your mind. It can at times be a mental balancing act between ‘I can’t & I can’ with the latter only slightly helped with ‘think how good you’ll feel afterwards’.

After exactly 1:45:00 I stopped just before the Arthog road crossing, took a Gel & some Electrolite, put the headtorch on, turned around & headed for home. As dark descended I felt a bit isolated & a very long way from home (11.765 miles to be precise) but no one was going to do it for me. The run was never intended to be fast simply distance & a confidence booster, slowly the landmarks, or what I could see of them, passed & I was back at Dolgellau, a brief stop for another Gel & I was off again on the hillier part of the route.

There was clearly a slowing of pace on the hills in the last quarter but they came & went to lead me to the final climb up our driveway, that’s it, stop watch, what does it say? 3:29:35, I’d run back 25 seconds faster than I’d gone out despite more gravitational fight, a smile came, a job felt very well done. That said it was clear that Snowdon this year is no pb for me, but at least after this 23.5 miler my confidence had been given a boost.

The next evening saw me attend another Matt Ward training run in the CyB & Friday afternoon I was out again for ‘my’ Betws bridge circuit. 39 miles in less than 48 hours felt good even if the 3rd of these runs was on somewhat heavy legs.

I have tapered since (not usually my forte) but did get a gentle 8.5 miler in yesterday evening with gushing waterfalls everywhere, a short run planned today despite the rain & then maybe one final short one on Thursday.

So ready or not at least I’ve tried, the excitement builds as hopefully the winds decrease. To all involved this coming Saturday be you running, marshalling or cheering let’s bask in the joys of being out & about around the base of Snowdon, good luck to us all.

Once the race has been run I’ll be heading back to the Cafe for our monthly Open MIC Night so if you fancy relaxing at the end of a special day you know where we are.

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