Well despite the weather forcing a change of plan halfway through Fraser’s & my trip to Glen Shiel preceded by a lot of hobbling & limping in the aftermath of the Half Marathon things are still firmly on track for Sunday’s flight out.
I was elated with my performance in The Royal Parks Half Marathon a week ago. The signs were good initially after a late 5 mile & surprisingly fast training run two days before the start on roads. However come race day my calfs were really tight & hearting prior to the off so my confidence was slowly ebbing away. All that changed once we were underway as my plan to beat sub 1:40 by sticking to 7 Min 30 Secs Mile splits started to pay off & confidence in my calfs grew despite niggling little pains. Dorina was on hand to give me a Gel at the 6 mile mark & at halfway I was 2 minutes ahead of schedule, may not sound a lot but as fatique began to strike at 8 miles it gave me the insentive to keep going at a similar pace. In the end posted a time of 1:36:40 for a new PB beating last years 1:40:01 (hence the 1:40:00 target) & finished 766th out of a field of 12,500, that made this 46 year old feel pretty good & it made the next two days of hobbling all worthwhile.
Then onto Kintail with Fraser travelling up on Tuesday after an overnight rest back in Capel. The weather was great for the drive up & better still for our first day’s walking with us tackling the Five Sisters plus a sixth peak (our fourth Munro) on a long circular route. We chose to tackle the ridge from the un-usual West to East direction which resulted in a beast of an initial climb off path over rough terrain but was on top the rewards made it all worthwhile with incredible 360 degree views of most of the Highland Peaks. Can’t recommend this area enough despite a pretty hard descent & 8K walk out in fading light.
The second day’s weather forecast was against us so our plan of attacking Glen Shiel’s Southern summits was adapted to aim for two lesser peaks with the option of The Saddle, a major Munro, if the weather wasn’t too treacherous. In truth we were both a little weary from altitude training (sinking beers in the hotel bar the night before in celebration of our earlier endeavours, well someone told me beer in the lead up does help but not obviously once the trip proper starts) so we were debating the saddle even before the wind picked up on the second summit & forced our hand for an organized retreat. This turned out to be a good call for as we reached the car the heavens opened & stayed open for 24 hours.
We stayed at the Kintail Lodge Hotel, very friendly, the proprietors relaxed yet efficient demeanour clearly trickles down through the whole establishment.
All in all a good penultimate week’s preparation for both of us, now to put on a bit of weight in the final week ready to lose it all out in Nepal & some rope practice with Steve Peake & Bob Postings.