Week 3 training got off to a start with a club run on the roads. It was an interval session, which meant hard work! 5x 800m with recoveries (and warm up/cool down). It was six tough enough miles in my legs; I was just hoping I was recovered enough for the weekends event!
Saturday arrived and we were on our way to Penicuik in Scotland. The Carnethy 5 Hill Race was happening, yay! I have ran this event the past two years and although a very tough race I was really looking forward to it. However with extremely bad weather forecast, the organisers had imposed a time cut off at ‘The Howe’ so marshals were not out on Carnethy Hill for too long. Based on my previous times I knew that I was unlikely to make the cut off and would almost certainly be timed out. I decided to start and see what happened.
We arrived at Penicuik School and registered for the race. The weather conditions were not pleasant and we were promised snow, high winds and a windcill factor of -15 on the tops… Despite the conditions, the atmosphere was fantastic. Hundreds of eager runners ready to brave the elements!
It was soon time to board the coaches to be transported near to the start. We discovered how bleak the weather was as we walked from the coach drop to the starting area. With a good hour or so before the race began, we sheltered in the ‘bag drop’ tent. Once we plucked up the courage to venture out we joined the rest of the racers ready(ish) for what adventure was in front of them!
I nestled in near the back of the crowd and to the sound of bagpipes the starting charge began. I took it easy in the first few hundred yards as I knew there would be a bottleneck through the gateway before the brutal climb up to Scald Law. I think the weather distracted me from the climb as it didn’t seem ‘quite’ as relentless this year… After making it up onto Scald Law it was a nice bit of ridge running before the climb up to South Black Hill. The wind here was so strong I could barely stand up in it and so cold I couldn’t feel the right side of my face! From South Black Hill it was an interesting enough run up to East Kip before the fourth climb up to West Kip.
After sumitting West Kip it was a long slide (literally) on the compacted icy snow down into the valley. At this point I thought I was in with a chance of making the cut off. However the valley run was longer than I remembered and by the time I got to ‘The Howe’ I knew I would get timed out! I was disappointed, but it was what I expected really. Despite being timed out, there was still a fair bit of climbing and running left to do. A few marshals led us halfway up Carnethy before directing us along a little valley and back to the start. As it happens, those of us that got timed out only ran 0.4 of a mile less than those that didn’t! I just chalked this one up as a tough training session and (given the weather conditions) one brutal adventure!
After resting up on Sunday I was back out on the Whinlatter trails on Monday. Despite the climbs I am learning to love this route from Braithwaite Village up through the forest to Seat How and back. This run was no different (even on my still tired legs). 8 miles on the trails always feels like an achievement anyway.
Part of my training is about building up my endurance; so running consecutive days is one of the prescribed ways of doing this. On Tuesday night I knew I had to try and run at least nine miles (after running the eight the previous day) so I did a 4 mile loop in the town before meeting up with the running club for our usual Tuesday night session. I was feeling okay during the club run despite the higher mileage, that said….the last few miles were a bit tougher than the first two!
As I stated in my previous posts; I am taking one event at a time this year. The Quest ( a 40 mile ultra marathon on the Cornish coast) will be my first big challenge of 2017. However all of this years events are all in training for my attempt to run all 267 miles of the Pennine Way in 2018 to raise funds and awareness for Bipolar UK and The RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project. You can find out more about this and support my ongoing efforts here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningthepennineway
If you can’t donate to the cause, you can still support me by sharing my posts on social media 🙂