Sunday, 4 December 2011

Brecon Beacons Trot

Up and down the hill in the distance 
and then  back up and down the
hill that this  picture was taken from.
26 miles with 4397ft elevation gain (and therefore the same loss), with tonnes of mud, standing water and more mud made this run one of the hardest that I have had to do so far.  Weather was perfect: no rain, some sun and cool temperatures.  It was breath takingly windy on the top / on the open moors but it was the amount of water and MUD that made it tough and running extremely slow.

Running in thick guey mud up and down hills means that a) you use different muscles to keep the legs together (aka not sliding down the hill) b) spend more energy keeping up-right c) lifting feet the out of the mud 'zaps' energy d) settling into a smooth pace is impossible. Interestingly there were only a few women who turned out for the event all of whom were either in the super fit or mega super fit category.  Of course, I didn't stand out like a sore thumb at all but hey at least I wasn't thought to be a marshal  - oh hang on.....
Moorland - wet and windy
My preparation impacted my run.  Organising/ attending the work party the night before, sleeping for 1/2 hour and driving 4 hours to get to the race for a 6 o'clock start with a stinking cold was not clever but a reality for a full time working person who needs to pack in hill and distance training into their weekly scedule.

What I learnt with this run was that you have to go into a race completely committed.  I spent the first 2 miles looking for a reason to stop. I was tired, feeling miserable with a cold and quite frankly I just wanted my bed and not spend lots of energy plodding over several mammoth and very muddy hills. However, all of that was wiped away as I knew I wasn't going to stop and I wasn't prepared to bore myself any further with any more negative thoughts. Of course there was a humongous hill that needed some attention as well - a great distractor.
The climbs were often long inclines
I much prefer short and steep

Taking that this was the second time that I have been up the Welsh hills within a week I think that I am getting some good hill practise in.

So, only 26miles but with 4397ft elevation and tonnes of mud to get in the way - I will happily take this trot as a good and worthwhile training session. More next week too..... and with a good nights sleep before, I know that it will be a good one.

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