Monday, 23 November 2009

The week and the Wedge

I seem to have got the cold out of the system - ok man-flu - which I guess was my pennance for months and months of continuous running with no breaks. Good week last week. Short hill reps Monday, part trail run Wednesday in the light (what a privelage mid-week at this time of year. Thursday Speed sesh with club - as car less I had an extra 3/4m on start and end to get to meet up. Then the WU and CD were over a mile and we did two laps of the speed loop at easy pace as extra WU. Throw in 8 x ~900m laps, 300m recs and it was quite a mad sesh. Ran consistently (3.13 fastest, 3.26 slowest) then pulled out a 3.08 at the end. I finally seem to have figured how to run a speed sesh without blowing up, more about stamina than speed I reckon for 800's. About 11.5m altogether so I rested up till Sunday

Then a cracking booze up Friday night with club. I only just recovered to be washed up, breakfasted, and out of the door for 5:15 on Sunday to head for the Wensleydale Wedge. I think a 4:30 rise for a run is a new PB for me! 115m later and having dodged or driven nervously through the odd flood I arrived to a nice empty car park. Nice and early, relaxing cup of tea and chat with others in Askrigg village hall and off at 8am. Ran with Mark again, we both seemed to be a bit more energetic than last week at Burley Bridge hike, still a bit off 100% I reckon though.

First 8m seemed all uphill and plenty of evidence that the Yorkshire dales had got the tailend of the weather from neighbouring Cumbria. There were floods around here but villages and towns are scarce so its mostly flooded fields, overspilling rivers or resovoirs and slightly damp sheep and cows. It started to lash down at 8m or so, into a headwind, then into our side, even a bit sleety and slight hail. I stopped, got the gloves an hat on just in time as fingers became a bit numb. Thankfully we turned to be wind assisted and then the rain stopped and a long downhill. Then the best CP I've ever had at an LDWA event - though I'm still a relative novice at these and I here wonderous tales of the extravagant food stops at the Fellsman from Mark. Numerous sandwiches, pork pies, homemade flapjack, cookies, hot drinks, to crown it all it was indoors in a village hall so we got warmed up. Got even better when we learned we were at halfway.

Onwards and really enjoing this, very much like the terrain at Trollers Trot and Wharfdale marathon not far away - lots of what I call "well manicured trails", very grassy and "spongy" due to the no doubt frequent rain. Not too much harsh stuff. There was the odd waterlogged bit, but not too bad really. Next was Aysgarth falls and a treat as the taps were really turned on full. Roaring white water was great to see and it seems due to trhe weather the tourists were staying home. Shame for them as hardly any rain apart from that bit earlier. So green and the dales seemed to have been scrubbed clean.

We pushed on to Bolton castle, walking the odd bit in castle approach. Another good fuel stop and usual selfless and cheery LDWA organisers. Then onwards for last 7m or so back to Askrigg. This was beautiful again, running the ridge north of Wensleydale with the swollen Ure far below. But.... it did seem uphill a lot of the way. We were glad to finally ascend back into Askrigg.

4:26 and felt good most of the way, not stiffening till beyond 20. We reckoned it just a bit over 23m, and amazingly didn't get lost once! (though we did stop and ask directions from the navigationally-more-konowledgable a few times). Not got the stats so not sure how hilly it worked out. Pleasently not half as hilly or grim as I feared. Above the high standard and value offered by all LDWA events, so I can see why this one filled up with a few days to spare.

Rudolph's Romp next... I'm up for a swift one there.

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