Well I slipped in a sneaky one this morning folks . Saw the posters last weekend when I was with my daughter, had a look on-line when I got home, and it was the final day for entries.
The week has seen me cycle to work just the once on Monday 'cause the hedgecutters have been out in force, and have a good session on the rollers Wednesday, hitting 30mph for 15 minutes in all (Sir Bradley Wiggins I am not). I ran 7.5 miles Tuesday, 10 miles on Thursday. Injuries are still very much there, and with my ability to stretch still seriously hampered by my back, I know about it at this sort of mileage.
I will not be coming at Snowdonia from a position of strength, I am definitely coming from a position of weakness. The thing you should be taking from that, barring further disaster, I AM coming .
I was ready for a rest on Friday, then had a terrible day yesterday, everything going wrong, always behind where I needed to be, and not getting food, or sleep, when I needed it. Not the warm up I wanted for today...
Thought it would be just the thing for testing out the legs in the right way, enough but not too much. There's the Red Bull Steeplechase next weekend. That was meant to be my last long run before Snowdonia, as things have turned out, it will be my only one , and I'm sure to be walking chunks of it.
Being a bit of an undulating course, I didn't know what to expect from Macc really, 1:45 to 2hrs I told my mates. I knew there'd be no PB, but what I was really hoping for was to run the full distance and make it through unscathed.
Started at the back. Getting lapped on the athletics track was one I've not experienced before, but a gentle start was important. On the open roads I was running easy and steadily passing people all the way to the finish. It was a really good course, something to keep me interested every step of the way, and the marshalling and organisation was truly excellent . I would definitely recommend this race, and I will definitely return to it again, loved it .
One particular highlight of the course was running up Slade Lane. This road was one of my favourite places to go on the bike when I lived at Chelford in my younger days. There's a field on the right I used to dream of owning one day, and building my own house there, where I could sit and enjoy the majestic views West across the Cheshire plain. Never imagined I'd actually end up living in a similar setting on the Welsh hills in the distance.
Down past "Beefy" Botham's house...
... (don't know if he still lives there) I knew I was going to make it to the finish, and so when it turned uphill I upped the effort a bit, looking to get the biggest benefit to my fitness from my race that I could.
Had a bit of a practice at my head counting ready for the Red Bull next week, I'm certain I got myself well up into the top half of the race (although there was a 5k on aswell so my early impressions may be a bit skewed) and throughout the entirity of the race, only 7 people overtook me, 3 of which I later pulled back.
One of those I was really pleased about reeling back in. As I overtook the guy on one of the early slightly uphill sections, he gave me a real death stare, and then came bombing back past me and vanished up the road. He had really muscular legs on him and a technique that was all about strength and power. So that was it, him vs me, strength and power vs relaxed posture and measured effort, the will not to be beaten by one particular runner vs the will to ignore everyone else and run your own race. Bounding effort and long stride vs minimal effort quick short stride. He'd stayed infront of me for near enough 8 miles, then got dusted ! Shouldn't have done the death stare!
When the photos come out, they will reveal a picture of me gradually deteriorating over the course of 13.1 miles, in order; aeroplanes, thumbs up, smile, shattered frown, but it will be a false impression, the race went really well, and I had just enough in the legs for a strong finish on the athletics track, just edging it in a sprint. Perfectly run race , quicker than I'd guessed, and felt like I could have carried on for longer too .
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