Friday, 19 February 2010

A Bit Peaky

I'm in!! Luckily 3 runners in a High Peak Marathon team got themselves injured or ill. When I say luckily, my thoughts are with them, obviously, but it does mean that with only a few weeks to go, I'm gonna get to have a crack at this event. The proof's here. We're team no. 24: Traversers.

A 42mi run over boggy, featureless wilderness, in a circular route out of Edale. Added to that is the difficulty of starting the race at 11 at night. So all mileage (and more importantly navigation) completed by headtorch-light. Really looking forward to it, and will be a great session to have under my belt given my ultimate aim of a BGR. An added attraction this year is the chance I might be able to speak to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who is competing in the race with another team. Though whether I will say anything meaningful, or just stare, giggle and jibber like a schoolgirl at a [insert contemporary pop reference here] concert is another matter.

Soon after the euphoria had kicked in there was another feeling that started to creep into my mind. Took a while to identify this as panic. As I said in my last post, my training so far this year has been a bit hit and miss. I've since been out with my club on one of their headtorch runs over Pendle and found myself really struggling to keep up, whereas before Christmas, I was holding my own.

So with only 3 and a bit weeks to go between getting in the team and the race starting, I was desperately wondering where I would get my fitness back from. I had another week away with work, which limited the miles I could get under my belt. Had some really good CV sessions (e.g. 40min run/30min bike/20min row) but nothing really compares with hitting the hills for a few miles.

With that in mind I did have a couple of runs lined up this weekend. I was doing the 2nd half of the Full Tour of Pendle this morning (10mi, 3000+ft), then doing a route I've contrived called the Pendle Monster: the Pendle Cloughs and Full Tour routes combined (27mi, 7000+ft). So far so good. This morning though, get to Barley for 6, and whilst just listening to the end of a report on the Today program I fell asleep. I awoke 40mins later, still shattered so without having even set foot outside the car I turned around, got home and got back into bed. I reckon the last few weeks of driving and early starts has caught up with me. So I'm having a rethink. 

I may yet do the Pendle Monster, but with a 20mi recce of the northern half of the HPM route lined up next Friday, I might just satisfy myself with a few more modest runs, saving the Monster and another target - a Double FTOP - until after the HPM. Will no doubt update on here.

Kit latest: Looking back over previous posts, I made reference to a decision over a jacket. I plumped for a Rab Momentum jacket made from Event fabric. Very breathable, very light, and keeps me dry.  Not soft-shell, as there seems to be a fad for at the moment (these materials just remind me of cheap polyester tracksuits I remember wearing as a kid in the 80s - see 2010 OMM Kamleika), so it does rustle a bit when running, but this doesn't bother me. It's also got a hood that clings to your head like a cap, so it doesn't get blown off in the winds. Very useful this winter on the top of Pendle. Doesn't stow in the jacket when not in use, which is strange, but not a major problem. Absolutely loving it so far - even the mushy pea/baby poo green colour - but a proper review should wait until after the HPM where no doubt it will be thoroughly tested.

Before I disappear for now, if there's any missing Ls, it's not because I can't spell, but that particular key is highly strung and decides not to work sometimes.


  1. the pendle monster sounds brilliant, in a painful, enjoying afterwards kinda way ;)

  2. Don't worry - we'll both be rustlers!

  3. I don't know if you've noticed, but FLIPPIN ECK 42 Miles is a long way!

    ...sounds great

  4. Pride might push me into a Pendle Monster attempt before the HPM. I want to be the first, and there's someone else with their eye on it. Oh, and Steve, I've just mapped out all the HPM CPs on the OS map...I think you're right! Cripes.

  5. i too, can now be counted as 'lucky' ;)