30 March 2009

edale skyline:a perfect day for running

I woke up still feeling uneasy. A strange mixture of excitement and trepidation. This was probably the first race that I've set myself a real target and probably the first race in a long time that I can't use the excuse of 'lack of training'. I wanted to beat last years time, but more importantly sneak in at the 4 hour mark. Still way off the winning time but it would be a good indication that I'm doing the right things.

The atmosphere at the start was the usual relaxed and friendly environment that goes with fell racing. Windless clear blue skies and a crisp frost under foot. Perfect running conditions, particularly for the navigationally challenged.

As the runners gathered at the bottom of Ringing Rodger doubt crept into my mind. Everyone else looked so fit and strong. All I could think about was the fact that I've delusions of being a fell runner and worse still believe I can make a real attempt at the bob graham this year.

This is probably not the right sort of attitude to go into any race and needless to say the first few hours were horrible. Unable to switch my mind off I was convinced everything was wrong. Why were my calf's so tight? Where's my energy, why's my breathing so out off control and when would the pins and needles leave my right foot?

By the top of Loose Hill I'd convinced myself that I'd stop at the cutoff and call it a day. As by this point I was no faster than last year and finding is considerably harder. However, spurred on by seeing Jane and her parents at the half way point I resolved to continue. Things still weren't going to plan. It seemed like an endless slog through the peat bogs to reach Brown Knoll. Maybe I wasn't eating enough but I just didn't have any spring in my step.

Unfortunately seeing Rich with his camera soon after the climb up to Swine's back didn't make me feel any better. He kindly offered me a gel, yes I was looking that bad. I then realised that my legs didn't really hurt anymore and I wasn't sounding on the verge of collapse.

A conscious decision was made, "stop worrying and start running", well jogging at least. I began to look around. Tracing the skyline from where I'd been a few hours previous. It was a glorious day and I was going to make it. Maybe not as fast as I'd liked but with a smile at least.

Along the way I enjoyed a game of cat and mouse with a runner from Eryri Harriers and bumped into Mrs Stagger again. Cratchett also defeated his nemesis and made it round. And a great post race spread was put on. All of which helped raise the spirits.

Unofficial time was 4:20. I did enjoy the very last stages of the run but feel unusually flat. No 'runners high' for me this time and some serious thought is going into my future plans.


Jo said...

Hey, you kept going, against everything your brain was screaming at you - that's certainly an achievement! Sorry you didn't get the time you hoped for... If you CAN work out what happened for you, from the many possible variables that occur in a race situation, that can only make you stronger for the future.

Respect for Cakey!

Red Bike said...

I think just getting around is one fantastic achievement. You should be over the moon.
- Well done Kate !!!

chris said...

Well done Kate - that profile just looks terrifying!

I'll bring extra cake for the 'leisure ride' tommorrow to keep you going ;-)

jumbly said...

Well done! You made it round in a more than respectable time so don't be beating yourself up about it. Sounds to me like you almost psyched yourself out of making it round inside your four hour target. I reckon your legs and lungs were up to it, just your mojo messing with you, there's a lot of it about at the moment!

Anonymous said...

it's a tough course, on a beautiful day, and a triumph and privilage to get round irrespective of what the clock or owt else says !!!!

Anonymous said...

you've an awsome array of tough long challenges lined up for one year !

some shorter faster efforts would increase speed no end and a few less long uns may help too..then all wouldn't be so daunting ?

Runningbear said...

I've never done this event but I hear it's a really tough challenge and if you've suffered I'm sure many others did too. When the immediate feelings subside hopefully you can think about what aspects of your training need to be developed to work towards your longer term goals. Don't let this set you back or undermine your confidence. Build on what you've learned about yourself from the race and what your body can cope with right now - you'll be stronger for it. You'll then be much better prepared for achieving your goals. Hope you’re taking good care of both mind and body to properly recover from the rigours of the race. Well done for being so strong and seeing it through to the end.

Iain said...

Kate very good effort. One race i want to do but always miss the entry each year. Give yourself a few days, don't think about the times they don't matter an inch anyway. You've proved you can run 21? miles. You wanted to stop but you kept going. That's a strength, use it, add it to the list of significant others. You're well on your way!

ps: the allotment is the king of cross training. ;)

kate said...

thanks for all your comments guys. i know you're probably right, just doesn't feel like it at the mo. it's really helpful though :)

Pedalling Polarcherry said...

well done Kate.
That profile looks mega scary to me! Your incredibly fit to get round there. Most people couldn't remember.

Try not to be frustrated with yourself and just learn from the race. Easier said than done, but keep mentally strong - that's the biggest thing to learn & maintain.

ultra collie said...

hey kate take it from me, 2009's champion self-doubter, you'll get through ok. if it was easy everybody would be doing it! it ain't and they're not...so take a bit from that. secondly, you perservered and finished...thats great and took some balls.
maybe make sure you give yourself enough recovery, break for a few days and chill..then you may feel a little fresher. alternatively grit your teeth, keep your head down and run your way through it!
top stuff.

kate said...

i really do appreciate your comments, thank you.

Anthony said...

pah, some are good some are bad.

The trick is to make sure that you have more good than bad. unfortunatly I don't quite know how to perform that trick quite yet.

Learning experience and a good training run, put it to the back of your mind and start planning our bike ride.

kate said...

thanks anthony...i'll get planning :)