23 weeks, 42 laps of Post Hill Woods and my much coveted 3500m of climb

This week was tough. I had initially aimed for 45 laps of Post Hill consisting of 3 laps from Tue-Fri and doing one day where I ran twice to reach 15 midweek laps then back to back 15 laps on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately I never got an opportunity to do my 2nd run on any of the midweek days.

It’s one thing setting my alarm and then deciding to snooze it but it somehow seems worse to not set it in the first place.
I ran on Tuesday night and wasn’t remotely interested in setting my alarm for the next morning. Luckily after my Wednesday evening run I was able to get up at 5am on Thursday and Friday to get in 4 days of 3 laps. My week was always going to be judged on the back to back 15 laps and I was contemplating doing a few reps up the main climb on the motorcycle track in Post Hill to make sure I got 3500m of elevation for the week but this was secondary to actually finishing both sessions.

I decided to try running yesterday evening and this morning with the hope of hitting sub 24 hours between setting off on yesterday’s run, going home to sleep and watch rugby then finishing today.

I set off at 2pm yesterday and managed 15 laps without much discomfort. I was able to split this into lots of 3 lap sections and concentrate entirely on finishing that bit. Having cans of Pepsi Max and brioche rolls, Haribo, peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate digestives to graze on was enough for maintenance of my morale.

This morning was a different challenge as my legs were still heavy and I had naively worked out if I ran up the motorcycle track on the middle lap of each 3 I would definitely reach 3500m of elevation for the week.

From lap 2 onwards, this was obviously a wildly fucking optimistic plan. I decided to walk the motorcycle section each time and make sure I could definitely finish all 15 laps. I found I was able to manage the steep descents on each one quite well.

I had a 15 minute break to drive to Sainsburys and buy more water and IEon Bru after my 4th set of 3 laps. Refrigerated drinks taste so much better and I wouldn’t have felt safe in terms of dehydration trusting my last 330ml can of Pepsi to last my final 3 laps.

Considering I chugged about 1.25L of my bottle of water this was evidently the right decision. I was able to have a more dynamic if not faster running gait for my last 3 laps. While it’s good practice for the 100 mile run in October, it’s quite scary when more vigourous arm drive and stride length do bugger all to increase pace and only barely sustained the previous one that required substantially less energy!

I’m pleased to have managed the 15 laps on both days and fit in the 5 times up the motorcycle track today. It was literally one of those efforts today where I wasn’t certain I was going to finish till the last lap!

I found an old Simon Barnes quote that I think fit in well with both the level of commitment I saw in the rugby last night and what I was able to do briefly on the last few laps today. It was great seeing defence from both sides like their lives depended on it and I think that inspired me when my legs were cramping up and not wanting to move forward at all!

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