5 weeks, 35 miles & a spot of mountain running.

This was a nice gentle recovery week once I’d got Tuesday’s effort out of the way. I was staying near the Berwyn mountains on a family holiday and had avoided going up any of it for the past 4 days! Starting the week with a 6 mile trail run including a mountain summit of 827m was never going to be easy but the route I found was comically steep at the start. I took my GPS watch out with me but it was reduced to just being a heart rate monitor due to lack of signal. This was useful as I noticed my HR was up above 190 bpm very early into this run so held off a bit. I had a good idea of the route and managed to persevere through about 3 false summits to finally reach the top of Moul Sych.

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I was very cautious on my descent and managed to follow the trail back to where I had parked. Luckily the goats were keen to move out of my way as I managed to pick up something resembling speed near the bottom and couldn’t have slowed down if they hadn’t!

I returned to the 5.4 mile route on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. My calves were a bit stiff for each of these but I was never going to stop during any of them after my half dozen laps the week before.

I had agreed to volunteer at the St Illtyd’s 50k/100k Ultra in Wales today so had to get the rest of my miles in yesterday. (I get a free place for next year so not entirely selfless on my part!) This was a lap of my 7.5 mile route at 5am followed by a 6.4 mile run with my friend Paddy at the other side of Leeds. I had missed the conversational pace we can usually start with over the last few weeks and enjoyed catching up until we got to the first hill.

One of the main things I have enjoyed about volunteering at races in the past is the length of time volunteers work for enables you to see a full cross section of runners and it can be massively inspiring to see what some manage to pull themselves through and the willpower they show. It is usually an example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I like to think this is because they have taught themselves it is possible based on the amount of training they have done. The quote below is a good example of what I mean. Hopefully my 8 hours today will give me examples of this in spades!

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