Friday, 14 August 2009
20 MILE VICTORY LAP AND THE PAIN OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER
After celebrating on Wednesday night the clubs success at the Haigh race with 5 or 6 pints of Titanic real ale [ it went down really well] it was back to reality with a bang the following day!
I'd agreed to do a 20 mile hill run with Rob to help him with his training for the Langdale marathon, said to be the hardest marathon in the country by none other than Ron Hill [ so it must be pretty dam tough].
We set off from Parbold and straight away I knew I'd be in for a bad time, I was hanging on to Robs heels by the skin of my teeth and we'd not even run a mile.
We headed through Hilldale then up the quarry climb to the top of Hunters hill, it was a relief to reach the top, I managed to recover some what as we charged downhill through the green fields.
The next destination was Ashurst Beacon [ 2 mile climb], once onto the hill I started to feel better and took the lead 3/4 the way up, I then lead Rob onto a dirt path that winds its way up to the Beacon at the upper most top, just before reaching the sumit the path steepens to an alarming degree and my quads almost locked up.
Once over the top we got back on the road and I lead Rob down the mile and a half descent, Rob told me he was having a hard time holding on to me, it was not to last, after turning right at Upholland Rob went to the front and I was in trouble again, feeling like I was on my limit [ could I last the distance at this suicide pace].
Next destination Crank, after following Rob over twisting narrow country roads we reached the notorious Crank climb, I was already feeling my energy drain away before we reached the climb so I knew I was in deep trouble.
The first half is gentle as you climb over the tree lined road but all of a sudden after a sharp bend the road shoots upwards into the distant horizon. I start to drop back as Rob pushes on, I'm like one of those Tour De France riders blown out the back on a torturous Alpine climb, a broken man fighting for survival, I wanted to stop, to sit down, to rest, but I fight relentlessly on at a painfully slow pace, the pain was incredibly intense, time was slowing down and so was I.
At last I made it to the top some 30 sec after Rob, once again I seemed to recover on the downhill, after several miles we turned left and up a nasty little climb back to Upholland, this time Rob seemed to suffer, a few more fast miles and we reach the final hill, a narrow tree lined back way up Ashurst Beacon, 3/4 the way up I start to feel dizzy as my last bit of energy drains away, once more Rob moves into the distance, at the top we regroup and I hang onto Robs shoulder as we take the 2 mile decent at high speed, shortly before Parbold village the Garmin shows 20 miles and I shout to Rob I've had enough and jog the final half mile to the car.
20 miles, 2000 ft of climbing at 7.17 pace = 2.29
That felt bloody tough from the start until the bitter end, harder than many races I've run, but I made it through, to live to drink another pint or two!