With the Great Trail Challenge only a month away, and with the goal of 20,000km for the C25K team on 5x50 due in only a week, I decided to do another trail run today. Yesterday, I had done the Saturday Parkrun (in yet another PB - I simply don't know where they keep coming from ...) and a second 5k. I'm feeling more comfortable with the 10k distance so I'm pretty sure I can do the 11k trail run. Except, of course, it's not exactly a cruise through the local park. It's up a flippin' great big hill. Or rather, two flippin' big hills.
A fortnight ago I took on Falkland Hill (the eastern of the two Lomond Hills here in Fife). That went well, so the next step in the "development plan" was to push further towards the West Lomond. My son is here from Australia for a couple of weeks and he came with me. We didn't run together - he stayed close to the East Lomond while I headed west. The car park at Craigmeade came in a bit quicker that I remembered last time, so that was good. I had picked up a little stone, so stopped to take that out before heading for the long uphill stage to the foot of the West Lomond itself. I planned to go to the 2.75 mile mark before turning back but, hey, when I looked at my tracker, the 5k mark was just a little bit further and I was feeling good. So yes, I did the full 5k uphill.
Now, those of you who can remember my blogs of a year ago will recall that I hated hills and would go a fair distance out of my way to avoid them. But I've come a long way since then and I feel I can eat hills for breakfast. Today just confirmed that you just need to take the right mental approach.
At the turn round, my time was almost bang on 30 minutes. Not bad considering the terrain ...
The good bit came as I started for home. It was, of course, downhill. YAHOO! 8 minute miles without any hassle. Until it was time to climb the East Lomond. As last time, it was impossible to keep running - although even climbing what seemed like the North Face of the Eiger, I did overtake a couple of hill walkers. YEEEES! Once at the top, stop for another "proof I did it" photo and it was a sprint down to the car park. A little discomfort, with the tiniest of blisters on the ball of my right foot. But not enough to worry me or slow me down ...
In fact, had I known my times, I would have tried just a bit harder. The full run came in at 10.19km, and the time was 60m 43s. I'm sure I could have broken that one hour time.
So where now? Well, the aim for the next outing up the Lomonds is to get to the very top of the Western peak. That would be two summits and 7.5 miles (12k). I guess if I can do that in the next couple of weeks, I'll be all set for the Great Trail Challenge. Heck - I felt good on today's run. I'm already set for it. I'm going to STONK it. I am, after all, the God of Hell Fire! (:->)
If anyone had told me this before I started couch, they would clearly have been an idiot! Isn't it amazing what we can achieve? Even if, like me, you started as a fat, unfit old git !