Ah well. That would have been the trip to the Lake District then? Lovely drive down on Friday evening, wonderful day pottering around Keswick Saturday. Glad I took an extra pair of clean undies when I saw THAT hill in the flesh. And then today ... the Great Trail Challenge itself.
Landesman's post from last week encouraged me to go and buy a Garmin Forerunner 10 'watch', which I did find much more informative and 'runner friendly' than either Nike+ or Endomondo. I stayed in Cockermouth and did a 5k on Saturday morning. Quite liked the Garmin device but the big thing is the stats you get. Here they are -
I'd like to write my usual 50,000 words, musing on everything that went wrong. But it's been a long day. Suffice to say that, having sat in my car too long and missing the start of last week's Parkrun, I got there on time. Found the start - OK so far. Started the run, and felt awful as usual for the first half mile. The bad news is that it didn't go away until about 5k into the run - the first steep uphill section. My plan had always been to walk (briskly) up the two really steep sections. In reality it seemed to be the wrong strategy - loads of "real" runners zipped past me up the hill. We had been told to take on water because of the weather and at the top, we had the first water post. I don't usually take water with me on a run but took a bottle 'just in case'. After this, I found that the 'walking uphill' strategy was in fact sound - I soon zipped past most of those that had overtaken me and who were now "puggled".
Down a stony path, over a stream and then it was the long, long climb to the top of the Fell. this was the second water post - but since I hadn't opened the first bottle I flew past it. In fact I jettisoned the still sealed bottle about a third of the way through the very enjoyable downhill 3km to the finish.
Overall, it was a really good run. I just wish I could learn to relax, and not worry so much in the early stages. My time was just over 72 minutes for the 11.5km route. I can live with that - given the elevation profile, I was really delighted!
I finished 228th out of 700 finishers, and 9th in my age group.
The stats are at connect.garmin.com/activity...
I did manage to take a passable video of about half the run (start and finish, but not the highest part which, for a reason I'm not sure, didn't record). I guess I didn't press the button hard enough. If I can work out how to use youTube, I'll put up a quick edit for everyone to see.
My next "Great Run" is in Edinburgh in July. It'll be different, but am already looking forward to it.
What's this to do with the Great Gonzo? Did Gonzo win the event? Maybe he was cooking the burgers? Or just doing his celebrity job - pressing the flesh? None of these. I simply forget where I had planned to take that bit of the story I guess it's just another sign of the aging process ...