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Monday, 14 February 2011

Gwaeth Caled!

Last week was a toughie! Lots of  runs with me, myself and I, what with missing club night due to work commitments, and Dan also away on a romantic Spa break in Bath.

I hauled my creaking carcass around town on the Monday after our mammouth 1hr 45min run on the Sunday. It complained like an old diesel in winter but with Tuesday off it meant Wednesdays speed work would at least be done fairly fresh. I have noticed that my recovery time is improving as the weeks go by, but Thursdays marathon pace 8 miler was painful for the first 4, but surprisingly sprightly for the final lap, which was nice!

With Sundays Tregaron half marathon looming, I cheated on Friday by taking the day off. After two hard sessions, I simply didn't feel up to it. I guess i would have forced myself had Sunday not been a race, but I justified it by telling myself I'd race hard on Sunday.

After a casual 5 miler on saturday with the Mrs doing a farly good impression of Mickey from the Rocky films, riding her bicycle alongside me, I headed to Tregaron on Sunday morning for a welcome return to the blue, yellow & black vest.

This would be my first race since the Teifi 10 last April and so I was both looking forward to it and yet had a tinge of nerves, because I guess it was a proper race!

I was a complete wimp whilst warming up, after deciding it was blinking freezing i put some thermals on to the disgust of Mr Burgess who told me in no uncertain terms to man-up. This i duly did and so it became a vest only affair. It was the correct choice as within a mile of the start, i was both warm & wet. The thermal vest would have weighed me down no end.

Aber AC had a good turnout on the day, with Dave P, Lou, Steve, Goronwy, Bridget, Clive, Ian, Paul Rose, John Evs, Maureen Pritchard, Dan & myself all taking to the start line.

It was raining, pretty cold but there was little wind and so the conditions were slightly poor yet not crazy.

As the gun went, Dave was soon in the second select group, behind the front three Sarn Helen runners with Lou, Ian, Dan & myself in a strung out third cluster of runners.

We stayed together until the right hander off the main road onto the back road towards Swyddfynon at around two miles, after which i found my climbing legs and started catching some guys up ahead. The next six miles was a ding dong between me and three others with Burgess yoyoing off the back yet making amazing returns to the group on the downhills. The race was on, and I was finding that I was getting clear / making up ground on the uphills but losing out downhill, apart from to a bloke from TROTS who despite walking up all the hills, managed to stay at the front of our group??? He must have a very special walking technique!

Onto the Cors Caron and I was mid-race scalped by the first lady. Both she and Mr TROTS looked good and I concluded that they were going for a sub 1hr 30. Some quick Cliff Thomas style mathematical equations were then done to ascertain the situation with four miles to go and it was an outside chance. I'd have to sub 6.40 the last four miles tho!

With a mile and a half left my Garmin was telling me it was off, as the girl & Mr TROTS must have miscalculated! Sheesh, to come this far and not get it would have been disappointing. I passed 12 miles at 1.22.45, meaning the last 1.1 would need to be done in 7.15! I was fed up of finishing both running races and cycle races on the wrong side of important time splits, and so I fired the emergency generator up and squinted my face and went as fast as I possibly could. The vague blur ahead was the long straight road into Tregaron from Bont. There should be a PA caravan there somewhere but I couldn't see it. It was further on than I remembered, darn it, keep sprinting. There was black smoke in the engine room by this point but as the big timing board came into view, it was displaying nice things, namely 1.29.45 as I crossed the line.

I'll take that for a first race after injury, and hopefully on a flatter course, I can work towards a better PB in future.

As the rest of us finished, we all headed to the Rugby club for a well deserved bowl of Cawl and to applaud the winners of the categories. Lou grabbed second female as did Anita for her age group. Dave had a great time but was a victim of the age category boundaries this time, pinning him up against the 40 year olds.

Roll on a rest day I say!

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