After the excitement of the Dragon's Back race, I knew it was important to have some down-time ( though it does seem funny to think of going back to work for a break! ). The 100K in September would be here all too soon, and I knew that I really needed to recover properly before I could start any training again. To be honest, my lower legs had become so swollen in the few days after finishing that I probably didn't have much choice in the matter - it was so odd to lose sight of my ankles....I must have really aged a lot in a few days to develop such cankles (they were worse than those of my patients in my first few days back at work)!
Rather tired on arrival in Durham!
I had thought some gentle swimming would help my legs move and shift the fluid, but unfortunately the "public" pool in Dumfries was never open at a time that the public could use it, so that was out, hence a couple of gentle bike rides fit the bill instead (especially when they had a double purpose of replenishing my fuel stores as I generally cycled to a cafe or ice cream shop).
My father's cousins were over visiting from Poland and so, not being one to sit still for too long, I decided to cycle over to visit them at the weekend. To be fair, I cheated and took the train part of the way, so only actually cycled to and from Hexham to Durham....but it still involved some rather "steep inclines" and so I realised that there was still quite a lot of residual tiredness in my legs!!
I gradually allowed myself some gentle runs, and even did a grassy parkrun when catching up with friends in the Lake District - it wasn't exactly the fastest course, but that was perfect as it meant that I didn't feel the urge to push myself too hard, and I knew that I had no previous runs there to compare my time to.
The next weekend was a full 3 weeks after the Dragon's Back had finished so it was time to see where my body (and mind) were at. I have been invited to take part in the Snowdon Supercup for the past three year but have never been able to accept the invitation before (due to injury or other commitments). The Snowdon Supercup is an international invitational uphill only race from Llanberis to the top of Snowdon. I knew that I wasn't going to be in good form, but I was keen for a run out to see how my body coped....both with the run, and with the recovery afterwards....and so I accepted and took myself (back) down to Wales again.
I think I'm at the summit!!!
There must be something about myself and Snowdon, because although it was sunny at the bottom...by the time I'd ascended the 1000m to the summit, I was surrounded by cloud and being rained upon. No matter that I didn't have to traverse Crib Goch on this occasion......I have still to actually see the summit. Although it wasn't a performance to write home about, I thought that I'd acquitted myself fairly well in the race, having kept a local runner in sight (in 3rd place) right up until we hit the clag, and then I was only passed in the final few hundred metres by another Welsh Lassie. I ran every step, which may not have been the ideal plan, as she powerwalked by me without me hearing her closing in, as I couldn't differentiate her footfall from that of the tourist hikers! By the time I realised, I hadn't enough race left to get her back.
A trip to the summit cafe (to dry off and refuel) still left enough time to jog back down into the sunshine and join friends to cheer on the runners in the main "up and down" race. One of the Scottish ladies had pulled out of the team event due to illness, but at least I was sensible enough not to be talked into taking her place in the race. The good news was that I felt recovered enough to go for a longer run the next day.......
Enjoying a well-earned butty after Leg 2 on the BGR
That signalled that it was probably OK to restart training, but I wanted to make sure that I eased back into it and didn't do too much too soon, so I've still been mixing it up a little......going out onto the Lowther hills one day so help collect controls in after an overnight Mountain Marathon, and then gpoing down to the Lake District on another occasion to help support on a Bob Graham Round attempt, but I think I probably need to start focussing solely on the roads for a few weeks now....wish me luck!!!!