Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sunday 9th March 2014
The weather has taken a change for the better over the last couple of days and the forecast for today [Sunday] was for wall to wall sunshine all day! Has spring sprung??

Got my kit together last night with the intention of a quick getaway in the morning and up to the Quantocks, usually warmish, dry Spring Sundays up there means full car parks and loads of MTBers.

So it was 7:05 when I drew into the car park, only one other car there.
There was a chill in the air with a cooling breeze, so hat and gloves were necessary, but managed with a helly short sleeved vest and my Karrimor long sleeve running shirt. Decided not to go for ¾ as it’s generally chilly along the ridge. Had my camera with me today so quick photo of the car park before setting off.
 Lydyeards Hill CP

 First Hill

 Local Exmoor Ponies

 Wills Neck

 Near Triscombe Stone

 The Drove

 On the way to Dead Womans ditch

 My Turning point Trig
Final track back to CP

Walking off to warm up round Ldyeard hill, past a group of Exmoor ponies, with the common ‘nose in a bag of flour look’ and quite playful with each other, before my jog up Wills Neck, beautiful morning clear skies and sun! skylarks were all ready up and twittering away, lovely sight to see down and along the drove stopping occasionally to take a photo, views either side were a little hazy, but never the less stunning. At Crowcombe Park gate[car park empty]  I needed to extend my route to increase mileage so  I ran onto Dead woman’s ditch along an undulating path, crossing Ramscombe and weaving in and out of small groups of sheep who decided that carrying on eating the grass was more important than moving out of my way.
Crossing the road, the track past Robin Uprights hill along a good track to Halsway Post, still not seen anyone and three quarters of an hour into my run. Time for an energy top up so popped a couple of marzipan marbles with some dried fruit and a little water from my Camel back.

Another detour to increase mileage took me over Thorncombe Hill and Beacon, quite muddy and churned up in places by the horses. A drop back down to the track brought me up to Bicknoller post. Views down Weacombe and excellent descent on an MTB and over towards Minehead.

Beacon Hill beckoned, and on reaching the Trig point a sharp breeze reminded me it wasn’t summer just yet, at least I ditched the hat earlier but kept the gloves. Another energy top up, this time with a ‘Zip gel’ Blackcurrent and quite thick. Found it best to walk whilst trying to tear the top off, other wise it goes everywhere! Back across the top of Smiths Combe another well known MTB descent.

Start of the return journey once again had me running into a head wind till the shelter of Thorncombe Hill. A climb up to the Trig point at point 358 I was walking as tired legs were starting to show with approximately 8 miles done.

The car park now showed more cars although I had still not met any other walkers/runners/MTBers. The first people I met were back along the drove, that’s over 2 hours on the Qs’ with seeing anyone!
The pull up Wills neck on the return was a struggle and the descent down the other side was welcome. The sun still shone and the temperature was rising. Slightly longer route back round Lydyeard hill to up the mileage a with a final result of 14.29 miles. I was glad to see the car as my right knee had developed a pain and I was tired despite all my efforts to keep the energy up.

The good news my new Garmin 110 worked well showing a heart rate of 143 and pace of just over 12 mins per mile , not bad to say I did walk and I did stop to take photos.
The bad news was my Speedcross 3’s showed signs of a hole in the upper where my toes bend, very disappointing as this happened with my last pair, and I hadn’t done many miles in these, less than a hundred miles, I will be writing to Salamon to complain. I now have to get new trainers quickly so I have time to get used to them, new shoes for a 20 mile run is a none starter. I think I will have a look at Inov8 295’s, my son seems to like them and they get a good write up, but I need to try them on to ensure size is right.
That 20 miles still seems a long way off I am still 5 .3 miles short and struggled with that – only 3 weeks to go.

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