Monday, 5 October 2015

Herepath route and a very cold cycle ride!


5th October 2015

I had agreed to meet Mike at 8:15 on Sunday morning this week for a cycle ride down to West Bay. I awoke to a dark but clear morning, and as the sky lightened the weather was looking good with a bright golden glow on the horizon and no sign of the fog from the previous morning.It was a chilly start so decided on a long sleeve jersey and threequarter tights, fingerless mitts etc. leaving my pertex top behind as no rain was expected.

BUT! This changed as I rode to the end of the lane to meet up, we abandoned the idea of West Bay and take the flatter alternative across the levels round Muchelney, it was then we noticed the sky starting to cloud over, it was chilly in the early morning, then as we rode off into the country lanes the cloud soon became a thick mist/fog! And as we descended our first hill of the day got a taste of things to come - - it was freezing!!! We cycled on, but by the time we had reached Shepton Beauchamp we were both frozen and unable to feel our fingers and toes! My Garmin said 3 degrees, my glasses had steamed up and the outside of my jersey was decidedly damp from the heavy fog, it was also becoming dangerous as neither of us brought any lights with us. We stopped and jumped about to warm up, before deciding to cut our losses and head for home, via higher ground if possible, we could see the sun through the mist and we thought, get to higher ground to warm up, sadly we didn’t get this until nearly home, by which time we were both chilled through, it took me two mugs of hot coffee and several layers added to get warm. The mist cleared after lunch and the afternoon whilst not hot [ like Saturday] was much warmer, a lesson learned here I think!!!!

This was all in contrast to the previous few days when the weather had been very warm, dry and sunny, with excursions to Sidmouth for egg, chips and peas in our favourite café earlier in the week and a stroll along the Sea front at Seaton on Saturday.

The Seaton walk was particularly  pleasant as I had managed to get out and run early in the morning and do the route for the HerePath Half which follows the Here Path trail for most of the run

As I drove to park up at Staple Hill it was thick fog, but as I climbed on to the Black downs it cleare, leaving the valleys in a sea of mist. I set off with the familiar run across to Neroche Fort, warily passing some cows with their calfs in a field, they gave me a good stare as I passed through, I didn’t enjoy this at all!!

After Neroche it was a long downhill towards Bickenhall, where I am sure if you are a good runner it will be fast! [but I am not so will have to take my time] the conditions underfoot were dry and as I went through Thurlebear woods and several others Autumn was starting to show itself, easy running and even the edges of the cultivated fields were too bad, but! I imagine will be bad in the wet, with over a hundred runners passing through.

It was after Thurlebear and Netherclay that the tracks started to rise, I even met a small group of runners coming the other way, the tracks wound their way up through the woods and round fileds with the steepest section being back up to the Staple Hill car park, I was pleased to run the whole route, even the last bit which was at the end of my run 12.57 miles [1 mile short of the route for the HPH] in the event itself the start is in Thurlebear so the big climb is at the beginning.

It was a good run and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I did miss several turns, and stopped a few times to consult the map but still did it in 2 hrs 20 mins, which by my reckoning is slower than I will do in the event!

I took one of my ‘Tailwind’ drinks, the Berry flavour, I was pleasantly surprised I needed no other food, and found it very good at keeping the energy up. I plan to run it again on Wednesday perhaps adding in the extra mile. It is a really nice route and a nice walk, particularly at this time of year with the changing leaves, I saw very few other people, a couple of dog walkers near the roads I crossed and the one group of runners.

The week had been good with a 40 mile bike ride on Monday, an 8 mile run and spin session on Tuesday and another 9 mile run and spin session on Thursday, I was a little worried after my run on Thursday as I had a ‘shin splint’ niggle scare, I wore the long compression socks on Saturday for my long run just in case and things seemed to settle down again.

Only two weeks before the Minehead ‘Stumble’ 7 mile race and the week after the HerPath Half marathon, training going ok at the moment, I just need to avoid colds!!

My mileage for September has been good with with 96.45 miles run and 260 miles cycled. It was a good month for weather as well, but! We didn’t manage to get away in the van as last year, not sure now with dark nights approaching and weather changing if we will get chance before next spring, fingers crossed!!!
Its pouring down with rain as I type this, I was hoping to get out for a few miles, but! not in this, Autumn is back and winter is on its way.

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