2nd March 2016
Well another birthday passed, but no new age category this time in races! I had a lovely day down in Exmouth even though the weather was rain! Some lovely cards from my family and the grandchildren. It seems ages since I ran even though it was only a couple of days recovery time!!!
So the day after my birthday it was time to run off my birthday cake, only a 6 miler round the town, to see how I felt after my efforts on the coast etc. which didn’t go well.
Saturday I was keen to get a final long run in, so determined to make a real effort I was parking on the Quantocks by 6:45 am[the only car there] on a bright but cold morning with frost on the grass. I was unsure what to wear, as there wasn’t quite the wind, but I took my rucsac and water bladder again which had about three quarters of a litre of water, I was determined this time to eat better so chopped up a couple of Fruisli bars and jelly babies that I could grab and eat.
The ground was decidedly muddier than my last trip, and where the ponies had been, well churned up. I set off at a slow pace trying hard to be positive and focus on a big distance today at least 15 miles.
As I approached the top of Wills Neck the sun came out and there were glorious views all around, not a person in sight anywhere, I descended down to Triscombe stone, enjoying the sun and feeling comfortable, I had walked up some of Wills Neck , which I normally run.
It was quite muddy up to Dead Womans ditch and the sheep scattered at my approach, the sun was directly in my eyes so had trouble seeing the ground in front of me as I ran, several detours round very muddy areas and large puddles., skylarks were singing their song, this is always welcome when out on the moors. I normally snack at Dead Womans but today I had already snacked twice, still managing to keep my pace steady. On to Beacon Hill, this time I ran round the base and ascended up from the West, steeper and longer as I had lost height, the sun had now gone but there was still spectacular views down over Minehead, Butlins standing out, but, not out of place, Dunkery Beacon could just be made out as the highest point on Exmoor.
More snacks and drink before I headed back down to the ridge track several deer crossing the track in front of me, keeping a wary eye on me before bounding off down the combes. There was a head wind for my run back, a slight detour around Crowcombe to increase the mileage. I was feeling fine, legs, feet etc after 12 miles and I knew I would do more than 15 miles. I walked up most of Wills Neck, finishing the last of my Jelly Babies to get me over the last couple of miles, the final path was very slippery, so I had to take care. Finally arriving back at the car after a good 16.21 miles a good run, feet and legs were a little tired but not too bad. I am sure the extra food helped and the constant sipping from my camelback. As well as walking more of the hills. Time wise I was ok, just over 3 hours, which gives me a Grizzly time well in the 5 hour time [did 4hr 6 mins last year for the 19.5 miles] I was pleased with the distance as I am only 3 miles short of the distance so confident that I can get round the Grizzly once again.
Sadly Sunday was a very wet day, but the good news the grandchildren came for the day!! What a brilliant day we had and sad to see them go, the twins are very active now and full of life, interested in everything, Granddaughter now helps Grandma with Lunch even though only 4 years old. So no cycling today!
Monday was a Bikeability day over in Wellington and although I should have gone for a run, was lazy and tired from a day out with the school children, on a windy blustery, rain threating day.
Tuesday although Bikeability again, I decided I must get out and stretch my legs, so home for a cuppa, then running gear on and out of the door for 6 miles before tea, and it was hard work, it started to rain and the wind was against me coming home, the 6 felt harder than the 16 from Saturday !!!
Wednesday was a very wet day and I had a small operation on a skin cancer spot [BCC] on my face, five stitches, so no cycling once again, that’s nearly two weeks since I was on my bike. I plan one more run before the weekend and the race on Sunday, this is dependent on my operation and whether it allows me to get out. Bikeability again for Thursday and Friday, the weather was very good and the children well behaved making life easier!
Also paid my final payment for my Manche to Med trip today as it’s only a couple of months away now. After Grizzly I must get the miles in on my bike to prepare for the ride.
Friday, a short 4 mile run in the mist and drizzle with my running mate for Sunday, it felt as though I had never been running.
Saturday 11th March, The day before the big event, the Grizzly, 19 miles across the south coast near Seaton in Devon. The weather forecast is poor, but not heavy rain, so trying to be optimistic, we will have wet feet anyway from the river crossing and bogs! I will make sure I take food and probably a pertex top to keep the wind off, especially when wet. It’s going to be a long day I keep telling myself I have done the miles over the last month or so, even though this week I have only run 10 miles! Slow and steady will be the plan, and hopefully the other 2000 runners will inspire me. My next post should have a Grizzly report!!!!!