Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Birthday run on the Sandstone Trail

I hit the big 36 this weekend and it seemed like a great idea to spend it running the sandstone trail with my best mate Dave (wallman). The plan was to take it easy, expecting to do it between 7 and 7:30hrs. Several years ago my number one running goal was to run the Sandstone Trail but having done it a few times now and raced longer races I went into this very casually.

I had a couple of slices of toast then jumped into the car down to Whitchurch. The Trail runs 33.5 miles from Whitchurch to Frodsham on footpaths through lovely rolling countryside. It's hilly enough to make it hard work but mostly runnable. The first few miles zipped along and before we knew it we were about to hit the hills.

I normally find Peckforton Hills pretty tough but today they felt pretty easy and they just flew by.

We hit Beaston Castle, the half way point, in about 2:45, feeling great. We were going much faster than expected but enjoying the pace. I opened my sack to get my sandwich only to hind it had come out of its wrapping and had been pounded to pieces. I managed to salvage about a slice of bread's worth...not great!

And so into Delamere forest and we met up with our support team of Mrs DogT and baby Josie Rose. We would have run completely unsupported but it was such a hot day we would have struggled to carry enough water. We were now about 25 miles in and I had already drunk my 2 litres. We had a very leisurely stop while Dave ate some lasagne (wish I'd have packed more food). I tried to eat one of my Snickers but managed about half before I had to spit the rest out. Because I'd not been eating enough my body had reached the point where it couldn't accept food. Hmmm.

We set off again and both felt pretty grotty after sitting down for ten minutes. But, living nearby we were both very familiar with the trail from here on in and so it felt like we were very much on home turf. Less than ten miles to go...let's get it done.

At about 30 miles I was feeling pretty dreadful. I had the shivers, couldn't even eat shot bloks and my legs felt like they didn't belong to me. I was cracking on but really regretting my completely inadiquate nutrition plans for the day. At least the end was in sight now.

So, we hit the finish in 6:15; about an hour quicker then I expected to do it and a PB for me over the distance. It causes me some problems because my dream target for the race next month was 6:30...looks like I'm going to have to aim around 5:50 :-O.

A thoroughly good day out! Brilliant run, top company and lessons learnt.

1 comment:

  1. Great report Steve - I've just put 2 and 2 together with the Spartans and pics on flickr...