Saturday, 9 September 2017

September update

Been a while.  Not a lot to report other than the attempt on the Lakeland 100, which didn't quite go to plan.  It was wet, very wet.  The plan was the same as last time, since the feet were the issue last time.

The family had a cottage in Coniston and were on hand for support; it's just great to have them with me, and this year we had the addition of our little pup.

Leg 1 - Coniston to Seathwaite
Leg:  11.3km  659m ascent
Total:  11.3km  659m ascent
Planned time:  1:50
Leg time:   1:46:34
Planned total:  1:50
Total time:   1:46:34
0:03:26 ahead of schedule

IronMan and I set off together.  It was threatening rain the whole time, and in the end it rained heavily overnight.  A lot of people commented what an horrible night it was.  I felt fine getting to Seathwaite, although Pavel Paloncy appeared to be sitting in the corner looking unhappy.

Leg 2 - Seathwaite to Boot
Leg:  11.1km  385m ascent
Total:  22.4km  1044m ascent
Planned time:  1:55
Leg time:   2:01:50
Planned total:  3:45
Total time:   3:48:24
0:03:24 behind schedule

It was raining a lot by now, so my feet were wet anyway.  The underfoot conditions were the worst I've seen them, and this was to be the theme of the event.  Quite a few people took the short cut track and missed out on the Church - I know it's only a few hundred metres shorter, but it's still not the official route!

Leg 3 - Boot to Wasdale Head
Leg:  8.6km  297m ascent
Total:  31.0km  1341m ascent
Planned time:  1:45
Leg time:   1:54:41
Planned total:  5:30
Total time:   5:43:05
0:13:05 behind schedule

This leg was very wet too, and the rain really didn't help at all.  We spent quite a while in the Stroller checkpoint, having survived the shark in the beck.  IronMan spent quite a while changing socks and cleaning his shoes out, and didn't seem in his usual shape

Leg 4 - Wasdale Head to Buttermere
Leg:  11.0km  712m ascent
Total:  42.0km  2053m ascent
Planned time:  3 hours
Leg time:   3:24:55
Planned total:  8:30
Total time:   9:08:00
0:38:00 behind schedule

I was feeling good on the Black Sail ascent, with fresh socks inside my Hoka Speed Goats.  I'm loving these shoes, just the best thing ever.  IronMan was slow on the ascent, and even slower on the drop back down to the YHA, falling over occasionally too.  We struggled over Scarth Gap, and IronMan fell over more on the descent.  We found the hole-in-the-wall easily (I've done this section so many times!).  Once we got to the path beside Buttermere, IronMan ordered me to go on alone.  After some debate, I set off and was soon out of sight.  I was aware that the cut off of 9:30 wasn't far off, and that I was way off schedule.  I had a brief stop in the checkpoint and got going.

Leg 5 - Buttermere to Braithwaite
Leg:  10.5km  573m ascent
Total:  52.5km  2626m ascent
Planned time:  2:30 hours
Leg time:   2:13:13
Planned total:  11:00
Total time:   11:21:13
0:21:13 behind schedule

This leg felt fine and I was able to push the pace a bit to make up some time.  I fell over three times as the path was ankle deep in slippery mud, cutting my left knee each time.  I managed to run a lot of the down section after this, compared to last year.  I sorted myself out at Braithwaite, and changed my soaking socks again.

Leg 6 - Braithwaite to Blencathra Centre
Leg:  13.7km  478m ascent
Total:  66.2km  3104m ascent
Planned time:  3:00 hours
Leg time:   2:42:11
Planned total:  14:00
Total time:   14:03:24
00:03:24 behind schedule

Another leg that felt OK, better than last time.  I ran quite a bit of this too.  Little Dave's was the usual, although hardly any chocolate cake left!

Leg 7 - Blencathra Centre to Dockray
Leg:  12.3km  417m ascent
Total:  78.5km  3521m ascent
Planned time:  2:30 hours
Leg time:   2:27:40
Planned total:  16:30
Total time:   16:31:03
00:01:03 behind schedule

I have never liked this leg, but this time the heavens opened again.  The rain was torrential, and I had to put my waterproof trousers on.  The water was running underfoot, and I got a bit cold.  I was very glad to get to the marquee for some soup and sandwiches.  Unbelievable conditions this year.

Leg 8 - Dockray to Dalemain
Leg:  16.3km  370m ascent
Total:  94.8km  3891m ascent
Planned time:  3 hours
Leg time:   3:23:24
Planned total:  19:30
Total time:   19:54:28
0:24:28 behind schedule

I trudged along in the rain.  the only positive is that the river was super high and Aira Force was impressive.  The paths through this entire leg were swimming in sloppy mud, making any progress both very slippery and very tiring.  I'd lost the time I'd made up by Dalemain, but that wasn't too surprising considering how it had been.

Leg 9 - Dalemain to Howtown
Leg:  11.5km  294m ascent
Total:  106.3km  4185m ascent
Planned time:  2:30
Leg time:   2:49:08
Planned total:  22:00
Total time:   22:43:36
0:43:36 behind schedule

I changed socks and swapped to my old Hokas.  I popped a couple of blisters and stuck Compede on here and there.  My feet were infinitely better than last year, but I did spend quite some time in the tent sorting myself out.  The leg to Howtown was fine, and I jogged most of the descent to the Cowboy Checkpoint.

Leg 10 - Howtown to Mardale Head
Leg:  15.2km  765m ascent
Total:  121.5km  4950m ascent
Planned time:  4 hours
Leg time:   4:01:55
Planned total:  26:00
Total time:   26:45:31
00:45:31 behind schedule

It had stopped raining by now.  The climb up to High Kop was actually OK, as was the descent.  The dull bit along Haweswater was as bad as ever, but I managed to pass a couple to 50 runners here.  I didn't stay long at the checkpoint, and got going uphill.

Leg 11 - Mardale Head to Kentmere
Leg:  10.4km  511m ascent
Total:  131.9km  5461m ascent
Planned time:  3 hours
Leg time:   3:13:30
Planned total:  29:00
Total time:   29:59:01
 00:59:01 behind schedule

The Gatesgarth Pass climb went well, and the descent passed by OK too.  I was still running sections and the feet felt good.  I was unfortunately getting tired now, since I put the head torch on when I was heading to the farm before the last climb.  The rain had come and gone again, and Kentmere was a welcome sight.

Leg 12 - Kentmere to Ambleside
Leg:  11.8km  491m ascent
Total:  143.7km  5952m ascent
Planned time:  3 hours
Leg time:   4:09:??
Planned total:  32:00
Total time:   34:08:??
Well, here we go again.  Sleep.  Stupidly, I had packed ProPlus in my drop bag but had left it at Dalemain.  Idiot.  Anyway, I started the falling asleep thing again half way up Garburn Pass.  This started to annoy me pretty quickly, but I couldn't do much about it.  The whole of this leg consisted of me waking up standing somewhere on the course.  People overtook me left right and centre.  When I got to Robin Lane the heavens opened again.  I spoke to my long suffering wife to let her know what was going on.  Then I carried on 50:50 sleeping and walking.  I'd missed the cut off and had to stop at Ambleside.  Damn!

So, after this I got a lift back with a kind chap in an MX5 (thanks).  After a sleep, my wife made me some bacon butties. We went to the presentations, and heard some crazy stories.  Annoyingly I felt good.

What next?  Well, out of three starts I've completed once and got to Ambleside twice.  Next year I'm doing the 50 to try to get a decent time and then go back to the 100 in 2019.  I've got the Red Rose 50 in a couple of weeks, then the Manchester half, then Hell of a Hill.  I suppose I'd be more gutted if I'd never finished the 100, but it's still annoying when I should really have 3 finishes but for stupid issues!

So, thanks once again to the family for all the support.  I couldn't do these events without you all.