Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Stretton Skyline Training - 31/10/2010

The Pole Bank view indicator was redundant today

Today's activity (my weekend long slow run) was a gentle trip around almost all of the Stretton Skyline race route, but missing out the Lawley.

This started off cool and misty with the first (restricted) view being from the top of Pole Bank. I'd managed to run all the way up in reasonable comfort, starting down by the social club. I reckoned a breather was in order, and took a quick photo. Time to this point was 34 minutes from the start line, so just inside the race day cut-off time.

Mist starting to clear over Pole Cottage on the Long Mynd

The next section is the lovely run-off down past Bachelor's Plain and Callow into Little Stretton. The path's so nice I tend to go a bit fast here and felt a little weary after crossing the A49 road. I did very little running on the ascent of Ragleth Hill but kept it together at a reasonable hiking speed with no rests (1:19:45 to here from the start line, just a few second inside the race cut-off time). On top the views were starting to open out a bit.

Near the top of Ragleth Hill

Finger post on top, with the path onwards to the left

I followed the descent line I'd seen the frontrunners take in the race, which is much better, and got down to Sandford Avenue where I'd left the car quickly and easily. I took a brief break and topped up my water and energy drink from the boot of the car. Onwards and upwards to Caer Caradoc. I felt unusually strong on the gentle climb across the field and managed to keep it together, although a bit ragged, up the lane and out onto the fell where I eased off and hiked fairly gently up to the top (2:05:40 from the start, 4 minutes 20 seconds inside the cut-off).

I had a bit of an interrupted descent to Comley with the phone going several times, and had not intended to do the Lawley (I'm trying to build up the long run mileage steadily and my previous couple were around the 13.5 mile mark). I stuck with the plan despite feeling OK and was vindicated after the railway crossing when it all fell apart a bit.

Gogbatch and the climb to High Park were a bit of a nightmare, ground out very steadily, running mostly but with more and more walking towards the top. Mile 12 crossing the valley had been the last decent one (11:25), and I struggled with two miles at around the 15 minute mark before I got to the Portway. I managed to gradually wind the pace up along here with a 12 minute mile, and then ran the Mott's Road descent and the run out into Church Stretton steadily but at a reasonable pace (9:09 and 9:29 for the last two miles).

Total distance 18.2 miles, ascent 3,710', time 3:45:15.

Week's total is 29.1 miles and 5,540' of ascent (down 0.2 miles but up 180' on last week). The rolling four week total is 122.4 miles and 22,000' of climbing, up 3.5 miles and 1,440' on last week's rolling total.

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