Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Club Run - 15/02/2011

Tonight's activity - including the three laps in CMV
After my struggle with shoes on Sunday I went to see Ian at Ultrasport on Monday afternoon, and came away with a pair of Inov-8 xTalon 212 fell shoes. Ian's fantastically knowledgable and I came away with a bargain pair of shoes and the benefit of 45 minutes coaching too. Tonight's run was my first chance to try them out an it proved to be a good test. There was a decent sized gaggle of folk (17 I think) despite the weather, which was pretty wet but clearing when we started.

We followed a route that aimed to keep us to the drier ridges, as a lot of the streams on the Mynd are so swollen that they are over the valley paths in places. So we headed up the Green Path onto Ashlet, although as soon as we were clear of the town we were up into thick cloud, which made following even this clear track quite tricky. By the time we stopped to check position and regroup it was very misty (perhaps around 10m visibility), so we decided to cut short and head over to descend Cow Ridge.

I took the descent steady at the start just to see how grippy the shoes are (new fell shoes always seem to take a couple of runs to suss out) and was pretty impressed even though the Talon studs are nothing like as aggressive as the Mudclaws. We regrouped again at the bottom and true to form, Rick mixed things up a bit, organising us into pairs and setting up some kind of strange counter-rotating non-relay thingy.

I paired up with Paul Flinn (I've run with him before, in the Time Trial). The course (anticlockwise) was along/up the path from CMV towards the Burway, veering off steeply down before the house to the valley bottom by the parking hut, and then hammering up the road to the bridge. I ran an anticlockwise leg (first hundred yards too fast) and then we switched back near the fingerpost and I went clockwise while Paul went anti clockwise. I found this second leg, with the steep uphill and gentle downs on the road and the Burway path, much easier than the anti-clockwise. I met Paul again just before the fingerpost and turned for the third and final leg. I had to push myself very hard, particularly on the last road bit, to maintain a good speed. I think we finished fourth of eight teams, but it matters not. Each leg was about 0.6 miles.

I'd put a real effort in and felt it as I forced myself to jog up to the Burway Road and then ran down the Rectory Wood and Field to the car park. We finished at 20:34, and jumped straight in the car so Paul could hop onto the 20:37 train. I went back to the car park for the crack, and then on to the Ragleth to talk about coaching and juniors with Rick.

I had yet another good night out, thanks to Rick's excellent activity after we'd had to cut the hill run short. I actually felt really good (the last three outs have been pretty poor, so I think I'm now finally recovered from the Canter and the Newport speed session). 5.9 miles and 1,800' of ascent.

Tonight's profile (GPS elevations)
PS: Just looked at the Shropshire Winter Series category results after four races. Missing the Cracker probably helped with this, but I'm really chuffed to see that I have a continuous improvement (68%, 70%, 74%) over the three races I've run and no-one else has managed this! I think I'll struggle to keep that up at LMV though!!!

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