Review – Hilly. VERY.
Living in the Anglian TV region, training on hills is slightly awkward and therefore, completely avoided by myself, trust was put into my well used mountain legs. I rarely cycle up mountains, or run up or down them… and here we were on Friday afternoon, having a nose around Grizedale Forest and it was hilly, steep and I felt totally out of my depth.
It’s strange, you can do all the training and get yourself prepared for any sporting event and you’ll still think you could have/should have done more. Well, I do anyway. Generally because I could have. Tim and Martyn both have less bodyfat than me, Tim’s a personal trainer and Martyn does triathlons, he’s even done an half Ironman in the distant past and these were my teammates. Uh oh. We booked into a Hawkshead B&B, a place that William Wordworth once resided in but for me at least, sleep was unobtainable, one lousy hour. I was far too wired. My first race since school, some 30 years ago and that was a 110m hurdles event, Gary Chambers won that and I was second. Tomorrow was going to be very different. I still wasn’t going to win.
Rather than a lap by lap description, I’ll just mention how it felt – I could have thrown up at times, exhilarating, painful, sweaty, joyful, cold, poetic… it was everything, all wrapped up in three and a half hours exercise. Utter bonkers but I wanna do it again. And better. Lots.
We made some bad decisions in hindsight – we should have nailed the first run, that would have placed us better in the singletrack sections where even I, with my useless skills, was being held up. We were far too slow in transition. Both Tim and myself suffered from cramp in the latter stages, Tim uphill and me going downhill, my hamstrings would start to tighten. We know the causes now tho and that’ll be easily remedied, the whole race was one huge, giant learning curve… actually that was the run up Carron Crag.
Things to be proud of – the kayak section in the water, we overtook and no one got near us. The obstacle/assault area at the finish, again, we overtook and no one even approached catching us up. We were fairly happy with the cycle at 1hr 40m, despite people holding us up and for me, this was a decent event. I’d expected to slow down Martyn and Tim but I kept a decent pace and only the final climb had me searching for the granny cog. I was fitter and stronger than I’d expected, despite all the injuries and physio visits in training. Most of that down to Tim’s encouragement, his insistence that interval training was the way forward for me – he was right too. Team Hoon Fitness. Thanks Tim. http://hoonfitness.co.uk/
Post race disappointment of course, we know we could shave thirty minutes off our time and we’d have been top 50 out of 249 teams then. That’s for next time tho. Next up for me… ‘The Wall’. Only a 69 mile Ultra. Roll on June.