Since I last wrote, we’ve done our last 2 long and hilly training runs and there are now just 10 days to go before we race up Snowdon in the Scott Snowdonia trail half marathon, our ultimate goal. I can’t do any more. I couldn’t have done any more. In training for this event, this year I’ve run 755 kilometres (470 miles) with over 16 kilometres of ascent (almost 10 miles) in 92 hours, over 68 runs. Wow!
Two weeks ago, we did 21 kilometres (13 miles) over Moel Cynghorion, Foel Goch, Foel Gron and Moel Eilio, following a little detour to Llanberis slate quarry to see just how bad the end of the trail half marathon will be. The ascent was about 1200 metres, which is the ascent we’ll tackle in the race, so at least I know I can do it, even though I’ll have to walk quite a lot.
As I suspected the hill at the end, past the finish line and up and over the quarry, is brutal… up a series of steep slopes and steps… but I don’t think I’ll be the only one walking. I won’t give in. I just need to keep plodding, reminding myself that I’m nearly there with only another 3.8 kilometres (2.4 miles) to go.
It was a great route over some lovely mountains that get forgotten, living in the shadow of Snowdon. Lovely, quiet paths and far reaching views over Snowdon, Llanberis and Llyn Padarn. My calves screamed on the way up; my hamstrings and hip flexors screamed on the way down, and the last few kilometres were excruciating, but I did it.
Last weekend, we had planned to run over the Carneddau. However, the cloud was down and the winds were gusting to 45 mph so, as well as not being very inviting, it didn’t seem sensible. We decided to run in the Clwydians instead.
Through a friend, I’d heard about a group of trail runners called Nightcrawlers, who run relatively locally. We decided to join their run around Caerwys before heading up onto the hills to complete half marathon distance. It was lovely to meet new people and run a different route, and this section was a very enjoyable, undulating 8.2 kilometres.
After saying goodbye to the Nightcrawlers, we headed up steep lanes and fields to Moel y Parc, passing the transmitter that can be seen for miles around, and on up the Offa’s Dyke footpath to Penycloddiau. As with the Snowdonia run, we walked quite a lot of the steeper sections. I felt quite sick, which I put down to letting myself get dehydrated. I was too busy chatting with the Nightcrawlers to think about fuelling my run… a big mistake when running for 3 hours!
This was our final half marathon training run. John’s GPS said the ascent was a very respectable 812 metres. I felt pretty bad towards the end. When we do the Snowdonia trail half marathon, I want to enjoy it as much as I can. I know it’s often going to hurt and I will have times when I want to cry, but I really want to cross the finish line with a big smile. The plan is to try and pace myself. I need to listen to my body, treat it (relatively) kindly, and not push so hard that I spoil the experience. It doesn’t matter how long I take. I train for health and to challenge myself, not to win prizes or beat other people. In any case, I can’t drop out because so many people have sponsored me!
Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me. For those that would still like to help me raise money for Claire House Hospice and Mountain Rescue, and give me motivation to complete the race, the links are: