The challenges begin

I’m nervous… very nervous. I feel woefully underprepared for the challenges I’ve booked to take part in over the next few months, the first being the Llangollen Round on Saturday… a  guided challenge along a 33 mile trail in the hills around Llangollen and the River Dee, with 5300 feet of ascent.

Llangollen round 2
On top of Moel Fferna, the highest point on the Llangollen Round. 10 miles done, 23 to go

We did the round last year and according to my Strava log, I completed it in about 10 and a half hours. Following the pace of the leaders, we fast walked the uphills, jogged the flats and ran the downhills. The first 2 legs of the 5 (about 17 miles) went really well. I was one of the slower runners but managed to keep going, and stay well fuelled and hydrated. Then, for some reason, I really struggled with leg 3 and thought I might have to pull out because I had so little energy and my legs were so heavy. However, encouragement from Joe (who arranged the challenge and led some sections), Dave (another leader), John and other runners persuaded me to keep going. With ‘only’ 9 miles left, I just kept plodding, and finally I did it! The views were amazing, the company was excellent and the sense of achievement was fantastic.

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Enjoying a hard earned beer after the Llangollen Round

I’m always on such a high after a challenge, that I end up booking another. This year, John and I became members of Joe’s fitness group, Outfit, and have entered several of his  races and challenges, including the Llangollen Round, the North Wales Path (62 miles over 2 days), and the Welsh 3000s (30 miles over 15 peaks in Snowdonia with 12000 feet of ascent). I’ve done the Welsh 3000s before (see write up) and have always wanted to do it again in a smaller group and, hopefully, a bit faster. I hope I’m fit enough to do it in June. It’s only a few weeks away!

 

On top of The Roaches

I haven’t done as many long runs or hikes as I should have done… my photography course, a 2-week holiday in Iceland, birthday celebrations and family commitments have meant we haven’t had much spare time at weekends this winter. May has come around far too fast! The furthest I have run in recent months has been 13 miles. This weekend we stayed by The Roaches in the Peak District, and we ran 13 miles on Saturday then hiked 11 miles on Sunday, taking about 10 hours over the 2 days. The ascent wasn’t huge on either day and the pace of the run was very slow because it was so hot, but the time on our feet should help, I hope. Anyway… I’m just going to see what happens on Saturday… maybe I’ll surprise myself. Watch this space!

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