Archive | June, 2019

Climb Ev’ry Mountain

23 Jun

How 3 weeks flies! So, 3 weeks ago I seem to recall I had tired legs, so my steady run on Monday and medium long run on Tuesday were slightly slow. I bounced back on the Wednesday with some strides and my average pace was the best yet for that workout. And then I started sneezing. At first I hoped/tried to believe it was just hayfever and so did a steady run on Thursday, but by that afternoon it was clear I had a pretty grotty cold. On Friday I was exhausted, achy and blowing my nose all day. By luck I wasn’t in court and so crawled back into bed for most of the afternoon. I struggled through half an orchestra rehearsal that evening and then a rehearsal and concert on Saturday. It was a great gig, although I couldn’t hear very well so had to trust other people’s opinions… funnily enough I didn’t run on Sunday.

It was back to work last week and although I could do my hearings I was still a bit snotty and grotty and definitely suffering with fatigue. By 9pm each night I was hanging and so it was early nights wherever possible.

There was an early start on Thursday as T and I were off to Austria. We travelled by train so actually only got to Zurich that day but were in Bludenz in West Austria pretty early on Friday. We both still felt tired (I’d kindly shared my cold with poor T) and so we started with a gentle 3 hours up the valley to Brand. After a night in a hotel it was time to go up into the mountains properly, starting with the Oberzalim Hütte. The path was partly cut off by snow,so we had to scramble off country to get through, but it was worth it for a gorgeous hut with cracking views.
And marmots nearby!
The next morning it was off to Douglass Hütte. This was a much more challenging route, including a traverse or two across snowy cliff faces at the top of deep gorges. It was best not to look down… But once again we were rewarded with a stunning location at the Lunersee:
Day 4 saw no slackening in the difficulty levels as we took advantage of a beautiful day to take the longer, higher route to the Lindauer Hütte. One traverse was a bit scary as I slipped, but just in time T shouted to remind me to do a press up in the snow and I came to a safe halt. Phew! It turns out this mountain walking can get the heart rate going, after all! And it’s not just becaise of views like this:
We loved the Lindauer so much we stayed a second night to get a further day’s walking in the peaks nearby, and squeezed in an ice climb, too.
All too soon it was time to go to our final hut, the Tilisuna. The snowy traverses were a bit challenging for my tastes, but the reward was a beautiful hut in the middle of snowy mountains, and a double rainbow after dinner:
We were now nearing the end of our trip and it was time to drop from 2200m to 600m, which is certainly a workout for the quads… The weather forecast was for heavy rain, so we stayed down in the valley rather than schlep up to one last hut. Needless to say the forecast was wrong… thankfully it was also wrong the next day, and we squeezed in 8 hours of mountains, with cracking views and another huge descent.
That simply left a very long train journey back yesterday, followed by being reunited with our lovely cats to lift the post holiday blues.
This morning my legs felt rubbish during a gentle 5 mile shakeout. Whether that was tiredness from all he walking and travelling and/or adjusting to coming back down to sea level after a week around 1800-2000m I don’t know. A lighter week is planned in any event to break the legs back in gently. Tchuß!


Life Goals

2 Jun

On Monday, I achieved one of my life goals.  That sounds pretty cool and pretty profound, until I tell you that the life goal I achieved was climbing Lord Hereford’s Knob.  And I only wanted to climb it because the name made me snigger.  It was (on a more serious note) part of a lovely 7 hour circular walk from Llanthony Priory.  We were pretty lucky with the weather (teeny bit of drizzle and a bit breezy, but otherwise lovely) and although it was a tiring day, it was also really rather gorgeous.

It did leave my legs sore, especially my adductors, and so on Tuesday and Wednesday I did two of my easy 6 mile runs which were scheduled for the week.  I had to resist the temptation to go and do my club’s 5k race on Tuesday evening, because I knew it was foolish to risk further injury when I’m just on the cusp of regaining some fitness.  By Thursday although I was still feeling pretty flat and tired, my legs felt ok and so I ran 10 miles steady at lunchtime.  The heat was a real shock to the system!

Friday was a pretty long day after a slightly late night the evening before, and included a round trip to Plymouth.  Somehow my nutrition and hydration went pretty awry this week, and particularly on Friday, as I was only 2.5 miles into my 6 mile run that evening, having cycled home as fast as possible to feed the cats beforehand, when I began to feel really light-headed and peculiar.  Shortly after that I ran into the edge of a bush and was lucky not to take my eye out.  It was a sign that running the 3 miles I was ‘due’ really wasn’t worth it.  Thankfully I was pretty near home and so I simply headed home, and inhaled loads of pasta, fruit and then some chocolate.

Having slept like a log Friday night I headed off to parkrun to see how I would fare 4 weeks on.  And there was an improvement: 20.19 (so 20 seconds faster than last time).  I guess in my heart of hearts I was a bit disappointed, even if it does show things are going in the right direction (plus so far I haven’t had bad DOMS, so suspect I left a little in the tank). However, my clubmate Al got a great action shot of me at the start of the descent, so it wasn’t all bad:

Edit: we are spoilt at Ashton Court parkrun, as local parkrun legend Geoff also took some excellent photos. Here is a ‘hair and air’ shot, plus a fantastic shadow.

Today I had an orchestra rehearsal from 10-5, and I had a sneaking suspicion I was going to be quite tired afterwards, so was out of the door shortly before 7am this morning to get my 14 mile run done beforehand.  The pace was pretty ok for an early morning run, and my legs felt reasonably ok after the parkrun the day before.  49 miles for the week rather than the 52 the schedule said, but I’m going to focus on a May total of 191 miles, which was my highest of the year.