Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lantern Pike Dash 2012

Matt, Chris and Lou arrive
A short, hard, micro race. Only 1.2 miles, with about 300m of ascent. (mixing units of measurement is almost as pleasurable as mixing metaphors, simply because it annoys more people).
Last year I had a bit of a mare on the descent, putting my foot in a rabbit hole and nearly snapping my knee backward, so I was hoping not to do the same thing this year.

As it was, there were only about 20 runners, the ever optimistic Matt reckoned I had a good chance of winning, but after looking at the competition I figured top 7 might be quite optimistic.
From before the off I was feeling a little tired, 3 days in the hills in the Lakes may have had something to do with it. As I was warming up on the start/finish field my legs were feeling a bit leaden, not really springy, and generally not going as well as they could.
Sporting some Rocktape for a Biceps tendonopathy
Not a good sign for the race, but hey, we'll see how it goes.

After a short wait at the start we were off, with a very fast first 100yards to the corner in the fence. I was about 5th through, and soon made up 2 places in the first up, to gain 3rd for the climb. The guy in second was already a way ahead, and 1st was way ahead of him and going like a rocket.
All I could hear were the massed breathing chorus of the rest of the field who were hot on my heels. It was like being just in front of a mass of baying hounds, without the baying, but more out of breath.

3/4 of the way up I was passed by Chris Jackson, in much the same place as he passed me on the race last year. He was going well, legs pumping, and it was all I could do to keep going at the same speed. Matt was standing near the top shouting out encouragement to us all, unfortunately it spurred on Dave Soles from Pennine rather than me, as he put in a quick couple of steps to beat me to the stile, chasing after Chris across the middle, flatter field.

The beginning sprint
I held my position in 5th to the top, though with more people breathing down my neck, and began the headlong charge down the hill. I was wearing my Baregrips (despite their somewhat dilapidated appearance), and as I was thrashing over the heather in a semi-hypoxic state I realised that I was nearly tripping over at every step as they are ever so slightly too long for me.
Not quite able to get the stride I needed it took longer than I expected to get to the stile, where I had to wait for an uphill runner to come over before bolting over it and down after Chris and Dave. Though it was at that point a Penistone runner overtook me.
It wasn't until halfway down the ridiculously steep main slope of Lantern Pike that I caught and overtook both Chris and the Penistone runner. Despite the fact it was down hill, I was still struggling for breath as we hit the path.
Nearly at the end
I was overtaken once again in the final field down, but held on to my 5th position in the drag up to the finish, not far, but far enough away from 4th and 3rd.

In the immediate aftermath I was on the ground coughing like a good'un, not sure if I was going to be sick or not. The last time I felt like that was after doing the Jones Crawl in a Gym Jones seminar. I truely felt terrible, and Lynne was a little concerned for me. However, after a bit I was ok, and we went off to do a warm down run.

At the end
Not the most elegant way to be after finishing a race.
My time wasn't any better than last year, though the placing was, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. What it DOES tell me, is that I can work harder in other races, and also that I need to be more intelligent in my training. Its not all about training, its also about rest and recovery. 

1 comment:

  1. Results are out. Apparently I came in at 13:32, last year I was 15 seconds slower at 13:47.

    So there is a bit of improvement there by official timings. Still room to get a lot better though.