A week off work. Late nights, lie-ins and the opportunity to fit in a bit of extra training. I didn't take it, but it was there.
Tuesday dawned dry and bright and was predicted to stay that way, with what Adrian's mates described as 'fresh' breezes. I had to question their optimism as I crested the summit of North Barrule. The wind blew my hat off and a contact lens out and I was struggling to keep on my feet. I retreived my hat but for a focused view I had to close my left eye for the rest of the morning. I had parked on the back road from the Hibernia to the Gooseneck, planning to run to Greeba - just to see how approx. half the Mountain Marathon might feel.
Windswept. That's how it felt. Minutes of calm at the Black Hut and Injebreck were offset by hours of leaning into a 'fresh breezy' south westerly gale. It rained on Clagh Ouyr too. I was rubbish on the steep climbs, but managed to run most of the gentler ones. I hadn't done the Carraghyn to Greeba section for years, and although I was flagging a bit by then, it was great to just be up there a bit nearer the clouds with the ravens and hares (white hares north of Snaefell, brown to the south). Despite the knee-jarring, final Kings Forest descent off Greeba to the main road, the three hours ended injury and blister free. Mountain Marathon? The jury's out...
Wednesday and Cal's car had to be dropped at the garage (again) in Ramsey. It was another sunny morning and I said I'd take it and walk home. Well, I intended to walk but started jogging for a warm-up and ended up running up Slieu Lewaigue hill. I was pretty chuffed with that, but reverted to my walking plan from there. There was a head wind again.
To finish the week off, I ran home over the hill from Glen Mona on Friday. I reversed my 'to school' route (see a few posts ago) but added on an extra detour to the top of Clagh Ouyr. Guess which way the wind was blowing?
It's the Manx Harriers Open Meeting at the NSC tomorrow. It will be wierd to be fit (as in 'not injured') and yet not be racing. I got hooked on walking after watching Steve Barry walk his amazing 20km in 1983 in the same meeting. Since then, there have been some fantastic races and I've been lucky enough to be involved in a few. I'm sure there will be some great times set this year, and while I know the legs they are attached to aren't up to it, my feet will be very itchy. Guess what... the forecast is for strong SW winds.