Day 31 - An exceedingly good day
Birdoswold - Angerton 48.4 km (1107.3 km done)
Start Time - 8.33 am
Finish Time - 4.23 pm
Moving time - 6 hours 14 mins
Vertical Gain - 437 m
Average - 24 C
Min - 17 C
Max - 31 C
Support runners today
Kerry Stainton (and Riley)
Steven Fell (@Northern_ninja)
What can I say about today? apart from today was good fun. It was great to be running with The Running Crew again (they have travelled from North East Lincolnshire to run with me) and with Steven. Ken once again surpassed longest distance with us today. Having them all along with me means more to me than I can put into words and it made the day remarkably easy. Saying that, my legs do feel like they are getting stronger as each day passes. As I moved into my second month on the road and running, I was worried about how this would impact my mentality towards the run. But what better way to spend the first day of the second run. Running in some stunning landscapes, with what I would now count as friends and hope they in turn would see me as a friend. What is better is they are all running with me again tomorrow.
During the run today, Jane and I briefly spoke about for some runners, the run is all about pace and the pace can determine whether it was a good run for them or not. I think, as a trail runner, you have to be comfortable with paces of runs going up and done widely, since there are so many more variables to contend with than when running on the road. Even on the same 8 km loop I do from home, the time it takes me can vary but as much as 5 minutes. This will mainly be dependent on the muddiness and wetness of the route. This is why I love trail running, it seems to be much less about times and PBs than road running and much more about enjoying being out on the trails. There is nothing wrong with enjoying getting faster and striving for a new PB, but as I have said previously this is not for me. I like the adventurous side of trail running. I like never really knowing what is round the next corner. In the small number of trail races I have done a race with a river crossing up to the thighs. I've spent about 500 meters wading through flood water, I've climbed down the side of a volcano using a rope to climb down and these are just a few of slightly mad situations I've found myself in on trail races. With this much variability, how meaningful are times on these courses, they could all have been the same distance but not at all comparable. I think the same goes for ultra marathons, you just never know how the day is going to go. So to say you have a goal time to run x distance in x time, unless you know the course it seems likely that this is a best guess rather than a target. The hills could take more out of you than you thought. The trails could be super sandy or muddy which makes going a lot slower. This, for me at least, is where the adventure comes from, getting out there with great people and following a footpath and not really knowing where it goes.
As Bilbo said to Frodo "It's a dangerous buiness, Frodo, going out of your front door" he used to say "You step in to the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Tomorrow we are off to near Whitehaven for a bit of a longer day (53km) before the shortest day for weeks (45km) ending in Bootle.