Friday, 16 July 2010

10 mile run in boots & 35lb bergen

Today was going to be the day.
 No matter what the weather might be doing, I was going to run 10 miles in army boots and 35lb bergen. (2 ½ stone of dead weight to be carried around the local moors for 10 whole miles).
Two cups of tea, one coffee and a bowl of porridge and it was time to head for Grinton moor in the Yorkshire Dales.
After reaching the starting point it was just a matter of swapping footwear, making sure everything in the bergen was secure, downing one SIS power bar and half a bottle of Lucozade sport and then I was off, heading west and straight into a climb that lasted for the first half of the run with only a few short down hill sections to recover from the constant climbing.
Once out on the top of the moor I was met with very high head winds, with occasional gusts and the odd shower.
At around 3.5 miles the trail started to swing south and then east at just over 4 miles so that the wind was in now my favour and oh boy, was that a relief. The trail itself levelled out and now it was possible to make up some time but trying not to overdo it. The last thing I wanted was to run out of steam with a couple of miles still to go.
This was the route I ran three weeks ago when I had my fall so I was rather cautious when approaching a certain area. Nothing happened, but during the course of the run I did happen to trip a couple of times and even had a couple of wobbly ankle situations but managed to stay on my feet on all occasions. (This time).
Now I was heading towards Dents Houses at just over 6.5 miles and now I had to use all my will power to get past here without stopping for a break.
I would just like to say that I have walked this section many times and always, and I mean always stopped here for refreshments. Sitting by the stream in the shadow of these old houses, listening to the stream ambling by and the sound of the birds and the local sheep bleating is music to anyone's ears. You can't come along this section of the trail without stopping, but today was different. Today I was being timed and to pass Dents Houses was like passing a loved one in the street and not even saying hello. (That is not 100 percent. That is 110 percent commitment).
That's enough of the sentiment, now it's back to the run.
At Dents Houses there are two choices. I can turn left and head back to the car but that might not get my full 10 miles in, or I can carry on forward, hit the main tarmac road, head up another hill and
find the car again just before Grinton.
Digging deep, I now push on along the longer route with the soles of my feet now starting to get hot
and a bergen that keeps wanting to find a lower position on my back. (I think this is due to too much weight and the retaining straps can't cope with it). I have a couple of proper army bergens and may try one of these next time as they have wider straps that are more padded.
The next land mark is the tarmac road at just under 8 miles and this is a relief as I could now turn north and one last push up the hill and a run down the other side will see me back at the car.
On the way down I was keeping an eye on Garmin because I wanted to know when I had got to 10 miles so that I could check the time. “Great news”. I had covered 10 miles in 2hrs 33min. Paras 10 has a cut off time of 3hrs and from what I am lead to believe, the Paras course is less demanding than this one.
Another ¼ mile and it was all over. It was good to know that I could do the distance with that weight, and well within the given time.
Paras 10 in September should not be as daunting as I once thought and now that I have a time , I may be able to improve on that in the weeks leading up to the event.

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