Another good week's training and the mileage is building up nicely, so fingers crossed, things seem to be going to plan at the moment. Just a shame the same can't be said about the football, with Man City winning 2-0 against Newcastle!
After last Sunday's vets football game I went for a 6 mile run on Monday around Douglas, but took it fairly easily. On Tuesday and Thursday we did the Groudle loop, which is about 9 miles and sandwiched in between was circuit training at the NSC on Wednesday and a day off on Friday.
On Saturday Michael, Vinny and I met at Dave W's house at 7am and he drove us up to Ramsey, so we could walk the Parish route back into Douglas, as this was the only part of the course we had yet to cover in training this year. Even though I have walked it numerous times, I find it is always good to remind myself of the different sections and how far it is between certain points, so come the big day I know exactly what to expect.
When we set off from Dave's it was a bright, fresh morning and the temperature gauge in his car was reading 3 degrees centigrade. You could have been forgiven for thinking it was early March, never mind early May. Luckily we all had our jackets and gloves. After parking up in Ramsey we set off along the coast road and took the left turn towards Maughold and the pace started to pick up a bit. It was definitely worth covering this section in training I had forgotten how long the gradual climb out of the village is, before you head down towards the church. The following downhill section is then a brief respite before the steep climb up Ballajora.
At the bottom of the hill Dave, Vinny and I walked past the farm on the left hand side, whilst Michael disposed of a banana skin and there was a dog stood by the gates. It just looked at the 3 of us, as we passed by, but it seemed a friendly well behaved dog. We raced up the hill with the legs burning from lactic acid, as just before you cross the tram lines it starts to get even steeper. Fortunately, as you pass over them it is not too far to the top and I was certainly relieved to get there. Looking back, Michael was a long way behind and we just assumed he was taking it easy. When he re-joined us it transpired that the placid looking dog, on seeing Michael separated from the group, assumed he had to herd him like a sheep and refused to let him past. On recounting the story back, we all commented that we had heard the dog barking but didn't think anything of it at the time and weren't concerned. That's what friends are for!
After ascending Ballajora you only have a mile or two before another decent climb on to the main road at Hibernia. Whilst it is still nearly 15 miles to the finish from this point it always feels like you are nearly 'home', when reaching there in the Parish, as you then have a long stretch of relatively flat terrain. Michael used this as his queue to stretch his legs and up the tempo for a while until we reached Glen Mona where we had left refreshments in the hedge. After a brief stop we picked up the pace again and on arriving at the Dhoon we decided to walk along the Ballaragh Road, rather than go along the busy main road, where the pavement is awful. After another refreshment stop at the Co-op in Laxey we made quick progress back in to Douglas, covering just over 20 miles by the end. Definitely a decent session and the Garmin link below has the details. What I didn't do was pause my watch when we stopped for water at Glen Mona and when I was in the Co-op in Laxey.
Untitled by richgerrard at Garmin Connect - Details
In the afternoon I met up with a few mates at the Outback to watch the FA Cup final and enjoy a few pints of Guinness. There was a sweep organised for first goal scorer and the player I picked out first was Petr Cech, a goalkeeper! Being a Man United fan it was quite difficult deciding who to support given I wanted neither team to win. It wasn't a great game and only really came to life once Liverpool got a goal back, but I spent most of the match catching up with friends I hadn't seen for a while. After visiting a few more Douglas pubs we decided to call it at night and to continue with the good work I finished off with a kebab!
Waking up this morning was particularly difficult given I had planned to do the 20km Walking Championship, so with a fuzzy head and 'heavy' legs from Saturday's walk I decided I would take it fairly easy and use it as a good training session. For the first 10km I walked fairly conservatively alongside Michelle Turner and Rich Wild, who were both going well and we went through this point at 57.40. I still felt like I had bit left in the legs, so stepped it up for the second 10km, covering it in 54.48 and the Garmin link is below.
Untitled by richgerrard at Garmin Connect - Details
A big thank you to Manx Harriers for putting on the event and to the judges, timekeepers, lap counters, marshalls and those providing encouragement from the sidelines.Whilst there wasn't a big turnout there was some excellent racing and cracking performances. Congratulations to the top 3 men, Michael George (impressive effort off the back of yesterday's training session), Jock Waddington and Alex Eaton, in his first 20km. A great walk from Michelle Turner in a time of 114 minutes, supported all the way round by Rich Wild and a superb time of 119 minutes from Marie Jackson, who smashed the Manx record in her age category. Marie was well paced (and hounded) all the way round by Vinny and really dug deep on the last lap to get under the two hour mark.
My afternoon has been a combination of watching football and going to B&Q, so real fun considering the Man City score (I can only hope for a miracle with QPR winning at Man City next Sunday)! Anyway, I'm off to the Woodbourne Pub shortly for the quiz, so enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday Weekend.