Sunday, 20 September 2015

The 3 Peaks - Saturday 19th September

For this run, my ninth run around the 3 Peaks of the year, I was hoping to be able to see some signs of my running 'skill' coming back. The weather was glorious, the tracks were in the main pretty dry and the omens were good - if I could do a sub 5 hours 3 Peaks I'd be happy with that, especially so given my 'summer of discontent'. I wasn't completely sure whether I'd be up to it or not as I'd had some of my pericarditis symptoms in the week, but Saturday dawned and I felt fine. First off of course I had to take the dogs for a two mile walk around the river but, shortly after 10:30 am, I was off and away.

Cutting a long story short I was running nicely for a sub 5 hour time, reaching the top of Pen y Ghent, the first peak, in 38 minutes and the top of Whernside, peak two, in 2:45 hours. Unfortunately though after Chapel-le-Dale my running legs fell off. It was also hottish for the time of year, the weather had been sunny most of the way and I was feeling like the sun or heat was getting to me. I mainly walked up the slabbed track towards the Swine Tail climb on Ingleborough and then really struggled up there, with me feeling really faint and dizzy near the top. Given my 'dicky ticker' problems this summer I didn't want to take any chances and decided to rest up a few minutes. From there on in to the finish in Horton I just took it steady - never-the-less I had another couple of woozy moments. I just felt really hot, much hotter than perhaps the sunny weather deserved. Anyway I managed to finish okay but the time was ultimately a bit rubbish at 5:36 hours.

Pen y Ghent looming

Leaving Pen y Ghent behind now

For today's route I was taking a line past Hull Pot

Ribblehead Viaduct with Whernside beyond

Route One up Whernside

Still feeling good at this stage and heading for Ingleborough

Taken whilst recovering from the climb up the Swine Tail of Ingleborough

Heading for the trig point on Ingleborough

Just a mere matter of about 2.5 miles to the end at this point

My best ever time for the 3 Peaks was 3:54 hours in June 2012, when perhaps I was at the absolute peak of my fell running fitness, and earlier this year in April I thought I was getting my fitness back again with a 4:36 finish. At the time I was half eyeing September as the month where I could look to attack that 2012 time. Well..... not even close. Comparing the split times of my June 2012, April 2015 and then yesterday's effort says it all:

Blue is best....

Mind you I've not been able to run much in the past two or three months and I'm only now getting some decent distances in. Maybe the recent splurge in upping my running, after doing very little in July and August, had an effect too. For sure, from Strava, my weekly distances are starting to look normal again.

My rubbish July and August!

So.... sub 5 hours it is in October!

21.6 miles and 4,650 feet - route on strava

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