Monday, June 17, 2019

Quarry Road

At the tail end of last year I did one run with Gary when he slowed down to my snail's pace and I sped up close to breaking point, which ended up as almost the same pace. Towards the end we ran past yet another innocuous side road when he told me about Quarry Road, and how tough the hill repeats on it were. I was too tired already by that point to take much notice, desperately trying not to collapse while he jogged on as slowly as he could.

When I saw Norbert on strava running that very road the other day I remembered it again, and decided to give it a go. In fact, it seemed such a good idea that I decided to do it three times, following my usual rule that anything worth doing is worth doing to excess (which is what ultra running is all about, after all).

One thing you can be sure is that if Gary says a road is tough then it really it is tough! The climb itself is just under a mile long but the sting towards the end when it turns from really steep into really fucking stupid steep is particularly stingy. At least the trail for the downhill is nice, though Norbert since told me the alternative route is much nicer. Next time. Wait, what bloody next time?

Before that it was yet another week of quite high mileage but it feels totally doable. Tuesday was a big day with a run into work, a short-ish run at lunchtime with the group from work (which was very small, but still) and then a bike ride in the evening with yet another group (this one a big one), which all added up to well over 4 hours of exercise, which did indeed leave me a bit tired on Wednesday. At least the calves were because they kept feeling a bit tender for the rest of the week, not that it had any real impact on my running. In fact, on Thursday I felt good enough to run a bit faster on my commute home, something I had vague ideas of doing for a while but up to now never felt up to it. But now I can finally feel my fitness levels really picking up.

Maybe I should say my fitness levels are finally returning. The disastrous race in Irding was almost a year ago and I have been feeling it ever since. I finally seem to have started getting over it, a full year later. I don't know why it was quite so bad - a month before that race I had felt really good and then it all came just crashing down, and the effects lasted for a year. However, my fears that I was done for good seem to have been unfounded - I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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