Monday, 2 June 2008

The Cross, the Crow, the Laces and the Ice-cream Man

I thought that I should see if I was actually up to running something like the South Downs Marathon (considering my performance (lack of) in the 3 Peaks and it's only two weeks away) so I took myself off for a long steady run over the Chilterns yesterday. I went over four Chilterns ridges (not massive but a total ascent of 725m) to Whiteleaf Cross above Princes Risborough and back again.

On the way out I was running through a corn field on a path just wide enough to put one foot in front of the other when I saw some creature running along the path in front of me. It turned out to be a crow. The path was so narrow between the corn stalks that the crow couldn't extend it's wings enough to take off. In the end I went around it through the corn and left it to sort itself out.

Coming back I followed the Ridgeway path past Chequers (don't think Gordon was in) then up Coombe Hill. There was the usual ice-cream van in the car park, so having brought some money with me I decide to get myself an ice lolly. Ten minutes later after searching in vain in the six million pockets in my Camelbak bag for enough money the ice-cream man, who was clearly a fellow endurance type wearing his cycling top and hat as he was, let me have the lolly and then, bless him, stuck a bottle of water in my bag as well. Running whilst eating an ice lolly was a new but not unpleasant experience for me. The water was a life saver too as my Camelbak was nearly empty and I still had a few miles to go.

Ten minutes after the ice cream van my laces snapped (again). These are the thin Kevlar laces that come with the Salomon shoes. My Polar speed pod clip chews them to pieces and unlike ordinary laces they are a pain to try and rethread. This cost me about ten minutes.

In the end I was out for 3h 45m and covered something like 34km (not exactly sure as my speed pod decided to turn itself off twice during the run. Considering the muddy conditions and the few delays I had I'm fairly pleased with that.

I seemed to have got the nutrition and hydration right. I decided not to over-indulge in the gels and drink for the first hour (having loaded up with an energy drink before setting off). In all I had 1.5 litres of isotonic drink in my Camelbak (plus 500ml of water from the ice-cream man and some rehydration salts I happened to have with me), two bananas and three SIS gels. There was no sign of cramp (maybe due to the potasium in the bananas). After the 3 Peaks cock-up I made sure the Isotonic drink was at 6% solution. That extra 2% makes so much difference. The weather was warm but bearable, overcast with the sun threatening to break through. I lost 5lb in weight during the run but have no doubt put it back on already.

So, overall a bit of confidence restored and looking forward to the South Downs.


aquaasho said...

I've had that lace-breaking thing happen to me with Salomon's too. It was so infuriating because it happened to break at a bad time and there was nothing I could do to repair it at the time. Expensive to replace too.

Mick said...

Yeah, it's annoying but I suppose they weren't designed for the speed pods to be clipped to them. The lace on the shoe without the speed pod has been fine. Did yours break without a speed pod? I need to find a way to protect them and still be able to attach the pod. I fortunately salvaged the laces from two previous pairs of Salomons so I just used those. I need to replace my shoes but I'm going to give Salomons one more chance and try the new XT Wings. I'm also replacing my fell shoes and am going to try Inov-8 Mudclaws. Have you come across them before? I've heard mixed reviews about their durability.