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Thread: I've raced my last race.

  1. #91
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    So, further experimentation.
    Encouraged by the progress of running 6-8 miles within the 140 pulse limit and feeling just fine, I decided to test out the idea of 'bimbling' along in one of my favourite races, the Black Mountains race. 17 miles and 5,200 feet of pretty ridge ridge running and vertiginous grass cliffs. I used to get round in under 3 hours 'back in the day'.
    It was glorious day, clear skies and cooling breeze and all went well for the first 8 or 9 miles. Trailing along near the back of the field but comfortable. But then the wheels came off. There was no lack of strength or determination but my physiology just let go. I could not make any meaningful progress without my pulse shooting above 140 and I felt completely shot. Even a break for a snack and a drink did not improve matters so I had to pull out at 11 miles.

    So, today, I feel fine. Normally my legs would be trashed after that kind of event but, because I cannot run to the point of muscular exhaustion any more, they are OK today.

    My new self imposed limit for any mountain running escapades is now 10 miles!

    Anthony, I hope Mrs Kay is doing OK?
    I am Kuno....

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheeze View Post

    Anthony, I hope Mrs Kay is doing OK?
    Yes, thank you, she had a check-up last thursday to make sure everything is OK with the pacemaker, which it is. She is planning a gentle session on the tennis court with a friend tomorrow, to start building up her strength again.

    With regard to your own experience, I wonder how much your failure to get beyond 10 miles is simply due to the decline of strength with age, rather than anything to do with your heart condition. I don't feel confident to attempt any race much beyond 10 miles; I entered the Four Fans specifically because I was wanting a race that would test the limits of my current endurance. On the other hand, there are still quite a few M60's who happily go around the toughest AL's . . .
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  3. #93
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    No Anthony, no lack of strength. Still plenty left in legs today. It just felt like somewhat had nicked my engine. The chassis is fine!

  4. #94
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    Good stuff Wheeze.... if you’re the guy I think you are on Facebook WFRA page, you took the ridge route round to PYGF rather than dropping into the valley...?

  5. #95
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    Yes, I was following Gareth and watching as he split from the guy he was running alongside so I knew we had a 'live' experiment running. Since they put the gravel track across the bog between Waun Fach and Pen Y Gadiar Fawr I have suspected that the time element would be about equal and so it proved to be. So the choice is clear...do you want to swap climb for distance with no time penalty...but who knows what suffering on PYGF!!!

    Sadly, for me, even this Cunning Plan could not stave off the inevitable!
    I am Kuno....

  6. #96
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    According to the chap on the Facebook page, it only saves about 150mtrs climb, and around 100mtrs descent... for the price of around 4km... I’m not sure if their figures were accurate, and as horrific as the climb is, it seems like an expensive trade-off.... although I bow to your local knowledge and vast experience...

  7. #97
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    I've not measured the figures myself but the descent and climb are really brutal and take a lot out of your legs with still a long way to go. As I said, until they paved a track through the bog the trade off did not seem worth it. But now it's a realistic option. Shame I could not see it to fruition.
    Of course, back in the day I'd have referred anyone avoiding PYGF wall as a lily livered coward!

  8. #98
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    It's certainly an off-camber descent, and a very tough climb... I've always though it's better to continue along the ridge, then descend straight direct to where you begin the climb up PYGF.... although iv'e never yet had the bottle to leave the "pack" and try it...!

  9. #99
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    Yes, I've mused on that too. I did once see Mark Saunders doing this. As he is a master orienteer, I would trust his judgement but I never know what he thought of this. There is a track marked on the map and looking at that area from the top of PYGF you can make out a feint line plunging straight down to the corner of the stone wall at the valley floor. If you are a master descender, this may be quicker than the long traverse. I had a good look at all this on my recce a week before the race when I plodded up the PYGF wall.
    I am Kuno....

  10. #100
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    Reading your accounts of past successes makes me realise that at my age I am probably never going to have this kind of experience in my life; I mean never say never right, but at age 48 and a bit broken, the standard that is required to come in the top finishers seems an awful long way from where I am.

    I am not going let this bother me and just enjoy what I am doing, but it did give me pause for thought.

    Well done Wheeze for keeping on going, you are an inspiration

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