Stile End, Outerside and Barrow Fell race.

Having recce’d this route last weekend I knew that I was going to struggle with this one. I’d enjoyed a week of excess, to my detriment and although I’d kept up with gym sessions, it was too little too late.

These races are so small and low key and there was a pretty fair chance that I was going to be last, that’s not a big deal but last by how long? I was dreading it.

Ed bought me a heart rate monitor last week and it’s been really useful to get an idea of my threshold which seems to be 170. I wore it for the race to try and stick to that with a max of 175. The start is all uphill and I kept a steady pace, keeping an eye on my heart rate. Man it was tough, I was getting passed, my heart rate was pushing 175 and I couldn’t get it down. Even on the flatter sections, it was still high. Anxiety level: Frodo wigging out in Osgiliath

So then the negative thoughts started to take over, I was so deep in the hurt locker, we’re talking the Mines of Moria here.  I started to think about all the times I’ve fallen short in my life, the times I let people down, mistakes I’ve made…it was rough! Still climbing and just losing it with every step…I thought of dropping out but then I thought how much worse I would feel if I did.

I eventually got most of the climbing out of the way and headed to the last climb of Barrow before the big descent kicked in. I wore my new shoes today Inov-8 X-Claw 275, amazing grip, much needed on the long, steep grassy down hills. 

I felt better on the way down but even when I finished, I knew that I’d let my negative thoughts get the better of me. I had felt fine physically but mentally, it was a bad day at the office. Luckily Ed was there to talk me round and his choice of beer for me this evening sums up his frustration:

I don’t think he meant it as the Galadriel type of witch either…

Oh and I’ve spent the weekend watching all three extended versions of Lord of the Rings, can you tell?


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