Late on the 17th of January, I headed back to the hut in Llanberis for my Hill and Moorland leader training. I was super nervous; a combination having no idea of how my skill level would compare to others and desperately wanting to do well made my poor head churn for the whole drive over from Cheshire. I’ve faced tough courses before through work but this was different: this time it was for something I really, really wanted to be good at…
The weekend of the 14th January was spent in the club hut part way up the tourist path on Snowdon. Sadly there was little snow to play in but the friendship and food and general joy of being around inspirational YesTribe people spurred me into starting a video diary of my adventures and training. Enjoy!
I don’t like running. Correction, I don’t like training runs. Consequently, when I ran the Thunder Run for the third time a couple of weekends ago I had done very little training, not great when its a 24 hour relay race round a hilly 10km trail. I was the token slow runner on the team, managing 3 laps of 1hr13, 1hr14 and 1hr28. The last was the dawn lap starting at 4am which is actually my favourite: starting in the dark with a head torch and finishing in the misty dawn under a pink sky. I’ll be honest, the first lap was awful. Running under a full sun in high humidity; I was so hot my skin was tingling and I had to keep willing myself forward repeating the mantra “it’ll be over quicker if you keep running, it’ll be over quicker if you keep running”. I got cross and a bit weepy and then told myself off for being silly and that perhaps, in retrospect, a bit more training would have helped.
Now that the Thunder Run is over, I’m having a bit of a think about what’s next. First up, I have found a personal trainer, Jo. Part of my problem is I get so confused with conflicting recommendations I have read on how I should or shouldn’t train I end up making an excuse and not doing anything. Which I realise is a rubbish excuse. I’ve thrown myself upon the mercy (or not) of Jo to tell me what to do, when to do it and how much. So far it’s working, simply knowing Jo will check up on me is making me go out and just do something. So, what next? I need to be honest with myself, I like going for a run but training hard for running just doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm. When I look at the sports I love: climbing, hill walking and dancing, they all as much about mental and technical skills as they are about pure fitness. The obvious alternative to running is cycling. I’m lucky, I live close to good trails and quiet roads, I’m an engineer so bike maintenance appeals as well. Inspired by the film The Way, about the Camino de Santiago, I planned to walk the 500 miles in the Pyrenees however I’m unlikely to get the leave from work: but maybe I could cycle it in a fortnight. A plan forms…
In the Tough Girl Podcast on the 12th April 2016, Parys Edwards talks about being the egg not the potato: it’s the same boiling water that makes the egg hard that makes the potato soft. The Thunder Run was a boiling water moment for me, though I don’t feel very tough yet I think I’m almost soft-boiled. And in my world there’s no better way to start the day than with a nice dippy-egg.
“Tribe this is such a supportive and awesome group and I know many of you blog about your challenges – Please do share your blog page links below. We want to support you and get inspired by what you’re doing!!!”
“Haven’t got one… Maybe I should start one!”
And that, folks, is why I am here. A short comment on the Tough Girl Tribe Facebook group started this blog and we’ll see where it goes. I’ll admit I was sat in my favourite pub in Eskdale in a comfortable post-pizza and beer haze when it seemed like a good idea, when you forget the million-and-one other things you started but haven’t quite gotten round to completing.
So, in the spirit of Rando’ Girls, I decided the best way to think it through was go for a walk. It was raining hard and 10 o’clock at night but going to bed still stuffed from tea didn’t appeal so I pulled on my waterproofs, grabbed my head torch and headed out. Decisions like this need to be made in a memorable place so the foot of the Hardknott pass was the destination. At the phone box and last collection of road signs warning drivers of what was coming, I decided to turn Rando’ Girls from a Whatsapp group for organising adventures with two friends, into more of a Thing. Then I ran back to the pub.