Monday, 8 April 2013

Purbecks run

Training for a road marathon just is not my thing. I have never run a road marathon and from my commitment to go training on the roads I will hazard a guess and say that I will not be doing another. Still it is London and the point is to raise a little money for charity and to get that one time feeling of a big city marathon.
Since December I have had a foot injury - torn or stretched tendon on the underside of my foot - and although I was capable of running it was a painful niggle and I would of hated myself if the niggle turned to a serious injury. So I took it easy in January, no better. Had February off, foot still sore but I had started a constant regime of compression and ice on the foot. In March I bought some rocktape after listening to TalkUltra and I will tell you what things seemed to improve immediately. Happy days. A month on and I am still using it, I definitely still feel a tightness without it and so I will continue to use it until I run out and then probably buy some more.
Old Harry
I am slightly digressing here. But, clocking up some good road miles in March and with the weather turning (a little) I was itching to get out on a proper run so, with a 18 and 14 mile road run done I decided to finish off the week with a circular circuit of Corfe castle to finish me off.
I headed quickly down on a bright but cloudy day and parked up by the castle and strode up to the top of the Nine Barrow Down ridge line.  Once on top the wind appeared cold and sharp and hitting me hard and so I had to resort to putting on some gloves and a buff to cover my ears!! Atop of the ridge way the views were humbling. In front, the valley floor running all the way to Swanage, over to my left Poole harbour stretched out from Wareham to Sandbanks.
A tough descent then ascent to Ballard Down I circled over to Harrys Rock via Studland. I was trying to get as many hills in as possible as this is one thing that I have definitely been neglecting of late. At Old Harry's Rock I slowed and took some photos I walked the cliffs edge a little but turned back near the end due to the wind unnerving me with 50+ft vertical drops either side. I shook off the wind with another slow ascent up to Ballard point and then a relaxing drop into Swanage. With it being easter I thought the town would be rammed, instead it was extremely quiet and deserted although I did have to queue and wait 10mins for my burger.
even the cows didn't like the wind
Venue for my next wild camp
After my scrumptious lunch I headed up the steep hill to Durston Head, this is a pretty area combining forested wild gardens with the famous climber friendly sea cliffs. No climbing for me this time but, an exhilarating run by the cliffs all the way to St Albans Head. There was blue in the sky and the coastal path was protected by the high ridge enabling me to warm up a little.Thankfully there were a few gullies allowing a cooling wind to refresh me and reminding me of past wild camping adventures and ones to include very soon.
After this most glorious stretch of coastline, for me, it only gets better. I like nothing more than with tired legs passing the lookout station and just enjoying the ever bettering views leading into Chapmans pool and the toughest decent/ascent/descent over Houns tout. The sea becomes green at his point and you can see the kimmeridge ledges jutting out to sea for an eternity.
no time to relax but, take it all in
At this point. To get another hill in. I veered of and hiked up to Swyre Head with body tiring and amazing views I was hard pressed to keep going especially as it was back into the ever present freezing winds. From here it was a long downhill and I felt I was freewheeling to Kimmeridge. I then zig zagged through some farmlands (getting lost due to the newly ploughed fields hiding any hope off seeing long used pathways). I couldn't get truly lost though as I was heading for the Ridgeway hill. After a few fence hops I was surmounting the final ridge line to Corfe.
Corfe Castle
By now I had been on the go for hours and so was pleasing to know that I only had a couple of miles left. The sun was out and even the wind had turned to a breeze as I took the final slope down overlooking the majestic ruins of Corfe Castle.
A great run (aren't they all). My first ultra of the year and my foot felt good. legs were tired which will make me apprehensive for the goals ahead but it's a good start. I will get the london marathon out of the way and then I can fully focus and long hill training up until the start of June when I hope I will be feeling a whole lot more positive about my 75miler with 6000m+elevation to do.

Stats: 27miles +/-1500m taking around 5hr45mins.
(2litres of water, burger & battered sausage, 2 brekkie bars, 1 gel, kitkat, pocketful of sweets, 3 x elete tabs).

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