A sub-5hr and two minutes off a PB. Now there's a pleasant surprise. I'll take that. :-) Heart rate this time averaged at 173bpm and peaked at 185bpm. I'm not there yet but fitness seems to be returning already, otherwise I could not have pulled off this time, even at 173bpm.
It was another beautiful warm sunny day with a cooling breeze at times, and it didn't rain. It goes without saying that the views were gorgeous. How could they not be gorgeous? This is Britain. We are so lucky.
I took pictures but you'll have to be patient. I have no time to upload them now as I have a 04:30 alarm call tomorrow. The 100km Manchester-to-Blackpool bike ride awaits, in aid of The Christie cancer hospital (our sponsor page).
I spoke to yet another person today who is having to make use of The Christie's treatment services.
If it were not for The Christie you would not be enjoying my ramblings and race pictures. :-)
Pictures now uploaded. We had the novelty this year of going through the Headstone Tunnel under Monsal Head now that it's been opened. It allows uninterrupted travel along that part of the Monsal Trail. They'd even laid a road for us.
This picture shows a quintissential English scene, in this case Youlgrave. Spot the increasingly rare red telephone box hiding in the shadows:
Thought for today.
I think I must use Stuart Mills' theory of positive mental attitude while pushing the body to its limits, but there is an important proviso. As long as we accept that everyone is not born equal and that one man's (or woman's) ancestral inheritance may confer vastly different inate PBs, dissatisfaction, frustration, envy, jealousy, bitterness or giving up trying should not arise. We will continue to do our own thing and enjoy the (personal) challenge every time. If you have a competitive streak but you are not blessed with ultimate speed, you can only compete with yourself (and perhaps one or two others whose race times might suggest that they are similarly 'blessed' to you).
For the privileged few with good ancestry (good training is assumed), running an ultra at 70% of their maximum effort will get them a podium finish. For the slightly less blessed it may get them a top 10 placing. For many of us, just to finish within the cutoff time is a major achievement. Make the best of what you've got.
The Western States 100 was run at the end of June. The winning time was 15:34:24 by Kilian Jornet of Spain. He was the first non-US runner ever to win that race. Our very own Jez Bragg finished 4th in 15:55:08. My PB in that event (also a Hundred PB as it happens, and I've run a few) is 27:18. No amount of training could ever have forced a sub-16 out of me.