Shropshire Hills & Carding Mill Valley

Week 2 – Base Training 
w/c 27.05.2019

Recommended mileage: 20 miles
Actual mileage: 32.1 miles

Week 2 started with my 40th Birthday on the Monday and although I knew Ruth had booked a surprise week away, I had no idea where we were going. To my surprise, she had booked the week in a converted bus; Betsy Blue – just outside Carding Mill Valley in the Shropshire Hills! It was ace, quirky, quiet and relaxing – but also just a few minutes away from the local trails and hills! Now, I had packed my running stuff (I knew Ruth’s family were also coming away with us and in particular, Ian, whom I’m doing the LiaD with was going to be there) so we’d kind of hinted at getting away for the odd morning to do some runs, but I never expected to have local trails practically on the doorstep. Funnily enough and by complete coincidence, the Wild Stiles Trail Running group had organised a trail run in the same area for the up-coming Sunday and as we were staying until Friday, it meant another trip back to Shropshire on the Sunday. (If I had known I would have arranged to stay on for another couple of days).  

Home for the week!

Relaxing with the boys

The week was perfect, I managed to get out for a solo run early Wednesday, just shy of 8 miles in total up some tough hills, but the rest of the week was family time, lots of walking, drinking, BBQ’s and relaxing in the private hot tub! In the five days, I still managed to clock up 19 miles – although these were mostly walks with a child or 2 on my shoulders or the odd mile of hill running whilst circling back to regroup with the others who were ascending the hills at a more leisurely pace. I also got to do a short hills session with Ian, both sporting the same OMM running jacket! Oh, the shame!

OMM Twins!

I took Saturday as a rest day as I knew I was back up the hills again on the Sunday running the ‘May the Fourth be with you route’ which funnily enough, I had run the marathon there 4 weeks earlier, finishing in 5th position. (the marathon being 2 laps whereas this run was just one lap of a very hard course).

I had arranged to get a lift on the Sunday with a friend and we arrived at Carding Mill Valley at 8.15am, ready for a 9am start. In total, there were 13 of us. Only 2 of us, Dylan the organiser and myself had done the route before. 13.7 miles with a total elevation of 2500 ft. I had rested quite well in the week so found the run quite comfortable despite the 2 major climbs at miles 2 and 11. Looking back on the run, the one thing that I took away was that my ascents are a lot better than my descents and this is definitely an area I need to work on as I tend to lose a lot of time on the technical downhill section of races.  The run took us 2hrs 15 mins and the company was great, they were a great bunch of guys and gals – hopefully we can get out and run some more trails again in the near future!    

Celebrating my 5th place finish with the boys at the ‘May the fourth be with you’ race 4 weeks prior
Wild Stiles Running Group tour of the Shropshire Hills

Killer of an ascent at mile 2 – at least I only had to do it once this time round!

The Shropshire Hills

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