Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dark Side Wrekin Ascent with 10kg Weighted Vest

Location: The Wrekin, Telford, UK (Dark Side)
Date: 14th February

- Dark Side ascent with 10kg weighted vest
- Walked descent via 'South Flank'
- Light running
- Log carrying

Post workout nutrition: this, 2 hours later.

Time to Top: 23:07
Total Time: 1 hour

I haven't run with the weighted vest for 12 months or more. Looking back through my records, I see I ascended the Dark Side in 21:20 with the vest in 2007.

It's tough going on a slope that steep when you are carrying an extra 10kg, so I was frankly pleased just to run the whole distance after all this time. Matching and beating my previous best can be a target for the coming months.

Recovering at the top

Lightning, as his account details, came in 15-20 seconds ahead and still had more under the bonnet. Looking back, I can remember when, in the early days of his mountain running, he was unable to continuously run up the Light Side - so his performance on Sunday was a reminder of how far he has come.

We did a recce of a different route on the way down, walking down the 'South flank'. Lightning has run up this before, but I have not. It looks like a really tough deal because the ground has a looser composition of leaves and soil and there are no breaks from the incline. It looks to be almost 200 metres of consistently steep going.

Coming down the South flank...

...and testing the gradient for a future ascent

We then jogged back round to the normal path and rustled a couple of logs. Carrying our 'prey' back to the cars was a good final workout. I started with a pretty ambitious size, especially given I already had 10kg strapped on... and finished up swapping it for Lightning's more modest pair of stumps. At one point after the swap I dropped one of the sumps and it careered down hill towards his legs, missing them only because I shouted a warning.

Sizing up the logs

My ambitious selection

Lightening, having narrowly avoided being struck by my rogue stump

The knee held up well in spite of still being a little tender after the 3-hour race the weekend before. It had complained a little when I sprinted the final few yards to the top, but no more than it had a right to.

The state of the weighted vest at the end

Relaxing in the sun for a few minutes