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sunny weekend in lake district

As the days are getting shorter, I find it easier to sit down in the evening and write. What is more, I have also recieved the bill for my domain recently, so I feel obligated to use the space I am paying for šŸ™‚

I did not participate in any races this summer. However, I managed to go as spectacor. If you get asked to be part of someoneĀ“s support group, it is a honor to go. It is also plenty of fun, as you get to check out the course and feel the excitment. So I jumped right on the plane and flew out to the Lake District where my brother participated in Peak Skyline [1].

We arrived in Buxton few days in advance to check out the course and see some of Peak District as well. The drive from Liverpool to Buxton was very confusing and we have got lost several times, yet we have arrived. The next day, surprisingly, the sun was out. We have decided to explore the first half of the course.Ā Jakub was doing his active recovery and I was working quite hard to keep up.. The next day, I went in the second half (starting from Manor Farm) with legs like I have already run the whole course the day before šŸ™‚ Nevertheless, the weather was not british at all and the views from Roaches were worthed the squeeze. We have spent the whole two days talkign about strategy for the race and came up with supreme plan. The motto was, if you are not as fast as the others, then you definitely need good backups. On the note, Peak skyline was not in the UK Skyrun Series this year, so it was allowed to get refreshments or have a pacer – and we did a good.. Jakub has been running with the leading group but unfortunatelly cpramped on the last part, so he came out third. (I am still impressed and very proud of him anyway.) The last day, we have decided to stop by Shutlingsloe on our way to the aiport and take one more look at the Lake District and then we took off.

All in all, it has been about 80k of hiking, which was fun thanks to great company and delicious proviant we have packed (e.g. I was very happy to find that emergency apple on the end of the first day šŸ™‚ ).

 

THE ROUTES

day 01 gpx-fileĀ Ā here

day 02 gpx-fileĀ here

day 03 gpx-fileĀ here

day 04 gpx-fileĀ here

 

GALLERY

As I have been determined to take picture of everyone onthe race day, there are many more pictures which could be foundĀ here.

 

[1] offcial website hereĀ . very fast course of 47,5km andĀ  2.000 mĀ elevation gain.

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Ring of Steall SkyRace. 2016

For those who are folowing me on instagram (@runingarchitect) might have noticed my trip to Scottland at the end of September. It was a special one, as I took part in a skyrace [1]. Ā I have acctually signed up at on the February 1st, which would have given me plenty of time to prepare if I only were thorough with training. Nevertheless, I have tried to make the best out of it and run a great race. If you are not familiar with skyrunning, you might check out the links attached below. [2]

If I talk about a competition, you have to know, it is not about competing for the first place in my case. However, it was one of the kind experience for me. Entering the race, I was fully aware of my poor shape and I have came up with a strategy to survive. My aim was not to get injured and finish the run before the time limit runs out.Ā For an untrained person like me, 29km and 2500 vertical meters are quite a lot. Plus, this particular event is well known for its technical paths. I acctually used the second part to my advantage as I have grown up in the mountains and have been moving on rocks for some time now. The main struggle for me was lifting my bottocks up the hill. The down part was easy (fyi, there were no flat parts). Neglecting the long-term preparations evoked some panic few weeks before the event. Realising, I went tofar down the road, I decided to plan at least to plan the day. I have learnt the track, its technicalities, I maped out pace and splits I have to manage to make the cut (the time limit was 9 hours, running from 10am till 7pm). Additionally, I spent one week in altitude – better than nothing. I have been very excited to see Scottland, and see all those fast people I have only seen on screen.

We have arrived on Thursday and took a little roadtrip by car as Kinlochleven [3] is quite out of reach by plane. I was very enthusiastic watching those grassy hills behind the window and wanted to jump out of the car right away. It looked so idyllic untill I acctually got out the car and realised, everything was soaken wet. Bummer. At least, there was no way I will run out of water :-)). Thankfully, the weather was amazing. Thinking back, I barely remember rain – definitelly not on my race day! Some foggy clouds prowling overĀ ridge made it look more dramatic and exciting.

I have to say, the organisation was excellent. I think the next race I will run will be a let down, no matter how hard they will try..Ā I absolutely loved the race tatoos! I was so proud afterwards to finish the race, I did not wash my forearm for a week so it wonĀ“t wash off :-))Ā Following the plan I have established before, I have finished the climb as the very last person. Somehow, I made my peace with that idea before the race. I think it was the most important lesson I have learnt that weekend. You have to assess your skills correctly. If you have unrealistic expectations, you will fail. You have know, how hard you have trained and do not count on any miracles happening on the race day. If your legs are lazy in general, there is no way you will suddenly hop around like a deer (it is a slovak expression).

Taking my chances, I have done a great job on that Saturday – mentally and physically as well. I think everyone with a mediocre fitness level would be able to finish it wihtin nine hours (it took me 8:45, yay. I made the cut!). The only trick was to survive those nine hours out there. Not to burn out in the first climb, not to twist ankle between the rocks, no to slip on the downhill and hurt yourself.. and last but not least, not to go mad and endure till the end. I think the mental part was the most important one and my biggest fear was the silence – you were not allowed to listen to the music. Sometimes, a good song can contribute so much to your run, especially it it is a long one like this.. Nevertheless, I made my peace with this rule and run in silence few trainings as well to get used to it.

All in all, it was one exceptional day fo me. I was so proud of myself to finish it. What is more, I was surprised by how competitive it got even at the tail! I have had a full race experience and yet somehow I managed to pass the finish line with a smile (and outrun some people as well!). The next day, I have got to spectace the main event – Glen Coe Skyline. Despite the hurting legs, I could enjoy so much. All my emotions were somehow hightened – probably due to pain. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was amazing. These guys, they are so fast. You have to see it with your own eyes to be able to imagine it. All in all, I loved the whole trip and on the airport, I have already started thinking which one I will run as the next.. I am still not sure, but till then IĀ have put some pictures together from the whole adventure for you in the gallery below, check it out.

As an arcitectural highlight, I have got to see the GLENFINNAN VIADUCT [4], a pionieer work in mass concrete (from the era before the reinforced concrete) constructed in 1897-98. Afterall, I am an architect. I was very impressed as it is still in use and it did not deteriorate over time at all. I guess most of you have seen it in one of Harry PotterĀ“s movie – I am not sure which one but it certainly attracts lots of people to go to visit it.. And there is still a steam engine passing by every now and then, if you are interested..

[1] the official web site of ring of steall skyrace 2016 here

[2] some nice videos by salomon on skyrunning at their youtube channel here and one of my favourite videosĀ here.

[3] Kinlochleven. 56.713736, -4.962816

[4] read more at wikipedia here

GALLERY

 

 

 

Sporty Saturday Vol. 03 – Rocking the rocks, again.

If you are following me on instagram (for those who want to join me @runningarchitect) you would know, that I have returned to the Saxon Swizerland few more times. What is more, I have the feeling, I will be coming there more often as that place rocks – so let me show you what I am so crazy about.

Looking at the map, the area does not seem to be so huge. Do not let that fool you, because it is a very large and diverse place. You can go there for an easy family trip with your kids or you can power out and even work in some vertical meters as well. As I have learnt before, the map I have got [1] is not as accurate as it can get – some of the drawn paths are missing in the reality. What is worst, the german marking system sucks. If you have every been walking or hiking in Czech Republic of Slovakia, you would know what I am taking about. You must deliberately want to get lost to wander off a path there. So, to avoid confused looks into my map at each crossroad I would have pass, I have started planing the routes in advance [2] and it turned out to be a great time saver. It would send me to a strange places from time to time :-), but I was able to pick up pace a little bit and run wild. Yeah, I have got some strange and confused looks from people I was passing by as the trail runningĀ is a new thing here. However, I have met fewĀ guys on the train, who were (judging from their outfits and gear) definitely going for a run there – so I have got high hopes.Ā And now to my favourite part of posts, I have put together few shots for you in the gallery below, please enjoy.

 

[1] Scale 1:25 000, by Kompass.

[2] Using the Suunto watch Ambit3SportĀ link here and movescount.com.

GPX-file 01 [26k]

GPX-file 02 [12k]

GALLERY

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