On 21st April this year I received an email from Strava saying that Steven Hill had taken all 3 of my segments on the Gleniffer Braes. I decided I’d have to get them back one day …. and today was the day !!
Normally a week before an ultra I like to do a dress rehearsal on the Braes wearing all the kit I’ll be using for the race and running the 11 mile loop at race pace or more recently at race Heart Rate.
But for this race I decided to run round as fast as I could and see if I could regain my segments from Steven! So I wore minimal kit and my Inov-8 Talons and went for it!
For those who don’t use Strava I’ll explain briefly how it works. You upload your runs onto the site and it miraculously searches for anyone else who has run that route or part of it. It then compares your run with others and ranks them.
It also allows you to set your own segments and again if anyone else runs that segment it shows up. So I set up 3 segments on my 11mile Gleniffer Braes run. I have a 1.6mile warm up from the house to the start of my loop and then 3 segments of around 2.6miles each.
Here are the details of the 3 segments ….
Leg 1 includes a big climb and a couple of smaller ones …
Leg 2 is the most technical with a narrow path to run along a one point …..
Leg 3 is mainly downhill so good for the quads ….
When Steven did his faster run he started drove to Robertson’s Car Park and started with leg 3 then leg 1 and leg 2. I was starting from home and running in order 1,2,3.
I took it easy to the start of leg 1 then pushed hard up the hill and right the route to the end of the segment. I’d written Steven’s times on my hand so I knew I had to be under 22:04. I was pleased to see that I had taken 20:23 so was inside the first one!! Game on!!
I knew from previous runs that my previous best on leg 2 was a good 2 mins slower than Steven’s so I would need to keep the pace up. Part of this route goes through fairly thick ferns in the summer so it does slow you down a bit!
With less than 1/4 mile to go I knew it was going to be close so pushed it hard up the final hill and just got inside Steven’s time by 18secs.
The final segment is mainly downhill but there are a few cheekily hills so I continued to push keeping my HR and effort up. I was confident of getting inside this one as my previous best was only 10secs behind Steven’s.
Sure enough I managed to shave 52secs off Steven’s time.
One of the fun things about Strava is that if someone does take your segment you get a notification and sure enough Steven received this message ….
He sent me this message ….
So watch this space!!
My plan for the week is easy runs on Monday and Wednesday before Saturday’s Hardmoors 60 race.