Ben Lomond PB

On Wednesday lunch time I went for an easy run as I had decided to really go for it on my Ben Lomond Run this week. Next week I plan a bit more of a recovery week after our back to back 35 milers at the weekend. The following week before we fly to Indonesia I’m planning on a double Ben Lomond so this was the week to go for it.

Jonny, who is running with us over the weekend, decided to go for an easy run and save himself for the weekend. Cammie came with me but it is his easy week so we ran on our own.

In August 2013 Jonny and I had a race up and down Ben Lomond which Jonny won using his superior down hill running. My time was 1:45:03 and I was keen to see if I could better than.

We shook hands at the car park and I set off pretty hard. As I hit the hill I could feel my legs burning and my breathing was hard. I didn’t wear my HR strap as I knew I was going to be going as hard as I could.

I have a mini-split at the gate which is just less than half was up. Last week I was 27:47 to this point and this week 26:07. That was probably the difference between really pushing it right from the start.

It was a beautiful clear evening with no wind. I was feeling very warm but felt fine. I power walked as hard as I could and as soon as the gradient was slightly less I ran for 10 breathes.

On the Ptarmigan ridge I ran as hard as I could before the final climbs. I know the route so well now. You cross over some large stepping stones and there is a longer climb which goes left then right up the hill. Then there are 3 smaller climbs until you reach the top.

As I came to the cairn there were a group of cyclists. I overheard one saying it’s taken us 3 and a half hours to get up! I was there in 1:04:15. In 2013 I was 1:03:57 so I was 18secs slower.

Last week I descended in just over 40mins so my target was sub 40mins which would be enough for my pb. I do feel I’ve been going down quicker over the last couple of weeks. Jonny and Cammie have shamed me into going faster!

There were lots of people on the Ben which was great to see. I’m not sure what they thought of me as I hurtled past …. well maybe not hurtling but moving faster than them!

I have a mini-split on the way down at the gate. Last week I was 23:18 so I was hoping for under 23mins. I was really pleased to see that it took me 21:41 so as long as I could keep this going then a pb was in the bag.

I continued to push hard but very conscious of our big back to back weekend in the Lakes so I didn’t want to do anything silly like twisting an ankle or falling.

I sprinted down the last hill and arrived back at the car in 1:41:55 which is just over 3 mins faster than 2013. The descent had taken me 37:37 which I was really pleased with!

route 06-11 ben lomond

I like to have one or two goes a year when I really push as hard as I can on this Ben Lomond run to give me an idea of where my fitness is at. My run last night was certainly a confidence booster with the Lakeland 100 race 6 weeks away.

Tonight Marco, Jonny and I drive down to stay with Dave in Keswick then tomorrow we’ll run from Coniston to Keswick (36miles) on the Lakeland 100 route. Sunday we’ll run from Keswick to Dockray to complete our recce of the whole course and then Dave has planned a surprise route back to Keswick to make up another 35 mile day. I’m really looking forward to it!!

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