The Roc England 2023
Tough race itself but good and crossing finish line makes you real proud
I don't do bigger races post summer purely coz summer is for holidays, being naughty and for relaxing.Have decided though to sign up for 2 races post summer with idea being it would help me maintain minimum fitness / training level rather than just me slacking for 2 months. And it did - helped me maintain a MINIMUM training lol. Managed few parkrun, literally couple of swims and a little rides 🤣Still went out there to give the Roc a go. Just mainly to enjoy it and gave fun rather than pushing ( although I can't really push no more, being constantly aware of my heart condition (s).It was tough but good tough, no health like related issues which I'm so grateful and happy for. It was just normal tough where your body shouting at you, lactic acid builds up all the time and legs cramping coz they not used to all that stress. Tough where you feel exhausted, almost overheated, sometimes sick and tired. The kind of toughness that your mind need to take a lead to overcome it. And mine did. Had to dig deep several times but not for a split second thought of giving in popped up during whole 8h50m.Tough the way that so many people where dropping off, one by one. Although felt sorry for them ( as always I was trying to be helpful and kept encouraging athletes around me) it kinda made me feel even prouder of myself that I'm finding the strength to carry on.
Swim 1500m in a lovely Lake of Windermere at 18 degrees and perfect conditions went nice and steady. Was bit 'worried' how it'd go because my last 2 post holiday open water swims where horrible - couldn't find a rhytm, felt breathless etcSo I just started of slowly and steady, picking the pace after around 500m once realised I'm OK. Shoulders were burning, understandly though - bad food, lack of training, holidays pints.. Come out the water feeling fresh though, quick transition but no rush and on the bike. 47km with few climbs ( think a total of 500m) which could be felt but just a little because where there's Incline there's decline too so legs were resting up. Baring in mind there's a big hike / run ahead I'd just kept it smart. Hydration, fuel, supplements - spot on. Views were breath taking too. Transition 2, top up fluids, change of shoes, bagpack on and off go to the mountains Weather was wonderful although a little too warm 😉 views breathtaking again which was very helpful with overcoming the climbing challenges. Unlike Snowdon, this Scaffel Pike path would go up and down all the Time meaning it's not just climb on way out and downhill on the way back but rather constant intervals of Jogging down and climbing up. A total of almost 19km of stress being put on your legs. First half, up to the summit, was just the normal push-through-the-pain and discomfort effort. Second one the same with added coping-with-fucking-cramps aspect. Painful inner thighs cramps that lasted forever. Finally overcame it all telling myself just go mate, just keep going. And I did picking the pace around 6km before the end of mountain section, Jogging and catching up. A total of 1200m climb T3 was fun as whatever I'd do - taking shoes off, socks, sitting down I'd get cramps in new places 🤣 Jump on that bike again on stiff legs knowing it'd be fun but also knowing that I'm almost there. Bike Leg back wasn't so enjoyable lol them hills seemed longer, higher, steeper. Sun came out again. Nice weather - for sitting in the garden. Funny riding on cramps - if you don't know you don't know 🤣A little swearing each Te new climb popped out from around the corner but have made it. Only few min slower than first 47km of bike. T4, trainers on, last final push - 1km which took 6m50 🙈 and crossing that finish line, exhausted but so so chuffed!
I'm not trying to make it look hard or not, I'm just sharing my experience. Truth is, it meant to be challenging and it is but it also can be great day out.. Up to you 😉The Roc's atmosphere is just best. Relaxed from the registration to very end. You don't sense that stress, nerves as you do at some other bigger events. Everyone is friendly and after few races everyone recognise each other. There's no ego, the fast guys/ winners would chat to you, have a photo, smile. Organisers are fair and easy going, customer service is second to none.
Recommending it 100 💯
Shout out to all that gave it a go, all that stopped, helped, asked and chat.
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