April was an eventful month. I finished work on the last day of March, my project had been cancelled and so that meant that my services were no longer required, and headed straight down through England and south through France to Peyrar. We spent two weeks working on the house to get it ready for people to rent for their holidays. If you’re at all interested in that then you can check it out here:
Everything is now made ready and we’ve already received a few bookings. Fingers crossed that everyone enjoys staying there as much as we do.
While I was there I finished my 30 Day Plank Challenge. I have to say that towards the end it became very hard. 5 minute planking is not as straight forward as it sounds. I was having to employ a number of strategies to keep from collapsing early. These included making a sound like a steam train, counting down, and even watching videos on YouTube to take my mind off of the pain. Because that’s what it was, painful. Not in the sense that I had injured myself but my muscles were screaming at me by the end of 5 minutes. I did it though, and I’m very pleased with myself for that. Unfortunately I have let it slip since completing the challenge and so I have added planking to my post run routine. I’ve wound it back to 1 minute at the moment but will increase it again as time passes.
I was far too busy to do any running while I was in France and didn’t manage to get out again until the start of May. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of Munros though, my first in around two and a half years. A friend and I set off late enough to miss all of the commuter traffic and headed north to Loch Earn. We ditched the van at Ardvorlich and headed through the grounds of the house. Very quickly we headed uphill on the well built path. Ben Vorlich is one of the most southerly Munros and as such gets a lot of traffic during the season from charity walkers and so on.
Today though, there were very few other people out. The temperature was low, about -5 degrees centigrade up on the tops. Visibility was excellent. The route up Ben Vorlich was straightforward, if a bit of a slog. Once at the top we had a brief rest and decided that we should head across the saddle to climb Stuc a’ Chroin. This was a very different prospect. A short, very steep descent and then across a boggy stretch before climbing the almost vertical ascent to the top. This involved an exciting 100 metre scramble up a rock face where we came nose to nose with a Ptarmigan and his harem. They were in their winter finery and surprisingly difficult to see.
My legs were done in by the time that we reached the summit cairn.
The weather was still cold and clear but there was a threat of snow. We quickly descended and then traversed the flanks of Ben Vorlich until we rejoined the path and headed back down to the van.
I was tired but happy when I got to the van. It was an eye opener to how unfit I am and so I have dug my trainers out and hit the road again in preparation for heading up Snowdon again in a couple of weeks.