Graves Park parkrun

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Saturday 14 July, 09:00

After a rest week post-ultra I thought I’d ease back into running with a parkrun. Several were cancelled so headed to Graves. A handful of Vegan Runners were there. It was hot and sunny, and I’d forgotten my cap.

The route was undulating, 2 laps. Started near the back and intended to take it easy but that plan didn’t last. Started passing folk and had a blast.

Official time: 25:35, position 53rd

Strava app: 25:40

Avg pace: 7:55 min/mile

Trainers: Inov8 parkclaw 275

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Ultimate Trails 55k, Ambleside

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Sunday 8 July, 07:00

Got up at 4:15 to get ready and park near the start/finish. Lots of chatty people sharing info about what to expect. I put myself about 60-70% of the way back from the front starters.

Was relieved when in the first mile runners around me were walking up hills/inclines, to save energy. The sky was bright and the sun stayed behind high cloud until later, had full sun from about 13:00 onwards.

The checkpoints and refreshment stops were good. I drank my water with SIS tabs in and refilled bottles with electrolyte at every stop. Munched often, banana and flapjack from the stops and a couple of Clif bars I carried.

The terrain was frequently rocky / stony underfoot, and there was lots of climbing up steep slopes, interspersed with brief and short sections in the valley bottoms. Epic scenery, ran past totally still lakes and looked back at picturesque valleys. Worth doing for the views alone.

I seemed able to power walk up the steep bits, passing many others. Didn’t hit the wall, fuelling and hydrating were going well. Looked for shade wherever possible.

I noticed that mentally I was very positive, enjoying the experience. Marshalls noticed I was a smiler, I said hello to sheep and wasn’t worrying about the next climb, and the next. I’m sure this attitude really helped me, I didn’t hit a low point or have any doubts. I was counting distance in hours rather than miles, but later on did ask some marshalls ‘how far?’ They weren’t that accurate. Wasn’t using gps watch, battery wouldn’t have lasted.

Loved the finish chute and felt ok. Had a drink and found a vegan food van!! Lots of choice, bought a bhaji burger and when other folk nearby me saw it they ordered some. Should have been on commission! Cheered finishers and had a coffee for an hour or so before heading off to car.

Was surprised to find my legs were not that bad in the following few days, just took a few minutes to get moving but I was mobile and could do stairs. Achilles soreness indicated I’d done a tough run but was not at all bad. Applied ibuprofen gel to heels for 2 days more as a precaution. Had three points of chafing (won’t go into details!).

Later I found out I was finisher 167 out of 375, in 9:22:39. Very pleased with that. Read that a lot dropped out and folk that had done it previously had slower times this year because of the hot conditions. Nearly 600 were on the start list so I guess some didn’t start and others were sensible and dropped out if they hit problems.

It was steeper, rougher terrain with less flat sections or undulating running than I’d expected. And who put the photographer near the top of the penultimate climb? I was walking strongly but had to break into a jog when I saw the photo sign and chap with a camera pointing down the path at me…

Distance: 34m / 55km

Time: 9:22:39

Trainers: Brooks Cascadia

training run #1462

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Thursday 5 July, 05:31

Warm and sunny. Went for an easy pace run on backstreets, 2.6 miles. Good to run early morning in lovely weather. Kept it short so I could fetch Emma from work.

Distance: 2.65 miles

Time: 25:49

training run #1461

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Sunday 1 July, 07:50

Warm, sunny. A 5.1 mile run on trails, searching new routes without gps or map. Enjoyed it and my fitness seemed to improve as I went further. Hot work though.

Distance: 5.11 miles

Time: 50:53

Avg pace: 9:51 min/mile

Calories: 583

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

Wildlife: 1 rabbit/hare, 1 squirrel

Round Sheffield Run 24/6/18

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Sunday, 9:02

Felt warm at the start and got hotter, 20-22C I think. Used this race as preparation for Ultimate Trails 55k, thought it’d be useful with its stage format. Running and climbing with ‘rest sections’ between stages that I can power walk. Mimics the Lake District with plenty of walking (for me).

I knew only a couple of parts of the course, was nice to see Sheffield from a new perspective. Felt good on the king of the mountain stage 2, passed a few competitors. And liked some of the descents, flying down the Limb Valley for example.

Would like to run this again next year, an enjoyable and challenging course.

Distance: 14.53 miles in total, stages & walking between

Time overall: 2:43:37

RSR overall timed stages: 1:50:53 (for 20km)

Average pace overall: 11:15 min/mile

Avg HR: 136bpm

Calories: 1612

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1460

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Friday 22 June, 07:38

A warm sunny 4.5 mile loop to a nearby village. The trail on the way back was tough to find, ended up cutting through a country estate.

Distance: 4.53 miles

Time: 50:38

Avg HR: 133bpm

Calories: 516

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1459

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Tuesday 19 June, 08:28

A 6.5 mile run in a loop around the area where I’m camping. Quite a bit of ascent but plodded away nicely.

Sunny and warm, should have carried a drink.

Distance: 6.54 miles

Time: 1:11:08

Avg HR: 133bpm

Ascent: 957ft

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10