Grindleford Gallop trail race

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Saturday 17 March, 10:05

-3C, blowing a gale adding -10 windchill and very heavy snow showers. A 21.2 mile race around the Peak District.

Shivering in the car I wasn’t looking forward to this. I’d put a fleece top in the car for afterwards, but put it on to make sure I ran hot rather than froze on the crags. Good call. I had 2 shirts, a long sleeve top from Decathlon and the New Balance fleece, with my Salomon waterproof jacket on top!

It was a mass start of a few hundred runners with a very narrow step-over bridge 400 yards away. Lots of stiles after made it stop / start for the first few miles, and stiles and gates were dotted throughout the course.

I started fairly easy and just planned to get round without sprawling in either mud or a puddle. Succeeded.

About 5 miles in I noticed we were running the route of a Calver race I did last year but in reverse. The part where I was followed by sheep there were no sheep this time, just a blizzard and my left ear feeling like it was being frozen off!

It’s been a relatively wet winter and this showed with plenty of mud. Even crossing Chatsworth estate the ‘grass’ was sodden muddy ground.

At the third drink station in Baslow I asked for a black coffee. Or tried – my face was frozen. But she understood. Had 2 gels, 500ml water, 1.5 flapjacks and half that coffee during the race.

Climbing from Baslow to Curbar Edge was a lot of straight uphill walking. Then on top it was an apocalyptic scene. Dark sky, snow was horizontal, the wind was blowing hard and towards the edge of the crag. Awful and I remember thinking conditions like this could get the organisers in trouble with plenty of runners struggling.

I knew the Curbar stretch well in reverse, have run it plenty of times. I was run / walking due to fatigue. Right heel niggle as usual.

Overall, pleased to beat the conditions and very happy with my watch time. Official results not out at time of writing but I’ll update this post. Brilliant stewards and helpers throughout. Would be nice to run this in normal and dry spring weather.

Distance: 21.2 miles

Time: 4:12:39

Avg pace: 11:55 min/mile

Calories: 2369

Ascent: 2697ft

Trainers: Inov-8 x-claw 275


training run #1429

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Thursday 15 March, 06:07

5C, cold, rain showers. A 4 mile run at easy pace. Just wanted to get a run in before an earlier than usual start at work.

Intended to do 6 miles but realised as it got colder and more persistent rain that I’d under-dressed for the weather and decided to cut it a bit short. Not like me at all but it help me get off on time.

Wore Fitbit a little tighter on wrist and got a sensible HR reading for a change.

Distance: 4.2 miles

Time: 37:10

Avg HR: 152bpm

Avg pace: 8:50 min/mile

Calories: 423

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1428

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Tuesday 13 March, 06:38

5C, cool, cloudy. A 6 mile run, did fartlek on the first lap and a moderate speed on the second.

Felt right heel early on. Listened to music using my new Bose wireless ear buds – fantastic. Pleased with the average pace today.

Distance: 6.06 miles

Time: 49:59

Avg pace: 8:15 min/mile

Calories: 639

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1427

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Sunday 11 March, 06:53

3C, cool, overcast. Went round my usual 13 mile route, long run easy pace. Would have gone on the longer 15/16 mile loop but short of time as it’s Mother’s Day.

Listened to music today and it took my mind off the pace. Fitbit tells me I did some PR sections though I was running easy. At 9 miles I felt left adductor/hamstring stiffen a bit.

This pattern of weekend back to back gym/run or run/run could be my approach to training for the 55k trail ultra in July. Need to train on tired legs.

Fitbit seems hopeless at measuring heart rate because I have it loose near my wrist bone instead of tighter and higher up my forearm.

Had a muesli bar at home, then 2 gels and 250ml water on the run.

Distance: 13.03 miles

Time: 1:58:06

Avg HR: 172bpm (error!)

Avg pace: 9:03 min/mile

Calories: 1538

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1426

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Friday 9 March, 06:37

1C, cold sunrise. A 6.6 mile run, easy pace. The paths weren’t icy, just every puddle and parts of the lake near the water-ski. Aimed for an easy pace but it crept up as my heel felt better.

Fantastic running with the sunrise.

Distance: 6.58 miles

Time: 56:37

Avg HR: unreliable, said 179bpm but felt like 155.

Avg pace: 8:36 min/mile

Calories: 773

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1425

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Wednesday 7 March, 06:31

3C, cold and breezy. A 6 mile moderate pace run at Rother Valley.

Pleased that the snow and ice had gone. Thought I’d try to run a fairly decent pace, the average ended up around marathon pace (compared to Indy). Only slight heel niggle.

Fitbit GPS didn’t connect straight off. The HR looks high too, poor connection?

Distance: 6.07 miles

Time: 52:38

Avg HR: 174bpm

Avg pace: 8:40 min/mile

Calories: 682

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1423

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Sunday 25 February, 08:08

0C, cold and bright, sun trying to break through. A 13 mile long run around the usual Harthill and Kiveton loop.

Training schedule called for just 8 miles, ahead of longer mileage next week. But with snow and a cold blast due this week I thought I’d go longer. I’m doubtful next weekend’s trail race at Bakewell will be on if we get 4 days of snow in the week.

Had a peanut & coconut bar at home, 2 gels and 150ml water on the run. Kept it easy and felt the usual niggle in heel. Left hip wasn’t right later in the run, and around 9 miles I felt left ITB a bit too.

Enjoyed the bright cold weather, but ran out of energy and enthusiasm in the last couple of miles.

Distance: 13.02 miles

Time: 1:59:32

Avg HR: 146bpm

Avg pace: 9:10 min/mile

Calories: 1310 (Strava said 1730 cal)

Ascent: 729ft

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

Wildlife: 1 mad rabbit/hare on road to Woodall. Stood in middle of road for a bit then dashed in and out of the hedge right to get close to me.