Blacka Moor fell race 20 June 2017

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16C, mild and breezy, a bit misty on the tops.  The race began at 19:30.  I placed myself about 60% of the way back in the start chute.  

Blacka Moor sign (took this pic on recce run, not today!)

I’d done a recce run on 11 June.  It was really useful to know what was coming up, where the steepest parts are, the roughest terrain and steepest downhills.  Used that knowledge well and I remember on a steep uphill I was striding up equally as fast as two guys in front of me shuffling uphill at a jog.  Seemed to stay in roughly the same group, similar pace.  

Tired on the biggest, longest downhill, but still passed a couple.  Overall I felt I’d made good progress fitness-wise, having only started running off-road on 19 April.  Previously I’d have never managed to keep going on the uphills.
The posted race results showed 56:11 for 112th place. I was 15th in my age category and there was a total of 173 runners overall. Chuffed with that.  When I did the recce of the route my time was 1:09:34!! It shows I pushed hard today.

I’m getting hooked on trail and fell racing…..not to the detriment of doing road races/marathons though.

Distance:  5.91 miles

Time:  56:11 official, 56:10 TomTom

Avg pace:  9:28 min/mile

Calories:  690

Elevation gain:  1209ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

Training run #1293

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Sunday 18 June, 07:23

17C to 20C, sunny, clear blue skies.  A 6 mile run along the crags.  Decided to keep the mileage low and moderate climbing to leave something in my legs for Tuesday’s race.  Ran from Fox House along Burbage Edge > Higger Tor > Mother Cap > Padley Gorge > Fox House.  It was hot even at 7am.  Had a gel at 4 miles and drank 500ml water.  Walked more bits than I’d expected, and paused to take photos.  Not serious about speed in the heat and thinking ahead to the race.  

The main thing I recall is stubbing my toes and tripping up 6 or 7 times, really odd for a short distance though there were lots of technical trail bits.  Almost went sprawling 2-3 times.  Noticed both heels niggling on and off.

Running along this stretch today I thought to myself ‘it doesn’t get any better than this’

Distance:  5.77 miles

Time:  1:12:15

Avg pace:  12:14 min/mile

Calories:  711

Elevation gain:  781ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1288

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Sunday 11 June, 07:02

13C, bright and breezy weather. A 6 mile run on the course of the Blackamoor fell race coming up soon. A bit of a recce, this time navigating it the right way round. Had a gel before starting. I’m getting to know sections now and walked the steepest uphill bits. Soggy underfoot after heavy rain the last few days.  Drank 300 ml water.  Wasn’t shattered at the end so will probably go a bit quicker in the race, competing with those around me.  Nice testing course though.

Looking back towards Totley and Sheffield

Elevation graph from Strava – it felt every bit as steep as this chart looks!

Distance:  5.86 miles

Time:  1:09:34

Avg pace:  11:36 min/mile

Calories:  693

Elevation gain:  1228ft (Tom Tom)

Trainers:  Brooks Glycerin

training run #1284

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Sunday 4 June, 07:11

9C rising to about 14C, bright and breezy.  A 12 mile run.  It started cold and warmed up in the sun in the few sheltered parts.  Followed the same route as last weekend and used TomTom watch as guide. Remembered the route ok but it was good to see how the trail function worked, a simple line and pointer on the watch.

Lovely weather for running the trails

Had a protein bar as I started (hungry), with 2 gels and 500ml water on the run.  Felt heel niggle on and off.  Managed to keep going up most of the hills, pleased with that. Knocked 10 minutes off last weekend’s time through not pausing to navigate and pressing on a bit more.

Distance:  12.23 miles

Time:  2:07:17

Avg pace:  10:16 min/mile

Calories:  1472

Elevation gain:  1182ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1280

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Bank Holiday Monday 29 May, 07:05

12C, cool, misty and drizzly.  A 6 mile run, aiming to learn about the Blacka Moor route ahead of the race on 20/6.  Started on Penny Lane and headed along the route, uphill of course.  Found the second hill a bit steep, and got my turning wrong.  Ended up going anti-clockwise around the loop rather than clockwise.  At least I’ve seen the route now though.  This meant I did the long and very steep downhill as a strong walk uphill, and given the damp weather I probably avoided breaking my neck doing it this way round. 

On Totley Moor I could see a turn on my map/phone but it took me a few mins to find it in the low cloud. Yikes, lost on the moors!

It’s easy to lose your bearings with no landmarks!

Enjoyed the run and even in the misty murk parts of it were familiar from the Totley Moor race.  Will have a go sometime running it clockwise, so I’m ready for the race.  A couple of good hill workouts in this run.

Distance:  6.14 miles

Time:  1:16:25

Avg HR:  132bpm

Avg pace:  12:26 min/mile

Calories:  813

Elevation gain:  1260ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1279

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Saturday 27 May, 06:59

13C to 16C, warm, light breeze and some sun.  A 12 mile run from Fox House.  I used the same outbound route as recent weekends, along Froggatt and Curbar Edge, but changed the return by running across Big Moor, Flask Edge and Totley Moor.  

I’d taken a few rest days following the races on Sunday and Tuesday.  Good call, legs felt ok for this run. Planned to take it very easy, and with a new route I had no time expectations.  I walked bits here and there, drank 500ml water, had a gel at the start and two more at 5 and 8 miles.  Felt quite hot at times, but really enjoyed the scenery.  On top of Flask Edge and Totley Moor it is spectacular.  Right heel niggled me throughout, which is a surprise as I’d not had any trouble since the races.

sheep at Totley Moor

The return route was easier than I’d expected, not much steep climbing.  There were a couple of wet and boggy sections but overall a gentle route.  Managed to get stretches done, and drive halfway home before the first spots of the forecast rain arrived.

Distance:  12.34 miles

Time:  2:17:08

Avg HR:  142bpm

Avg pace:  11:06 min/mile

Calories:  1567

Elevation gain:  1200ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

White Peak trail run – 21 May 2017

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Ran the White Peak trail run with my brother Jeff.  His first ever trail run, and only my second after doing the Tigers Todger fell face recently.  Arrived early at Ashbourne to get on street free car parking and have a look around.  Registered and picked up my dibber, everyone was really friendly.

Our start time was 09:30, so we took our time getting ready.  It was bright and sunny, around 10-12C, and expected to get warmer so slapped some sun cream on the old solar panel.  Mandatory kit was just a windproof jacket, and the usual phone/drink/food.  Setting off we were planning to do an easy pace.  But I tended to push on a bit, especially on the gentle inclines to move past a few other runners.  I was getting competitive again!

smiled for the photographer

I was enjoying the up- and down-hills and pushing on a bit, Jeff being less used to running on uneven terrain was a bit more cautious, understandably.  We walked up the really steep hill, zig-zagging up the hillside, incredible.  Then after the feed point there were long stretches of fairly flat and straight Tissington Trail. Jeff excelled here, getting into a rhythm and I hung on as my legs were getting fatigued.  The mix of flat trail and hills/descents meant Jeff and I complemented each other, it was really good.

Approaching the finish we entered the tunnel for a second time and it was surreal, after a few hours in the sunshine my eyes just did not adjust and it was eerie.  A runner was a few yards behind us, and we both picked up the pace.  By the last 50 yards of the tunnel I was sprinting flat out and before the finish line Jeff sprinted ahead of me.  We both got the exact same finish time, finishing joint 75th out of 172 runners.  Really pleased with that and got a silver certificate for the time.  A great introduction to trail running and can’t wait to do more.

Right heel was a bit sore afterwards, I stretched and foam rollered my calves and that has helped.  Foot soreness wasn’t an issue in the race, just slightly tender later and I’ll look after it with ice and rolling a golf ball.

Stats were messed up by the Fitbit GPS not starting straight away and then the tunnel. But here they are:

Distance:  16 miles (official); Fitbit 15.8 miles

Time:  2:37:54 (official); Fitbit 2:38:01

Avg HR:  148bpm

Avg pace:  10:00 min/mile

Calories:  1925

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia