PeakDistrict

training run #1364

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Sunday 8 October, 07:32

10C, high cloud, cool, breezy. A 15 mile run at Ladybower. The plan called for a 13 mile long run, so mapped out a route around Derwent and Howden Reservoirs, 14 miles. It ended up being 15! Ideal running weather, wore t-shirt and shorts, and carried the usual light pack.

Set out early to get parked near my start point. Right from the beginning the scenery was impressive, could not resist pausing here and there to snap photos.

I found the route to be easy trail with some tarmac on the way out, a bit of stony path at the far end, and lots of tarmac on the return. The last couple of miles I saw a trail path below near the water’s edge but was stuck much higher up on tarmac. It was all runnable, nothing too steep or long. More pauses to eat flapjack, I enjoyed this run immensely. Will be returning for more laps and to try other routes.

Had a protein bar before running, 1 Chia Charge flapjack on the run, and 500ml water.

Distance: 15.1 miles

Time: 2:15:58

Avg pace: 8:45 min/mile

Calories: 1706

Ascent: 1465ft

Trainers: Brooks Cascadia

Wildlife: 3 squirrels, lots of sheep!

Footnote: After the run another runner chatted as I stretched off, mentioned good marathons in Enschede and Rotterdam…

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training run #1356

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Friday 29 September, 07:45

15C, low cloud, rain, mild.  A 6 mile run from Fox House.  Training plan called for a 6 mile moderate effort run, and instead of RV I decided to keep my trail fitness and do it in the Peak District.  From Fox House I ran along Burbage Edge, then along to Higger Tor and Mother Cap, crossing the road and returning along Burbage Brook.

It was raining as I got out of the car. Had a chewy gel and set off.  The route along Burbage Edge was familiar, very boggy underfoot.  Had a few bites of Chia Charge flapjack along the way, lovely.  

View from Burbage Edge looking across at where Higger Tor should be

The rain eased off heading towards Higger Tor, then I seemed to get slightly lost but was heading in the right direction, just not a brilliant path to follow.  

After Mother Cap and for the last mile the rain returned and was heavy, but it didn’t dampen my enjoyment.  Drank 150ml water.  

Stats are irrelevant today, put in effort on the climbs and throughout but paused for photos and for phone maps / GPS.

Distance:  6.07 miles

Time:  1:20:35

Avg pace:  12:42 min/mile

Calories:  703

Ascent:  803ft

Trainers:  Inov8 x-claw 275

training run #1341

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Sunday 10 September 07:26

9C, cold, bit of sunshine fading to overcast, breezy.  A 9 mile run in the Peak District.  The training plan called for 10 miles at long run pace, so thought I’d do a slightly bumpy 9 miles instead.  Actually thought the route was 11 miles checking the record of previous runs but its good to be shorter as this is a recovery week.

Had a protein bar as I got out of the car. Ate half a Chia Charge on 5 miles, anoher bite at 7, and drank 300ml water.  Felt heels almost as soon as I set off and wondered if these trainers have a lower heel drop than my Brooks.  It eased off and didn’t hinder me at all.  

Enjoyed the route, nice climbs with nothing too difficult.  It’s clear autumn is arriving, was surprised at the chill in early September and lots of leaves on the ground.  Good call on wearing these trainers for the mud, after some heavy showers in recent days.

Distance: 8.95 miles

Time:  1:33:27

Avg pace:  10:21 min/mile

Calories:  1034

Ascent:  1,016ft

Trainers:  Inov8 x-claw 275 

The Exterminator race, 3 September 2017

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The final race of the Totley AC series, I had signed up for this optimistically hoping to get reasonable enough off-road to just get round.  After lots of recces I was very confident of the optimum route, but on race morning I was distinctly nervous. This was going to be tough.

13C at the start, getting windy and clouding over.  Had breakfast at home and parked up early.  Put myself about two-thirds back in the starting pen.  Race started at 10:30.

Felt good on the long uphill to checkpoint 1.  As I got to it I noticed my race number was blowing about as one safety pin had been popped off by my backpack.  Wasn’t carrying a spare.

Flew downhill to CP2, slipped on my backside on one steep downhill, no damage.  Then walked the hard uphill through Blacka Moor to the road.  OK crossing Houndkirk Moor, over Burbage Edge and slipped again going down to the stone bridge. By this point I got a feeling the runners around me would be on similar pace as me to the end.  Think I was right, talked to a couple and kept passing and following the same ones.

Good along Stanage Edge following one of those runners, then found the good route down through the fern to the road, great progress.  Some other runners clearly didn’t know their routes, held back a bit.

Towards Hathersage was a tiring downhill, but OK.  Then a climb up through Mitchell Field was tough, walked a fair bit.  Running from there to Padley Gorge I was pushing hard and had a few runners holding on behind me.  Great feeling.  

A long slog across Longshaw and along Moss Road, but I got going and did OK.  Then after CP9 all downhill, just pushed on and loved it.  Didn’t check watch at all throughout the entire race. Ran by feeling, and route knowledge helped a lot to anticipate when to walk, when to push on.

Through the finish shute I stopped my watch and saw the time was 13:34 and assumed I’d done about 3h 34.  Only after a drink and some food did a marshall ask one of the runners I’d been near about their time. I said 3 and a half, they looked puzzled so I checked my watch and saw 3h 2min!?

Official time confirmed it and I was 68th finisher, 13th in age category. Brilliant! Best recce time had been 3h 42min.

Distance:  16.24 miles

Time:  3:02:04 official

Avg pace:  11:10 min/mile

Calories:  1831

Ascent:  3121ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

Dig Deep 12.12 trail race

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20 August 2017, 10:00

14C to 16C (felt hotter), sunny, breezy, ideal for running.

I’d had a breakfast at 6am and a coffee in the registration area.  Lined up in the starting area to listen to the marshall’s instructions.  A big laugh went around when he said everyone but one female  had managed to successfully put their dibber on their wrists; the odd one out had managed to put it on her ankle, probably thinking there would be timing mats.

I tried to place myself behind the clutch of serious runners on the line, maybe 30-40% way back in total.  The route seemed familiar from my recce many weeks earlier.  I ended up keeping pace with most around me.

I felt good on the first long uphill.  Slipped and slid heading down muddy steps into Limb Valley, laughing.  Told another runner in Lady Canning’s Plantation that I thought I’d set off too fast, expected to blow up later.

in Lady Canning’s Plantation

Along Houndkirk Road was the first bit I walked, on one of the uphills.  (Lots of others had been walking well before that point).  There were only two other walking spots for me, the steepest bit of the climb up Higger Tor and part of the climb back over Burbage.  Pleased to just keep going the rest of the route.  

My local knowledge helped me overtake a bunch of slower runners on a downhill (Burbage), darting to the right and throwing myself down a hill while they tip-toed down a rockier track.

Turned right ankle two times, not badly, and scraped my knee slightly climbing down Higger.  Drank 200ml water I carried and two tiny plastic cups at the water points.  Didn’t need any food.

returning along Houndkirk Road

My tired legs seemed to get stength back later on. Mentally I was trying to keep runners behind me and keep pace with the one in front.  Chased down a runner returning through Limb Valley, then passed two more, all in the last half mile.  The climb back to Whirlow Hall Farm I was pushing on and feeling great, then along a field and up the last 200m to the finish. Brilliant, felt so good, and then I saw the time…!

Right achilles was sore afterwards, and can feel some DOMS in my quads today (Mon) writing this. Otherwise, I was good enough to go jogging with Emma Sunday pm.

Distance:  11.97 miles (TT) (official – 12.12)

Time:  1:53:57 (TT) (official – 1:55:18, don’t understand the difference)

Avg pace:  9:28 min / mile

Calories:  1344

Ascent:  1633ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

I’d definitely recommend this race to anyone.  Great organisation, good variety of countryside and great fun.

after the finish, still no idea how well I’d done, but pleased and content

Really pleased to see that I’d come 28th overall out of 136, and I was 5th in my age group.  That’s really encouraging, spurs me on to train well and keep enjoying trail running. 
  

training run #1327

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Sunday 13 August, 07:36

9C, cool, sunny, breezy.  An 8.6 mile run from Fox House.  Training plan called for an 8 mile run, easy pace, so I mapped out a 7.5 mile loop taking in the two parts of the Exterminator I was trying to nail down.  On the plan this looks like weekly mileage is pegged to give me a recovery week, hence just 8 miles for the long run.

The route:  Fox House, up Houndkirk Road then turn left where it reaches the Exterminator route towards Burbage Edge. Over the edge and I found and followed the route down, across the path to the stone bridge via the ferns.  Along the Burbage path to the road, then on to The Surprise.  Over the wall and follow the route to CP8 Padley Gorge.  Tricky route to find the right crossing, over Burbage Brook and up the other side.  

There’s a right turn just there, down to the bridge…

Onto the Longshaw Estate and I used photos to find my way across – eventually!! Wandered through a wood in error and backtracked to make sure I found the best route. 

THAT’S the route up into Longshaw…head for the middle tree
Then I went along Stony Ridge Road, top side of Blacka Moor to Piper’s Gate, and up over Houndkirk Moor to the road, returning to Fox House.  Saw a young deer, solo, in the next field.

A young deer

Kept the pace easy, walked a lot, stopped and took lots of photos. I wasn’t clock watching or chasing a time.

Had 500ml water and 1 powerball. Slight heel niggle towards the end, and could feel slight soreness in right foot too.  Think I now have the whole Exterminator route logged in my mind (and some photos). Objective accomplished.

A large fungi, my foot in pic for scale

Distance:  8.55 miles

Time:  2:18:06

Avg pace:  13:36 min/mile

Calories:  982

Elevation gain:  1186ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

Wildlife:  1 deer, and sheep/cows obviously

training run #1322

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Sunday 6 August, 06:54

11-16C, sunny and breezy.  I had another go at the Exterminator Race route, armed with a better route from CP8 to CP9.  Didn’t feel that strong or well prepared so took it steady.  It turned out to be eventful.

Had a power ball on the run down to CP2.  Nice.  It seemed a long climb to Piper’s Gate, but made it fine over Houndkirk and Burbage Edge.  Rather than head through the ferns to the stone bridge I ran the short distance along the Burbage path and down the rough path.  Found a better way up onto Higger Tor, turning right earlier than I’ve done before.

On Stanage Edge saw a couple of paragliders enjoying the thermals, and a few climbers getting their ropes and gear sorted.  Heading over the edge, I went slightly left, then made 10-12 steps right and landed on a good, mostly cleared route down to the road through the ferns.  Best effort yet.

The downhill run to Hathersage was surprisingly tiring for my legs.  Lots of walking up through Mitchell Field.  Went over on my ankle between CP6 and CP7, and had another power ball. 

After Padley Gorge pump house I started the alternative (better) route.  I was stunned to be approached by a Jap tourist, asking me if this was the right way to Padley Chapel, or something.  Then just missed my turn to the bridge, went back 15 yards.  From there it was straightforward up to the road and white gate.  To cross Longshaw I’d drawn a straight line on my route planner and put it in my TomTom watch.  This took me across marshy ground, heavy going and slow.  I could see the stone steps in the distance, and headed for them.  There was a better grass path to my right, I realised as I got to the steps.  I need to figure out the proper route from white gate to stone steps, should not be hard.

Had another power ball on Moss Road and my legs felt OK running to CP9 and down the hill to the finish.  Knocked 13 minutes off my second trial run, this was a better route but I still walked lots.  In a race I would push myself more and take a few risks, so hope to run even faster.

I had Fitbit on left wrist but also wore TomTom on right wrist because I had the route plotted CP7 to CP8. So, plenty of stats, interesting to see the differences:

Distance:  FB 16.71 miles; TT 16.62 miles

Time:  FB & TT:  3:42:55

Avg HR:  FB 130bpm

Avg pace:  FB 13:20 min/mile; TT 12:53 min/mile – TT adjusts taking static time off

Calories:  FB 2243; TT 1951

Elevation gain:  TT 3125ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia