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training run #1296

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Tuesday 27 June, 07:41

11C, cool, drizzly, overcast.  A 7 mile run to recce the second part of the Dig Deep 12.12 race route.  Wore Salomon jacket but the drizzle never turned into proper rain.  Got lost/stuck at one point, trying to find the right way down from Carl Wark.  Realised looking back from across the valley the race organisers would not expect runners to risk life and limb using the route I took, would use a path just before the outcrop.  My notes on this part of the route:

– Houndskirk Road is wide but very stony, first mile mostly uphill, not steep

– next half mile of Houndskirk is flattish, then right turn through a gate, across the moor towards Burbage Edge.

– a bit of gentle technical uphill, rocky, before a longer downhill, stony at first then grass

– turn right and follow a good flat path for 1.2 miles to Ringinglow Road, mostly a gentle climb until the very end

– not sure if the race will take us on the road (where I’ve run before, just 50 yards connecting trail paths) or across two streams – did the streams today and the rocks were fine today as not wet.  Dangerous if wet.

– initially uphill and technical over a craggy outcrop, then quarter of a mile flat easy section towards Higger Tor. (Pic)

View with Higger Tor to the right, Carl Wark in the centre distance

– tricky going down the other side of Higger Tor

– don’t need to go onto Carl Wark (like I did) because there isn’t a safe exit on the other side! I wasted lots of time today at Carl Wark.  Turn left on the approach, just before it (I’ll try this next time).

– cross the valley, turn left and in a short distance on your right see the path you came down that will take you back up and over Burbage Edge, then back along Houndkirk Road.

Overall, this seemed like to have some runnable sections, along Houndkirk Road and along the Burbage Edge path, and up to Higger Tor.  There’s also a few sections over Burbage Edge and getting up/down from Higger Tor that’ll slow me down. Most of the climbing is gradual rather than impossibly steep.  Next step is to run the whole route in one go.

Today’s route, the second part of Dig Deep 12.12 race route

Distance:  7.36 miles

Time:  1:30:21 (including all the wandering around Carl Wark)

Avg pace:  11:42 min/mile

Calories:  910

Elevation gain:  910 ft (TomTom) 1178 ft (ViewRanger app)

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1295

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Monday 26 June, 07:40

12C, warm, sunny.  A 7 mile run, doing a recce of the first part of the Dig Deep 12.12 race route.  Felt OK but planned to take it steady and figure out where the route went.  Felt heel niggle afterwards, more than during the run.  Drank 500ml water and had 1 gel.  

Lovely view from Houndskirk Road, just before heading into the plantation

My notes of the course:

– still uphill section out from the farm, rough track

– levels out and goes around a playing field, then down towards a road

– grass on near side of road, grit path on other side, couple of hundred yards

– turn left over a stile, alongside a field of crops, gets denser and denser underfoot until walking

– seemed to be 3-4 stiles around here, runners will get bunched up, time for a breather

– down some very steep dirt steps, then turn right along forest trail; undulating, not very difficult

– out from the forest track, along a field to a stile

– short stretch of road uphill, onto Houndskirk Road. Just before the top turn into the plantation (second left)

– a short distance in turn right and follow flat and straight rough forest track, then left, gradual uphill climbing, bear right, keep going up, then another stile, left turn out of the plantation onto a dirt track.

– a downhill section, some rocks and rubble, brings you to Houndskirk Road again.

– I turned left to return along parts of the route back to the farm.  The race route turns right – will try that part next time.  Return was mostly downhill apart from a short steep climb up to the farm at the very end.

Today’s route, the first part of the Dig Deep 12.12 race route

My overall impression is the route is runnable but there are a couple of steeper uphill bits and half a dozen stiles to get over. Mix of surfaces but mostly forest trail, not muddy today.  Some parts had roots and a few rocks, but not particularly technical.

Distance:  6.87 miles

Time:  1:13:42

Avg pace:  10:21 min/mile

Calories:  806

Elevation gain: 1000ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

Wildlife:  1 herd of cows on the return

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