Thursday 22 February, 08:05
2C, cool, sunny. Went for a 7 mile run at RV, and the schedule called for a moderate pace.
Wore new Inov-8 Parkclaw 275 trainers for the first time, breaking them in. They’re designed for a mix of path running and soft trail running. Nothing too muddy just park/trail suited.
Felt right heel /soleus a lot at first, but as it eased off I could turn up the pace and run more freely. That showed in my splits: 9:28; 8:36; 8:08; 7:54; 7:54; 7:39; 8:36. Just pushed a little more then usual rather than trying to blast it around. Enjoyed the sunshine, lovely.
In the last 2 miles I noticed the trainers rubbing my heel bone on right foot. Blistered.
Think this is my second fastest time for this route, a bit surprised as I’d thought the heel had hindered me in the first part, and it certainly didn’t feel fast.
Distance: 7.07 miles
Avg HR: 169bpm
Avg pace: 8:19 min/mile
Trainers: inov-8 Parkclaw 275
Photos from Saturday’s trail race…
Taken on the path below Burbage East
Taken yards from the finish at Longshaw
Sunday 11 February, 07:53
0C, cold, windy, snowing. A 15 mile run at Ladybower, this time clockwise starting at Fairholmes. Round Derwent and Howden Reservoirs.
Pic: driving in I could see it was set to snow some more
There was a layer of snow (some places slush) on the road/path, and heavy snow showers. Seemed to be blinded by the snow in the headwind whatever direction I ran in. Right heel niggled throughout, and later on left adductor and hip weren’t quite right.
Kept a slow, steady pace. Had a banana, coconut & date bar and a gel, and 400ml water. Enjoyed battling through the conditions. Wore my old Cascadia shoes rather than breaking in a new pair in the slush.
Distance: 15.1 miles
Avg pace: 9:43 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Cascadia
Wildlife: 10 sheep
Sunday 14 January, 08:08
1C, cold and grey. A 12 mile run down along Froggatt and Curbar edges, back along A621, Flask Edge, Totley Trig to Fox House.
Curbar Edge pic
Wrapped up and aimed for an easy pace, zone 1&2 heart rate. Right heel niggled on and off. Had 450ml water, a Clif Bar and 1 gel.
In places I could have done with my inov8 trainers as there was a lot of mud and boggy patches. On the return stretch after Clodhall Lane I stuck to the road (A621) up the hill as even in hot weather the cross-field route is a bog. Found a new track that led me over to Flask. Still got damp feet but not as bad as it could have been.
Only 1 week to my next race, Wildest Peaks. And it is 18 weeks to the Windermere Marathon, 25 weeks to Ultimate Trails 55k, and 39 weeks to the Yorkshire Marathon.
Distance: 12.12 miles
Avg HR: 121bpm
Avg pace: 12:31 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Cascadia
Wildlife: 1 squirrel, about 10 sheep on Flask and about 8 highland cows near Clodhall Lane
Sunday 7 January, 08:09
0C, ice and frost, cold northerly wind. A 9 mile run on the first part of the Exterminator route again.
Another great sunrise as I climbed the first hill.
Made it all the way up that hill except for sheet ice on the first part of the climb and 5 seconds to take the photo. Improving.
Totley Trig was bathed in orange sunshine.
Right heel was less of a problem than usual today, less noticeable but there. Had 1 Clif Bar, 1 gel and 300ml water.
While the ground was frozen hard in places, elsewhere I broke through and got wet and muddy feet and ankles. Went slower to dodge my way through or around the worst, and avoid sheet ice in places.
As I returned through Horses Field there were 2 in the field, one of them waiting for something at the lowest part where I have to exit to the road. Friendly, gave its face a stroke.
Distance: 9.08 miles
Avg pace: 13:41 min/mile
Trainers: Brooks Cascadia
Wildlife: sheep and 2 horses
Wednesday 27 December, 08:07
0C, cold, windy, snowing. Went for a 9 mile run on the second part of the Exterminator race route, but cut it short to 5 miles.
It was snowing from the start, but I thought it’d come and go as per the forecast. Running up around Carl Wark I carefully stayed left where it’s usually better underfoot. I cut right when I thought I was past the worst – and ended up sinking thigh deep in mud and water.
So near to the start of this run, I thought this meant a swift return home. I’d not be able to continue with half my body chilled through, dripping in mud. Carried on up and over Higger Tor. Crossed the field towards Stanage Edge and up here it was blizzard conditions. I couldn’t see because of the snow in my eyes, underfoot was very difficult, and I wondered how safe it’d be even higher up on Stanage.
Decided to follow the road to pick up a return path below Burbage Edge. Bizarrely, as I got to the bridge/path a chap with a camera had got out of his car and was taking pics of me running. Wonder if I’ll be featured in an article about stupid runners out in the snow?
Made good progress along (below) Burbage to Fox House and think I made the right decision. No point risking injury or exposure in those conditions. Had to keep pulling up my leggings because of the mud weighing me down.
Distance: 4.9 miles
Avg pace: 11:58 min/mile
Trainers: inov8 x-claw 275
Saturday 16 December, 07:48
0C, cold and icy. A 9.6 mile run on the parts of the Exterminator course I didn’t do last weekend. Started at Fox House and picked up the route beneath Burbage Edge. Then Higger Tor, Stanage Edge, Hathersage, Mitchell Field, Padley Pump Station, across Longshaw and back to the car.
Wrapped up well. Felt right heel throughout but it didn’t slow me. Lots of ice and a few inches of snow.
Thought I’d got the feel of the snow and part-frozen soil but heading up to Carl Wark I was surprised when I stepped 12 inches deep through the snow into thick mud. Scraped right shin extracting myself.
Got a great view of the sunrise climbing up Higger Tor.
Getting up onto Stanage Edge I saw a couple sat on an outcrop watching the sunrise. As I got on top I shouted ‘Morning’ and waved, and they waved back. The woman shouted it was her birthday and did I want a cake? I thought why not, and enjoyed a small cupcake, thanked them. A nice memory.
I had a banana before running, 2 gels and a Clif Bar during the run, with 400ml water.
I nearly slipped over on the descent to Hathersage, lots of water running off the fields across the road had frozen.
Crossing and climbing Mitchell Field light snow started, carried on getting more and more.
As I’d expected, the conditions slowed me a lot, and I was walking a fair bit of the climbs.
Approaching the end, the last gate I had to pass through, I took a more direct approach instead of staying in the compacted footprints gently circling to the gate. I learned why when I sank 6 inches into mud without warning. Very cold and muddy feet for the last quarter mile.
A good workout, enjoyed it.
Distance: 9.65 miles
Avg pace: 14:11 min/mile
Trainers: inov-8 x-claw 275