trail

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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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 #1308

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Sunday 16 July, 07:15

14C, overcast and drizzly.  A 7 mile run on the checkpoint 7 to checkpoint 9 loop I’ve done before.  It was 18C at home and forecast sunny and getting wamer, but arriving at Fox House there was low cloud, drizzle and a forecast for more of the same.  Probably overdressed changing to a long sleeved top.

Thought I’d follow one of the recce loops again and still got lost at one point where high ferns and heather moorland obscured any obvious trail path.  In spite of this, I was 25 minutes quicker than last time I did this route (run #1302) and ran 0.75 miles less.

Felt strong, ran more of the uphills and enjoyed it.  Drank 500ml water and had a gel at home, another at 3 miles.

Wore my new inov-8 x-claw 275 trainers today.  Thought I’d better break them in and expected that a few rainy days may have left softer ground.  The trainers were great, nice and lightweight, lovely feeling running on grass and soil, no problem on some of the rocky paths.  Today the ground wasn’t as soft / muddy as I’d expected.  Feet still got wet though due to wet grass and foliage.

It is 16 weeks to the Indianapolis Marathon, so I’ll start following a training schedule.  Have downloaded one from the marathon website and it seems OK, but I’ll not be sticking religiously to any plan, I need to build good fitness and mileage and accommodate a few races as well.  Would be nice to get under 4 hours – apparently it’s a fairly flat course – but my main concern is managing niggles and getting to the start line able to finish the course.

Distance:  6.98 miles

Time:  1:21:33

Avg pace:  11:24 min/mile

Calories:  835

Elevation gain:  1003ft

Trainers:  Inov-8 x-claw 275

Wildlife:  1 squirrel

training run #1304

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Sunday 9 July, 07:06

15C, bright, sunny.  A 5 mile run from Fox House past Higger Tor and back along Burbage Edge.  I was checking out a possible route skirting around Higger Tor, instead of going right over it for a future race.  The trail I followed petered out in the heather and foliage, so it may be just as quick going over as trying to follow a much flatter but wider route around.

Drank 500ml water.  Turning back at Ringinglow Road the return was easy and mostly downhill along a good path, so a much a faster pace than I’ve been doing of late.

I’ve enjoyed this past two weeks on leave, having the time to do lots of trail and hill running in the Peak District.  Back to work tomorrow, so I will be using Rother Valley and run-commuting again as the marathon training schedule gets near.

Distance:  4.87 miles

Time:  52:42

Avg pace:  10:38 min/mile

Calories:  587

Elevation gain:  549ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1303

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Friday 7 July, 07:00

16C – 20C, fairly warm and some sunshine.  A 17.4 mile run along the route of the Exterminator race, to check the route I’ve plotted and see how it feels.  

today’s route

Managed to navigate almost all of it without reference to phone or watch, it seemed familiar from the recce runs I’ve done this week.  About 10.5 miles in a triple whammy; phone died as I tried to check a turning; turned left ankle but no damage; full sunshine started and it got very hot.  Took a wrong turn between CP8 and CP9, wasted a few hundred yards/ 5 minutes wandering. 

Drank 1 litre of water and 2 gels.  Could have done with more water, will consider using a bladder for these longer summer runs instead of just relying on the Salomon collapsible bottles.  

Right heel hurt a bit in the second half.  Had a niggle in right knee, most notable when climbing after CP8 Grindleford.  Both feet hurt a bit.  Lower left back niggled a bit due to the descents I think.  Might be easier to say what wasn’t aching or hurting!  

Tired a lot, but got a surprising boost of energy when I realised I could finish in under 4 hours and decided to push on.  In race conditions, with adrenaline and more urgency to push on I can knock time off.  Overall, this felt like I’d run a marathon, it was that tough with the climbing and heat.

Need to check if there’s a better route just before CP3, going round Higger Tor instead of climbing over it.  Did find a (new to me) steep ‘short-cut’ between CP1 and CP2 🙂

Distance:  17.38 miles

Time:  3:57:50

Avg pace:  13:12 min/mile

Calories:  2038

Elevation gain:  3454ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia

training run #1302

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Wednesday 5 July, 07:03.

13C, mild, overcast.  An 8 mile run, checking out the latter part of the Exterminator race route from CP7 to CP9.

Ran from Fox House to CP7, then an easy run downhill to CP8 at Grindleford.  From there it’s a steep climb up a wooded hillside.  Near the top, where the stream wanders right I went round and round checking the best way onto the moor.  Found it, then got lost striding across the heather and foliage and wondering where the path went.  Should have veered left towards a house/farm, but will know that for next time.  

view from White Edge, showing the bit of moor where I lost the path

The run over Flask was straightforward, done it before on my 12 mile runs.  Easily found CP9 (Totley Trig) and checked out the best approach.  Then headed off on a familiar route to my car at Fox House.  Had 2 gels and 500ml water.  Overall, not a testing run, though I’ve done three runs in three days and all with some climbing.  Think I just about know the route to take for the race in September, next step is to run it all – maybe at the weekend.
Distance:  7.74 miles

Time:  1:46:56 (LOTS of wandering around slowly and figuring where to go)

Avg pace:  12:25 min/mile

Calories:  926

Elevation gain:  1031ft

Trainers:  Brooks Cascadia