Grindleford Gallop

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Saturday 9 March, 10:03

Wanted to treat this race as a long slow training run for Paris.

The weather was mixed – between rain, hail and gale force wind! Tiny bit of sun peeped through towards the end.

I remembered sections of the route as they came up, from last year. Was following everyone else not map reading.

Ground was muddy, boggy in parts. I tired about 14 miles then got going again. Tripped on Froggatt Edge while gazing at a spectacular rainbow above Grindleford. Caught my fall, didn’t go splat.

Felt good at the finish, much better than last year. And faster too.

Distance: 21.2 miles

Time: Suunto 3:50:34 awaiting official time

Avg pace: 10:51 min/mile

Calories: 2306

Ascent: 2948ft

Trainers: inov8 x-claw 275

Castle parkrun with Sheffield VRs

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Saturday 8 December, 09:00

The morning after the VR Christmas meal, with strong wind and heavy showers. Just did a plodding round pace, saving my legs for tomorrow. Chatting and trying to not slip into racing mode, loved it.

Distance: 5km

Time: 29:39

training run #1465

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Sunday 29 July, 08:12

13C, windy and rain, heavy at times. Ran from Longshaw along Froggatt, Curbar and White Edges.

Tripped and grazed my right knee above Froggatt. Bloody but not damaged anything. It stung later.

Due to the weather I turned for home a mile early, not taking it all the way to Wellington Monument. Good that I know the alternative options around here.

Pleased with my run along White Edge in particular. It’s not challenging but I managed to keep a good steady pace at what might be Zone 2 heart rate.

Distance: 9 miles

Time: 1:49:53

Avg pace: 11:58 min/mile

Calories: 1030

Ascent: 996ft

Trainers: Brooks Cascadia (may finally retire this old pair now I have a new pair)

Grindleford Gallop trail race

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Saturday 17 March, 10:05

-3C, blowing a gale adding -10 windchill and very heavy snow showers. A 21.2 mile race around the Peak District.

Shivering in the car I wasn’t looking forward to this. I’d put a fleece top in the car for afterwards, but put it on to make sure I ran hot rather than froze on the crags. Good call. I had 2 shirts, a long sleeve top from Decathlon and the New Balance fleece, with my Salomon waterproof jacket on top!

It was a mass start of a few hundred runners with a very narrow step-over bridge 400 yards away. Lots of stiles after made it stop / start for the first few miles, and stiles and gates were dotted throughout the course.

I started fairly easy and just planned to get round without sprawling in either mud or a puddle. Succeeded.

About 5 miles in I noticed we were running the route of a Calver race I did last year but in reverse. The part where I was followed by sheep there were no sheep this time, just a blizzard and my left ear feeling like it was being frozen off!

It’s been a relatively wet winter and this showed with plenty of mud. Even crossing Chatsworth estate the ‘grass’ was sodden muddy ground.

At the third drink station in Baslow I asked for a black coffee. Or tried – my face was frozen. But she understood. Had 2 gels, 500ml water, 1.5 flapjacks and half that coffee during the race.

Climbing from Baslow to Curbar Edge was a lot of straight uphill walking. Then on top it was an apocalyptic scene. Dark sky, snow was horizontal, the wind was blowing hard and towards the edge of the crag. Awful and I remember thinking conditions like this could get the organisers in trouble with plenty of runners struggling.

I knew the Curbar stretch well in reverse, have run it plenty of times. I was run / walking due to fatigue. Right heel niggle as usual.

Overall, pleased to beat the conditions and very happy with my watch time. Official results not out at time of writing but I’ll update this post. Brilliant stewards and helpers throughout. Would be nice to run this in normal and dry spring weather.

Distance: 21.2 miles

Time: 4:12:39

Avg pace: 11:55 min/mile

Calories: 2369

Ascent: 2697ft

Trainers: Inov-8 x-claw 275

training run #1410

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Wednesday 24 January, 06:42

12C, strong winds, light rain. A 6 mile run at RV. Wanted to get a run in because work travel Tuesday and tomorrow prevent me run-commuting this week.

Very windy but missed the heavy rain that came through half an hour afterwards. Heel niggle for the first mile. Stats irrelevant as I was running on the spot in places, pushing into the gusts.

Distance: 6.08 miles

Time: 53:03

Avg HR: 157bpm

Avg pace: 8:43 min/mile

Calories: 630

Trainers: Brooks Ghost 10

training run #1396

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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.

Mud right up to my unmentionables.

Distance: 4.9 miles

Time: 1:01:32

Avg pace: 11:58 min/mile

Calories: 555

Ascent: 584ft

Trainers: inov8 x-claw 275

training run #1395

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Sunday 24 December, 07:49. Christmas Eve.

9C, windy, overcast and cool. A 9 mile run on half the Exterminator race route. I followed the same route as 2 weeks ago, run #1387.

Climbing up the first hill, I only walked up the last bit of tarmac and the beginning of the rough track. Seemed better than last time.

Light drizzle began was leaving Blackamoor and by the time I’d crossed Houndkirk and descended Burbage Edge it was heavier. But the wind was the main thing.

It was soggy underfoot but no ice like last time. Had a Clif Bar, 1 gel and 500ml water. A good workout. Right heel niggled throughout but I’ve started a regime of calf-rollering and heel lifts to get it sorted once and for all.

Distance: 8.76 miles

Time: 1:49:55

Avg pace: 12:18 min/mile

Calories: 1005

Ascent: 1537ft

Trainers: Brooks Cascadia

Wildlife: 1 flock of sheep