Sunday, 10 June 2012

Home from Home

Quite literally, I ran home from home today. From my home in Glossop to my home in Hope. OK, so Hope isn't my home anymore, but it's where I used to live, and where my mum still does. So yes, home from home in 3hrs 45mins and a few seconds, covering 25km over Kinder, Brown Knoll, Rushup Edge, Mam Tor, across the ridge to Lose Hill and down the grassy fields into Hope.

RockTape applied to help prevent fatigue on knee/ITB
Andrea and I left at 8am. It was overcast and the forecast was for it to be dry, certainly til 12pm. Judging distance and our previous runs I thought we'd be in Hope by 12pm, maybe 12.30pm. If clag came down certainly a later time would be more realistic as the Brown Knoll to Rushup section was new to both of us. No problem though, perfect visibility for the whole run.

There were a surprising number of folk out early, and a good few runners. By Edale Rocks we were thinking we may have missed some local event, but I think people were just out enjoying the dry weather after a few days of heavy rain.

I'd had our route in mind for the past 6 months. One of my 2012 Aspirations was to do a run covering 25km. We felt heavy legged, not quite fully awake and needed to settle into the run. The first 5km or so gain height constantly so it was hard to strike an early rhythm. I used the time to work on form, focusing on picking up my feet, not about the foot strike part of my gait. I knew later in the run my concentration would be on the end goal, not form.

Kinder Downfall came at about the one third distance point. I was enjoying the running now, the route is familiar and we could just get on with running, settled breathing and enjoying the fine views. The reservoir below us was as still as I've ever seen it. No photos - weight saving meant no camera today.  Soon enough we're at Kinderlow trig, quick glance at the map to ensure we drop off at the right point and across the Pennine Way just east of Edale Cross.

We'd been warned about the next section - bog monsters galore apparently - they must have been napping as none reached out and grabbed us! After a few more map checks, and our sense of knowing the area though not the exact path, we're heading south towards Chapel Gate and Rushup Edge. As expected, we ended up spending lots of time hopping across bogs and making careful foot placements where it was just too wide to jump. The varying degrees of bog softness start to form the majority of our conversation. This section takes a lot less time than we thought, the bogs too didn't seem as treacherous as expected. Suddenly we're at Chapel Gate and turning east and upwards to Lords Seat. though I am tiring I feel like we're going to make it to Hope almost too easily. Gosh, must be stronger, fitter etc than I allow myself to think.

Over a few stiles, down a bit and we're at Mam be greeted by our friends, Tim, Matt, Caroline, Louise and Zoe walking up from the parked car down on the road.  We keep moving; I know if I had stopped to wait and chat getting going at our own pace again would have been hard. Up the flagged steps to the summit of Mam Tor we go. Running reduced to walking on the uphill sections and knees starting to complain as we descend off the top.

Ascending the steps up to Mam Tor

Looking back as we ascend to the summit of Mam Tor - Rushup Edge in the background

Leaving Mam Tor Summit - Lose Hill in the background
I can sense Hope is within reach. There's no real place to bail from here onwards so we are going to do it. I've not contemplated exactly how long we might take, but now looking at the watch I think under 4hrs should do us nicely. Opting to do the ridge entirely we soon find ourselves walking up the rocky, unevenly spaced cobbles and stone steps up Back Tor. There's just a small amount of ascent after this then it's down down down to Hope. I circle the trig at Lose Hill (a funny ritual I've always done there!) and we pause briefly to admire the view. How lucky we are to be living here, and to get out and enjoy the splendid scenery in our back garden.

Dropping down off Lose Hill
We drop off Lose Hill and meet up with Tim, Louise and Caroline who've taken the lower level path. Matt and Zoe had passed us back at Hollins Cross and dropped into Edale - aiming to go round the edge of Kinder, Win Hill and into Hope. We run as a group for a few moments before we leave them to finish our run down the grassy fields, past Losehill Farm, across the bouncy bridge over the cement works railway line and just a few more fields to the back of the Woodbine Cafe.  We've done it. I'd pushed a little on the lower fields as my watch was creeping towards 3hrs I kept the pace up where I really wanted to slow, just to get a nice round number. (I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that!).

Still going, enjoying a flat bit before the final descent - and associated knee twinges!

Me, Andrea, Caroline and Louise dropping off Lose Hill

Borrowing the Woodbine hosepipe we wash off our muddy legs and shoes....

Cool water to wash off the mud and start the recovery process
Cheesy grins from the pint of tea drinkers in the Woodbine Cafe
A few minutes after we arrive Tim (with camera), Caroline and Lou are join us. Tim now turns round and runs back up Lose Hill and along to Mam Tor to collect our car while we sip pints of tea, change into dry clothes and tuck into a delicious toasted panini.  A short while later Matt and Zoe arrive, and we retired to the tea garden to enjoy the sunshine which has broken through.
Woodbine tea garden with (clockwise) Andrea, Tim, Zoe, Matt, Louise and Caroline...and my second pint of tea
Wow, I've just run 25km. I do feel really proud of myself and Andrea. And I do feel quite strong. Yes I'm tired, but had I needed to do a bit more I'm sure I could have. My left knee/ITB is a bit twingy, but then I knew it was going to be - hence the RockTape (which did help a lot by staving off the tiredness and pain too early).

Garmin track for those interested is here.
Thanks to Tim for the photos, sorry there aren't more but as I said, no camera today.

NB RockTape was applied by Tim Budd - he's a Certified RockDoc so if you want to know more about it drop him a line at Global Therapies.

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