Thursday, 30 May 2013

Dove Stone Diamond 10k

The Dove Stone Diamond is marketed by Kiwi Classic Events as "a scenic and undulating 10K multi terrain route with approx 500ft of climbing" and it didn't disappoint. I did a recce the route about a month ago after learning that I prefer to know what's coming up in a race. I'd got the route in my head. I know the scenery is lovely. Even the rain didn't spoil that. It did however mean that the parch dry mud patches I had previously experienced were now 6 inch deep shoe sucking mud puddles. Shoe choice was a dilemma for some. I opted for my kanadias knowing I'd enjoy the additional comfort once on the road and trail around the reservoir.

So I was expecting a big turn out, mud, rain, wind, a tough first climb, relative enjoyment on the way through the forest and across to the tarmac, then sticking it out on the flat section hoping to pick up some speed. There was some jostling as we set off - the path gradually narrows and with a field of 200? or so there inevitably was going to be some elbow jabbing and shin kicking. Nothing unfriendly I should add, all within the spirit of a race.

The first climb came, I settled into a pace I could sustain and didn't seem to be holding too many people up. I was overtaken by a few, and on the rocky section even overtook a few myself. A bit of leapfrogging took place too, and a lot of huffing and puffing. My exerted breathing was in perfect time with another runner for a few minutes, small things you notice and smile at in a race! At the sharp left turn I felt pleased with my pace and started to attempt to recover my breathing as the climb levelled and undulated through the forest.

But, it wasn't to be. Instead I got stitch. Not horrendously bad to cause me to stop running entirely, but enough to slow me to a demoralising walking pace several times. I then discovered I'd pressed start then stop on my watch so had no idea how far or long I'd been going. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger. I quickly restarted the watch and handily came upon a 2km sign. At least I knew how much distance to add, but my target was hopefully going to be a sub-1 hour and I had to guess how long I'd been going. I reckoned 12 minutes.

Across the path the runners snaked out, I was passed by Nev, John (well done on dancing round in road shoes) and Neil along here. Each offering words of encouragement. Thanks guys. If only you'd had a magic wand to remove the pain in my chest/lungs - I couldn't work out exactly where the pain was coming from but something inside hurt.

I walked the climb up from the river to the road, marshals offering further words of encouragement - thanks for standing in the rain for us. Trying to calculate time/distance etc I opened up my stride as much as possible on the downhill, hugging the small grass verge rather than running on the gravel and tarmac. Words were exchanged with another runner about the difference in weather from last year - apparently it was sunny. We leapfrogged a bit, but she won out in the end. I just couldn't pick up speed even on the flat around the reservoir. There was also a punishing headwind as we ran towards the far end of the reservoir - cruelty for my lungs.

Turning at the far end I'm hopeful of coming in under an hour. The pain is bearable and I continue to ignore it. Only dropping down the steep grassy dam wall did I begin to feel OK. Typical. Just 1km left and I finally feel like I've warmed up my lungs and got myself going. I push on, tentative and careful steps over the slippy wooden bridges and the cattle grid. Into the darkness of the last gluppy muddy section. Not a care in the world I splash through the ankle deep mud. The drier section to the right was equally as dangerous with tree roots sticking out and now barely visible in the fading light.

The clock came into view, weirdly positioned about 50m from the actual finish line - I read it as 59:?? and with the massive cheers of the waiting Glossopdale gang I pushed to the finish funnel. I'm pretty sure I got a sub-1 hour finish. My fellow runners tell me the clock was actually 58:?? as I passed it. Official results are yet to be issued but my position was 156th.

Glossopdale Harriers bagged three prizes - congratulations to Caity for first lady in a most impressive sub45mins (to be confirmed - is it a course record?), Nev for first V65 and Vaughan in first V60. Well done to Becky for running her first trail race - brilliant running, and Rachel for the fastest sprint finish of everyone. Good running by all of us on an excellent course. Next time I hope there's no stitch to contend with.

There may be some photos to follow....and I'll update with official results once they're published.

PS> official results are time is 00:58:56.220 Lynne Taylor F35 Glossopdale Harriers

Monday, 27 May 2013


Beautiful weather for fell running.  Today's route from home took us up the start of Doctors Gate then sharp left up to the top of James Thorn, to the pond and onto the top of Shelf Benches. The sunshine was accompanied by a stiff breeze on top that kept us moving.
Lou, Brae and Andrea heading up the path to James Thorn, Glossop in the right/background

My shadow...looking back down Doctors Gate, towards Mossy Lea

Lou summits James Thorn

Andrea using Brae as a wind break on the summit of James Thorn

Brae having a dip in the pond under James Thorn

Lou, Andrea and Brae heading off James Thorn towards Shelf Benches

Brae with Dog Rock in the background

Andrea and Lou enjoying easy running along the top of Shelf Benches

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Winter Preparation

Winter never seems far away when you live in the UK, and with fresh snow falling in the Lakes District today my recent purchase of a pair of INOV8 Oroc 340's doesn't feel that much like forward planning.  Here's a few photos of them fresh out of the box:

Initial thoughts - similar to the mudclaw feel but not to be warn on laminate flooring...studs would be lethal!

Studs just visible and the delightful design on the inside of the shoe
Close up of the contour way to carry maps in fell races?

Forefoot studs x 6

Heel studs x3

Here's hoping these little beauties keep me upright this coming winter.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday LSD

A lovely Sunday morning run took me up Doctors Gate, across the top of Crooked Clough to the trig point at Higher Shelf Stones and back via James Thorn and Shelf Benches; 12.5km in 1:47. A nice long steady distance.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

I got a sticker!

That may not mean a lot to some. But to those in the know, they will be smiling with me because what it means is that I have passed the assessment for the Walking Group Leaders Award. I'm therefore qualified to lead people out in the hills. First step is joining MTE which I've just done, insurance will get sorted this week, then I'd best get my thinking cap on and work out what I'm actually going to do with it!!

Just a quick update on my 2013 Aspirations given I've just completed #7:

#1   Run 10km in under 50 minutes: Achieved at Salford 10k race
#2   Run Glossop to Hope in under 3hrs 45mins: plan to do this late summer
#3   Run Herod Farm fell race quicker than last year's race. Achieved
#4   10 chin ups: ongoing
#5   Box jump onto big box: ongoing
#6   Complete my Walking Group Leaders Award training: Achieved
#7  Successfully achieve my Walking Group Leaders Award: Achieved
#8  Handstand press-up: ongoing

So, a long run, 10 chin ups, jump onto the big box and do a handstand press up all still to be worked on. All except the first is reliant on me putting in some hard work in my strength and conditioning sessions. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Early walk

A few photos from my early walk today (set off at 7am):

Taken at Spring Cabin at the end of Shelf Benches - clag is lurking on Dog Rock

Looking back from the same spot towards Glossop - Shire Hill the one with trees

Near Ferny Hole, The Pike in the clag

Looking down Wigan Clough....Dog Rock is over there somewhere

Taking shelter from the claggy rain at Dog Rock, looking east towards Dowstone Clough

Another view from my shelter spot...everything wet

New boots seem to be wearing in nicely. 4hrs yesterday, 4.5hrs today and no issues.