Saturday, 17 May 2014

Three Sunny Trigs & Tortuous Tufty Tussocks

In my diary I have a plan for my upcoming runs. They track alongside the goals I have set for myself this year. One thing that's slipped recently has been the fortnightly long runs. Two weeks ago I did a 16km run (including an ascent of Kirk Fell in the Lake District so lots of walking), the week previous 15km, then before that we have to go right back to the middle of March for a 20km run. These facts did not please me, as my aim for the end of June is to run (as comfortably and strong as possible) around the Edale Skyline (35km), and I'm aiming for under 5 hours.

A review of my goals for the year was just the wake up call I needed.

It's no surprise, and I don't mind at all, that my own training has taken a back seat. Since qualifying as an off-road leader in running fitness, and qualifying as a personal trainer, I've been taking out groups and doing one-to-one runs with clients on a very regular basis. Because of this, my average weekly distance is about the same. I'm just not getting my own long runs in. It's all part of the settling in process to my new line of work.

But, to reach my goals I need to push outside of the comfort zone. And that's what today was all about.

For today's run I only had a vague route in mind, and had only roughly worked out distance. I didn't want the constrains of knowing I had Xkm to do, and a specific set route to follow. The only things to tick off today were time (around 3-4 hours), distance (20km would be good, 25km superb), rougher ground than I normally run on, and finally, more ascent than I would usually plan into a long route. I was going to be pushing myself outside of that comfort zone.

The run was tough. My whole body feels shattered. But, I am thoroughly pleased that I continued to push throughout the run. There were several points where it would have been easy to cut the route short and head home. This was compounded by the searing heat and sun beating down on me. I had no shade except for the very first kilometre and a small pause by a beautiful rock formation on the North edge of Kinder.

I'll share the photos now, I think you'll agree it was a grand run out onto Bleaklow, Kinder and back to Glossop. 22.2km with 1096m of ascent in 3hrs 18.

the first climb from Spring Cabin to James Thorn
Nearing Lower Shelf Stones, looking back to James Thorn with Glossop in background
Higher Shelf Stones trig point (621m)
Already feeling hot, just 6km done. Higher Shelf Stones in background as I run along Crooked Clough
Waterfall in Crooked Clough with Higher Shelf Stones in background
Signposts at Snake Summit, looking South
Featherbed Moss
Thousands of cloudberries on Featherbed Moss
Dropping down  into Ashop Clough, Kinder North edge looming up above....I'm about to go up that!
The North edge of Kinder a little closer
But it's hard going as I'm contending with knee high grass tussocks
Nether Red Brook - I'm aiming to the West of this, you can see the steepness of the climb I'm facing 
I made it....I'm on the North edge of Kinder - from here I bashed across the moor over many many peat groughs and boggy dammed groughs. Proper hands pulling on heather in parts, and slip sliding down steep groughs. Loads of fun.
Sandy Heys trig point (624m)
Superb running on the drop down from Sandy Heys towards Kinder Reservoir
Then the long climb back up to Mill Hill via William Clough
William Clough
My third trig point of the day, Harry Hut (440m)
Glossop nestled below Chunal Moor
If you want to see the route I took head over to strava - there's a link to my stats at the right hand side, towards to top of this blog.

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