Monday, 13 June 2016

Calver Fell Race

Wednesday I realised at lunchtime it was the Calver Fell Race. I had already been running with the boys in the morning and then swimming so maybe it wasn't the best day. A quick message to Jen and we'd both decided to run it. This time I left Jen to it starting up near the front and I made my way to the back. This meant a slightly stop/start beginning but I didn't have people constantly streaming past me which meant I felt more confident. This race basically climbs for couple of miles, contours for a but, another steep climb. Then downhill to Calver, where there is a sneaky climb before heading back to the finish. I walked nearly all the uphill but this left me with energy when descending and I felt like I really was running the descent. It's my favourite local descent and it was nice to run it dogless (also faster).

5miles, I finished in 56minutes. Near the back of the field but I was happy with my run.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Cressbrook Crawl Fell Race

I kept seeing signs for this when I went to meet Ali for lunch and I vaguely wondered about doing it. Mentioning it to a friend the day before on a run she was also vaguely thinking about it. We exchanged a few messages that evening and decided to do it. As I don't tend to run without a dog it was going to be interesting. The day was sunny but not silly hot although too hot for cybi so a good day for a fell race.

The parking was at the bottom of the hill and registration at the top, so that was a nice warm up! The start was on the road outside Cressbrook Club going up a bit before heading down to Litton Mill. Then up the huge hill to cross the Monsal trail and beyond. The scenery the whole way round was stunning and the route really clearly marked and on clear trails so easy to follow. There were some new bits to me and some of definetly want to run again. The finish is back up the hill to the club, a hell of a road climb and I have to admit I walked half of it.

I found I felt like I was going backwards on the uphills but surprised myself bu feeling good descending and managing to overtake people on descents. Obviously cybi's training is working (dragging me downhill as fast as possible). I certainly wasn't fast but I enjoyed it and although I missed the boys it was a nice change. Cybi wasn't impressed that I went running without him it has to be said.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

A run with all the weather.

This Wednesday heavy snow was forecast but when I arrived at Vikki's on Wednesday morning it was looking like it might rain but no sign of snow. We had a 15mile run planned and after a slight detour after setting off the wrong way we were on track. Then the snow came... Horizontally. We couldn't even see the exit from the field we were in. It should have been runnable but we were walking unable to see much. I decided I should put my waterproof on as I was beginning to get cold. At the next wall (so we could shelter) waterproof trousers were added. The snow abated slightly which meant we were moving slightly faster.

After a while the sun came out and we're thinking of taking layers off... The weather obviously realised that and it started hailing then back to horizontal snow. When that stopped we found ourself wading down a river that was where the path should be.

It was hard but a fun run.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Showing off the Peak

A friend of mine from Canicross Midlands fancied a run in the Peak having never been to the Peak. I suggested the Edges loop and we met today at 10am, the weather was lovely nice and cold for running but sunny and clear. Lots of people were out enjoying the weather, for the first time I think I saw more people than deer on White Edge. Lovely run.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A loop from Tideswell

With the lovely weather I took a long lunch today and ran with the boys from Tideswell. We set off along Tideswell Dale which was nice easy running, up some steps and into the Monsal Trail. We were making good time, even with a few stops when there were off lead dogs. We left and headed up the Pennine Bridleway, this time I even managed to run some of the switchbacks. From here there was some exploring of footpaths, including a bit and to-ing and fro-ing to find the right on. After seeing a squirrel on a downhill there was a bit of walking before getting to the road. Here the route said straight on, straight on was under water so there was some wading and very little running. Beautiful though. After this a little but of road dropped us back into Tideswell just in time to meet Ali for lunch. Nice to get out in the sun for a change.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Totley Moor 5miler

I had suggested a loop in Totley Moor to Vikki, a place I keep meaning to run as I pass it so often on the way to work. This morning we met up on a wet drizzly day. Coats on (including Cybi and George) and we were in our way. Hoping over a stile to be greeted by a sheep got the boys quite excited and the mud was testing Vicki's trainers, she ended up on the floor a couple of times. Looping round and just before the last hill George got excited, then a deer ran across in front of us. Cue two dogs barking and wanting to go go go. I got George back and had a turbo boost off both of them up to the trig point. From there it was a short downhill back to the track we had started on and back to the car. Lovely loop and another one to add to the list to run in nice weather.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Holidays - Day One

We arrived late yesterday at our little cabin in Sea Palling, it's where we stayed in February and we decided then to see if we could book it for Christmas and we could. This morning we were up early so Ali could go shopping hopefully before all the crowds and get back at a reasonable time for us to spend the day together. I took the boys for a short walk but we avoided the beach as Ali wanted to be there for our first beach walk of the holiday.

We were out and on the beach before 10am and headed up towards Horsey, it was windy but a lovely day. Once we got close to Horsey we had to leave the beach as it was covered in Seals and the boys were a little too interested and neither of us fancied getting too close. This meant a nice walk through the dunes to Horsey where we walked up to the pub. A lovely lunch where George snoozed under the table and Cybi sat looking cute so he got food while it poured with rain outside. Once it was time to leave the rain had stopped so we didn't need to put our waterproofs on!

Back through the dunes and then onto the beach once we were past all the seals. We made it back to Sea Palling just as it got dark. Now we have two sleepy dogs, George is asleep in front of the fire and Cybi on the sofa. Tomorrow is Christmas Day so more beach time but also more time in our cabin while Ali cooks us all a lovely Christmas dinner.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Nighttime Trailquest

I have really neglected my mountain bikes since Cybi moved in but it's hard to find time and we have been running a lot as its something we can enjoy together. After racing bikejor with him I realised I needed to get some bike fitness back and so took my singlespeed out the other week. After noticing there was a night trailquest from Great Longstone (so not too far from home) last night I put an entry in. It's two hours of navigation with the aim being to collect as many points as possible by finding as many control points as possible. I was a little nervous about night riding seeing as its been so long and I'm not feeling very confident on my bike off-road in the light but with where the controls were they were mainly on trails I know well as they were towards my house. I planned a route and set off, grabbing the first control easily...well a little bit of back and forth at the point to spot it in the dark. Then it was time to start climbing, I was pleased with my riding making sure I didn't push too hard but felt I was covering the distance okay. I had to make some decisions as to which controls to go for near the end as time felt like it was getting tight, missing out one of my planned controls. I rolled in with 4minutes to spare and 10 controls ticked off. I was pleased with my timing and route selection. I had forgotten how much harder it is to navigate in the dark, even when you know the trails. No idea if it was a reasonable score overall but a lovely ride, 15miles in total, and great to get out on the mountain bike.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Mam Tor Ridge

In last months Trail magazine there was a walking loop from Castleton taking in the Mam Tor Ridge. I thought it would make a fab run and suggested it to Vikki. Today we met in Castleton at 10am to give it a go. Turned out a lovely day for it with clear enough skies to see the lovely views.
On the way up to Lose Hill I had George who was in heaven with lots of new sniffs and blades of grass to pee on, he even had a couple of woogles. I was a little jealous as Cybi dragged Vikki up the hill, we were both walking a lot as it was steep. On the first techy descent we swapped dogs, cybi was still on one and apparently listens a bit better to me, meanwhile George was the perfect descending partner unless I got too far behind when he stopped dead! Along the Ridge is stunning and we ticked off Hollins Cross and Mam Tor itself before heading across to the Limestone Way. After some nice easy running we got to Cave Dale, slippy and Limestone so we were all walking. Fortunately Cybi had calmed down by now. This dropped us out in Castleton.

Just under 8miles and a lovely loop.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Litton Christmas Cracker Fell Race

I haven't ran without least one of the dogs since the Stoney Middleton Fell Race during Well Dressing week, before that I can't remember. But I kept seeing banners for the Litton Christmas Cracker Fell Race when walking the dogs to meet Ali and decided to enter as it was close and looked a great route. On the morning Ali dropped me off to register, an easy process as I had pre entered (fortunately as it had sold out two weeks before the race). Then she parked and her and the boys walked back to see me before the start.

The race starts by going up a road climb, I really missed the cybi power at this point but it was a short climb then back down to the main road where Ali and the boys were cheering me on. We were soon in Tideswell Dale before heading up into the hills. Round to Litton Stack and then we dropped to Litton Mill. I knew the next section would be wet as it had been in Wednesday when I went round the route with the boys. Well it was a lot deeper now, I think if George had been there I would have been carrying him! It was quite fun splashing through and as always stunning. Out at Cressbrook Mill and another Road climb, more missing cybi power. Then up up to the trig point where there was a Christmas tree. But from here it was heading back.

The next bit was downhill, on one off camber bit I managed to slide over but it was a soft landing. The steep downhill into Cressbrook Dale I seemed to lose any ability I had to run downhill but knowing the descent meant I caught a few who had passed me by dropping onto the path while they were still contouring. At the bridge at the bottom there were jelly babies, just what was needed for the climb up Litton Dale.

The last bit is hard as you are nearly at the finish but instead of turning right into Litton you go right and along another muddy path to the road we started on. With impeccable timing Ali was at the road crossing with the boys to cheer me on (they'd been for their own walk) and they had time to get to the finish to cheer me across the line.

The race had a lovely atmosphere and I wasn't last, which I was worried about as there were only two behind me at the Stoney Race. I did miss the boys but could be tempted by some more fell races.