Things appear to be going very well.
I just racked up a 70mile week. It’s the most I’ve ever done in one week, with a few moments along the way that remind me why I run. I had a blast.
Here are the highlights:
Sunday – 17miles confident run around a route that in 2012 I had to walk the final 2 miles. Good for me. Also managed to ascend 2064 feet in 17miles, when my next event will see me tackle 2624 feet of ascent over 50miles, so I can do hills. It’s definitely the 50mile part I need to take seriously….
Through the week I managed the usual 37 miles of work and back, with the Hump Run thrown in. Wednesday morning saw me fall and skin my elbow, but even that caused me more amusement than upset, since I got away without affecting my ability to run (gotta have priorities). I ran the same way I have for the last 4 years, on and off, so how I managed to fall on flat pavement is a mystery. I just kicked the floor.
By end of Friday I’d clocked up 50miles and was all set for Saturday being the longest one yet. Then it rained.
I was decked out in waterproof and expecting to head out soaking wet from the off, but the weather broke just as I was getting ready and so I got to run 18 miles in sunshine and occasional (refreshing) light drizzle. Thank you Mother Nature!
I went from Hillsborough, up toward Derwent Edge – but where I’d usually climb all the way to the Trig Point at Lost Lad, I instead took the road all the way past the Strines Inn and headed back toward home via the A57. Lots of road and a route I’d never taken before.
It turned out to be a first in many ways. I passed a few areas that reminded me of runs I’d enjoyed (and some nettles I once tripped and fell into). It was fun to revisit a great run that I used to do regularly, but for one reason or another haven’t done in a couple of years.
I reached the top of Strines Reservoir and took in the view, just in time to witness a massive argument between a van driver and about 15 cyclists. I think the van had skimmed a few riders by only a few inches and they were shouting in protest. The driver was making some kind of ‘hand gesture’. The odd thing was that the driver had a couple of bikes in the back of his van, so he too was a cyclist! Weird.
Then I passed a fella who’d wiped out on the sweeping bend and fallen from his bike, but he was alright thankfully.
I continued along Mortimer Road and emerged on the A57, after what felt like plenty of road already. I still had a lot left though.
I missed the entrance to the trail that leads to Wyming Brook (away with the fairies), so I ran the entire road section back to the head of the Rivelin Valley Trail and for the first time ever, managed to take the path that I’ve always looked down at from the higher one near the road. It was very pretty and I had fun stepping across the stepping stones and low dam that sit there. I stopped to briefly take in the peace and beauty of that spot, since it’d evaded me for 5 years! I shall have to make a point of running through there again before too long.
I also finally bothered to cross the stepping stones to the iron chair that sits in the river just outside the Rivelin Valley Park. It was surprisingly comfy and I was tempted to stay there for quite some time, but was back on my way a minute later.
Anyway, I reached Hillsborough after a good strong run through the familiar sections of Rivelin and concluding that even at the end of such a week, with shoes that don’t forgive too much road running, I’d come through fairly well. My Suunto was telling me I’d only covered 18miles, so I deliberately over shot my road in favour of a quick lap of Hillsborough Park and I got a quick look at the Circus that’s been there all week. Then home.
20 miles with maybe 70% road meant one of the best performances yet in the Salomon S-LAB Sense 4 shoes, but I’m now decided – I’ll be wearing road shoes for the Round Rotherham, which itself is mainly road based.
I’ve had a couple of rest days since, but feel so fresh I long to go further. Maybe I can squeeze something in this weekend and push the mileage a little further…