Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Kind of Callow - 16/05/2012

Sunset over the Mynd from Callow - well worth waiting for
Tonight I ran (almost) the Callow race route, taking in the summits of Ashlet, Yearlet, Grindle and Callow and dropping down to valley level between each one. I took the wrong line onto Yearlet where I should have follow the gully much further up, but otherwise this is pretty much the way.

Church Stretton from the start of the Yearlet climb

Tree and Ragleth Hill from the rocky start of the climb up Grindle

It was nearly sunset when I got to the top of Callow so I paused the gadget and waited for the sun to set, using the time to take some pictures and ring Chris at the Ragleth to order my steak and stilton butty for tea!

Legs were a bit tired on the way up Yearlet, but they got back into gear nicely for the remaining two climbs. 4.8 miles, 2,400' in 1:26:37 on a fairly easy effort level.

Tuesday Night with Bluebells - 15/05/2012

Ben, Roger and Phil on the top of Helmeth Hill
Tonight Gareth came up with another lovely route, going over Helmeth Hill and taking in the lovely bluebells there, before heading up Caradoc and returning via Hope Bowdler Hill, Cwms Cottage and Helmeth Hill again.

Debbie and Naomi at Three Fingers Rock
Paul, Tom, Rob and David at Three Fingers
I enjoyed the run although my legs were a little tired still from the Brecon race. 6.2 miles, 1,500' approx., 1:20:00 moving time.

Brecon 40 Ultra - 12/05/2012

Full write up to follow.

Small Batch Training Run - 08/05/2012

More to follow.

Lakes Trip - to 07/05/2012

Reccie of the Great Lakes Run

Fixed-O course at Langdale Campsite

Langdale Pikes follow

Training to 02/05/2012

Just a few brief training notes to bring things a bit more up to date:

17/04/2012 - Tuesday Night Run

Up via Snatchfield Farm, then traversing under Hazler Hill to Gaerstones. Ran along the spine of the Bowdler Hills to Battle Stones, then skirted the head of the valley, running over instead of around pt 334m for an extra hundred feet of climbing. From the Old Cardington Lane, we went up the steep side of the Caradoc and then came down the Three Fingers Ridge

6.3mi; 1,351ft; 1:15:49 (moving)

18/04/2012 - Burway Hill

Met up with Pauline, Charlie and Em on club business for a bit, then I decided to go for a jog up Burway Hill. Ran up the Burway from town to the cattle grid and then managed to climb to the top of Burway Hill and on to Devil's Mouth at a steady slow run. I then traversed round into the top of the southern arm of New Pool Hollow (I was really aiming for the western arm which has a nice path in it). Anyway the southern one is well gnarly and I had my oldest pair of fell shoes on so I had to take it easy at the top. Nice run back to the car via Rectory Wood.

3.6mi; 809ft; 0:45:55 (moving)

20/04/2012 - Bluebell Run Reccie

Ran round the Bluebell Run race route with Em, Roger, and Mark B. Nice night for it, but a cold wind on top. Stopped for a comfort break at the bottom of the valley between Yearlet and Ashlet (usually referred to around here as "The Ramp") and then ran steady all the way to the top trying to catch back up to Em. I had a grand time down Townbrook trying to keep up with Mark, who's astonishingly fast.

4.9mi; 1,180'; 0:54:26 (moving)

23/04/2012 - Corndon and Stiperstones

Finished work nice and promptly so I headed over to Shelve (via the excellent shop at the Stiperstones - they now sell a few bits of Torq gels and bars). I ran the Hike route from Shelve over Corndon to Nind, then used the track which skirts east of Black Rhadley to reach the shooting centre driveway and climb on up to the Bridges - Bog road. I crossed straight over here and the mixed weather turned quite nasty as I headed up the Stiperstones. It hailed the whole time I was on top, and in the end I was getting pretty cold so I headed back down on the lane which comes out pretty much where the Hike leaves the road at Tankerville to go to Shelve. I followed the Hike route back to the car, just about getting warm again by the time I got there.

12.5mi; 1,885'; 2:25:28 (moving)

24/04/2012 - Big Climbs for a Tuesday Night

This week the group went for a big climbing night to keep the Newporters happy! We went up Townbrook Valley and then turned left to climb the steep east face of Yearlet. From the top we went straight on down steeply into Ashes Hollow and then used the sheep track traversing along the south side of the valley to reach the Grindle spur. 10 minutes of effort got us up to the top, and we descended by Nills to the footbridge. We climbed the Ashlet fence to the corner and then used another new bit of route, traversing the east face of Ashlet above Hopes Wood to reach the top of the Hundred Steps and return to Stretton through the Rectory Field.

4.8mi; 1,838'; 1:11:02 (moving)

25/04/2012 - Wrekin Streak Marshalling

Not really a run but I did do a fair bit of running around, marking out the juniors race and then marshalling it.

About 3 miles and 700'; not timed

26/04/2012 - SyTri Track - Sqauts Session

Another murderous session from Sam, the master of pain! This time it was a series of efforts and squats. We did a series of 1 min easy, 1 min hard, 1 min easy, then squats! It was a bit grim really, especially when I realised the squats were a pyramid: think we did 8-10-12-15-15-12-10-8. Good fun though, very well coached and a good stretching session after. I had pretty heavy calves for a few days afterwards though, and once again didn't run at the weekend.

01/04/2012 - Tuesday Night from Little Stretton

We've decided to mix it up over summer a little with the first Tuesday night run of each month being from Little Stretton not Church Stretton. This should enable us to get over into Callow Hollow and Minton Batch, places we rarely go on a normal Tuesday because it either means long routes or huge amounts of climbing.

We started off with almost an Ashes skyline, mostly sticking to paths as it was pretty misty up top. The route was up the valley for a couple of miles warm up, then using the Valleys ascent ramp to Barrister's Plain (Cross Dykes). From there it was good paths round Round Hill and along the ridge to Pole Cottage and Pole Bank. The return was via Boiling Well, the col at the top of Townbrook Valley and the summits of Yearlet and Ashlet, then a headlong plunge down to the footbridge in Ashes and back to the cars. I felt ok and had no problems with the calf.

6.9mi; 1,338'; 1:18:07 (moving)

02/04/2012 - Hilly Tempo Road Run

First time out on tarmac since the Regency 10k! Nice little run up to Dinchope and then down to the B road from Wenlock to Bridgnorth. I took a right there and ran down to the Halford turn, and came back through Halford and up the climb to Ireland Cottage. I concentrated on a nice fast turnover and ran a decent time considering the hills.

6.4mi; 606'; 0:51:44 - average pace 8:05/mile

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Regency 10K at Leamington - 15/04/2012

The day after Coldeale I headed to Leamington with Zoe for her final tune up before the London Marathon. Chris Penny had suggested racing the week before as a confidence boost and to get into the midset of running through a big crowd (he should know about preparation for marathons having done 2:17 in his prime) and when Zoe and I talked it over we thought it might be a good idea.

We got parked up and headed to the start field with (we thought) plenty of time left, joining the queue for the loos about 30 minutes before the start. With five minute to go we were still in the queue with only eight portaloos for 2,000 runners. We eventually did manage to use the facilities in the nick of time, and only had a minute or so to get on the start. As a result we started about half way back through the field.

The first four miles were on narrow-ish bridleways around a park and golf course, and I found I was stuck in traffic a lot with slower runners, so adopted a burst - easy - burst -easy approach to passing, using the verges and edges of the fields as much as I could. After four kilometers or so things started to thin out a bit just as I got onto the wider road section. I grabbed a cup of water at 4.5 kilometers and had a couple of sips.

From here on it was just a case of trying to maintain a good pace and form for the remainder of the race, which was routed through the picturesque Regency streets of Leamington town centre (actually I wasn't looking much and found that out from the programme). I had a rough spell from 6 to 8 kilometers but kept the pace up and ran through it with a fairly strong finish, concentrating on form and nice short strides at a high cadence.

It seemed to work - I ran a new PB, finishing in 44:25 (old best was Ellesmere in 48:00). This was a slightly easier course, but I negated that by having to run through half the field. Note to self for next time. Zoe also did very nicely, finishing well up the ladies rankings (7th V35 I think) at a race distance which doesn't suit her.

My splits (per mile) were 7:08, 7:26, 7:26, 6:48, 7:17, 6:52 and 1:28 in from there. The first 5k was 22:47 and the second 5k 21:38 (average 6:58/mile or 4:20/km) - I'm really pleased with a big negative split here even recognising that it was helped by the crowding in the first half of the race. My best 5 mile split was roughly 35:49 (average 7:10/mile).

All in all it was a pretty good morning's work, topped off by a lovely post-race cooked breakfast provided at short notice by Zoe's friends Jo and Graham.