Friday, 14 September 2012

The Double Triple-Lite Dip

I've finally got round to writing another blog entry, a year on from my last. My running club, Glossopdale Harriers have had a blog for a while (here: ) and I was going to write on that, but having not written anything for a while I'll just stick to this and when I get a bit more comfortable I'll write on it. At least with this one there's little or no audience.

So recently I've been out of action (-ish) due to having a hernia repair operation on the 14th of June. The surgeon told me not to do anything strenuous for 6 weeks after... a week later I was back running. It may sound foolish but I felt reasonably ok and running at a 12 min/mile on the road for a few miles really isn't strenuous to me. I soon built back up to longer and faster runs. My first 'race' was Marple ParkRun ( ) on the 1st of September, I came 13th out of 115 with a time of 20:52. A time I consider reasonable, but nothing special. I know I'm capable of a faster time with a drier course.

So the first real test would be a fell race but since Coombes Tor (in Rowarth) and Padfield Plum Fair Scamper were on the same day (Sunday 9th September) I decided to do both. I was meant to be getting a lift over to Rowarth in the morning but I ended up getting a train (which was late) to Marple and riding the 4 odd miles there, leaving only 10 mins to compose myself & register. There were lots of  Glossopdale Harriers there as it was a club championship race and also quite a few people were also planning on doing the two races like they did the previous year (I was injured last year due to my long run which I blogged about last).

The race got started at 10:30am sharp from a lane up from the village pub, running back through where registration was. The field of runners started to spread as the ascent started and I lost track of where other Glossopdalers were as I just got my head down and paced myself. The weather hasn't exactly been brilliant lately but the sun was out and it was very warm,  up the first ascent the sweat was dripping off me so I was relieved to get to the top (and pleased I seem to be able to manage to keep running up hills these days rather than have to start walking). I noticed that Charlie from the club was ahead of me (as usual) and I was determined to keep him in my sights. I managed to close the gap a little on the first descent but then he pulled away from me on the climb up onto Coombes Tor and along the top. The rest of the course is kind of a gradual downhill all the way to the finish. I managed to creep closer and closer to Charlie again and finally caught him on a lane near to Monks Road and decided to try and stay with him rather than overtake as I feared I'd not be able to keep up the pace if I overtook and there was still 3 miles to go. That didn't last long since I'm super competitive by nature (can you not tell...) and I decided to go for it and even managed to catch a group of runners further in front. The whole time thinking in my head "Charlie's going to pass me any minute..", as I neared the finish I really had to go hell for leather to keep my place against the other runners (I was running at a 4min/mile according to my Garmin: ). I crossed the finish line in 57:50, 29th out of 88. (Results: ). I think I Coombes Tor has to be one of my favourite races to date.

Coombes Tor over and I had 1 hour 45 mins to rest / get over to Padfield for the next race at 1:15pm. A few Glossopdalers drove over and so did the so called "Triple Dip" running in between like last year. I headed over on my push bike with the guidance of fellow cyclist and club member Rod. The ride was about 7.5 miles and avoiding all the hills (though at the time I was convinced Rod was taking me the longest possible route - after a look at the map when I got home he was spot on). It was good to be able to shelter behind Rod on the way there too, conserving a bit of energy for the next race, I was struggling a bit though as my legs were getting tired from Coombes.

I had plenty of time to faff about before the race and get some more water down my neck as I was getting a bit worried I could get dehydrated from the heat. All the other harriers that ran over from Rowarth were on the start line ready to go again... all except Sikobe. He'd disappeared off putting a rucksack in someone's car. Luckily quite a few people told the race organiser to hold on while he turned up, legging it down the road. This is what I like about fell running, it's not all dead serious, everyone is friendly (mostly) and good sportsmen.

And off we go. Down the road, round the corner, up the road and what... a queue to get over a stile. Get going again and stop queue again for another stile. Must've lost 30 seconds waiting on both of them. Finally no more hold ups, over the road crossing cheered on by Matt and then up a long track, gaining places, to the top of Glossop Low, turning back SW down the grouse butts to Cock Hill trig point. I managed to catch up to (and stay with) a vet runner which turned out to be a club member's (Mark O's) dad. I chatted to him for a bit and he kept warning me of the bits of terrain and the best way across stuff. Got back to the road crossing with Matt still cheering runners on and decided to go for it. God only knows what my running style looked like, my legs were so tired at this point I was flopping all over the place. No sign of Mark O's dad coming round the corner at the finish but still put full effort in (only to lose 10 seconds because they couldn't see my race number).  Padfield Scamper is a great race too, I just have to remember to start fast next year to avoid the stile queues... oh and not do a race and ride beforehand!


There was a coal sack race later on (400 metres uphill carrying a 25kg sack of coal) but I gave it a miss and rode home. On Monday my legs were absolutely naffed, I was hobbling around the house and also trying to figure out the best way to combat the stairs (settled for a sideways limp down them).

My legs are still sore after a bit of light running this week. I've got Lantern Pike Fell Race tomorrow (another club champs race), I have a feeling I'm not going to have a good race, but I'll still do it anyway!

That's enough blogging now. I'm starting to bore myself and I'm getting a numb arse.

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