Sunday, 31 July 2011

Navigation practice - Black Hill

Out yesterday up on Black Hill and surrounding area to do a bit of nav practice, familiarise myself with the area and enjoy the sunshine. Decided to travel light - INOV8 Roclites and just a bumbag with essentials inside.

From Holme Moss mast we headed over to Wrigleys Cabin - small detour to check out a lonesome tree to the north of the path, then onwards to the ruined cabin - there's some shelter on the moor at this location, enough to get you out of the wind perhaps, depending on the direction. Issue Clough, which it overlooks, has the Pennine Way marching up it's western flank - and there were a few hikers out, heading up to Black Hill. A short time was spent looking at the map, locating features etc, then planning the route to a Sabre wreck (091051) - easy plod over to the East for about 10 minutes and we found the wreck.

Sabre wreck
From here we took a bearing to the next wreck, a Swordfish (085046). Just a short step from it Tim suddenly called a halt and silence - he was staring into the orange eyes of a short eared owl sitting on the ground....they stared for a moment then the owl took flight - absolutely amazing. Moments like that you wish you had a camera at the ready, but hey, we admired it as it flew off to the north east and will remember that sight for a long time. The Swordfish wreck just appears as a pile of metal - will have to check but it looks like it's been deliberately piled in its resting place.


Another bearing and heather bashing section found us at Black Hill trig - more map/feature consolidation before heading south east, first to the 576 spot height, then 559 spot height, then 521 spot height - and a lot of scattered wreckage of 2 Meteor planes on Sliddens Moss, above Meadow Clough. The GR is given as 069029 but the bits of scattered metalwork is spread over quite an area.

Keeping Crowden Little Brook below us we headed over to a nameless cluster of rocks at 076032 - not much to shelter in except a few larger boulders which would act as fairly decent wind breaks. Handy to know, and the sort of feature we had been keeping note of on this walk. From here we continued east to a waterfalls in a nameless clough - bearing noth off the top of Crowden Little Brook. Not much water around to make any of the brook look like a decent waterfall - I'm sure it looks totally transformed when it's been wet for a good period. Up and over the next ridge past 541 spot height and Tooleyshaw Moor - spotting the a grouse butt (which was also a reasonable spot of shelter) we dropped down to Heyden Brook on a really decent trod with well worn steps, jumped over the brook and up the steep bank and back to the car.

Along the route we took time to locate various features, and importantly keep working out distances and estimate timings for sections of the route. Given we were travelling light and it was perfect visibility our timings were over by a bit, but would have been pretty spot on for heavy load carrying. All good practice.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Rehab Week 4

Week 1 included 2 runs - short run/walk (with more walking than running) and a longer run/walk (4km and 5km)
Week 2  -  2 runs (3.5km and 6.75km)
Week 3  -  2 runs (3.8km and 8.9km)

Now in week 4, one run done (4.5km), one planned for Saturday. Saturday runs are generally slower, with longer walk breaks. The last couple of runs have been in hotter weather as timing for an early or late run didn't work out. I'll plan this better if the weather stays hot as it's just too muggy running in heat.

Looking at the figures that seems a fairly steady increase. My legs are feeling good when running, no ITB or knee twinges. I'm happy. Distance and time is progressing and no sign of reinjury occurring.

My plan after this weekend's long run is to start out on some easy track runs, keeping the distance increasing but including a short stretch of off-road terrain and gradually increasing that and decreasing road running over the next 4 weeks. I'll monitor progress as I go and modify what I do as necessary.

Today was my second session at S&P gym......will blog about that separately. But, what I will say is that putting some strength work into my week is great. It's the first time I've ever had a structured training programme, so far I like it.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rehab run #4

Long run today, focus on staying vaguely to 1 minute walk and 2.5 minutes running. Think it was more or less around those times, but most importantly I ran 6.75km in 44:54. Elevation gain was only 111m and HR max at 180bpm, averaging 158bpm. Average pace 6:27/km....not bad for a long run. Again, it felt like I could have gone further. I really pushed myself on the uphill slopes, though the initial one up Cliffe Road was always going to be walked up - it timed in to a natural walk section, just extended it a bit as I knew the road all the way up to where it turns left and down to Moorfields is a long uphill drag and I didn't want to lose my breath on the first bit.

By the time I'd got up Cliffe Road there was a steady downpour of fine rain coming down - the clag was down over the hills and I was getting quite wet. At the top of the incline it was pouring it down....and the wind had been head on all the way up the 2km drag. Hard going, but I was keeping to my rhythm of run/walk and enjoying the cooling effect of the rain. There was another runner behind me from just after the pub and it felt like they were chasing me down towards Moorfield...but even with my walk breaks they didn't catch me. Nice. With the wind behind me breathing became a little easier and I ran with a huge grin on my face and rain dripping off my nose and chin!

As I dropped down to the golf course I was calculating if going straight home would get me to was doubtful so I mentally prepared for the Hathersage Drive/Leicester Drive loop as well.....and back home at 6.75km. Nice loop, will repeat this on my next long run at home which will be in a couple of weeks as I'll be in Wales next weekend.

No pain or niggles in the knee or ITB. Good times.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

More rehab runs

After the pain-free run on Tuesday 4th I went out again for a longer run on Saturday 9th July. I managed 5km in 32:43, including a 3 minute warm up walk then 2 mins run/1 min walk throughout the duration. I have to say, at that combination I felt like I could go on for quite a while longer, and was very pleased with the overall pace of 6:10 min/km. That's not much less than I'd been aiming for previously with constant running, so maybe Jeff Galloway is right in saying that you don't lose that much time by including walking breaks into your runs. This strategy certainly seems to be keeping me pain free.

I did another run today, 3.5km in 23 mins with an overall paces of 6:12min/km. again, not too shabby. I'm getting no pain in my knee or leg anywhere so I'm really pleased.  I was trying out green superfeet today and it felt much more supportive on the arch of my left foot. Weirdly the heel felt a little loose on the right, but that could have been down to my laces not being done up right, or my heel not being in the back of the shoe when lacing up.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Rehab Run

First running session for a while, and the focus is on rehab....not getting to the shooting cabin or shelf bench. Just me, road shoes and a plod around the local streets. Did a brisk 5 minute warm up walk then 9 sets of 1 min run/1 min walk, followed by about 7 mins of cool down walking. It's a hot humid night, and I managed to find a sprinkler to run through which was most refreshing. My knee felt fine, and doing a run/walk rhythm I felt like I could go for ages....but oh no, its rehab.

Back home and straight into a strength session whilst nicely warmed up. 3 sets of the following:

5x wall squats
Stair ascent/descent with 16kg kettle bell
3x 1 minute balance hedgehog on each leg
3x 1 minute calf stretch/raise on the block
3x plank 1 minute (or there abouts!)

It felt good to get some proper exercise, get the chemicals flowing and some positive mental attitude happening.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

15 Trigs

So my other half was running a 55 mile challenge - 15 Dark Peak trig points in under 15 hours. I went out to take pictures and give moral support to him and his three companions, all from Glossopdale Harriers.  They successfully completed the run in 14hrs 40mins. Well done guys.

My role was a little less taxing, and a good opportunity to test my knee again. I met the guys at the top of Win Hill, walking up at a steady pace up Parkin Clough. I'd estimated it would take about an hour with 300m of elevation gain and was pretty spot on. I had a reasonably heavy bag, carrying lots of water as it was a really humid day even though it was only about 8.15am when I set out.  I'd taken my poles and was pleased of them on the steep, rocky and tree root path. The ascent was ok and I felt fine. The descent was tiring, knees really feeling the strain, but no pain or specific aches, just the steep ground taking its toll on my body.

the Glossopdale guys leaving Win Hill trig, heading on towards their next trig, High neb
Next up was High Neb trig point. I past the guys running along the road up towards Bamford Edge and I knew I'd have just about enough time to get to the top before they did. Parking at the Plantation I headed up the track, taking the first path left and up to the crag. The final bit was through waist high and deeper bracken, for me only a short way. The guys bashed through heaps of the stuff! I could see them heading through their patch of heather then bracken as I was going up and was conscious of them beating me to the top so I speed up and did a bit of a job shuffle for a bit of the way up. Photos taken and the guys speed off along the edge. I turned downhill and was now racing to get to the next rendezvous spot, the Sportsman pub near Redmires.

I decided that my legs wanted to run a little, and it was a good chance to be out in the hills and enjoy moving at a pace slightly faster than walking, so I jogged back to the car along the path. It felt good, and no grumbles from the knee. Nice. I drove towards Sheffield then navigation with the OS map on tiny roads. I should know those roads from when I lived in Sheffield, but their familiarity has long since gone. I'd been at the pub for only about 10 minutes when the guys jogged across the playing field and joined me. They rested for 20 mins or so then a quick posed photo and on their way.

My final meeting spot was at Back Tor, so I drove to the Strines in and calculated that at the pace they were running I had about an hours leeway. I enjoyed a pub lunch and was joined by 2 peacocks! Most unusual. Very beautiful.

Parking at the bottom of the track up to Back Tor I set out with spare water in case the guys were desperate - it was tremendously humid and hot and I knew they were coming along a fairly long heather bashing section with no shade. I got to the trig point in plenty of time and settle in to take a few photos of the area - enjoying the view to Kinder and Bleaklow from a different viewpoint. There was a pesky sheep and lamb that would not leave me alone....
I'm sure they get fed by loads of walkers but they weren't having any of my rations!

I waited patiently and the guys ahead-of-time arrival time past. They'd been a good 30mins up on schedule at the pub and there was a possibility that after their rest they'd be able to keep that pace up. While glancing around I saw 3 butterflies having a bit of a tussle with each other...
I started to become mildly concerned when their scheduled time came and went, and then in the distance, along the paved path, I saw the four familiar runners heading my way.

the guys heading up to Back Tor trig point
A brief stop for them, pictures at the trig, and off they went - returning the way they'd come and now heading towards Margery Hill and on the final stretch to Glossop.

I packed up my stuff, camera in bag and jogged back down the path. A brief stop at the cross-roads - a couple had seen the guys and heard them talking so they curiously asked me about their run. Think they thought I was mad for jogging too, but in reality my pace was pretty slow, not only because of protecting my knee but also the camera and spare lens were getting a good rattling in the rucksack!

I probably jogged two thirds of the way back to the car. A really small niggle in my knee could be felt but nothing like the excruciating pain on previous runs or walks. Back home I spent a good while stretching my legs and counting down the final few hours of the guys run, glancing at the map a few times and trying to calculate where they'd be.  All good though, after a wait of an hour or so in the pub they arrived back, all in pretty reasonable shape to be honest, far better than I'd expected.