Archives for Trail Running category

A Five Mile Mini Adventure with Nettles, Strangles, and Sunshine

Posted on Jun 09, 2013 under 5 miles, Regular Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

After a few days recovering from Dennis the Menace was ready for a nice Sunday run in the evening sun, knew it was going to be warmish so took water!

Headed down Town Lane and set off at a sedate pace, then decided to do a loop through the fields back to Denton. Traversing the narrow path next to the stables got stung by millions of nettles, having noticed a DANGER: Strangles sign on the stile….

Got past all that then got lost in the overgrown fields, ended up on Yew Tree Lane and lost in the council estate, then finally back to Denton woods,kept going though feeling very warm by now and had forgotten a hanky to wipe away sweat from my eyes 🙁

Decided to run up Meadow Lane (have always chickened out before!) and managed this, then I was on the home straight, sped up on the downhill and had to reel myself in. Close to home a girl on a scooter tried to race me and I put on a burst of speed which according to Garmin I was going at 4:40 per k, which is the sort of pace I used to be able to run.

All in all a good work out with a decent hill and some nice weather, will just have to hope I don’t turn into the Denton Strangler now, ha!!!!!

Dennis The Menace 2013 Race Report – 47ish including hurdling Gnasher…

Posted on Jun 05, 2013 under 5 miles, Races, Trail Running | No Comment

Did some pyramids at SRC on Monday and was still feeling a bit heavy legged this morning, but today was the day of the Dennis the Menace race which I haven’t managed to run since 2009, a couple of months after my mum died.

After work etc I set off the the Pack Horse Pub and bumped into some familiar SRC faces (it’s funny how the last time I did this race I didn’t know a soul but now have lots of people I know to talk to), saw Tony and Glen, Rob and some other people, then headed to the start with another SRC runner. Did a quick jog through the woods to try to warm up and felt quite worn out already, so just hung around for the start, we moved back and suddenly the horn went. The rest of the runners seemed to recede into the distance immediately, and I was left wondering not whether I would finish last, but how long they would be waiting for me to finish!

I didn’t feel a temptation to try to keep up with them, just ran my own race, another runner fell behind me and there were 2 running together in front, I just settled in and enjoyed some banter with the marshals about it going dark before I could finish and how I didn’t know I had entered an elite race! I was so far behind at one point some dog walkers must have thought everyone was passed them as I had to jump over their dog – I will call it Gnasher in keeping with the theme, at least it didn’t bite me! As we got to the hill through the woods towards the end of lap one I overtook the 2 runners who gave me some encouragement, for some reason I felt much stronger on the uphills than elsewhere, and found a new gear on the second lap, I slowly started to reel a few more people in, though I had my sights on Rob’s yellow SRC shirt up ahead!

Going round the football field I overtook two more people and then along the canal reeled someone one, eventually moving up another gear and deciding that although I was hurting badly at this point, I was not going to give in. Up the hill again and I was getting closer to Rob, I powered up the hill and then started winding Rob in, pretty much sprinting at this point, went past Glen who gave me some cheerish to the finish, and I could see the finish and realised I was going to run out of trail before I caught Rob. I’d forgotten to start the Garmin until a few strides into the race and forgot to stop it, but it said 47 something, considering that’s only 5 minutes slower than my 41:50 of 4 years ago, it wasn’t bad, if there had been another 100 metres I might even have caught Rob.

Probably the lowest position I’ve ever finished in a race but enjoyed it and loved the banter with the marshals, just ran my own race and enjoyed the lovely evening weather, it was very warmish out there once I got going.
Thanks to all the marshals and the SRC runners for the support, encouragement, and banter 😀

5 Miles of Trail in a Mix of Weathers – 56 mins

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 under 5 miles, All Weather Running, Regular Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

Wanted to get 5 miles in, and it looked sunny enough to make for pleasant trail running.

Set off and the Garmin was completely lost and had the wrong date so took a while to recalibrate itself, then I set off towards Mill Lane over the trails, and headed through the Haughton Dale nature reserve, over the steps and then back through the woods to Denton.

Decided to cut through the houses in the woods and extend the run by heading through the wilderness to the farm at the bottom of Town Lane, so it got quite hilly and muddy there, but I managed to avoid breaking my spine on the ground as I crossed the stile where I fell last summer! At this point flakes of snow were coming down and the sky had gone black! Staggered up the hill bit by bit and paused to stroke a horse, then mud stomped through a pile of utter crappy mud which coated my trainers, then the gradual ascent up Town Lane. Put on a burst of pace but not too much and cantered to a stop near home after struggling with the “Pedestrians this way” sign which actually led right in front of oncoming cars!!!!

Nice run all in all and felt good.

A Very Cold and Windy 8 miles 1 hr 31 minutes ish

Posted on Mar 10, 2013 under 10-15k, All Weather Running, Long Runs, Milestones, Trail Running | No Comment

Time for the Sunday long run, and for a spring day in March the weather was a bit grim – blowing a strong icy wind, freezing cold. Still, the sun was out and shades went on, but only managed to sweat and feel warm when shielded from the wind at brief times in the woods.

Started off towards Hyde, went past Sweatshop and glanced in the window but didn’t see anyone, then headed up to the old railway tracks and ran to the end out towards the hills, then all the way back to Denton. Bumped into a number of friendly dogs and a chap who asked for directions to the canal paths, to get to a pub outing with some mates, I was a bit lost at the time so just told him to head for Gibraltar Bridge and he could get the canal from there.

Got quite muddy in places and the ascent up Stockport Road was a bit of a killer, but made it, then trundled and plodded the last km and rounded off to 13k, or just over 8 miles, just as the Garmin was about to die!

11k – or 6.83 miles – in 1 hour 17 mins – nice undulating trail.

Posted on Mar 03, 2013 under 10-15k, Health, Long Runs, Milestones, Trail Running | No Comment

Something of a Sunday long run, and just under 7 miles is certainly quite long considering my breaks due to injury lately. Was nice to get a substantial distance under my belt, and felt good, though the first few K and the last few were quite tough, in different ways.

Set off down Town Lane, plan was to run out to Reddish Vale and see how I got on. Felt pretty cold to start with, and took it easy, enjoying the the uneven ground and the greenery around me. Bumped into a bunch of vans who looked like they were getting ready for pony trekking, then began the descent to the park, where I started to feel a bit odd, and had to stop for a moment as my heart felt slightly odd and I felt a tingling in my fingers. I put my hand on it and it seemed to have a weird fluttery extra beat, which occasionally happens at rest. I walked for a little while and it went back to normal, and I carried on slowly, and felt no ill effects after this, despite going uphill after this.

I took a few detours and ended up going uphill into Reddish, did a loop of some houses and got a bit lost so went back the way I came, through the park, and then the climb back to Denton, passing ponies along the way. The long steady incline had me working hard and by the time I got to Town Lane I was starting to drag a bit, a chap sweeping his path pulled aside and said “won’t get in the way of your training, stay cool mate,” so I gave him a thumbs up and dug in for the last couple of km. Was just about out of steam by 11k, and petered out, but was nice to have been out running for well over an hour with no niggles, and at times was running as fast as 10 minute miles! Will work on that, one run at a time, for the moment I am just enjoying getting out and enjoying the trails, will be even nicer when the sun pops out!

7k at the weekend followed by 5 sunny miles today!

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 under 5 miles, 5-10k, Jogs, Trail Running | No Comment

Beautiful day at the end of February, managed to do 7k at the weekend and today was my first 5 miler in a while, run mostly on beautiful trails, even inspired me to write a poem during the run, which I captured on my return! Nothing like a run through the woods as the world starts to waken!

Twigs twist and crunch underfoot
in this push pull with gravity,
body borrowing oxygen, feet flying,
lungs gulping to the drum of heart
in this world of earth and trees
where sun drifts down to reflect
on a mind as still as winter water.

Legs, lungs, heart say stop, stop,
But mind nods to sun, earth, trees,
this motion, light – this urgent, precious life.

Not ready to cease this hardwon
effortlessness of being.

Not yet.

4 Miles Breakfast Run with Ron Hill and Sweatshop Hyde Running Community

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 under 5-10k, Club Runs, Milestones, Trail Running | No Comment

Have not been able to make the Hyde Sweatshop Running Community runs for over a month, both due to my injury woes and also the fact Mondays and Wednesdays have been inundated with client bookings in the evening. So when I recieved an invitation to run a 4 miler with Ron Hill this Sunday morning, with free breakfast to follow, I felt I couldn’t really say no!

It was a bright, albeit chilly morning, definitely a few notches down on the thermometer, especially early in the morning. I wore my long sleeved top underneath my short sleeve SRC yellow top, and my tracksuit bottoms. I put the old-ish trainers on as I expected we might hit the muddy trails!

Got to the shop and it was still quiet, chatted to a few people, and soon some familiar faces arrived. I had to remind myself I have not had much running for a month, so didn’t want to start trying to maintain whatever pace I had last time I was there!

We set off into the bright Sunday sunshine with Ron Hill leading, and I held back my pace, feeling tempted to try to hit the front markers but knowing that might not go down to well with my legs or lungs! Chatted to someone I hadn’t seen before, and felt quite good at the pace we were going. When we hit the trails around the Tame valley things got very muddy, I was able to attack the hill before Mill Lane and put on some bursts of speed, but then waited for back markers at various points. We went through the woods and up the stairs in the hillside, I took it easy, and then there was a bit of a detour back up to the canal path, which was extremely muddy. There was talk of ecoli and plague in those dangerous puddles as people tried to avoid them but I just went straight through a few – I hope I shall survive!

On the hills up to the shop I watched a few roads and stayed with the person I had chatted to at the beginning, and supported her to the end, as this wasn’t really a run to go hell for leather with pace, but I really enjoyed the company and the bright sunshine of the run.

I felt quite good at the pace I ran and it didn’t feel like I hadn’t been out for a run with other people for so long, so hopefully the swimming and the few jogs I’ve managed have kept my fitness ticking over.

Work permitting, I might venture back to the 5k Wednesday group, and will hopefully meet some more nice new people as well as familiar ones, and I can slowly build my distance and pace back up so I can enjoy some long winter runs.

My leg and back seemed to hold up well on this one. But my trainers certainly needed a spray with bleach solution and a dunk in hot water, and are now steam drying on the radiator, ready to eat more mud another day, although the evening runs will probably be on roads from now on with the dark nights!

5 Miles Slow and Easy in the Evening Sun – 56:17

Posted on Sep 06, 2012 under 5 miles, Slow Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

Just a very gentle 5 miles, with a hill in the middle!

Left ankle felt a bit niggly on starting, and when I got a little quicker in 2nd km, left hamstring started to protest a little too. Kept my stride length shorter and just plodded along, took it easy on the sharp descent to Denton woods, and enjoyed some nice trail running in the evening sunshine. Had a few bursts of quicker pace but didn’t sustain them.

Took the ascent up Stockport Road very easy but started to get really hot and felt hungry and thirsty. Plodded around random streets at a very slow pace until I got to the 5 mile mark, the legs were OK, not sure how they will respond to race pace on Sunday – and not sure what race pace will be, but will just run how I feel on the day, and see what time I end up with!

Nice Evening Sweatshop Community Run – 7 miles ish

Posted on Sep 05, 2012 under Club Runs, Regular Runs, Trail Running | 1 Comment

Had missed a few weeks at the Sweatshop group with one thing and another, and, aware of my penchant for running hard, was determined to take it easier with a race coming up on Sunday, and not too convinced of my legs just at the moment!

After the usual chat at the shop and getting the members card stamped, we set off into the trails of the Tame valley, and I settled into a nice slow pace somewhat behind the front runners. Not long into the run I felt a sharp twinge in my right calf, so really took it easy, but it never happened again.

Had a few chats with people and caught up with what people had been upto as we ran though Hulme’s wood towards Stockport Road. Had a bit of a breather there, then we were off up the hill and took it easy up the hill while chatting to a new member. We rested again at the top, and for the next leg I ran at a faster pace with the front runners for a bit, felt good and strong, but only wanted to get some strides in really and test my legs running at pace. My groin/hip was feeling mildly niggly now for some reason (after a week where I only ran 5k, the rest didn’t seem to have done me many favours!).

I took it easy on the way back to Mill lane, and we passed some miniature schnauzers barking at us, then a little dog scared the lady I was running next to, barking its head off. At Mill Lane I decided on the long route through the woods, but ran at the back, really needing the miles but just taking it easy.

By the time we got to the canal I was feeling fine, but there was a runner right at the back, and the others had sped off. I decided to stay with the back runner and offer some support up the hills back the the shop. We got up the hills and then had a little dash for the shop, and all in all felt like a nice run out to keep me loose and enjoy the scenery and company.

It seems niggles might be a feature from now on, but so far they have not turned into injuries. Fingers crossed for Salford then, just a couple of easy trots before then, and we shall see what happens on the day!

Easy ish club run that ended with a bit of Mo Mania! 10.25k

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 under 10-15k, Club Runs, Fartlek, Regular Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

Another Monday, and time to head out to the Sweatshop Running Community again! Was a nice day but threatened rain when I set off, and my plan was to run very easy after struggling last week, since the hard run on Monday.

The best laid plans often change though, I set off slowly and tried to keep my pace down but still ended up near the front, though was mindful not to try to keep up with the very front runners until I had got properly warmed up. Quite a few people had raced at the weekend and were taking it easy, so I just jogged along for a while, and we had fun going the wrong way and then having to catch up, which was fun!

Once we got into the run I started to pick up pace and kept nearer the front, I find these runs are more fartlek than anything for me, as I seem to get a real mix of pace from easy to tempo to sprinting with the odd rest stop and on this route some hills, so I suppose it’s good for going through different heart rate zones, not that I measure such things!

When we got to Mill Lane we were given a choice of going through the woods or the quicker route back to base, I elected to go the longer way, aware that this involved the steps and a fair few big hills at the climax! As I had been running quicker in bursts, I started to feel this extra distance and fell back a little at times, conserving my energy, but maintaining form, and gritting my teeth!

The last 3 hills up to Church Street (I think it’s called, there always seem to be church bells ringing when I run up those three big slopes, or maybe it’s just my heart hammering in my ears!) were very tough, and a few people pulled away from me, I felt I had nothing left and was really gasping, my legs turning to rubber, and I honestly felt I might die any second. Then as we crested the hill and reached flat ground, I had my moment of what must have been Mo Mania, as I just couldn’t resist accelerating and sprinting the last 2 or 3 hundred yards and seemed to find this burst of energy out of nowhere! One of the top runners came pelting past me and I worked really hard to stay in touch, even though the pain was excruciating by this point, real oxygen debt spreading through my body. Got a tap on the arm from the coach and a well done, which was nice, and I think those sorts of finishes on runs are really going to pay dividends in the last stages of the City of Salford 10k, I could perhaps knock half a minute off going at that pace, which might make all the difference to a PB one day!

Need an easy run and a longer run this week. The good news is the niggles that I felt at last Monday’s run and the day after have disappeared, so the few days off seem to have had the desired effect!

Thanks again to everyone at SRC, is really fun running with you all 🙂