This evening I made the plan to go at a steady pace and aim for a good time up to Hathersage Road. However from the start my pace felt spot on, breathing well, good cadence, good speed and no irritating wind or rain. I arrived at the start of the ascent feeling relatively fresh and took on the hill with a bit of effort. Not so fast as to wear myself out at the bottom, but hopefully fast enough to be fast but slow enough to be able to maintain the pace to the top.
I managed that very well and achieved a time well under 13 minutes. I still had energy so kept up the effort towards home. At the 10km mark the time looked to be a record which gave me the incentive to keep up the effort on the final 2km easy descent.
Altogether I earned an amazing 12 Strava awards, mostly PB's on segments but also my best 5km and 10km times too!
Somehow everything was in alignment and I wonder if this will be an occasion that will never be bettered, or one that shows potential to be repeated. I suppose I'll know over the next few weeks. The last time I made dramatic progress on this loop I was 'powered by cake' (19/11/13) and it might be notable that I'd eaten a slice of the fruitcake earlier this afternoon. Maybe that's the key factor? Anyway, much use of the roller was needed when I got home and I'll have to keep it up over the next few days.