I thought that last Saturday's run was slow, but today I was even slower! I mentally constructed a 25km loop, setting off through Endcliffe Park. After Rustling's Road I met one of the Saturday morning group who was moving quite slowly. I stayed with him and chatted until the Norfolk Arms, content to have a companion and an excuse to take a sensible pace.
Just above the pub I found a unofficial path leading into Lady Canning Plantation that joined the bridleway up to Oxstones.
I suspect that this route is used by bike riders and preceded the development of the Blue Route. In any event it served well to keep me off the road. After Oxstones I continued along Houndkirk Road and then turned for home over Totley Moor. This was easy going until the steep descent on the Byway.
Just before the 20km point my right ankle/calf started to cramp and this was irritating on even gentle ascents. I tired to massage it but it wasn't effective and with a general feeling of fatigue I had a slow last few km home.
I'm not sure why I'd found the run so hard and excessively slow. Perhaps I was generally fatigued as I'd woken with a 5% increase in my heart rate or perhaps the sore calf was affecting my gait?