Saturday 26 October 2013

Blacka Moor 'half marathon'

As last week's saturday run combined with Parkrun hadn't irritated my legs I'd decided earlier in the week to do one of my informal race-length loops. A few weeks ago I had hoped that I might be doing a  marathon this weekend but with  the ongoing leg-ache that wouldn't have been wise, or perhaps even possible.

It was only just light as I set off with the street lamps adding to illumination. By the time I reached the woods there was a little more light and the colours of autumn were apparent.

Autumn leaves are just falling

My plan was to keep running, that is not do my 5:1 cycle and see what effect it had on my average pace. Initially it looked like a really bad idea as I was only achieving 6:30min/km but that was uphill! Also I was getting too hot as I'd got my jacket on as it was raining. eventually the jacket came off and that made me feel better and faster even if I wasn't. In just over the hour I reached a notional halfway point where I turned homewards at Houndkirk Road.

At Oxstones with a dreary view
Although it wasn't raining the clouds were hanging over the fells removing any chance of a view across the valleys of Sheffield. From Oxstones the trend is downhill although there are a few uphill sections to impede the weary runner. As the descent progressed it was obvious that my pace had improved and the average gradually wound back towards 6:20 and then 6:10. Perhaps I could just get under 6 minutes/km?

As is so often the case, the final few km through the woods were hard work and I was doubtful that I'd manage the magical '6'. With a final push on the tarmac, some of which is markedly uphill I made it home, and yes, the average was 5:54! Hoorary! Even this didn't get me a half-marathon badge on Strava as it seems I've done better a number of times before, especially around 6 months ago when I seemed to be at my strongest. Nonetheless it was a fair effort and doesn't feel to have inflicted damage on the hamstring.

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