Fell running on the Trans Pennine Trail

I wanted more out of this week than ‘just’ running, and I made this happen.  Monday was my easy day, a bit of a cycle commute to and from work, but with a twist….I went to the pool and swam a kilometre before getting a relieving sports massage for 40 minutes that I’d managed to get for a steal on Groupon with KTJ.  I did my usual cycle and run commutes (well only 2 run commutes) and managed to get to Bioticfit on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  Tuesday was supposed to be get started fit, which I thought would be perfect after my mileage on the weekend, but it certainly didn’t feel like getting started, got walloped as usual! And I went back for more on Wednesday night, this time trying out one of the newer venues at Crossford Bridge Park in Sale.  Lucky for Gillian Haworth that I turned up as it was just the two of us, so PT Kev put us through some serious paces, including bear crawls, scorpion walks, sprint drills and planks galore to name a few.  I was seriously shattered at the end of that!

My hubby and I had a great visit to Race kit, an ultra running gear shop in Matlock on Thursday, spending as mall fortune but all necessary for the Kalahari.  Andy was so informative and an absolute wealth of knowledge with great advice and recommendations.  we walked away with some great kit, Raidlight backpacks, X-Bionic tops (& shorts for hubby), head torches, sleeping bag liners, water bottles and sleeping mats.

The plan was then for us to run with our new running packs to Kidsgrove, stay the night & run back…..but the weather was shocking, chucking it down, and we backed out at the last minute.  Didn’t want to ruin our bags after all! Ended up with a bit of a naughty night at home, enjoying a few beverages too many.

This change of plan then meant I was in charge of a route on Saturday, so I had been wanting to test out the Trans Pennine Trail to Edale, so what better time than now.  Leaving Didsbury we headed off to Reddish Vale and joined the TPT from there, taking us up to Broadbottom and Charlesworth before cutting through the Peak District up on Kinder, down via Jacobs Ladder into Edale.  633m climb along the way amongst others, along with varied terrain of sand, rocks, slate rocks, mud, boulders and grass made for a tough yet rewarding run.  The views were spectacular and we had an awesome day out.  We made it to Edale 2mins before the next train to Manchester so that was perfect timing.  We made the mileage up to 34 by running the last 5 miles home, as it was only 29 to Edale.  That was tough to get running again after 40 mins on the train, but all good training in the bank of pain!  A tasty treat of fish & chips finished off a great day out.

18 miles in with Manchester city in the background

18 miles in with Manchester city in the background

Is it a bird, a plane.....no it's me taking off at Kinder.

Is it a bird, a plane…..no it’s me taking off at Kinder.

Dion heading down Jacob's Ladder, absolute murder on the knees

Dion heading down Jacob’s Ladder, absolute murder on the knees

Taking a load off in the Giants chair just before Edale.

Taking a load off in the Giants chair just before Edale.

A ‘recovery’ ride on Sunday of 55 miles out to Warrington finished off a massive week of training, resulting in Sunday evening sat with my feet up on the couch in my compression gear!

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Compressport sorting out my tired muscles

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Boston Qualifying Time!

Dubbed as the flattest marathon in the UK, and being in my home city, I entered this marathon with the dream of qualifying for Boston.  For my age group this means a sub 3:35, or possibly 3:40 as I go up to the 35-39 age group for next years Boston.  Given the recent disturbing events at Boston, this felt even more important to achieve now.

Race day dawned and it was perfect running conditions, a cool 6 degrees, maxing out at 11 degrees, with just a slight breeze.  Fuelled up on carbs and plenty of fluids the last 3 days I got to the start line in plenty time to find my place in start area B next to the 3:30 Brooks pacers.  We had a 26 second silence followed by 26 seconds of applause for the Boston Marathon which pulled at the heartstrings.

And then we were off.  I set off at a blistering pace out of Old Trafford at 7:40/7:45 which worried me that I might have set off too quickly, but I thought stick with it, you’ve got to give it your all.  I passed the 3:30 pacers and settled into my pace which was feeling surprisingly comfortable.  Keen to reach mile 8 in Sale, where hubby & a friend would be, I kept the pace up and was soaking up the great atmosphere from all the supporters.  Hubby was super pleased to see me so soon and ran alongside me for some quick words of encouragement and an offer of half a flapjack which I declined.

Headed out through Brooklands & Altrincham, then back through Brooklands where hubby was again at mile 16 for a strategic bottle swap, and again some words of encouragement and a running hug!

The next 4 miles went past quickly, still holding my strong pace out past Carrington, where Manchester United train,until I hit mile 21….that’s when the pain started, my right quad was screaming pain, but I just kept thinking its only 5 miles to go, its not even your run commute to work, don’t let this awesome pace go now.  Things did slow down, I had another friend out at mile 23 in Urmston which gave me a boost, but still 3 miles to go.  I checked my watch and I could see a sub 3:30 slipping away, I needed to keep 8 min miles, but at this stage I was on 9 minute miles, this gave me a kick and I managed to keep my speed in the 8:30/8:45 to see me home.  It was an amazing sight to see the majestic Theatre of Dreams up ahead and the last 200 yards down to the finish were in a world of hurt, I couldn’t see or hear the crowds, it was just me & that finish line!  3:33!!! I could hardly believe it myself, there were tears and plenty of smiles & hugs too.  Absolutely elated!  I even rang my Mum in Australia and got her out of bed to share my news.

The support along the way from all the Mancunians that come out was immense, if you are looking for a fast, flat marathon with great support then sign up for next year!

ImageBefore the start, looking fresh & happy.

ImageMile 8, looking fresh & happy with my progress.

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Mile 16, looking pretty happy still, but pain about to kick in!

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After! Looking very pleased with myself, my medal, my PB of 3:33 and a qualifying time for Boston.