Feel the heat!

Do you know where you’ve been all year?  Well I didn’t, but thanks to Strava heatmaps I can find out!  I moved to Glossop in February so most of my running has been in and around the local area, trying to get up into the western Dark Peak (largely around Bleaklow).  Below is a screenshot of all of my local runs.

Glossop and surrounding area heatmap

I really find this technology facinating – obviously cartographers have painstakingly creating maps over the centuries but here just by movement (and fantastic GPS tech of course!) I’m creating my own map of the local area just by running around it.  Combine that with your local running club, or anyone else for that matter and you have a true pattern of how people move around an area.  Blistering red in city centres and main paths/tracks but thinning out as it spreads out far and wide tracking something thats probably never been done before – mass human movement.

Of course this only records those who choose to use fitness watches, but as smart watches and activity trackers are becomming more common place it could be expanded to all movements whether exercise or not.  What a fabulous dataset to record movement in the 21st Century!

My Strava movements in the north-west

On other news/reviews for this site: –

  • Race planning! I’ve tried to properly plan my 2018 races HERE.  Nothing too exotic, and this largely encompases my local club (Glossopdale Harriers) road and fell champs with the odd extras here and there. My big focus being the Lakes in a Day Ultra in October.
  • A couple of other new pieces on RunUltra; a review of the auto updating training plan Train As One HERE and they’ve very kindly wrapped me up in baselayers over the winter which will be published any day now.

Here’s to a great 2018!

Shelf Stones – Superfortress

I took a trip up to Shelf Stones earlier to the crash site of “Over-Exposed!”, an RB29 Superfortress which crashed on Bleaklow on 3rd November 1948.  Whilst running and “proper” photography don’t really mix, I really wanted a few pictures so took these on my phone and tried a bit of tweaking when I got back.

For any more info on the crash click this link – http://aircrashsites.co.uk/superfortress-44-6199-over-exposed-2/

The total route was around 14km from the centre of Glossop.  I headed up to Old Glossop and took the route up Lightside and over towards Shelf Stones, with the crash site a few hundred metres away but you could easily miss it (unbelievably).  I came back down quite randomly (access land) working my way down to Doctor’s Gate and back to Glossop.  It was a great run with fantastic views from Lightside and Doctors Gate, and of course the wreck itself.

TV and some Snow Running

As the new year is fading into a distant memory, it’s been relatively quiet in All Hail The Trail world. Other than a random TV appearance of course! OK it was only for a few seconds and was Freeview Channel 7 but it’s a start! It was “Photo of the Day” on the news which happened to be a rather nice view from my work desk. I put it on Twitter with a #Manchester and the channel contacted me to ask if they could use it.  Shows the power of a mere hash tag!

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The first @allhailthetrail TV appearance

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The original picture.  It was a nice view!

On to running news, the reality has now truly kicked in that I won’t be at all ready for the Oldham Way Ultra in March as I’ve had to take it really easy due to tightness in the hip.  18 miles a week an ultrarunner does not make.  I’m progressing though and trying to remain sensible and planning a gradual build up to make sure I’m ready for races later in the year…. next stop Liverpool to Manchester in April, I hope.

I’ve also ticked off my first “proper” trail run since moving to Glossop it was tough, not due to distance, but weather.  The observant amongst us will notice it’s been snowing….. and in the Peak District it was snowing a lot!  I started gently due to my hip but it seemed to ease off as I ascended towards the summit of Cock Hill (mainly walking to be honest).

ds

The weather got more and more extreme and as I ran over towards Clough Edge and I began to go blind in my right eye as the snow and wind battered the muscles around my right eye socket and eye lid.  I started to have one of those strange moments of euphoria as nature was showing me who was boss.

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I continued down into the relative calmness of the Longdendale Trail and along the road back into Glossop.

Talking of Glossop a final picture of the view from my spare bedroom window.  What a change from City Centre Living!

glossop

Lots more planned for this site and a great carb loading recipe coming up soon for all the marathon runners – chicken, lemon and rice stew.  White pasta gorgers move along, there’s nothing for you here!

Easing into the New Year

Its been a tough start to the New Year in a “1st world problems” type of way because I haven’t been able to get into the training that I wanted.

At the end of November I completed my longest ever race, the Wendover Woods 50.  It went better than planned.  I kept a reasonably consistent pace throughout the whole very hilly 50 miles, finished without any blisters, or “serious” pain other than the fully anticipated tired/aching muscles.  Stairs were a problem for two days, but after that I did a small bit of tentative running on a treadmill and all seemed ok.

Within two weeks, a friend was coming back to visit and before I knew it I was on a hilly two hour trail run in the Peaks.  It was great.  Apart from my hip.  And my feet.  Since Wendover I seemed to have developed various problems – significant tightness in the hip, pain in the top of both feet, dodgy shoulder and sore coccyx. Perhaps I’m not as “ultra-ready” as I though I was!

Anyway, this site isn’t about moaning, so I’ve been on “active” recovery i.e. a few very slow runs, some HIIT work, lots of stretching and foam rolling, basically anything which doesn’t bring back any recurring problems.

It’s a odd time of the year to be doing it though as everyone has suddenly gone fitness crazy.  I feel like a school kid in detention, nose pressed against the window, watching all the other kids play football outside.  Marathon plans have started, gyms are bulging at the seams, and parkrun attendance figures have shot up.  My running friends are building up the mileage for spring races and banging out interval training like its gone out of fashion, but I’m worried to accelerate above anything that might break a sweat!  But actually, I’m kind of easing back into it now, I’ve had a (very painful) phsyio session recently which has helped and kept the runs sensible and am feeling ready to start ramping things up which is great!

So in summary I need to (wo)man up and get back into being an……

ultra-runner

Final couple of updates, knowing that I’m moving to Glossop shorty, I’ve planned my run-commute! A mere 25km from Manchester City, through Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, Hadfield and into Glossop.  Its got a “lighter-nights” feel about it though, but i’m looking forward to doing it!  Click the pic for the Strava route!

route-manchester-to-glossop-25km

I’ve also updated my Race Results page, just into a more easily readable table format.  Definitely looking forward to developing this site further with a few new recipes and routes!

Until next time…