Monday, August 22, 2011

Does it rain in Manchester?

Distance 30km [total: minimalist 174km: Barefoot 1787.2km] Week 33

Tuesday, 16-Aug. 9.5km.
I called my friend and one time running mate Graham Hill to see if he wanted to go out for a run today. Time to tackle the hills! since living in Adelaide I have been running on predominantly flat terrain. My old running routes were always hilly, would I cope.
We set off at around 9.30am under grey clouds with the threat of rain. The route was a loop that would take us along the canal towpath to Woodley then the start of the climb up to Greave. Once more I ran in the Vibrams, the towpath was far too muddy and dangerous for barefoot. With my new running form I was surprised how easy I found the running, even the climbing wasn't that bad. On the top of Werneth Low you get a view over Manchester, from there I could see the rain heading in. It came in by the time we started make our way off the hill and by the bottom it was raining steadily. Running in the Vibrams was easy now that I have calf strength and correct technique. The distance was approximately 9.5km and took 1:04:58pm.

Thursday, 18-Aug. 13.5km. 
This was a tougher run, one of the routes I used to run in my early 20's. Could I still climb the hills? I started off following the same route as Tuesday but this time dropped down into Compstall which sits at the low point on the course. Small farm access roads then climb up from a height of 90m up to 270m. I managed to run all the way up with only one 60 second rest stop. On the earlier part of the run I timed myself for a distance of 1.25 miles which I used to run in around 6min 50sec, back when I was 20. I was a bit slower this time, running in my vibrams and not running at top speed but I managed it in 9min 23.5sec so it was quite a bit slower. The weather was a big improvement on Tuesdays effort and makes running much more of a pleasure.

Saturday, 20-Aug. 7.5km. 
A nice sunny morning managed to coax me out for a short run along the river. It still feels like a nice winter morning in Australia rather than a summer day in England. It is still muddy along the river trail that will take quite a few weeks of dry weather to dry out. I covered the distance in 45m as it quite undulating. I've been wearing the Vibrams on all of these runs as the trails are not barefoot friendly, lots of rocks, horse dropping and dog droppings, not stuff I would like to be running in.


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