Sunday, July 12, 2015

English Holiday

Distance 50km+25.2km [total: minimalist 392.1km: Barefoot 7460.1km] Week22 (1st June - 12th July)

The month of June was spent in England visiting family and friends and getting a bit of running in as well. 
As Australia was heading into winter, England was heading into Summer, or that is how they describe it at least.
The weather did improve during the duration of my stay but the days of warmth were infrequent. That is not to say it rained all the time, I only experience around 5 days of rain but it was damp enough to ensure that I would not be running barefoot over here.
I had brought along my Vibram Five Fingers and they are getting the fullest amount of use since my last visit almost exactly 2 years earlier.
My first run took me down to the River Tame, following it along to until it hits Stockport Road where I have a little rest then turn back. The VFF's remove the need to keep a look out for stones or other small obstacles I might step on and they also give a good grip in the muddy conditions.
Other runs were done with the company of old mate Graham Hill. He knows all the ways of avoiding running along main roads and staying on quiet lanes or trails. The terrain is quite different from Adelaide in that it is much more undulating and there are plenty of hills to climb.
Now that I'm not a heel striker anymore I can tackle the steep Werneth Low Road in one go, it still hurts the legs but because I'm using gravity in my favour rather than working against it, I have the energy to climb the hill.
The route is show below, the distance is 10km.

 I ran this route about three times during my stay. The views from the top make it well worth the slight pain in the legs. The plains of Manchester over one side and the Pennine hills on the other.
A view of Werneth Low is in the photo below.

Werneth Low, looking back to the War Memorial and Manchester beyond
As you can see a great running spot. The trail is a bit stony so can be a little hard going on the thin soled vibrams.

A Bit Sweaty After Getting Down From the Hill Run

I arrived back in a wintery Australia on the 2nd of July and what a winter it is proving to be.
I have had just 3 runs since getting back. The first was on Sunday (5th July) after a gym session that included some deadlifts that gave my legs a whole lot of pain for the next 5 days. The run straight after the gym session was fine and I covered my 8.2km lake run.
Wednesday was the best day of the week from a weather point of view, a mild sunny day and I raced out of work to get down to the beach to run a 10km. It was dark by the time I finished at 5:45pm. I felt really fast and strong and put this down to the holiday and the relaxed running I was doing over there.
I was a little over ambitions with my pronunciations about my new found barefoot speed. Two days later and I'm hobbling around with calves that feel like they have been pummeled with a hammer. Running barefoot need much more calf strength than running in shoes and I overdid it in only my second run since getting back.
The weekend weather say a cold southerly weather system passing over the state, the temperatures plummeted to around 7C. I talked myself into doing a short 7km run along the beach and road. I kept it short as it was cold, wet and windy. My feet were a bit numb underneath by the end but still a good run.