All in all preparations for my Master Cutler's Challenge attempt at running the 100 mile boundary of the Cutler's Company in one go were not going well. I was not getting the distances I required in training - and I was finding the distances I was getting hard going.
So fast forward to yesterday and a different approach. I thought I'd try a long run broken down into sections - all at a very steady pace. And with a café break after each section.
First section took me into breakfast at the excellent Café Aroma near Endcliffe Park. 12 miles. Despite icy conditions I went quite well. And so fortified to battle the cold next stop was Outside in Hathersage, after a trip over the fabulous roads past Higger Tor and Stanage Edge. 8 miles
I stopped too well in Hathersage and either my large tea consumption or slice of chocolate orange cake led to a bout of stomach cramp at the start of stage 3 to Strines Inn. This section took me past Ladybower and up towards Derwent Edge off road. This section of the A57 is too dangerous to run - and in any case the off road is good practice. And I started going well here about 26 miles in! 8 miles
I had a quick coffee and a warm at the Strines Inn before the final section to home - which is a savagely hilly 10 miles. At my best and coming fresh from home to Strines I can do it in 2 hours. So I was amazed to cover this in 2:10.
So 38.5 miles later with 8 hours running time and 9 hours actually out - I returned home. And felt fine. I'd got the distance, I'd got the pacing right so I could keep going, and I discovered that the stops really helped me.
My feet were also fine - I'd switched back to Hokas for this. They are designed for ultra running and keeping your feet relatively unstressed. I find them a bit odd for general running - but they did the trick for me yesterday.
So all in all a success and I feel back on track.
Have a watch - only 6 minutes. Sorry you can't hear it all in the wind on the very top - but the views are great!