I was lucky to get a last minute place at a local race called the ‘Belper Rover’ on August 18th. This is the revamped Rugby Rover and is hosted by Derby Runner. I had already been out and done a long run the day before; heading up to Hope in the Peak District by early morning train then running back along the Heritage Way. Its a fairly easy route and very gradually down hill most of the way so quite nice running. I had all intentions to load up my phone with podcasts and listen to them as I ran. Once I headed off through from Hope train station I was happy just enjoying the scenery and contemplating life.
I think we often get very little time to just ‘be’ and really enjoy where we are and what we are doing. Sometimes my brain feels ‘full’ and ‘busy’ and its just nice to let those thoughts and feelings just ebb away. The run was pretty uneventful with only a few near death brushes with some evil cows. Steve met me just outside Matlock to cover the last 5 miles with me and I felt strong along the canal from Matlock to Ambergate.
I scoffed one of Steve’s epic Risottos after and rested up, legs felt good so I was pleased and I felt ready to face the next days run. I’ve also been using Herbalife endurance recovery shakes after long runs to make sure I’m replacing lost energy and nutrients. I’m not a nutritionist and have spent several years finding out what works for my body. I’ve made lots of the common mistakes that long distance runners make and last year was shocked to find out my stored iron levels were almost none existent. I started to take more care around what I was eating and added iron supplements to my diet. I increased my protein intake and now thanks to Steve’s love for cooking we eat much more lean meat, protein and fresh veg.
Sundays event was just to be a training run to see how I felt doing another longish run. Luckily the ladies captain from KADS had also managed to grab a last minute place so we decided to run together and take it steady.
We are entered as a pair for the Equinox 24 hour run so its good training for running on tired legs and recovery. The race had a really lovely feel to it with quite a small field but there were lots of local runners so it was nice to catch up with some of them that I see intermittently on Facebook. After a very sedate start we headed out along the road for a short distance then it was off into the countryside. The route was brilliantly sign posted so there was never any chance of veering off course. There were some cracking uphill sections with some lovely downhill bits so you could really take in the scenery. Forest tracks, cornfields, golf course paths, it really did have a bit of everything. There were a few rather muddy sections that claimed a few trainers but we survived. We chatted on the way round and finished comfortably in around 3 hours. A medal, beer and a buff awaited each finisher and the sun was thankfully still out so we could sit out and rest our somewhat muddy feet.
I ran in my Altra Lone Peaks which are my favourite off road shoes at the moment.
They are zero drop so I was a bit worried about the road sections but they are surprisingly cushioned for a zero drop shoe. There’s plenty of room in the toe box and I actually felt like my socks were restricting my toes so I took one sock off and kept one on to see if there was much difference. The sock free foot felt great and no blisters or rubbing so might purchase some individual toe socks or continue to run sock free.
The Belper Rover was a fantastic event that I would definitely recommend and at 30k its a great distance to either race or use as a training run for a longer distance. Yes its challenging and the hills are tough but the variety keeps you interested. I was pleased to see that the water stations were just that….stations to provide water! We had been advised to carry our own bottles so could top up meaning there wasn’t an excess of plastic cups and snack wrappers generated. £22 to enter with a beer, medal and buff is definitely value for money. The facilities at the start/finish were great with plenty on offer to eat and drink. The marshals were all fantastic and we were able to park near to the start (£2.70 to pay). That’s it now for long runs, I’m winding down to my Ultra at the end of August. I have the Double or Quits event on August 24th which is still open for entries. This is another super local event so get signed up.
If you want help and advice on training for a longer distance or improving your running then please get in touch.