... but it's OK
Hello runnerbean friends!
I looked at the forecast this morning... rain later, so I thought I'd try out my new 10k route. To be honest, I've been itching to for several days now, and today was finally the day.
Quick route description:
Up the Macclesfield canal to Marple, down a couple of main roads, down the Middlewood Way (formerly a railway line, closed 1969 I believe), take the path past Middlewood station, which has two levels, this is the upper one. The lower platforms are still in use for some obscure reason, given that, as it's name suggests, it is bang slap in the middle of a big wood!! Anyway, up the path just past the station following this for about half a mile until it meets the canal again, run along the canal back to where I started.
So - that's what I did. I deliberately chose the same track to run to that I chose for my first 10k, and it went fine. If anything, I was faster over the first part of the run. But given that canals are level, I got a little worried by how much I had to drop down to get to the middlewood way, but I didn't think much of it. I think the old railway line itself must have a slight gradient sloping up from Marple, but I didn't really feel it. Before I knew it, several more k were under my belt, and I was nearly at Middlewood station, where I turn off to the canal.
And then the hills started. Nothing too bad, but this was definitely in the realms of trail running now. Up a steep-ish hill, though nothing too bad, then around the edge of a field, which in the winter is muddy, but now was full of hard-as-iron ruts that really slowed me down. The next few hundred yards were fine, but then there was a really steep set of steps I had to negotiate to get back to the canal. There's actually a longer way round that involves a gentle slope; I'll use that next time because there was no way having done about 9.5k that I was capable of running down the steps without injury! One last hump-backed canal bridge, and nearly back to where I started.
I was a bit miffed I didn't better my last time, but last time was on the flat, and fairly even terrain. This one had hills, bumps and roads to cross. In the end, I did it 1:10:25, with a slightly slower average pace of 7:02/km, which is only 20 seconds slower than my previous time, and on way more challenging terrain, so in conclusion, yeah, I'll take that
Happy running, friends!
P.S. Please excuse the first Google pic, I was too busy running to take a picture at the time