I’m pretty keen to make this a big mileage week, so this morning’s run would not be my usual six to eight miles, but something closer to ten miles. By the time I got out of the house it was a pleasant late winter’s day, comfortable to run in shorts and long sleeved top; the gloves came off after three miles or so when I realised it was a bit warmer than I’d anticipated.
The run I had in mind would take me on a new route in part – tackling a hill I’d not heard of until a club mate created a segment on Strava. Minnett’s Hill is its name. Sounds unassuming, but I’d been warned it looked like a wall was about to hit you when you came up to it. Such things surely cannot exist in flat Lincolnshire I presumed, so dismissed this advice as scaremongering.
The legs felt pretty good for ones that had done ten hard ones the previous evening plus six in the morning. The power of a good night’s sleep, protein shake, and maybe the couple of pancakes consumed just before bedtime had all helped. It wasn’t long before I was running around seven minute miles and watching the miles click by.
Minnett’s Hill would see me leave the main road through a small hamlet and initially up a steep, but not unbearable climb – surrounded by fields covered in crops. Before I knew it I’d climbed the hill and was on a gentle descent. Not much of a hill I thought to myself. Then a few hundred meters on the narrow lane would disappear into a copse and seemingly disappear into the sky on an ever increasing angle of ascent. It was, as warned, like looking at a wall.
The legs, especially the quads, which were the bits of me that felt tired, began to protest before I even started climbing. As the path ramped up I went quickly into survival mode, found a pace I could cope with and stuck with it. A few moments later I realised that pace was far too fast and I slowed to a shuffle and wondered whether walking would be quicker. Determined to keep on running I shuffled on, by now the heart rate racing up to racing levels and beyond.
Just as I thought I couldn’t go on the hill lessened in its severity and it wasn’t long before I was back on the level. Whilst we lost the ascent we also lost the tarmac lane, the road now a farmer’s track, and with the recent volume of rain, a very muddy and wet farmer’s track. My new trainers looked decidedly second hand by the time I reached a proper road again; the rest of me looking fairly mud splattered as I was passed by a number of scramblers on their motorbikes who wished me a good journey in the form of coating me in mud.
Back on road and it wasn’t long before the hill climbed would be a similar hill descended – this proving nearly as painful on the quads as the ascent. With seven miles covered I had the option here of heading straight home or taking a detour on Five Gates to add a couple of extra miles. As the weather was good and the legs felt okay, I opted for the latter. enjoying the scenery by a road I’ve only previously ever run in darkness. I was particularly taken by a large herd of deer who, to a buck and doe, were statuesque as they grazed silently on grass.
The rest of the run was a formality – only in the very last mile did the legs throw any signs of distress signals as the calves felt a tough tight. Other than that it was twelve easy miles and a beast of a climb – one that I would like to tackle again in anger when the tracks have dried up – if that could ever happen.
1) 1m – 7:43(7:43/m) 135/144bpm 106cal
2) 1m – 7:10(7:10/m) 141/149bpm 101cal
3) 1m – 7:10(7:10/m) 144/150bpm 100cal
4) 1m – 7:11(7:11/m) 151/167bpm 106cal
5) 1m – 7:31(7:31/m) 158/173bpm 117cal
6) 1m – 7:07(7:07/m) 151/155bpm 101cal
7) 1m – 6:53(6:53/m) 141/150bpm 76cal
8) 1m – 7:04(7:04/m) 147/154bpm 92cal
9) 1m – 7:03(7:03/m) 146/152bpm 85cal
10) 1m – 7:06(7:06/m) 139/150bpm 59cal
11) 1m – 7:01(7:01/m) 143/148bpm 75cal
12) 1m – 6:57(6:57/m) 144/148bpm 75cal
13) 0.35m – 2:32(7:11/m) 144/148bpm 26cal