Friday, 19 January 2018

feast and famine week for running and cycling

19th January

After a really good week of running 21 miles and cycling 58 miles I was feeling I was getting into a good regime to build up to the Grizzly. Sadly it didnt last and this week including today I have not run for a week and I have only cycled 32 miles [today]. The weather has been very poor last week end, and a visit to Gloucester for eldest 39th birth day on Sunday  put paid to any weekend miles. Monday wasa complete wash out again with heavy rain and winds and also a trip to the podietrist!!!

I must say muddy roads along with hedge cuttings made the going heavy and the head wind didnt help. I renewed the chain, cassette, rear deraillur and the chainrings as well as rear brake blocks. I was shocked how badly worn the whole transmission was. I fitted stronglight chainrings instead of Campagnolo as they were much cheaper, but! as with all Campag I had to make a little alteration to make them fit! it all seems to work ok, the indexing is a little out and I think I need to shorten my chain by a link or so. I am pleased this is done, except today, the muddy wet roads have made it all a mess once again!!! I am also getting through brake blocks! riding in groups means you are always braking, especially down steep long hills. I also changed the rear tyre as it was looking decidedly worn, I had a partly worn one so was able to save a few pounds! so over £100 worth of kit fitted! hope thats the last for a while, alhough the winter roads are taking their toll.

Monday we also had a call to look after grandchildren as one of them was sick , so we drove up to Gloucester on Tuesday morning at 5:30 am for an early start. we then had two nights camped in 'Briersfield' campsite after looking after the twins in the day. the first night was chilly, but lovely and warm in the van, the heater being very effective, My new TV ariel also seems to work very well we can now get all channels not just 3 !!!! the second night was galeforce winds, a bit of van rocking, but nothing to worry about. the van was very comfortable and warm, we were very pleased with it over the two days.

My trip to the Podietrist was an expensive do! as it was suggested I have orthotic shoe insoles as she suggested this would correct the issue, I was also told to continue with my exercises. I was a little disappointed as she didnt tell me more and encourage me to run etc, she just said I could carry on running and the orthotic inserts would help, so I now await the arrival of my £325 insoles [£250 + scan consultancy etc]

So now we are back I hope to create a routine once again cycle 3 times a week between 60 and a 100 miles and run 3 times a week two times 7 miles and a longer 10 -12 miler by the end of the month.

I will only continue to look to do my Exmoor run on the 4th March and the Grizzly on the 18th if my PF improves and I can get the miles in, I am over 100 miles down on cycling for January last year and 60 + miles down on running, I am not sure why, except for weather!

One final point! spring is coming I saw my first snowdrop today! a solitary one in a hedge bottom on my cycle ride over the levels , wonderful to see!!!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year !
Since my last post of 2017 I have finally got rid of the nasty bug I picked up before Christmas.  I started the year well  with 19 miles run and 90 miles cycled, including a lovely ride over to Ottery St Mary, visiting Branscombe and Honiton on the way round, 40 miles covered and some big hills both up and down , a good lunch in the ‘peek a boo’ café in Honiton, weather was good for a change with bright sunshine.

I also did the Seaton Park run last Saturday with my daughter who achieved a PB with 31 minutes. My Planter Faciitis is still niggling in the background and is somewhat painful after the event. I have now decided to visit a podiatrist in Axminster who may be able to advise me on the best course of action to address it, or at least sort me out some orthotics, I fear however that the advice will be to stop running again, I have now entered the 10 mile ‘Exmoor Run’ in early March a good off road run round Symondsbath two weeks before the Grizzly. 

I do need to order some new road running shoes as my new ones are clearly too big, so hope to pass to my son, they just don’t feel right, but can I justify new shoes after having to spend over a hundred pounds on my bike! I have also signed up for the Trail Running Magazine #1000 which you challenge to run 1000 miles over the year, I did enter last year but the several months off in the middle for France and my injury meant I only covered less than 600 miles, but! I hope this year if more successful !!

The weather continues to be changeable warm then freezing with the roads now being very wet, muddy and full of pot holes. After cleaning my bike last weekend I was shocked at the state of the transmission, I have now ordered a new rear derailleur, cassette, chain and two new chain rings, all badly worn and likely to let me down, I also had to change the rear tyre as it was in a poor state, the winter this year is taking a toll on my equipment as its wet each time I go out, roll on spring!!

We have managed a couple of visits to the coast for coffee in the van over the past couple of weeks, keeping the van aired and running, I am looking forward to getting out for a few days sometime.

We have not had any more viewings on our house, up for sale since October last, we hope the spring will bring more interest.

Finally , I start my fifth year of my blog, going since 2014, last year I only managed less than 50 posts unlike my first year when I did 69! many thanks to anyone who reads this, I don't have any followers but notice I have views from all over the world. I still see this as a personal diary, and it is nice to check back previous years what I did when, what the weather was like and how I was going in my training etc.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Topsy turvy month

29th December 2017

Since my last post of the lovely run down on the coast, we have had to spend a night at Briarsfields campsite in Cheltenham to look after the grandchildren once again, sadly this coincided with William having an horrendous cold with sneeze and snot going everywhere, the result of which both me and Mrs IanB have spent the last week with the cold from hell, both now suffering from an endless cough!!! We were able to visit my eldest son in Wimborne on a pre - Christmas visit to deliver pressies etc . before welcoming our daughter home for Christmas day, we sniffed and coughed our way through the day, it was very pleasant and very quiet, the weather was horrible so no after lunch amble outside!
Boxing day was a day in Gloucester with Grandchildren, so an early drive up the M5 to deliver presents and spend the day eating and playing with them, it was really nice made extra niice with a wonderful walk down to Barnwood Park to feed the ducks, G and W both walking there and back, G accompanied by his teddy!!! The drive home was grim with heavy rain; however, we missed the snowfall which appeared to come later in the night.
The weather seems to have settled into a pattern of one reasonable day and one wet and windy day, same with temperatures one minute freezing, next day back to ten degrees again.

This month the cycling and running mileages have taken a hit, with nasty weather and horrible colds [ my second in a month despite the flu jab] only 34 run and 154 cycled compared to 45 run and 427 cycled last month. I did manage 4.5 mile run round town yesterday [28/12/17] but finished with a very sore throat and lots of coughing, it was hard work and to make matters worse my Plantar Faciitis seems to have returned with my foot feeling quite painful last night so disappointing, I had hoped to see the back of that. I did roll it and wore the splint for a short time, hope this helps!

The year cycling and running has been interesting with 574 miles run in the last twelve months and 4602 miles cycled compared to 862 miles run and 3019 miles cycled last year, I think this reflects the emphasis of my French Manche to Med ride, the preparation mileage and the actual mileage. Running wise I have lost a lot of miles due to the PF I didn’t run for two months !!

The Grizzly is fast approaching and only 12 weeks away, which seems a long way but I know it will soon go, so I need to start building my mileage, I think I will see how I go in January and how the PF goes , if PF persists I may pull out of Grizzly early, to save the pain of training and perhaps try once again to get rid of it, seeing a specialist, exercise, etc, and try to get more miles on the bike, I must say the winter cycling is made extra difficult with the filthy roads, I seem constantly to be washing my bike down, which is a pain in the backside!

My plan will be to build up to 10 -12 miles by the end of January, then up to 16-18 by the end of February, leaving the last couple of weeks to maybe do 19-20 in preparation for the event, I still believe the miles and time on your feet is crucial, to success. My running partner up the lane I have no doubt will run twice round the block before the event and then have a fantastic race!!! [ well done Rachel if you read this!! I don’t know how you do it!]

The other issue is our house is up for sale, so this may cause distractions should we actually sell it and have to look for other property to buy.

Monday, 18 December 2017

even more running and cycling, but a bit of tree cutting

19th December

Brilliant run over Beer Head yesterday, glorious sunshine 6.8 miles
And some cutting down of the dreaded leylandii by my son, great job he did too, hard work feeding his shredder though, my arms, shoulders and hamstrings felt it the next day!

                                             after run coffee
                                              parked at Beer Head
                              top of stairway to heaven
                                          looking down on Fountains Inn
                                 woods to Fountains

Woods to Fountains

                              Beer Head
                              Beer Head looking to Seaton
                                 Looking down on Branscombe Beach

Woods to Founains

Sunday, 10 December 2017

couple of days in Bournemouth

11th December 2017

Sunday [3rd] I managed to get out for a ride, after a pleasant coffee in the van on Seaton sea front, the cold northerly wind blowing from the land rather than the sea. only 29 miles covered but it would be my last miles till the following weekend as we had planned to spend a couple of days in Bournemouth.

We had booked a couple of nights in the cliff top Travel Lodge. The journey down was very busy for a monday morning, heavy traffic all the way, we managed to get to the hotel by lunch time, so a quick walk down to the town to pick up a panini and take away tea to eat in the park.

There was a small christmas market on the town square along with an ice rink in the park, after visiting these we spent the afternoon doing a little christmas shopping picking up some small items. After checking into the hotel in the late afternoon, tea and a piece of MrsBs flapjack we walked down the front and onto the pier, a lovely afternoon, a typical grey December day, where the darkness was descending by 4pm. A pleasant evening meal in Weatherspoons before revisiting the park to see the lights, very nice they were too, the ice rink was also quite busy now.

Our second day was spent walking along the front, the pier, cliffs and the town and according to my Garmin watch we walked about 8 miles, the weather was very grey and cold.

Our final day, after a walk down to the pier and breakfast in Weatherspoons we drove over to Christchurch through very busy traffic. We parked on the edge of the town and walked around the Priory and waterfront, a very grey cold day with spots of rain, not a day for sitting around.

All to soon we were fighting our way back through traffic back home, the weather now decidedly wet! what made it worse was following a large lorry for quite a long way and the resulting muddy water thrown up plastered the car and the windscreen!! making visibility poor.

It was a nice couple of days away, the Travel Lodge on the cliffs being recommended.

Thursday I managed to get a 5 mile run round the town,  and friday I joined the local cycling club for their afternoon ride, usually a fast 40 mile ride with a cafe stop,but, the weather was cold, with a strong wind so the four of  us decided to do a shorther faster ride through Muchelney and Kingsbury Episcopi 32 miles covered at a good pace, I admit, that I didnt really do my bit on the front as the others were much stronger than me, a good ride and we were back in good time before dusk.

The weekend was poor for outside activity, Sunday was a very wet and very windy day with snow over most of the counry, but not here. I hope to get out on my usual run and rides this week.

November was good for rides and runs 427 miles cycled and 47 miles run.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

An Audax and a Park Run

3rd December 2017

November was a good month for getting out, despite the weather at times, I cycled 427 miles and ran 46 miles, so pleased with that, especially running as I started running again at the start of November after my battles with Plantar Faciitis, although this is still there in the back ground, so taking care to roll my foot after a run.

November gave me some good cycling days out, a lovely ride with a friend over to Washing Pool farm near Bridport from Kilmington, through the Wootten Fitzpaine valley and the South Dorset hills, double egg and chips went down well. The weather was splendid with bright winter sunshine all day. I have managed to get out on a couple of Friday afternoons with the local cycling club, these rides are usually a fast pace for the first 25 miles to the cafe! then a little easier for the remainder of the 38 miles!

Late November I rode the 'Breakfast in Bampton Audax' with friends Susie and Rosie. this was a 68 mile event starting from the new village of Cranbrook near Exeter. It was a cold and frosty morning as I parked up in the car park of this, new village and I have to say I was very underwhelmed !!! a horrible 'housing estate' with dubious characters hanging around! I met up with the girls and the first part of the ride took us through the centre of Exeter, difficult on the first real christmas shopping Saturday of the year.

We successfully negotiated the city, even though my Garmin decided to play up. We were soon on the road to Bampton past Stoke Cannon, unfortunately the road was a main road and very heavy with traffic, moving at a fast speed, the large numbers of cyclists on the route was not helping with drivers becoming impatient.
The cake and coffee stop at Bampton was a welcome site, a lovely cafe and lovely food, but! far too busy, perhaps another visit in the summer in more relaxed mode!

The route over to Wiveliscombe was much quieter and as we turned to cycle over to Wellington we were now on B roads, the weather was good with lots of sunshine, and although this was nice and warm, in the shade was another story, very chilly! the roads now were very dirty and greasy meaning we had to take care on descents and bends. the roads from Wellington over to the finish at Whimple were back unclassified roads, narrow and muddy in places, but providing stunning views over the Devon/Somerset countryside. We were glad to reach our final checkpoint at the pub in the village, but we then had to cycle back to the cars in Cranbrook, back to the busy main roads, the afternoon was now getting late with dusk fast approaching and the chilly wind seemed to increase, by the time I got back to the car I was quite cold and glad to get the heater on full for the drive home.

A lovely day out with two friends and after the first 28 miles and the very busy roads the route was lovely with great weather and great views. 68 miles covered .

I have been managing to get out running twice a week, once round town 5 miles and off road round Neroche for my 6 mile route, I was lucky with the off road runs as the weather was really good, despite the chilly northerly wind.
I decided to give the Park Run at Seaton a go, so Yesterday I drove to Seaton for their Park Run, fine weather, chilly but little wind, 108 runners lined up. I was surprised at the speed of the group as they set off and found myself being overtaken by many runners, I held my position for the rest of the run, keeping a good pace, the final beach run of 100 metres however took their toll! 26mins and 39 secs, 49th out of 108 and second in my age group, so a good day out given I have only returned to running recently.

As the weather deteriorates over the winter I expect my cycling to get less and running to increase which hopefully will prepare me for the Grizzly next March.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Great week cycling AND running!!

15th November 2017

Since my walk on Dartmoor the week just got better, My Plantar Faciitis was only faint after a long day on Dartmoor!
Wednesday was a fantastic day, the sun shone and there was no wind so the Wobble headed down to Lyme Regis for coffee on the front, we were celebrating Susies birthday so we chose a lovely cafe on the sea front and sat outside in the warm November sunshine, drinks only as we planned a Pub lunch in Kilmington so an hour after leaving Lyme and over a big Hill, we arrived at the Pub and had a wonderful lunch washed down with a nice pint of Beer!! a nice celebratory lunch, but! then we had to cycle to 12 miles home over Membury Hill which is several miles of climbing. A brilliant day out for all.
Thursday, I decided it was time to  a short 3 mile run around town as my Plantar Faciitis seemed to be receding, and as the weather deteriorates over the winter, cycling becomes less attractive and  I get fed up cleaning my bike. I took it steady, very steady making sure I stretched at the finish, and rolled my foot over my ball in the evening, all seemed well!!!
Friday I missed the club ride so managed 16 miles on my own .
Saturday was another short 2.8 mile run, seemed to go OK so it looks as though I am back running, YEH!
Sunday was damp, cold and windy, but I did manage to cycle 36 miles over the Somerset Levels, getting home, tired and chilled!!
Monday was a cold.frosty but bright sunny morning so I didn't fancy a cycle but! an off road run, so I headed over Neroche woods on the Blackdown hills, the ground was frosty in places and it was wonderful to be out in the woods with the autumn colours of the beech trees being stunning. I felt ok and managed 4.5 miles, I could have gone further but decided not to push it. I do have a faint pain in my foot .but generally it seems OK.
Tuesday was another bright day so 45miles over the levels and the same route was done on Wednesday with the Wobblies but this time we stopped at the Lemon Tree cafe at the Willow and wetlands centre at Stoke St Gregory, a great ride and bringing my cycling since Sunday to 126 miles, so pleased with that, AND I have run 5 miles last week and 4.5 this week so far, My plan is to run again on Thursday or Friday.

So overall a great week and lovely to be back running.