Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Brean Down Santa challenge

Wednesday 5th December
Last Sunday saw myself, daughter and her boyfriend driving the few miles  to Brean Down, the lump of rock that is the extension of the Mendips. It was the Brean Down Santa challenge, I had only entered the 5 k but daughters boyfriend was down for the 10k. I decided that from sea level one circuit up and down would be enough, rather than the two required for the 10 k. There was a cold damp wind blowing off the sea as we collected numbers and Santa suits ! There were soon nearly two hundred other souls lining up for the run dressed as Santa!!  We were soon off and I was surprised how near the front of the field I was! As we hit the first hill probably about 25% I managed to run about three quarters of the climb, amazing thinking about my lack of hill preparation, although I did run up the down a couple of weeks ago. We came out to work our way up to the summit trig point, running into a head wind which contained some very chilly rain, but!! We were protected from the elements by our Santa suits, we then descended down a step muddy track to the old fort at the end of the down, I was still feeling good, my off road shoes giving good grip compared with those with road shoes,sliding their way down!! We then headed back along the service road climbing and descending steadily throughout, before the final 25% tarmac road descent on green slime surface, I felt I had a bit left so put in some effort to the line, worth it as I came 10 th out of 88 and 1st in the over sixties( there was 5 of us) there was no over 65 category.! Just over 32 minutes, very pleased with my efforts,nice medal and hot coffee and cake from the NT cafe whilst we waited for daughter boyfriend, he came in 2 nd place in  the 10 k in 50 minutes, fantastic achievement, we were well pleased to wait for the presentation to see him get his trophy! Great event lovely run, cold and damp, but! Who cares.managed to download a few photos

Tuesday, 20 November 2018


Wednesday 21st November

Virtually a month since my last post, the speed of days passing seems to increase, I can’t believe it’s nearly 6 months since we moved to a new house in a new town in a different part of the county!
The weather has been up and down since the last post, freezing cold easterly winds followed by spells of warmish weather? So sorting clothing for running or cycling has become a challenge, usually making the wrong choice! And being too hot and sweaty, particularly cycling, but also running along the beach with a chilly breeze off the sea.
My exercise regime seems to have settled into a routine, though very much governed by the weather, I don’t do cycling in the wet!! 
I have finally managed to join a yoga class, which I really enjoy, and surprise myself each week, the tutor is very good, and helpful as she is a cyclist and runner, it will be interesting to see how much it impacts on my running and cycling, I think it does help my Plantar Faciitis which is good.
I have also joined the local running club and run with them on Tuesday evenings and circuit train with them on Thursday evenings, which is usually a hard session, so the ‘billy no mates’ when running with them is improving! So currently I try to run three times a week, but! I seem to be stuck at a maximum  10 k distance?? Which is not good for training for the Grizzly next March! But will try to pick up the distance after Christmas. 
I am entered in a 5 k Christmas run over Brean Down next week, dressed in a Santa costume! Which will be interesting!!
Cycling my weekly mileage seems to be around 100 miles over three days, I get out with a couple of local lads on Wednesday each week, the mileage around 40 but the average speed usually high around 15.5 to 16 mph! Across the levels, there is usually a head wind home, living on the west coast! The roads across the levels are really nice, quiet roads, with stunning views across the rivers, streams( Rhynes)  and moors, wild life is abundant, herons, swans, egrets, etc.  So I am now getting used to where places are and the distances between them, I have several routes I call ‘bread and butter’ routes I know I can cycle in a certain time, helpful for shorter days.

Sunsets on this coast are beautiful I will try and post pictures if I can!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

BOS Bug, a run on Exmoor and some beautiful sunsets

Thursday 25th October

The Grid Iron was a none starter, my bug seemed to have taken hold and not letting go, aching limbs and no energy, but! The weather was foul, according to feedback, so I guess it’s a good job I didn’t go  after being ill. Ironically, the Monday the day after, I suddenly felt as though it had all lifted and felt fine again!! So commiserated with a run , I even did a 55 mile cycle ride on the Wednesday and felt fine, I was booked in to the ‘Exmoor Stumble ‘ a 10 k run across Exmoor, with 1000 ft of ascent , it was a beautiful day, quite warm, big field, the uphill parts had a few narrow single track bits, and got stuck behind slower runners or walkers! I felt quite good and was looking to regain my over 65 title from two years ago! It was a very fast 3 miles down hill, 7 minute miles over rough forest paths. 1hr 4mins! 61st out of 107, sadly I was 4 minutes behind the fastest over 65, quite pleased really as I hadn’t prepared for it and not run up a hill since April!
Then!! This week, went running with the local running club on Tuesday evening( still Billy no mates think I might have to give it up as a bad job, very unfriendly😕) I met with the local Brent Knoll Velo lads for a ride on the Wednesday morning but after about 18 miles I started to feel unwell, we stopped for coffee at Wookey, I didn’t have cake!! Before deciding to head for home, joined with one of the others who is still recovering from Prostate Cancer, but!! The 15 miles home into the headwind over the levels was the hardest ride I have done 😕 even the bridge over the railway was a struggle, I took to my bed when I got home, and stayed there till this morning, not eating anything since last night, however, it seems to have gone again, it was the same symptoms as before, but it’s lifted( again) all very odd.
So October has/is being a strange month37 Miles Run but only 164 cycled, the two weeks off in the middle affected this. I hope for better next month.The photos are a mish mash, the Flying Scotsman! Swans , Brean Down across the River Axe from the cycle track to Uphill from Berrow, enjoy 😊

Saturday, 6 October 2018


Sunday 7th October 2018

The year rolls on, autumn has arrived, we have had to have the heating on twice! With temps down to 8.5 degrees! I have also had my yearly flu jab , which is ironic as I sit here typing with a horrendous cold, aching limbs, tired........  so no outdoor activity since last Wednesday.

I managed to run 70 miles in September all very flat usually along the beach, I manage park run most weeks and finally got under 26 mins at Burnham-On-Sea last week!! If only by 8 seconds 😀
I finally got the results from the Portishead coastal race and I came 71st out of 158 who finished, so pleased with that. I have got my entry for the Grizzly next March, so a bit of time to prepare, I am trying to remain positive about being on the start line properly prepared. In a moment of madness I entered the Exmoor stumble which is in two weeks, sadly this weeks illness might mean a DNS!
I am persevering with the local running club, I have now run with them three times, but! In my opinion still not very friendly, very cliquey!! I will miss this week because of my cold and it’s the local half marathon today, I should be helping but! Not in a fit state to hang around on a street corner for hours!

Cycling, 355 miles in September which was down on the previous month, but still good, my feet ascended though is limited as I still haven’t really explored the Mendips and most other riding is on the levels, for example I rode with Brent Knoll Velo on Wednesday last week and we did 55 miles with only 800 ft of climbing, but! We usually have a head wind coming back to Burnham and the average speed is always around 16 mph!! Which is approximately 3 mph faster than rides I did around Chard when it was common for 2000 ft of climbing on a 15 mile ride!

Next Sunday is the Grid Iron, an Audax in the New Forest, a lovely event, well organised 69 miles, I should be ok with that, the people I am riding with are not fast riders! I am hoping to make it a weekend in the van as it’s a few months since I have slept in it!

Still not managed any holiday this year, with the weather deteriorating now it probably won’t be until next spring, unless we get a call to go and look after Grandchildren, speaking of which the twins were brought down by dad for the day  last week , we had a lovely time on the beach followed by ice cream and a roundabout ride! Grand daughter spent the day with her mum.

It will be a couple of days before I get out again, reluctantly as I try to make sure I am recovered .

Friday, 21 September 2018

Moving on!

21st September 2018

It seems to get longer between posts! I note my last one was early August! When!! We still had summer, days were long, dry and sunny, that’s now changed and we are on our second storm of the autumn, today being particularly windy, not conducive to cycling or even running, especially as we now live on the coast. I have gone from over 100 miles a week cycling to 18 this week, quite depressing, even running I am down to short 5 km runs, but!! I did run with the local running club on Tuesday, even though my welcome was less than warm, I will give it another go again this week. On top of all this , the good old Plantar Faciitis is still there, nagging away when I think it’s gone😕

Since the last post I have managed to cycle ‘Sandra’s 100’ a ride in aid of Macmillan, I actually did 102 miles, I have been out regularly 40-60 miles 3 or 4 times a week, however not many hills as it’s so flat on the levels, I am finding my way round now in the triangle of Brent Knoll, Glastonbury tor and Crook Peak. The wind is always an issue as it’s always west on the return ride, making it hard work. My next cycle event is the ‘Grid Iron ‘ Audax in the New Forest in October.

Running wise, I did a personal best on the Burnham Parkrun of 26 mins 3 secs, not my fastest yet though. Only managing short runs of around 3-4 miles and no hill work, which made my entry for the ‘Portishead Coastal 10 k’ worrying! I did three 10 k runs in the week leading up to the event and I have to say the hills on the course were manageable, I still don’t know my position but did manage 59 mins 33sec so pleased with that. I have entered the Grizzly again, as I am assured a place, but at this moment I don’t think I will be anywhere near hill fit for it, even though it’s next March! I am trying to decide whether to go for the Exmoor Stumble in a few weeks!

I have had tests for Prostate Cancer and pleased to say I am clear, only an enlarged prostate to worry about!
I think I have about caught up with my activities, vanwise we haven’t been away yet!! Not sure now we will manage it before winter, a new kitten in the house and daughter starting a new job, along with living at the seaside, seems to be getting in the way, but! A trip to the lakes would be nice😀

Sunsets round here have been spectacular see the following photos

 Burnham on Sea
Classic low lighthouse again

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Hot weather continues

8th August 2018
The last few weeks the weather has been astonishing, hot and dry, each time you go out running, cycling or just a walk into town a hat and sunglasses rather than brollies, raincoats ........... shorts and a tee being the daily wear.

Cycling I am still discovering the area of the Somerset levels with a small group of local cyclists. I was introduced to the Mendips on the first day of August, 60.2 miles and 2917 ft of climbing, it was a lovely ride, climbing past Crook Peak, the ‘mountain’ next to the M5, it was a really nice road that runs parallel to M5, but!! The peace and tranquility of a lovely valley spoilt by the noise of the motorway. We dropped over to Banwell and headed down the valley to Churchill and beyond, before climbing once again round Butcombe( of beer fame, locally) through the lovely named village of ‘Thrubwell Nesbitt’ before round the top of Chew Valley lakes, beautiful views across the lakes before a welcome coffee stop at the ‘stables ‘ tea rooms . Refreshed with cake it was then the daunting thought of climbing back over the Mendips to home! It was a long climb, choice at the top, Cheddar Gorge or other, heading towards Priddy, past the Mendip Transmitter mast before a very long steep descent down to Draycott, it was then back to the flat country back through Wedmore, and back to Brent Knoll, a tiring ride, we both said ‘our legs ache’!

I now seem to have dropped into a regular evening run with my daughter, only short 3-5 miles, but in this heat plenty, it usually means a beach run which is lovely and fresh.

Cycling, I seem to be averaging about 80-120 miles a week, as miles around the levels is easy to do, I meet with the BKVelo on Wednesday, this week we headed over to the back of Wells, another lovely area, including a few hills, only 700 ft over the 50 miles, but! A stiff headwind was in our face back across the levels from Glastonbury!!

Weather is set to change this week, I hope it holds out till after Sunday when I should be riding the Yeovil CC ‘Sandra’s 100’ ride!

 A few photos locally, our low lighthouse, the local icon

 The display in Apex park Burnham-on-Sea, the local park run route

Sunday, 29 July 2018

A post at last

29 th July 2018
Well I am back! It’s been nearly two months since my last post. A combination of laptop problems, moving house, not using my camper, less cycling and running and little of interest to post.

The laptop problems still exist which means no photos( haven’t sorted how to post photos on iPad) we are settling down to our new house and new town by the sea, Burnham-on-Sea is also on the Somerset levels, we are only 5 metres above sea level, this is after being in Chard which was the highest town in Somerset!so we are getting used to no hills, but, Brean Down, Brent Knoll and the Mendips are on our doorstep all beautiful places.

I have resumed running and cycling, and July I cycled 513 miles and ran 41 miles! Which I am pleased with, running usually involves a run along the beach, which is lovely, and with my daughter who is currently back at home, the maximum distance is 10k and height climbed only 10-15 ft! We do the local Park run some weeks which is a lovely route through the park and along the river bank, but still haven’t got under 26 mins!! So my target is to get that down ! I don’t have any other running  events planned.

Cycling has been good, the weather has been stunning!  But very hot! I did ride the Devon Delight Audax, 106km round Newton Abbot and the edge of Dartmoor, it was a very hot dry day. I have done several longer rides as well, a very hard ride over to Dorchester from Chard via West Bay, a hard, hot 72 miles.

Cycling Burnham-on-Sea has meant easy fast miles, I can do a 50 mile ride and only climb 100 ft! I am still trying to familiarise myself with the area, although I have managed to be guided by a couple of local riders, I have noticed my average speed has gone up, most rides now average 15 mph.

There are jobs to do around the new house, but the consistent hot  dry weather over the last eight weeks has meant it’s easier and more pleasant to sit in the garden, cycling and running is hard in the heat, but lots of liquid is needed to avoid dehydration. We have been too busy to go away in the van, and now it’s children school holiday time there is no chance, so we are looking at a September break.

Well that’s my posting back again, I need to sort photos! Or my laptop, look at events I might enter, and find some hills to run up.
The weather has broken, but promises to return to hot dry weather, we will see !!!