Saturday, 17 August 2019

Long time no post!

Tuesday 13th  August 2019

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted on here, I was determined to make it more regular!
In brief, think since my last post I have run 3 off road events, cycled  100k sportive, doing Parkrun most weeks, volunteering once a month, lost a dear little cat to an’elderly male driver’ very sad as she was only a year old ☹️
I have entered the Herepath Half event in October so need to up my miles for that, also the Portishead coast run 10k in September which I did last year, the Herepath will need some hill training, there is a distinct lack living on the flat Somerset coast! So it means driving 20 mins up the road to the Mendips. I have settled into the local running club, attending their evening runs every week , racing in their colours and meeting up like last Sunday for a 10mile run along the strawberry line an ex railway line a victim of the Beeching cuts ๐Ÿ˜ก
We are in the middle of holidaymakers and horrendous traffic on the M5 so going places is difficult, so still no campervan activity☹️
Not doing too badly in races, still pleased with my 53 minute 10k, my Parkrun is 25:21 so would like to get under 25 mins this year. Not entered any road races since Glastonbury. Wambrook Waddle, Quantock Beast and Paulette plod were all 10 k events I came about half way down the field, sadly no age winning!! Very different races, Wambrook and Quantocks were very big hills whilst Pawlett was local and very flat along the river, I did 57 mins for that! I was also the sweeper for a 10 k event at Buckland St Mary, really enjoyed that, very hard course, but enjoyed being last and chatting to marshals etc, it was helping out my friend Rachel who was raising  funds for the school.
The Sportive was round the Forest of Dean, in aid of a charity called ‘Pied Piper’ 100k which I rode  with my youngest son, even though he hadn’t done a lot he went very well and we had a good bike ride with lovely views. And a good children’s cause.
Saturday 17 th August
Today trying to make up for yesterday when we had a very wet day, and I didn’t get out, I could have, but.......... so today I marshalled at the local park run, 427 runners this week, so a good start to the day. After lunch I ran across and up Brent Knoll, which is our nearest hill, mostly off road down a bridle way,before hitting the hill. I am still trying to run to heart rate, keeping it well down to about 125-130  which makes me less tired and ensures I have something left at the end, I am planning to apply to park Run next week to see how I get on. My maximum was around 160 bpm which is lower than when I raced and my average was133 bpm , only going up on the climb. I was also pleased as I ran all the way to the top!! I stayed most of the time in level 4 except the climb when it went up to level 5/6 !!
I hope all this will enable me finish races better as I always struggle, I also need to build up miles for my Herepath half in October.
I am planning a Quantocks 13 miler this week which should be a good test for my heart rate running as I will apply it this as well.
Perhaps I will post quicker next time! Cycling I have done little as I am suffering saddle sores, and the weather has been making miles difficult, only 25 miles in the last two weeks.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Two races and an injury

wednesday 15th May

Well it’s a month since my last post!! So not very good really, I have to say it really is laziness and the problem is of course the big time gaps mean I have forgotten what I have done!
So to work backwards from today, as far as I can remember, yesterday was crunch time for the van, I have had trouble over the last month or so with a  flat battery, Monday was the limit! I charged up the day before and it didn’t hold its charge overnight :( so yesterday bit the bullet and bought and fitted a new one, haven’t tried it today but hoping this has cured it! Shear down to lack of use over the past year since moving here to the sea side. We really must book a holiday soon!

Sunday saw me running the hilly 10 k Wambrook Waddle, a lovely off road event with lots of single track through bluebell woods, stream crossings and cracking sunny weather as well! A fast down hill start followed by lots of steep up hills had me struggling for the final hill, I had run most of the way with another member of the club, but she started to pull away after 5 miles in, chasing the 74 year old female runner from the club! Sue is like a Duracell bunny, doing a 4 hr London Marathon a few weeks ago. Anyway I came in 50/85 with a time of 1 h 6 mins , I think I may have a little too much on the hills:)

The Previous Sunday I was out doing the Glastonbury Round the Tor 10k road race, a lovely morning out with 20+ runners from the Harriers taking part, a carnival atmosphere in the town with beautiful sunshine meant big crowds lining the streets, much different to this weeks Waddle in the countryside .
I had a good run coming I think around 268 out of nearly 600 in 53 mins so pleased with that, my best ever 10 k time.

Before these two events it really was up and down with the weather, and training for the events, not wanting to give up my cycling I had to balance to two, I had a lovely run from home to Brent Knoll summit again last week, a nice 10 k there and back, unfortunately I twisted my ankle and I think this has started a knock on effect on my Achilles’ tendon as at the end of last nights club run of 5 miles I had to hobble home, and in much pain overnight and this morning, I hope it’s nothing serious but it does hurt when I walk, so trying to RICE it today and taking advantage of the sunshine sitting in the garden typing this!

After my last three races, Tintern, Glastonbury and Wambrook, I have tried to reflect on ‘what I am doing’ I felt on the two off road events I should have gone better, thinking the lack of hill training is letting me down, I am walking too easily when it gets tough! Glastonbury was hard for different reasons, trying to maintain a good pace throughout as it was road and quite flat( except a hill at the end) I have entered the ‘Quantock Beast ‘ in July which is hills on the Quantocks, so I need to try to get out on the hills of the Mendips, Quantocks, Brean etc more frequently on the lead up, but!! I want to do more cycling, perhaps more hill work here might help. I do notice that running and cycling on the flat I don’t put in the same effort, meaning I rarely get breathless as I can’t run fast or cycle fast or perhaps too lazy to do so :)
Hope when I next post there will be more hills, I did some nice weekly winter runs over Crook peak and Cheddar in the lead up to the Cub Run, which I am sure helped. Back to my current state of a strained Achilles’ tendon, I still don’t understand how or why it happened last night, 5 miles in I am fine, short rest before running home, then it started and got worse till I was hobbling home, I still think my stumble last Thursday was the root of the cause, whatever it is I now struggle with repairing the damage, and possible loss of fitness by not going out running. I may try a short cycle ride tomorrow as I won’t really put weight on it and it will have some movement if I spin the gears rather than push, I am gutted this has happened with no warning or lead up:(

We continue to have lovely walks on the beach when the weather is fine as it is at the moment, the grandchildren love it when they come and always ask for the beach, but sometimes it can be a little windy.
Well time to put the coffee on and reach for the biscuit tin again !! Perhaps I will post again in May!! I

Thursday, 18 April 2019

changeable weather

19th April 2019
Already broken my thoughts on the blog last month, that is to update more often! No excuses, just ‘laziness’ and the battery always seems flat on the iPad !

Anyway in the last month the weather has been tipsy turvy, lovely and warm and dry one day, the next is cold wet and windy. Cycling has suffered, especially with the cold wind, so running has at least got me out of the door. I have managed to keep away from the nasty bug that laid my wife low for over a week and my daughter followed when she broke up at the end of term.

Having said that, I have had several good cycle rides with my friends Susie and Mike, Maunsel lock on the Taunton canal, and a visit to Fyne Court National Trust , we picked a day when there was an Easter egg hunt so very busy! But we managed a nice sandwich lunch ๐Ÿ˜€ . Today , Good  Friday  looks very promising with a dry warm Easter, the problem then is run? Or cycle?

Running, I completed the Chepstow Harriers Offas 10 k multi terrain race on a lovely sunny morning, a hard run, with a thousand feet of climbing, I won the 65-70 category ( the only entry) coming 66 th out of 130 . I didn’t run as well as I thought I would, struggling on the last mile or so, I was surprised as had a good few miles in my legs I put it down to lack of hills!! But it was a lovely run, spectacular views over Tintern .

Had a couple of nice social runs ( 6- 11 miles) with the Harriers up the Strawberry line, near Cheddar,  Bridgwater canal and the Uphill cycle way to Weston-super-Mare. Several park runs along with volunteering to marshal . Tuesday club nights are always good, I tend to run to the meet and run home again giving me an extra 4 miles on the meet run of 4 miles! I have entered the ‘round the tor’ 10 k which is a road run round Glastonbury tor, so got to keep up the training. I tend to be doing about 20 miles a week making about 80 to 100 miles a month, so well on track to complete 1000 miles running this year and complete the ‘1000 mile Trail Runner Magazine ‘ challenge.
Poor campervan still not being used, and this week the battery was so flat the clock stopped ! So a day recharging was needed! Must try to getaway soon!

I am sure I have missed lots of detail from my post, the danger of not updating regularly.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Cub Run

12th March 2019

Really trying to make an effort on keeping my blog uptodate! as the time in-between is so long I forget what I have or haven't done !

Leading up to the Sunday Cub run I had a good week, with a lovely morning run up to Crook Peak, this time from Kingswood, this worked well after dropping my Daughter off at work in Congsbury. It was a bright sunny morning and I thought quite warm, but found it a little chilly after all, I was just about warm enough, I was surprised to find my car was the only one parked in the popular car park for dog walkers, and I made my way up through the woods, feeling comfortable and once out in the open there was a cool Breeze, but still lots of sunshine I  enjoyed my run up to the peak and the views from the top did not disappoint again, I could even see the lighthouse round the corner from where I live white in the sunshine some 10-12 miles away, Hinckly Point sadly also showed up more in the sunshine. I worked my way back down to the carpark, it was really good underfoot and I was able to set a good pace. only 4.75 miles but an enjoyable start to the day.

I managed to get out a couple more times for a steady run including the Park Run, where I was determined not to up the pace, I was surprised that I was still well under 10 minute miles which was my target so as not to overdo it for the Cub run the following day. However it was a very windy day with a stiff headwind on the out leg by the river and sea front.
I was still a little worried about my 'niggly knee' as it didn't hurt but 'niggled' my PF seemed to be behaving, It still gives me some pain but not as bad as it was, insoles, stretching after running and the Yoga seem to manage it!

So Sunday dawned, extremely windy, but dry excepting a few rogue showers! its a good 45 miles plus now down to Seaton and the start, and I had to call in to pick up Rachel my running mate for the day, there were several Burnham Harriers in the event and I hoped to meetup down there. There was also my cycling buddy Rosie doing the event, but! I didn't manage to catch her before the start afterall.
We arrived nice and early due to my obsession with parking and we were sent down a road to park, seemingly miles from the race HQ. last two years we were parked on the seafront, much more pleasant. we made our way to the HQ to pick up race numbers after changing from Grizzly to Cub run, both Rachel and I deciding we didn't have enough miles or hills or time on our feet to complete the 19 miles and 3000 ft of climbing of the full Grizzly, 9 miles and 1500 ft  would be plenty.
we then had a terrible shower, just enough in the very severe wind to get us nice and cold as we walked back to the car to prepare for the event. Jam sandwich and coffee the order of the day as it was several hours since breakfast. I decided to take a drink and my lightweight jacket as it was very cold and windy, even though rain was not forecast, you never know, along with a few half jelly babies and broken Dextrasol tablets.

The start approached rapidly and we made our way to the line, trying to position ourselves not to get too far back into the crowds, at least it was warmer standing in the crowd!

After the ceremonies most of which I couldn't hear we were off! down onto the shingle beach, the sound deafening, I was surprised how many there were in front of us, it was a struggle at times with runners in the way !! stumbling etc. I was glad to be off the stones, it seems a long half mile, and much different from the sands of Burnham! sadly I lost Rachel on the beach and even though I looked for her I never saw her again until the finish. In fact I only saw the BH runners once on the road out of Seaton.

Up through the crowds on the first hill, before descending down to Seaton Hole and the first real climb of the 'Bitch' a walk, partly due to the numbers but, mostly because of its steepness.
Descending into Beer is always emotional with the cheering crowds before the climb up to Bear Head through the caravan park, first drink station and the first off road bit, I was surprised how good it was underfoot and seemed less slippery than previous years. we then hit Beer Head and the headwind, two paces forward and on back, it was severe! many runners struggling into it. The descent into 'Seaside' down the muddy track was a real bottleneck but again not to slippery, we had to queue and lost several minutes here. Next was the beach at Branscombe this time they were send Cub runners through the river, it was very cold and knee deep, taking your breath away, my feet and legs were now very cold! I was to discover that they never really warmed up and I am convinced affected my performance over the last few miles, I also had pebbles in my shoe, but I was too lazy to stop and remove my shoes to empty them.
Branscombe beach is always a real challenge, at least half /three quarters of a mile of shingle, but at least there was a tail wind along here, most welcome!!I was in a line of runners, unfortunately the people I was following, were very irritating as the kept stopping to chat, change direction etc, meaning I lost my momentum. the muddy undercliff was next, before the 'stairway to heaven' which is always slow and steady a walk! as we came out of the undercliff, the wind hit us once again, fortunately behind us! across the fields and down once again through the caravan park, where there was free beer!! and the cheering crowds of Beer, before the stiff steps up and over Beer cliffs, a steep descent with the finish line across the bay led us to the final steep climb up through a footpath to the road and the road to the finish, through the park before descending down to the finish line! I have to admit the final few miles my legs were feeling it and I was getting slower, never really warming up after the cold of the river crossing, I was pleased to finish my watch said 1.45.27 the official time was 1.49 the nearly 5 minutes difference reflecting the queueing at various points. I was pleased with the time as it was inline with my previous runs, and given my first Cub Run was in 2011 I hadn't really lost a lot of time, not too bad for a late 60ish runner ! I collected my goody bag, banana, rum!!! and  flapjack. I waited to cheer Rachel in feeling very guilty we hadn't managed to run together. I finally net up with Rosie and her boyfriend, finishing 5 minutes ahead of me! the Burnham runners Clive and Tracy were a good ten minutes ahead, sadly I didn't meet up again, but it was very cold in the wind, Rachel came in another ten minutes behind me and like me still cold from the river crossing.

Once again a lovely day out! will I be back next year, of course I will! in preparation for my big birthday the following year !

Yoga the following day was good for my PF and sore calf muscles, I had forgotten my insoles for my shoes to stave off the PF, still a great day, nice to meet up with Rosie and Rachel and also to be part of [but not much] the Burnham Harriers team! 199 th out of 529, still life in the old bloke yet!!!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Another milestone date passes

Wednesday 6th March

Well another birthday passes and I approach the 70 s but! Great news not for another two years! Lovely day spent with the grandchildren!
Well I have also changed my Grizzly entry to Cub I decided I couldn’t have The ignominy of having a big cross on my number at the split point. Given, lack of larger mile runs ( more than 6 ) the 19 would have been a challenge, the Cub I know I can do.
A morning run on Crook Peak yesterday was my final off road preparation 4.75 miles and 821 ft climbed. Lovely morning in the sunshine before the rains came.
Looking back over the past month have done a few nice runs, the cancelled 2 bays run at Weston super mare I did with my Burnham Harriers club, a great 10 miles with a few hills and a bit of beach and good company.
Brent Knoll from home a nice 6 miles plus run mainly off road, great views from the top, and the day spring arrived ๐Ÿ˜€
I did my 25 th Park Run last week! Still PB at just over 25 mins. Managing to volunteer once a month, marshalling or barcode checking. Tuesdays have become a regular outing with the Harriers now which is nice. BK Velo outings have reduced, the high average speeds meant I was always playing catch up ! Yoga is going well and I really enjoy it, I could do with more sessions really, I do think it has improved my Plantar Faciitis๐Ÿ‘
Not done much cycling last couple of weeks, preparing for Grizzly and weather deteriorated once again!
Feeling a little more motivated this week to get out running. Still need to look at entering more races.
Well I am hoping for a nice day out on Sunday on the cub run, weather not looking great though!
Must learn how to get my photos from my iPad to my blog, the ones from my phone never seem uptodate?? Ok on the laptop ?

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Wonderful weather

February 25 th

What a difference a few weeks makes, it’s now, dry warm and sunny! And has been for the past week๐Ÿ˜€ which means no excuse not to get out to run and cycle especially with the Grizzly only a week and a half away. Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to run up Brent Knoll from home which was really nice, especially as it was a beautiful day and views around were wonderful.

I also managed several long runs 12 miles on local roads and I am pleased to say 12 miles on the Quantocks using one of my old MTB routes as a guide, parking at Holford, going up Hodders, along the ridge to Wills Neck before descending down into Greatwood and Ramscombe via the pipeline MTB route! The climb out was somewhat hard!! I finished by going down Holford Combe  which had changed beyond recognition in places, but still lovely. It was a good trip and I didn’t feel too bad after 1700 ft of climbing! But it also confirmed the Cub and not the Grizzly ๐Ÿ˜€. I have also managed several cycle rides across the levels, giving me about 70 miles a week  on my bike and 30 miles running.

I hope the weather continues to be good, at least until the Grizzly a week on Sunday

Friday, 1 February 2019


February 2nd

What a dreary horrid month January is, after Christmas it always seems such a dark, grey month with the spring seemingly a long way off.
I failed to take up my Audax 100k deciding I hadn’t got the miles in to enjoy the day out, the weather was also forecast to be poor, though it wasnt as bad as they said! My total mileage cycling for January was only 160 miles, managing only about 30 milesish a week, my longest being 41 miles with the Wobbly wheelers to West Bay, a lovely, if cold morning out.
Running, I managed 94 miles with three good off road trips to the Mendips, two to Crook Peak and a third round Cheddar cliffs, only 6 miles a trip but at least I was getting some climbing in of around 1000ft a trip. It has been very muddy and slippery, making the trips quite difficult, having to take extra care over the rocky route round Cheddar. The weather for each trip was good, cold, windy but sunny and dry. With only 5 weeks to go to the 19 mile Grizzly, I need to up the mileage! Not looking very good at the moment, I have tried to settle into a training regime, Sunday an off road run, Monday yoga and possible run/ cycle, Tuesday run club 6 miles , Wednesday cycle , Thursday Fitness circuits, Friday rest, Saturday park run or run. But! The weather keeps changing and I do find difficulty in motivating myself to go out, particularly cycling.
Yesterday brought snow! So as usual everywhere was in Chaos, my daughter had a day off work due to the school closing. I was surprised we had snow as we are at sea level! It also meant at least two days without getting out cycling or running.
I seem fixed on 4- 7 miles no seemingly able to motivate to run for longer or further?
Below are some photos from January, Crook Peak, Cheddar and the coast in the snow