Wednesday, 30 December 2015

December 2015

December 30th
After the start of December and the completion of my final Bikeability for the year time  seemed to gallop on, hence no Blog posts! fixing/replacing lights in the kitchen and porch along with getting the van sorted with its new power steering pump [£392!] and christmas food shopping with all our visitors to feed seemed to take up time.
I have managed a couple of runs and the odd cycle ride and as of this morning I only have to run another 1.5 miles to hit the 600 mile mark for running the year! So I hope to get a run in before the end of the year.

It has been a busy month, with Mrs Ian B and IanBs dotter spending several days in London, the weather has been atrocious and as I type this storm ‘Frank’ is outside, not quite as wet as the North but very windy [seems silly to me to give them names just ‘hypes’ it all up, like the word ‘weather bomb’, how to scare people without trying!!!!] so not much cycling. I did enjoy a 5 mile run on Christmas eve and felt very righteous being out! Still very warm though, I notice many cyclists out in shorts!

Christmas has been and gone, we had a wonderful Christmas with some lovely gifts from my family and with visits from our 3 children and 3 grandchildren, the twins growing fast now nearly 4 months old!!! It has been spent I have to say eating!, not so much drinking [unless tea counts?] so having not been on the scales, I daren’t think what weight has been gained!

 We have managed to spend some time down at the seaside’s of Sidmouth and Seaton, giving granddaughter a chance to try out her scooter on flat terrain, over a longer distanc.

I intend to go to Kettlebells tonight so that will be a good indicator. Only just over two months to the Grizzly event, so now have to think of miles in the legs, but! My left ham string has started to niggle away again, not sure if it’s the kettlebells irritating it, and my right knee seems to have developed a slight pain, not really hurting but, more of an ache, I hope neither develop further. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Cancelled lakes holiday and steering problem with the van.

11th December 2015

After the charity cycle on Sunday a short run on Monday the rest of the week was my usual ‘training regime’ spin, kettlebell, spin, possibly to be called ‘spinning the kettle’ in the future. I did manage a 9 mile run on the Friday before we were due to drive to the lakes on Sunday for a week at Fallbarrow Park. BUT!!! We hadn’t taken account that there was a huge storm called Desmond heading straight for Cumbria – Saturday dawned in Somerset to be grey and very windy but, no rain, however, in the lakes it was not only raining there was a deluge. It didn’t occur to us that so much damage would be caused. We had a phoned call at 4:00 in the afternoon, it was Fallbarrow Park informing us that Bowness had been badly hit by heavy rain and was very flooded, and so was the park!! so they were cancelling all bookings that week. We were clearly disappointed, but, that’s the forces of nature, and looking at the pictures on the news I am glad we hadn’t set off as clearly the whole of the lakes was in deep trouble with closed roads, and flooded towns etc. I hope they are all safe and wish them the best to get sorted asap, we will rebook and be back in March I am sure.

So we had a week at home visiting one or two local places, Sidmouth, Exmouth, the unusual Trago retail area near Newton Abbott, always worth a visit for a bargain or two!! I even did some DIY and managed to replace some down lighters in the kitchen with LEDs, the weather wasn’t good for the week so no cycling and only 2 runs of 9 miles on Monday and 7.4 miles on Friday, along with my spinning kettle!!

12th December
It was a trip to Gloucester on Saturday to look after the twins for the day, now 3 months old, time flies! GD was going to a panto so we had the pleasure of feeding, winding, changing the two boys for the day, they are very responsive now and developing their characters. A fantastic day out, good to see they are well and very alert, very interested in faces!
Sunday managed a 42 mile cycle over Muchelney way and I didn’t get wet for once! And very little wind, so a good ride.
The afternoon gave me chance to check out the van as the steering was very noisy and I was a little surprised to see fluid dripping from the underneath!! Which on inspection found to be power steering fluid. I hope it’s just a hose gone and not a new pump needed!!! We haven’t used it quite so much this year and as always fear lack of use is not helping, I hope we are able to reverse that trend in the new year.

Bikeability two days this week, I hope the weather holds, very mild but could be damp.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Oxford and a charity cycle ride

30th November 2015
After my lovely coastal run last Monday we had a couple of days in Oxford at the Travel Lodge at the Pear Tree exchange, great place to stay, cheap[voucher codes] and next to the park and ride so we can use our bus pass!!  We spent the time looking at the Bodlian, Ashmolian and generally absorbing the atmosphere of Oxford, even though it didn’t seem very Christmassy! Lunch and dinner courtesy of Green and whatsit in the Wig and Pen and the JD Weatherspoon Four Candles, lovely Thursday evening curry, we even managed a matinee of ‘Lady who lived in a van’ which was very good, well written by Alan Bennett, I liked the way he played two of himself! And talked about talking to oneself whilst writing, bit like writing a blog!
We also managed to get a look at Burford and the Burford Garden Centre which was lovely, very Cotswold like in buildings and the Garden centre very nice and Christmassy, but very expensive. The journey home was not pleasant getting stuck in traffic near to Stonehenge on the A303 with the ‘Londoners’ all heading west on Friday afternoon, to their  second homes I have no doubt .
 Saturday I managed a good road run around town with 9 miles completed, in what turned out to be the best weather of the weekend as the wind picked up, with the rain and it got worse, especially for the charity cycle ride on the Sunday, 25 brave souls turned out to support Spinal Research, most to do the 35 mile route, very, very windy and drizzle in the air as we set off uphill into the head wind, we soon split up and the first hill of the day Stoopers Hill out of Combe St Nicholas with a 15% gradient a sign of things to come! The lanes were very dirty making the downhill sections quite slippery and the uphills hard work, we eventually emerged after much up and down round Howley and Stockland out on the Membury to Axminster road to be greeted with hot coffee and cake by the organisers, mind, they seemed to have picked the windiest spot! On to Axminster and then following the road to Chard before turning uphill once more to Wndwhistle hill, very appropriate today and the descent from the summit down the A30 was a challenge, staying upright and pedalling hard to keep moving downhill, there had been constant drizzle all day, not enough to put a waterproof on but enough to be annoying, I had been on my own for the last 20 or so miles and I soon negotiated the lanes round Chaffcombe before  heading back to the finish at Tesco car park, cake and coffee again before heading home for lunch, a very hard route with over 4000ft of climbing, I clocked 36 miles the conditions were dreadful and I was glad to get in the shower and recover after with a nice warming bowl of soup. It was after the event I realised I had developed a sniffle! Start of a cold!!!!

Today [Monday] I was determined to get a short run in and did 4.9 miles before deciding I had had enough, the wind and rain once again, making it a miserable grey day. My cold doesn’t seem too bad, I hope it doesn’t develop further. Forecast for the rest of the week is still very poor so don’t think cycling is on the agenda, I haven’t cleaned my bike from Sunday yet! But, maybe I can get a run or two in. This along with Spinning and my Kettlebells should keep me ticking along with fitness before I have to think about the Grizzly in March next year.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Twins and a nice run

24th November 2015
After a week of wet, windy and dismal weather in which I managed to get out cycling twice for 30 miles+ and a 7 mile run the temperature plunged at the weekend, just in time as we were going to see our grandchildren, twin boys[TW]  and granddaughter [GD]. I even managed to mow the front and back lawns on the Friday, taking advantage of the petrol mower my son had given me, the petrol ran out just as I was finishing the last cut, so there is an unfinished stripe! But it all looks tidier, even vacuuming the leaves up at the same time.
It was a beautiful morning drive up the M5 but somewhat busy even for a Saturday morning, there seemed to be a lot of ‘rubbish’ drivers who either stayed in the middle lane even though there was nothing for them to overtake or drivers who decided to pull out in front of you without signalling  , making you take avoiding action, I am always amazes how there aren’t more accidents, this included a coach who pulled out at short notice without need and without signalling, so called ‘professional drivers’ !!!! rant over!
We had a lovely time visiting Barnwood Park in the sunshine, even if it was very cold with the stiff northerly breeze, the ducks and squirrels were keen on the nuts and seed GD had brought for them, not so in summer , when they couldn’t be bothered. The weekend ended all too soon, the TW are growing fast and can now recognise things, respond to movement etc. GD can now form letters, is ace on the ipad and has a very good imagination when we play at buses! Not bad at 3 years old.
Monday the weather stayed bright and as Mrs IanB was off to Yoga I decided to have a trip to Beer Head for a run. It was a beautiful morning, clear blue skies and chilly, but not too cold, but I did need hat and gloves to start with.
I was the only one in the car park as I lined the camper up for a nice view for coffee on my return.
Watch set I was off, a steady jog up to the old coast guard station on Beer Head, fabulous views spread out, the bay at Seaton looking very continental in the distance, the Isle of Portland was also clear today some 40 – 50 miles away. Strangely there were no dog walkers this morning, I headed over the top before descending to the pretty village of Branscombe, a steep descent, muddy and slippery in places, before a steep climb out of the valley up the other side to follow the coast path, I had to walk in places, but felt good, not sure whether it was psychological or not that kettlebells  had helped ! on to the Fountains Inn, following a nice path down through the woods that are covered in wild garlic in spring along with blue bells. I had not seen anyone since leaving the car, that’s 5miles! Down through the village back through Branscombe before picking up the undercliff path back to Beer Head, here I met a group [4] walking along, they were surprised to see me running as I passed them, not quite sure that they were all younger than me!!! It was a lovely run along the singletrack to the bottom of the ‘stair way to Heaven’, memories flooded back on the 4 times I have climbed this on the Grizzly Cub run and will of course run it again next March on the big Grizzly.
It didn’t seem a bad climb and didn’t feel too bad at the top, I stopped half way to admire the view back towards Sidmouth, again remembering the time in April when I ran the 22 miles from Exmouth to Seaton, a hard route that I would like to do again. After the top of the St to H it was an easy mile run back to the carpark, mid-morning walkers now appearing with big coats, hats and gloves, but! No dogs, very strange! Back at the van it was 6.8 miles in an hour and 21 minutes pleased with that as it was a pleasant run and I felt good on finishing. A towel down and change of clothes [advantages of a van] before a nice mug of coffee and a maple syrup cereal bar listening to some nice music and gazing over the bay at Seaton and beyond, life couldn’t get much better!!

The weekend ahead gives me a number of options, a charity 35 mile cycle ride with the Gym I attend, a 100k Audax over Exeter way or the 10mile Bicton Blister multi terrain run, shame they are all on the same day as I would like to do them all we will see the weather  nearer the day.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

herepath half video

The person who videod this came 33rd in 1hr 50mins as opposed to my 100 th in 2hrs 16mins
Shows a good view of the route

Friday, 13 November 2015

Wet and windy and a milestone passed

After my first kettlebells session last Wednesday I was surprised my arms didn’t ache, instead it was my ham strings the day after the day after!
Saturday dawned very wet and windy with the promise of better weather in the afternoon, it was the Christmas fair at Killerton House National Trust property near Exeter so we decided to go and have a look. There were lots of stalls, but nothing to tempt us! The gardens however looked very splendid in their autumn colours and by the time we got there the wind and rain had gone through and we were left with a bright sunny day.
Sunday I managed to get out with Mike for a 40 mile loop round Muchelney, starting off in reasonable weather but having to put coats on 5 miles from home, the roads were very muddy in places, Mike did struggle near the end and used a gel to get him over the final hills, lack of outings were telling on him.
I also heard that my friend Dave had had an accident  - apparently coming round a corner to be met by a rope over the road which I suspect was put there whilst the cows crossed the road, there was no warning and poor Dave came a cropper, falling heavily, putting him off his bike for a few weeks. Farmers round here have a habit of doing this and there are no warning signs or anyone supervising making it quite dangerous, good luck to Dave should he pursue the matter!!
Monday I decided I needed a longer run, the weather was good so no excuses, a nice 9 miles round the town and a little off road round the local reservoir path. My hamstrings had just about recovered, it is still very mild weather. Tuesday was a spinning session, always hard.
Wednesday Mrs IanB had to work so I managed a cycle ride, 28 miles this time through North Curry, again nice weather to start and then almost a the same spot as Sundays ride the heavens opened, I coated up! But still got very wet in the last few miles home. Wednesday also saw me back at Kettlebells, I enjoyed the session and ‘touch wood’ don’t seem too bad with aches from the session, although it was harder than the previous week, with the normal Instructor Liz. I think I need to get the techniques correct to make sure I get the best from it and also lessen the chance of injury.
Thursday was a milestone, I had been invited down to the surgery for an annual Flu injection, something apparently is offered to people my age! I must be on the radar at present after the invite to check my heart several weeks ago. I also received an invite to apply for my pension, so I went on line to register, but! The website wouldn’t let me so I phoned instead, and the woman on the other end was very nice taking my details and even talking about Bikeability etc. whilst she checked my details. I now know what and when I get my first pension payments next March.
I celebrated by going to my spinning session in the evening, a good session tonight, last week I seemed unable to get my heart rate up, but tonight we did climbs and then rests I was pleased to see my efforts on the 4 minute climbs at 85% dropping to 70% in the recovery minute, so pleased with that.

No after effects of the flu jab yet! Got a run planned with R up the lane later another club outing! For BLRCC.

Should give me 66 miles cycled and at least 15 miles running this week, my target for the winter weeks + of course my spinning and kettle bells sessions.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A quiet week, a birthday and a visit from Grand Children


Mileage for October was good with 91 miles run and 122.5 miles cycled compared with last October when I ran 59 miles and cycled 118 miles I am also looking to exceed my running and cycling annual mileage which if I remember without looking it up was 500 running and 3000 cycling, with 2 months left I hope to beat that this year. Two successful running events last month the Stumble and the Herepath gave me a real target, my next target is the Long Grizzly 20 miles+ at the beginning of next March, so must try to keep some fitness through the winter and then build up from the new year, I expect it will soon be here!!!

Last week saw Mrs IanB celebrating another birthday and we had a lovely day out with our daughter in the city of Bath, the weather was really nice too which helped. Bath was very busy with tourists being half term, We had a booked a table at ‘Jamies’ for lunch so no scrabbling about finding somewhere to eat, a pleasant lunch in a very busy [and expensive] restaurant. I did manage to do a couple of 5 mile runs, but no cycling as each time I wanted to go out it seemed to tip it down!! I also did a Bikeability course at the school I volunteer to read at.

Saturday we had to re-arrange the house for the grand children to visit for the weekend and it was lovely to see them. The twins now gaining weight and being much more alert. It was even more pleasurable as my other son and his wife and of course Bramble the dog managed to get across for an evening meal of Lasagne etc. more gifts for Mrs IanB  for her birthday. Granddaughter [GD] had a lovely time with Bramble the brown Labrador. The twins were on form and managed to take it in turns to eat,sleep,wake,eat,sleep,wake……..! etc so gave us plenty of work to do.

Sunday was a visit to Seaton for a stroll along the front, the logistics of getting the twins and GD ready with all the kit needed for two, two month old babies and a three year old was enormous, but we made it and had a lovely walk on a warm but muggy morning, GD managed fish fingers and chips along with a chocolate ice cream cone. It was sad to wave them off in the afternoon.

Monday [2nd Nov]

I was determined to get out cycling or running today, as a few days of cake and fine eating was starting to show in my morning scales weigh! 7.3 miles run on a warm and muggy morning at a good pace 9.18 mins/mile. Tuesday another spinning session and the weather now seems to have settled into an unsettled period with regular heavy showers, long cycle rides seem out of the question [or am I a wimp!!].

Wednesday [4th] was a wet morning and we had a trip out down to Bridport and its local market, Bridport is the town where ‘Broadchurch’ was filmed, down by West Bay. We parked at Morrisons and walked in after coffee [and a dough nut!] long time since we have been to Bridport, now fast becoming ‘Battersea on Sea’ with incomers from the capital, certainly this is noticeable in the shops now available but not as bad as Lyme Regis !!! A very calorie laden lunch [970 Kcals] with a Wetherspoons small veggie breakfast had us both with ‘heavy tums’ to walk back to the car, but excellent value at £2.99 each! But I did manage to get out in the late afternoon for a pleasant cycle ride round the lanes of Hatch Beauchamp 26.9 miles covered, very warm and the roads were very dirty with tractors coming out of the fields, the leaves on the trees were fabulous now the beech trees are all turning.

Wednesday evening saw me attending my first ‘Kettlebells’ session, I decided  my spinning sessions were great for cardio but needed something to build up my muscles a little. I followed the instructor [who also takes the spinning class] and was fine until we got near the end when we had to lay on the floor and do sit ups with the Kettlebell above our heads, I found this really hard, and perhaps need to practice sit ups at home [urggh!]  a good session that should help and they do say that ‘older people’ should do some weight sessions, it was also good as Mrs IanB attends Pilates at the same time, so an evening out for us!!!

Weather forecast for next few days is poor with heavy rain showers so not sure I can get out and get a few miles in.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Herepath Half Marathon

Tuesday 27th October 2015

After a broken night thinking about the race and changing the clocks I was very awake at 3:30 am, desperately trying to get back to sleep, but the race kept going round in my mind, what if? what if? what if? etc. I even managed to read a little on my Kindle, which ironically I am reading 'its a hill get over it' which is about fell running, so I  eventually gave in and made some tea at 4:30ish.
As it got  lighter outside it was obvious it was going to be a nice day, but very chilly, the sun came up and there were clear blue skies, although I didn't see the frost they forecast.

I made up some muesli, banana and Satsuma, covered it with milk and let it sit, I find the muesli absorbs the milk making it much more palatable, filling and tasty and the added fruit gives it interest as well as being 2 of my 5 a day! I had decided that by the start of the race at 10:30 I would be hungry and by the end of the race 2hrs + and 13.7 miles later I would be even hungrier. My strategy was the same as the Stumble race the week before, try to eat an hour before my run and then rely on Tailwind drink and a gel if needed, the short events don't lend themselves to eating, I find even jelly babies difficult to chew. I didn't want to take cereal this time as I was giving a lift to the other member of the BLRCC Rachel up the lane, so made up a nice Tesco full seed homemade strawberry jam sandwich.

As it got nearer the time to pick up Rachel I felt more nervous, I had decided to wear my three-quarter Ron Hills which I find more comfortable than shorts, and if its chilly help keep my knees warm, my Asics Trail top, which is great as it has good pockets in which to put my gel, My Salomon Fellraiser shoes, after the dress rehearsal the Speedcross seemed a bit light on the long down hill from Neroche, and the Fellraiser I though would be better in the mud I was expecting after the previous days heavy rain. I was also taking my trusted Hilly belt with a bottle of Tailwind Raspberry Buzz which has 200 calories and 200 g of Carbs as well as caffeine to give me that boost [ I need all the help I can get!!]. I also made sure I put tape across my chest as running vests seem to chafe badly and it does get  very sore! again I rediscovered this on my rehearsal, mind they are awful getting off again and must be done in the shower! anyway TMI I think, back to the plot!!
I loaded up the car and drove up the lane, to meet Rachel who was still suffering from a heavy cold and could barely talk because of laryngitis, we chatted as we drove to the start, 15 minutes away, getting stuck behind the local cycling club on the big hill out of the village, they seemed to have a good turn out, even if they were all over the road!

As we approached Thurlbear  we were being directed to park up along the lane, fortunately we were close to the race HQ. We went to register, claiming our free lucozade sport on the way past, then it was the usual battle to get the race number on the vest with the four pins, its a shame no one has come up with another method.

We were soon in the playground of the school, the organiser giving us the briefing about long horned cattle and Exmoor ponies grazing over Neroche, familiar to me as its my regular running area.

It was 10:30 and we were off, jostling for position a little nearer the front to avoid getting stuck in the singletrack down the road. We soon turned off for a short muddy field edge run before crossing back onto the road for a further half mile or so. Were were going at a good pace 9 minute miles and I noticed my HRM said 183!!! I think it was wrong [hope] clearly a blip connecting with the chest strap.
We finally turned off road at Netherclay and started to climb up through the woods, beautiful colours and the sun shining through the trees, no wind and jus the sound of footsteps and heavy breathing R and I were managing to keep our position as we climbed steadily up, some runners were already starting to walk, although it wasn't very steep as we went up through Piddle Wood the track steepened slightly and the pace dropped a little  before rising again on the flatter section  near Staple lawns, it was a glorious morning, the runners were now strung out, I hadn't a clue on our position, but we seemed to keep leap frogging the same runners the pull up through Staple Park was a little steeper and I decided to ease off a little knowing that the steepest bits were yet to come, R pulled away a little leaving a 50 metre gap, which I maintained the best strategy being to run our pace, R was going well despite the 'illness' we finally emerged out on to the road just up from Underhill farm and it was a short steep road section before plunging off road through a kissing gate and a very muddy wet area, much undulating terrain  before turning right to start the climb up towards Staple hill once more, it was very muddy along here and the runners in front carefully picking their way through the driest sections [ but there were none!] or at least the least muddy!! this slowed us up and I was grateful for the ease of pace to recover a little and take in some fluid. The next section was the steepest bit and most of us walked up the track to the summit of Staple Hill, the highest point on the Blackdowns at 315 metres. We were now getting spectators as the car park was close, their cheers and good wishes helping us on, I had now caught R up again and we were both looking forward to the drinks station which was manned by R's class from the local school she is a teacher at, as we approached we could see and hear the children cheering and see them waving, all eager to give 'miss' a drink and a few jelly babies, it gave us a boost and seemed to amuse some of the other runners before we went down the familiar steep stony descent towards Mt Fancy Farm, we were on familiar ground now, knowing that the biggest hills were behind us, 6+ miles covered. We ran the next section to Neroche at a good pace, managing to keep our pace, at this point R started a little 'competition' with a runner from the local club as she felt the runner would want to beat R at all costs, more later!, we crossed the Staple Fitzpaine road and started to climb towards Neroche, fortunately we didn't have to climb to the castle summit, and we were soon starting the long 2 to 3 mile descent down towards Bickenhall, across Curland Common. This was a fast run and the pace went up the stony ground not really absorbing the footfall, muddy in places and quite slippery at times, lots of jarring and at times felt my right calf muscle starting to 'niggle' we finally hit the road with 3.7 miles to go. I was starting to feel tired now and knew the next section  across Bickenhall Plain a slog!
which it was I could feel I was starting to lose pace, and tried to make sure I had a good drink, hoping it would revive me a little, I have been across this part of he route 3 times and each time found it hard, we eventually met the road at Batten Green where the next section was approximately a mile to the next off road, it was here that  R started to pull away, the gap got bigger and I couldn't stay with her, so decided to plod on and keep my own pace, I did overtake several runners and we had now dropped the local runner that R was intent on beating [ the local runner was a local well know Ultra and marathon runner] the run up the road was hard and I was pleased to turn off through the woods once more, taking the edge of the field past the RSPCA animal centre, I ran on the field edge as the path was quite sticky and muddy, whereas the tractor tracks seemed compressed enough not to be muddy, we entered the woods and I was now feeling very tired, heavy legs etc, I drank as much as I could, ironically I did overtake several people at this point. We were back on the road past the Farmers Arms pub before the final run down through Thurlbear Woods to the finish, the marshall informed me there was only a mile and a bit to go and all down hill, I remembered it from my recce runs, she was correct, there was no sign of R now she was a good few minutes ahead, going well, I started to speed up with the knowledge it was all down, passing another runner who informed me it was the furthest he had ever run, down I went, walkers giving me encouragement as I went, I hit the road after the small ford and the sign said 200 metres, it was a long 200 metres and I arrived with cheers from the awaiting crowd at the finish line R cheering me on with a cup of water in her hand. It was over, 2 hrs 16 minutes and 24 secs very pleased with that, I hadn't kept and eye on my time as I went focussing on HRM and pace instead, R had finished in 2 hrs 13 mins so did well to take 3 mins over the last couple of miles, mind she had virtually completely lost her voice now. I picked up my celebratory memento HerePath mug, feeling relieved but happy with my efforts, I had no idea on race position. After cheering a few more finishers we made our way home, to hot showers and in my case homemade soup and rolls. the weather had been superb, sunny, cool, no wind, a perfect running day on a great route and the event was very well organised, perhaps next year I could get down to 2hrs???? all my preparation seemed to have worked, perhaps a few more longer miles in my legs would help as the 11 mile point seems to be a problem for me! I had used 1800 calories, my average Heart rate was 161 which seems a little high and I did a 9:57 pace.

My legs were quite stiff for the rest of the day. The race organisers 'Running Forever' put the results on the website that evening.
I had come 100th out of 151 finishers and R had come 93rd there were 30 none starters. I had managed to come 3rd in my category. the winner did 1 h 34 mins !!! I enjoyed the day and the race brought my race running year to an end, next event is the Grizzly  next March, I am sure it will soon come round, meanwhile I will get back to cycling with a bit of running!!
rather than running with a bit of cycling. What happened to the local runner, she came in 6 mins behind me:-)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Dress rehearsal

21st October 2015
After my (to me) successful Exmoor run at the weekend I decided to give my stiff legs a workout by going spinning on Monday night. I am not sure whether it was a good idea as Andy the instructor decided to give us a hard time. I didn't use my hrm but tried to keep the cadence night, managing to keep it between 80 and 100 rpm even on the climbs. So I was tired when I got home, but legs seemed looser, I think!!
Tuesday was my last chance to do a final HPH practice run, so after a sandwich lunch and a morning reading Biff and Kipper at school I put on my running kit, made up a Tailwind drink, put a gel in my bag ( just in case) and parked at Thurlbear.
Watch set and off I went, determined to keep my speed down to 'jog' round.
After the mile on road it was the start of the 6 miles up hill to Staple Hill, it was a lovely afternoon and I soon started to sweat . I didn't see anyone in the 6 miles, the area feeling quite remote. The crafty detour below Staple hill was quite muddy and difficult going in places to avoid the worst.
I did walk up some of the hill, sipping my drink, I noticed that the 6.3 miles had taken me 1h 17mins.
I was on familiar ground as I ran across to Neroche castle, before the 2 mile descent down towards Bickenhall. I didn't run quite as quickly as last time , and felt my legs a little heavy. As I hit the road the mile to the next woods was hard, so I decided it was gel time to get me through the last 3.7 miles.
The run past the RSPCA centre was easier than last time, not so muddy and the field was clear of sweet corn.
The final Thurlbere woods was don hill but my legs were now hurting!
13.9miles  2hs 37 mins at 11m 15 s pace. It was a hard run, I was glad to get to the end!
I think I may have overdone it over the last couple of days, so it's rest now till the event on Sunday, except I have two days bikeability ( and it's raining) and I intend a 3 mile jog on Friday to test out my friend up lanes fitness to run on Sunday .
Legs ache this morning and I feel tired and stiff, hopefully I will feel better later!!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Exmoor Stumble run

19th October 2015

I was at Minehead early, actually one and three quarters hours to be exact, I like to be early to park etc.
There were a few cars in the park, I waited a short time before having another 30g of muesli to make sure I wasn't hungry half way round as it was several hours since breakfast one.
I went to collect my number and surprised to bump into a friend, Jane who we used to go MTBing with and I worked with her husband, I even trained Jane when she was a member of our Ten Tors team, now a mum of two boys!!
After pinning my number and having another drink of ISO  I went for a walk, to loosen my legs, jogging at times to raise my heart rate [ I sound like a real athlete!] the weather was chilly with grey skies and misty and suspect it was thick cloud on Dunkery Beacon where the 15 mile route went.
I walked up to the start in good time and waited nervously with the others for the off, we were given a briefing and then walked to the start real, there was exciting chatter in the group, everyone looked fitter and better prepared than me, I had decided on my Asics short sleeve top with a pocket for my gel, and elastic bandage should I have trouble with my calf, three-quarter tights and my Salomon Speedcross shoes.
It was 11 am and we were off!
I set a reasonable pace as we ran up the side road to enter the woods and the off road, some of the cobbles were quite slippery in places, I managed to keep my place and no one overtook me my pace was around 10.5 steady. the track started to go up and we began to thin out, under foot was damp, but not too muddy, the air was still and chilly, and everyone was quite, the sound of heavy breathing breaking the silence, no banter which was surprising. The track steepened and then went into a single track, here I was forced to walk as it was single file and people walking made it impossible to pass [that's my excuse anyway] we went up down and around until we hit the main ridge at approximately 295 metre above sea level above Periton Hill, above Minehead, the views starting to open up even in the mist. It was the water station, a quick slurp and off again. Down hill this time towards Wootten Common about 3 miles covered, nearly halfway, I felt good even though my HRM showed my heart rate well up in the early 160s, legs felt good as well, a fast run down through the trees, I had been using two women in front of me as my pacers, both looked as though they were regular club runners and set a good pace so I decided to hang on to them, we soon started to climb again back to the ridge and headed over Hopcott Common, fine views now we were on the ridge, Butlins rising up out of the mist, great view of the curve of the bay, a fast run along the ridge before entering a technical downhill section that was loose and rooty, muddy in places. I hung on to my pacers and kept up with them easily on the technical bits, the wide sections they seemed to pull away.
I noticed my pace was down to around 7 min miles as we ran down, we overtook several other runners and only one overtook me, annoyingly he was an over 60!!! and pushed me back into 5th in the over 60 category. We continued to descend and only 1 mile to go we were out of the woods and onto a track before hitting the road, we were moving very fast now and my watch said 6 min miles!!!
My pacers now drew away but I hung on and finished only 30 secs behind them.

6.9 miles in 1hr 6 mins and 58 secs putting me 34th out of 74 and 5th in the over 60 catagory9min 45 pace and 1099ft climbed, very pleased with that as I did 1hr 12 mins last year and 1hr 17 the year before.
I really enjoyed the event, the fast run down through the woods was very exhilarating, I felt I ran well, I thanked to two women in front as I finished as I felt they had paced me round.
Tea and cake as I collected my finisher Tee shirt, a tasteful black this year with yellow writing, same logo etc. as previous years.
Perhaps next year I should graduate to the Stagger and its 15 miles as I have done the Stumble 3 times. I always feel guilty not doing the stagger, but it is a very hard run with a lot of climbing.
This all stands me now for the 13.7 mile HPH next week. My friend Rachel is still suffering from germs and a heavy cold, I do hope she recovers in time, even though her training has not been great.
Its spinning tonight to loosen my legs then one more run around the HPH route tomorrow afternoon as the weather still seems to be holding, spin on Thursday and a final short run on Friday.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The morning of the race

Sunday 18th October

Its now 6:15 on the morning of the Minehead Stumble race, 7 miles of up and down hill off road on Exmoor, following part of the route of the 'Stagger' which is 15 miles to Dunkery Beacon and back.

The past two weeks have been good weatherwise so no excuses not to go out and do a little preparation [I hesitate to call it training!] the 'Herepath Half marathon' is next Sunday which is 13.7 miles! so been building up the miles, todays event is part of the preparation.
I have managed to run around the half marathon route twice, the second time feeling good [until 11 miles!] with a time of 2 hrs 15 mins, so hopefully I could replicate that on the day.
Its been a strange week this week as I have had to work everyday on Bikeability courses, so not got out quite as I would have liked [work gets in the way of my leisure activities] still managing to get 1 run in and two spinning sessions, both I kept my heart rate down to near 75 % to save energy. I have avoided picking up germs from the children [I hope] so feeling ok for todays run. The weather forecast is good, cloudy, but no rain forecast and I think it will be chilly to start, the sheltered woodland will mean it gets warm quickly. 
I have run the event twice  before, so looking to improve my time. I have decided not to take a drink this time, but take my gel and my intention is to take it early on in the event to see the effect. When I did my last HPH run I took a Tailwind Raspberry Buzz drink and found this just right as I kept sipping to keep up my energy levels.

I plan this morning is to have my usual Muesli with fruit and then take another 25g to eat an hour before the event as the start is not till 11 am. its an hours drive across to Minehead. 
I am looking forward to the event and will continue the blog post when I have finished.
Watch this space......................

Monday, 5 October 2015

Herepath route and a very cold cycle ride!


5th October 2015

I had agreed to meet Mike at 8:15 on Sunday morning this week for a cycle ride down to West Bay. I awoke to a dark but clear morning, and as the sky lightened the weather was looking good with a bright golden glow on the horizon and no sign of the fog from the previous morning.It was a chilly start so decided on a long sleeve jersey and threequarter tights, fingerless mitts etc. leaving my pertex top behind as no rain was expected.

BUT! This changed as I rode to the end of the lane to meet up, we abandoned the idea of West Bay and take the flatter alternative across the levels round Muchelney, it was then we noticed the sky starting to cloud over, it was chilly in the early morning, then as we rode off into the country lanes the cloud soon became a thick mist/fog! And as we descended our first hill of the day got a taste of things to come - - it was freezing!!! We cycled on, but by the time we had reached Shepton Beauchamp we were both frozen and unable to feel our fingers and toes! My Garmin said 3 degrees, my glasses had steamed up and the outside of my jersey was decidedly damp from the heavy fog, it was also becoming dangerous as neither of us brought any lights with us. We stopped and jumped about to warm up, before deciding to cut our losses and head for home, via higher ground if possible, we could see the sun through the mist and we thought, get to higher ground to warm up, sadly we didn’t get this until nearly home, by which time we were both chilled through, it took me two mugs of hot coffee and several layers added to get warm. The mist cleared after lunch and the afternoon whilst not hot [ like Saturday] was much warmer, a lesson learned here I think!!!!

This was all in contrast to the previous few days when the weather had been very warm, dry and sunny, with excursions to Sidmouth for egg, chips and peas in our favourite café earlier in the week and a stroll along the Sea front at Seaton on Saturday.

The Seaton walk was particularly  pleasant as I had managed to get out and run early in the morning and do the route for the HerePath Half which follows the Here Path trail for most of the run

As I drove to park up at Staple Hill it was thick fog, but as I climbed on to the Black downs it cleare, leaving the valleys in a sea of mist. I set off with the familiar run across to Neroche Fort, warily passing some cows with their calfs in a field, they gave me a good stare as I passed through, I didn’t enjoy this at all!!

After Neroche it was a long downhill towards Bickenhall, where I am sure if you are a good runner it will be fast! [but I am not so will have to take my time] the conditions underfoot were dry and as I went through Thurlebear woods and several others Autumn was starting to show itself, easy running and even the edges of the cultivated fields were too bad, but! I imagine will be bad in the wet, with over a hundred runners passing through.

It was after Thurlebear and Netherclay that the tracks started to rise, I even met a small group of runners coming the other way, the tracks wound their way up through the woods and round fileds with the steepest section being back up to the Staple Hill car park, I was pleased to run the whole route, even the last bit which was at the end of my run 12.57 miles [1 mile short of the route for the HPH] in the event itself the start is in Thurlebear so the big climb is at the beginning.

It was a good run and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I did miss several turns, and stopped a few times to consult the map but still did it in 2 hrs 20 mins, which by my reckoning is slower than I will do in the event!

I took one of my ‘Tailwind’ drinks, the Berry flavour, I was pleasantly surprised I needed no other food, and found it very good at keeping the energy up. I plan to run it again on Wednesday perhaps adding in the extra mile. It is a really nice route and a nice walk, particularly at this time of year with the changing leaves, I saw very few other people, a couple of dog walkers near the roads I crossed and the one group of runners.

The week had been good with a 40 mile bike ride on Monday, an 8 mile run and spin session on Tuesday and another 9 mile run and spin session on Thursday, I was a little worried after my run on Thursday as I had a ‘shin splint’ niggle scare, I wore the long compression socks on Saturday for my long run just in case and things seemed to settle down again.

Only two weeks before the Minehead ‘Stumble’ 7 mile race and the week after the HerPath Half marathon, training going ok at the moment, I just need to avoid colds!!

My mileage for September has been good with with 96.45 miles run and 260 miles cycled. It was a good month for weather as well, but! We didn’t manage to get away in the van as last year, not sure now with dark nights approaching and weather changing if we will get chance before next spring, fingers crossed!!!
Its pouring down with rain as I type this, I was hoping to get out for a few miles, but! not in this, Autumn is back and winter is on its way.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Splendid weather

29th September 2015

I set off for a run around town this morning, the weather was stunning, clear blue sky's and a warm sunshine even at 9.0 am! Running around the lanes was a pleasure, I managed 8.18 miles at a pace of 9.20 mins per mile, which I thought good, and probably one of my best times around town, it seemed to go easy this morning, a little pulling on my calf but ok, hopefully if I can get to spinning later that might help.
Yesterday, another warm sunny day saw me around my favourite route around Athelney, 40 miles clocked up, really pleasant ride.
Sunday I was locking my car in Lyhdeard Hill car park at just after 6:30 am and was away jogging towards the sunrise ( it was still quite dark when I set off) a cracking morning, the views across the Quantocks were beautiful, especially as I was the only person around.
I climbed Wills Neck to see the sun poking over the hillside, a deep red, casting long shadows. I descended down to Triscombe and into the wooded track to Crowcombe, the sun dappling through the trees, still with a read glow.
After Deadwomans and Halsway post, I turned along the ridge to add extra miles to last weeks run, I ran up the hillside for a mile and bit before returning back to my last weeks route back to the car, I felt guilty as at times I disturbed groups of sheep lying on dry grass in the sun, moving on as I got to them.
A good 12+ miles covered in a good time, no injuries!! Only fuel was ISO and 6 marzipan balls (10gram)
Last week saw a good week, only one cycle ride of 32 miles but 3 runs of 7 miles and  a spinning session., not bad as it was all combined with a two day Bikeability course in the middle.
I have ordered some 'Tailwind' energy drink, as many runners seem to rate it instead of gels etc, so
will give them a go.
Weather is set good for the rest of the week, nearly had to go and help out with Twins today as poor George was suffering a sniffly nose not helping him with breathing, hence a hospital trip, in the end they discharged so not needed after all.
Look forward to seeing them all again and getting out in this lovely weather.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Quantocks, twins and a good week

Monday 21st September 2015

 A great day in Gloucester with our new grandsons and the granddaughter, a pleasant lunch followed by a lovely walk in beautiful warm sunny weather to Barnwood Arboretum. The trees are now starting to show the autumn with conkers on the ground and yellowing of leaves, it also shows with the traffic on the M5, which has reduced considerably.

I decided I needed to get a longer run in, but not wanting to spend the time running round the roads of the town I voted for the Quantocks, which is where I did my training for the Ex to Ax and seemed to fit quite well, some ups, some downs with a good ‘forgiving surface’ along with great views.

I was up at 5:30 after preparing my kit the night before, some marzipan balls, hat, gloves, windproof, phone etc. all into the bum bag along with 500ml of ISO star, a change of clothes and towel and I was ready to get up and go, after a breakfast of muesli and banana.

I was out of the door by 6:15 and the road to Taunton was very quiet but a thick mist hung around and quite dense in places that was until I started to climb out of Taunton through Kingston St Mary arriving at Lydeard Hill car park at 6:45 to glorious sunshine with a sea of mist in the valleys, it was like standing on an island.

I was surprised to see several cars there already, a Shimano service vehicle was there with occupants sleeping in the back!! And several others, I assume dog walkers.
From Lydeard Hill car park sea of mist West
East peaks poking above the mist
Track around Lydeard Hill 7:00 am

 Video on my phone  [doesn't seem to work on ipad?]
I kitted up and set my watch, Paramo vest, Ron Hill 3/4 tights, PHD merino wool socks [brilliant socks] and my Salamon Fell Raiser shoes. Just as I was leaving the car park [at 7:00 am]  another van drew up, unloading 3 very boisterous dogs, a young lad ready for MTBing and dad dressed to run. No time to chat as I headed of on my usual route round Lydyeard hill in glorious sunshine, and as I got towards the edge of the Quantocks the valleys were covered in a sea of mist, to good an opportunity not to take a photo [more of this later!!!!!] I ran around and through the woods I think called Bagborough plantation and on up Wills Neck [386 mts] I felt ok and made good time on the climb.
Wills Neck in the distance
 A quick video of the surrounding country side [cant upload it though!!]and a few photos and off down the other side to Triscombe Stone, it’s a pleasant undulating run from here along to Crowcombe park gate, the sunshine dappling through the trees, no other people about despite the parked cars. It was also good underfoot with little mud. I made a good pace along the Drove to CPG before turning uphill once more across the fields climbing parallel to the road to Dead Womans Ditch,[314 mts]  about 4.5 miles covered, I had 3 of my marzipan balls and a slurp of ISO drink to stave off energy loss later!!!!
Sunshine on the Drove

I crossed the road and headed past Robin Uprights Hill and followed a main track over to Halsway Post. The temperature was just right for running, the grass was very wet with early morning dew, it must have been chilly up here last night, sadly I didn’t see any deer this morning, you can sometimes surprise them early in the morning especially on this stretch before they escape down the Combes.
Selfie near Dead Womans Ditch

I was still feeling good when I got to Halsway Post which has great views over towards Exmoor as opposed to where I had come from which looks over Hinckly point but also towards Glastonbury Tor. Another slurp, few photos and off again, approximately 6 miles covered, not at a great time but, I had stopped several times for photo opportunities.
Halsway Post away from the sun and into the sun

A climb over the style before ascending Hurley Beacon  and over to the summit trig point above Crowcombe Park Gate at 358 mts.
Trig point above Crowcombe Park Gate, horses grazing in the morning sunshine
 No cars in the park here, but a lovely run down the hill to cross the road and start on my return run back towards Wills Neck etc. My legs felt ok, no hamstring problems, no calf issues feeling quite good, breathing ok and the HRM seemed to be hovering around the 130 mark [my max at the finish was on 154 and average of 132] so felt this was good, I was trying to keep it down but! At the same time put in the effort. I hit the climb back up to Wills neck and disturbed some ponies as I headed towards the summit,

Wills Neck looking towards Minehead

Wills Neck looking towards Hinckly Point[the square blocks in the distance]

 I say disturbed, but the completely ignored me! Wills Neck for the second time before a nice run down through the woods before the run back around Lydeard Hill. It’s usually at the Lydeard hill point I am starting to get very tired [9 mile mark] but today I felt good and ran quite happily back to the car park, I think I had only seen one person actually out on the hill, during my 2 hour run. The cp was quite busy now but no people, the Shimano gang were cooking up breakfast with bacon smells drifting my way. The sun still shone and was a glorious morning. The MTB lad, dogs and running dad arrived back just after I finished, I had no idea where they had been. I changed my top, had Nature Valley peanut protein bar, some more water before driving off home.

As I got towards Taunton I had the horrid feeling that I may have lost my credit card whilst out on the hill!!!! I put the card with my phone and when I took my phone out must have pulled the card out. Sharp braking and pulled over to check! Nope! No sign of the card. It was too late to go back and it could have been anywhere across the Quantocks, so a quick drive home to report my card lost, feeling a complete ‘plonker’ I only took it in case I needed fuel, it’s a good job I didn’t! I have learnt a lesson, do not put your card in with your phone!!!

The rest of the day the weather stayed warm and sunny, enabling tea drinking outside, a little light garden work and walk to B&Q for weedkiller for the paths.

So it was a nice finish to a great week with 18 miles covered running in the week [3 runs], two spinning sessions and a couple of cycle rides mounting to 92 miles cycled plus of course the 10.32 miles on the Quantocks yesterday. I did try running and following this with my spinning session, I am sure it did some good with the spin session taking away the soreness/stiffness of running, and I am sure it must be helping with endurance.

The weather has changed once more, with this morning being wet and cold, still that’s autumn!

With a Bikeability course on Wednesday and Thursday this week I hope it all clears.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Grizzly place confirmed and the new twins

Wednesday 16th September

The weather has turned decidedly Autumnal being  wet and windy, the trees now changing colour, particularly over the Blackdown Hills, the beech hedging turning.
We came back from spending a couple of days with our new grandson twins, both doing really well, as are grand daughter and mum and dad. Its lovely to see two identical faces looking back at you when they are laying together on their play mat. 

I had the Grizzly place confirmed on Monday, so lots of training required for next March as its 20 mile of tough running, 10 miles further than the Cub run of previous years, a good way to celebrate my 65th birthday, its also good that Rachael up the lane has also had a place confirmed – but! We both have to get round the Herepath Half at the end of October.

Last week I had a good week with two runs of 7 miles [ total 15 miles]and 90 miles [in two rides] on my bike as well as two spinning sessions. I now have to up the mileage to meet the half marathon distance, I find this difficult running locally round the roads, as road running is quite boring and it seems to be hard on my calf muscle and hamstrings, I would sooner get out across the Quantocks off road and I know I can get a good 10 miles in easily. My pace seems quite good [for me just over 9 minute mile] in training, I don’t seem to have any issues with injury [niggles as usual] I am hoping very regular short runs combined with cycling reduces the risk of injury.

I have lost another couple of pounds so now down to 11.5 stone, which was my target. ‘My fitness pal’ app seems to be good at making me stick to healthier eating.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Historic couple of weeks

Thursday 10th September

The past week has been fabulous weather, warm and dry, but! With a tinge of Autumn in the air in the evenings.
It has also been a historic week for our family as we celebrated the arrival on September the 2nd of beautiful identical twin boys to my son Tim and his wife, all is well and after several days with them and the grand daughter we came home to leave them to enjoy family life. The boys were a healthy weight at 5.5lbs and seem to be coping well in their new world.

The Herepath Half seems to be getting closer and I have also entered the Minehead Stumble, an 7 mile multi terrain run over the Minehead hills, done it twice before, a really nice event. The run is a week before the HPH so should be good training.
Just about managing to keep up with getting out to run and cycle, the 75 mile cycle with Blackmore Vale CTC from Yeovil to Compton Abbas with lunch at the airfield, over the Dorset hills, a lovely day out through some beautiful countryside. Otherwise 40 + miles around the levels, usually at a good pace averaging 15 mph.
Running, I have raised the mileage to 7.65 miles with what for me is a good pace of 9.21 minutes a mile, I now have to increase this to meet the 14 miles needed for the half marathon, I am trying to get out three times a week, my target was 100 mile cycle and 20 mile run, but the twins arrival saw me reduce this! Spinning carries on, important now the evenings are drawing in, still hard work and I always come home, very tired!! My hamstring tendonitis still nags, giving me a pain in the bum! And its strange how all the other niggles are never far from the surface, niggly knee, shin splints and my calf muscle, I just need to keep an eye on them as I increase my mileage.
August was a good month with 67 miles run and 391 miles cycled bringing my totals for the year of 290 run and 2532 cycled.
Meanwhile we hope to enjoy our new grandchildren William and George, I just hope I can tell the difference!!!!

No trips out in the Campervan lately, this time last year we were in Norfolk, maybe we will get time before the winter really begins to escape for a few days.

Monday, 24 August 2015

More shower dodging! but some nice sunny days as well

Saturday 22nd August

Sunday saw us having a day with Grand Daughter [GD] and a lovely day walking in Barnwood Arboretum, feeding ducks and squirrels, sadly no ice cream seller though. Lunch in the garden followed with hide and seek completed the trip, twins still looking good before their arrival next week.
Monday dawned bright and sunny so I decided to run the coast again, having not run down their since my Exe to Axe adventure in March. Parking at Beer Head on a warm and sunny morning. I ran up onto Beer Head little or no wind before dropping down to Branscombe, few visitors around even though it was 9:30. A climb up out of Branscombe was stiff and as usual I walked, as I jogged along I surprised another runner who was listening to her music. I dropped down through  the woods to the Fountains Inn, the sun continued to shine and I needed my sunhat to protect my eyes and head, as I ran back down through Branscombe there were more visitors around now and I decided the undercliff would give some shade  even though the stair way to heaven was at the end, I met a number of people walking the Undercliff, thinking back to my winter runs I never saw anyone along here. I climbed out of the Undercliff and back onto Beer Head, feeling ok and seemingly making a reasonable pace. By the time I was back to the van I had covered 6.6 miles, a nice coffee and cereal bar in the sunshine as the car park started to fill up, back home to mow the lawn followed a lovely morning out in the warm sunshine.
Tuesday was another nice morning, so we decided to have a trip out to Burnham on Sea, a nice walk along the front and along the estuary towards Highbridge and the River Parrett, lovely views over the Quantocks, both coffee and sandwiches were eaten out of the wind, the view changing as the tide went out to leave mud flats. A spin session was particularly hot and humid.
Wednesday saw a real change in the weather with it being very wet, so a lazy day and re introduction to Sudoku. However, later in the day I did run around town 5.5 miles covered at a good pace.
Thursday should have seen me out on a Blackmore vale CTC ride, but heavy rain I decided that it would not be pleasant cycling in that weather, even though 14 hardy soles did turn out. It was a very showery day, and I did manage to get out for a cycle ride in the afternoon even though I did get wet in the end as a heavy shower hit 4 miles from home!! 32 miles covered which I was pleased with. A spin session followed, I worked hard to maintain a good effort despite the humidity.
Friday was another wet day and little activity.
Saturday I was up early to get a run in so 6:am saw me jogging up the lane, a very pleasant run in early morning sun another 5.5 miles covered. A trip to Sidmouth whilst the weather was nice, hot and sunny, it was surprising to see so many people on the beach and even in the sea, lunch in the White Horse then as we drove home, storm clouds were gathering and by the time we got home it was thundering and the rain came down, I think we had the best of the day and as it happened the best day for the week!!!
Sunday was very wet and I didn’t get out until late afternoon, and again with 10 miles to go another shower hit, I did shelter and managed to stay dryish!
Sunday also saw me entering the Grizzly run on March 13th next year , I have decided to enter the longer event rather than the usual Cub run, so a muddy hard 20 mile run to prepare for, if I get a place that is in the lottery that takes place for the 2000 places.

The ‘My fitness Pal’ seems to be working and I have managed to lose a couple of pounds, the week ahead weather looks very poor, so will try to get out when I can, only a couple of weeks now to the new arrivals, things still seem to be going well!!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A week dodging showers

17th August 2015

A very changeable weather week but!
I did manage to cycle 94 milesin two rides both around North Curry and Athelney, my area of choice at the moment, quiet roads, flat with hills at the start and end of the ride,  and run 16.04 miles, in three sessions all on road and round town, enjoyable, but nothing exceptional to write, my 5.5 mile run I have managed to do a 9.21 pace which is the fastest for some time. I seem to be keeping injury at bay although the Hamstring Tendonitis, does give me a real ‘pain the bum’ when driving, but!! No ‘niggly knee’ or calf muscle pulls and no shin splints!!!
My use of the ‘my fitness pal’ app seems to be paying off, recording my food intake each day along with the exercise, does show up where it’s easy to consume ‘useless calories’ I have shifted a few pounds [5 to be exact] and I would like to move a couple more, I do find it easier running cycling and spinning not carrying quite so much weight [even though I am not heavy in the first place]. Cake and biscuits are my downfall and cutting those out seems to help along with keeping in the 1940 calorie intake a day.
Spinning continues to be an exercise ‘sauna’ each session seems to be warmer than the last. The only way I seem to be able to ensure I am really trying is using a heart rate monitor, keeping it around 80% of maximum for the 45 minute sessions twice a week and averaging just below that, compared with the running which seems to give me 75% average on a 5/6 mile run. My maximum each time seems to be 90%.
I do feel reasonably fit and I am sure combining my cycling and running must be paying off!
The weather has been changeable to say the least with some heavy downpours, I do feel for those on holiday in the region, investing their holiday into the area rather than somewhere hot and dry!!
I do hear that the expected twins are doing well and gaining weight, and still expect to spend time in Gloucester at the beginning of September for their arrival into the world.
Still got my eye on the ‘Herepath Half’ at the end of October and hope to build up the miles now I know that 5 or 6 miles is easier.
 I would still like to get in another Audax or two before the end of the season and hopefully get out with Blackmore Vale CTC for several of their ‘further and faster rides’.
Cycling 94 miles
Running 16 miles

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Running and riding

Saturday 8th August
The weather continues to be very changeable, sunny then a rain shower, but the predominant feature has been the wind!
Sunday last met up with Mike, who I haven’t seen for a couple of months, and a bright but windy and cool morning saw us heading over the levels to Muchelney 38 miles and we ended up directing traffic as there had been an accident on the A358 and traffic was down the very narrow lanes, a caravan causing chaos!.
I was determined to continue my running on Monday whilst Mrs Ian B went to Yoga, so 5.2 miles around town, The initial aches and pains of the previous weeks running seemed to have disappeared and I seem to be back as a ‘runner’
Tuesday, another 42 miles and a spinning session and I continue to complete my ‘ my fitness pal’ app and record my food intake along with the exercise. I seem to be staying within my calorie intake and should start to see my weight reduce over a few weeks. Wednesday was a rest day so no exercise. Thursdays spinning class was cancelled so a run was on the cards, 5.3 miles around town again making sure I did stretches when finished, this along with rolling seems to be sorting the ham strings, still a little tight.
After a trip to Exeter on Friday the evening saw my on the bike, a very quick [for me] 26.5 miles, at 16 mph on a very nice calm, warm evening.

With the entry to the Herepath I now need to build up time on my feet, 13.7 miles off road is a long way to run!!!
Running 10.5 miles
Cycling 105.5 miles

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Herepath half

Thursday 6th August

Have entered the Herepath Half  tonight - a 13 mile off road run round Neroche woods, already know some of the route. Will be a tough run, so lots of training between now and the end of October!!! Certainly more than the 10miles a week I am doing at present. The weather continues to be 'crap' !!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Where has the month gone and where has the weight come from??

Saturday 1st August

Two things came to mind this morning, I couldn’t believe it was the 1st of August and secondly, jumping on the bathroom scales I was horrified to find I was 12 stone, only last Saturday I was 11 stone 9lbs???? especially this week I have cycled 117 miles, run 10 miles and been spinning for 45 minutes once, if the calories used don’t come to more than I have taken in, then I am doing something wrong? I have revisited the 'My fitness Pal App' to check on my eating habits compared to my exercise.

The week started with a very wet day on Sunday, that saw us trundling down to Trago Mills at Newton Abbott for a ‘ferret’ around, some things down there are very cheap, others not so! At least it was a morning out with our daughter, unfortunately it also coincided with Tragos 50th birthday event, so children were everywhere, very busy indeed.
Monday wasn’t a lot better, so I went for a run around the town, trying to get my legs used to running again 4.2 miles, Ham strings were tight next day, but better than before, but Tuesday looked promising, Mrs Ian B and daughter went off to Exeter whilst I cycled off to Langport for coffee with the Blackmore Vale CTC. Very pleasant sat next to the river in the sunshine. We all duly departed our separate ways, I decided to have a look at Moreland village, the village that was on the news a year or so ago with all the floods, the village being evacuated. The road across the levels has only just reopened, after much expensive work to avoid the scenario in future, however, I am sceptical that you can’t hold back nature! Cycling though the village, there was little or no sign of any of the devastation shown on TV, people were mowing lawns, very few houses had skips or builders in etc, I cycled on to Huntworth and crossed the M5 before riding round through North Petherton and back through North Newton and Maunsel Lock, a very busy place even midweek, situated next to the canal, lots of holiday makers in the café etc. on to climb up to North Curry and back through Ham, Slough Green and the final three climbs over Crock street a good 45 miles, I nearly ran out of drink as the day turned out much warmer than expected. I even went spinning in the evening!!
Wednesday was an outing for the BLRCC in other words a run with Rachael up the lane, this was the first time we had run together since the Grizzly in March, I chose my 6 miler over Neroche woods, we chatted all the way round and tried to convince each other to enter the Herepath Half which is a 13 mile off road event around Neroche at the end of October, we ended up agreeing to enter [I think!!] that gives me 2 months to prepare. It was a good run and it was nice to run with someone else.
Thursday I met up with the Blackmore Vale CTC who were doing a Yeovil to Portland Bill and back which was 90 miles, I decided to cycle over to Yeovil to meet them, a good 18 miles, and then peel off at Dorchester to follow the Roman road back over to Bridport, and back through Shaves Cross and Tatworth to get home.
The pace over to Dorchester was quite fast after my leisurely ride over to Yeovil, several climbs took us over through Halstock, Cattistock and Rampisham before descending to Maiden Newton, some beautiful South Dorset countryside. I left them at Bradford Peverill after 40 miles  and continued an 8 mile climb into a headwind up to Eggerdon Hill which gave fantastic views over Dorset, and along the coast. A very steep descent down to Powerstock had me using my brakes constantly,  as it was very narrow in places, fortunately it was quiet and I didn’t meet anything coming the other way. I continued on through Bridport etc and by the time I got home I had done nearly 5000ft of climbing and 74 miles, I was tired, and glad to get out of the wind which I had as a head wind for the last 34 miles!!

Friday it was nice to chill out and visit our favourite café in Sidmouth for egg, Chips and peas! But, when we got there is was folk week, so it was very busy with stalls and buskers on the sea front, very pleasant in the sunshine.
I have just read 'John Kynastons' report on his blog of his lakeland 100 ultra run, 100 miles in less than 30 hours, i really dont know how you can run 100 miles, it made interesting reading.

I now need to try to get out two or three times a week and run a short distance to build up the running legs again, before I enter the half marathon. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Devon Delight and a run

Tuesday 21st July
Well Sunday's weather was the opposite to the forecast of rain, it turned out thankfully to be hot/warm and dry, but windy.
I arrived at the start to the Devon Delight 110k Audax cycle challenge from Newton Abbot in Devon.
There were quite a few entries and had to que to get my 'Brevet card' , after a quick cup of coffee it was off,following the cycle route for a short time out of NA before a big climb up to Ashcombe, I found myself (strangely) leading the pack up the hill, with no one coming past until we started the steep descent towards Dawlish and Dawlish Warren. We entered the town before turning off to join the coast, a lovely ride taking in Powderham castle and the Ex estuary. We met the outskirts of Exeter before turning towards the Airport and through a 'horrible' new housing estate. We soon left this behind as we went through Clyst St John and other villages with unusual names. The lanes were very hot and very loose in places, lots of potholes. We eventually reached Stoke Cannon where there was a good spread of Quiche, cakes etc. I had ridden most of the way with several people from Torbay CTC, who seemed to spend time trying to drop me, only to look back and see I was still there.

After some food it was off again, the route description said ' over the hills' to the Teign Valley, and it was!! Very up and down through very narrow lanes, before popping out on to the valley road and approximately 10 miles to go. The descent was pleasant, but not as much downhill as I remember!
The ride past the quarries on the new road was tedious, and seemed to go on for ever.
I finally finished in 4h 50 mins and 108 km completed, I was tired and hot, the free cream tea at the end was hard as all I wanted was a cuppa!!
Monday afternoon I decided it was time to run again, so headed up to do my Neroche Forest run, 6miles, it was very hot despite a small rain shower, I purposely tried to just jog along, to ensure I did my 6 miles, I admit towards the end I was finding it hard, cardiovascular, no problem, but my legs didn't like it, my Hamstrings were sore in the evening, it took me 1h 18 mins not a good time when I normally look at 1h 3mins.

Tuesday I cycled over to Langport to meet for coffee and cake at the Riverside cafe, 12 members were there, had a natter before breaking up to go our separate ways. I decided as it was nice I would do my Athelney route on the way home as the weather was nice, not realising that he strong wind would be against me most of the way home, I did 42 miles by the time I got home. Time for some lunch and then rest before my spin class at 5pm!!!
Think I will be tired tonight!!