Saturday, 28 February 2015

Big day tomorrow

Saturday 28th February
Tomorrow is the big day, the Grizzly Cub run!! Only 9miles compared to the 22 miles full event. Over 2000 runners will be there.
Can't find a reason not to do it??? So will be on the start line at 10:30. Weather forecast is not good, changeable, rain later, but will be windy and cold, so getting the clothing right will be a challenge.
This week I did a 5mile run on Wednesday, spinning Thursday and a leg loosener 3miles today. 
Feel ok, will get round but! Don't think it will be fast, although it would be nice to beat my last time.
Got my gels and taking an isotonic drink.
Will report the race tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Wheels still on the wagon BUT! think there is a slow puncture

Sunday 22nd February 2015

As the title, think I am getting there but there are many niggles still there and I still have the remnants of my cough - hence the slow puncture analogy!

Anyway, not a bad week - after the run on Monday and the Tuesday spinning session I decided to go for it and did my Neroche off road 10k route on Wednesday, things went well, but not quite as quick as I had hoped, I don't seem to have the speed of previous years, perhaps each year slows you down??

The Neroche run was very pleasant in winter sunshine, that was warm when out of the wind, there were a lot of dog walkers out which meant lots of walking past barky dogs, even though the majority of owners had them under control. I put it down to half term as there were a couple  of family groups. It was fairly dry under foot. My left Hamstring seems to niggle but not get any worse. I felt ok and reasonably strong, I wonder if the spinning is now starting to pay off.
Nice winter sunshine at Mount Fancy near Neroche

                                                 Rear view of me!!! [taken at christmas]at Neroche
After a two day trip to my sons in Gloucester to help him fit a shower and a bit of tiling Saturday was a bright sunny day, to good to waste so a run around the town to clock up another 4.5 miles, this was hard, heavy legs etc. !!! I thought it might be a good loosener for my dress rehearsal on Sunday, I did start to wonder, why is it that you can feel ok in the week and a couple of days later feel rubbish, and everything seems wrong!! funny thing the body, as I have said before!! many times.

Anyway, Sunday dawned dry, bright sunny and very,very frosty - I was out of the door by 7 am and drove the van [nice changing room for the finish] down to Seaton Hole, I decided to do the Seaton Hole across to the Fountains Inn at Street and back including the dreaded beach!! I knew this was about 9 miles, equivalent to the Grizzly Cub run route, but with added climbing. I drove down on quite icy roads, and kitted up taking a drink and a snack. I walked up the first climb, which was quite stiff, but got me warmed up,

                                     View down into Beer after my walk up, looking over to Beer head, the route going along the cliff edge, a beautiful sunny morning, but freezing!

 I then descended down into Beer, very quiet as it was only 7:30 am on a Sunday!  I ran slowly up the road out of Beer, keeping my pace steady before going off road up to Beer Head, the grass was white over with Frost, most unusual down here, I felt good on reaching the coastguard station, pleased with the progress, I ran across the cliffs before descending down through Great Seaside and into Branscombe, this is part of the Grizzly route and can be quite slippery when wet.
It was then a walk up out of Branscombe mouth on to the cliffs the steps in places pulling on my calf muscles and along the top, not to bad under foot and frozen in places, I descended down through the woods, the blue bell and garlic shoots just starting to appear and the raucous noise of the Rooks above me. I still felt quite OK as I hit the road, taking care to keep the pace steady.

Branscombe in the distance before dropping to the Fountains Inn, the white is frost on the fields.

It was good to see the road works now finished and an easy run down the road to Branscombe, I hadn't seen a soul since leaving Seaton Hole, think they were all tucked up with the central heating on full blast.
I finally met another runner as I ran down by the mill stream to Branscombe mouth, I assume another training for next weeks Grizzly, I saw several more before I finally got back to the van.

I ran down and onto the beach as that's the route the Grizzly takes, really hard work on the loose shingle for about half a mile, the tide was quite high too I had a snack and a drink whilst along here, trying Sesame snacks, quite good I thought, easy to eat and digest.
         Got to run  to the whiteish rock you can see on the beach 

Looking back towards Branscombe and the  chalets undercut with the high tides washing away foundations.

After what seemed for ever I finally went back on to the coast path, really nice to have a solid path under you feet, a steady climb up to the stairway to heaven, still feeling ok and ran the majority of it up to the STH that is!! even that I waked a good pace up to the top and kept my heart rate down, it did seem easier than normal [weird!!]

At the top another drink and snack know I still had the big climb out of Beer. along the cliffs, the sun had disappeared and the weather starting to change [ as the forecast said] A steady run down into Beer, still feeling good:-)

I ran most of the path up the hill out of Beer before walking the top bit, quite steep in places, I still felt reasonably strong, descended down to the Van and added a few hundred yards by running up to the next turning to ensure I did 9 miles, in fact it was 9.13 miles, pleased with that and felt a lot better than my last run down here, I did feel I could have gone further, time wise not great 2hrs 1 min but there was 1600ft of climbing and I felt ok, so a good rehearsal and I have made my decision to do the Grizzly next week, providing I dont get any more injuries and I will be able to celebrate my 64th Birthday on the day, just as I did on my first Grizzly when I was 60 !!

I was really pleased with the sesame snaps, and I did felt reasonably strong throughout, so very positive, perhaps spinning is paying off. a couple of short runs this week and a spinning session should see me well.  The excitement of the day should improve my time, I must remember to pace myself though and enjoy it.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Wheels back on the wagon !

I am pleased to say the wheels are back on the wagon, after coming off big time nearly two weeks ago.
I managed to get out on my bike yesterday and did a steady 26miles across the levels, very pleasant it was too! Took my time and only averaged Just over 13.5 mph but that's ok, the climbs were ok as well.
Today I decided to give the running a try, so got my running costume on this afternoon and did 4.94 miles around town, keeping my HRM down to average 144 my average pace was 10.47 mins a mile, no stress, and I feel ok. Did a good stretch when I got back so hopefully no hamstrings issues.
Tomorrow ( Tuesday ) back to spinning  class but! I will try to ease in and keep the HRM down.
If I can do 7 mile on Wednesday round Neroche and perhaps a Coastal 8/9mile at the week end I can then decide Grizzly or no Grizzly!!

So back to being positive, feel motivated, trying not to overdo it too quickly on my return.
We shall see how it goes 😄

Friday, 13 February 2015

Getting better

Friday 13th February

After a week of this miserable cold its finally shifting, I am sleeping through without coughing, I only have an occasional coughing fit and I feel much better in myself, I am now back to eating normally after losing half a stone in 3 days through not eating, so feeling more positive today, even now thinking could I manage Grizzly!!!!??? I wont know until I get out again, might manage a short run tomorrow and a bike ride on Sunday, that will tell me how I feel, I was tempted to go today, but its pouring with rain and very windy so will use the cold as an excuse once again, don't want to go 2 steps back!!!

I did manage to get outside yesterday and trim some of the beech hedging, I did have back ache when I had finished, but thought the fresh air did some good. So hopefully will get back into the swing of things quickly, I have booked my spinning class for next Tuesday evening so that will be another indicator, although must remember to take it a little easier, perhaps the HRM might help and keep that down.

This keeping fit lark is very hard work, and I am envious of those people who manage to avoid colds, aches and pains etc and seem to keep fit, take Gordon whose Blog I follow, is quite an inspiration in his 80s and still running well, and his latest post of running on the fells is very much an inspiration to just get on with it, Gordon  was  poorly a few weeks ago, but now is back to running up to 10 miles across the fells, respect to you Gordon [if you read this] if you don't then respect anyway :-)
Then there is John Kynaston whose running miles and speeds I could only ever dream of, he is never ill!! how does he avoid colds and other injuries??? and do so many miles?

I can feel my enthusiasm coming back, what I need now is to get out, but! I think the closest I will get today is to Tesco in the car for a nice custard slice for tea!!!! the hills and trails will still be there tomorrow !

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Tuesday 10th Feb

I think its now beginning to move!! the cold that is! my nights are still horrendous with a hacking cough for what seems to be forever in the night, better in the day and today feels better still, I can now speak more than a sentence without a cough or be asked 'pardon?' or at least it was in Tesco this morning. I do have a coughing fit every now and again and I think I can now taste tea again, which is great news.

So hopefully I am on the mend, I am planning for a ride/run on Sunday all being well. I have had to get cover for the Bikeability this week, there was no way I could shout and stand on street corners with this lot! I think pneumonia would have been on the cards.
Must decide early next week, Grizzly or no Grizzly ?? and then think about Ex to Ax yes or no?

The weather continues to be fabulous,but very cold, brilliant sunshine days, very little wind.

Sunday, 8 February 2015


Sunday 8th February

Normally my Sunday morning would be spent, cycling, running or walking but not today, I have been unfortunate enough to pick up a bug that has knocked me flat since Thursday.
I knew I had a cold after last week end and though it would come and go as always, not this one!!
I felt very unwell on Wednesday but had a Bikeability on Thursday in Bridgwater, it was too late to cancel and too late to find a replacement, so I loaded up the car, had a couple of Anadins and went off. I felt pretty grim all day, my voice was virtually non existent, I felt awful.
I drove home after and everything ached, and I couldn't stop shivering, I went straight to bed and that's where I stayed for two days, I didn't eat a thing, and drank lemsips [YUK!!!] I couldn't taste tea. It has now gone into that hacking cough stage which means no sleep.
I still feel it will be a couple of days before I am anywhere near back to normal.

I don't understand how you can go from being fit one minute after all that training and then end up like this, surely fitness should have helped fight infection, not to mention all the fruit and veg I have been eating in an attempt to get fit. - ALL very disappointing.
Its now only three weeks to Grizzly, I have no motivation or enthusiasm for the event, so will decide this week whether to pull out and sell my place, same with Ex to Ax at the end of March, I cant see me getting the miles in now to enable me to complete it comfortably, and I don't want to struggle round as it takes away the enjoyment.
So as I sit up in bed typing this looking out on a beautiful morning, I feel somewhat cheated after my hard work.
But! I must remember there are people far worse off than me, and hopefully within the week this will all be gone and I can get back with life.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Another cold!!

Monday 2nd February

After what I thought was a good 2 weeks of getting into training, despite the hamstring, sore calf and Plantar Faciliwhatsit on the ball of my right foot, I now manage to pick up a cough, aching limbs etc. this came to light after my 10 mile jaunt across a very bitterly cold Quantock ridge on Saturday. This keeping fit lark is hard work, just when you think you are getting somewhere, something is there to knock you back. Now I can’t decide whether to rest for the week or try to keep going!!
I am booked on spinning tomorrow night [Tuesday] so will go to that, but will give my run tonight a miss as it’s bitterly cold and an odd snow flurry!
The run across the Quantocks was very hard, it was a very stiff head wind on the way up to Wills Neck and along the ridge, and bitterly cold, I was just about warm enough in my windstopper. My Hamstring felt very tight and felt at one time it would cramp, then it would ease off. On the way back along the ridge I seemed to be getting slower and my time was a good 8minutes slower than last time, it was very muddy in places making the going hard, there were very few people about and those that were, were well wrapped up. When I got back to the car the coffee was welcome, my legs ached, my hamstring was sore and my cough was starting to develop, so I felt very sorry for myself. In the meantime my wife and daughter had gone off to Bath to celebrate daughters 30th birthday with a trip to the spa!! And then lunch. I had the left overs from the stew from the night before, and very nice it was too, I did take some time to warm up in the shower and my legs did ache for the rest of the day, I still can’t see any improvement despite all my hard work, spinning and running so lost/losing some motivation at the moment, especially with my cough and aching limbs again, so soon after the last one before xmas.
Sunday I went to Gloucester to help my son move some stuff around his new house and of course see Gdaughter.
So after a good week, not getting wet on Bikeability, managing to run 3 times and spinning at 80% HRM for 45 minutes twice! I start the next week at the bottom, legs ache, hamstring niggles I have a cough and lost motivation as I don’t seem to make progress, only 3 training weeks to Grizzly and at this rate I can’t see me doing 20 miles on the Ex to Ax at the end of March.

I hope next weeks blog post  is more positive.