Sunday, 28 August 2016

150 miles cycled 13.4 miles run last week

28th August 2016

Including last Sunday's cycle ride I managed to cycle 150 miles last week! My Sunday ride over the levels with Mike. Wednesday was a 'Wobblies' ride on a beautiful morning over to have coffee on the Beach at Beer. It was a tough ride over Stockland before dropping down a lovely long descent down to the coast. Coffee and cake at 'Duckeys' cafe on the beach below the cliffs, a superb position, great cake, sadly we then had the climb up from the coast over Rousden and Chardstock, eight of us had a lovely ride.
Thursday I joined Yeovil CC for a ride over to Milton Abbass and Milton Abbey School where they have a wonderful tearoom only open in holiday time. Thirteen of us left Yeovil for the Dorset country side, working our way through villages with lovely names, Wooten Glanvills, Beer Hacket etc. The weather had been humid and low cloud and as we arrived at Milton Abbey, it started to drizzle. It was a spectacular view down on the school and Abbey.The tea rooms were quiet and we were early for lunch but, the lovely ladies serving said we could order. Mine was Milton Rarebit, thick whole grain toast with tasty cheddar cheese, a pot of pickle and a small salad accompanied by a pot of tea, very nice, we had to sit inside as it was now raining harder.

By the time we left the cafe the rain was very heavy, we climbed up through the village of Milton Abbas ( the village was moved so the Lord of the Manor couldn't see it) a pretty village, one street of thatched cottages, at the top of the Main Street, we turned left to climb Bulbarrow hill, in now heavy rain. Finally at the top, lots of sweat in the heat and wearing a pertex wind proof the descent would be interesting, twisty, steep, several 20% sections on very wet roads, braking was hard in the wet, the overhanging trees not helping as they made it very dark and even more slippery. Descending also with 12 other cyclists, I think we were all glad when we got to the bottom, ironically the rain started to ease, eventually stopping and drying up as we got closer back to Yeovil 60 miles covered, a great day out, especially as the sun came out in the final few miles to dry us off. I can recommend the Tea rooms at Milton Abbey, they do have website, worth a check when they are open.

My running this week was an off road 7 miler round Neroche trails, very hot and very dry and a 6 + mile road run round town, my first since the spring where I finished in the dark!!

A wonderful week of weather last week, but toady it seemed to have changed, my Sunday morning ride was spoiled with heavy rain 12 miles from home. We had gone round through Misterton and Hazelberry Plucknett before riding through heavy rain back through Hinton St George ( one of the posh villages in the area) only 27 miles today.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Grizzly entry open - entered the lottery

Monday 22nd August 2016

Email from Ax Valley saying the draw for places for next years Grizzly is now open

So my entry went in, I will know later in September whether I have a place. It will give me something to aim for over the winter months. Great event, my second Full Grizzly ( 20 miles) after four Cub runs (9 miles) Fingers crossed now!!
I have several events planned for September and October

Chard Wheelers 112 k Audax September 18th.

Ocean 10k road run in Plymouth October 9th my first ever road race!

Exmoor Stagger or Stumble off road run at Minehead on October 23rd, if I am fit enough might try the 15 mile Stagger up to Dunkery Beacon rather than 7 mile Stumble round its lower slopes, this is my 4th Stumble!

Herepath Half, half marathon round Neroche Near Taunton, did it last year, nice event, but, quite hard so need to build up the miles that's on 30th October.

So a busy September and October.

Grand Children, some running and cycling and beautiful weather again!

17th August 2016
A visit from grandchildren, a trip to the Beach and!!!! some lovely cycling and running days.
Friday evening last [12/8/16] saw the grandchildren descend on us after a rather busy drive down the M5, we expected the 11 month old twins to be fast asleep, which they were, until they were unloaded from the car, so at 8:30 they were wide awake, crawling round the lounge laughing and giggling etc. Grand daughter was rather more tired. We finally got them all to bed later.
Dawned bright and sunny intervals, Grand daughter was determined we were heading for the seaside. So we set off for Sidmouth parking above Jacobs Ladder in an expensive car park.
Loaded with , a picnic, rug, chairs, towels etc . we pulled the double buggy over the shingle down to the sandy bit above the water level, William found this hilarious!!!
We found the tide was coming in fast so decided to move round the corner where there was more sand, the beach was relatively quiet, must be the sunny intervals rather than just sun!
Gdaughter, went in the sea with her dad and had a great time, the twins were unsure of the whole experience being their first time at the seaside. We had a picnic, chips, ice cream…….. etc so a good day was had by all, everyone being tired after a long day [ children had been up since 5 am].
Then, it went down hill as we had to take George off to Taunton A and E as he had a small spot that wouldn’t stop bleeding, so at 2 am Sunday morning they were driving back to us after 4 hours in A and E. They decided to drive back home on Sunday, good job, as the same thing happened on Sunday night, although less time spent in Gloucester A and E, but! Monday again saw them at Gloucester A and E!!!! still not sorted, emergency op needed, but!!! Cant do till Tuesday !!!!!  difficult for an 11 month old child - - - hopefully finally sorted Tuesday, with an operation, he now looks as though he has done five rounds with a large dressing near his eye, how long that will stay on is anyone’s guess.
Monday I did a local 6.5 mile run, very hot!! But I felt comfortable, no second Jurassic run this weekend as they wouldn’t let me enter on the day. All my aches and pains seem to have gone away!!!
Tuesday , very hot and sunny again, my new Awning arrived from ‘Just Campers’ so spent the afternoon putting that up to make sure we were keeping it and when I put it up on site for the first time I won’t be embarrassed. Seems quite good, ‘Easy Camp’  will review when we have used it in action.
Wednesday was ‘Wobbly wheelers’ day , 6 of us out, worked our way  down to Seaton Hole, via Lamberts Castle, Rousdon, Axmouth etc, the café at Seaton Hole was welcome after 24 miles to get there.  walnut cake and tea, before the ride back home via Kilmington and  Membury including a 6 mile steady climb. A really nice day out but very hot in the sheltered lanes of the Dorset/Devon/Somerset. A total 42 miles covered .
Thursday, yet another beautiful day, the plan was to meet up with Yeovil CC/CTC at ‘Barley Mows’ café  at the top of Snowden Hill when they got there after their 20 mile ride from Yeovil before heading out over Membury and down to Beer and the Anchor Inn for lunch. I met up with them 20 in all!! A good turn out for mid week, most with Yeovill CC jerseys on, one had a puncture just as we were leaving the café, so I went on with a lead group of 6 riders, over Bewly Down towards Axminster, the views across towards Stockton Mast were lovely, bright blues skies only added to the picturesque summer view, sadly no photos, no time to stop as were still climbing before the long descent. I decided to leave the group at Axminster, and complete a circuit of my own, I had been down to Beer and Seaton several times over the last week or so, lovely as it is.
I went through Axminster, very busy as it was market day, Hugh Fearnly whatsits, ‘River Cottage Canteen’ doing very well. I went down a road called ‘Sector Lane’ which I had been down before, but! I had forgotten the sting in the tail at the end on the climb up to the Lamberts castle ridge, 20% for some time and a 2 mile climb, very hot and very steep, I did struggle at times, sweat pouring off me, it was very hot between the narrow hedgerows. I finally reached the welcome B road and rested with a drink and snack. The ride down over Lamberts Castle was good, nice curvy descent, on good roads, not too busy for mid-week even though it’s a B road from Crewkerne to Lyme Regis. I climbed up through Marshwood Vale, before turning off through Sad Barrow and past Forde Abby once again, to get home after 26miles, disappointing mileage but made up with the climbing, I will update the Blog post when I have downloaded the route from my Garmin. I was very hot and very tired surprisingly!!!
Friday was wet and windy so a quick trip down to Exmouth, very different from our last visit when it was very hot, sunny and crowded, today the waves were crashing over and there were few people about except hardy dog walkers . A pic nic lunch sat in the car watching the weather and the kite surfers who started to appear now the tide was going out.
The evening saw me out for my local town run, but in reverse 5.5 miles covered on a very windy run, hard work with the wind in my face at times.
 Sunday 21st August,  

Saturday was very wet and windy, but today dawned just windy with a promise of improving conditions. I met Mike and we did a 46 mile ride over the levels which turned out to be a tail wind out and a head wind back, very tough at times, the wind really getting on our nerves. There was also areas of road that had been ‘surface dressed’!! huge patches of gravel everywhere, dangerous at times and making riding a bike on it difficult. The weather improved and the sun returnedbut the wind stayed with us. A good ride as usual.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Nice weather for running and cycling

Friday 12th August 2016

Monday last, the day after the Jurassic  was another lovely day for weather, I also decided that it was a rest day, no cycling or running, but I did have a partial garage sort out!!! And can now get in and out much easier round the 6 bikes!! A trip down the dump with a car load.

Tuesday it was the Blackmore Vale CTC coffee meet at the Riverside Café in Langport, a cool start made the downhill start a chilly descent, but! I soon warmed up  as I set a good Pace on the Chard to Ilminster cycle route heading to Shepton Beauchamp and Kingsbury Episcopi, the roads seemed quiet, must be the school holidays, I made good time and the 18 miles soon passed. The group were already gathered with their coffees and cake, I duly ordered tea and a piece of ‘Langport Bun’ a cross between a Chelsea and lardy cake, with fruit and apple. The café was quite busy and I had a good chat about arranging a ‘classic bike ride’ before the end of the summer for pre 1987 bikes, ‘Eroica style’ and also to catch up with my friend Dave about the potential ‘Manche to Med’ ride with the CTC next June, that’s Caen the other side of the channel, down to Montpellier on the Mediterranean I have initially put my name down for the 1000 km ride over 16 days, looks exciting! I seemed to spend ages in the café and finally left to ride home with Dave partway, via Muchelney, Hambridge and the National Trust village of Barrington, we shook hands and both agreed we were up for the ‘Manche Med’ Challenge and promised to keep in touch. I cycled home from there in lovely bright sunshine, 38 miles covered, a nice morning out.

Wednesday, the weather was again promising after a cloudy and cool start, and today I made a real effort to meet up for the firs time with the ‘Wobbly Wheelers’ an off shoot of Chard Wheelers cycling club for those of us who can cycle mid week, and they meet round the corner from where I live. There were five of us who set off to ride down to West Bay [ I seem to be spending a lot of time down there at the moment] we went a slightly different route, taking in Forde Abbey and Pilsdon Pen  and as it was market day in Bridport the back way down to the harbour area. It was relatively quiet, and the ‘Harbour Lights’ café [ famous from Nick Berrys Harbour Lights TV series] was also quiet, fruit cake washed down with several cups of tea, fortified me for the return ride, this time back over Symondsbury [a lovely Dorset village sitting just under the famous Colmers Hill] and through the Marshwood Vale  with the steep climb out of Bettiscombe. I then caught a stone on the side of my tyre and pinch punctured, a quick change of tube whilst the group waited, but! A couple of miles down the road saw me puncture once again!!! So another tube change to get me home. A really nice ride out with a nice group of people, my first ride with them I hope to meet up again next Wednesday and hopefully not have the embarrassment of another puncture. Another 38 miles covered.

Thursday we took the van down to Seaton for a morning coffee by the sea, a lovely morning, sat in the park on the cliffs, many sailing boats out from the small bay at Beer, the sunshine and brisk wind giving ideal conditions for them, even though we could see several go over in the stiff breeze. After lunch a visit to the dump and a little garden tidying it was a deckchair session under the parasol.
Evening, I did my first run after the Jurassic, a steady 6 miles round the town, a steady run but still came under an hour , I have my eye on another Jurassic Coast run next week, this time at Budleigh Salterton , another 10k and I know most of the route. I will see how I feel next week and hopefully enter on the day.

My son his wife and Twins and Grand daughter will be down this evening to spend a few days with us. This should be exciting to see the children again and I have no doubt we will spend sometime at the sea side!!!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Burnham on Sea, Sidmouth and the Jurassic 10k

Sunday 7th August  2016
I decided after my run along the Jurassic coast on Monday that I would risk another run on the Wednesday, I was really pleased I did, it was really lovely out across the coast early in the morning, I was earlier than last time, in fact it wasn’t fully light when I set off for the half hour drive to get there, the A35 was empty!!
I felt ok legs seem to be ok, knee still niggles but not when running, only tender around one point?? No idea why.  The two pictures show how nice it was one is the famous Colmers Hill near Bridport, from Dog House Hill, just before I turn to return run, its on everything locally, tea towels, postcards, placemats……….. etc. it is a very striking hill. Another 5.2 miles in the bag and some serious hills.
The other is attempt to get the harbour into perspective from Thorncombe Beacon, Portland bill can just be made out in the distance on the right of the picture.

 West bay Harbour sticks out, taken from the top of Thorncombe Beacon
Colmers Hill with the trees on from Dog House Hill

As I got home early we decided to look at new awnings for the camper van, and the nearest place is Highbridge near Burnham on Sea, about half an hours drive up the M5.  We didn’t see anything suitable and they were all £400 + so we will stick with what we have got, even though it’s not brilliant in bad weather [when you need the awning]
After this we took a pic nic lunch to Burnham, had a wander down the sea front, dodging the mobility scooters. Burnham is a lovely place and a long sea front, we parked at the south  end where the river [Parret] exits to the Bristol Channel making a lovely long walk. It was however very windy and we had difficulty finding a sheltered spot to eat our lunch.
You could see Hinckly Point from where we sat, a blot on the landscape [ see photo] Hinckly is the dark splodge!!! Despite all the shilly shallying I am convinced it will get the go ahead as they have pumped millions of tons of concrete there and shifted millions of tons of earth, at great expense!!!

The blot just to the left of the mast is Hinckly Point Nuclear power station. across the bay.

Friday I needed a loosening run, but it didn’t go as well as I intended, I ran 5 miles around town, but as I was getting near home, my knee hurt and so did my Tendon!!! Just what I needed. I massaged them, iced them etc and Saturday morning it was still rather sore, the day before the run.
Saturday was a stunning day for weather, clear blue skies, hot sunshine so we spent the day down in Sidmouth, we were fortunate that the previous week had been folk week, and we had missed it!!!
The beach and front were heaving with families, it was very hot and even the ‘white horse café’ was very busy for our egg, chips and peas!!!

 East Cliff at Sidmouth Beer Head just sticks out 10 miles away
West cliff at Sidmouth, Ladram bay can just be seen with the headland just before Exmouth sticking out 10 miles away.

Sunday Race day!!!
After yesterday’s heat and brilliant sunshine the days forecast was for cloud first thing and to clear by about 11:00 clock. I packed my bag the evening before sorting out a drink, food etc as well as clothes, at least clothes were easy, Ron Hill shorts and Gore running wear shirt!! [ present from eldest son, really nice in hot weather].
I was up early, deciding to have half a breakfast at 7 ish and the other half at 9ish giving time to digest before the run [ I sound as though I know what I am talking about!!! But not really!! Just scared of getting hungry half way round!] so it was small bowl of Muesli with banana and satsuma.
I drove down to West Bay nice and early, in fact I was parking up by just after 8:30, the bay was quite busy as it was a car boot, ‘West Bay day’ and middle of peak holiday season, but! The cloud was really down on the cliffs very thick. I walked across to register and collected my free Tee shirt, nice quality and unexpected. It was still an hour before the start, so a nice stroll around the front, the cloud now starting to burn off a little.
I pinned my race number on, and decided against extra breakfast, having a cereal protein bar instead, as well as sipping some ISO star. Ten o clock soon came as we stood around the start line in anticipation, people chatting nervously, everyone looking fitter and leaner than me! There were two races on at the same time the 10k and the half marathon, I was glad I opted for the 10k as it was 2 circuits of the 10 k course that’s twice up Thorcombe Beacon!!! And with the morning hotting up once would be enough.
We had a briefing from the chair of Bridport Runners, there seemed a reasonable number of entrants [ about 120 altogether according to the website
The weather had almost cleared the hooter sounded for the off! Along the seafront before a u turn and the first hill of the day, my pace was quite high as I kept up with the main group of runners.
I was soon warming up as we got to the top of West cliff, we then dropped down to a single track path before approaching a style!!! Bit of a traffic jam here, fortunately I wasn’t too far back, more single footpath followed but the pace was ok, still a little fast, but despite the heart rate monitor showing 160 BPM I felt comfortable. Down into Eype and then the next climb, the sun was out now but the high cliffs still shrouded in mist. I ran most of the hill, but succumbed near the top, as everyone else seemed to be walking, first drink station so I had a quick slurp of water. Once up the hill it was a pleasant run across a newly cut meadow, before a short descent and the biggy! Thorncombe Beacon, I could see a trail of runners ahead near the summit, all walking, as did I but having done it before knew what to expect, interesting conversations around me about its steepness and comparisons with other hills etc. I was glad I wasn’t a half marathon runner as they had to do this twice. At the top the clouds were just breaking giving a ‘mountain effect’ another drink station, but this time I used my own energy drink before the undulation of Doghouse hill, a very sharp descent before a sharp right turn and then a climb back up towards Thorncombe Beacon, I was behind another runner along here in tights, I stayed behind for a short while until I found it hard to keep the momentum, over the top and a lovely bridle way round and down to Down House Farm, tourists were around now, but they kindly stepped aside to let us past, I am not sure what they thought though, many gave us encouragement as they strolled along in the now lovely weather.
Down through some lovely meadows where I was able to gather speed, the newly mown hay acting as a cushion, I looked back and was a good way in front of other runners and feeling quite good, we then hit the road at Eype before the final climb of the day back over Westcliff, I started to run up, but half way resorted to walking, at this point a runner overtook me and I tried to keep on his tail, less than a mile a half now and a good down hill in between, I went over the top and decided to up the pace once more, passing tourists, and the final ‘fling’ down the slope to the seafront was a blur of dodging tourists and dogs, I hit the tarmac of the sea front and made a dash to try to catch the runners in front, I noticed  8min pace on my watch, it was a welcome site the finish line, I didn’t catch the other runners!! I got my medal and a well earned bottle of water!
6.27 miles run, 1 hour 8 minutes 55 seconds, very pleased with that, I purposely didn’t look at my time all the way round, except looking at my heart rate, which was high all the way round 163 average[88%] with a high of 176 [95%] although I didn’t feel I was 95% at any time and certainly didn’t feel to average 88% so may be it may be out slightly.
The results showed I was 24th out of 68 and the winner did 45 minutes, but to add insult he was 63 years old!!!!!

Fantastic day out, I stayed a while and cheered in some of the half marathoners who I think did really well in the now blistering heat. The crowds down West Bay were no very large and the descent down the last hill was problematic for some of the later finishers as the caravan site over the top disgorged there clients down into West Bay for the ‘West Bay day’ stalls and vintage cars etc as well as ice cream beach……….
My injuries came to nothing I felt good all the way, I was rather hot and glad I took my drink, when I got home I was quite tired, I think it did take a bit out of me today!!!! But worth it a great run on a beautiful course, full of interest, back next year, but again 10k!!!!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Ride and run

1st August 2016
I can’t believe its August the first today! Where is the year going, it’s now 5 years since I gave up full time employment, am I missing it??? Straight answer is no!
Today the weather has changed from being warm and humid to wet and windy! But! I did manage to get down to West Bay first thing this morning, very early, [6:30] and the weather then was bright with a hint of sun, even if there was a nip to the air.
I ran over Thorncombe Beacon again and on to Dog House Hill which I think is the turning point for the ‘Jurassic 10’, but they may send us down the hill so we can come back up again! I walked up the last steep part of Thorncombe again, enjoying the solitude and the views, it was hard and I did try to walk hard and fast, but, my legs thought otherwise. I had not seen any one after leaving the car by the harbour, very quiet this morning.
After Dog House I dropped down through Down House farm, I did stop and chat with the farmer, past the tea shop [not open at this time] this was a very remote place, very tranquil, before taking the Bridleway down through the fields to Eype, this was lovely even though the grass was wet and quiet long, Eype is the place time forgot, There is little or no commercialisation I ran down the road after passing several holiday/retirement cottages that needed some TLC but were in character with the village. The stream outlet to the sea still has mud banks, and you have to cross boulders to cross it, slippery in places before a steep ascent out again, but once up there it was a good run back to West Bay managing to achieve a pace of 8 min miles over the last half mile. 5.4 miles covered today and most of the 10k route. Just as I got back to the car the rain started !!!
Yesterday I had planned to do last week’s ride, It was a beautiful morning, clear blue skies, sunshine and no wind, we headed off round Athelney stopping for snacks at Muchelney bridge and again the bridge at Athelney [ up the small hill is where Alfred was supposed to have hidden and burnt his cakes!!!] By the time we got here the clouds had rolled in and it was fleeting glimpses of the sunshine for the rest of the ride. 46 miles covered.
This afternoon has been spent grappling with the HMRC and the Self-Assessment!! But! It is pouring with rain outside so a good use of time.
I am tempted to have one more West Bay run on Wednesday or Thursday?? But not sure it would overdo it and not enough time to recover before Sundays event. Achilles and calfs seem ok, a little [very, very slight] niggle on my left knee but all looking ok for the weekend, if I don’t overdo it before.
I have added a couple more blogs that are of interest, one on a lady who runs marathons and supports Dementia ‘extreme knitting Redhead’ and the other three on cycling related subjects Audaxing and the others general cycling, with references to various technical bike bits and general riding.

I must add that these are blogs ‘stolen’ from other blog lists and not my research!