31st December 2016 and 1st January 2017
Christmas week has been very busy and wonderful with the family all visiting and spending time. My Daughter Ellie and our eldest son Richard came on Christmas day with his wife, Mother in Law and 2 dogs, Bramble and the very young pup, Scrumpy a springerlab! Somewhat excitable compared with the stately Bramble!!! Unfortunately Rich had to work on Boxing day keeping the National Trust going, down in Wimborne. Lovely Christmas dinner, followed by present opening and a game of Trivial Pursuits finished off the day before we waved the Wimborne group off, Ellie was able to stay over and prepared for the next visitors on Boxing day, we were able to get out for a run round the local reservoir before they arrived 4 miles, a really nice run with my daughter. Tim and his wife with the three grandchildren and a very full car load. The house soon filled and the two boys crawling round the house, Amy quickly demonstrating how to play the carrot game etc. a lovely Christmas lunch again followed by more present opening! Excited children being the quickest openers! Much time was spent over the next couple of days, playing the various games with granddaughter, chasing the twins around the house as well as a visit or two to the seaside. Sadly it came to an end on Thursday when we waved goodbye to them all, the car packed to the roof!!
Mrs Ian B and myself sat down to an empty house and had a quiet cup of tea and piece of Christmas cake. We were missing them already. I went for a run before tea, only 5 miles round town, but feeling the extra weight I had put on over Christmas!!
Friday was spent down at Sidmouth, thick fog enveloping the coastal cliffs, but clearing to give a warm and sunny morning, we had taken coffee with us so able to sit on the beach in the peace and tranquillity of the lapping tide with views down the coast, the mist now only sitting on the tops of the cliffs, the usual egg chips and peas in the White Horse café, very quiet this morning. The town was busy many seemingly on holiday. I finished the day with another run 6 miles this time, my last run of the year.
View West at Sidmouth, mist just sitting on the cliffs, Ladram Bay sea stacks just showing in the mist
I needed to get another cycle ride in before the end of the year to reach my 3000 target. I met up with Mike after coffee in Lyme Regis for an afternoon 26 mile ride, the weather ideal for cycling, cool, but not cold, clear, with sunshine at times.
Looking back over the year I have managed to run 862 miles compared to 603 last year, I have run more events this year including two 10k road events with my daughter Ellie a couple of extra off road events the Jurassic coast 10 k and the Drogo 10 a ten mile event on Dartmoor. This year I even managed to win my first trophy winning the over 65 category on the Exmoor Stumble event, 10k over the hills near Minehead. So a good years running, This new year I have already managed to get in the Grizzly again in March, so that’s a hard 19 miles across beaches, up hills, through bogs and through streams! Got to beat my 4hr and 6 min time this year, fortunately, again I will have my running mate, Rachel from up the lane once again to share the pain. I am even looking at doing the Exe to Axe run again 22 miles in early April, I did this event two years ago, it was the hardest event I have done and would like to improve my 5 hour time before I get too old!!!! I will decide nearer the time.
Cycling I have covered 3019 miles compared to 3370 in 2015, a few miles down on last year, maybe the running has replaced some of those miles. I have not ridden as many Audax events this year as I would have liked but I think the dates always clashed with something else. The ‘Eroica’ event in Derbyshire was a highlight, 55 miles on my Gazelle bike from 1984! We have decided not to enter this year as it’s too expensive and they have changed the venue. I look forward to this year with my cycling trip from Cherbourg on the English Channel down through France to the Mediterranean and Montpelier; my sons’ bought me new pannier bags for the trip for Christmas. My plan is to focus on getting cycling fit for the trip after the ‘Grizzly’ in March [or Exe to Axe in April].
The Campervan has been in use all year with many trips to Gloucester, a couple of weeks in Pembroke etc but no trips abroad in the van this year, must rectify this in 2017. Not really managed any fell walking this year so must be high on my agenda for this coming year.
Father Christmas also brought me a new watch a Garmin 230 which seems to do everything but make the tea! [to be fair I did buy it a few weeks before Christmas but was told I couldn’t have it till Christmas day and was duly snatched and wrapped!] I have tried it a few times for running and seems very good, [my old Garmin 10 the strap is about to Part Company and is part of the main watch so unsure it can be renewed??] It tracks the number of steps, even transfers text messages from your phone, lots of variations for running heart rate, VO2 max of course it also measures, distance, time and pace, heart rate etc [I was pleased to see I was in the good range for this!!!] below is the ‘DC Rainmaker’ review which is usually a good indicator as whether it’s any good or not, the 230 comes out good in most reviews, I bought the 230 rather than 235 so using my old chest strap, which works fine. I am still finding out the various things it can do.
two reviews to save me trying to explain what it can do!!
So 2017 starts today, even though I wrote most of this yesterday!
I wish anyone who reads my Blog a healthy and peaceful New Year