Saturday April 25th
Well the updating didn't last long!!! as its 3 months since I posted. A lot and not much has happened since the last post. The worst thing has been the spread of the Virus from China Covid 19 which has shut the world down!!! we are on lockdown with social distancing of 2 metres, so any activity with others other than those you are living with is not happening, hence no running club, no cycling with Wobbly wheelers or Brent Knoll Velo old gits!! its been five weeks now and doeant look to end soon. we are isolating, only visiting the shop once a week, so hope to avoid any nasty virus!!
Anyway, back to more pleasant things! From xmas up to and after the Grizzly[more later] I didn't cycle at all, a combination of awful weather wind and rain and trying to keep the miles up training for the Grizzly. So cycling only resumed as the lockdown took effect, as the weather improved drastically when it started, light winds and sunshine, even though the winds seem to have been from the ENE but! keeping it cool to run and cycle, and even better it gives a tailwind home over Tealham moor.
My training for the Grizzly went well, building on my 1000 mileage from 2019. I started my preparation on December 22nd with a 6 mile run on the Quantocks, round Smiths Combe, if I remember it was a damp outing, especially under foot! which was to be a common Factor over the next few months! I had planned roughly 10 outings in the hills leading up to the even, at least one of those on the Quantocks and a reasoneable distance, not worrying about pace as the isaed was to get round the 20 mile 3000ft ascent of the Grizzly.
I did various runs out on Crook Peak, round Cheddar Gorge, up the Strawberry line for a half marathon distance, which I felt a long way on that day!!. I had two nasty bouts of a heavy cold, which got in the way of training taking some time to recover. we were also hit with three storms which caused disruption to training plans, Storm Ciara, Storm George and Storm Jorge, I was lucky that four other Harriers were also entered for the event, so we managed several training runs together, but! they were much younger and faster than me, but the training we did together worked well as I had a good knowledge of the Quantocks. I also had to order newshoes at short ntice as I noticed my Fell raisers looking decidedly worse for wear! I ordered some Speed Cross 4, which were wonderful on several training rns , but a week before the event after only 68 miles that had a hole in the uppers, so I returned them for a refund and bought a pair of ACICS Trabucos, I wore my Fellraisers for the event.
The day of the event arrived after weeks of very poor wet and windy weather, I drove down to Seaton in the Campervan, very early to park on the seafront, which I was pleased worked well, arriving early, relaxing, having breakfast etc, before it started to rain ;-( which it continued to do as we lined up on the start line, as we were all dressed in waterproof coats, it then decided to stop, and the sun came out at the hooter sounded for the start. I was on my own very soon, not finding Rosie a local cycling friend I had agreed to run with, the Harriers all finding their own pace. I decided on a no rush race race to take iteasy as many came past me on the beach and back on the first hill, there was after all 20 miles to go!!! as we hit the first off road hill out of the caravan park it was clear this was setting the scene for what was to come, a very muddy, slippery, wet underfoot race. I met up with Rosie on Beer Head but after about 10 miles it was clear I wouldn't be able to keep up with her so let her run on and I continued at my pace. the tracks and paths were dreadful, trying to stay up right on the down hills and lacking traction on the up hills, I found myself walking more and more. By the time I got back to the Branscombe beach section before the stairway to heaven I was exhausted, showers continued throughout, with a particular nasty one hitting as I ran the beach, fortunately it was behind me. I struggled on till the finish the final hills seeming to go on forever, I had food, energy drink etc but it made no difference,I was exhausted, the weather, ground conditions etc had taken their toll, even though I felt very prepared for the event. I was glad to see the finish, and pleased to cross the finish line approximately an hour behind last years time 19.5 miles, 3132 feet of climbing in 5hrs 29 mins 1208th out of 1465. I was very disappointed with how it went, but it was the worst conditions I have known and many others said the same. doing it again next year!! I said no way on the day,but! time is a great healer and it would be nice to make it my last one and run it three weeks after my 70th birthday!! the rest of the Harriers did well coming in considerably earlier than me, all having good times and all seemingly to have enjoyed it despite the rubbish weather!! Rosie and her bloke finished well nearly an hour ahead of me, not one of my best performances, I am just glad I did the preparation and avoided a DNF .
After a few days rest, I entered the Big Cheese a hilly 15mile off road event in Cheddar and the Round the Tor 10k road run. so set about training for these, but alas! it was not to be with all events cancelled because of the virus. we are in lockdown so only allowed out locally. I am doing well, especially in April, with several 9- 10 mile runs a week along with 30 mile cycle rides on very quiet roads. But I do miss the company of others.
No one knows how long we are stuck with this as the country has basically shut. Lets hope it sorts itself out before the end of the summer so we can enjoy it with friends and family. we had planned to take the van to the Peak District tomorrow for the week, but everywhere is shut, I was looking forward to using the van again as well as some hill walking and running.
I think that's caught up for the time being, the weather since lockdown has been fabulous leaving no excuses not to go out running or cycling, I have been either cycling or running everyday in April as part of a local 1 mile a day challenge. I am well on my way with my 1000 mile challenge with 499 miles run before the end of April, so pleased with that !!!!according to Strava I am well over a 1000 miles run in the last 12 months around 1200 miles.
I hope I am able to keep up the blog, I noticed in 201 I blogged 69 times! sorry about photos but they are on my ipad and I tend to do this on my laptop, its a lot of fuss to download them across, but they are mostly on my Strava account or my Face Book page for those interested.
that's all for now.