Saturday 20 January 2024

Cold spell

 Saturday 20 th January 

Cycling so far this month has been a definite no no! The weather has been freezing with below zero temperatures most days ! 

Running wise I have been trying to get out every other day, taking note of my recovery

Weston super mare 
Weston super mare
Brean Down
Apex park 
River Brue 
Crook peak
Crook peak 
times on Garmin.

My furthest for over a year was a run along the cycle track to Weston and back with three good friends, cold and sunny we managed 10 miles, running at my heart rate speed I felt ok at the end.

Quantocks run from Great wood over Dowsborough gave me a good work out using my poles, building on my skills from Nordic walking course on Wednesdays , it was amazing the difference they made, 7.5 miles and 1289 ft of uphill, a good morning out. 

I have developed a route over to Brent Knoll. Up over the steep hill lane and East Brent, before returning the route, I can add or reduce miles  depending on route but it is usually aroun 8 or 9 miles with a good hill session. These runs along with another Brean run and a very cold Crook peak seem to be building nicely, though I am worried about building to 20 mikes before March 17 th! 

My weight has fallen to 77.2 kg, I had to buy a new watch this week a Garmin 235 after my old 230 decided to stop telling me the time, worrying though as it only shows my VO2 as 39 compared with 44 on my old watch. My new one has a wrist HR so will be interested in the difference with the chest strap ! 

I am on run 28 from November 17 th 2023 but made huge progress, last year I struggled to walk, never mind run.

It’s the anniversary of the Highbridge Health walk this week, we meet every two weeks to walk round Apex, all are welcome, some come for physical exercise others for the social interaction. Ironically, it was a freezing icy day last year.

I have had 2 Nordic walking lessons, picking it up and gaining confidence , I am hoping to will aid my training. Each morning I try to do stretches that include bridges and even a plank, to try to strengthen my core. At 72 nearly 73 I need to focus more on that to build up my strength.

Mrs B goes in hospital on Tuesday fir her hernia operation, some 3 years since developing bowel cancer, fingers crossed all will go well and the quality of both our lives will improve.

Saturday 6 January 2024

End of year start of New Year

 Saturday 6th June 

With pants weather over Christmas getting out for any cycling or running was a no no! Plus we all like a bit of a rest and recuperate with a few extra “nice bits of food” 

Christmas Day and Boxing Day was spent at Chilton Farm, Chilton Trinity, along with three dogs and three grandchildren on Boxing Day! A good time was had by all with plenty of food consumed 😊 I did manage a Christmas Eve 5 mile run at a 10:23 pace my fastest run for over 18 months, so pleased that I have made progress😊 

Crook peak was scaled before the end of December, a very muddy 7 miles but 1095 feet climbed, so my target of Brean, Brent Knoll and Crook Peak before the end of the year achieved, my missed target of 10 miles on the Uphill track over to Weston I achieved today ( 6th January) so well chuffed with that. My Grizzly training is on track. 

A lovely walk round Golden Cap on a great sunny day this week was welcome after days of heavy rain and flooding 

Ella the Spaniel was great fun entertaining us with her enthusiastic running round every field and investigating every hedgerow, we walked 7 miles, she must have run twice that distance 😊

I have managed to marshal at Park Run a couple of times, which was most enjoyable.

My running to Heart Rate, seems to be paying off, I think I now run faster, or get less tired at a faster pace for the same low HR ( if that makes sense) I seem to be averaging around 19 mikes a week running, trying to get out every other day with a minimum of 5 miles, I only use my HR, no t pace, I am interested in miles and time on my feet.

Only 9 or 10 weeks to Grizzly !! But not panicking, trying to stay un injured, virus free, and keeping the weight down to close to 12 stone as possible.

My goals for January 

Are, reach 12-15 mile

2 Quantocks runs focus on hills rather than miles ( 6-8 miles) 

A couple of hill reps 

Another Brean, but extend to 6 miles 

I have enrolled on a Nordic walking course next week, hoping that might help my running and strength in my arms, would be nice to practice on the Quantocks on the fire roads. 

Last year 2023 my totals for the year were run 305 miles and cycle 3040 miles so pleased with that as January 2023 I wasn’t able to run, barely able to cycle due to my trapped nerve and numb right leg! 

The Bowan Therapy and acupuncture certainly helped improve my strength, enabling me to be able to cycle a good distance .

My VO2 max is now 45 up from 44 superior for my age 72 and fitness level of a 20 year old😊😊 so a nice thing to end my blog post. 

Thursday 21 December 2023

Active few weeks !

 Thursday 21st December 

What a lovely walk on the Quantocks on the first day of December with friends Susie, Rosie and Ella the dog 7.29 miles and lovely cake at the Foxy Bean cafe on one of the last days it was closing 😊 cake and coffee πŸ‘πŸ‘

Weather was very cold with some frost , but high on the Tocks there was low cloud, and no views from Dowsborough Fort. First time in Nether  stowey, lovely little village. Nice picnic in the woods with a flask  of coffee. Cracking day out ! 

Another PSA check on the 6th  showed it had dropped back to normal at 1.74 compared to over 3.6 earlier, showing the Antibiotics had affected the result at the end of October. New settees delivered on same day, donation of one of our old ones to the Heart Charity raised £166 so pleased with that.

Weather stayed pants , lots of rain means no cycling so ran instead 7 runs upto 21st ! Longest 7 miles, a lovely morning run up Brean Down with Lisa, my first hill for over a year, felt ok, managed to run most of the hills. My second hill was Brent Knoll, very muddy on the way down 7.1 miles, tired when I got home, felt ok but back ache did last for a day or so, stretching seemed to help quite a bit.

Only two cycling days a 15 Mile  and 32mile with friends from Brent Knoll, another cake outing to Sweets cafe, one ride very wet and cold one ride 

Nice morning out today on the Health Walk, followed with lunch in the Purplespoon cafe at the Highbridge YMCA 

So very busy month, building up running miles, keeping the HR down to level 2 or 3 around 133 average. Recovery seems to take a few days after a 6 miler, but numb leg seems to be holding up, numb, irritating but not painful.
Have a plan
10 miles before end of the month 
15 miles before end of January plus a couple of Tocks runs and Crook Peak 
18 miles before end of February with several Tocks runs 
19 miles before Grizzly but include recovery time 
Anyway Christmas Day next Monday! 
Oh! Nearly forgot I am down to 12stone 1lb from 13 stone ! My wife’s scare of pre diabetic and high cholesterol means we’ve changed our diet , more whole foods, no biscuits and only occasional cake.
So a busy month so far 😊

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Better week 😊

 Wednesday 29th November 

Man came to do another EPC report on the house, we are thinking the house loses heat quickly, the current EPC said C and 70 but didn’t really indicate wall insulation! So £96 later we are no wiser, except he has upgraded to 71 but still C so no wiser about insulation, many  “assumptions” made ! 

Thursday was Health Walk day, an excellent turnout with 14 of us spending 50 minutes walking around the local park and river bank, followed by coffee in the local YMCA.

Friday saw my longest run for over a year, 6.3 miles down the seafront and round the park, kept a steady pace and kept the HR down 11:50 min miles, 136 bpm average and 160 bpm maximum. Felt ok,  a good run in reasonable weather . It’s the real start to my build up to the 20 Mile I need for the Grizzly next March. 

Saturday was Park Run Marshall on the coldest morning of the year, very heavy frost ! But nice in the sunshine. We went to Weston and sat in the sunshine with our coffee after the park run. 

I concluded my volunteer weekend by marshalling at the Harriers Brent Knoll race, we were lucky with the weather and I clapped and cheered 149 runners past half way up Brent Knoll.

Monday was a wet, cold and windy day and I had to force myself to go running in the late afternoon, but! As I stepped out of the door, it blew, rained and was cold πŸ₯Ά so I decided a short quick one would suffice 2.11 miles at 10:23 min miles which was my quickest run in over a year average BPM 136 and maximum 149 bpm so really pleased that the HR was so low  only a run round local streets but glad I got out 😊 

Tuesday I decided to keep up the miles so headed down the seafront and park again, weather was ok, chilly, but dry and no wind. 6.11 miles at 11:35 pace, sadly my HR monitor was playing up so no true readings. Felt ok again, did good stretches when I got back, which seems essential, I must try to do some core and strength work !! 

Wednesday a nice walk up on Brean Down with coffee in the van, very chilly ! The afternoon I decided, no wind! No rain! So give a cycle ride a go 15.09 miles through Mark and Rooks Bridge 2.2 degrees ! Wrapped up warm in winter gear and winter bike, an enjoyable ride, enough for a first ride for a month, roads in places were still very dirty and wet . Really good ride. 

Plumber tomorrow to flush the heating system and Friday hopefully a walk on the Quantocks with my friends Susie and Rosie and Rosie’s dog Ella 😊