Thursday, 30 September 2021

Been a long time coming

 Thursday 30th September 2021

It’s like starting a new blog, it’s so long since I posted on here.

Since my last post life has changed for us at home. Mrs B finally had her operation for Bowel Cancer, which sadly turned into three operations as the first didn’t quite work. This has left her with an ileostomy bag and a colostomy bag . We are hoping one is reversed with twelve months, but we are not holding our breath. 

We had our 2 nd Covid jabs in May and now awaiting the call for a booster jab. Covid in this area is still rising since restrictions were lifted, few people observe masks any more, which is very sad as those of us with a vulnerable person in the house are desperately trying to avoid it.

I have continued cycling and running, but only with individuals, keeping away from crowds, no park run, no running club meets. I entered one race since March 2020 down on the coast, an off-road 10 miler with 2500 ft of climbing, it was a very hot day and I DNFd after six miles and my wonderful partner Kelly went on to complete the course, I was so pleased she did🙂 

I have not done much cycling, it’s easier to slip my running shoes on and go for a run rather than ride. The summer has been generally good weather and this week the weather has just turned Autumnal. I ran on the Quantocks on Tuesday and it was decidedly chilly and I managed to miss the rain . 

We have not had a holiday since last March, but we were able to House sit for my son in Wimborne for a couple of weeks, enjoying the peace and quiet and the chickens .

I have the Dorset Three Peaks at the end of October a lovely event I have done before, living In Burnham on Sea I need to find some hills as it’s very flat round here. 

I am off to the Quantocks again tomorrow, weather forecast is not looking good but hoping for ten miles and a few hills. Sadly that’s the closest I can get to mountains or fells. 

My poor old campervan has not been in service for ages now, only taking it out once or twice a week to give it a run. I am missing going away in it, but given MrsB s condition it’s not a great plan. May be before the end of the year 🙂

Well that’s a quick update, I hope to post more and include photos 

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Plodding on take 3

 20 January 2021

I will come clean and admit that November the 21st my last posting was too long between postings! however the tedium and monotony of lockdown from COVID  assisted by shear laziness and bad weather has not been the most motivating factors to sit and write about cycling, running....... et al when you have not really managed anything dynamic, uplifting or remotely interesting to write about. Perhaps I should start with a list of events that have and will change my life forever.

Firstly my wife was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer just before Christmas, with a devastating impact on us and our future retirement, she is making progress and we are told its caught early, and can be treated etc. she has just completed a course of Radiotherapy and is now waiting for her surgery to remove the Tumour, which cant come quick enough for us.

Secondly, sadly she also has been told she has an overactive thyroid, diagnosed the same time as the cancer, but its taken the local GP surgery nearly two months to do anything about it, all she has is medication after being told there were no appointments available to se the specialist!

Thirdly we are now in our third lockdown, which means we are only allowed out for essential travel, and shops are shut unless selling essentials. Looking around there does seem an awful lot of people who are not complying with the lock down rules. At the moment there is not date set to end it, the exception being schools will be back on March the 8th! 

Fourthly We have both had our first Vaccine, both the Astrazenica vaccine. we both had a reaction making us both feel unwell for a short time.

Lastly, I lost one of my brothers to Cancer just before Christmas, which meant a trip up to Mansfiled for a funeral, whilst in lockdown.

Back to Cycling and running, last year I managed to run 1454 miles and cycle 1274 miles, my furthest run miles in a year, but my worst cycle miles since before 2010, my average miles cycled is usually around 3200, so way down this year, which I partly put down to being a member of a running club and able to have some good social runs [even in lockdown with one other person socially distanced] and the weather when poor doesn't impact quite so much, however since lockdown I have missed the Quantcks and the Mendips for my Trail runs. cycling wise its 'billy no mates' as I have been unable to find people who want to cycle at my pace and distance, either too fast [most clubs] or too slow! and of course the ever present rubbish weather of this winter.

So far in Jan and Feb this year I have run 201 miles and cycled 46miles so running going ok, usually shorter 6 or 7 miles or less, I have managed a couple of runs on Brent Knoll and round the coast path of Huntspill, as well as beach runs, any local footpaths have been ankle deep mud for weeks! as we seem to be in a pattern of one fine day then three bad ones, which is very depressing. My daughter has bought a Treadmill, and I have used it twice, I find it difficult to motivate myself and get bored quickly.

There no other significant things happening as we cant go anywhere, the Grizzly have decided to abandon the attempt to run and event this year, first of all postponing till October and then finally deciding it was too risky with all this COVID still seeming never ending. I think this will be a common theme this year with organizer's not risking setting up events and there have been several other casualties as a result, Parkrun shows no signs of restarting, so!!! it looks like a bleak year to race in my 70th year!!! when I was looking forward to my new category and maybe some prizes for age group wins :)

My camper van, sadly has only been driven round town twice a week, I daren't go further as it might not be classed as an essential journey, I was keeping the battery topped up with a sola panel, but last week saw temperatures on -2 or -3 over several days which finally killed the battery 

I must make sure that I post more regular updates of what's happening I think I am up-to-date, no interesting cycling or running to report, no fell runs or walks and definitely no camping!!

so by for now :)

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Plodding on take 2

21st November 2020

Well here we are in Lockdown 2 and I think its week 2!  anyway due to end on 2nd of December,if! the rate of infections go down, in my view this is never going to happen with so many idiots still not obeying the simple rules and gathering together to protest against Lockdown!! in large numbers, so that alone will put us back two weeks, it all makes me very cross and angry and us that are later in life are much more at risk of severe reactions should we catch it! I have to keep reminding myself, control what you can control not what you cant i.e. other people!!! and focus on keeping ourselves safe. which is easy as we dont go in shops, we use click and collect and obey the rules of using masks, gel and washing hands!! they say they have vaccine now and will role it out with a couple of weeks, but if its like track and trace etc I wont hold my breath, I can see the whole thing being in the same position in June and possibly this time next year!!!

Anyway to more important matters, I am now at 1347 miles running this year which is great but, expensive on running shoes!! my cycling mileage is way down on previous years.

I have had a great week this week despite a 'Ground Hog Day' blip in the middle.

Sunday I had a lovely run back up Brent Knoll, beautiful if windy morning, didnt see anyone else having the summit to my self I even did two circuits of the peak as it was so nice !!  
























Monday I ran from Berrow - to Weston Super Mare Pier 10 miles with a young lady from the running club, she certainly kept up the pace, weather was good except for a couple of showers, I have to say I was certainly tired by the time we came to the end!!!  but it was a lovely run, all the way on the cycle path and seafront a challenging wind on the way back didnt help, I took a bladder this time but think I prefer the bottle ! 



Thursday after a couple of GHDs I decided to get my self out to the Quantocks, the forecast was good if a little windy ! in fact very windy! overnight rain cleared as I drove to Holford to park, I was the only one in the carpark, and I set off walking up Hodders Combe enjoying the peace and tranquility, as I gained height it still remained grey and very overcast and when I hit the ridge, the wind hit me!! so I descended quickly down Weacombe to pick up the Quantock Greenway along the base of the Quantocks to Paradise Combe, its been a long time since I mountain biked this route but it was thoroughly enjoyable and I met my first dog walker of the day!! I used my OS app to navigate in a couple of places as I was unsure not being there for a while, the leaves on the ground were quite drifted like snow and I found myself trudging through deep leaves up to my knees!!  it was soon time after the roller coaster path to climb back up to the ridge, givinging stunning views as I climbed , the grey skies were now broken with a little sunshine occasionally, I soon got to Halsway Post and mde my way along the wide track to Frog Combe, scattering sheep as I descended down the steep Combe, hard to believe we used to cycle down there and cycle up it at times!! i dropped into the final combe and one of my favourites Holford combe, the streams were quite wide so it took time to negotiate them without getting wet feet, I arrived back in the car park which was now very full! after 8.5 miles and 1600ft of climbing, a cracking mornings walk/ run !! a wonderful route that I shall repeat !















Friday was another hill day, this time Brean Down with a friend from the running club, it was a damp drizzle/windy day when I parked up at Berrow village Hall, and we made our way to run along the Beach to the base of Brean down, we soon covered the 1.5 miles along the beach as we had a tailwind, the tie was well out but the sand was very wet, but at least firm.

We climbed the tarmac road to the first summit and a great view of Weston etc. before heading offroad to the summit trig point, as we got higher it was clear that the drizzle had got worse as we were now at cloudbase, descending Clive slipped as he had road shoes on having forgotten his off road shoes, so we gingerly descended down to the Fort on the end , now gladly sheltered from the wind and the rain. 

We decided to run the access road back after Clives slip and of course we were sheltered from the bad weather. 

we descended the Down to hit the beach again for the 1.5 miles back to the car, straight into the wind making running difficult, but!! strangely it was really enjoyable and we got back to the car after 6.23 miles and 493ft of climbing. a cracking run again with good company, sadly no photos as it was rather wet!

A nice end to a strange week, but with three hill runs I cant complain, nice rest day today and hopefully a few miles on my bike tomorrow to give my legs an extended rest!


Saturday, 14 November 2020

still plodding on!

 14/11/20


I thought this time I would start with images rather than at the end. sorry for the quality of the photos my phone doesant seem to be that good and ! it always seems to be very grey skies!!!
The pictures are from a 6 mile run from Home up Brent Knoll and a steady 7 mile run over the Quantocks with some of the running club. the Quantocks was a wonderful weather day compared to the grey day on Brent Knoll
Brent Knoll church yard
From Brent Knoll summit
From Brent Knoll summit
Ralphs wood
Ralphs wood
The estuary
Memorial at East Brent
My winter bike
On the levels Glasonbury Tor in the background
Starlings
Lower Lighthouse Burnham on Sea
Woods on the Quantocks
Quantocks
Beacon Hill Quantocks
Quantocks
Me and  friend at the end of the rainbow