Saturday, July 23, 2016

Too Hot, Too Hot

I'm quite liking the temperatures at the moment. It feels like summer - but I'm terrible running in this heat. It just melts me. I'm not saying I would have gone a whole lot quicker in today's Waun Fach fell race had it been been cooler but I'm sure I wouldn't be feeling quite so whacked now. It's really taken it out of me.

Anyway, I took the main climb steady as I wanted 'strong' legs for the descent. I ran alright around the ridge towards Waun Fach before a bit more 'steady' action on the final bit - read walking. I managed to overtake a few people on the ridge who were stronger on the ascent.

It was then workman like around to checkpoint three before the longed for descent. It's funny but each year the ridge seems to have more hillocks. It obviously doesn't but I guess I can put that down to senility creeping in. I had a pretty good one although my legs were thrashed by the time I approached the final hillock but I did manage to overtake a few more there before struggling up the final 'blip' to the finish. I thought I was going to lose a place but just held on.

Now I'm home, never has a cool shower felt more welcome...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being Defeated A Little....

The curse of work is hitting me at the moment - and there's nothing that hits as hard as work. I'm fighting through it but this heat wave is not helping and I am feeling knackered. I'm biding my time. I've been doing some bike session and core but my energy levels are low....

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Still Suffering...

My quads are still desperately sore. It hasn't helped me that I didn't leave work yesterday until 2am this morning. Suffice to say I do not exactly feel brimming with energy today. Into the weekend I am planning a solid run in the mountains. Haven't decided exactly where just yet but it needs to be a fairly long one...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Legs Destroyed

I was surprised how badly my quads hurt when I got up this morning. I wasn't expecting to feel sore or tired since the Pen y Fan race is such a short race - steep but never the less short. So I made my way over to Llanfrynach in spite of my sore legs, ready to make my assault on the Fan y Big fell race - turns out it was more of a minor skirmish...

Conditions weren't as bad as yesterday although the tops were still in the light mist but it didn't rain much. There were some strong winds though and it didn't help that the main climb was pretty much head on into those winds. I ran steady and ground my way to the summit of Fan y Big. I didn't climb particularly well on account of little to no leg power. From there things got better though.

I picked up a few place on the ridge section before almost committing harikari as I slipped at the start of the descent. My leg flew backwards and I jolted forward, my head making a bee-line for a large rock. As in the movies, time did seem to slow a little and fortunately I somehow managed to stay on my feet - although I'm not quite sure how. That near death experience didn't deter my though and I carried on slipping and sliding my way down off the mountain. Gaining another few places.

I was pants once I hit the road, my quads were screaming out for me to stop, and with a not great time on the cards and lowly position in the field, I wasn't keen to push hard and do more damage so I plodded onto the finish - relinquishing some of the gains.

A combined tally of 23km and 1300m of ascent for the weekend has to count as decent training - even though I can hardly walk now and suspect I have a few days of this ahead...

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Well That Didn't Go As Well As I'd Hoped

Bit of a disappointing performance in the Pen-y-Fan race really. Conditions were pretty much as expected - wet, windy and miserable. The summit was well and truly in the mist - as was most of the mountain below the summit.

I set off okay but really struggled on the first section of climb. I felt okay on the ridge bit but didn't feel strong on the last bit of the climb to Corn Du. From there it was only a couple of minutes over to Pen-y-Fan. Then came the disappointing bit.

I'm normally good on the descent but I struggled today. I had to take my glasses off due to the rain and wasn't able to 'spot' my footing on the way down. I stumbled a few times at the top of the descent and lost my nerve a bit. I was just struggling with my footing and lost heart for it. I just went through the motions from there to get to the finish.

Hopefully, I will go a bit better tomorrow at Fan y Big...

Friday, July 08, 2016

It Ain't Looking Great...

The weekend mountain forecast, that is. Unless the MET have got it totally wrong - not outside the realms of possibility - it's going to be a wet one. With the two races of the Brecon Fans Saturday and Sunday the chances of staying dry would appear to be slim - still going though. I've paid my entry so I'll be taking my chances.

Talking of entry, or more accurately, the entry list, I'm not sure why I'm still listed as running for Calder Valley. I've not been a member for six years so someone's records are mighty out of date!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

So, After Two Years...

I've finally found the reason my strawberry plants have been producing tiny berries that just will not grow bigger than about a centimetre diameter. Yes, I checked back on the original seed order of three years ago and discovered that I've only gone and flippin' planted wild strawberries. That's Fragaria vesca to you! One centimetre is as big as they get - doh!!!

They've been so small I've never bothered to pick them. After my session on the bike and core work I decided to go put that mistake to rights. Turns out they are a very different taste to 'normal' strawberries. And by different I don't mean unpleasant. In fact they pack way more flavour punch than the ordinary ones. Kind of reminds me of bubblegum sweets. On the downside there's much picking for not much eating but the taste is worth it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Brecon Fans Entered...

Not quite sure how well I will cope with running both but in for a penny, in for a pound. My legs are still feeling a bit rubbish. Hopefully all will be good by the weekend.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Still Struggling With My Calf Muscles

Had a bit of an easy week after slightly wrecking myself last weekend. Still struggling with the calf muscles though. Managed a run of sorts today but my right calf really tightened up. More stretching and gentle massage required...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Legs Are Almost Not Hurting

I reckon I should be up to doing some training tomorrow. My legs were fair destroyed after the weekends racing. Probably going to be something fairly gentle though...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Full On Broken...

I am now officially a wreck but I did manage to 'run' my leg of the Harvester Orienteering this morning but it was far from pretty. The good news is that my left calf held together - mainly due to the copious amounts of sports tape holding it together. The bad news is that I was completely rubbish at a) using a map b) using a compass and c) actually running at a pace anything more than a walk, borne out by the fact that I managed to turn an 8km course into 11km. I suspect I may need a bit of a nap this afternoon because I am feeling ever so rather knackered.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Slightly Broken

Well that was a hard slog. The 12 miles of Stage 4 of the Cotswold Way Relay 2016 has broken me. I had a pace in mind and for the early part I was on or around it. I knew I was going to go out of the comfort zone as it was my longest race of the comeback so far. And so that came to pass.

I had a wobble around the 7 mile mark, a slight twinge from the left calf. I carried on pushing as I worked my way through the field and had a few runners in sight. I chased hard and was chipping away at the distance between us. It was Cooper's Hill that really did for me though. When I got to the top cramp hit big time on the left calf. I knew I didn't have too far to go but neither could I really run properly anymore. As the minutes slipped away and putting more work on the right calf that went too but not quite as badly. I was unable to stride out on the remaining sections of downhill and lost time but made it to the finish which is the important thing, albeit with the loss of a few minutes.

My left calf is really rather broken now and I can hardly walk - I'm not sure how I'm going to manage tonight's Harvester Orienteering Relay. I reckon I have about fourteen hours to get myself mended and I'm really not sure how I'm going to manage that...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gonna Be A Long Day....

and an even longer night.... I'm looking forward to running a solid 12 miles on leg four #CWR2016 tomorrow and then I've the afternoon to prepare myself for the overnight Harvester Orienteering Relays - oh, what have I let myself in for? At least I'll be running at dawn in that so I won't have to cope with any scrabbling around in the dark - but that's not to say there won't be any scrabbling around in the light! I have a strong feeling that I will be somewhat knackered come Sunday morning...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Exemplary Lesson...

In how not to run a 5 mile-ish road race. As threatened I got over to Undy for the 2nd LCL road race of the season and set off, if I'm honest, like a complete dick. I was waaaay too quick through the first 2k. In fact the pace was faster than I've run at any point during the last six months - baring steep runnable downhill. I knew I couldn't sustain it, and by kilometre four the pace was really starting to fall off. The last couple of k's were painful hell. There is simply nowhere to hide and the pain only stops after you cross the line.

Taking a positive from such  poorly executed race, my average pace was 4:18min/km which is substantially quicker than anything I've achieved so far this year. Onwards and upwards...