Saturday, September 20, 2014

Feeling A Little Bit Absolutely Knackered..

Dang nabbardy that was hard work. In 22 miles on the mountain there wasn't much running. Tussocks? Yes, lots of them annoying sods. Bog? A fair amount of that too. Fortunately they weren't at their boggiest what with this dry spell. Still energy sapping though - and my energy was sapped.

I naved pretty accurately. I was pleased with that aspect and it was a very good course for it with a couple of really good legs.

The first control of the day was a reasonably long one for a starter and I soon got my head into the map scale. Two, three and four were all pretty good although I had a bit of a wobble to three as I put too much brain power into deciding the route from four to five.

Talking of that, it was a long one. It took me an hour and a half but I think I made a good route choice. I just didn't cover the ground quickly. Six was relatively easy but seven was a tussock bog fest. Not navigationally too difficult but tiring.

My main error was seven to eight. It didn't help that I was beginning get really tired but the main problem was my altitude-ometer which has lost some height - or gained, my brain is still mush. Either way I followed a lower contour than I thought I was on which pushed me further west than I was intending. I quickly realised what had happened and got myself back on track to finally get to eight and then it was the relatively easy drop down to the finish.

Feeling absolutely zapped right now. There is no way I can do another 22 miles tomorrow so I will drop down to the short course. Boy will I ever sleep tonight. I can feel my eyelids drooping as I type...

Friday, September 19, 2014

All Set For Take Off..

All packed. Van loaded. Ready to take on the RogueRuns Mini Mountain Marathon but at 30km a day it'll require a far from mini effort. What the hell have I let myself in for? Should be fun though and I can bimble along slowly...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Victorious...

Yes, we are the champions of the, uh, work's annual sports day. With seven four man relay events in all we, the mighty ICA engineers - and health and safety officer, started slow in the first event, the egg and spoon race...

Things improved in the three legged race, where our superior technique led us to victory and up the leader board. We hit top spot after the sack race, led to Victory by Kangeroo Stu - that boy sure can hop.

We faltered a little in the hockey but some good running by Mighty Martin held us in the race but then it looked like we might struggle in the space hopper derby as Mighty Martin struggle to get bouncy with it. Fortunately bouncing Stu came to the rescue handing me the baton - err, um, space hopper neck and neck with team FM before I bounced to victory. Once we hit the top spot on the leader board we weren't going to give it up lightly as Javelin Justin Wanged his wellie in an almost perfect arc only to lose out on top spot by mere millimetres in the penultimate event.

The final event, The Big One, combined all the disciplines into the mighty show stopper. Pitted against our nearest rivals we hopped, hockied, egged and spooned, bounced and sack raced our way to victory in the final event to be crowned champions....


Disclaimer, I may have got the order of the events mixed up.

Monday, September 15, 2014

And Another Week Begins

My legs weren't too bad but I felt I needed a bit of a rest so I reverted to the exercise bike for an hour. Hoping to do some sort of run tomorrow - assuming I can maintain a bit of momentum. Up on the weekend is the RogueRuns Mini Mountain Marathon. I'm really looking forward to it - assuming there aren't any brambles... and with luck the weather will hold.

Really must look up the details though. Can't even remember what the distances are. Pretty certain I put in for the long course both days...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wish I'd Stayed In Bed...

Hell that was rubbish. So rubbish I didn't even finish. I knew it was going to be a bad day when I navigated direct to control one - and yes, it was a platform. There was no faffing, just straight to it. In fact I almost ran past because my brain shielded out the possibility that I could actually have got a platform right for once.

I was equally direct to two. I began to get a deep sense of foreboding. I needn't have worried though. I cocked three right up. I did recover from there to eight where I then had a disaster. A wrong choice to nine put me in a bramble fest. I knew I was close to the path but just couldn't get there. In the end I had to head in completely the wrong direction to extract myself. Nightmare.

Having lost so much time, cut and bleeding, the wrong side of the bramble field, I decided to call it quits. Although I did have a little go on the string course on the way back - even then I missed Mr Bump, although I got the one that looks like a purple raspberry - so the day wasn't a total waste....

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seriously Now, I Really Am Getting Too Old For This S"!t..

It was day 1 of the Caddihoe Chase weekend orienteering and despite feeling somewhat knackered by the end I did enjoy the run. In fact I think it probably was my best run on a brown category course. The plan said 8.7km. My GPS said 11.7km. I didn't really go too far off route so I don't know where the extra three kilometres came from!

I do know where I lost some time though! I lost a few too many minutes struggling to find my nemesis, the dreaded control features that is the known as the 'platform' - or 'f*(king annoying flat bit that doesn't really look like anything different from the rest of the forest' as I like to call it.

Referring to my GPS again, I wasn't far away from any of them - 'cept the last one and I put my hands up to that for being put off by a much faster runner who cocked it up and I stupidly followed where he came from thinking he'd just come from it when in fact had I kept going for another 25m on my original line I would have come straight on it. The other ones though, I was close but no cigar and then faffed till I found them. I am now full on mentally scarred by platforms and every time I see one on the control sheet my heart sinks a little...

Anyway, not sure I will fare as well tomorrow on yet another brown category course. It's certainly going to be hard work. I shall give it a good crack though but I suspect I may run out of steam. Should be a good day though and it will have been three good days of training. Onwards and upwards...

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Double..

I ran just over five miles into Gloucester this morning and then five miles back. The first leg was steady. The return was run with a bit more effort. I tried to push things a little. Just nudging out of the comfort zone. Felt good.

Tomorrow is going to be a long one - well, not 'actually' any longer than normal but I'll be busy helping and running at the Caddihoe orienteering. Sunday will be just as busy with more of the same. Hopefully the weather will stay fine and it'll be a good weekend. Not sure how I'll cope with two days on the Brown course and the 44 controls in total. I suspect I could hit the sense of humour failure point...

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3 Days 3 Spiders..

Yep, definitely Autumn. Squeaker is loving it. Two big whoppers in the bedroom. Another big 'un in the livingroom, yum yum. Um, not sure this is sounding too good.

Not sure where those spiders are hiding in the bedroom though? - and they were big.. Probably been dancing on my face while I sleep....

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I Could Feel Myself Waning...

As I drove home, I could feel my will power diminishing with every passing second. If I was to run it had to be at the moment of my arrival home. Any pause would result in certain failure - it was just as well I had pre-planned against my weakness. As I entered the house, there in front of me was my kit. All nicely laid out - read, dumped in a pile on the floor. I stripped. Donned the kit and headed out. My backup plan had worked.

It wasn't the greatest training - if, indeed, it qualifies to bear that title at all. I tried to put in a few efforts along the way but it was pretty pathetic. Despite feeling like I was going to bust a lung, I suspect the pace on those efforts was not much increased over that of my steady pace. Twenty five minutes but better than nothing.

So I never made it to proper training but I managed to defeat the evil of the comfy sofa this time. The empire of the comfy sofa is vast. Its reach immense and although I may not yet have won the war I claimed a small victory tonight.

For the moment, at least, I think my best shot at getting back into it properly is going to be to get out for a run the very instant I arrive home. To linger for but a moment may allow my inner weakness time to flourish. I can't let that happen if the evil empire of the comfy sofa is ever to be vanquished....


If I can get out there and do little and often, in time, I may find myself waxing more - um, that doesn't sound quite right - and waning less. Eventually leading to the full monty at club training on Tuesday and Thursdays - err, that's not sounding right either.

From tiny seeds mighty crabapple trees grow.....


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Tricky String...

Yes, I'm glad I'm not doing the string course next Sunday. Too difficult for me. Wasn't sure I found the distinctive tree, totally missed the second depression. Wasn't really sure that I found the log. No, I think I'll stick to the easier brown course and leave the string course to the professionals.

I am, of course, making reference to clearing the parking areas for next weekend's Caddihoe orienteering event. Was slightly back breaking work but hopefully all worth it when all the cars get parked next weekend. Corker of a day and some great views from the top - when we able to take a pause. Going to sleep tonight...

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Must Have Put In More Effort Yesterday Than I Thought..

Because I was bloody rubbish today. The whole run was a struggle. It didn't help that I ran a little further on a slightly hillier route today. I felt heavily under powered and don't mention the hill climbs. I felt like a three legged cart horse on his way to the glue factory. Despite all that I did get out there - and it would not have been difficult to stay in, let me tell you. I'm beginning to remember why I hate training.. although it does feel good knowing I actually got out there and did it.

There'll be no run tomorrow though as I am on forestry duty over Mallards Pike way, preparing things for next weeks Caddihoe orienteering weekend. I have a feeling it's going to be quite hard work. Right, I'm off to hone the edge on my machetes...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Hard(ish) Effort

Went into Flaxley Wood but rather than the full forest loop I headed out via Mugglewort Wood and pounded the road that is Velthouse Lane all the way home...

I put in few efforts along the way. Managed my fastest ascent into Flaxley in two years. That's probably not saying much but I'm pleased. I pushed a bit on the flat sections too. Over all, not a bad run.

I continue to get urges - sssh, no, stop it. Urges to run another marathon - and not just any old marathon, one of those stupid road ones. I might start with the Rhayader Round the Lakes 20 and take it from there - or give it up as a bad idea...

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

That's It, Weekend Starting..

The Forest beckons for a run tomorrow but not before the mother of all lie ins. Squeaker will no doubt do her normal "Simon's Cat" at around 6:00am - grrrrh. That won't stop the lie in though. Might even make it to 9:00am before I get up...

Bring it on!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Austerberry Variation

What a corker of a day. Almost too corking to be thrashing yourself across the rugged west Black Mountains. I ran a better race than last year and didn't crash and burn but overall I'm just a fraction less fit so that all added up to a slower time in the Four Fans Fell Race.

It's a proper fell race. There is some route choice and even when you've made your choice you still have to be able to run a bearing for a mile or two at a time. From my GPS trace people might think I drew it with a ruler on the descent of Fan Nedd and the ascent of Fan Llia. Also, pretty much nailed like an arrow the corner cut on the way to Fan Frynach to the fence line - although speaking of that there might be a new way to try for next year...

About the only thing that could improve the race is if Andy B, race organiser, can arrange for the clag to be down next year with 50m visibility - now that would sort the men who can use a compass to the boys that can't....

Back to the Austerberry variation. After extensive data analysis the Austerberry variation wins. I was a massive 16s quicker from the end of Fan Dringarth to the fence by the road below Fan Nedd this year. That doesn't tell the whole story because this year I started that section 3 minutes down on last year so that becomes 16s and I was running slower this year. [Doffs cap, stage left].

I have given much thought to the naming of the route from Fan Frynach to Fan Nedd and in homage to both parties I've decided to use the first part of Judiths name added to the last part of mine, henceforth the route name shall be know as the 'Aus-tin' way...