Monday, June 30, 2008

Resting up

Surprisingly my legs didn't feel completely destroyed but my energy levels were low so I missed training tonight. Seeing as I managed to fit in a whole weeks mileage yesterday - that's how bad my training has become - it's not really that surprising. Still I must fit in a couple more training sessions this week to keep the momentum before my hols. I really need to lay down some big miles over the next few weeks and I will - and you can take that to the bank - just don't expect much interest, and remember the price of your investment can go down as well as up...

Thought for the day: If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bloody hell

I managed to get out for that long run. It was all going well until I run out of steam - which was unfortunately bloody miles from home. Both Helen and Brown Dog left me for dead. By the time I got home they'd time to cook the lunch, read the Sunday paper and clean the house from top to bottom (well, Mrs B didn't actually do any of that but she would have if she hand hands - and wasn't a canine).

With about 5k to go I was beginning to bonk. My pace dropped to a crawl and all I wanted was for the pain to stop. At the finish I was out on my feet - and very near death (not really) but I ran the entire way, covering about 28k in a rather pathetic 2 hours 25 minutes - pitiful, really pitiful.

Anyway, it was good to do a long run. I'm probably going to feel wrecked tomorrow - hang on, I feel wrecked now but I reckon I'm going to feel even more wrecked tomorrow. So I'm almost one hundred ten percent sure I'm not going to be fit for training tomorrow but we'll see...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Was that Rick?

No it wasn't - but it bloody looked like him!

It was the Blackstone Edge race but I wasn't running, just watching. I did cover about 10k of hilly running though. Going to try somethhng a little longer tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Journey of a thousand miles

Begins with a single step - or in my case, the start of some training begins with getting my arse out the door in the morning when I said I would - and I did.

True, it wasn't a long run. True, it wasn't a quick run but it was A run and I made it out there when I said I would. The next few days and weeks will be critical - well, maybe not that serious - but I need to make sure I keep on getting out there, putting one foot in front of the other in some semblance of running. And hey, starting the day with a run might just be the tonic I need...

Thought for the day: Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Now for a rest

After two races back to back I very nearly went training tonight - don't worry yourselves and go calling the doctor though - I didn't. I decided it would be better to have a rest day then get up nice and early for a run before work tomorrow morning - we'll see how good an idea that was in the morning. If I can get out the door then I think I've broken the back of this training lark - ok, not exactly broken the back but maybe added a couple of bruises - and bruises you can see without the aid of expert medical knowledge. I'm not talking big purple ones, just you standard dullish, darkening of the skin ones. But if I can't? Nope, let's not go there.

Anyway, I'm away on the weekend again. Up Yorkshire way to watch the Blackstone Edge fell race on Saturday. Fingers crossed H goes well - I know she can do the business. And then on Sunday she's dragging me out for a long run. As I see it there are only two things that can go wrong with that plan a) it kills me or b) I'm too slow and she kills me...

You Know You're Stressed Out When: You keep yelling "STOP TOUCHING ME!" even though you're the only one in the room.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not fast but it felt much better

Well, based on Yesterday's poor performance - in the race - I shouldn't have made it inside 40 tonight and I was dreading it. To run outside the big four o for the first time in a long while would be devastating.

As I stood on the start line, delayed for 15 minutes because of some musical band called Bon Jovi - I hear they're quite good by the way - I was filled with an air of impending doom. Doom I tells ya. Doom, doom and thrice doom - ok, it wasn't that bad but I honestly believed I couldn't possibly run inside forty - talk about negative swing thoughts.

I put on a different pair of runners from yesterday in the vague hope that it would help - plus I brought my secret weapon to cheer me on - and I'll tell you what? It only bloody well did the trick. I ran 39:38. Not great but inside forty and that pleases this great lardy lump that is the mad runner.

So after four races in six days I do solemnly declare that the madness is back...

Thought for the day: Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have a "S" in it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Over the bridge

Well, that was bloody hard going. I decided to take it out slow and steady - and then get slower. Yes, that was one of my slowest runs when actually attempting to run properly and race. I was quite honestly, bloody rubbish. Still, there's always the Nailsea 10k tomorrow. No doubt I will clock an exceptionally bad time but it will be useful training never the less. I should be able to run near the pace that I ran tonight. If I can break forty that will be a result.

Oh, I look to the gods of running to allow me to actually do some bloody training - not really, I just need to rely on that thing called will power - and DO SOME BLOODY TRAINING.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What a load of rubbish

It was a long day at worked, I missed lunch and completely failed to get out for a run. I had my kit packed and was ready for it - I really was but things conspired against me, as is the nature of the job. I enjoy my work so can't complain, it comes with the territory but by the time I got home I was too tired to attempt a run in the evening. In any case, I've the Bridge Inn 5k tomorrow and then the Nailsea 10k on Wednesday - nice. That'll be four races in six days - now that's more like the old days. Now let the training begin - seriously, please let the training begin - I'm becoming a right lardy...

Thought for the day: If aliens are looking for intelligent life - why are you scared?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beryl's gym

I was a very very tired chap today, plus I felt a little off colour but never the less, I enjoyed my first ever visit to Beryl's gym. I spent fifteen minutes on the concept II rower before easing along to fifteen on the bike and finishing off with a little workout on the weights.

After two days of back to back racing my legs were pretty bad - not as bad as I was expecting, mind, but the 3 mile run - or was it only 2? Anyway, it felt like 5 but I know it wasn't - right, back to the story, the 3 mile mile run - or was it only 2? - Hang on, I've been here before. Suffice the say the run to the gym was slllloooooooowwwww and the return journey wasn't any quicker.

Still, there is a chance, just a chance that I will make training tomorrow night but don't go placing any bets...

Thought for the day: All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More pooped...

but this time at least I actually did some running - or, more correctly, some racing. I've missed a couple of days blogging because I was out of range but I've had a bloody good time. Me thinks it's time to come up with a seriously stupid race schedule.

So, first up was Friday's Wizzy Wizz - it was called something like that anyway - all the way up in West Yorkshire. I had a thoroughly bloody good race. Considering my training - or lack of it - I should have been a long way down the field of 81. At the finish I was 12th! And what's more, I think I've got my downhill mojo back - or at least it's on it's way back because I had a right battle with a couple of runners and burnt them both off - nice.

Even though the race was a sprint of 3 miles and 1,000 feet my legs were pretty worn but next up was this mornings - well, I don't actually know what it was called - but it was 7 miles with the route being given out at registration. With no local knowledge and worsening conditions I knew I would be running blind - and stupid.

I started off well. At checkpoint point four I was in tenth - according to my personal race supporter - and going well. Then it went tits up. I took a good route from four but after checkpoint five and with probably only about 500m to the sixth and final checkpoint, me a group of about four others went off piste. We added about an extra mile and ended up running up from the finish to check point six and back down again - doh. On the funny side a load of others followed us including the first lady - no, not Mrs Bush - who unfortunately ended up not being the first lady - sorry. I ended up finishing in 24th place but I still had a smile on my face. I was soaked through, legs bust and given away 14 places but I had raced twice in a row and it felt great...

Thought for the day: Running two races back to back when you're not training muchis a recipe to be knackered - but I looooovvvvved it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Absolutely pooped

... again.

The power of Rick was not with us tonight. It was just Bruce, Sean and Bruce's dad. No Rob again, although I heard it on the grape vine that Rob knocked out a 36 minute 10k over at Clevedon last night - the bastard. Really, though, well done Rob. You see, when you study under the master you can soar like an eagle - who is your master again?

We repeated the ten 200's session again but this time we kept the 200m jog recovery to 90s from the 2 minutes we gave ourselves last time - and that made it that much harder. Sean was close to 28/29s again with Bruce around the 30 mark and me a few seconds back on 32s. I think I was a fraction quicker last time - bugger - but I really found it hard with the shorter recovery. I was very nearly sick on the last couple - but I kept that spicy meat feast pizza down - always a bonus. My times were 31, 33, 32, 32, 32, 32, 33, 33, 32 & 32s.

Anyway, I'm off up north tomorrow for a couple of races over the weekend - or maybe just one, or maybe none - I'll see how I feel come the day but you know me, cometh the hour... I'm terribly unfit just at the moment but might just go for a gallop regardless...

Thought for the day: There will always be death and taxes - however, death doesn’t get worse every year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well I completely failed to get any training done today. After a no show yesterday because of the leg I really wanted a good solid 75 minute run but after a long session - at work - and then a meeting afterwards it was half nine by the time I got home - and that's just too late. I am going to the track tomorrow - and that's a promise.

The final results of the welsh jury are now in and the team was 5th. We were pretty much 5th the entire race but we all had some fun along the way. Maybe next year, if there is a next year, well, of course, there's going to be a next year but what I mean is that if we enter a team in the castles next year, with luck, we might get some support from a few more of our finer veteran athletes - that's not to do down any of those fine young men that ran this year but if we could only swell the ranks with a few of our top performers then we really could give the Wirral a run for their money instead of entering the list of also rans.

Thought for the day: According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are always in the majority.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


As of the last score update I was privvy to, we had moved up to 5th place. Hang on, we were already in fifth place. Fair enough, although still holding onto our fifth place we had actually gained some ground on those ahead. After day one we were 2 hours back but to the point I saw, which was leg 12 or 13, we were only 87 minutes behind. Much of those gained minutes were down to Terry T claiming a storming run on Leg 11. Clive 'Oh this is just terrible, it's all going wrong' Tucker also must have had a decent run - although he'd never admit it.

Best thrill of the day had to be Dave Gapper being only very narrowly out sprinted by - wait for it, wait for it - Sonia O'Sulivan - yes, the real Sonia O'Sulivan. Quite what she was doing running the castles I don't know, but it sparked a bit of a buzz. And I can tell you, she has a quick turn of speed. She reeled Dave in over the last couple of miles before kicking clear in the last 100m. Dave tried gamely to respond but the International class of Sonia told in the end. Have to say she was really very nice, I have a pic of Dave and Sonia at the finish which I will post shortly.

Then it was more logistics for me, taking Mark D down to Brecon for leg 16 before heading to the start of leg 17 to collect some car keys from Bruce W. The last I saw of the race was Bruce having a cracker - he'd done five hours tri-athlon training yesterday and an hours swim this morning but he still seemed to be in the top few. Not sure exactly where but I reckon it was well inside the top ten - beauty.

Anyway, I am now officially pooped and my left hamstring has tightened up - and I didn't even run! All this sitting around on your bum is no good for you. Will have to do a bit of running - but not today...

Thought for the day: A truly wise man never plays leap frog with a unicorn...

Four fifteen

We had a bit of a chin wag down the pub last night - to discuss our 5th place. Yes, the team isn't going great but with all the changes that have had to be made, that isn't surprising. The main thing is that we're all going on a summer holiday - scratch that, we're all having a laugh. We aren't going to win but the journey is fun.

Right, after Clive woke us all at 4:15, I'm off to take him to the start of his leg, leg 12 - I just hope he manages to have a good winnie or he'll be in a bad mood all day...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Something borrowed...

Something old - or in our case, something borrowed and something old - no disrespect intended.

We managed to upgrade back to a vets team - so I'm out. Not sure how we are doing but Clive T isn't in quite as big a panic - he's in a panic mind. Clive moves through life in a panic. It's just we're only on slightly faded shade red alert.

What's that? Don't panic, don't panic - here we go again...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Short putt

Considering my lack of practice I managed to play remarkably well. I drove like a demon, ironed like Corby (that's a trouser press for the uninitiated) and putted - like an arse. I even chipped like a wizard but when all is said and done it's the putting that counts. I missed just a few too many easily makable putts - and that's just plain wrong. Anyway, it was a very pleasant afternoon and I think we finished in sixth place so that wasn't too bad and believe it or not, I did contribute to the team score on a good number of occasions.

Now I'm off to pack my gear for the Castles. I've a 3:45am start - something not for the feint hearted. The drive up to Caernafon is pleasant enough - and early enough not to hit any traffic. Then I've got to get my head down early - I need sleep...

Thought for the day: There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A bit more training

After a long day at work - which, I hasten to add, was very successful - I made it down the gym. I opted for the bike option this evening on account of the fact that yesterday's track session was just really bloody tough. I really I should have tired for a longer run but I knew I wouldn't manage that so didn't even attempt it. Still, I really gave it some stick on the bike. I really pushed hard and was rewarded with one of my better set of stats - perhaps I should have got that longer run after all...

And so to tomorrow and my first game of golf for over six months - I'm expecting to be a bit rusty but it's all for charity so I'll not grumble when I don't quite win. Hopefully the 'ol, smooth swing will come flowing back - I can dream...

Thought for the day: Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Near miss

Well that was close - almost too close. Some might have considered it unlucky to have missed it but from my point of view, seeing the huge seagull poop land mere inches from me as I walked to the track was a very near miss - it was so large it might have rendered me unconscious...

Anyway, to the track and tonight's session. Let me start by saying it was hard - really bloody hard. Or maybe I'm just a bit rubbish - though, I'm pretty sure it was just plain hard. We ran pairs of 300m with just 15 seconds in between each 300m and a longer 200m jog between the pairs. I must 'fess up to missing the second one of the pair on the fourth set - my legs couldn't take - make that, my whole body couldn't take it. Sean, Bruce, Bruce's dad all ran well, as did new member Josh.

My times were 52 & 52, 53 & 56, 54 & 56, 53 & 56, a solo 57 and then 53 & 56 to finish. Rick said we needed to run hard but I just couldn't take it. I guess I paid for the first pair but that was quite possibly the hardest session I've ever done.

Hang on a minute, a quick look at the times - that's five and a half pairs which mean the session was six pairs of 300m - it also means I was totally out of it. I could have sworn it was five sets but the lap counter on the watch can't lie (can it?).

Well, I'm completely shot away now - nothing new there then - off to lie down in darkened room...

Thought for the day: Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted.

How lazy am I?

Well my good intentions are slipping. I hit another day of no training yesterday. I do have two valid reasons though. Firstly, my legs are still pants - although they feel much much better today so I should be tracking it tonight at full pace. Secondly, I had geek duty to perform on someones computer - didn't get it fixed mind, cause I seem to be rubbish on the ol' 'puter at the moment but I gave it a try.

I have an interesting snippet. This coming weekend is the Welsh Castles relay, the 200 mile, 20 stage relay race across Wales. We are struggling to fill the team after a number of high profile withdrawals. I normally go up to support because we run a vets team - and I'm too young - but I might now be required to run Leg 14 - Drovers. It's probably the most difficult of all the stages and although I'm not on top form I'm prepared to step into the breach. I've always wanted to run Drovers so now I have my chance...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Didn't quite make it...

On both counts! I didn't make the Long Ashton 10k on account that I was knackered and I didn't make training tonight on account of the fact I couldn't walk properly - my legs are wasted - all that sprinting rubbish really takes it out of you. My legs feel like those of a ninety year old - not that I would not what a ninety year olds legs feel like - heaven forbid - but they sure are pants.

After a late start I worked on late and to be honest couldn't face any sort of training at all. I'm not sure I will train tomorrow either but then after my pb's on the weekend maybe I'm worrying about my loss of form too much. Rest assured I will be tracking it on Wednesday - wild horse, yada yada yada.

I've decided I must break 60s for the 400m now - it would be rude not to. Not that 60s is particularly special but since I never thought I'd get there and it seems so possible now, it's special to me.

Thought for the day: Don't take life too seriously - no one gets out alive!

PS, sorry for the lateness of the blog of late - I've been distracted, dib dib, promise to do better.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Lovely day out

We managed to raise eleven athletes for the B team match - no mean feat when you have to travel all the way up to Mansfield. It was a far cry from the last match, where due to an under strength A team, we were left too few to make the journey to Nottingham worthwhile. Still, we'll not dwell on that.

I wasn't sure before the start what events I would be competing in - not that I really compete that well on the field - nor, in fact, that well on the track but I try and that's the main thing. It really was a very enjoyable day - I think we all had a good day.

First up for me was the hammer - not my greatest event - ok, I'm absolute bollocks at it but in reality it's just a case that someone has to look like a tit to score a few points and it might as well be someone who doesn't give a damn - that would be me then.

Next up, the 400m Hurdles - my specialty event - not, but I do enjoy it. Sean is much faster but he was focusing on the 800 and 1500 - claiming a pb in the former (2:06). Not sure how he fared in the latter but he seemed to be going well before I got distracted and missed the finish. Oh, and after tacking it pretty steady I claimed third spot and a new pb in 71.9 - an improvement of five tenths - nice work.

Then it was onto the 3k Steeple Chase and a relaxed, easy flowing performance saw me claim another pb - although I didn't realise it at the time but on checking the records I beat my previous time by 21s down to 12:06 [grimaces to camera] - moving on quickly... Oh, that was second place by the way.

Up next was the Javelin or was in the 400m flat? I can't remember but the Javelin was pretty forgettable, only managing a feeble 28 something and 6th place. Rick was also 6th in the B string. The 400m flat was better though, much better in fact. I took it out steady before piling it on down the finish straight - using the afterburners to good effect. I clocked - wait for it - 61.7s - another pb and improving my previous by 1.7s - nice work but the sad fact is that I wasn't flat out so there is more to come. Maybe someday soon I will go sub 60?

Finally we moved into the relay phase. The lads in the 4 x 100 did well. It was an exciting race and I thought they might just sneak 3rd but 4th was good. Then it was on to my last race and the last of the day, the 4 x 400m. Up first was Sean, running a strong leg to put us in third in a time of 57. He handed to me and I sped off in pursuit of third. I made gains down the back straight before some git came past at the half way point pushing me down to fourth. I wasn't having any of that tom-foolery and after tracking him round the bend - stop it - I turned up the turbo boost in the home straight to move back into third and much closer to second - topper, 62s. I handed to Jerry who got the baton round to Pete Skinner for the final leg - they didn't have the cleanest change over - I think they stopped for a chat or something but finally Pete got under way and we finished in 4th place - I think. Have to wait for the official result of that one.

So there it is, a very enjoyable day with a few pbs along the way. Oh and I must mention the pole vault boys, Steve and Luke taking first place in the A and B strings with Luke claiming a pb to clear 3.40.

Now I'm off to bed to recover in time for the Long Ashton 10k tomorrow...

Thought for the day: Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hit for six

Another training day in a row - that's six. Can you adam and eve it? Once again, it wasn't running but that bike is damn hard - honest. It wasn't as good a session as Tuesday's but then maybe my sixth day in a row is catching up with me. You can rest assured I will be putting my feet up tomorrow ahead of the track on Saturday. We're travelling up to Mansfield - bummer - but hopefully it won't get called off this time. Don't know what I'll be running - or throwing - but I'm going to use it as further training on my comeback trail...

Thought for the day: The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.

Five alive

I managed my fifth, yes, fifth day of training in a row. Admittedly one of those was the bike but I'm still blazing a trail unheard of from me of late - I only hope I can continue it. I've another bike session planned for tonight so we'll have to see if I make it.
Yesterday's track session was so so. Not great and certainly not hugely quick but never the less respectable. Rob was back in the fold but there was no Bruce or Bruce's dad - you win some you lose some. Sean, as always, was there as too was Helen and me and Rick - of course. We ran six 400's with 90s recovery followed by three 200's with about the same. We staggered the start, slowest first, so we all finished together - or that was the theory - didn't quite pan out that way every time.
My four's were a bit up and down. Sean had it about him and goaded me into a few fast bursts that I probably - make that definitely - shouldn't have done. Still, it was a laugh - although Helen wasn't amused at our testosteronic display - I couldn't let the whipper snappers have it all there own way though.
My times were in the range 72 to 75s with a disasterously terrible final 81! My two's were better, running 33, 32 and a final, dip on the line to beat Rob, 30s. Rob ran that last one in an unbelievable 26s having given me a 4s head start. He ever so nearly got me - and I wasn't hanging around but my authentic line dip just edged it - nice work.
Thought for the day (for Sean): You haven't won until you've won.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How slow have I become?

I managed another consecutive training day - that's four. It has shown me, yet again, how truly, deeply, badly I have let things slide.

I decided I needed a bike session - haven't done one for a few weeks. And oh how hard it was. I was 4.5% down on my best and I really went for it. Mentally tough I may be but physically tough I am not. Even the ab crunches were a struggle - I just about made it to sixty.

Still, it's all helping me focus - and boy, do I need to focus. It is time to draw a line in the sand against my laxity and make a final stand. I know I'm going to run a slow time at the LA 10k on Sunday but I'm going to raise my game and give it a damn good go anyway.

Thought for the day: In the words of the great prophet Arnold, I'll be back...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Three in a row

I managed another day of training - in a row. That's almost - but not quite - unheard of. I'm the first to admit that my training over the last - no, scratch that - make that pretty much all year has been poor. But I am determined to make amends.

I found tonight's session tough going. It really brought it home to me quite how pants I have allowed myself to become. There were three of us up on the Downs tonight. Mike T, Sean and me. Mike really has got the bit between the teeth. He is going tremendously well - 25s off his 5k PB at that the last Bridge - now that's good going - and from the way he ran tonight I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to come - watch this space, you heard it here first.

So the session? We ran five 3 minute efforts. Or to put it another way, five 870m reps around the grass. I went off too quick on the first few - trying to keep up - I couldn't. We had about a two minute recovery between the reps - but that wasn't enough for me, I needed more - but didn't get it - that Rick is a hard task master - but then that's no more than I need. By the last couple I was fading. Fading fast into the eternal darkness of the night as the sun sank below the horizon. As to my splits? I managed 3:00, 2:59, 3:02, 3:06 and 3:09. Those first few were just a couple of seconds too quick but I've got a marker down for the next time I run the session. Sean and Mike were down toward 2:42 and 2:50 respectively - nice. And as for my running - things can only get better...

Thought for the day: I don’t approve of political jokes - too many of them get elected!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Easy does it

I made it out for recovery run this morning - yeah for me. Sadly, Rick has picked up an injury - top tip, if you ever see an injury just leave it alone, do not pick it up, leave it were it is and walk away.

There was five of us out there - Sean, Mike T, Tim, Helen and me - and three hounds of the Baskerville. We ran a meandering route through Leigh Woods before heading home along the tow path with a Nighting Gale finish - I couldn't run the whole way up NG, I just couldn't - but I'm glad I made it out there for the run.

And I've finally decided upon a new challenge. Something to give me back my running mojo. Something to help me regain my focus. After a very enjoyable few days last weekend on mission Bob Graham I'm going to attempt a long distance trail - no, not the BG - that would be just plain stupid. No, I'm going to train for the South Wales Traverse. A 115km route from the Brecon Beacons to the Black Mountains taking in quite a number of the peaks contained within those mountain ranges.

I've not set a date but I would like to get myself ready for an attempt at the end of August or the beginning of September. It's going to mean spending more time in Wales - can't all be fun now, can it? Seriously, it'll mean quite a few training session over there to get myself in shape and recce the route. I'll also need to run some night sessions to acclimatise to that particular difficulty. I'm already looking forward to it. Might not be the ultimate challenge but it's a start...

Thought for the day: Why is it that most nudists are people you don’t want to see naked?