Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've Become Me A Monster

It was a bad day yesterday - had a few of those recently. Shouldn't let things boil over but sometimes they do and yesterday they did. Regrets, I've had a few, but then again yesterday's rant was one of them to mention. Lest I become a full on monster, my Mr Hyde will be kept at bay from now on. OK, he'll probably come out now and then - especially if any trick or treaters show up - we all know that's what the patio's for.

Today I lazed around the house. I've done a bit more clearing and sorting. Another bag of rubbish bites the dust. My legs felt OK so by rights I should have gone for a nice long run but I still had things swirling around and didn't feel like it - probably even more reason to have run but I didn't so there it is. Instead I fired up Frost Nixon and cycled along to the action. Well, the dialogue then, since there's not a whole lot of action to be had. Good film. How sensationalised it was from how it really played out I don't know but the acting of the 'apology' was cracking. And it gave me food for thought. I clocked up two hours of pedal pounding - and for once, in front of the film, it wasn't even mind numbing.

Sorry, this post's been a bit on the boring side

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Rest Before The Storm

The drive home wasn't great. No explanation as to why the traffic was so nobber on the '5' but I took evasive manoeuvres in the the dark - 'cept it was actually still light - and steered myself down one of my secret alternative routes. As a knock on of being slightly delayed I decided to go the whole hog so I got the weekly shop out the way. Leaving the weekend clear.

It's always been my aim to have a rest day today - and so it came to pass, as written in the prophecy.

Tomorrow it's the 'Loaf' at 2pm and my legs, now fully recovered, should see me round the course. It's 46:51 to beat from last year. It would be amazing to get any where near my 2007 time of 43:43 - but let's face it, that would need a miracle...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God Damn Legs

Are still bad but I did manage to get out for the lunch run with Martin - he killed me... yet again.

In the first five minutes I realised my calves were still tight so I decided to ease myself around the Dundry loop. It was that or return to base and I felt it would do me good. Loosen up the pegs ahead of Saturday's Sugar Loaf. So I carried on around the loop. I completed in 33 minutes which isn't the slowest but not hugely quick either. A good steady one. Fingers crossed the legs recover in time...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On My Bike

Disappointed by having to miss yesterday's Bridge Inn I haven't really atoned today either. My calves are still in poor shape but I have at least mustered for an hour in front of an episode of Grand Designs I've not seen before on tv, while also blogging this - multi-task-tastic.

I am desperately hoping tomorrow's lunch run happens. It's arranged with Martin - and well done him for his 18:21 Bridge Inn pb - just need to hope work doesn't intervene to thwart us.

I've had a slightly down week so far and with the Sugar Loaf race coming up this Saturday my mood is unlikely to lift any time soon - on account of who else may be there with who else. I can't let that stop me running so I won't. It's also a Chepstow fell series race, anther good reason to face it head on and rise phoenix like - but to be fair I'm not sure I'll be hanging around long after I've finished.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lemon Fresh

What is it with shower gel manufacturers? Why do they think we want to smell like lemons? Why I asks ya? And more to the point, why the hell do we buy in to it? I am now smelling like a lemon - fruity.

My exercise for the day is complete. An hour on the bike to try and work out the knots from yesterday's run - my calves are both tight. They don't feel much less tight now either but hopefully I'll reap the benefit tomorrow. I've the Bridge Inn 5k to run. I don't fancy my chances but I've not raced it for a few months so need to give it a crack. How close to 19 minutes can't I get...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A bloody nice day for it - stop it - and I came home inside last years time in the Exmoor Stagger. Result. But not by quite as much as I would have hoped for. Never the less I was pleased with the manner of the run if not how quickly.

Conditions, as best I can remember, were similar to last year. Maybe a fraction drier today but I don't think there was much in it. I set off towards the front and took it steady - slowly, slowly, catchy monkey and all that.

The significant difference this time round was the fact that I was able to run all the way to the top of the Dunkery Beacon without stopping once (that's the highest point on Exmoor unless Tony says different). Last year I remember being reduced to walking once in the initial woodland section and then multiple times on the way up. For me that's a big plus. I must be stronger.

The descents were a real boon. I out descended a ton of people - and by big margins, but then I needed to, to put big space between me and them else they'd have caught me back up on the ascents and flat. I almost descended like my old self, with gay abandon - I'll rephrase that - with fell style madness.

I was totally hanging by the time I reached the last woodland section. With a couple of miles to go I just about managed to keep the legs going till the finish. The race is supposed to by 15 miles but I measured it as just over 16 - which confirms last years measurement, and good enough for me to call it a long measure. Total ascent in the region 3,300 feet so pretty hilly as well.

My time was five minutes quicker than last year, I crossed the line in two hours and fifteen minutes. I'm guessing I'll be further down the field than last year despite the improved time as the competition at the front looked full of tidy club runners. Still, for me its not about the finish position its all about the time. And in my own opinion, I dun good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well I think I am. Got to get inside last year's 2:20 at tomorrow's Exmoor Stagger. I'm looking forward to the 15 miles and 3500 feet of ascent. Bring it on, bring it on...
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Square Eyes And Lunch Run

Working from home enabled me to get out for a woodland run at lunch - I did get some good work done as well, honest. I made the most of the day. Up early and straight into it. The report is getting there - if a little slowly - there's just such a bloody lot of it, approaching 150 pages...

The lunch run was lovely. Didn't see another soul. The weather held and I ran surprisingly easy. The weird thing was my time for the run. I last ran the route a twelve month ago. Then I made it round in 52 minutes. Today it was just nice and easy. I ran the hills steady - I'd like to say comfortably but although I climbed slowly at no time could it be described as comfortable. My time though was eight minutes quicker! 44 minutes today - how the hell did that happen? I must be in so much better shape than last year and the odd thing is I still feel I'm nowhere near my best. I've loads more improvement still to make. I was quite shocked by my time - but in a good way.

Today's route was almost exactly 9km with 850 feet of ascent.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Poor Week By Any Standards

It's not been a great week training wise - too be fair, it's not been a great month. Been a fair year but my minds been off it the last couple of weeks and the comeback has slipped. I still feel I'm racing well and haven't lost too much. And my mind is now reconciled to the ways things are in the universe. The cosmic dust has settled and I am free.

Today the lunch run didn't happen - the curse of the Tender Document struck again - might sell the idea to Aardman Animations... Anyway, I'm WFH tomorrow so I hope to get out for a good run at lunch, through woodland and countryside.

My preparation for the 15 mile Exmoor Stagger has not been great - re the above. I've still done sod all hill work and with the race on Sunday I'm going to struggle on the climbs. Thinking about it, I'll probably struggle on the distance.. and possibly the descents, maybe even the flat... and the drive there and back, lunch, filling the car with petrol - which I hope I don't as it's a diesel. Right, I think that's covered everything.

Well, I've looked up my time from last year (2:20:03) so I have my marker. I should beat it despite the low training mileage but I fully expect to be hanging on at the and rely on my mental toughness - if I still have it - and if not, I rely on being mental. I shall give it a crack.

Tonight I shall knock one out on the bike - ooh er, and then, as I said, a pootle through the woods tomorrow. And looking forward, I shall bloody well get out and run some god damn hills.

Now is the start of the rest of my life...

Hell, I'm gonna kick some Minehead ass on Sunday...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Come On Man

Pull yourself together. I struck out on the training - again. More relocation, relocation, relocation from her. .... I'm not thinking about it. Well, I did on arrival home. To see stuff packed up in boxes... it opens up the wounds, still sore, still throbbing. Brings it all back. It's fading again now but it's going to be a long, long time before I'm right. It's the little things. Sometimes, it's the bloody gert big uns, but mainly it's the little things that hurt the most.

Anyway, what the f*!k am I like? A frickin girl, that's what [no disrespect to girls intended]. I managed an hour on the bike in front of the telly, watching The Criminals Guide To Covering Your Tracks - or CSI Miami, as some people call it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lost Day

Didn't really get up to much today. My legs felt ok after yesterday's race but I've had a torrid, stressed and non-relaxed couple of weeks and today I mooched around the house. Did an hour on the bike by way of a little exercise. Moved furniture around. Cut the grass - and that better be it till the spring or I'm not gonna be happy - make that, even less happy than my already fairly low level of 'happy' at the moment. I slept in till 9:30 then got busy doing nothing...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Good...

But it's not right. It was Hogweeds Mimsey Muggle race today. A ten-ish mile multi terrain - right my alley. With championship points up for grabs I needed a good one. It didn't start off too well, at the first gate, two minutes in, I climbed the fence to the side due to congestion. I didn't so much 'climb' more 'fall over it' really, did a forward roll out and straight back up - didn't lose any time and those around me congratulated me on my style - yeh, that of a bloody idiot.

Anyway, after about ten minutes of running Matthew L and I were neck and neck, having a battle royal as we traded places multiple times around the course. Too be fair he's too far ahead in the champs for me to catch but that didn't stop me wanting to try and claim the scalp. Of late he's edged me so I was up for it.

I was strong on the flat. He was strong on the hills. As the finish was back up at the top, in Hawkesbury, it didn't look good for me. As the pattern of the race solidified I began to realise I was doomed, doomed I tells ya. Still, we had a bloody good tussle and he did, in fact, just edge it on the final climb. I was, at the finish, fair f*^ked, as I stood retching by the water station - means I put in full effort though - also means I'm just plain not fast enough as I still got beat - arse.

I feel I had a good run though, and the tussle with Matthew probably made us both work at full capacity. And it's the closest I've been to him of late, just 50m back as he crossed the line. I definitely need to start running some hill sessions - then I'll kick his sorry ass... (in a friendly, good natured way).

In the race, we finished 5th and 6th, with Chepstow Harriers packing 5 of the first 6 places. I'm pleased with that. My time of 1:18:56 isn't too bad on the 10.5 mile course with 1,600 feet of ascent. The organisation of the race went a bit wonky though, giving out the first three women's times as faster than the men at the prize giving! Oops, not sure there will be any official times or places as they seem to have screwed up majorly on that front.

As to the Chepstow Championship, by my estimate I don't think I've done enough to move up a place. I've improved my score but I think I'll still come up one measly point shy of moving up to 6th from 7th. Now if I'd beaten Matthew then I'd be sitting pretty in 6th equal. Oh well. Maybe I will have to go run the Elan Valley 10k. I wasn't planning to but Matthew's not running and I've a 90 pointer to drop potentially. So if I score another like today then I'll definitely claim sixth. Maybe I should do it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

On The Up

But only slowly. I'm beginning to feel better. I had some major report writing going down as I worked from home. Didn't get it finished but it did at least take my mind off other certain issues kicking around my head at the moment - and that helped. I will take each day at a time.

This evening I'm carb loading for tomorrow's 10 miler. I've not had the greatest couple of weeks training. I think I've slipped a few steps backwards since the Black Mountains race - but hopefully not too far. I go there to run strong and score good points in the Chepstow Championship.

I've got a couple of races planned over the next few weekends, including next weekends Exmoor Stagger - a fifteen miler, and I'm looking to beating last years time. Then it's the Winter Sugar Loaf although I'm not one hundred percent sure I'll run on account of who else might be there... I've also decided to go run the Calderdale Relay - or a leg of it - as I enjoyed it last year. I haven't run with the club much this year for obvious reasons and depending on how things go and how awkward things are, it may well be my last hooray in Calder Valley colours. All of which is making me sad again...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The End

Well the end has come. Came home to an empty house. The final sadness. I knew it had to come and maybe the sudden shock (and a few tears) will bring some peace in time. I'm getting some good support from Bubbly Office Lady - our Jules, at work - and in time I will come good. The finality has hit home like thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening me, Galileo, Galileo.

Today I strode out with Martin for the tougher, anti-clockwise route - with the one long climb verses the clockwise with the climb split into two sections. We left it to fate to decide - this year she's being bitch - flipped a coin and it came up tails - bastard.

I was shit. I have to admit I've not had much appetite the last few days and it's left me weakened. On the climb I really felt the weakness and by the top it would almost have been faster to walk but I didn't. I finished in 31:49 - not my slowest. In fact, upon studying my records, it's only 15s down on my fastest of the year over the anti-clockwise version. So the fact it felt so rubbish ends up being not too bad.

Tonight I have eaten better. Still don't really have the appetite but I need to keep my strength up for Saturday's Muggle.

I've booked myself a long weekend break mid November to go get hammered with a few friends - so that clear the cob webs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No More Moaning

It is time to pick myself up. Dust myself down and get on with living. No more whining. No more whinging. The last two years must be consigned to the past. It was the best of times while it lasted. Now to the future...

Tonight I mustered for an hour on the bike. Yesterday I was still too down to do pretty much anything. I even had to pull a half day. Tomorrow I'm down for a lunchtime run with Martin and Saturday is the Hogweed Muggle 10 miler. It's an off roader and should be better for me than the Chippenham Half - and that was my best score of the Chepstow Championship so far. It's another champs race and I need a few more points to move up the leader board. If I get a good one I can drop one of my lesser races. I'm gonna get myself fired up - the route even passes a couple of my water treatment works - whoo hoo!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Been out for eight and a half miles up to May Hill. That's 1,800 feet of ascent. Still feel angry. Still gutted. Still upset. Never have I felt more of a loser. I took the road route up as far as it goes before the last bit to the trig and over the top before heading to Huntley wood and Hobbs Quarry. Didn't stop once. Never done that, especially on the two mile slog to May Hill. It's surprising how much strength you get from anger. What a way to find out. A computer wallpaper. I feel like punching a whole through a wall. The hour on the bike afterwards hasn't done the trick either. The turmoil still burns within. I knew in my heart it was over. I don't want it to be. But this new crushing blow? The dust has barely settled. Mr good guy must go. Mr Nice must be consigned to the history books. They only ever finish last.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Anger Management

I didn't get out for as long a run as I was planning. Anger and upset meant I shot out the blocks far too aggressively. Mind, for the first two miles I was cracking along. Through the red haze, I soon realised I was over cooking things by a long long measure. That meant I had to loop back earlier than planned - it was that or be reduced to walking. In the end the run measured five and a half miles and 1,000 feet of ascent. Saw something today I shouldn't have. I have quiet anger inside. It burns down deep to my very soul. And that's your lot.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lofty Heights

Stopped off at Homebase on the way home to pick up some loft insulation. They've got a buy one get one free deal going down and for just twenty quid I've got enough to do the lot. Yes, just twenty big ones for four rolls and I only just got all that in the car - bloody glad I didn't need more than that. Can't believe it only cost me a twenty to max out the loft - I've got 270mm's worth up there now - beauty - and I've already laid down one half. It looks great and it's environmentally sound as well, made from recycled plastic bottles. All of which hides the fact I did sod all training tonight. I did add insulated silver reflectoring behind all the external facing radiators though. I don't know what's come over me. And now it's raining again.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Busy Busy

It's starting to get busy at work but I got away on time. Installed my new thermostat to do my bit to save the planet - not to mention a few quid. It's fully programmable so I can set different temperatures at different times of the day as opposed to the one global setting on the old one - plus its got a digital display - I gert loves gadgets.

Well tonight I climbed aboard the good ship Reebok. A much finer beast than the old bike - since I did my bit of redesign on it last year. 60 heart pumping minutes. I went at it full on. Got a good sweat on.
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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Finally, It Stops Raining

But I've been too impatient to do something. I was up at eight and straight into washing the car - - in the rain! Well, it saved having to rinse it off - and saved water - just call me Enviro-Boy. Then breaky. Then Screwfix to get the lighting parts I needed to convert the wasteful MR16 low voltage lights in the Bathroom to the more common GU10 mains voltage type running low power LEDs. I know, water and 240 don't mix but if there's a problem the RCD will trip and save me - and unlike Lionel Richie, I don't actually do too much dancing on the ceiling to put myself at that much risk. The only slight flaw in my master plan is that I mistakenly bought some red LEDs the other week as spares for my other GU10 lights - so its now a red light district come sun down.

This is all getting far too technical, as I was saying at the start, I was too impatient to wait for a gap in the rain in which to go for a run and too be honest I didn't think there was going to be one, so I spent an hour on the bike instead. As for the rest of the day it's time to kick back and relax in what is the last hours of the weekend. No more chores. No more diy. No more exercise. It's time to relax...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

So Far So Good

So far today I've managed to wash the dishes, affect a repair to the shed roof - re-instigating its water resistance integrity and been for a run - and all before 4pm. Just the weekly shop to go and I'm done.

I'm still fair full of pure green but that didn't stop me getting out for a run nor for that matter, enjoying it. It's so nice to be out there running along woodland paths, tracks and shaded trails - even if it was a little soggy in places. Let's face it, that side of things is in for the winter and beyond...

Today's route was up through Hobbs Quarry (a site of special scientific interest) - passing it's ancient lime kiln on the way. Then across into Blaisdon Wood and finally a loop round Flaxley Wood. I was surprised to find the total ascent was just shy of 1,200 feet. I know I was blowing at points on the run but I didn't expect that - no body expects that, use the comfy cushions.

It was a good run. Maybe not the fastest but I managed to run the large hill in Flaxley - and it's been know to beat me on occasion.

Today's route;

Friday, October 01, 2010

The End Of My First Week Back Home

And it's been a busy one. It began with a couple of long days shipping more 'stuff' back up - that's 99% of it moved, thank flip - although my bath robe remains resolutely stuck to the back of the bedroom door down there. I've reminded myself about it a multitude of times and in a myriad of ways - all to no avail, that bastard is still hanging on the back of the door. Other than writing a note across the back of my retinas I'm not sure how I'm going to remember it - maybe I should give it up as a lost cause.

Anyway, the start of the week also saw the start of a cold. Thankfully that's on the way out now so I should be good to run tomorrow - after I've serviced the old boiler - stop it, I really am talking about a boiler. She's all oiled up and with a damn good servicing she'll see me through the winter. For the record, I'm getting in a professional - stop it - it's one thing I'm not prepared to bodge.

I managed to dodge most of the rain laden traffic on the way home to get in bang on half five. Been relaxing ever since - apart from the hour I put in on the bike as I cleared out the last of this damn cold - oooooh, pure green...