Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Threat Carried Through

And so it was written, thou must awaken on the hour of seven thirty - technically, that's not 'on the hour' but we'll let that slide as I needed the sleep - and drive to Speculation in the mechanical horse know as the auto-mobile. Where upon thou must run to Five Acres, race the Parkrun and return by the same modus operandi. And as written in the prophecy, I didst do all that. And it was good...

Having parked over at Speculation in plenty of time - no shoe issues this time - I was able to merrily wend my way through the forest to Five Acres and the Parkrun. I took it steady as I map read my way across in preparation for the race.

There were quite a few Harriers out for today's Parkrun, the final one of the year - it was my first of the year! Now I've not tried to run quickly for quite some time and it was a shock to the system I can tell you. The route is a bit twisty and windy but that suits me. On the sections of firmer going I struggled but on the rougher, muddier bits I gained ground. Not because I was able to speed up but because I didn't slow down. The course would have suited me even better had there been no firm going at all but you takes what you get and you deals with it.

I finished 7th in a time of 20:59. That sounds slow for a 5k but the nature of the course means it's never going to be a quick one. Even in mid summer I wouldn't expect quick times because of all the sharp turns, and even then I expect it's still a little soft underfoot in places. Still, it was good to push hard.

I started a little too ambitiously and quickly had to steady the ship. I got into it after a couple of minutes running and ran steadily hard for the first lap. By the second lap I had crept onto the shoulder of a group of three. Not wanting to go too soon I held off for a few minutes as I gathered my strength and then made my bid for glory - 'cept it wasn't all that glorious really. I edged past all three in quick succession and pulled out a gap. Then I was able to relax and run the final kilometre or so to the finish. All in all a good speed session.

Then after a bit of natter at the finish I got back out the map and compass and ran back through the forest, following a slightly longer route, back to the car.

The 4.3k run from Speculation to Five Acres, 500ft ascent

An approximation of the Forest of Dean Parkrun route, 5k, 100ft ascent

The return leg to Speculation on a different route, 4.8k, 180ft ascent

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Last Possible Holiday

So I overslept this morning. Not irretrievably so but heck, with five days of holiday left, there's no point in carrying them over just for the sake of it. I phoned in to the boss to get the okay and spent the day tidying the house. No, it's not spring yet but with a few buddies coming over tomorrow to see in a better year, I took the opportunity of tidying the house - thus taking the pressure off for tomorrow. There's still a few things to prepare but most of it is done. All of which means I'm now free to run my first - and last - Parkrun of the year and I'm expecting to see a few Harriers there.

I'm going to park up along New Road and jog on. On over to Five Aches. It'll only be about 5k but that, the race and the jog back will make it close to 10 miles. Then it'll be back of for a last minute tidy before the festivities begin.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Wet One

Yes, another gloriously horrid day. Windy - not down to the baked beans - and drizzly rain. We still got out there in the thick of it as planned - although we swapped out Clive for Graham. One day I vow we will once again run with Clive - but not today. Anyway, conditions were pants but that didn't stop us. As we set out I was still feeling the after affects of Tuesday's training and pseudo race. I was surprised to be feeling it from Tuesday but my achy quads didn't lie.

From the off I comfortably dropped to the back of the group. The rain blew in and we kept on battling it. Slowly but surely - don't call me Shirley - I moved back towards Martin and Graham. As we headed across the Malago I closed on Martin but he remained elusively just out of touch. It was hard work out there and my legs felt tired so it was to much surprise that I was almost two minutes quicker than last week's Malago run and surprisingly close to my fastest time over the route. Totally unexpected - but very nice all the same.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back To Reality

After five days off it was a bit of a shock to the system today - but at least the drive in was sweet. That said I was back into the groove quickly and got quite a lot done. Not up to much tonight. My legs feel a bit achy so I'm taking a rest day - and another early night. Tomorrow I've the lunch run planned with Martin and Clive T is threatening to come out to play - although I'll believe that when I see it. Well that's it for today...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

With Great Age...

Comes senility...

I was up early-ish but most importantly I had plenty of time to get myself breakfast, plan my routes and drive over to the Wye Valley. I got my kit ready, map, pencil, money, and all the other bits and bobs I needed for today's Chepstow Harriers Christmas Treasure Hunt and set off. As I approached two thirds distance on the drive across I went through a few kit checks - as you do when stopped at the traffic lights... Compass - check, map - check, running shoes - f$*%. I had only gone and forgotten my bloody shoes - what a total dick. No option, I had to turn round and go back for them. My old age senility had seriously screwed my plans.

Anyway, I returned home, got my shoes and headed back. Now, sadly lacking the time for the planned run I had to take stock of my options. The first option was to blow the training schedule and drive all the way to Tintern to take part in the treasure hunt without doing any other running. I didn't like that option so I went with second option which was to park up at the Bigsweir Bridge and run along Offa's Dyke (the lower version) to Tintern. It was better than nothing but the timing was tight and I had to really put in a solid tempo run to get me there in time for the start. As it was I arrived a few minutes late - but fortunately they were running slightly behind as well and the race hadn't started. Run number one, 7.9km complete.

Suitably equipped with map and clues we all set off on the treaure hunt a few minutes after 11am. I quickly scanned the map before deciding to go for the outlying, high scoring control points and then make my way back round to pick up the ones closer to home if I had time.

The run across to Tintern had taken its toll as I was seriously knackered. Although only five miles I'd really had to put in some effort to get me across there in time for the start. I started slow and ground out the first few controls before I settled into a reasonable rhythm and things got easier. I seemed to be covering the ground OK but I knew I'd be lucky to get them all - although it wasn't beyond possibility.

I had a major brain freeze on route to control 14, I completely forgot about 12, running pretty much within 200m of it but not giving it a thought - doh. I pretty much knew my chances of victory had evaporated with that school boy error - or is that my second sign of dementia, that and having forgotten my bloody shoes.

I made my way around the rest of the route without too much trouble and got home with five minutes to spare from the cut-off. Completing the 12.4km with 1,300 feet of ascent in 1 hour 25. All in all it was a good race and even better training as I ran hard while dealing with all the map reading at speed.

It was nice to see so many of the harriers out and a big thanks to Dave for organising the fun. After everyone had been accounted for we all headed down to the Abbey Mill for a drink and some lunch. Result.

Then, as people started to head home I set off on the final leg of my training. The 7.3km run back along the Wye Valley Way with its 1,000 feet of ascent. I have to admit the warp engines were shot after about ten minutes of running as I limped (but not actually) home on impulse engines. It took me a while but I got back to the van eventually...

So in total I covered about 28k and about 2,500 feet of ascent. A pretty good days training if not quite as much as I'd hoped.

7.9km, 250ft Ascent from the Van to Tintern
along Offa's Dyke (low path)

12.4km, 1,300ft Ascent - in the Chepstow Christmas Treasure Hunt

7.3km, 1,000ft Ascent from Tintern back to the van
along the Wye Valley Way

Monday, December 26, 2011

Change Of Plan

Well today's run hasn't happened. I feel knackered. Yesterday was a good day - but tiring. Instead I'm putting in a couple of steady hours on the bike before an early night. The aim for tomorrow - provided I feel recharged - is to drive over to Staunton and park up before running the ten miles over to Tintern for the Chepstow Christmas run. I'll do that and then after a short break - in the comfort of the pub - I'll make my way the ten miles back again. That way I get a good long run and enjoy the festive run...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Eaten Too Much

Not much to report today. No training, just tons of eating. Far too much - oh, and lots of drinking - far too much. Going to have to run bloody miles tomorrow...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Well That Was A Surprise...

It was raining and I went out for a run! To be fair I didn't realise it was raining until I opened the front door - had I know before hand things might have been different... but since I was in my running garb and had my new wave harriers on, I decide to carry out the threat and brave conditions.

I ran my May Hill loop again and it was actually quite pleasant once I'd warmed myself into the run. Conditions are deteriorating on parts of the route though, it's definitely winter out there. There's some really slippery, muddy sections - the harriers are well and truly christened.

I put in a bit more effort today, just cranking things up a notch on the climbs. It's nice to push a little on the hills and then ease off once you're over the top. All in all it was a decent little run but I do need to start building the mileage. I'm going to see if I can get myself organised and over to the Wye valley on Monday for a good long run...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Well That's That Then

I've got to throw away all my jeans and buy some of those tartan slippers... and I don't feel a day older than 39 years and 364 days!

Well the holiday training hasn't exactly gotten off to a good start. When I awoke this morning, I awoke to the sound of torrential rain - cue, pulling up the duvet even cosier and going back to sleep. Now I don't mind getting caught in the rain while out running but I find it incredibly hard to force myself to start out while it's tipping it down - yes, I'm soft. I consigned my self to an hour on the bike as I set about 'liking' all the birthday messages on Facebook. I am hopeful tomorrow's weather will be better.

And one final item of note, I've mad it to page rank number one for the search term 'mad runner' on Google and the number two spot on Bing and if you search 'the mad runner', it's top spot on both! Result - quite literally! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Almost Official...

Yes, tomorrow I am legally permitted to be a grumpy old bastard - I've been practising hard...

I had a reasonable final day of work before some white bearded git flaunts his big red sack, oh yeah, and that Santa bloke pops round with my new Wave Harriers - I've been a good boy. No training for me tonight. I am shortly to retire to the couch for the night. Nor is there's to be no last minute cavorting with some nubile young filly - chance would be a fine thing - as I spend my last day as a youngster spent being a total lazy bastard.

Aiming to get out for some decent running this loooonng weekend. Hopefully I can get myself out there tomorrow, Saturday and Monday before finishing off the festive training at the Chepstow Harriers Christmas Treasure Hunt on Tuesday. I'll not be taking any bets on whether I manage to carry out the plan.

Oh, and just one more thing. Amazingly, someone in the office didn't realise I was anywhere near the big four O - and no, said person doesn't wear glasses - although perhaps they should apply for some.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Went Down Well

The mince pies that is. I received rave reviews. The fruity apple cake went down a storm as well. By the end of the day there was nothing left. Result. And on top of all that we only went and managed to get out for a lunch run didn't we. Yipee ki yay. All in all been a much better day today. Only one more working day and then I'm off till next Wednesday. Cue some running - I hope, fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not My Favourite Day

Well I managed to keep myself busy on what is not my favourite day of the year. I was up early and off to work - that kept me busy and out of mischief. Back at home I set about filling my time with the baking for Birthday Thursday - now Thursday ain't actually my birthday but I've a holiday booked Friday and I'm not about to drive into Bristol just to deliver the cakes. Well, ones got to think of the environment.

First off, a fruit and apple cake. It all went well from the mixing to the baking but I fear it's a little stuck to the bottom plate of the baking tray - I think I'll let it fully cool before I attempt to scrape - I mean, ease it off the base.

Next up, the short crust for the mince pies - and it's not text book. It is my first attempt and short crust and it ain't good. On mixing it all seemed a bit soft. Not wanting to deviate from the recipe by adding extra this or that I stuck it in the fridge as instructed. Hoping, somehow, it would magically come good - it didn't. Come the rolling out phase it was a fairly epic fail. Too sticky - ssh, stop it - as suspected. I have attempted a rescue by adding extra flour to firm things up. It seems better but will now probably taste like bread - but I hope not. Anyway, it is currently cooling in the fridge ready for the second role out. On a brighter note the vanilla almond topping seems about right. Fingers crossed for the second attempt...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Feeling More Human

Well it doesn't usually happen to me but I pulled a sicki today. Didn't sleep a wink last night, suffering really bad, painful stomach bloating. I can't remember the last time I had to phone in sick but I definitely did have to today. Thankfully it's all subsided now and I'm feeling almost human - I'd be worried if I felt totally human. Still feeing tired though, so I'm not going to risk any training. Well when you don't get out of bed until almost three in the afternoon it's your body's way of telling you to take rest.

Not looking forward to tomorrow. It's not my favourite day of the year. I guess I'll just have to keep myself busy at work and then throw myself into some baking when I get home...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Almost In The Christmas Spirit

I almost very nearly, wasn't too far away, in the region of getting the Christmas spirit - and I'm not talking a double vodka and coke. I still find it a difficult time of year but I'm getting there and yesterday's Wrinklies Christmas bash was just the tonic. The twenty three of us had a good night out at the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Masquerade Ball in Bristol. For once I didn't even get too drunk and still had a good time - there's a first.

So, having staved off the evils of the bottle I was up fairly early - well, ten o'clock - or was it eleven? and got back home by midday-ish. Of course all that was left to do then was get my arse in gear and head out into the cold for a calorie burning run. It was cold out there but not overly so as I ran over to May Hill on one of my familiar training loops. Snow was still lying on the high ground but it was turning more to ice. Conditions were slippery but not too bad and I was able to move at a reasonable pace for the most part. There were one or two places of careful walking but other than that a decent run. Just about to finish off with an hour on the bike before relaxation time kicks in...

Today's 12k run over May Hill, Brights Hill and Huntley Hill.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Damn Snow, Go Away

It's been a snowin'. An inch on the higher ground and now the bloody stuff is pitching on the drive and local roads. At any other time it would be nice - but not when one has got a ball to get to tomorrow night and if it keeps on going I could be up a snow drift without a snow shoes. Not good, Not good at all.

On a brighter note I have been busy making my special festive cranberry and brandy mincemeat - ready for my first attempt at mince pies. Give it a week and it'll be ready... I've also been busy baking more cookies. I thought it would be nice to give the neighbours homemade cookies instead of cards.

Now it's time for an hour on the bike - well, I'm bloody well not going out in this blizzard...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hails Bells

It were chilly out there. We started our lunch run during a break in the weather - but the break didn't last long. We went for the Malago again and although the wind was weaker than last week it was far more biting. Half way through the rain came and into the last mile that turned to hail - pleasant. Good to get the job done though and I was 40 seconds quicker this week. Still didn't push too hard. I could easy knock another minute off but sometimes it's nice to run a bit steadier and more controlled. That way it doesn't become a tired, heavy legged stomp by the end. Sometimes it's good to maintain form throughout the run. Looking forward, I can see there is going to be more wet, cold and miserable running ahead but it does feel good after the fact...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Orange And Coconut Cookies

OMG. I have just made the most delicious batch of Orange and Coconut Cookies - in the world - ever! Normally I consider that my cooking is passable at best. Let's face it, I'm never going to get on Master Chef but OMG these cookies are unbelievable - even if I say so myself. So light and so damn tasty. Somewhere between a biscuit and a macaroon. Either way, I am in a state of shock because these bad boys really are bloody lush. Well exceeding expectation for my first foray into the world of biscuit baking.

I found the recipe on 'tinternt. Martin, from work, suggested I try using a fresh coconut instead of the dessicated stuff - which I did, although I did relent a bit and went fifty fifty in the end - but hell, it was hard work getting the coconut out of a coconut - queue the mallet after baking in the oven for ten minutes. That was quite satisfying. And the grating... oh, don't mention the arm aching grating. Damn hard work but the result was worth it. Then in with a few standard ingredients and the grated rind of one orange - more damn grating before a final frenzied mixing - all by hand, none of that electric mixer bollocks here, I thank you - although there might be next time...

Finally it was time to shape the mix into little cookies on the baking sheet and into the oven for 11 minutes and 23 seconds - got to get those timings right. Then finally onto the wire rack to cool. Job done. Gorgeous.

An hour on the exercise bike after work was all I could muster - well, you weren't expecting me to go out in this bloody weather did you?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Job

I was up surprisingly early for a Sunday. First things first, a strong cup of black coffee. That consumed it was back to the van. I wanted to get the end pieces on the bed-bench and then to attach the toggle clamps to fix it in place so it won't move around when we're out on our travels.

With the addition of the end ply pieces the whole rigidity of the bench has gone up a notch. All that's left to do to complete the bed-bench is the upholstery - and the mattresses but that can wait a bit. To that end I've been busy browsing the net for some cheap van upholstery stuff - it doesn't exist, or, more likely I can't find any - any that's cheap, that is. I really don't want to spend a fortune. At the end of the day it's mostly cosmetic after all. It's not like Vera is ever going to win any beauty contests. She's never going to be the finished article. She just needs to be functional with a few comforts. A friend told me to search 'trunk liner/lining' but that didn't hit the spot. In the end I've settled for some cheap - or as I like to call it, low cost - hard wearing stretch denim. It might not be the done thing but I reckon it'll finish the walls, roof and furnishings OK - and most importantly, it was low cost.

I'll do some training later but for now it's time for the gallery, work in progress...

End ply pieces attached...

Toggle clasps fitted...

Bed extended...

Another view from the inside...

And finally, with the bed retracted...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Work On The Van

I enjoyed another lovely lie in, a cup of strong coffee and then I headed outside into the cold. It was time to lay the flooring down in the van. Well, it wasn't going to magically just happen, now was it? I am not a fan of flooring. One little mis-measure and it's curtains - well, actually it's still flooring but flooring was a gap. Don't know why I suggested it would be curtains.

Anyway I measured the width and length about seven times in all - can't be too careful. Measure seven times, cut once as my Nepalese ghuru would say. Then I set about cutting and shaping. I marked up the centre line on the vinyl and the van floor and then carefully laid it into the van. Standing back I realised there wasn't really going to be an easy way to cut round all the nooks and crannies. I wanted to let the vinyl slide up the sides slightly so it would retain water, much like a wet room. It is inevitable that rain will get in the van and with the sides retaining the water it means it can gentle gravitate out the back rather than creeping under the flooring - that's something I want to avoid at all cost.

So I set about carefully, slowly, slowly fitting the vinyl to the van, small cuts at a time and it all went ok. It would have been easier to cut the vinyl to the edges but then at best I'd have had to have gone round with sealant afterwards. This way I was able to hide a few gaps in the ply lining here and there. It's fair to say the edge around the walls is a bit uneven but I intend to deal with that when I upholster the walls, overlapping that over the vinyl to give a straight edge. It's all in the plan. I finished off with a couple of sections of aluminium angle foot plate to protect the edges by the door - just need to get myself one more piece for the back door. All in all I am quite pleased with my efforts. In fact, the floor looks so tidy, I think I need to get a few door mats and operate a no shoe policy...

Funky vinyl flooring, an extravagance but heck, I couldn't resist

On the exercise front I put in an hour on the bike. My legs are feeling it a little from yesterday but hopefully I can't get myself out for a decent run tomorrow...

Friday, December 09, 2011

First Snow

Mission accomplished. Traverse training has resumed. I repeat. Traverse training has resumed. And it felt great - if a little tiring.

I didn't get off to the earliest of starts - well, what's a day off for if you can't have a bit of a lie in. Now I've got my pocket sun it doesn't really matter if gets a little dark out there - I made sure I took my head torch just in case. Looking out across the sky from the warmth of home it looked like quite a nice day. Even so I checked the mountain forecast - and it showed promise but you can't take chances with the mountains so I made sure I packed a few extra layers. I even took my balaclava - but that was in just case I felt like a bit of bank robbery on the way home...

The drive over with Vera was good.. She handled the journey with aplomb and come 11 o'clock we pulled up in the Llanthony car park. It was great being able to climb through to the back to get changed and prepare. She kept the cold wind off my back as I got ready for the off - and believe you me, it was a cold wind. Soon ready, I set out on the Llanthony loop. A 28k loop starting and finishing at Llanthony Priory following a clockwise path over to Bal Mawr, up to Twmpa and back down Offa's Dyke.

Once up to Bal Mawr and onto the ridge the wind was biting and not to mention blowing a damn gale. All the way along I had to contend with icy patches and that damn wind pummelling me. It was so very energy sapping but I gave short shrift to even considering the escape route. No, today I was in it for the long haul and I just churned out mile after mile.

I always forget quite what a sh!t that ridge is. So boggy and now the temperatures have dropped, icy - the waterproof socks really help on that front. I'd not be without them these days. It was damn hard work but I wouldn't have missed it. About two thirds of the way up it actually started to snow! My first snow of the winter. Well, I say snow, it was more sort of very small hail but I'm calling it snow and that's that.

I was glad to get to Twmpa though, the running gets better from there. No more of the damn boggy peat for a start and the wind was on my back at last. The run in along the Dyke is always a bit mind numbing, as it was today. It's a case of more of the same for 10 kilometres but you can at least get some speed up on the firm going although the wind didn't seem to be on my back as much as I thought in would, more sideways and annoying - not too mention bloody cold.

By the time I started to drop down off the mountain the sun was sitting low in the sky, casting a glorious golden orange hue down the valley. It was an amazing light - but not warming in anyway. Finally I made it back to Vera. Started her up and got the heaters going full blast. Meanwhile I hopped in the back to change for the journey home. Oh, what a godsend being able to change in the dry and relative warmth.

Anyway, it's a nice feeling to have kicked off my traverse training with a descent run, all the more descent for the tough conditions - although I should get used to running in tough conditions as I have a feeling there's going to be plenty more to come...

Today's route (28k and 2,500 feet of ascent);

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Malago Park

A horrible day but a good lunch run. We even managed to coax Graham into running with us - that's Martin and I. And despite the strong winds and driving rain in parts it was really enjoyable.

Looking forward to tomorrow's run - with intrepidation. Lord knows what the weather holds for me but I'm guessing not warm sunshine... If the winds are as strong as they were today then I may well need the escape path across the valley.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Traverse Training Resumes Friday...

Yes, it is time. I didn't want to kick things in too soon but nor did I want to have to increase things too quickly later on - like last time. I think the timing is right to resume South Wales Traverse training.

It will be the first time me and Vera have been to the mountains - come to think of it, it'll probably be Vera's first time ever. I'm thinking east side to start with, maybe Llanthony, over to the Grwyne Valley and then back on the 'Route'. Might even head up to Pen Twyn Mawr to test out if my markings of the forest drop are still there. No doubt it'll be pants weather - but heck, that's part of the whole point of Vera...

So, that's the plan, with my day off this Friday I'm heading back to black, the mountains that is...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Oh So Knackered

You might guess by the photos below that I did not make it to the Cardington Cracker. It's a great race and I'm not overly pleased to have missed it but my body was aching from all that bashing through forest, hurdling felled trees and the tearing through bramble that went on yesterday - I am still picking out bits of thorn from my arms and legs. In fact after an early rise I knew I wouldn't enjoy the race as I should so I went back to bed.

I haven't wasted the day though. I decided to finish the main build of Vera's bench-bed. The only weak point in the design was whether I could support the front legs rigidly enough without requiring some sort of bracing. Ideally I wanted the sliding section to sit flush to the main bench when retracted - as you can see in the picture I managed that  - and without sacrificing structural integrity. A trip to the local(ish) diy store to the purchase of some f*(% off big brackets did the trick. I think the brackets I bought are more likely intended for holding structural steel together than a few bits of wood but they did the job lovely. The front legs and top do not move a millimetre.

All I need to do now is ply over the front legs and back section, upholster it and then purchase some foam to make up a couple of mattress sections, one 9mm thicker than the other to balance off the step to the slinding section. Oh, and of course, some toggle clasps to clamp the bench in place.

After that it's on to laying the vinyl floor and upholstering the walls...

Bed, Extended

Bed, Retracted

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Flaxley Track

Well, after pressing many combinations of buttons. Long presses. Short presses. All together. None together. Some, then others. In out in out shake it all about my forerunner started working. Still pisses me off how dodgy the thing is so I am definitely going to look for an alternative. Anyway, moan over, here is today's spider trail of my only just less than three hour orienteering ordeal...

Scraped In

With a three hour cut-off time you'd have thought I'd get round easy. Get round I did. Easy it was not. It was unbelievably tough. As is normal for a novice orienteer, I entered the black route as I said I would. But being a beginner I made sure I got under-way as soon as the course opened - I had an inkling I might be needing all the time available...

Navigationally things got off to a slow start as my achilles heal kicked in. Nothing to do with my physical achilles, just my ability to royally cocking up the first control - and it was only 200m from the start - arse. That wouldn't be so bad but for the fact there was another 25 of the god damn things to go.

Anyway, with that finally under my belt things picked up and I got across to 4 in good shape. 5 was bloody miles away and rather than battle through the undergrowth - and believe you me the undergrowth was pretty bloody dense - I stuck to the forest tracks. A much longer route but far quicker as I got there ahead of those I was with at 4. Then it all gets a bit hazy. 6 was good but 7 sure as heck wasn't. Another cock up royale. It was so bad I decided to cut my loses, dropped down to the forest track, located a feature I could associate with the map and take a bearing back. That done I was then straight on it. From there I think I went OK round to 13 - I say think because my brain has gone and I can't really remember. I know 14 was another poor one though. It went alright from there all the way to 23 but I was getting tired and my brain was on its last legs. At one point I started running 180 degree the wrong direction but luckily my spidey senses were still working and I quickly stopped, took stock and started running in the right direction.

24 wasn't a great one. I was now going so slow I began to lose track of pace and distance, taking far longer to cover the ground I began to question my judgement. Luckily I kept going on the bearing and got there in the end. The final couple were equally poor. My distance judgement was shot and I could barely operate the compass I was so bonked. As the cut off fast approached I really thought I wasn't going to make it. I pushed on, the last of my strength ebbing away. Fortunately I made it to the finish inside the cut off but it was oh so close.

I don't think I will be last as I am sure some won't have got round in the time. Today's black course was a real eye opener. A true test of both navigational skill and bloody minded determination. In all I ended up clocking up 16k over the 10k course! And I am so totally shattered I really can't say whether I will have recovered enough to run the Cardington Cracker tomorrow. I want to but I just don't know if physically I will have recovered.

The only sour note on what's been a good day is that my bloody forerunner 205 has broken! So I won't be able to post my 'spider has crawled across the map' track of today's outing. It was working fine. I turned it off when I got home. Then plugged it in to charge from the computer and nothing. Nada. I've tried all the reset methods mentioned on the internet but zilch. This is the second one and I only got it replaced a few months ago. Garmin watches are really beginning to piss me off. Going to have to look at alternatives I think. For kit costing as much as they do you'd think they would use quality components. I guess they're like to make 95 pounds profit on a watch costing 100 - greedy mothers...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

All Tooled Up...

Another day, another power tool. This time it's a mitre saw - yeah, baby. I figure I have loads of wood to cut as I fit out the van and this will save me loads of time. In addition to that I think the accuracy of my angles will be much improved as well. The first part of the bench took me a while to cut the wood to size not to mention the fact that my manual mitre angle block is not the most accurate - leading to a few gaps here and there - but nothing too bad, mind. With the purchase of this manly power tool I'll save time and get a better finish. Cooking and power tools, what a combination...