Wednesday, February 26, 2014

That Was A Busy Day

Hardly had time to sit down. And tomorrow morning I'll carry on from where I finished today. I'm hoping Friday will be lighter. I've some software to write that needs to be installed and commissioned on Tuesday and that doesn't give me much testing time.

The baby is going great guns - oops, I mean the Starter. Them yer bubbles were definitely yeasty type bubbles. Morethis morning. This is going to put the yeast industry out of business! It looks to be the greatest invention since sliced, er, bread...

My legs are still sore but almost normal. Home late, I have to be honest, I couldn't be arsed for any training.

Pip, pip

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

She's Alive...

Well at least I think she is. There are definitely some small bubbles across the surface of my Starter. It's possible they were formed as it settled out after I fed it yesterday but they definitely have the look of yeasty bubbles. It will be interesting to see how she looks tomorrow after today's feed...

I didn't make it to the Pomphrey Sports 5k tonight. My legs are still totally shot. I did an hour on the bike - slowly - to avoid it being too painful. Hopefully everything will be back to normal.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Almost Forgot Stacey

Stacey the Starter, that is. Going to have to write a note somewhere so I don't forget to feed her... There's no signs of life so far but then it's only been a day.

My legs are full on scuppered. Adding to my quads and calves being sore, my hamstrings are sore now. God, I am so unfit. Lighter - but still unfit. A total of about 26km has left me a shuffling wreck. I've a lot of work ahead...

Sunday, February 23, 2014


My legs are sore from quads to calves but the weekend's trio of races is complete. Today's orienteering was a struggle though and took forever. My speed across the ground was pitiful. Hopefully I won't be last though.

I orienteered alright. I made a bit of a bad initial choice out from four but quickly saw the light. Five, six and seven were slow to find but I didn't stray far from the right line. My biggest error was seventeen. I got myself in the right area but at that point fatigue was kicking in and I was losing mental focus due to fatigue. I re-aligned and then picked it off quickly. From my gps l must of practically brushed past it on my first attempt to locate.

The rest weren't a problem but I was just very slow at running by then - if what I was doing could actually be called running. MSROTTPFTS...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Two Down, One To Go

While I was genuinely pleased with my performance in the Hatterall Hammer I was basically happy just to make the finish line of the RogueRuns Chepstow night race this evening. Easy it was not, especially with legs that felt tired and tight. Only one more race to go..

Rewinding back to this afternoon. There was another large turnout for the winter league fell race, the inaugural Hatterall Hammer. Despite being only four and a bit miles it was far from effortless. Basically an out and back with a bit of road at the start and conversely also at the first - duh, it was an out and back.

For the first time in a long time I felt okay on the climb. I found myself being able to run much more of the up the of recent times. This losing nine lbs is bloody good for running up hill. Once I've lost the last three to five lbs it'll be like running along the flat - ah, maybe not.

Anyway, I couldn't hang around to chat, jumped in the van and drive home to scoff some nosh and get myself ready for race number two. As ready as ready was I hopped in the car and high-tailed it down to Chepstow for the evening race. I was in such a rush I almost forget my shoes - what a disaster that would have been.

So, I found my way down to Cheppers - as no one calls it - registered and waited for the off. With my legs feeling tight I set off steady and surprised myself by feeling not too bad once actually under-way. Any thoughts of replicating my form from the afternoon's race soon diminished though as I hit the first muddy climb and abruptly came to a grinding halt. From there on it was all a bit of a struggle.

I only lost one place on the second half but when you're constantly looking over your shoulder and checking the gps every ten seconds you know you're in for a battle to the get to the finish and end the agony. Okay, it wasn't agony but it was tough. And we won't mention Paul's Pond or Creber's Creek - 'the water's only up to the knee'. Up to the knee my arse - yes, thinking about it, that was about the depth...

I'd like to say I'm all set for tomorrow's orienteering but I suspect I'm going to have trouble walking. Happy days...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Going To Attempt It

The trebble, that is. The Hatterall Hammer, 2pm tomorrow, followed by the RogueRuns Chepstow night race at six and washed down with the string-course [winks to camera] at the Knockalls orienteering on Sunday. Happy days....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Planned 'Em

Although I did forget to actually post yesterday's blog so it's yesterday's followed promptly by today's.

So despite not submitting yesterday's post that I was planning to book some trips to the mountains until today - making the post out of date before it even hits the press, I can now confirm I have now booked 'em. Four long weekends between now and the end of May. Three to Snowdonia and the other up to the Lakes. Just need to plan out my itineraries - not to mention find myself some free to park laybys to park up.. I'm thinking I might run last year's cancelled Lake District Mountain Trial while I'm up in the Lakes..

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Time To Plan

So it's time to get some dates in the diary. I've gained another long service holiday day this year - unexpected - so that's more to use up.

I've five possible long weekends between now and the end of May. To hell with it all, I might well just book 'em all. I'll be fighting fit by the end of it. I want to make sure I don't just do the same old, same old though. I've got to make one of them to the Lakes rather than Snowdonia - although Snowdonia is bloomin' great.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm A Ten

It's been a stubborn pound but finally yielded. Ten stone thirteen. Happy with that. Nine down, just another three to go and then it'll all be about the training...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baking Italian

I wasn't able to go to the Compass Sport Cup qualifier today. Which was a shame as it looked to be just about the best day of the year so far. On the other hand, Ottavia in Cucina's Italian baking class that I attended instead, more than made up for it. The highlight was the light brioche and the pane biove. The pane biove for the fact it was a real show piece bread roll. The light brioche because I can see now I haven't been kneading my previous attempts at it sufficiently. Oh, and generally seeing first hand the techniques - not to mention some new pizza toppings. I am definitely making a gorgonzola topped pizza. Never had gorgonzola before, always been a little scared of the softish blue cheese but if was really good...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Still Didn't Get The Software Written!

Got a step closer but yet to actually break into coding... Was a productive day even so but less of the boring work stuff, I have finally got a fix on a solid mid season target race. After a tip off, I've bitten the bullet and entered the Marlborough Downs Challenge, May 10th. It's a 33 miler over - yes, you guessed - the Marlborough Downs. (Suspecting rocket science wasn't required to work that one out). I don't think it's particularly hilly. Maybe a couple thousand feet of ascent?

Best knuckle down now and get some kind of training plan up together... Ninety on the bike tonight, watching the wind in the willow. I wonder how many more branches will be wrenched from her ancient trunk come the morning? The gusts and rain are really hammering down...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Need An Air Freshner

Two hours on the static bike has that effect. There was no way I was heading out there tonight. Soft? Hell yes. On the upside I'm on the cusp of being a ten something.

The flat pack ark still hasn't arrived. I'm worried they're out of stock...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Still Waiting For My Flat Pack Ark To Be Delivered...

Is it ever going to stop? Apparently not and now they're saying there's snow tomorrow!

Anyway, I had a night off tonight. The sofa is right comfy. Plus it gives me time to sign write my sandwich board, "the end of the world is nigh" and on the back, "it's Armageddon, run for the hills.."

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Early Bird Catches The, Uh, Orienteering?

... I wasn't an early bird! I do feel better for having had a good long lie in. I think I probably missed a good event though as the weather today looked good - in the morning, at least. Although I've read reports of some having difficulties with, being delicate, the navigation. All said and done, it's all one big balancing act and when my body says it's tired then I will listen.

Anyway, it's time to enter phase two of the diet. The abs, press ups and pull ups phase. Well it's no good being down towards my racing weight without good core body strength!

Ting, well that's the oven timer I hear. Time to take the cinnamon raisin loaf out of the oven - just got to resist eating it all...

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Wasn't Sure..

About today's orienteering training. The forecast was foreboding and how do you train for orienteering besides just racing? As it turned out, the weather front was slower to hit than the 'experts' foretold - back of the net. And the training was really good. Good, apart from having a total navigational brain freeze at control 20.

The sessions certainly provided food for thought and some good technique tips. In another ten years of hard slog I might get the hang of it...

Anyhow, pop pickers, I've decided the cough isn't sufficiently gone to risk a long mountain run tomorrow. So, provided it isn't teaming with rain first thing, I'm going to cross my fingers and hope there's some spare maps - as I've not pre-entered - at the Monmouth orienteering.

And for the record, the rain has well and truly hit now...

Friday, February 07, 2014

Adios Number Eight

Pound eight has been shed. One more and I'm back to being a happy ten stone something instead of eleven. It's been a few years. Be good to run without lugging the equivalent of almost four bags of sugar strapped to my waist. Once I'm down to ten ten I'll be almost six bags light. The only downside I can see is that Neil will want me to carry all the kit at the LAMM to make up for the weight loss!

On other matters, it's looking decidedly wet for tomorrow's orienteering training. I think I might wear my orienteering waders and possibly take my bog snorkel just in case...

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Should I Gamble?

And book 13th/14th March for a long Snowdonia weekend? Probably still be bloody raining. Next dates would be 10th/11th April. After that we're into May... Decisions, decisions. I feel the need to get out onto the open road in the van - not to mention climb some real mountains...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Hasn't Been The Greatest Week Of Training So Far

I've managed to get home late every day this week so far, feeling tired. I've managed a couple hours on the bike in the warm and dry - no, I'm not heading out into this current weather system. The cough is easing - I'm not allowed to mention mucus (but that's subsided anyway). I think I should be all sytems go by the weekend for the orienteering training on Saturday and something, as yet undecided, Sunday. Which reminds me, I must look out the details for Saturday, like where it's taking place.

With the dip in training, pound eight is taking its time to leave stage left but it should have vacated by the weekend - provided I don't relapse and eat too many pies before then....

Monday, February 03, 2014

Less Mucus

Never a bad thing. Still coughing, just not as much. Still, congested, but not as badly. I'll be glad when I'm back to normal - I say normal, it's all relative.... Anyway, I was home late, feeling tired, so there wasn't any training going on tonight. It was all I could do to muster to cook pesto pasta with chilli and bacon, topped with tomato and parmesan. Those Italians have really nailed fast food.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Curious Incident Of Creber's Map With Paths Shown...

In the race organisers notes, the blue course was to use a map with the forest paths removed. Enquiring as to why Andy's map had paths shown drew the response, "You don't want to be orienteering in these woods without using the paths, you'll get cut to ribbons, it's right rough it is."

Anyway, it was good fun but a bit of a struggle and not just down to the roughness of the terrain. I jogged across from home, about six and a half kilometres and it was a struggle. This mucous cough is having a more detrimental effect than I gave it credit for. I was a bit out of breath and I really did only jog. The weather was far less severe than the scaremongers - or MET Office as some know them - were warning of and I think it would have be all right in the mountains. That said I'm glad I didn't go because I think I would really have struggled. 6km was tough 28km might have been the end of me.

No, I definitely made the right call and I don't think it's going to be sensible to go tomorrow either. I think I need to ease off a bit this coming week. Get back to 100% and then crack on again. One week light duties is not going to knockk me back too badly.

As to the orienteering, that was okay. I didn't cover the ground at all quickly and with few solid points of reference - aka, the paths, grrrr Creber - it was difficult navigation. My local knowledge aided me on a few of the controls but mostly it was just steady as she goes to avoid making any really big mistakes. I finished. Job done. Then it was just the jog back home and the warmth of the central heating...