Saturday, December 31, 2016

Almost Time Up For 2016

and it's time I start gaining a focus.... That's what 2016 lacked. Firstly I am going to try and do more orienteeting - after all, I do have to try out my first pair of orienteering gaitors! (Thank you Santa). Strong possibility that will be kicking off at tomorrow's Ninewells Score event...

Furthermore, this year I did not get away to the Lakes or Snowdonia even once! I am going to put that right next year. Dates are going to go in the calendar and holiday time will be booked - fact.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Not Been A Good Boy

I've dodged a lot of runs of late. An awful lot. If I'm honest, way too many but I got over to my new favourite woods again today. Dymock Wood. Or Oxenhall Wood - depending on which map you look at. It was an enjoyable run - if somewhat not quite what I planned. The lie of the land is a little different to the map...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Not A Good Sign...

When your legs are sore after a paltry 10k through the woods. It's an Omen. A portent of doom. DOOOOooom I tells ya! .... That or the fact I've been a very lazy boy.

I did enjoy Saturday's run. It's nice to run in places new so I'm going to start planning some more new routes.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Crisp Autumnal Afternoon

Just the type of day to go for a jog in the forest - except I didn't. Today I ventured over the border into Hereford and delights of Dymock Woods. It was really rather pleasant - apart from the really slippy, muddy section where I slipped and mudded my shorts [snigger, snigger].

I followed a clockwise loop, starting and finishing inside the border, crossing under the motorway on the way out and over it on the way back. There were some really nice meandering single tracks along the northern edge. Although a couple of the little bridges were a bit suspect.

And the best bit, that bit when you standard under a piping hot shower once you get home. I didn't feel cold but you realise you where and you just stand there kind of just ahhhhing. I shall definitely be heading back there again to try a few other routes.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I've been a tad awol from things of late. The mojo has waned but not entirely. I'm in a better place than this time last year and looking forward, with the new wheels, to finally getting back to Snowdonia and the Lakes in 2017

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's Gonna Be A Slow Llyn y Fan

but hopefully dry (ish). This is, of course, based on the fanciful notion that the forecast might be somewhere close to accurate. [crosses fingers the forecast rains blow through ahead of high noon].

The Llyn y Fan fell race is one of my favourites mainly on account that it is over in the west Black Mountains - which as everyone knows, is the best bit

I won't be quick but hopefully not last and I'll enjoy it come what may - once I stop coughing, wheezing and warm up after I've finished, of course.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I knew It

I knew my something would be aching today. My neck and left shoulder is somewhat cricked. I took a couple of trips during yesterday's orienteering. I recovered myself without fully going to ground but I did wonder if I'd be aching today because of the jarring. It has eased through the day so all's well that ends well.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


of three - with another twenty six out running. So by the time the last orienteer is in that could well turn out to be 27th of 29. But still, it's the only time I've a first place on the score printout - even if it did only last a few minutes.

Overall I had a pretty decent run out. True, I was not quick over the ground but I was focused on the navigation and I was pretty accurate - most of the time. There was a little hiccup at control eight. I sited the wrong group of track junctions and ended up east of where I needed to be so lost a bit of time tracking back and then I dilly-dallied at ten. I was very close but just didn't quite have my location bang on with the map. After that I was back on the money - the slow money, but never the less the money - and finished the course without further issue.

Pretty pleased with the days effort and for once my GPS route plot does not look like a spider has crawled all over it!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Returning To The Scene Of My First Crime...

Cleeve Hill Orienteering, based out of the south east corner. I've been back to Cleeve for orienteering since then but never from the South East. Starting there is going to bring back some traumatic memories. To say it was not a good day is a slight understatement. In my defence it was my first time. For the prosecution I was a bloody nobber for selecting the blue (hard) course for my first time out - but I was young and care free back then..... and some might say I'm still a nobber for continuing with the blue courses!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a spot of orienteering tomorrow. I will no doubt be a bit rusty but hopefully I'll go a little better than I did back in 2011.

For a little nostalgia I've copied my blog post of the fateful day from back in the day....

Not Quite How I Had Envisioned It...
In truth, it was what can only be described as 'a piss poor effort'. My first proper route class orienteering race - not sure of the official terms, but my first one where there is a route of check points or 'controls', as I'm told they're called, to follow. It did not go anywhere close to how I thought it would. I was, quite literally a disgrace to all fell runners everywhere. I hang my head in shame. I, in no way, upheld the honour of fell running - I only hope I don't get excommunicated from the fra.

It all started brilliantly - I found the start - but from there it was all downhill. There were multiple courses available on entry ranging from easy (beginner) to hard (someone who knows what they're doing) - can you guess which I chose, me being a cocky sod? You'd have thought, being my first time, I'd plump for the easy end of the spectrum, but oh no, not I - nobber.
The blue course (hardest) consisted of twenty one check poi.., scratch that, controls. Each control is numbered and you have to make sure you don't stick your dibber - stop it - in the wrong hole - I said, stop it. So it can be confusing when you come across one that isn't on your route. Also, as the difficulty of the course increases the controls are more and more hidden. You almost end up checking under every goddam stone to see if the bloody thing is hiding there.
Anyway, less of all the talk of rules and regulations. Basically my course was 8km long and if I was running a marked route it would have taken me thirty five to forty minutes. Suffice to say, it took me a bloody sight longer. Quoting from the good book of Tony, FFS it took me forty five minutes just to find control number one! Some perspective on that, the winner only took forty one minutes for the entire bloody thing. And with a three hour cut off I almost packed it in on account of having no sodding chance of making it round. But I've never not finished a race I've started and I didn't intend to start then.
Slowly I managed to acclimatise to the stupidly high scale map - I'm used to OS Explorer and the orienteering map is a much higher scale so it puts all your timings out and the contours become much more detailed. What, on the OS map, would be contour-less and flat is filled with bloody millions of tiny contours on the orienteering map. All very confusing to a beginner.
So having eventually got to grips - partially to grips - with the map I started to get into the swing of it. It took me another twenty one minutes to get to control four so it was still looking doubtful I'd get round. But then it kind of all clicked into place. I got into the grove of the distances and timings and I was off.
Controls five, six, seven and eight were ticked off in rapid succession. Nine was tricky. Hidden amongst a myriad of tiny dimples and bumps. Ten was equally hidden. Mind you, it would help if I knew what all the control symbols meant, as the little icons in the instructions show you the way the control is hidden, ie in a dip, behind vegetation, on a rise, stream crossing etc. Knowing where to look would probably help a little - I'll have to do some homework to find out the meanings of the icons. 
Then I was onwards to eleven through nineteen in pretty quick order. Twenty was a bit of a faff as there were bloody hundreds of clumps of gorse - I had learnt the symbol for vegetation from a previous control so knew where to look, clever eh? No, didn't think so. And I got my bearing slightly wrong towards twenty one but didn't lose too much time. From there it was just a short run in to the finish.
In all I took just outside two hours and I ended up clocking 16km instead of the optimum 8km - bonus mileage - toot toot. The most annoying thing though is that I took more time to complete controls one to four than the entire rest of the course. If the course had started at four I might have done well.
So as I write this post and reflect - and despite an extremely poor showing - it was a bloody fun day out. And you can mark my words, 'I'll be back'...
Saturday, 22nd January 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Conversion Principle...

I have been busy this weekend. Busy with the carpentry tools... Yes, the mini-camper conversion is complete. Fully modular, so it can be removed completely in a couple of minutes. And it was the ultimate recycling project as I was able to re-use only parts from the old van. Okay, I guess wasn't exactly ultimate but it was good make use of what I already had.

I do have to make up some blackout blinds before I'll actually be able going camping proper and I also have the cooker module to construct. I've a few design concepts bubbling around in outline design but nothing concrete to take forward to detail design yet... So I retract my earlier statement that it's complete but the main bit is done at least.

And here's some pics...
Boot module, rear seats in normal position

Boot module, rear seats out and font seat down

Bed section in position

The finished mini-camper

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Back To The Mountains

And it looked at first as though I'd made a bad call. As we approached the race HQ the heavens opened and the rain came lashing down - I say we, I gave a lift to the Lawsonator - and if he spills his drink in the boot of my new car again it'll be the last lift he ever gets - from anyone, capiche?... The clouds soon moved away and the sun made an appearance. Turned out to be pretty spot on conditions in the end.

I enjoyed the run. It was nice to go steady and take in the views as I swept at the end of the field. I'm glad I volunteered to sweep because I would have struggled to race it and by sweeping I was back out there in the mountains again. Onwards from here...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Back On The Road Again...

Picked up my new second hand set of wheels - and all the other associated mechanical bits - this afternoon. I'm expecting to have that new car, must keep it clean feeling for somewhere in the region of three weeks before I slip back into it old habits and it turns into a mobile pigsty . 

I had a decent ride across on my crapped out mountain bike. I managed to get a few more of the gears operational this time so I was able to go a bit faster on the flat. It still wouldn't shift into to top gear but I had the use of all the lesser gears for the hills at least. Overall I was a good chunk quicker and it was interesting to peruse and compare the segments on Strava.

Looking forward to taking the new wheels on its maiden voyage to the mountains for tomorrow's Fan Brycheiniog fell race where I am helping out as race sweeper.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

All Set... take ownership of my very own old person mobility carriage - also known as a Citroen Berlingo. And you think I'm joking, it actually was a motability vehicle.

In the meantime I've been casting my eye over the options for kitting it out as a micro camper so I can get back out there into the hills again. There are a few off the shelf conversions available and they look pretty cool but require too much hard cash. They've given me some good ideas though. There has been much pen and ink going down in my design sketch book.

So anyway, I have my fingers crossed the rain stays away as I'll be on the bike again tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm Suffering From A Serious Case Of PCD...

That's premature car death in case you were wondering... Yes the Ceed is beyond economic repair, aka, dead - I really regret telling my folks on Sunday it was still going strong in response to the question as to how it was running - doh! It all made for an interesting commute home yesterday - on the back of a relay wagon, having come to a halt on the hard shoulder of the M5 near junction 17. Only added on 2 hours to the journey so I mustn't grumble.

All of that has brought forward my plans to get a Berlingo. I've been casting my eye over the used car listings for the last six months, trying to work out what's a good price, spec, etc.. I was intending to run the car for another year so I'm really only bringing the plans forward a little...

And today, now that I'm taking some impromptu time off work, I took a bike ride over to Coleford to take a look at a Berlingo I actually spotted in the listings last week. Took it for a test drive and subsequently signed up on the dotted line. Soonest I can take delivery - or more correctly, go and collect it - is Friday so it's holiday time all week.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Managed A Pootle

Been struggling a bit of late. I'll call it ticking over but it's not quite as good as that really. I need to get myself a goal. Still, some is better than none. Hopefully manage another something tomorrow...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Been More Than A Few Days,,,,

Been flippin' ages. Things have slipped a little. After the dodgy weekend of the bank holiday I've taken a while to get back on track. Adding to that, work has been busy - and yes, I have let that distract me a little (quite a lot actually). The main thing is that I don't feel de-motivated towards running. I'm going to be back racing soon - although maybe not the Black Mountains now as it's a hard race and I'm not quite ready for it. Not really sure what other races are coming up. I know there is a race over Fan Brycheiniog way mid October and also Fan Fawr must be coming up soon but other than that I need to dig out the race calendar...

Friday, September 02, 2016

Been A Few Days....

Right, so it's been a while. I was right off colour last weekend. Feeling sick and throwing up is not the ideal way to spend a bank holiday weekend - especially when the weather ain't too bad. Anyway, I just about recovered in time for what was going to be a pressureful - I think I made that word up - week at work. The thing about ripping out a control system to upgrade with new kit is that once you start you can't stop - just like Pringles, only not so enjoyable. Anyway, it all went well, nothing ran empty and things were all back up and running by yesterday but I felt pretty zonked by the time I got home. I really need a good, restful weekend and get back on it. It's not long till the Black Mountains race and then the mountain marathon weekend at the start of October. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Still Not Feeling 100%

I think I need a few good early nights to reset the system. Really struggled to get up this morning - but software doesn't write itself while you sleep - which is bloody shame. Actually got on really well with it after the extra strong coffee was in the bag. Light training tonight and having found the rower a struggle I need to make those early nights a priority... 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Finally Feeling Better...

I've been feeling rough for few days. It came on me Thursday and only now do I feel back to normal. Stupidly I got my kit ready for Saturday's Four Fans race - but saw sense before I headed over. Disappointed to have missed one of the best South Wales races of the calendar but better to have run away to come back and fight another day...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Too F*(kin' Hot For Running...

I almost melted. At one point I was sweating so much I think my sweat was actually sweating! I wasn't long into the run, on the first climb when I realised I was not going to make the planned ten miles. These temperatures really do not suit me and I cut it short. I finished with twenty on the gym bike as I watched more of the Olympics. To say I was dripping would be an understatement.

If the temperatures don't cool down significantly then I may have to reconsider the Four Fans. Being stuck out in these temperatures in the mountains is not something I particularly fancy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Easy Loosener

Didn't want to replicate my last run and get dehydrated and do something to my leg. Just a little pootle to test there was no issues - and there weren't. A bigger run planned tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

I Appear To Have Slightly Knackered My Leg

Left leg is still painful to run. I don't want to prolong things so I took it easy today with a bike session. The action of pedalling doesn't seem to be a problem. Only the running...

Monday, August 08, 2016

Got Myself A Little Dehydrated

Struggled a bit on today's training run. I decided on a run through the woods local to home. I was initially thinking of running the Malverns but being another hot day I wanted to try and keep myself under cover as far as possible. As it turned out I'm glad I stayed local.

I headed up to Hobbs Quarry before heading through Blaisdon Wood. Interestingly my GPS shows I was 20 seconds quicker on the Hobbs climb but that was pretty much the only highlight of the run over and done with inside the first ten minutes. Then it was over to Flaxley Wood before heading into Edgehills Plantation - or was it the Haywood Plantation? It was really the track through the middle.

Anyway, as I headed into - we'll settle on calling it the Edgehills Plantation - I started to get a bit of pain on the side of my left leg near the knee. Added to that I started to flag in the heat. From there on in it was all a bit of a struggle. By the end of the run, the run-in being along the Gloucestershire Way, my left leg felt okay again but I was feeling knackered.

I downed a few pints of water once I got home so I'm thinking I was pretty dehydrated. Need to make sure I don't repeat that tomorrow but it does explain why I really struggled. In all I covered just over 17km with 550m ascent.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Thought I Was In For A Soaking...

Through the day the winds had been gusting outside and by five there were some pretty iffy looking dark clouds forming. Having spent an almost uninterrupted eight and a half hours sat at my desk I was not going to not head out for a run and as it turned out the rain kept at bay.

It was a modest run. Up through Hobbs quarry, across to Blaisdon woods and then back along the road. I didn't really flow. I should probably have done some kind of warm up. When I got back I put in 25 minutes on the bike. And that was that.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Felt A Bit Easier Today

I've been struggling with the running for the last few weeks, It's all felt like it was very hard work for the speed that I've been running. Today I decided to just run. No looking at the watch. No worrying about the pace. I just ran and it felt good.

I tried a slightly new route today. Slightly new in that I tagged on Hobbs quary to the start of the Blaisdon & Flaxley wood loop. It was a nice route, cool through the woods and I think that helped. I surprised myself by running quite well on the climbs. I didn't force it, I just let it happen.

Fingers crossed for another good run tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

There's Nothing Quite Like A 10k...

to show you how bloody rubbish at running you've become - and on current showing, I have become pretty bloody rubbish. It was not a fast one tonight. Conditions were pretty good. A little breeze but nothing to write home about. The Blaisdon 10k isn't totally flat but it's out and back so it evens out. It's tougher than a dead flat one but even so my time was pants.

The only way is up from here...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Too Hot, Too Hot

I'm quite liking the temperatures at the moment. It feels like summer - but I'm terrible running in this heat. It just melts me. I'm not saying I would have gone a whole lot quicker in today's Waun Fach fell race had it been been cooler but I'm sure I wouldn't be feeling quite so whacked now. It's really taken it out of me.

Anyway, I took the main climb steady as I wanted 'strong' legs for the descent. I ran alright around the ridge towards Waun Fach before a bit more 'steady' action on the final bit - read walking. I managed to overtake a few people on the ridge who were stronger on the ascent.

It was then workman like around to checkpoint three before the longed for descent. It's funny but each year the ridge seems to have more hillocks. It obviously doesn't but I guess I can put that down to senility creeping in. I had a pretty good one although my legs were thrashed by the time I approached the final hillock but I did manage to overtake a few more there before struggling up the final 'blip' to the finish. I thought I was going to lose a place but just held on.

Now I'm home, never has a cool shower felt more welcome...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being Defeated A Little....

The curse of work is hitting me at the moment - and there's nothing that hits as hard as work. I'm fighting through it but this heat wave is not helping and I am feeling knackered. I'm biding my time. I've been doing some bike session and core but my energy levels are low....

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Still Suffering...

My quads are still desperately sore. It hasn't helped me that I didn't leave work yesterday until 2am this morning. Suffice to say I do not exactly feel brimming with energy today. Into the weekend I am planning a solid run in the mountains. Haven't decided exactly where just yet but it needs to be a fairly long one...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Legs Destroyed

I was surprised how badly my quads hurt when I got up this morning. I wasn't expecting to feel sore or tired since the Pen y Fan race is such a short race - steep but never the less short. So I made my way over to Llanfrynach in spite of my sore legs, ready to make my assault on the Fan y Big fell race - turns out it was more of a minor skirmish...

Conditions weren't as bad as yesterday although the tops were still in the light mist but it didn't rain much. There were some strong winds though and it didn't help that the main climb was pretty much head on into those winds. I ran steady and ground my way to the summit of Fan y Big. I didn't climb particularly well on account of little to no leg power. From there things got better though.

I picked up a few place on the ridge section before almost committing harikari as I slipped at the start of the descent. My leg flew backwards and I jolted forward, my head making a bee-line for a large rock. As in the movies, time did seem to slow a little and fortunately I somehow managed to stay on my feet - although I'm not quite sure how. That near death experience didn't deter my though and I carried on slipping and sliding my way down off the mountain. Gaining another few places.

I was pants once I hit the road, my quads were screaming out for me to stop, and with a not great time on the cards and lowly position in the field, I wasn't keen to push hard and do more damage so I plodded onto the finish - relinquishing some of the gains.

A combined tally of 23km and 1300m of ascent for the weekend has to count as decent training - even though I can hardly walk now and suspect I have a few days of this ahead...

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Well That Didn't Go As Well As I'd Hoped

Bit of a disappointing performance in the Pen-y-Fan race really. Conditions were pretty much as expected - wet, windy and miserable. The summit was well and truly in the mist - as was most of the mountain below the summit.

I set off okay but really struggled on the first section of climb. I felt okay on the ridge bit but didn't feel strong on the last bit of the climb to Corn Du. From there it was only a couple of minutes over to Pen-y-Fan. Then came the disappointing bit.

I'm normally good on the descent but I struggled today. I had to take my glasses off due to the rain and wasn't able to 'spot' my footing on the way down. I stumbled a few times at the top of the descent and lost my nerve a bit. I was just struggling with my footing and lost heart for it. I just went through the motions from there to get to the finish.

Hopefully, I will go a bit better tomorrow at Fan y Big...

Friday, July 08, 2016

It Ain't Looking Great...

The weekend mountain forecast, that is. Unless the MET have got it totally wrong - not outside the realms of possibility - it's going to be a wet one. With the two races of the Brecon Fans Saturday and Sunday the chances of staying dry would appear to be slim - still going though. I've paid my entry so I'll be taking my chances.

Talking of entry, or more accurately, the entry list, I'm not sure why I'm still listed as running for Calder Valley. I've not been a member for six years so someone's records are mighty out of date!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

So, After Two Years...

I've finally found the reason my strawberry plants have been producing tiny berries that just will not grow bigger than about a centimetre diameter. Yes, I checked back on the original seed order of three years ago and discovered that I've only gone and flippin' planted wild strawberries. That's Fragaria vesca to you! One centimetre is as big as they get - doh!!!

They've been so small I've never bothered to pick them. After my session on the bike and core work I decided to go put that mistake to rights. Turns out they are a very different taste to 'normal' strawberries. And by different I don't mean unpleasant. In fact they pack way more flavour punch than the ordinary ones. Kind of reminds me of bubblegum sweets. On the downside there's much picking for not much eating but the taste is worth it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Brecon Fans Entered...

Not quite sure how well I will cope with running both but in for a penny, in for a pound. My legs are still feeling a bit rubbish. Hopefully all will be good by the weekend.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Still Struggling With My Calf Muscles

Had a bit of an easy week after slightly wrecking myself last weekend. Still struggling with the calf muscles though. Managed a run of sorts today but my right calf really tightened up. More stretching and gentle massage required...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Legs Are Almost Not Hurting

I reckon I should be up to doing some training tomorrow. My legs were fair destroyed after the weekends racing. Probably going to be something fairly gentle though...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Full On Broken...

I am now officially a wreck but I did manage to 'run' my leg of the Harvester Orienteering this morning but it was far from pretty. The good news is that my left calf held together - mainly due to the copious amounts of sports tape holding it together. The bad news is that I was completely rubbish at a) using a map b) using a compass and c) actually running at a pace anything more than a walk, borne out by the fact that I managed to turn an 8km course into 11km. I suspect I may need a bit of a nap this afternoon because I am feeling ever so rather knackered.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Slightly Broken

Well that was a hard slog. The 12 miles of Stage 4 of the Cotswold Way Relay 2016 has broken me. I had a pace in mind and for the early part I was on or around it. I knew I was going to go out of the comfort zone as it was my longest race of the comeback so far. And so that came to pass.

I had a wobble around the 7 mile mark, a slight twinge from the left calf. I carried on pushing as I worked my way through the field and had a few runners in sight. I chased hard and was chipping away at the distance between us. It was Cooper's Hill that really did for me though. When I got to the top cramp hit big time on the left calf. I knew I didn't have too far to go but neither could I really run properly anymore. As the minutes slipped away and putting more work on the right calf that went too but not quite as badly. I was unable to stride out on the remaining sections of downhill and lost time but made it to the finish which is the important thing, albeit with the loss of a few minutes.

My left calf is really rather broken now and I can hardly walk - I'm not sure how I'm going to manage tonight's Harvester Orienteering Relay. I reckon I have about fourteen hours to get myself mended and I'm really not sure how I'm going to manage that...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gonna Be A Long Day....

and an even longer night.... I'm looking forward to running a solid 12 miles on leg four #CWR2016 tomorrow and then I've the afternoon to prepare myself for the overnight Harvester Orienteering Relays - oh, what have I let myself in for? At least I'll be running at dawn in that so I won't have to cope with any scrabbling around in the dark - but that's not to say there won't be any scrabbling around in the light! I have a strong feeling that I will be somewhat knackered come Sunday morning...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Exemplary Lesson...

In how not to run a 5 mile-ish road race. As threatened I got over to Undy for the 2nd LCL road race of the season and set off, if I'm honest, like a complete dick. I was waaaay too quick through the first 2k. In fact the pace was faster than I've run at any point during the last six months - baring steep runnable downhill. I knew I couldn't sustain it, and by kilometre four the pace was really starting to fall off. The last couple of k's were painful hell. There is simply nowhere to hide and the pain only stops after you cross the line.

Taking a positive from such  poorly executed race, my average pace was 4:18min/km which is substantially quicker than anything I've achieved so far this year. Onwards and upwards...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Everything Is A Little Bit Achy

Nothing too severe, just aching a little bit. Looking at the results from yesterday, I might have won a prize had I stayed to the prize giving!! I didn't even give that a thought, having never won an individual prize in a race, and just pootled off home afterwards. The results have me as 3rd M40 so that isn't too bad for only my second race after the comeback... Got to be happy with that.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ssshhhh, You Ain't Seen Me....

I took a wrong turn at Abergavenny and mysteriously ended up in Blaenavon.... Lucky for me there was a fell race taking place out of the Whistle Inn - what were the chances? [wink]

It turns out they alternate the course between clockwise and anti-clockwise. So the split times I hadn't written down for several points on route - because it was a mistake I ended up in Blaenavon, right - weren't any good for gauging my performance against last year. So I set off with the main aim of running the entire thing. No walking on any of the ascent and apart from one small blip where I working so hard I was almost sick, I achieved that aim, and that's includes making it all the way on the first and main climb out from the start.

The undulating route around the main loop was much more undulating than I remembered and I had to keep working hard. Despite losing a couple of places there I held things together and reached the finish, with my heart rate up on 186bpm, as I powered across the line in 46:55. That's over three minutes quicker than last year but not directly comparable as it was run in the other direction. It's still the same distance (9.2km) and overall ascent (300m) so I'm confident it's a better performance by a good margin.

For the stats my average heart rate for the run was 172bpm. I think I was 12th overall, although that is subject to the actual results and my Strava VAM for the first climb smashed my most recent high score, from April, out of the water, weighing in at 1025 as compared to 850.

Next up is another pesky road race on Tuesday evening...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Been A Quiet Few Days..

Okay, two weeks. The time it's been since the comeback. I decided to take a bit of a rest with only a few training sessions. Anyway, the rest period is now complete - and I do feel nicely rested. Back to the grindstone tomorrow with a race.

My racing plan remains as per my post of a week ago and I've managed to book a long weekend end off work for a trip to Snowdonia in early July. Been a while...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Looking Ahead...

So this coming weekend I'm going to be racing again. The following Tuesday is the next LCL road race in the series. The following weekend I'm racing twice, the Cotswold Way Relay followed by an orienteering relay thing - if I'm still alive and kicking I might even try a trebble with the Tour de Calch....

After that I've booked a few days off for the weekend after that for a visit to Snowdonia - itching to get back into some real proper mountains. Moving into July there's the Tintern Trot, the Pen y Fan/Fan y Big weekend, another LCL road race, possibly the Thornbury 10k and hopefully the Blaisdon 10k - a race that's only a few miles from home but which I never normally hear about until it's been and gone, not forgetting Waun Fach...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Been A Quiet Week

But I'm not worried about slipping back into the old ways. I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning around the house and gardens. When you come back in from cutting the grass dripping you know it's too humid. The weekend is looking good though. The temperature is down and it should hopefully rain a bit.

I've not decided where to run tomorrow but I'm aiming for 15 or 16 miles. Couldn't find any races so it's only training. Moving forward into next week normal training is to resume - although I shall be looking to race as much as possible. Next weekend I'm torn between supporting Chepstow in the Darren's Dash - bit of a boring route - or the Coity race, a much better route but I might become a figure of hate...

Monday, June 06, 2016

Rest Day After The Comeback...

So now the dust has settled I'm a little disappointed with my time from yesterday. I thought I could go a couple of minutes quicker. At least, now the official (provisional) results are in, I see I was the first of the B team runner home. Need to up my game though.... and I will....

Forty five minutes gym bike and some core work tonight. Should be good for some running action tomorrow as my legs - apart from slightly sore hip - don't feel too bad today.

PS, I should add it's good to comeback to a win - even if I was making up the numbers. Both the Chepstow A and B teams took top spot in their categories in the Rack Raid Relays.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Well That's The Comeback Done With...

...and the memory of how hard and painful road running can be has come flooding back. Made all the more painful by it being a relay, where every second counts. I think I just about upheld the honour of the electric blue and red tabard of Chepstow Harriers.

I came home in eighth place (I think) but it really isn't about your place in the field it's how much faster - or slower - you are than the teams you're competing against. Hopefully my time on Stage 5 (an 8 miler) of the Rack Raid Relay will have held up against the other B team runners.

I'm proper knackered now though. It was right hard work. I started on 4:30 pace knowing I'd lose some on the hill sections in the first half and then gain some on the downhill and flat run in. Living in Britain I have, over the years, attuned my body to work at maximum efficiency in the pouring rain. Today it was just proper hot. I don't think I've ever had a great run when it's hot but I gave my all.

I was in ninth (again, I think) from the start and hoped a few of those ahead would crack. I moved into eighth on one of the hills and for few kilometres after that had no one to chase. Eventually, entering the downhill section I closed in on one of the Fairwater Runners and got the gap down to about 25 metres but as we reached the outskirts of Monmouth I was pretty much on the limit and just faded a smidgeon as the gap stretched out to 50 metres.

Overall I think I got my pacing right though. Being ring rusty I was a bit worried about getting it completely wrong. Despite fading just a little in that last 2k I never eased up, with my mind firmly set on eeking out every second that my body would let me. I hit a heart rate max of 183 bpm with an average of 174 bpm so it's fair to say I was on the limit!

Anyway, that's the Comeback done and dusted so now phase two begins - Operation Race Myself Faster is go.....

Friday, June 03, 2016

T minus 39 Hours...

Till R-Day. Or should that be RRR-Day?

Until then, I'm taking it easy. The training is done. Am I ready? We'll see after I've run... 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Well That's That...

The training is as complete as it's going to get before The Comeback this coming Sunday. I was planning to run a low key event, where the only person at risk of failure was myself. Come Sunday the stakes will be somewhat higher in the Rack Raid Relay. On the plus side, at least I have a net down hiller of a stage...

My final training run was a repeat of the last Thursday's Velthouse loop and I went at it solidly. I was 35s quicker through phase one. Slightly quicker on phase two. Identically paced on phase three and then dropped a few seconds on phase four as I tied up a little before pulling things together in the final phase to finish almost 40 seconds inside last weeks run.

With hindsight I was probably 'a bit keen' in the phase one - when I say 'a bit keen' what I really mean is out and out too ambitious. Having over egged it there I knew I was likely to blow in the final stages.

Overall I'm pleased with the run. It gives me some idea of pacing for Sunday. Being so out of practice at racing I think it's all going to come down to getting the pacing right. Not too slow and definitely not too quick...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Slight Rejig On The Schedule...

There were a few issues going down with the day the day job yesterday so I had to stay close to my phone and my files ergo the planned run unplanned itself. Anyway, I got out there today instead so no harm done.

I decided to head out around midday, in the heat, to give myself a good test. I'm never one for the heat, preferring cooler conditions generally. The 13.5km route was not as ideal a practice for next weekends Rack Raid Relay as I would have liked. A section through the Flaxley Wood was an overgrown, boggy slip fest. The four downed trees that I had to clamber over and through didn't help either. It was not the quickest.

Once onto the road I could get more of an even pace going but I was beginning to melt in the heat. It was good to acclimatise to the warm conditions as it could be like it next week - or it might piss down with rain. Anyway, it was another decent training run done but I'm not going to over do it next week as I want to be as rested as possible for the big day...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Why Do People Put Themselves Through It....

Every Bank Holiday, like lemmings, they decide to travel to the seaside - believing they are the only ones who have thought of the idea - and then spend a delightful afternoon, slowly roasting in an open car, as they take in the delights of the M5 vista....

As I drove north, on the way home, the queues were amongst some of the longest I have ever seen. I chuckled - being the warped, evil bastard I am. I did feel sorry for the lorry drivers and normal commuters who get caught up in the madness though. I'm sure I will get my hit of karma at some point - but it won't be self induced, unlike the Bank Holiday numpties.

Rest day today ahead of another short, sharp run tomorrow.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A More Promising Run...

I continued with my plan to run shorter, 'quicker' routes between now and the Rack Raid Relays a week Sunday. So it was the Velthouse Lane Loop tonight. A 9k-ish loop with a hill at the start and then flat with mild undulations.

I took it steady up and over the hill and then put in the work. I kept my heart rate high and didn't let up. Legs didn't get tight tonight and the pace was faster. I still need some more speed though but it's good to get the legs moving quicker. My endurance is okay so it's that leg speed which is the focus. I still have some work to do - but I don't have much time...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mostly A Rest Day

Forty minutes on the bike and some solid ab-crunches and push-ups tonight. A rest day ahead of more running stuff tomorrow... Not sure quite what yet but it will definitely involve moving one leg in front of the other repetitively - hopefully at speed....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bit Of A Crap Run

But a run, never the less. Didn't have it tonight. I thought I was going to have a strong run, all the little aches and pains gone. Not really sure why it was rubbish. Perhaps, having been sat on my arse in front of a computer for the best part of nine hours might have had something to do with it. I did finish with a Strava PR on the Hobbs Quarry climb so maybe I should have done a bit stretching and some kind of warm up before I got underway.

The plan for the next seven or eight days is shorter, flatter runs on firmer surfaces followed by three or four days rest in order to prepare myself for The Comeback race. Now confirmed - subject to late changes/relegation - as a leg of the Race Raid Relay on the 5th...

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I got my thirty minute bike session out of the way early. I wanted to make sure I did something today despite various body parts feeling sore. I'm not concerned about the quads and my calf muscles feel surprisingly okay considering how tight and sore they were during the run yesterday. More worrying is my right foot. The arch is sore just after the ball of my foot. Not unwalkably sore - mind you, I don't think unwalkably is a word - but sore enough that I don't want to be running today. I'm robust though so don't expect the soreness to last long. Which is a good thing as a little birdy - or more accurately, a spreadsheet - currently shows that I'm making The Comeback on 5th June....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Solid Recce

No doubt, having now reccied stage 4 of the Cotswold Way Relay, I'll be moved onto a different stage...

Anyway, I think I managed to avoid the worst of the weather as I set out from the Quarry by the Devil's Chimney just after 11 this morning wearing my waterproof top - because it was raining - but very quickly regretted the decision. It wasn't long before I stopped and took it off. I figured getting wet was a better option that slowly cooking myself alive.

I felt sluggish to begin with but with a few km in the legs I started to feel better. It wasn't long before I felt I was actually going pretty strongly - including the uphill sections as well. It's a been a while since I've felt like that. I was only reduced to a walk twice. First on the infamous Coopers Hill - which I'll grant is steep but also very short so you don't really lose much time on it and then on the Buckholt wood climb which is probably just a steep as Coopers. Other than that I can claim to very nearly have had my old sea legs on. As a side note, as I ran over Coopers Hill I did wonder if I should loop around and run it again - apparently that is the protocol for some of the runners....

I reached the Royal William in about 90 minutes, give or take. I stopped to shake all the grit and mud out of my shoes before heading back on the return leg. By the time I reached Coopers my right calf was tightening up. Probably as a result of the stronger, faster ascending. From there the pace slowed and I decided to cut out the Crickley Hill bit to reduce the distance a little. Don't want to be getting myself injured.

In all I covered a gnats ass short of 30km and 870m ascent in 2:55. Pleased with that. Hopefully the right calf will feel better in the morning.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gonna Be A Rainy Recce Tomorrow...

I'm intending to head over to Crickley Hill and recce 'most' of stage 4 of the Cotswold Way. I say 'most' because I'm aiming to start from the road section just after the Devil's Chimney and run to The Royal William. Then, having reached the William, I shall re-trace my steps all the way back to the car. Hence the reason I shall be recceing most but not all of stage 4. The first section from Seven Springs to the Devil's Chimney is pretty straight forward - famous last words - and I have run that section before - honest guv... If it all goes as planned the run will be in the region of 21 miles and 900m ascent.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Impromptu Holiday

With my car not quite getting through its MOT yesterday I was forced into a day off today. I decided to go for the 9km May Hill loop and it went quite well. I was quicker than the last time - always a good thing - but, slightly disappointingly, a few seconds slower on the final, short climb to Hobbs Quarry. I definitely need a few good hill and speed sessions to put the finishing touches on the training. I finished off with a 15 minute cool down on the bike.

Anyway, my wheels are now back on the road, so it's off to work I go tomorrow...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Overcooked It...

I attempted to run some intervals tonight. It didn't quite go to the plan. The rep is 700m from the end of the road to the church and slightly uphill on the outward rep. I warmed up by jogging to the church to start with a downhill rep - and from there it went a little wrong. I legged it way too fast. Hitting the first rep in 2:22. With 90s recovery done I slowed significantly on the uphill to 2:50. I was fading fast. With another 90s recovery I ran the third in 2:35 and I decided to call a halt as I was struggling, having burnt myself out setting an unrealistic pace. I guess that's what comes with being out of practice. I shall learn the lesson and pace it better next time. I finished tonight's training with 30 minutes on the bike and some core work. Week 22 has begun...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 21 Ends On A Restful Note...

My legs were sore, mainly the quads, so I decided to pull a rest day. Just a leg easing hour on the bike. Hopefully I will be fit for action tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

That Was Hard Work...

My legs were feeling heavy after yesterday's run. Not sore just heavy. I decided on the clockwise Flaxley loop and set out early afternoon. Unsurprisingly it wasn't long before I knew a PB was unlikely at best. The first climb into the woods from the road was damn hard work. Despite the heavy legs I was determined to make it a solid workout and pushed on in the second third of the route but I came to a grinding halt on the final climb. From there I decided to bide my time, get to the top and then push on again.

I was surprised to finish only a few seconds slower than last time. Even more surprising was that Strava tells me my times for the first two climbs were actually quicker than last time. I lost all the time on that third, steeper climb, which brought me to my knees.

Not sure how my legs are going to feel tomorrow - probably not good. Hopefully I will be able to carry out the plan of three runs in a row. I'm entering the last few weeks before The Comeback so really need to maximise any gains.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stonking Good Run

I got over to the Malverns mid morning and set out with the intention of bettering my last run 26 days ago. The wind was stronger than I expected but other than that conditions were good. The splits, that I had so carefully calculated and written down last night, remained on the piece of paper on the table in my living room - bloody waste of time that was. I could recall just one split, 62 minutes to the Worcestershire Beacon on the way out and the total time 2:24.

I found it hard going and didn't feel I was going very well. Thoughts of it being a disappointing run very quickly started forming in my mind. I kept going but it never felt good. As I headed over Pinnacle Hill, the distance I had to cover and the hills in between I had to climb to reach the Worcestershire Beacon looked impossible to achieve the 62 minute split. I dug in and pushed on, not really believing I could do it.

Impossibly I seemed to eat up the ground between there and Summer Hill - that's the hill before the Worcestershire Beacon. As I started the climb to Summer Hill I realised I could probably make the hour after all - and so I did. Buoyed by the fact I was going alright I pushed on. Despite being out of the comfort zone I was feeling more positive that it was going to be a good run after all.

As I neared the Hereford Beacon on the way back I began to realise I would be well inside the time from last time. I should add that last time's run was 400m longer due to parking in a different car park but I adjusted the target time accordingly. The big question was by how much...

I got back to the car in 2:14. A full ten minutes quicker than last time (adjusted for distance). Route distance today was 22.5km with 1170m ascent. An improvement of 22 seconds per kilometre average pace. Really pleased with that.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Got My Splits All Set...

Going for the full Malverns again tomorrow. I've made a note of split points along the route so I can monitor how I'm going. Then moving into the weekend proper, as this week has been a little light, I'm intending to run all three days. Haven't decided what or where yet for Saturday or Sunday but ideally I'll average an hour a day.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Twenty One

Week 21 begins with a 2000m row, gym bike and ab-crunches. I'm still feeling Saturday's long run in terms on feeling fatigued but my legs aren't sore so I must be getting stronger. Undecided on what session to run tomorrow...

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Think I Might Have Caught The Sun...

It didn't look like I would when I set out from Talybont reservoir at about half past ten into the drizzle. It looked ominously grey with the tops shrouded in mist. I made my mind up to run the anti-clockwise version but missed out the crappy road bit at the start. Other than that it was the full Brecon Beacon's fell race route. I even added the small summit of Twyn Du rather than take the trod around.

Forty five minutes in I was starting to slowly broil but luckily the drizzle finally eased and I could take my waterproof off. It didn't rain again so there wasn't all the faffing of on, off, on, off this week.

I took things steady as I knew I had a long way to go. I felt pretty good up to Cribyn, Pen y Fan, Corn Du, the ridge run and the forest track but began to fade into the second to last climb, up to Pant y Creigiau.

I struggled across the ridge but kept pushing. To be fair, it was mainly a 'fueling' issue... I haven't quite got into the routine of fueling during the run. It's only these last few runs where I've needed to. One gel and and energy drink is probably quite a bit light for a 20 miler mountain run.

By the time I got to Tor y Foel the sun was shining bright but my calfs were feeling it and I was on the edge of cramp. I kept going at it as hard as I could - which was, in all honesty, a bit pitiful by then. As my wise Nepalese Guru would say, even when you're knackered you've got to keep pushing.

The descent back to the reservoir wasn't as quick as it should have been, mainly to stave off full blown cramp. I finished the 31.1k training run with 1500m ascent in 3:56. I was aiming for four hours so I'll take it.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Desperately Resting...

My calf muscles are still goddam sore - I'm definitely doing those hill sprints again! The pain those bad boys have caused must surely result in some mega-sized gains, right?... Anyway, I'm doing some gentle stretching in the hope I'll be ready for tomorrow's planned Brecon Beacon's race route run. Not sure which way to run. Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise... it's a tough decision.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Still Suffering...

The soreness and tightness has moved lower down in my calf muscles but still ache big time. Those hill sprints are a mean mistress - I shall definitely be doing them again. More stretching and 45 minutes on the bike plus complete core work out tonight. I'm hoping to be recovered for Saturday's twenty miler. Planning to run the Brecon Beacons race route - and I will be making doubly sure I have the water bottle packed this time as it's looking like being a warm one...

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Yup, Definitely The Devil's Doing...

The upper bit of my calf muscles, towards the back of my knee - probably not a great description - is tight as heck today. Tonight was a gentle twenty minute session of stretching. Feels less tight so fingers crossed I'm ready for proper training tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Hill Sprints Are The Devil's Doing...

On such a lovely evening as tonight there was no way I could run treadmill intervals indoors. I decided on a set of hill sprints. I've not run a set for ages - and I remember why... (That and the fact I've been a lazy sod for the last few years).

You wouldn't think a set of eight 30s reps of approximately 145 metres could hurt so much. My legs were almost giving way from under me towards the end of the last two reps. You might wonder at a mere 240s of effort but the book said not to over do-it when starting out. Good session. Finished off with a 30 minute warm down on the bike.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Change Of Plan

The outside of my left leg was feeling sore, going down to the knee. It almost felt like the time when I had a little bit of trouble with my iliotibial band. I wasn't taking any chances so resorted to the gym bike again. Not ideal but more ideal than getting proper injured. I ain't getting any younger and I am being reasonably aggressive ramping up the hill run mileage. After the hour on the bike my leg felt fine so I think I was just being over cautious.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The BIG Question....

Where to run tomorrow? I think the most likely candidate is a 10 miler in the forest. I've some recycling to, er, recycle so if I'm driving over that way I may as well park up and run there I guess.

My quads are a bit sore today but all my other bits feel okay - oh, er matron. Feel slightly fatigued so I rested with an hour on the bike as I finished reading the Gemini Effect and topped off with some core work. All that's left to do is pick out my next book to read - and you can bet your life it won't be anything highbrow... 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Almost Felt The Power...

That was by far my best training run to date. I was expecting close to 4 hours. What I got was 3 hours 32 minutes for the 27.5km Black Mountains race route with 1700m of ascent. I will admit that I decided to run it in reverse because I'm not sure I ever have - and I felt the run in, on tired legs would be easier. I think it's probably a slightly easier run anti-clockwise but still, 3 hours 30 in a training run.

Anyway, I headed over mid morning - nothings gets in the way of a lie in - except Squeaker jumping on the bed right in front of your face and, well, squeaking at 6am. One was not amused.

The weather looked fab but in the far distance I could espy some darker, ominous looking cloud. The kind of cloud that releases the wet stuff. The forecast said it would be rolling in from the west so I was prepared.

I set off steadily with the aim of getting around just on the right side of 4 hours. My plan was to work hard but not kill myself. To push myself to run as much of the sections the old me would have run - that's not old as in age now, old as in a long time ago in a galax... er, back when I was 'good' at running.

I ran most of the way to Crug Mawr apart the steeper climbs and felt pretty good. I didn't really go for it on the descent as I wanted to be able to work the harder sections. The climb to Bal Mawr went slightly awry directionally but not overly so and then I had a really good ridge run to Chwarel y Fan.

I wasn't looking forward to the ascent of Pen y Gadir Fawr. It's a long old slog and as I headed up the dark clouds finally caught up to me and it started to snow so I stopped to put on my jacket as it was getting cold. I finally got over the top and then from there, with more than half the distance covered and the longer climbs out the way I started to relax a little and enjoy it.

As I dropped down into the valley, the snow stopped and I started to overheat so I had to stop to take the jacket off. Down and back up the other side of the valley in short order I suddenly realised I was going to round in well under 4 hours. Then as I headed to across to Pen Allt-mawr the dark clouds swelled again, releasing hail stones this time so - you guessed it- I had to stop again to the put the jacket back on.

From Pen Allt-mawr I pootled across to Pen Cerrig-calch. After a few minutes the hail died off and I started to get hot again but this time I couldn't be arsed to stop. By the time I got over PCC I was starting to cramp up a little and feel slightly thirsty - having left my prepared bottle of water back in my kitchen - doh. I finally made it back to the car and felt like I'd been boiled in the bag.

Really pleased with how I ran. Longest run with most ascent so far. I'm coming back....

Friday, April 29, 2016

Route Planned...

Saturday looks like being the best day of the weekend so it'll be off to the Mountains I go. It's turned into a bit of a rest week so far. I did 45 minutes on the bike yesterday but took it easy. I've been feeling a little jaded but I feel fresher now. Hopefully that will convert to a good run tomorrow. I've chosen the Black Mountains race route. It's not quite the full eighteen but it isn't far off. Should be good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Pegs Are Still Feeling Heavy...

So I'm pulling another rest day, with just thirty minutes on the bike. And I think I might need the recovery as the weekend is looking like being pants. With an eighteen miler in the schedule I think I'm going to need all the strength I can muster. Just need to work out where to run...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Feeling Tired...

I took a rest yesterday. My legs were - and still are - feeling tired. My session tonight wasn't exactly full on but I couldn't do nothing two days in a row. I pulled a steady 2000m row but my legs didn't have any power, 7:51. I then finished with 30 minutes on the bike and some core work. Hopefully I will be feeling more rested and energised tomorrow...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marking Our Territory...

Or in this case the course for this morning's Offa's Orra multi-terrain race. It was an early start for a Sunday. Not sure the last time I was up at 6am on a Sunday.

Anyway, we set out from the race HQ at just gone seven and headed out to mark the course. I donned my cape and became Flour Man with my super power of drawing arrows on the ground out of - yes you guessed it - flour. Other members of the team for this important mission where Signage Girl with the power to carry lots and lots of signs and her trusty sidekick Signage Boy with the power to stick aforementioned signs in and onto almost anything; shrubbery, posts, gates, fences. You name it, he stuck a sign on it. The final member of the squad - it's changed from a team to squad because it sounds cooler - was Bamboo Cane Man with the power to transform garden canes into narrow red and white flags and stick 'em in the ground. I don't think they'll be making it into a film...

In total it took just under 4 hours to complete the course and we covered 22km with 600m of ascent. Although not exactly a full on run I feel surprisingly tired now but then I have clocked up 60km this week which far exceeds previous weekly totals. And that ends week 18 of The Comeback.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Leaden Legs..

I set out with the intention of running about 15km but the reality didn't quite work out that way. My legs just felt so unbelievable heavy. Anyway, I continued on and headed up to May Hill. I really struggled on the climb - and that was after the impromptu 20s pit stop to check that the old lady who got pulled over by her dog as I plodded past was okay. I felt bad but it wasn't really my fault her dog lunged towards me.

When I reached the top I was feeling so sluggish that I decided to switch from the intended route and followed my normal 9km training loop to see just how slow I was going. I don't want to get myself injured running tired and there are plenty more training days left.

Surprisingly, I was a minute inside my previous best and I got a CR on the final, short climb. Feel knackered now but at least it's another run done.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Taking It Easy

I felt wiped out last night after yesterday's battle on the mountain. Feeling more with it today but still took a rest day so it was just an hour on the bike. The plan for tomorrow is reasonably flat 15 or 16 km local or in the Forest - which isn't exactly un-local. Sunday I'll be helping marking the course of Offa's Orra if required, the detail of which I will sort out tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Out Across The Expanse

I headed over to the mountains after the morning rush hour and arrived at the Cray Reservoir by about 10:45. The weather looked okay. It didn't feel too cold. There was quite a lot of cloud but it was well above the tops. All in all not too bad - I thought at first.

So I set off, retracing the route of many a South Wales Traverse recce. My legs felt pretty good and it felt like I was going okay. As I hit the Fan Hir ridge I realised how much the wind had picked up - but it was on my back so didn't trouble me - at least not at that point.

The run across The Expanse - as I like to call it - on a fairly direct line towards Garreg Las was harder going than I remember. Some sod has been out there planting extra tussocks and I seemed to have the uncanny knack of finding every boggy bit going.

By the time I reached the slopes of Garreg Las I decided I was going to have to retreat from my original plan of looping around it and just headed for the summit. I was feeling knackered and I wasn't even half way!

As I hit the summit I suddenly realised I'd made a good choice on the course shortening front. As I turned into the wind to start the return leg it was like running into a wall of force. I reckon the gusts were more than the forecast 40mph - but then I guess 40mph is pretty fast anyway.

From there it became another Traverse recce as I hit Waun Lefrith and Picws Du but boy was I suffering. On the very tops I was hardly moving forward the wind was so strong but it's not about how hard you can run, it's about hard the wind can hit you and you keep on moving forward - and I was still moving forward - slowly.

One big gust did manage to take me down though! Admittedly I got slightly off balance running in a rutted track but the gust meant I had no chance of recovery. It was soft grass so no damage done but I had to admit a second defeat. I was mindful of making it back to the car so decided to cut down off the ridge and followed the trod under the summit of Fan Brycheiniog around to Llyn y Fan Fawr. From there I retraced my steps back to the car.

In total I covered 24.5km with 1480m ascent in 3:22. Not a spectacular time but by god am I ever knackered now. The boggy bits and tussocks of the expanse and the very strong winds took their toll and let's not forget the almost 5,000ft of ascent in old money. That's my longest run with the most climb so it's not all bad.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

And The Weekend Begins...

I've decided to stay around here the next couple of days. I was initially planning to head to Snowdonia but I just haven't got myself organised. So local-ish it is and I've decided to head to the far west of the Black Mountains and my first run of the year 'over that way'... That area is definitely my favourite part of the mountains. I just love the wildness and the Fan Brycheiniog ridge offers brilliant views.

The forecast looks good - read, there's only a small chance of rain. I have a route in mind, see below (if viewing the blog). It's slightly ambitious at this stage of The Comeback, weighing in at around the 17 mile mark and 4,500ft of ascent but you don't make cheese without mashing some curd - unless it's vegan cheese, of course, in which case you do.

As the route is a bit ambitious I decided a rest day was in order today. If I do run out of steam it won't be like haven't got all day to make it home. I'll see what it's store Friday once I get tomorrow out of the way...

Tomorrow's Fan Brycheiniog loop; 17 miles and 4,500ft ascent

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Thought My Legs Had Recovered...

They hadn't. It was a slightly disappointing speed session tonight. I started off with an easy ten minute warm up before cracking on with the session. It was meant to be 2 minute reps at 3:45 pace but my left calf was on the cusp of cramp during every rep within 30s so it ended up being 8 x 1min reps off 1min recovery but at least I maintained the 3:45 pace. I finished off with the bike and core.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

It Burns...

My legs didn't have it today. I got the burn before my heart rate maxed. I wasn't expecting my legs to feel tired so that was surprise but I'm just glad my back was better and I was able to get out there. I pushed things as hard as I could and even when I was reduced to a walk on the steeper sections I still pushed hard and maintained the burn. By the end my calf muscles were just beginning to feel like they might cramp up but they didn't. I think I might be aching tomorrow...

So to the run itself. I headed over to Hollybush for about 10am and got straight on it. It was popular today - probably something to do with the fact that the sun was out. It was chillier than it looked though but still nice and I'm not complaining. In fact it was so popular the little car park was full. Luckily there's a lay-by 100m down the road that people seem to ignore so I parked there instead.

The views from the top were great. I could see across to the west Black Mountains. The distinctive Sugarloaf clearly visible as was Lord Hereford's Knob - no, not saying anything. As planned, I traversed - I'd say 'ran' but that would be a lying - all the way to the Worcestershire Beacon and beyond. I decided to 'run' up North and Table hills rather than loop round them to boost the ascent figures. Then it was back up to the Worcestershire Beacon and the return. I completed the 22.9km with 1180m ascent (14.3mi / 3875ft) in 2hr 25mins. I'm pleased with that.

Anyway, after yesterday's misfire, it was good to bring down the curtain on week 17 of The Comeback with the hilly 14 miler. Up next weekend is a 16 miler...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Back Ache

I didn't run. My back was playing up. I was hunched uncomfortably for hours at work on Friday out on site. Didn't think too much about it other than having a bit of an ache between the shoulders. I thought about it this morning. Really stiff and aching - the back, the back was stiff and aching. Feels much better this evening so going to set the alarm clock and try take two tomorrow - ooh, nice, an alliteration. Managed a pretty rubbish bike session earlier but I was able sit with my back straight and I think that helped ease away the tension.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Slight Change Of Plans

I've decided, in light of the iffy looking forecast, to head to the Malverns tomorrow instead of the Black Mountains. I'm going to run the full out and back, including the loop of North and Table hills.

It will be about fifteen miles and 4000ft of ascent - or, since I've mostly been quoting things in metric - 24km/1200m. They key difference to heading west, is that it'll all be at a lower altitude and so not quite so exposed to the potential bad weather.

Sunday looks to be better but I'd rather get the long run done Saturday and then do a local loop in the sunshine... [that's sarcasm not optimism - I don't do optimism as you all know, bah humbug, grrrrh]

My legs are feeling it a little from yesterday, and wanting a good run tomorrow, I put in 45 minutes on the bike - five of it off the clock since I forgot to start said clock. Finished off with a core workout.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nailed The Flaxley Run

I went for another time trial in Flaxley Wood this morning - and absolutely nailed it. Clocked up two Strava CRs and a PB for the entire run. Pleased with that. I completed the 8.9km route (anti-clockwise version) with 240m ascent in 42:44. That's 73s quicker than last time and the fastest I've ever run it.

I pushed hard throughout but perhaps eased off a little on the main climb to conserve a bit for a strong, fast finish - suffice to say the CRs weren't on that section... I'm also closing in on the other two registered segments in the route. Soon I shall own Flaxley wood...

I was going to run a treadmill session yesterday but remembering I was off work today I decided to run the time trial instead as nothing gauges how you're running quite like, well, er, running.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Row Reps

Good training tonight. I felt pretty recovered and hit seven strong 1:51s minute reps. Finished with 30 minutes on the bike. All being well it'll be a speed session tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Seventeenth Begins...

With a rest day. So just thirty minutes on the bike and a bit of core work tonight. My legs don't actually feel too bad. My quads feel pretty much fully recovered but both my calf muscles are feeling a bit tight. I decided to take it easy and be ready for a proper session.

I've started to give some thought towards next Saturday's run, a 14 miler. If the forecast is poor then I'll probably keep to the east Black Mountains. Maybe starting from Llanthony. If it looks like being decent weather then I may well head to the far West and my favourite part of the mountains. We'll see...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Slow Gallop

My legs felt okay this morning so I decided to go 'run' the Galoppen orienteering over at Cranham. I wasn't expecting much because although my legs didn't ache they felt far from fresh. After the first few controls I was beginning to regret my decision. The terrain was rough in more places than I'd have liked, brashings a plenty and I just didn't have the spring in my stride to cross that at any sort of pace. It felt like I was working hard so it was probably worth doing it on the grounds of getting in another training session.

Anyway, back to the detail. I decided to 'run' the brown course at 8.8km and 27 controls. I set off steady and got the first few controls out of the way pretty accurately. After that it started to go slightly awry. I didn't really make any big mistakes it was just that the fatigue set in and I really struggled to plan the route and move at the same time - a big problem for an intrepid orienteer. My brain just didn't work today. On the way to control 15 I found myself going in one hell of a strange direction and had to stop and work out what the hell was going on. I got myself back on route thankfully.

By control 18 I was beginning to get sense of humour failure. The brashings were becoming overwhelmingly annoying. Thankfully there was a bit of respite for a few controls before finally reaching the finish in a stunning 1 hour and 51 minutes!!!

The stats say I ran 11.4km with 485m of ascent and the results say I wasn't last... I completed today's training with half an hour on the bike before retiring to the sofa...

Saturday, April 09, 2016

12 Today's Number...

I didn't quite make the early start I had planned. I did eventually shed the duvet and get up though - albeit just gone half nine - back of the net. It took me an hour or so to get myself ready aka gather my kit together, print the route map and consume a freshly brewed coffee.

Having dillied and dallied I eventually arrived at the lay-by on A479 by midday. The sky looked brighter than what I'd left. In fact it didn't rain at all while I was out on the mountain - there were a few flakes of snow but no rain. Oh, and there was a biting cold wind but I had enough layers so it wasn't a problem.

I set off up to Pen Cerrig-calch following the South Wales Traverse route. It follows the road and then good paths to begin with before bearing for the summit and heading off the track. I couldn't be arsed with the compass and ended up hitting the ridge 50m east of the trig. I then followed the normal top ridge round to Pen Allt-mawr - stopping to put my waterproof on to keep out the biting cold.

I then completely took my eye off the ball and massively overshot my intended route down into the valley. Having realised I was almost to Pen Twyn Glas, I headed off piste over the rough, marshy, tufty ground and circled back round and down to eventually pick up the path.

Then I followed the track south and east around the bottom of Pen Cerrig-calch before once again heading back to said summit. From there I retraced my footsteps down to the car to clock up 19.5km with 1188m of ascent. My longest run so far with the most ascent. Pleased with that.

I'm thinking, depending on how my legs feel, I might go for a gallop tomorrow at the Galoppen orienteering...

Friday, April 08, 2016

Looks Like It's Going To Be Damp Out There Tomorrow

But I'm still going and I'm going for the route planned earlier in the week. I'm still feeling a bit tired but I only did half an hour on the bike and the core workout so should manage the 12 miler tomorrow. A quick look back the week so far sees it as being a light one but I really have been feeling tired. Not sure why. I don't feel unwell. In fact, quite the opposite. I'm not too concerned.

I've set myself goal of building towards a 20 miler in the mountains by mid-may while keeping on with the speed work. Soon I will have to give real thought to selecting The Comeback race...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Making It An Easier Week

I want to have a good solid run Saturday so I'm not pushing it too much this week. My legs still don't feel fresh so I stuck with a solid hour on the bike and left it at that.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Not Quite The Plan..

As soon as I started on the treadmill my left calf muscle was tight. I nudged the pace up slowly to see if it would ease but it didn't. I took the speed intervals off the table. Instead I just gradually inched the speed up to 4:00 pace and twenty minutes and called it a day. My right hamstring is feeling a bit sore now as well after the thirty minute session on the bike. I finished with the core workout.

Anyway, I've fleshed out a possible route for Saturday. It's just under twelve miles and about 1100m ascent. Oh, and it's a clockwise route...

Monday, April 04, 2016

Week XVI Begins...

With a 2000m row and bike session. My quads are more achy today than yesterday as oft happens so my time of 7:48.2 wasn't too bad in light of that. My quads were fair burning in the home straight. The bike session to finish was okay too.

I'm starting to cast my mind to the weekend's run. At the moment I'm thinking about a 'run' up to Pen Cerrig-calch from Glen Usk and across the top north-ish before heading down the valley and back over the top for a of target 12 miles.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

And That's Fifteen

Fifteen weeks of training complete. It ended with a rest day and just 45 minutes on the bike as my quads and hams are sore. Only a little sore though so I should be ready for action tomorrow.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

I Really Enjoyed That

As I drove across to Abergavenny, the Blorenge and Sugar Loaf were shrouded in low cloud. Oh well, I thought, I'm still doing it. By the time I got to the leisure centre the cloud had lifted and there was a glimmer of hope that the sun might make an appearance... There was also a glut of bicyclists filling the car park - I surmised that there must have been an event going down - just call me Sherlock.

Anyway, I donned my fell shoes and headed out just gone twelve. The plan - forsooth there was one - was to take it relativity hard all the way to Sugar Loaf which, from the leisure centre, is pretty much a 5k climb with 510m ascent, of varying steepness and only the merest hint of flat. It felt hard work and my heart rate was up at 170+ but it actually felt like I was going quite well - first time in a long while and the sun came out!

The second part of the plan was to keep running the Llanbedr to Blaenavon fell route in reverse until I clocked up enough outbound distance so that by the time I got back to Abergavenny leisure centre I would have covered about the same distance as if I'd run from the race start point - are you with me?

Both the race route as it reaches Abergavenny and my route today had almost identical overall ascent (880m), similar shaped climbs and 15.8km distance. Today's run was designed so as to be able to compare today's run against my times to reach Abergavenny in races past - are you still with me? I should add the plan, on the inbound section, was to try and keep up - or surpass - the racers. Which I did for the most part, catching five or six. Only the half man, half mountain goat that is the Lawsonator significantly whooped me on the climb to Sugar Loaf. The man is an unstoppable beast once he hits the mountain...

My Strava stats for today hold up against those from a bygone age (2012).... I achieved a VAM of 850 on a section of the first ascent - whatever the hell that is, but it's the highest I've recorded during the training so far. My time for the run was 1hr42 (which includes a bit of stopping to chat with a few people) holds up well against 2012s 1hr37 for the similar distance etc..

Finally, I must admit that there would have been no way I could have run the race distance of 25km today as I was tired in the last few kilometres. The comparisons, therefore, aren't entirely fair but they hint at improvement. So there is still work to do but I do feel somewhat buoyed by today's run - and let's not forget I still have two more months of training before The Comeback...

Oh, and I finished with 35 minutes on the exercise bike when I got home.

Friday, April 01, 2016

So I Rested..

No training tonight. I want to be rested for my return to the mountain tomorrow - even if it is just training. I want to see how I fare climbing - that's as in running up hill not climbing as in rock climbing. It'll be good to see where I am with regards to the comeback. I feel quite excited - how weird is that?...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

More Regular Ol' Training

A twenty five minute treadmill session. It was a bit random but generally longer intervals at 4:00min pace followed by forty five on the bike and some ab-crunches and push-ups. The forecast for the weekend isn't looking great. Looks like being another wet one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Regular Ol' Training Tonight

Some row intervals and a bike session. Felt pretty good.

So anyway, it is time. Time to head back to the mountain proper. I'm going to head over to Sugar Loaf on Saturday and run a sort of out and back along the Llanbed to Blaenafon route and spectate a bit of the race as it goes by. Should be about ten miles and 800m ascent. After that I'm aiming to get to the mountains once a week and I'm pencilling in a road trip to Snowdonia at the end of April. It will be my first trip there for about a year I'd guess.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Gilwern Without The Grunt

Week fifteen began with another run as sweeper. The Gilwern Grunt this time. A seven and a half mile proper off road race - except the kilometre in the middle that was, well, on the road. Apart from that it was all off road. Conditions were surprisingly good, the storm having mostly blown through before the start. It was cold and blowy but dry.

I felt surprisingly tired afterwards - as attested to by the fact that, popping into the supermarket on the way home, I was stood in the checkout queue with Matthew L directly in front at the self-serve - and I didn't even register it was him! I was looking right at him as well - senility is kicking in. I got home safely despite that and finished the day's training with half an hour on the bike and the core work out.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The End Of Week 14

Just a rest day today. So an easy hour on the bike. Up tomorrow is sweeping at the Gilwen Grunt - I'll be packing my storm force oilskins for protection against the approaching storm...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Found The Gap In the Rain

So I got lucky with the weather, managing to pick a gap in the rain although it was blowing a right gale. It all felt a bit laboured at first but I was determined to improve on my run from two weeks ago. I worked hard on the climbs, the first of which I managed a ten to fifteen seconds improvement. The final section, off the road, to the top of May Hill was a real struggle though. Right into the wind and possibly for the first time ever the clag was down with visibility at about 100m. Yes, low visibility on the May Hill. At points I felt I was running on the spot!

Anyway, I finally got over May Hill eventually and into the downhill section. It felt nice to stretch the legs but it was still surprisingly hard work into the strong wind. I also managed around a ten second improvement on the final climb to Hobbs Quarry so on that front the run was a success. Interestingly despite the improvements the overall run was a few seconds slower overall which was basically down to the strong winds and also the slippery, stony path down from Hobbs Quarry where I nearly came a cropper.

Going to rest tomorrow because I feel my legs need it...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Felt Okay Today

...until I started rowing. My legs felt good. No aches or pains but the moment I pulled the first stroke on the rower the burn in my quads hit. Guess I needed those three recovery days after all. Despite that I did my best for 7:49. Not a very fast 2000m but the session hurt so that's good enough for me.

I finished with 45 minutes on the bike. Aiming for an easy local run tomorrow. Undecided on Sunday before sweeping the Gilwern Grunt Monday - most likely in the rain, grrrrhhh.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Could Run All Of The Hills Some Of The Way....

and some of the hills all of the way but couldn't quite manage all of the hill all of the way. I'd have to say though, in reality, it was most of the hills all of the way. There's no way, back in December, I could have run today's session. I'm pleased.

I focused on making it to the tops what ever the speed so long as I was 'running' - using the loosest definitions of running. Towards the far point of the route my heart rate hit 175 midway on one of the climbs but I just kept going.

A good solid 10 miles with 750m ascent in horrible, driving rain. I even managed a couple of Strava PRs and a half dozen 2nds to a run from waaaay back in 2012 when I was half decent. That was by far my hardest run so far and the Garmin agrees, telling me I have to rest for 3 days - that's two more days than it's told me before. I won't be taking that advice... Anyway, I finished with 30 mins on the bike and some ab-crunches.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Change Of Plans...

I've decided to change the schedule. Tomorrow I'm heading back to the mountains. Ahead of the schedule but I feel ready... Okay, hands up, I'm intending to head to the Malvern Hills. Not exactly mountains but still a bit uppy downy and certainly enough for me at the moment. Plus it's been ages since I last ran there.

The plan is ten miles. That should take me from Hollybush to Upper Wyche and back and about 2500ft ascent. That should be plenty for now... I might see a little rain but rain never hurt anyone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Poor Start To Week 14...

My legs were too sore to do anything yesterday. Much better today but still not up to much. I tried the rower but after a minute I knew it wasn't meant to be so stopped. The bike session was better so I put in a hour before a core session. I reckon the pegs will be okay tomorrow so it should be business as usual...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Too Much Marching...

The backs of my knees are killing. I think it's due to over-extending my stride yesterday - or something like that. I did some gentle stretching first thing and that definitely helped. This afternoon I put in 45 minutes of high resistance, lowish cadence - I don't know what I'm talking about - gym bike. Finished off with some ab-crunches. Not sure what I'm going to be capable of tomorrow so I'll just take it as it comes. Week thirteen of The Comeback is complete...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Aches In Other Places

I have aches in my legs in areas that don't normally ache after a longish plod. I swept the 20/20 Fission this morning. I knew what I was in for when I signed up. I knew it would be slooooow. It was so slow that I actually couldn't maintain running. I ended up walking much of it and then running to catch back up. The walking was more sort of marching and I think that's why I have aches in the different places. Still the distance was almost three times more than I've traversed for five months...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sweep But No Sooty....

I'm all set to sweep at the 20/20 Fission tomorrow. I've got my kit packed. I feel rested. The weather looks okay if a little on the chilly side. I'm looking forward to the twenty miles. The only downside is early-ish start for a Saturday...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Decided On Rest

My lower legs feel a bit achy so I decided that rest would be the order of the day for the rest of the week - not sure that even makes sense... I have been going at it pretty hard for the last twelve and a half weeks after not going at it for about five years. Anyway, I'll probably do some core work tomorrow but other than that I'm resting my legs ahead of Saturday.

The plan, moving forward, now that I've entered the Butcombe Trail Ultra - why oh why oh why did I do that? - is to make my return to the mountain on the weekend of 2nd/3rd April. Not sure which bit of the mountains but probably somewhere close to home to acclimatise - it's been a while. Probably be Sugar Loaf. Might even catch a bit of the Llanbedr to Blaenavon race while I'm there if I go Saturday...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Feeling A Bit Jaded

Wasn't the best set of ten 1 minute row intervals but I completed the session despite feeling jaded. My quads burnt from the off. I felt a moment of doubt hit me midway through but I vanquished the doubt to finish. Then up was a very easy thirty minutes on the bike.

Not quite sure what to do for the rest of the week. I'm thinking I might take a few days off as I am sweeping the 20/20 Fission road race on Saturday. It obviously won't be a quick 'run' but it will be the longest for some time so I think I could do with fresh legs. Will definitely be good training though and I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Not So Unlucky 13...

Yes, week thirteen of the comeback begins.. with a rest day - aka 45 minutes on the bike. I'm still feeling good and I was 17th of 34 at the orienteering yesterday. Top 50% from a strong field. I'll definitely take that.

So anyway I think I might have found a possible target race, The Butcombe Trail Ultra. It's in September and covers 47 miles. Nowhere near the 3600m ascent of the Mourne Skyline but it is quite a bit more distance. It's also much closer to home travel wise. I feel this could be the event to prepare myself for. I am due to complete the comeback in June. That will give me 8 weeks to ramp the mileage towards an Ultra. I reckon it's doable but perhaps a tad over ambitious so I'm not going to commit at this very early stage.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I Enjoyed That!

My first competitive event for about five months - not a race though - and I really enjoyed it. The sun shone, the birds chirped and the compass needle pointed north. What can be better than a spot of orienteering in the Forest on a day like today?

I didn't put any pressure on myself. I set my expectations low to avoid disappointment and headed out to enjoy it. My initial target was not to cock up the first few controls. If I could get those out the way without too many errors then I felt I would go okay.

Control one was fine, straight on it, if a little too cautiously. I could feel it going Pete Tong at control two - that was before I looked to my right and found myself staring straight at the control - doh. Three round to five were good before a slight error at six but without it costing me too much time. From there, despite almost heading from fourteen to nineteen, I really only lost time on fifteen but fortunately not too much - and it could have been worse if I'd have continued to nineteen from fourteen because it would have been game over... I should add control fourteen was used three times, it was also nine and eighteen.

I completed the course (7.8km) in 73 minutes. I'm pleased with that. It's much better than my expectation. Best of all, I felt pretty strong. I was able to run the ascents, albeit slowly, where last year I would have walked. I had a spring in my step and covered the rough ground well rather than struggle across like an old man.

I finished today's training with half an hour on the bike to wind down. Oh, and I should add, I was 3rd of 7 at the point I downloaded my dibber - ooh, er matron - so I am guaranteed not last place!! Also bare in mind, being the Compass Sport Qualifier, there will be a higher than normal percentage of good orienteers out there so I will be interested to see what my final position is...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Phase One Complete

I got out for the planned recovery run - and boy did I need the recovery. My legs were heavy, leading to a rubbish time but it's not about the time. It's about the run and I did it. I headed up and over May Hill. Mostly on road except for the May Hill bit obviously. In all I ran just over 9km. I didn't follow that up with the bike as I want to be fresh legged for tomorrow's orienteering.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Speed Down, Duration Up

Tonight's session, yes forsooth as promised, was the speed intervals on the treadmill. I dropped back to 3:45 pace but out to three minute reps off a 90s recovery with an extra rep from a fortnight ago. That made it 21 minutes of effort. The recovery was spot on, getting back towards 120bpm every time but without much room for leeway. Faster and shorter again next week. I finished with forty five minutes on the bike.

The plan for the weekend still stands at a steady run tomorrow followed by the orienteering Sunday - but it's definitely not a race. Got it? It's not a race, just a competitive amble through the undergrowth of the Forest...

Thursday, March 10, 2016


I ummed. I ahhed and in the end I plumped  for the 2000m row instead of treadmill session. I didn't feel fully empowered for the speed session so I decided to defer until tomorrow. So it was bike, row, bike tonight - with some ab-crunches thrown in for good measure. Two thirty minute bike sessions with a reasonable 2k row in between.

The plan moving forward is run the intervals tomorrow, a steady Flaxley loop Saturday and then Compass Sport orienteering Sunday.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Abort Abort...

I was meant to pull a row session tonight but after a few strokes - sssh, no, stop it - I got twinge from my shoulder. Not an ow, that's really painful got to stop, more an ooch - not sure what that's meant to be - I can't really pull hard - think that might qualify for another sssh, no, stop it. I decided to abort. If I'm honest my legs didn't feel too powerful either.

Instead I decided to convert to a pseudo rest day with just 45 minutes on the bike. I was obviously off the money tonight because I forgot to start my watch till I was ten+ minutes in. I finished off with a solid core workout which now consists; 4x31 sit-ups, 2x9 pull-ups, 2x27 push-ups and 2x15 tricep dips. Interestingly I thought I might not manage the push-ups but they weren't a problem.