Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ah, the old Christmas run

It was a reduced field from previous years but the old gang got out on the road again. If I was serious about the race tomorrow I wouldn't have run today but it's only a bit of fun for me and it was good to be running with the people that I first started running with - namely Clive and Graham. We've only run a few times during the last year or two and today was nice. The frosty wind made moan - but on we ran on regardless.

We were out for about 35 minutes up over Dundry and although I wasn't pushing hard I can feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes - I even feel it in my legs a bit. I'm slightly worried about my left ankle which started playing up after last night's session and I can feel a slight pain there again today - sod it, I'm still racing tomorrow. I didn't get where I am today by being put off by a few niggles.

Finally, I wish you merriment and happiness for the coming year. Long may you all continue to run with the wind on your back...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the fold

I ran with Mike D's training group for the first time in, oh, I don't know, over a year? To be honest, I'm not really sure. One thing I am sure of, however, - I'm a damn sight slower than I was the last time I did train with them. There were a few friendly faces, Phil P and Sean to mention two.

We ran up and down the Clifton Prom in three different loops, large - 1.5km, medium - just over 1km and short - 650m. Now, in the past I've run the large in just over 6 minutes, the medium in just over 4 minutes and the short in about two and a half minutes - I should add at this point, that the loops are far from flat - you run up a pretty steady climb during all three and the large has a somewhat steeper bit towards the end.

Tonight we ran three large, two medium and two short and apart from the first one I was on my lonesome - on account of being shit. Even so, I stuck to the task in hand - you don't get fit without cracking a few nuts. I ran my last two reps, that's the short ones in case you've become confused - I had by that point, after everyone else had finished, warmed down and gone home - only kidding, they'd stayed behind to chat.

My splits were 6:20, 6:22 and 6:30 followed by 4:30 and 4:32 and finished off - and I nearly was - with 2:40 and 2:35. Now I know I've been quicker but it's a start. I can build and after all, it was close to five miles of (relative) fast running - which is way more than I've done in eons.

Sean ran well. I think it helped him to be part of a larger, quicker group. He had people to chase instead of being the lead man, as is normally the case.

Anyway, there isn't any track tomorrow on account of the end of the world - [coughs] I mean, the end of the year - so I hope to head out from work at lunch for a steady - and I do mean steady - half hour from work with Clive T and Graham. Then there's the race on Thursday, some 5 mile effort in Gloucestershire and I think Phil P might be giving it a go there - he's much faster than me in case you were wondering and a real contender.

So that's your lot for tonight. Tootle pip.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I had the luck

and managed to get out for an hour and fifteen of running. I was honoured to be given the very important job of tiring Brown Dog - I failed. We ran through Flaxley Woods and covered about 8 miles and 1,500 feet of ascent which is surprising as although there are parts where you can feel you're running up hill it certainly doesn't seem like the run covers that much ascent. The GPS (and maps) can't lie so fifteen hundred feet it is, captain.

So, it is with great reluctance, that I must return back to the reality of work tomorrow. I'm still not sure what training I'll be doing tomorrow but I'm going to try for the Prom session on Tuesday. Then I'll need a day of rest on Wednesday to prepare for a 5 mile race on New Year's day.

At least for now, the new training leaf continues...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Over the threshold

We got back this afternoon and crossed the threshold - that's the narrow block of wood in the doorway to stop, or 'hold' the thresh from escaping out into the street, the thresh being the straw that we scatter on the floor - although we stopped using thresh in the late 1700's. What am I on?

I feel a bit tired but it's been a brilliant week. Have to say I'm not looking forward to going back to work on Monday but at least I have tomorrow to prepare myself.

I've not managed any training today but with some luck I will get out for a run tomorrow. I'm also intending to get to the Bristol and West training on the Clifton Prom on Tuesday. Not sure if big Rick is doing anything on Monday but I would be up for that if he is.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Walky walky

We decided to miss the race. My legs weren't great so we went for a walk instead. We were bathed in brilliant sunshine for the first time this week. The dogs - faker, whiny and the super dog - all came along too.

We headed down through the old ghost slate mines, haunted by the ancient miners long since forgotten - ok, so that's all made up. We ended up in Llanberis and a visit to the pie shop - they have them here too, not just in Bristol. The weather really was cracking - did I mention that already?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

At last a good run

So Christmas has finally rolled into town. Helen and I headed to the hills in the son of the beast with Brown Dog in tow.

It was our longest run of the honeymoon but for the first time I felt OK. We set off up Pen yr Ole Wen - a right leg burner from the start. We soon hit a bit of a climby section and for a moment, just a moment, Brown Dog faultered - but she made it up after a few tries - just like me she doesn't give up.

Eventually we made the summit before heading down the wrong path for over 200m of descent which we then had to re-ascend before taking the north path along the ridge around the tops. It was runnable - and we ran.

I really enjoyed it. What a way to spend Christmas. Simply ace. The views, however, were bloody rubbish. Low cloud meant we could see sod all. Two and a half hours after we started we made it back to the van.

I've put in more hours this week than in any other single week this year but I'm feeling better for it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Birthday run up Snowdon

Another Birthday, another year of wisdom acquired - maybe not. It certainly hasn't been a run of the mill one. I've become dead slow at running - but I'm on it, I'll soon be quicker. Started a new job, moved home and got things together with the best gal in the world - and best of all, ended up marrying her - although she'll hate all this soppy s*#t - moving on.

As a birthday treat we ran the classic Snowdon horseshoe - my legs are showing signs of distress and we still have a few more runs planned, and another race on boxing day. By the end of the week we'll have clocked more than a few feet of ascent. I'm a bit sad to miss Clevedon this year - but this is better and I'd never swap.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my Birthday Christmas pud - one of the advantages of a birthday so close to Christmas. As my Nepalese guru says, 'Never turn down the opportunity for Christmas pud'.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Recovery run...

Not. We went for a medium length run in the mountains. It really wasn't much more than 5 or 6 miles but took us up beyond the 1000 metre mark - not ideal for a recovery run and I suffered through lack of training - but then again this is my honeymoon training boot camp - and I hope to come back a faster fell runner - if I survive.

Helen, my new wife - not that I have any others, soundly beat me back to the car park. My legs were gone.

I hit the ripe old age of 37 tomorrow but sadly, there is no rest for the wicked as we'll be heading back into the mountains and a far longer run than today - I hope I survive...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ringing in the changes

We're up in North Wales for the week and arrived last night. Mobile signal isn't great so the blogging is not going to be extensive.

Anyway, we ran Eryri Harriers' Christmas fun run - read, no prizes just an extensive raffle for charity. Being a fun run we took it easy - did we f$#&. I legged it from the gun but eventually dropped out of the top ten to finish 11th or 12th. Helen ran ace and finished 6th overall and a long way clear of the second woman.

Although only 5.5 miles I was pretty knackered come the end and it was good training of which there is much more to come through out the week - do you know, it's pretty hilly up here in Snowdonia.

Oh, and we won the special Eryri prize on account of being on our - of a sort.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oops I didn't do it again

Looks like I failed again. Today's been just too topsy turvy. I had a good commute into work - where has all the traffic gone? - shouldn't have said that, should I? And work was also good but being a specy - I can't be without my goggles for too long. The contacts are fine but I can't wear them in all the time and being a slightly absent minded, mad professor - ok, I lied about the professor bit, but not the mad part, honest guvnor, I left them pescy specs at the town house, doh. Had to go pick them up during lunch which scuppered my chance at a run. And tonight? Well, we're off out so you'll just have to call me Mr Potato.  

Thought for the day: While the rain comes down why not take the time to turn those potatos into chips.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back to the bike

I managed a bit more training tonight. A lowly 45 minutes on the exercise bike. I shall try for another run tomorrow lunchtime on the - you guessed it - the Dundry route. I won't have much more time to spare what with H's office do in the evening. It will be then or never. Well, never with regard to Friday not never as in till the end of time.

Anyway, it's a short one tonight - stop it. 

Thought for the day: Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh dear, oh deary, deary, dear, dear, oh deary, dear

That was truly awful. I was rubbish. Bruce returned but had a bit of a rumbly stomach and had to stop. Sean looked strong as he pounded the boardwalk and Rick brought me my order from Bristol's best running shop - Up and Running. I was still rubbish.

We joined in with Dave B's group and ran four sets of 600m then 400m with just 60s recovery and a jogged 200m between sets. I had some discomfort with my right foot and had to stop after the first set to adjust by which time I was lost.

I steadily slowed down from an initial 1:57 / 76s pair up to 2:09 / 80s by the fourth set. I was puffing and panting - as you should be - but only when you're running a damn sight quicker than I was. I reckon that running all but the first set by myself made things a touch harder but I really don't think I would've been that much faster even if I'd run as part of the group.

I'm looking forward to some serious training in the next week or two - 'cause I sure as heck need it what with all my planned races coming thick and fast in 2009.

Thought for the day: A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bristol and West Christmas party - disco time.

A snap from last weeks do, as I test a new way to blog from my phone.

Posted by ShoZu

Lunch anyone?

Clive T's spider senses were on top form - he'd taken himself out of the office until about two in the afternoon and with Graham still a bit off colour it was down to little old me to tread some pavement.

High noon arrived and I was out of the blocks like Usane Bolt. One minute later I hit the street running - OK, it might have been closer to five minutes. I chose the old Dundry loop - the loop made famous by such esteemed runners as Terry M, Mark D and not forgetting Clive T and Graham C of course. It goes something like this; out the front gate and round to Highridge common. Then up over the edge of Dundry and back down to the A38 before heading back to the start.

I've been inside 31 minutes for the hilly route that comes in close to five miles but today it took me 32:24 - now I'm quite pleased with that, even if I say so myself. I even managed to get up to the high point in an 'about as fast a time as I ever have' 16:24. I died on the run in mind, but it was a good hard effort.

I'm going to try and run the same route once a week - maybe missing out Christmas as things tend to go a bit wonky this time of year - but after that I'm going to use it as my fitness gauge.

Thought for the day: Those who live by the sword... get shot by those who don't.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm too lazy for my shoes

Too lazy for my running shoes, so lazy it hurts.

Yes, as you can guess didn't quite make it out for a run. This slacking is entirely too much - and at time when I was just getting going again. The Tuesday Bristol training group is over at Coombe Dingle but I really hate it over there - all that muddy grassy stuff - urrgh. Not doing that.

I have a window at work, a small iota of time eeked in between a couple of tasks where I can, with the luck of the Irish, get out for a lunch time run. I'll see if Clive T is game for it - ooh, er mrs - haven't had one of those for a while - but I will wager he'll not be. Anyhow, I shall do the old up over Dundry loop and see what kind of time I manage. Perhaps the lunchtime run is the way to go for now - at least until something better comes along...

Saturday, December 13, 2008


By the way, I did squeeze in 45 minutes on the exercise bike between getting my hair styled, the drive home and the drive north. In the rush of it all I forgot my bloomin' coat so I might be getting wet tomorrow - nobber.

And that's a poor showing

I have struggled this week. The first half of the week was taken up by my utterly bad legs after the race last Sunday. My excuse for the latter part of the week? Just haven't been able to make the time - and the cold, oh, the cold.

We went to the Bristol and West / Westbury combined Christmas party last night. Where, once again, I went through the motions of my sad excuse for dancing - although by way of a change from my normal drunken moon walking I performed my robotic dancing instead - and I did that without the aid of any booze. Sadly, I am a lost cause.

Anyway, we're off up north to Halifax for the Calderdale Way Relays tomorrow. I'm on support duty only as I'm not required by any of the teams - but then again, I am a bit rubbish. If I was team captain I wouldn't pick me...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So cold...

I didn't know whether to put on my spikes or my ice skates. It sure was icy on the track. The crunch of breaking ice could be heard echoing around the arena as those brave enough to train punctured the glassy film as they ran. And I'm sure there was more ice at the close then there was when we started.

It was a good turn out with Sean, Bruce - and his dad, Mike - Rick and Jerry all waving the banner. Although, as is normal these days, Jerry was running his own 400's as we ran 200's with a non-stop jogged 100 recovery. I have to say that I was more than a bit rubbish tonight. My calves hadn't really recovered from Sunday. They were - and still are - very tight. I knew I had to take care and with the ice making the track more like concrete than normal I ran very slowly - 40 seconds for each repetition - now, even by my standards that is woefully slow.

Eight was the limit for me on this frosty evening as my increasingly tight calves forced me to call a premature end. Sean and Bruce knocked out a goodly number more - and, I should add, a damn sight quicker. I need to do something tomorrow but I'm not sure what...

Thought for the day: It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Not so final resting place

My calves are deadly painful today. A slight extension of the legs and the pain... oh the pain. I've decided on some gentle stretching tonight so that they will be ready for action tomorrow - at the track. After two weeks away from the track I'm not going to be missing it - even if I just limp around slowly.

The last few weeks has definitely been an improvement training wise but I still need to step it up. My routine is beginning to get there but it still requires more work. Now this festival of 'Christmas' as it fast approaches is going to put a spanner in the works...

Thought for the day: Doing nothing is very hard to never know when you're finished.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'll keep this short

because I'm too lazy to go upstairs to write this on my computer so I used my phone instead. I did, however, manage to actually do some training. It might only have been the bike but unlike my lack of focus for training of a few months back I did do something.

As this thing is fiddly to use, I'll stop now. Oh, and it was half an hour on the bike - for those who are counting.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The works

Well that all went a bit wrong. It would appear that I am a bit more pants than I thought. I took it out hard for - the first kilometer. Then the realisation struck home that I'm still firmly on the first rung of the runners rehabilitatory ladder - the next 13 kilometers were a struggle.

As the race progressed, I steadily lost places. Only briefly managing to turn the tide on the steep downhill sections where my loss of sense and sensibility allowed me to go faster than the average bear, Boo-Boo.

The finish, when it eventually came into view, was a very welcome sight. I was just outside my target of 1:35 for the 9 mile, 2,700 feet ascent fell race, making it home a minute later.

It's true to say that this wasn't my greatest moment in fell running but it was good practice all the same - and only five ladies, four oaps, three hill walkers, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree managed to beat me home - so that was alright. Oh, and I made the top 254 (out of 254).

Helen took the women's race in a non-course-record time of 1:28 - whoo, not-record-breaker - although she does still hold it from last year. Mrs B got some cake and chips so she was happy and I ate 'the works' in the Little Chef on the drive home - ah, there's nothing quite like quality, home cooked food - shame we went to the Little Chef really.

Further training is required. Make it so, number one.

Thought for the day: I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

Profile and Route of the Cardington Cracker

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lovely bit of cake

A visit to the local shop for a pint of milk saw me purchase a right nice bit o' cake - a fruity little number with a bit of orange thrown in for good measure - beauty. That's just the kind of dietary requirement an athlete like myself needs before a tough race. The only thing that could have topped that would have been to have consumed a tasty spicy chicken pie for the first course - oops, I think I've said too much.

Anyway, I raring to go. Bring on the cracker...

Thought for the day: It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A new hope

My taper continues. And no, before you think it, I've not been a total lazy sod. I might not have managed a run - it's far too cold for that, me being from the south an' all. I did, however, manage an hour on the bike. It was hard effort in the last fifteen minutes but I just kept telling myself it was doing me good. I'm sure it's going to get me up those hills on Sunday a little more easily - well I flippin' hope it does anyway.

I can't say I'm totally looking forward to the Cracker up in Shropshire - because I know I'm not really in shape for it and after seeing the forecast - it looks like being a cold one to boot. My only hope is that I can summon the power of the mad runner to see me through...

Thought for the day: 'Budget' - A method for going broke methodically.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

White Beast II: Son of the Beast

I have what looks like being a very tough race on Sunday, the Cardington Cracker. Apparently last years women's race was won in a time that was reported to be, and I quote, 'very quick'. Oh, and incidentally, Pat W almost got his ass kicked by said women's race winner - no doubt I will get my ass kicked by her this year. Anyway, at nine miles and lord knows how much ascent I'm expecting to find the the going tough.

All of which hides the fact that I am tapering for the race. Well, really I'm just too knackered to train - but I'll call it tapering instead as it sounds better.

Oh, and we've bought a new beast, Son of the Beast. A Vauxhall Vivaro - so if you've heard anything bad about the vivaro - keep it to yourself. I don't want to know. Really, I don't want to know. We like it and that's all that matters - sssh, no, sssh, don't say anything. Shtum.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The long day

I was up and at the world by 6:30 this morning on my way to Sheffield for a work thing. The drive up was fine until someone decided it would be good to park up in the third lane of the M1 - maybe not such a great idea. It made me late.

The conference was interesting enough that I didn't fall asleep - always a plus. But then came the drive home. I left at 16:00 but after a crash on the M5 left it closed off from the M42 I had to find an alternative way home - cue TomTom, the worlds bestest ever car navigator. It found me a route around the trouble.

I finally got home at 19:30 to be greeted by 'er indoors and a lovely plate of Iranian cuisine. Anyway, I'm way past too tired to do any running stuff. The rub is that my legs feel fully recovered. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Thought for the day: Dogs VS Cats

A dog thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me,
provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good
care of me... They must be Gods!

A cat thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me,
provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good
care of me... I must be a God!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I wasn't going to...

...but then I did.

Not a run though. After three straight days of running and racing I couldn't take a fourth. My legs do actually feel a lot better than yesterday. Not fully recovered, mind, but no longer painful. Perhaps that killer run last night wasn't so bad after all - still, it felt bad at the time.

So to this evening and a half hour on the bike. I didn't pull out all the stops but it was hard enough effort to activate the apocrine and merocrine glands - that's sweating to you. All this is the name of enjoyment. The things we do, eh?

Oh, and here's the missing photo - after such a big build up it's a bit of an anticlimax. Still, I shall try and brighten up the blog with a few photo's from now on - that is until the filming resumes in the spring...

The climb through the woods - before the 'steep' bit!!!

Thought for the day: Mental Floss prevents Moral Decay.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I could go off that Jerry

My quads have been painful to the touch today - after I realised that... I stopped touching them. It didn't node well for tonight's run and with Sean and Rick making up the foursome I knew I was in trouble - and I wasn't wrong. We set off just after seven and almost immediately I was flagging - so much for J's email claiming his legs were a bit achy - he was bloody legging it. This being 50 malarchy doesn't seem to have slowed him down any. But then again, I reckon he was trying to send out a signal to Rick, a year his senior but in the same masters category. There may be trouble ahead...

Anyway, it was a good 11k for me, practically a tempo run on current form weighing in at just under 46 minutes. Heaven knows how bad my poor quads are going to feel tomorrow. Still, I must try and do something. Maybe the bike me thinks.

And, in case you were wondering, I haven't a clue where yesterday's photo has gone. It claims to have been posted to the web but there ain't no sign of it. I will try to post it again tomorrow. I dunno, all this techno stuff - it's just plain wrong.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The visitor

There weren't quite as many visitors this morning as were originally planned. Namely just the J-meister. But then when you entertain a runner of such quality how many more do you need? Plus we helped him see in (or almost see in) the big Five O at lunch round the Red Hart, Blaisdon - lovely hot food and a roaring fire to keep out the cold - nice. Hopefully we can re-arrange another day when the gang from Bristol can come up in the Spring - when it's a bit warmer - 'cause by 'eck it were cold this morning.

Right, back to the running. We were out for an hour and forty and covered just over ten miles and 2,500 feet of ascent. It was a bit soggy in places but good all the same. We were a bit slow for Jerry really and he kept having to wait for us but I think he enjoyed it. I felt a bit knackered come the end and my quads are aching but I can't grumble. It's what I need.

The pic, if you were wondering - and even if you're not, I'm going to tell you anyway, is from yesterday's Blorenge. It's a view up through the woods. It doesn't look that steep - but it bloody well is - and it's a slippy old descent on the way back down as well. Lovely view.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Up the Blorenge

Racing today over at the Blorenge. Ah, the old up and down of the Blorenge - with a little across but most definitely nearly almost straight up and back down again. Well off we set but within a few minutes my feet were killing me, well not actually pointing a gun or chopping at me with a machete or anything but it felt like they were cramping - really painfully cramping. My progress up the evil hill was slow - and funnily enough, painful. I was in around 20th place at the top but after a good downhill section I finished in 13th - unlucky for some. But my feet? Blimey O'Reilly they were painful. I hobble back to the car to give them a rub.

Helen faired better, placing 9th and whooping me out of sight. I was a whole 159 seconds slower than last year, and even accounting for the unseasonably painful feet, they wouldn't have cost me more than thirty seconds, so it's sadly back to the drawing board...

Thought for the day: There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Missing - but not in action

I was close to home after work that I - went home. That meant I missed the track. Sadly, due to a work commitment I will miss it next week as well but I will return after that.

In the absence of any training I instead enjoyed the delights of shopping in Morrisons, Ross-on-Wye. What a load of pants that shop is - it's no Asdal, that's for damn sure. Everything's in the wrong place. I reckon I did about 5k around the aisles. Up and down, up and down, loop after loop, gradually completing the prophecy as written on the sacred list. With the task done I returned to whence I had come. Arms laden with bounty a plenty.

I hope to get a spare hour at lunchtime tomorrow to sneak in a run. Fingers crossed...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The hour came....

.... and it bloody well went an' all. Bugger.

I came. I ran. But I didn't quite manage to conquer. I tried, gave it my best but my legs just wouldn't go quickly enough. It was a strange feeling. I felt, not exactly comfortable, but alright. The moment I tried to up the pace, well, I just couldn't. I ran an even race and manage to put in a good final kilometre but I fell short of nineteen minutes. I managed to claim my fastest 5k for five months so things are at least on the mend. All this stalling cannot hide the fact that I must own up to a miserable 19:15.

I'll not blame it on the night's chilly conditions - although, I never did manage to feel anything but cold - and I'll not blame it on my sore throat. The sad truth is that I just don't have the speed endurance at the moment. I have some endurance. I have some speed but they don't want to come to the party together. I need a plan. A schedule of training that will focus the mind, the body and the soul. I need mile reps. I need hill reps. I need long runs. In fact, I need pretty much everything - and I will get there. The road ahead might be long, and you can bet your arse it's going to be winding but I'm the man who can't be stopped. Read my lips, by April's Bridge Inn race I will break 18:30 - and you can take that to the bank - but in these harsh economic times don't invest anything you can't afford to lose.

Thought for the day: Tough times call for hard determination.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Taper towards Tuesday

Got a bit chilled off site at work but I always had tonight down for taper - also know as, sod all training. The throat is still a bit dry and the proboscis is making mucus a plenty - you really needed to know that, didn't you? Still, I feel positive even though I know it sounds sad to be aiming to break 19 minutes. A year ago I could jog nineteen but nowadays it's a different story. Tomorrow it will happen as foretold in the prophecy...

Thought for the day: Most people know about cause and effect, but just few handle this wisely and act accordingly.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Long in Longhope

We headed out through Flaxley Woods - that's the royal we, by the way, Mrs B and her entourage. Then over to the woods between Cinderford and Mitcheldean before heading back to Flaxley and home for sausage sarnies - nothing but the best athlete food, don't you know.

In all we covered eighteen and a half kilometers and 2,120 ft of ascent. I'm fair knackered and my throat is a bit rough but it's more dry and tickly than out and out sore. Still, I should be recovered for the Bridge Inn of Tuesday and I actually feel up for my quickest time for a while - I know, I know, shouldn't be difficult I hear you say, seeing as how pathetically slow I've been of late over the course. My recent increase in training should see me through. Will I break 19 minutes? Now there's a question...

Thought for the day: I'm not aging - I'm ripening to perfection.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here we go again

Strike two. Yep, I made that second hour on the bike - how sad am I spending Saturday night pedaling the night away? It was really tough. I cranked up the settings for a really hard grind and feel pretty pleased with myself for being motivated enough to do it.

In truth, I can't go out anyway, I've got a date with Strictly. I have my tissues at the ready for when the Sergmeister waltzes his way off into the sunset. What am I saying? [hangs head in shame]. Seriously though, I'm forced to watch against my will. She gets me in a head lock and makes me view the screen - even holds my eyes open. I try to think of manly things. Boxing, football, golf, Linux - hang on, that's more nerdy than manly - I'll get my coat.

It's all in vain though. I just can't help but be taken by the rhythm of the beat. While there's the moonlight, oh, and a bit of music. A smidgen of love and romance. I just can't help facing the music and watching the dance. And those two faced, hypocritical judges for pressurising the Serge off the show? - don't get me started...


After a rest day on Thursday, a few problems at work yesterday prevented me from getting out for a lunchtime run. That might turn out to be a good thing - I will think of it that way so as to remain positive.

I've had a bit of a cold all week presenting as the sniffles and a dry throat. In an effort to rid myself of it, I have elected not to head out into the cold for a run but instead turn my attentions to the exercise bike. To that end I have already managed an hour this morning and I'll be climbing back on this afternoon for another hour later on.

Even though training has gone a little wrong these last few days I still feel good about getting back into it. I'm not going to let this cold derail me from the target. My focus remains and I will soon be racing as fast as ever. I even dusted off the cap-cam the other day - I can feel some filming coming on...

Thought for the day: All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still coming

Goodness me did it ever feel tough tonight. Bruce was back - and Bruce's dad too. Rick was also back on duty, bringing along Lucy F - who was running well, and she certainly kicked my butt. Jerry was playing the role of Han Solo as he strode out on his own session - he looked good though - in a running form sense I hasten to add. Blimey, maybe I should start the JH Fan Club. Gimme a J, gimme an E gimme an R - maybe not.

Right, back to what's important, the Sergeant scandal of Strictly Come Dancing - only kidding - although that is pretty important - god, what am I saying. I can't believe I outed myself - doh. Anyway, we ran three 600's with 90s recovery then four 400's with the same 90s recovery before finishing with four 200's off a shorter 60s recovery. I struggled. My breathing was like that of a 90 year old asthmatic chain smoker but however strong the urge to knock the session short was, I stuck it out. I felt sick by the end but it was good to know the mental strength is still there and I didn't buckle.

My splits were 1:58, 2:00 and 1:59 for the first set. Then 75, 74, 73 and 74s for the 400's and 33, 34, 33 and 33s. Like last week's session, I managed to increase the pace as the repetition length decreased - and I was consistent - nice. Right, I'm off to the lonely house of echo...

Thought for the day: Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More bike vicar

After a quick lunchtime trip to the local shop for a pasty - ah, good honest athlete food if ever there was - I knew my legs weren't made for running and that they wouldn't be up to running all over you - at least not today, anyway. So instead I put in half an hour on the bike - take note that I didn't follow my tried and tested training method - namely, sitting on the sofa doing sod all. No, I am a changed man and I'm feeling all the fitter for it. I've even entered another race and have my eye on one or two more! Heck, what's the world coming to.

Thought for the day: The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need but not every man's greed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sore throat

The sore throat that started yesterday has not eased but then I guess giving it your all in a hard cross country race probably isn't exactly the best way to go about curing it - and the fact that I went out for a short run this morning with H that ended up lasting 90 minutes on the ups and downs of the Forest. Still, looking on the bright side, my return continues unabated. I cannot be stopped. I am the unstoppable comeback kid - although I never was much cop to comeback to.

The weather was pants but the company was good [winks to camera] and we even managed to see Saint Anthony's Well - but sadly there were no naked bodies to be seen.

Well that's it for the weekend. I feel a bit wiped out but it's been good. Onwards and upwards...

Thought for the day: Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Running for the home team

OK, that's a load of cobblers. H was a reserve for the v35 England team at the home countries cross country champs but we both ended up running the open race. I umed and ahred about it before finally deciding to run - and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it. Ran OK and now we're off to the dinner - just hope the flipping car doesn't break down...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The weekend is here

After another day and another dollar I headed home. The drive was good - thank goodness the A40 is fixed. I managed a very humble 30 minutes on the bike - and that was enough. It has been another successful week of training on the road to recovery.

Tomorrow we head over to Swansea for the Home Countries Mastersy Vets Cross Country Racey thing and Open Competition. I hope to run for England - in my dreams do I. I'm really intending to run in the Open race - unless I catch a bout of the can't be arsed's. There should be some good watching to be had in either case as there will be some very useful vets on display, running for their countries.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not even the rain can stop me

I'm on a roll. I've located the comeback trail - it's not on any map so it is pretty hard to find - it's certainly taken me a time.

So anyway, not even the rain, in all it's nasty glory, could prevent me getting out for another run. As the midday bell tolled the Bristol Water Three, the notorious band of crocks - that's Graham, Clive and me - although Clive is the main crock - took to the hills. It was like rolling back the years as we cruised out of Ashton Court and along the tow path.

Through the onslaught of rain we ran. Onwards, ever onwards - until we'd run for about 15 minutes, that is - then we turned tail and ran home. We don't get too much time for lunch and what with showering and tarting ourselves up afterwards, a half hour run is about all we can spare. Still, a run is a run in my book, and as I pen this - or rather more correctly, tap this in - my calves are actually pretty tight. It wasn't like we sprinted or anything but the pace was more than easy and after a good go on the track last night I really feel like I've finally turned the corner. That I'm on the way back...

Thought for the day: Why sit in the office when you could get soaked and muddy on a run?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going the long way

Welcome back Bruce. Yes, Bruce was back in the fold after a longish layoff through injury. Other than that it was just little old Sean and me with Jerry running solo under the watchful gaze of Dave - everyone knows a Dave. Rick had some business to attend to - he was Up And Running up at his shop in Clifton.

Tonight we ran with Dave B's group - you see, everyone knows a Dave. The session was three sets of 800, 600, 400 with an undetermined recovery somewhere around 60-90s depending on how quick - or in my case, how slow you ran. Sean went well although his youthful exuberance meant he ran the first set too fast and had to slow a little on subsequent ones - he'll learn.

As an aside, Dave T was on coaching duty with the girls - you see, everyone knows a Dave.

Anyway, I ran OK and although not massively quick I wasn't really that slow. My splits were 2:54, 2:07, 77s then 2:48, 2:01, 76s and 2:47, 2:07, 76s which meant that I managed to increase the lap pace as the reps got shorter so that was good.

Right, after one of my longest ever track sessions - 5.4k - I'm off to massage my tightening calves - and boy, are they tightening.

Thought for the day: It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not a lot

It was another of those long work days. I headed out after work for a spot of moonlighting - and I found out that some of the PLC software I'd written for a client (KJE Tech) - stay with me [ claps hands to keep you awake] - has been used in the film, Mamma Mia. The confetti shot into the air, seen in the background of the final sequences of the film were produced by KJE's kit - which I coded the software for! How groovy is that? Anyway, all of which hides the fact that I did sod all training today - ho hum.

Thought for the day: If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stormy weather

As the candle burns low, pulling the blanket ever tighter to keep out the chill of the night, I type feverishly into this infernal technological device. Fighting fatigue to relate my story before it is too late. While the last vestige of my memory retains what measure of truth as has unfolded during the events of today. A truth so mystifying that it will burn deep into your very soul. The time that was foretold has come to pass.... I managed a very humble half hour on the bike in front of the telly but the important point, which we mustn't lose grasp of, is that yet again I actually did some exercise. Maybe not the greatest session but a session never the less.

Right I'm off for some kip. Tootle pip, what-oh.

Thought for the day: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Not a day to be outside

Due to the small technical problem - that we shall never mention again - that we incurred yesterday, we were not able to run our intended route - namely the Tebay race - on account of the fact that we were bloody miles away. So H went for a run on the treadmill at Beryl's gym while I graced the exercise bike down the Old Apple Yard Gymnasium, Spa and Fitness Centre.

To be honest there isn't that much to report other than I felt it in my fingers and, for that matter, I felt it in my toes.

I thank you, and goodnight.

Thought for the day: The rain in Spain falls mainly in the UK.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's gone tits up

We were on route to Kendal when the unthinkable happened - OK, if you have ever seen the white beast you might not think it's so unthinkable. Anyway, the beast is dead. The gear box is f&%@ed and there 'aint no chance of a resurrection. We had just about made Stafford when she blew.

Helen is understandably upset and I'm fair sad. I was looking forward to seeing her get her medals. God moves in mysterious ways.

As I pen this I am on the train back to Gloucester. I hope to make home by nine where upon I shall hop into the car and drive back to Stafford to collect Helen, the dogs, our stuff and anything else we can fit in.

This is going to be a long night. Smoke us a kipper we'll be home for breakfast...

Saturday and all's well

The cock crowed and off we set on our mid morning voyage of discovery. Ok, so it was more like an easy twirl round the area taking in the twin peaks of May and Huntley hills - but there was no murders - or none that we stumbled across. So that was a relief. The dog of a brown persuasion followed obediently in our foot steps and the now almost inevitable rumage through the litter bins was, some might say surprisingly, avoided. The rain stayed away and after an hour and twenty we returned from whence we came.

We now have the unenviable drive north for the FRA Dinner Dance. I've got my dancing shoes safely on board and I can almost hear the crowd calling for me when they recognise my professional dancing style - Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant.

Friday, November 07, 2008

First Friday for a while

As promised, well, more of a hint really, I managed to get out during my lunch break for a run around Ashton Court. It's changed a bit since I was last there. They have finished off the re-landscaping. There's a new car park - and yes, I noticed the CCTV cameras - and the pathways in front of the main house have been narrowed and car access restricted. It all makes for a safer environment in which to use the land but I can't help feeling it all probably cost too much. Hang on, I'm not going there again.

Anyway, Graham and I managed just over thirty minutes, running in a large loop up to the top field and back past the golf course. It was good to get out there and after feeling a bit bloated in the morning I was fully ready for the afternoon session.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Go with the percentages

As my wise Nepalese Guru once said, 'He who makes a good choice is truly a lucky man - or woman - indeed'. And so it came to pass that my choice of a tracker mortgage over a fixed has come up trumps. You can't get one like it for love nor money anymore. I truly was a lucky lucky man when I picked it - that's not to say the tables won't turn in the future because I'm sure they will - but not for a year or two.

So, what's all this got to do with running? - absolutely sod all - and with my lazy arse planted firmly on the old comfy sofa, that ain't going to change any time soon. On the flip side I have mooted the idea of going for a run with Graham tomorrow and as I raised the flag up the flag post he saluted. So if I can remember to take in my kit then by lunch tomrrow we should be out in the mid day sun over Ashton Court...

- and remember, the price of your investment can go down as well as up - so don't invest anything you can't afford to lose.

Thought for the day: Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Just the two of us

Rick is away so it was only Sean and I who were present to play. Jerry and the Eritreans - sounds like a 60's pop band - were on there own session, and by the look of it, going well.

With no instruction we decided to run 800's. I feel that longer reps are probably more in keeping with what I require at the moment and Sean was happy with that. So off we went. Sean was lapping in the region of 74-76s and edging quicker through the session. I was steady, if not fast. My times were 2:49, 2:55, 2:51, 2:52 and 2:51 - making five reps in all.

My calves really tightened after the session so I warmed down for a few laps and then f#@£ed off home. Sean hung around for a bit more work. He ran some 200's at a steady 32 seconds - or that was what he was planning. I was sloping away as he started his last few efforts. Fair play.

Well there it is. I'm pleased I made it out for another session but I've still an awful long way to go on the way back from perdition.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm starting to get into the groove

I made it home from work in record breaking time. The now notorious A40 road works, while not entirely finished, seem to have entered the next phase - the phase where they no longer completely shaft us car drivers. The phase where a dual carriage way is, well, a dual carriage way again. Where a slip road is, well, a slip road again. The phase where you can drive along a small section of road three miles long in under forty five minutes. You know, the type of road much like it was six months ago. Hang it, come to think of it, it was exactly like the road it was six months ago, back to the time before they ever dreamt up their evil money wasting scheme to take a piece of road, completely balls it up for six months and then return it to use pretty as it was before - good thinking there Mr Council, nice one. And to top it all off they're coming round to re-value my council tax band to make me pay for the bloody thing.

Anyway, I'm not bitter - ok, I'm completely bitter but I'll get over it and there are more important things like, operation reduce the lard. Talking of which, onto tonight's training. I got home from work to find Helen had taken first dibs on the new bike and she was busy putting her foot to the pedal. I waited my turn and set about a 48 minute hill session. I was puffing like a bastard come the end. I'm so unfit - but I finished and the limbs are just about holding up under the strain. In truth it was quite a buzz, pathetic as that may seem, but to come home from work and then be able to notch up a good workout without having to go any where else was pretty damn fine. And you know what, I think I could make it a habit...

Thought for the day: Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meet hammy the hamstring

I felt my hamstring pull a little yesterday - it didn't stop me putting in that final downhill effort to overtake three people mind, but it did pull slightly so I didn't run today. Instead I christened the new Reebok b5.1e exercise bike. We decided to get a fairly solid - read, mid price - not low cost, nor re-mortgage but somewhere in the middle.

I can tell you now, it's a good 'un. I can heartily recommend it if you're in the market for a mid pricer. It's got plenty of programs and near silent running - so you can stealthily draft up to the rider ahead - no, hang on, it ain't got no wheels. Anyway, I managed a steady 45 minutes on the interval setting. I can feel the hamstring but it's not too bad. I definitely need to keep an eye on it but hopefully it's just a niggle and will go away of its own accord.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to freshen up...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sugar babes

My 2nd race in a week, The Sugar Loaf, was not a total load of pants - but it wasn't a million miles away. I was about 4 minutes slower than last year. Conditions weren't as good this time round so I reckon I was only 3 minutes down after seasonally adjusting the figures - if it's good enough for the government it's good enough for me - we're in a time of economic prosperity and high growth at the moment aren't we? - once we seasonally adjust, that is.

Anyway, all of which makes Helen's run all the more impressive. She set a new course record - again, running a few seconds faster than my time of last year. And it was nice to meet a load of the guys and girls from Bitton RR come to join in the fun.

Oh yeah, we even had our first snow of the winter atop the loaf - as we locals call it - that's local in the sense that it is in the UK.

Right, off to get ready for a fancy dress party - apparently I'm to go as gollum!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Falling apart

So, I made it to the track but I really wasn't ready. My legs felt OK - but then we began...

Jerry was there with Kokob and her brother but they were running a different session to us likely lads - that's Rick and Sean, since slightly unlikely. Anyway, Rick and I ran 300's to pace Sean round 1800m. That meant we ran the 300m with a 100m jog back down the track to meet up with Sean as he continued his laps. We aimed for 54s so that Sean was hitting 72s for each lap but he struggled in the cold and damp - and it was right bloomin' damp and flipping cold and he slipped out a few seconds.

After the 1800m - where I'd run three 300's - the groin, the hamstrings and - well, just about every other part of my body - gave out. It would have been fool hardy to continue so I picked up my kit, bid Rick and Sean farewell and headed off into the distance...

... ready to attack it next week. Guess these old bones of mine aren't what they once were - or mayhap it's the fact that I'm doing sod all training.

Thought for the day: Sticks and stones may hurt my bones - but running will bloody kill me!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A frosty reception

For once I have never been more glad of walking like a cripple. It was mighty chilly around the Urals - ooh er. So I took my chance to play the 'I'm too stiff - stop it - and achy to run' card - that worked a treat and after setting up the generator and light I lent a hand at the finish.

By the time the last competitor had made it back I was frozen. My hands were right to drop off - but they didn't. So, I packed up my bits and pieces, loaded it back into the car and f#*$ed off home for supper.

Now I probably could have made it around the course tonight but it would have been a bit slow and to be honest I would rather give it another day before I have a proper run out - why, that'll be just in time for the track session tomorrow night.

Thought for the day:Never lose the opportunity to give sunshine to the day of a person who needs a few encouraging words.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And so it came to pass

that I did, on the occasion of the Stroud Half Marathon, get my ass well and truly kicked by H. She was less than five minutes ahead at the finish though - which, considering my lack of training, is almost like a victory for me. More important than that though, I broke the hour and a half barrier - and I really didn't think I would.

My finishing time of 1:28:27 was a gruellingly hard fought battle. I was going well until 10k but then I fell apart. It's not like I've even run 13 miles of late so I was in a race where just finishing was an achievement and my time - although a bit sad - was satisfying none the less.

So, with my legs stiff. My feet aching and my knee pained it's time for a well earned sit down. Now all I need to do is set my self a running goal for the coming year. Something to give me a reason to train...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The night before

It is the the night before the race. With the wind howling and the rain - well, just doing its thing - it was no day to be cycling. For cycling I was going to have done. Not a hard, push yourself to the limit sort of session. No, more a pootle through the tulips - if, indeed, there are any tulips lieing around on the roads at this time of year - which, as we fast approach winter, I suspect is extremely unlikely - unless, of course, the implausible event of a lorry from East Timor carrying a cargo of Timorian Tulips had happened to pass by this part of the world and, by way of increasing the implausibility, had also shed said load all over the carriageway, thus enabling me to have pootled through those tulips. All of which brings me to a suitably apt point to... get my coat.

Goodnight for now, for tomorrow we die - in a running sense...

Thought for the day: Don't panic!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Actually doing it

So I really did move from the thinking phase to the doing but was any fun? Well yes it was. It was hard but fun. Knowing what a lazy ass I've become it might well be my last run before Stroud but it was a good session to end on.

There was only Sean, Rick and me present from our little group - although Jerry was there training Kokob - so we'll let him off. To mix things up we ran with Dave B's group and ran an interesting session. Three sets of downward pyramids with 60 seconds recovery and 2-3 minutes between sets. 600m, 500m, 400m then 500m, 400m, 300m and finally 400m, 300m, 200m. Pacewise I was pretty good. Not my fastest but a good way faster than my slowest - boy, I'm getting dizzy, it was an odd session. My lap pacing was 78, 76, 72 for the first set. Then 76, 74, 70.5 for the second and 75, 70.5, 62 for the third and final.

Off now to put my feet up...

Thought for the day: We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

Thinking about it

Well the last couple of days were a no show - I didn't manage to get any training. I'm still struggling to get a routine together. When ever I manage to strap a few days training together it all goes south a day or two later. I have pretty much decided to simply paddle water until the new year and then make a plan and bloody well stick to it. By then I should have stabilised my work, rest and play - well I flaming hope I will have.

Anyway, with the Stroud Half Marathon fast approaching - when I say fast approaching what I really mean is Sunday [gulp]. I feel highly confident of a really terribly slow performance. I'm not sure I will even manage to break 1:30. It's going to be the pits - but I hasten to add, nothing more than I deserve. I have yet to work out my race plan but no doubt it will be along the lines of run as quick as I can for as long as I can and then crawl to the finish.

Right, it's almost time to get back to work and not a minute too soon as my boss - that's GC - has just mumbled something about he hopes he won't make me feel guilty about being a lazy git as he heads out to Ashton Court for a run in the sun...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

All clywed up

Yes, I was on support duty again up in North Wales on the Clywdian Hills at the site of the ancient battle between the forces the royal fra Legions and the might of Rome - no hang on, I'm getting confused with that film Gladiator which I watched last night. No it was the battle of the elves and the pixies, no the faerie, nope, I think I've lost it.

Right, must snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity. Well, I managed about an hours running (1,400 feet of ascent) as I ran back and forth shouting on Helen and the rest of my Calder Valley crew. It was quite funny really, a few of the Valleyians that I've not met before asked, 'Who do you run for?' - 'uh, you!' was my reply. All in all it was a good training run and during all the cross country dashing, me and Brown Dog had time to bond - which was nice. As Bruce would say, she's my favourite.

After two days running in a row I need a lie down in a dark room. Tootle pip.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cat flap

I haven't managed to get out for any training during the past two days - work and the drive home left me distinctly un-enthused - but I did today. Nothing long - or fast - but a run is a run in my book - at least at the moment. Nor was it the best run I've ever down but it was scenic.

I ran along life's highways and byways - well, it was more like Gloucestershire's highways and byways, but whose counting? I was out for about an hour and 800 feet of ascent. So for once, in Gods hilly county, it was almost a flat run.

So after installing the cat flap, the run and then a coffee and a peruse of the news papers on the decking it's now time to turn my thoughts towards the drive to Wales and the FRA Fell Relays - and before you ask, no I haven't been selected to run. It's strictly support for me tomorrow but I will be trying to get in a ten miler all the same - with Mrs B, of course. Just need to keep an eye out for sheep...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A world of pain

Well, with the worlds economies on the point of implosion can things get any worse? What the heck are you looking at me for? As Bart would say, 'I didn't do it!'

I got out for training and you know what? It wasn't too bad. The rain held off and the wind was mild - so mustn't grumble.

Anyway, Sean and Dan were on the money with me and Rick pacing for sections - by pacing, I mean the Irish version, you know, the one where the slowies - that's me - run round and the fasties - that's Sean and Dan try to keep 'down' - that's the opposite of keep up, read, force themselves to run like sloths. Notice I haven't mentioned Jerry. He was down at the track but he doesn't like to mix it with the riff raff anymore, now that he's become a sort of coach type person, as he helps coach the young Eritrean now.

So Sean and Dan ran five 800's with a 200m jog recovery in 75s for lap one and then speeding to 70s on lap two. I did my job well - if I say so myself - on the first lap by running slow enough - and even paced - to keep them easy but have to admit I did speed up a bit towards 74s as I tired - if that makes no sense I shall explain. As I started to get tired I had to put in more effort to keep the pace at 75 but that inevitably meant losing the ability to gauge the pace which crept up slightly. I digress - haven't ever done that before.

Well after the 800's, Sean and Dan ran some quick 200's to finish while I carried on with three more 400's to complete a set of eight in times ranging from 76s for the first one, decreasing over the reps to a final 72s.

Now I know I had long recoveries while S &D ran their extra lap but I'm still pleased that I can still get down to 72's. If only I could get myself back into the training routine - I'd almost be able to call myself a runner...

Thought for the day: Can the economy really get any worse?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A walk in the country

I spent the morning supporting Helen in her first ever Duathlon - she came second. After a great first run (she was inside the top ten overall) she dropped back a bit on the bike before holding her own on the final run in. She now understands what I mean about jelly legs on the final run - it's impossible how to describe how your legs feel after the bike section except to say that it doesn't feel like they belong to you! Still, she finished in 16th overall - so that can't be bad.

I didn't run today - except for all the to-and-froing while supporting - I ran four 400m intervals across the playing fields as I supported - and yes, I really did run them hard so they almost count as proper training. Although, a piece of me wished I'd competed in the duathlon - I might have come last but it looked bloody good fun. Next year I think I will have a bash in what is, after all, our local duathlon.

Anyway, in the hazy afternoon summer sun - scratch that - in the hazy afternoon autumnal sun we went for an hour and an 'aff minute walk in the woods and to be truthful I felt a bit knackered doing that.

Thought for the day: Great beginnings are not as important as the way one finishes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A little more of the 'ol Tae-Stik-Wak

I went for a 9 1/2 mile run this afternoon. Up over the hills are far away - but then back home for tea.

The route I'd chosen was pretty decent on the main - except the short section which took me nigh on fifteen minutes to get through on account of the stingers - it was a case of the 'ol Tae-Stik-Wak to mash my way through. Although I sustained minor nettle stings I made it through the other side - and I like to think I helped to prevent one of our public footpaths falling into disrepair.

Ascent wise it was about 1,700 feet, so not flat by any means. I was out there a long time but taking all factors into account and seasonally adjusting, I reckon it wasn't a bad little effort...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No leaves on me tonight

I managed to get to the track tonight - but not before I was subjected to a test of will which I just about survived.

There was only the three of us again, Rick, Sean and me. We ran five 400's with just 60 seconds recovery which was hard going. I felt sprightly and ran OK for once but by the fifth I was tiring. I managed 75.5, 75.5, 74.5, 75 and ... 75.

Then we changed tack as Sean ran a 2k rep while me and rick supported running 200's. The idea was to get Sean to run 72's for the entire 2k which meant that Rick and I supported with alternate 200's in 36's - the thing we hadn't quite worked out though, was that when we finished our stint we had to leg it across the middle of the track to get back before Sean came round again. You see, you really need three to be able to cycle 200's round the track - doh.

That meant we ended up running 200's in 36 with only 36 recovery but having to run 150 across court. Suffice to say, we ended up modifying a bit and Sean had to run a few bits solo but he made it round and me and Rick ended up having four 200's under our belt off of short recovery.

Well that was as clear as mud...

Thought for the day: Success is getting up one more time.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The mystery of the leaves in the night time...

And so, in the morning, a mystery we did stumble upon. Along the landing lay five or six leaves. Placed almost perfectly in line. How did they get there? Was this an alien visitation? A communication left by a people from a distant galaxy? Perhaps a dormant force of ancient lay-lines and magics from a time forgotten had been awaken by the removal men? Or the elves playing a childlike prank? What could it all mean?

As we struggled for meaning in the complex patterns of leaves the answer suddenly became clear. Blindingly obvious in fact. How could we have missed it? - as Wobbles the cat proudly wobbled (as only she can) up the stairs and onto the landing to deliver another of her gifts of leaf. With the mystery solved, like Holmes and Watson, we retired to the drawing room for morning coffee. With the dogs lounging in front of the roaring log fire, Mrs Hudson served us the richly dark brew and offered up the most sumptuous chocolate brownies for our delectation - no hang on, that was Sherlock...

PS You might be able to tell that I didn't manage any training tonight.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rambling run

I was a bit put off by the rain today - in truth I wasn't going to run at all but my conscience kicked in later in the afternoon once the sun came out and she shamed me into going for a run. Even then I was only planning a short leg stretcher but in the end it turned into an hours easy run.

I took a quick look at the map and instilled a vague route in my mind but within ten minutes it was even more vague. I ended up losing track of the public footpath I was trying to navigate and then, once emerging from the fields - having dodged the farmers with their shotguns - I decided to run on the road and follow the next footpath I came across and so on and so forth. Eventually, an hour after I'd set off, I made it home. All in all it was a very enjoyable little run - I'm glad my consicence kicked in.

Friday, October 03, 2008

From the crib(yn) to the grave

I took a flexi-half day and travelled over the Bridge - mutter, mutter, fiver, mutter, mutter - to meet up with Helen to recce the best fell race - in the world - ever!

Conditions were good, if a little chilly but once we set off I soon completely didn't warm up. My hands were freezing.

Anyway, we managed to recce the course. I think there are a few places we could optimise the route but as a first attempt it wasn't bad. You see, the Cribyn Race hasn't been run for a good number of years but that's about to change because Helen is bringing it back. It's only a short race - 5.5 miles - but it might be little hilly for one or two, weighing in at tad under 3,000 feet of ascent.

Oh yeah, I should mention the race website will be being updated with all the details as we sort them out. It's one for your diary, 6th June 2009 with the likely kick off at 11am. The website is so get over there and check it out - route, pics and more coming soon...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

High five

There was only three of us tonight, Rick, Sean and - who was that other one? Oh yeah, me. We were all a bit rubbish but then we had an excuse as to having had raced yesterday.

We ran five 600's with about 90s recovery. It was a bit chilly and blustery tonight and quite honestly we were pants. What a difference a week makes. I ran 2:04, 2:03, 2:02, 2:02 and 2:01 - far slower than last week and there was no way I could go any quicker. After the fourth I told Rick I wouldn't be running any more reps after the fifth and he agreed.

I'm glad I ran tonight and I worked really hard so I'll get some training benefit. I think the 600's were the right distance tonight. Not too fast and not too long.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Slow motion

It was the first of the Winter Bridge Inn races tonight and with a little niggle in my left hamstring - and the small matter of being just plain bloody slow at the moment - I was never going to be quick. In truth I didn't even look at it as a race, more a tempo run.

At the moment I don't think I'm capable of running a single kilometer at my old PB pace - so there wasn't any point in even considering running five that quick.

I started towards the back so as to control my initial pace and avoid the adrenalin run at the front - that worked and my first kilometre was 3:56. I moved through kilometres two and three in 3:54 and 3:57 respectively before another steady 3:54 in the fourth. The final kilometre saw me rally to a death defying - ok, a non-death defying - 3:49 as I pushed on past a mass of fellow runners.

I was pleased with the manner of the run - if not my ability to run fast. I was steady, controlled and it will have done me some good. It certainly felt good to be finishing strong. I know I could have pushed a little harder and gone a little quicker but we aren't talking more than a second or two per kilometre and that still leaves me no where near where I want to be. At least this way I should be able to run a decent training session tomorrow on the track - those extra couple of seconds here or there would have finished me and at this time it's all about trying to maximise my training before Stroud - or I'm in for that whooping...

Thought for the day: Life's precious moments don't have value, unless they are shared.

Monday, September 29, 2008


We of the engineering department had an away day to Blagdon to discuss much stuff - but during the intermission Graham, Clive and I took off for a short but nice run up to the top. We waved hello to the Mendip Hills and then scuttled off back down the hill from whence we came.

Clive was his jovial self - as always, and I quote, 'if there are any uneven bits I'm heading back' - we were running on the road - nasty, hard going, those roads! Anyway, he survived and considering he is so unfit he managed to run the ascent pretty strongly. 'I guess it must have been a lucky ten minutes', he quipped. (I made that bit up).

So it wasn't the longest run in the history of running but it was nice to get out with my mentor, the man who made me the runner I am today - mind you, I won't be going again if he takes us on such uneven surfaces again - you could do yourself a real mischief on those things called roads...

Thought for the day: Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another run in the forest

We went out for another run in the hazy, late afternoon sun. We retraced our steps of yesterday starting out in the reverse direction before taking a different route home. We only ran five and a half miles today with 800 feet of ascent against yesterdays ten and a half miles and 2,500 feet of ascent - sure is hilly in these yar parts.

I reckon that if I can manage to get myself out for a few more runs I'll find the old strength again - which is just as well with the Stroud Half Marathon fast approaching. Helen is going to give me such a beating there. I'll be lucky if I can break an hour and a half - I'll never hear the end of it.

It's a shame we're hitting autumn and the Darkness - that Justin Hawkins has got a lot to answer for - oops, must keep grip on reality. Seriously though, the change of scenery and vast number of paths through the forest should give me plenty of muse.

Right, I'm off for some more of that diy. Where are those blasted fence planks...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A room with a view

Here is the view from my room as I pen this blog.

We went out for a cracking run this afternoon. It was so ace to head out the front door and be in the countryside. We circled our village in a large loop, taking in May Hill amoungst other sights from the forest.

I'm not sure how far we ran but it took bloody ages and it was very hilly - you know what, I reckon I'm going to enjoy it here.

And after that epic run I still had time to go diy crazy - well, diy mildly silly. I knocked out another four metres of fencing, fixed the dog stairgate and constructed my office desk - from whence I pen this post.

This has been a long, tiring week but now we're settled in it's great - now just have to try and get some normality to my training - being saying that for a while...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What the heck happened there?

I'm not really sure what happened tonight. I was yawning before the start - I had to give myself an intravenous coffee infusion straight after work just to keep my eyelids open. But when we started the session - just the four of us, Helen, Sean, Rick and me - I was like a man possessed. I hasten to draw attention to the fact that it was only the four of us - we have been betrayed. Judas, clutching his thirty pieces of silver has left the building taking Dan and the Eritreans with him - only kidding.

We ran a pyramid session; 400, 600, 800, 600, 400 with a 100m jog recovery all washed down with three 200's with a 200m recovery. I ran like the wind - OK, I ran like I had the wind - but it felt like I was turning back the clock. My splits were 73s, 1:52, 2:38, 1:56 and 74 followed by the 200's in 34, 33 and 32. It was like I'd rolled back the years to recapture my youth. Helen ran well, beating me on all but seven of the reps and Sean ran a blinder too.

I don't know quite where I summoned it all from tonight and in truth I'm not going to ask too many questions. I just hope it all happens again next week...

Thought for the day: When in doubt, don't.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moving on up

After a busy weekend, the pie shop beckoned - only kidding because that's a figment of my imagination. I missed training tonight on account of wanting to get a few more necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife...

I'm staying over in Bristol tonight before returning to the Forest and the call of the Banjo's tomorrow - I've got my canoe trip planned. Then it's going to be the track on Wednesday.

Thought for the day: My progress may be slower than others but at least I haven't given up. That is the greatest downfall that comparing yourself to others can do - it can make you give up because you haven't gotten as far, created as much, or learned as fast compared to other people on the same or similar journey.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fencing with the plumbing

The major housey crisis has been averted. We aren't having our new washing machine delivered until Tuesday - and with a leaky valve that meant 4 no water. In order to have a shower, make a brew or even a flush of the loo ment flooding the floor those few minutes! Anyway after a day trip to an outlet of 'a certain large chain of diy superstores' I managed a swift valve change. Turned back on the water and ... it didn't drip. Not one drop. Result, shower time, party on.

Helen was off wining a team silver at the Midland Road Relays - I should have been going as a reserve - for one of the mens team, not the woman - but had to get that leak fixed. I am in Mike Down's bad books but it's not every day you move house - and I really did want to go, sounds like I missed a good day.

After the plumbing I built 10 metres of feather-board fencing, interspersed with putting Helen's Ikea desk - no parts left over - result - and further small dog fortifications - to keep the little blighters in as opposed to warding off an attack of the ankle biters. I am now knakered and off for a shower. Only another 18 metres of fencing to go...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This is to be (or not to be? That is the question) my shortest ever entry to the blog-o-sphere. The end.

Just kidding - about the end, not the shortness of the post. I had some sorting out to do and some chilling out before tomorrow and the move. I think I've got everything up together but only time will tell. Inevitably I will get there and realise I've forgotten some vital piece of the puzzle.

Heck, this is getting past the 'shortest ever' mark so I better shut up.

Just one more thing before I go. The chances are I won't be doing any training tomorrow either - did I mention I didn't do any today? Well I didn't. And there is half a chance my services might be required for a leg of the Midland Road Relays - but I guess they'll be desparate if that happens...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The exchange

Well today was the day - no, there weren't any teddy bears nor for that matter were there any picnics - but today was the day we exchanged on our new house. These are exciting times.

Now on to the important matters, did I get any training done? Of course, why would you ever doubt? - oh yeah, recent lapses, silly me. Sadly, I was far from the madding track. I only managed the bike, but it was a good interval session and my legs were thoroughly burning by the end. Helen put in a vicious looking 400m interval session on the treadmill.

Anyway, things move a pace towards operation completion on Friday...

Thought for the day: Years teach us more than books.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a kwik one

The slightly stressful times continue to build - but I'm still holding onto my firm grasp of reality - shut it.

I managed half an hour on the bike and worked up a bit of a sweat. It's true to say it was the best bit of training I've ever done but I'll take any training I can fit in at the moment. My legs still felt a bit rubbish and in truth, they had more than a hint of the jelly about them afterwards.

Anyway, it's almost d-day on the move so I'm off to prepare...

Thought for the day: Remember: Don't Insult the Alligator till after you cross the river.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Too achy

Well I didn't make any training tonight - I very nearly did but in the end the aches and pains won out and I bottled it. My left achilles has been tight for about a month - I hasten to add that it doesn't affect me during a run, just feels tight during the warm up and when walking around.

At the moment, although I don't feel too stressed, the pressures of work and the house move must be taking their respective internal toll but hopefully it won't be too long before I can breath easy and get some damn fine training in.

I'm a little sad I didn't make it to training because a little bird tells me me that Mike T was going to be there and it would have been nice to see him getting back into it after his set back earlier in the year.

Anyway, as threatened, here is the Llyn-y-Fan fell race route and profile - all 2,000 feet of it - nice.

Thought for the day: Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well that was fun [grimaces to camera] - damn near killed me.

Helen wanted a tempo run. Not wishing to wimp out, being a boy and all, I gave it a go. Total distance was just under 10 Miles with seven at tempo - I don't actually think I managed to get up to tempo pace at all. After two miles we kicked off the tempo part of the run. As the pace increased I - well, I didn't - and Helen drifted out the front door.

I don't think I managed much more than seven minute miling at any point. Neither my legs nor my lungs had it today and I just couldn't go any faster. By the end I was wasted - well, actually by about three miles I was wasted and by four all I wanted to do was go home but I knew the Mad Runner would never admit defeat so I just kept plugging away until the end.

Thought for the day: The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


What a bloody good day we had today. And, what perfect weather - I don't know how the organiser managed it but I reckon he has some connections with a higher power.

I ran ace today. OK, not ace on the good runner scale of ace but it felt bloody ace - I am buzzing. Of course, Helen whooped me but for the first time in a while we had a bit of a tussle - until the final descent - and then it was race over for me. We finish in a one two - well, it was 5th and 6th - but you get my meaning of consecutive places. So it wasn't a huge field but I so enjoyed getting out there, proper like an' all. And one chap, Kevin, just found my Sugar Loaf video from last year and said it was great seeing himself on it - seems like I should get out there and do a bit more filming and get back into the spirit of fun.

As like in the old days, I recorded the route today so I will be posting that up as soon as I get it uploaded to the web.

Anyway, I expect to be fully knackered tomorrow - but rest assured I will be running. I might be slow and limp along, but I will be running...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A bit lazy

Only 'alf an hour on the bike in front of the telly. My legs have been a bit tight during the day - mainly the calves from all that bloody sprinting yesterday. Why do I do it? I keeps a tellin' myself no but I just don't listen. Anyway, I should be ready in time for Saturday's Llyn y Fan race. It's only five and a half miles but at 2,000 feet of ascent it'll be too much for me to cope with. I shall try my best and treat the climbs as necessary training.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blustery days keep the doctor aways

Another day, another session on the track. All right, 'A' session on the track.

It was a horrible night. The wind was foul. All around, did howl. By the end, muscles tight. By 'eck, it were a horrible night - but we had a very large group braving the conditions.

Our squad sported such past members as Danny - well, that was about it for the past members. Timba was back for more - always good to see a young lad not being put off and eager for more training. More intriguing was a young woman and her father - and her mother, but she didn't run - who have recently moved to Bristol and who looks quick. I think she's originally from Eritrea but don't quote me. Oh, and I should mention Dan and Jerry were once again propping up the front with Sean while I, of course, propped up the rear - ooh, no, misses, stop it. And not forgetting the most important person of all, Rick - just kidding, I'm mean Helen [starts donning the body armour - and not the cheap stuff].

Well, that about wraps it up for tonight. Oops, I almost forgot to tell you about the session. We ran - at the request of Jerry - four 400's with a jog 90s, 200m recovery followed by a five minute rest before continuing with eight 200's with another 90s recovery. I ran OK. The 400's were a bit slow, averaging about 77s with a nasty, wicked, evil 80s slipped in there somewhere but the 200's were better with the first few at 34s before cutting that down to 32s and a final 30s. I were right pleased with the last one because I just felt I needed to see if I had the old magic - and you know what? I think I still do...

Thought for the day: A cat in gloves catches no mice.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dead legs and tangerines

I made it to training tonight up on the Downs - and never have I been less prepared for it - OK, maybe once or twice. I was pretty rubbish - I'll be kind to myself and limit my description to merely rubbish - but Sean was looking relaxed and going well. Rick had a bit of trouble - Betty - and pulled out to avoid injury.

We started off with a 3 minute effort and after a short recovery we then ran three 6 minute efforts with a two minute recovery before finishing with a final 3 minute effort. It's at this point I must confess - yes, really I must, the third of my 6 minute efforts turned into a 3 on account of, well, being completely pants.

My legs just didn't have it this evening. They just felt so dead but I managed the session so that's a positive. Hopefully I will manage an easy run tomorrow.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A case of the shall we shan't we

I didn't mention that I might have been running a 10k race today just in case I didn't manage to make it - I didn't. Instead, after much vexing, cogitating - sounds painful - and soul searching, we made it out for a reasonably paced ten miler. I showed Helen the finer sights that Whitchurch and the surrounding area has to offer. Such as the bad lands of Knowle West - we skirted around the edge, not daring to enter without police escort. The delights of the pie factory. The marvel that is Horse World - although Helen often finds herself drawn, inexplicably, towards there routinely and then back into the 'church' as we locals don't call it for a fly by of Asda'l' and then home for tea... only it was lunch time so I guess that makes it home for lunch.

Oh, yeah, and once we got home we discovered that Brown Dog, the super dog extraordinaire and flown over the back fence and buggered off to the Co-op to choose us something nice for said lunch - ah, bless.

Ps, I made up the bit about the pie factory.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The old Wednesday route

I decided to brave the weather and try my luck on the old Wednesday night route. Unfortunately I didn't get much luck - it p#&$ed down the whole time. I was wetter than a ostrich mistaking a swamp for the sand. I was drowned - so its lucky I can swim.

It wasn't the fastest time I've ever run and if I am honest my time of 31 minutes dead was quicker than the times I was running back in 2006. I have gone quicker and if I was at the same level as I was last year then I should break thirty without much trouble. I guess it goes to show how far I've let myself slip. Still, it's a marker that I can use to gauge my recovery.

Thought for the day: A tonne of crisps is consumed every three minutes in the UK! (But not all of them by me I should add).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Trailing at the track

We had a strong head wind tonight down the home straight but Rick was kind and only made us run it once per rep. Now you might think, hang on a minute, I bet you only ran four hundreds - but you'd be wrong because we ran the 600/300 session as of a few weeks ago. So Rick really was kind - even if the weather wasn't.

I ran like, well, someone who can't run. I was a right potato. I struggled to cope with two minutes for the 600 hundred with the fourth drifting to a death defying ... 2:08 but I managed to get back towards two minutes for the last one. The three's weren't much better as I struggled to hit 57's and one drifting to over a minute. The only silver lining was that the recovery was shortish, weighing in at about 45s and 90s. Oh yeah, and one more silver lining was that I raised myself to the heady heights of a final 53 second 300m - but then I was finished - he shoots, he misses - doh.

As to those attending, there was no Rob - booo - but we had a new lad, and forgive me for the spelling, Timba? Anyway, others in attendance were - and this is in no particular order of preference [winks to camera] - Helen, Dan, Jerry, Sean and time keeper extraordinaire, Rick.

Well that's it for tonight. Maybe I will manage to get some training done tomorrow - and maybe I won't - but I hope I do...

Thought for the day: Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

This thing called work

...keeps getting in the way - oh yeah, and this thing called knackered legs. In a way I'm glad of the excuse really - I would have been soaked to the skin had I attempted some 8's on the track this evening - I'll save myself for tomorrow. It's just a bit of a bummer though. Every time I give myself a kick start and attempt to put in some decent training I get scuppered. There have been so many false dawns of late. Anyway, I've decided the only way to get myself to train consistently is to find a target. To set myself a goal and then just get out there and achieve it. Operation thinking cap commences...

Thought for the day: There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stupid boy, Pike

My quads were not in the best of shape this morning - they are not in the best of shape now, either. We got out for a short run along a section of the Pennine Way with the meddlesome Mr Peddles [Pedwar] and the Super Dog [Brown Dog]. We headed out around the back of the Pike - Dufton Pike, shaken not stirred, and back into town - a 45 minuter. Then it was breky in the local tea room before heading home. The drive home wasn't great - but then when is a five hour drive ever great? Come to think of it, when is a five hour drive even half decent? - Answers on a post card.

Oh, and one more thing, Helen spoke to Ricks brother, Mick, on Saturday. I'm pretty sure he's the M50 Gold medalist in both the English and the British. It is most unnerving seeing him. I can't help expecting him to be Rick.

Oh, and just another one more thing - these northern folk don't talk gert proper, like - when I complained I couldn't understand this chap at the bar they had the cheek to claim they couldn't understand me!

Thought for the day: I'm not a complete idiot --Some parts are missing.

Yest erday...

All my troubles seemed so far away. Not that they feel particularly near today, mind.

It was my first race of the English and British fell championship - shame it was the last of the season. Helen (or Mrs Mad Runner to be - I might pay for that later) didn't run well but as a consolation she is the English Fell Running Championship individual silver medalist - as well as taking the team gold with Calder Valley - not a bad days work.

So how did I run? Not great. I ran hard - none of this starting slow and getting slower but I struggled on the ascent and lost close to 20 places - which is a shame as i would have finished well inside the top 100 - instead of 105th. Still, I enjoyed racing - I've not lost the desire - just the ability - shut it, I have a bit, really, I do but I'm just hiding it under a bush at the moment, ready to spring it on an unsuspecting world at any moment. Be afraid, be very afraid...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Miles from the track

I was miles away from a good track session this evening. No, really, I was miles away.

Unlike yesterday, I did actually do some running tonight and strangely for the first time in ages I felt quite powerful - almost a disappointment not to be running at the track. Still, what energy I don't waste today I can use on Saturday at the Dufton Pike race. I'm so going to try and really get myself in a race up there.

Thought for the day: If it's sent by ship then it's a cargo, if it's sent by road then it's a shipment.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Banking on holiday Monday

It was decent enough weather for some mile reps. So Sean, Helen and I headed over the road to run my mile rep specials. Well, Sean didn't head over the road, he came up the road. And why mile rep specials? Because the loop is one of the most accurate mile loops you will find anywhere - in the world - fact. They are with 0.01% accurate - OK, I made that bit up, but they are as near as dammit exactly one mile.

Anyway, I ran slow - as did we all really. Sean had a bout of the pains and Helen had a touch of the tight hamstrings. My splits of 6:06, 6:08, 6:03 and 6:06 weren't exactly fast and I know I've done them lots quicker in the past but for now I just have to be happy with easing myself back into the groove. My return continues...

Thought for the day:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Easy does it

It was just an easy hour up at Ashton Court this morning. Good weather and fine conversation made the time just fly by. It seemed like no more than hour and the run was complete. We ran out through Leigh Woods and back along the tow path. Rick was crook - dodgy knee - so Tim deputised and the rest of us followed. I shall miss our lazy Sunday Ashton runs once I'm living up in the Forest of Dean. I will have to try and get down now and again to meet up with the gang.

Anyway, tomorrow's plan is to run some mile reps. How many? That I don't know yet but four would be a safe bet - unless some hard task master makes us do more - and that's a distinct possibility...

Thought for the day: If only one could get that wonderful feeling of accomplishment without having to accomplish anything.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


It was the day of the Knowle Invitation and I was invited - nice.

As day dawned - it tends to do that - and eerily it's nearly always around about the same time that the sun appears above the horizon - oh, where was I? Oh yeah, day dawning. Well as day dawned I realised I felt bad. Not just your average I don't want to get up now bad, no this was your real I feel ill bad. But after cancelling last weeks gawlf on account of knackering my legs I just had to make it out there for this one.

I skipped brekky on account of the fact that the stomach ache was too much and headed out onto the course. It was a great day for it - stop it - and although I didn't feel great I managed to get round OK and indeed played some half decent golf. I wasn't striking the ball well - shh, but around the green I was playing like Mr Woods - I only took eleven puts on the back nine [that's good, by the way].

We didn't win but then that's not the point. What am I saying, course that's the point but we weren't far off the pace and with a few less duffers we would have been right up there - then again, everyone says that.

Well, I'm feeling a lot better now and should get up to Ahston Court tomorrow for a run out with Rick, Sean and who ever else turns up - I only hope they don't run too fast - fat chance of that I'm guessing...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Uh oh, you're in trouble now

I'm resting ahead of, well, nothing really. I guess I'm just a lazy bastard.

I did get out for a short run. A stretch of the legs. An amble in the jungle - the urban jungle. Mind you, I did see a few scary looking natives. It was only a quick one round the block but the legs are still a bit pants so I don't want to risk further damage. I'm golfing tomorrow and then Ashton Courting on Sunday - haven't done that for a while. I expect they'll be far too fast for me - or maybe I'll be far too slow - same result.

Anyway, I leave you with the result of a recent bout of boredom...

Oh I hope I'm not over the hill
That my legs can power me, still
I must start to train
From the couch must refrain
Oh I hope I'm not over the hill

Oh I hope I'm not over the hill
My muscles I want to refill
I vow to regain
And run through the pain
Oh I hope I'm not over the hill

Oh I hope I'm not over the hill
I've races to run for a thrill
Dufton comes soon
Will I be fortune?
Oh I hope I'm not over the hill

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I like to ride my bicycle

I like to ride my bike. Yes folks, it was more of the exercise bike tonight. My calfs were still feeling the effort from yesterday and I don't want to push myself off course - unlike our Olympic 10k swimmer - controversial, below the belt.

I could only manage 45 minutes on the old cross country setting and I was so far down on my best it was laughable - I had to laugh else I would have been crying it was so bad. I still have an awfully long way to go. Many roads must I travel. I'll take the low road while everyone else takes the high one - but I have more than a sneaking suspicion that I won't be in Scotland afore ye. Not sure I'll even be close. Still, I'll dig in and dig deep - now that's a lot of digging...

Thought for the day: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Huge turnout

A rolling stone gathers no moss - but the running group does gather more runners - it certainly did tonight at least. We started the first with six. That's Jerry and Dan - the geriatric duo - whoops, did I say that out loud? - I meant the dynamic duo. Sean and Rob - the young ones - and Helen and I ... with Rick on bass stop watch.

We ran five reps of a 600m followed by a jogged 100 before a 300m followed by a jogged 200 back to the start. I had to skip out after the third - I needed a poo - sorry, too much information - but I did complete all five.

Anyway, after the first set we were joined by the ranks of Dave B's group which swelled our numbers to close to twenty.

It was a good, hard session tonight and my splits of 2:00 for the sixes and 57 for the three's weren't too bad - Helen beat me, of course - but then it's not like it's a race is it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A long days day

I had a long day at work. Couple that with a sore calf muscle and you have all the ingredients for chicken soup - I mean, absolutely no training. I really wanted to run my eight's over at the track but I just knew it would be both pointless and would put my aching body back further. This way I hope I can put in a half reasonable effort tomorrow.

I did at least put in an hour on the bike infront of the telly. It wasn't exactly Chris Hoy but I got the heart rate ticking over without straining my poor, feeble shell.

Anyway, it's time for feet up to watch the Olympic highlights...