Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's official!

We only have 100,000 hypochondriacs in the UK. How so you ask? Well that's the number that claimed to have Swine Flu last week. Double the previous weeks figure and indicating a major spread of the virus was well under way.

With such a high number of infections you would expect the number of new cases this week to be even greater but in reality the total number of those claiming to have Swine Flu has leveled off at around 110,000.

What can we deduce from all this data? - That in the main, those that claim to have the Flu are in fact hypochondriacs, jumping on the panic bandwagon and luckily we only have 100,000 of them here in the UK.

Small Print - that isn't actually any smaller than the main print - Apologies to the 10,000 that really do have the Flu, I hope you get well soon.

The rain in spain

seems to be falling mostly... on the United Kingdom - that can't be fair.

I'm resting the achilles ahead of the weekend racing so I didn't make it to the track. Having said that, Sean and Rick weren't going to be there because Sean raced on Tuesday in a BMC 1500m down in Exeter and set yet another PB, 4:09. He's edging towards the magic 4.

My legs feel a lot better but the achilles continues to be a small worry. Still, it does seem to be getting worse and when I do get out for a small run of, say, oh,  21 miles, it doesn't approach anything more than a little sore. So I'll as normal, I'll just ignore it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barred from the Bridge

Well alright, it wasn't an official bar but with my sore legs and even sorer - I'm no expert on the English language but that doesn't sound correct so I'll try this instead - and even more sore achilles I decided not to run. Even as a training exercise it would have been pretty futile as I wouldn't have been able to run at any sort of tempo speed. I did, however, show my face as a marshall but as it turned out the travellers camped along the side of the course had moved on so I wasn't needed to defend the path after all.

I feel a bit more easy this morning so I may go to the track tonight but then I may not. I shall see how my day goes. Whatever the outcome I will not be running a fast session. Maybe just some easy laps...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I went OK in the first half...

first half mile, that is - only kidding. No, I got to the half way point of Porlock Weir in OK shape - read, I was still on my feet and able to run of a fashion.

Having started at Countisbury, the race winds its way along the coastal path which, up to Porlock, consists of a lot of runnning along narrow paths and tracks. It was good running and somewhat sheltered from the strong winds and some of the rain. Things were going alright - even though I was running a bit quick.

From Porlock the path heads across a mile or two of near flat before the major climb - which it has to be said is not that major compared a lot of fell race climbs but for me and my lack of fitness it bloody well felt major. I climbed OK for once and overtook a few people but that was probably down to the fact that they were even less used to steep climbs than me - any half decent fell runner would have walked all over me. Still, once the top was reached there was only ten or so kilometres left but by this time my legs were begging me to stop.

The path heads across moorland and undulates but not so much so that it brings you to a halt - well it didn't stop me but at this point I was pretty much out of leg power and stomping my way to the finish. I should probably have taken things steady from there on in but you know what it's like. You see someone ahead and maybe, just maybe you can catch them so off you set it hot pursuit - although in my case it was stomp pursuit.

My reserves of energy were good for once but the final descent into hell - read, Minehead - falls upon steadily firmer and firmer ground until you hit tarmac - then it just plain hurts when all semblance of spring has gone. To add insult to injury Minehead Council have seen fit to build a bloody hospital on the last part of the route causing another 2/3rds of a mile to be added - I call foul.

Anyway, I made it to the finish in 3:13 which is 20 minutes slower than last time out but with the longer route and the slower me, I'm pretty pleased. At just over 21 miles and three to four thousand feet of ascent it is my longest race for years and I think I finished somewhere near the top twenty but my goodness does everything ever ache now. Within a few minutes of completing my legs were filled with pain and it was agony for ten minutes as I hobbled around trying to walk it out of the system. Eventually it eased off and I hopped - OK, I did and couldn't hop - into the car and drove home. Job done and I survived to tell the story.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Calm before the storm

It's just two short days before Seaview and a little bit of panic has set in. I haven't run anywhere near twenty miles in ages - in fact, it must be coming up to a couple of years! With 4,000 feet of ascent it's going to be a serious test. I am well and truly tapering and tomorrow I shall be carb loading.

To think the last time I ran I was round in 2nd place - after giving away the win on account of poor navigation. This time I almost think I'll be lucky to finish - oh, the power of positive thinking. Seriously though, I've run a few longer runs and I feel I can get round - just not very quickly.

My tactics for the race are steady, steady, steady. I will be slapping myself if I get caught up in a race at the head of the field. If anything, I'd like to work my way through the field. A bit of me wants to go quick but I know I need to concentrate of surviving...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trackless tonight

I jogged over to the track tonight and by the time I got there - all of 3 minutes later - my left achilles was playing up a bit. With the race on Sunday in mind I decided not to train. Instead I timed Sean on his five sets of 300m/200m off thirty seconds with a long, four minute recovery between sets. Before, in between and after Sean's reps I managed to put in 12 jogged laps but it wasn't like training - boo. Still, I need to make sure I'm in one piece for Sunday.

Sean, was on the mark again - all he needs to do now is RUN THROUGH THE BLOODY LINE. The last rep was a 200 not 195!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Number 104, Come in please...

Well I've got my number for Sunday's Seaview 17 - can you possibly guess what it might be?

I remain buoyed from the weekends efforts. My legs are very tired now though and I only managed 40 minutes on the bike before I gave in to the comfy chair - with the soft cushions - I think I'm tough enough to survive the comfy chair and soft cushions...

My quads are feeling the effects of the race but not as badly as perhaps they may have felt a few months back. But more importantly my left achilles feels better than it has for a week or two.

It almost seems like it's all coming together at the right time...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Stop laughing, that's it's name - the Fan-y-Big Fell Race. The rain fell, the wind blew in places but I enjoyed the run. Coming home in 1hr 32mins - and a few seconds - for 11th place. The race is just over 10 miles with 2,200 feet of ascent. After my long go on the bike yesterday I was pleased with how strong I felt come the end. Having said that, once I hit the road section in the final mile my legs were practically buckling under but I gained one place on the final descent from the top and he luckily didn't catch me back up on the road so the effort was worth it.

I feel more capable of surviving next weeks Seaview 17 - which is actually closer to 21 miles on foot...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On your bike

I put in 3 hours on the exercise bike while watching 'The Departed' a very violent - but good - film. I tried to get the balance between resistance and being able to keep the rotations per minute up at 90 - with means 180 leg extensions - which apparently is the rate at wot the top runners run at. I think I got it just about right. Other than that I feel a bit low.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm not letting Paris anywhere near me...

as my achiles is still sore.

We went for a short run before lunch - and short as in, really not very far at all. And now I think about it, we ran at a pathetically slow pace as well - I think I've walked faster than we did today.

Helen is going to be racing tomorrow but I've decided it would be fool hardy in light on the achiles plus the fact I want to make sure it's all eased back ahead of next weeks long race.

This afternoon we went to see Bruno at the flicks - oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. It is cringing in the extreme. In places it is hilarious but at points I had to turn away for fear of cringing myself to death...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tiring out

I made it to the track in what were not bad conditions. A little windy on the top bend, perhaps, but on the whole, not too bad. Sean was raring to go after another weekend PB - 1:58.1 for the 800m. That's 6 seconds off his previous mark - you see, I always said he was a slacker.

Tonight we went for five sets of 500m/100m jog/300m reps with three minutes between sets and we ran with Dave B's group after a gap last week. I took a head start on the group of about 85m with the idea that Sean would just about catch me at the line so we got the same jog recovery before the 300. It worked well and I ran pretty consistant 77's for what was a 415m rep followed by 52/53s for the 300m.

After the third set my left achilles started to hurt so I swapped out the track spikes for road flats. That enabled me to complete the long reps but I missed the 300 because I didn't want to cripple myself - I've got that Seaview 17 race to run in eleven days - can't be suffering too much on that long race.

I'm pleased with the session. By the last my legs were wobbly but I held it together for a 76s.

I wonder if I will be hobbling tomorrow...

Monday, July 13, 2009

A bit knackered

I just about managed an hour on the bike. My legs feel a bit heavy. Not much more to say on things. Hope to be recharged by wednesday at least. Still feel things headed in the right direction. Going to keep on with the circuits...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lake District?

More like the bloody Midge District - I've been eaten alive!

Conditions for the Wasdale fell race (first of the English Fell Championship Long) could not have been hotter. The runners were dropping like flies. Helen came fourth after suffering nausea from just after halfway with Great Gable and Scafell Pike still to climb. She finished where a lot didn't and got some good championship points.

I, sensibly, didn't even enter on account of having no where near the fitness to run such a stupid race. 21 miles with 9,000 feet of ascent? - bloody mad these yer fell runners. I did, however, cover about 14 miles and 3,000 feet of ascent in support. Providing water to Helen and a few of the Calder Valley team mates - and also any of the other lucky fell runners whom I passed water for - that didn't come out quite right. In fact, I passed so much water I didn't have any left for my descent from Black Sail Pass back to the campsite - doh.

I'm glad to be home now. It's been a tiring weekend. The drive up on Friday was horrendous. I don't even want to think about it, much less write about it. Then once there it was a radio dead zone so there was no communicating to the outside world. They only got electric up in those parts a few years back so we can't really expect them to have mobile signal just yet. Maybe by 2020...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wasdale here we come

but in my case not to run but to spectate - there's no bloody way I'm running 21 miles that includes 9,000 feet of ascent. I might be slightly unhinged but I'm not insane! Helen, of course, is running...

I will, however, be doing a bit of running around. 12 miles in fact but only to give my support and water at various points. I'll be doing my bit.

Well, we're soon to hop in the van and mosey on up the M6...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Brucie bonus, good game, good game

Bruce was back tonight after a long layoff through injury. Hopefully he can ease himself back into slowly and get back to his best. Tonight he mixed in and ran some steady four hundreds - quicker than me, I should add.

Tonight we ran five sets of 400m/200m with 30 seconds between the four and the two and a long 3 minutes between sets. The idea tonight was to go quick. Sean worked really hard - 60/61s followed by 30/31s. By the end he was pooped.

I tried my best but wasn't quite on the money tonight. My four hundreds were a consistent 75 seconds but after an initial 31s two hundred I dropped to 35s for the next two but then I had to skip the last couple of two's on account of being absolutely shagged after the four's. I ran in my road shoes on account of my achilles feeling a tad tight - I seem to have survived.

Then it was home for twenty minutes of cross training - no rest for the wicked...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cross training

40 minutes of cross training for me tonight. I've decided I need to get back into the habit - no, I'm not going to start wearing a nun's outfit - I mean giving the arms and legs a bit of a go.

I eased in with various leg, arm and back exercises all done in a slow and steady manner. I focused on controlled form and stretching. And you know what? Despite the steady pace I actually got quite a burn - amazing.

It's the track for me tomorrow...

Monday, July 06, 2009

A run after work?

What the hell was I thinking. Yes, after a mere nine months of having moved up north I finally managed to drive home and go for a run after work. OK, so where I live isn't exactly 'up north', but to Bristolians its practically another country up here. Even more of a shock was that I almost clocked up an hours worth - was that the sound of jaws dropping? Now I know I once went for a run after work on a day I was working from home but that's not quite the same. I think I need to go lie down now...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Another hot day

I got up a bit later than planned and determined, being a lazy bastard, that it was too hot to run so I rode the bike for 90 minutes infront of 'Flight Plan' - not a bad film if a little formulaic - but it held my attention for the session. I think I must have sweat about four litres because I was dripping like a leaky tap and my eyes were stinging through the salty wash - think I'm headed the way of the 'too much information' so I'll stop there.

Then it was off out front to help the neighbours clear our little stretch of stream to keep the water flowing but I really need some waders to get down and dirty - there's some sludge to clear. It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Well done to Sean

It was another Midland League day today, down at sunny Bath - least I assume it was sunny. Might have been peeing down, what do I know? I wasn't there. Anyway, I've just seen the results and Sean, who ran the 2k Steeple Chase was second in the race but first in the B String on account of the fact that Tim W was running and although Sean is quick, Tim is double quick. The reason I mention all this is because Sean ran 6:21 and I think that's a PB - don't quote me, and if it's not a PB then it's still a bloomin' good time...

Now it's the blasted achilles

No long run but I spent an hour on the bike and then a bit of felting in the sun - that's doing a bit of bodging on the shed roof for the uninitiated. The bike is still working like a charm, smooth as silk - can't believe I put up with the clanking for so long.

It's been cooler today and I almost wich I'd forced myself out but my left achilles feels sore so I figure nothing to be gained from making it worse. I should be good for it tomorrow though - with luck that is...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Secretly knackered

I secretly did some leg exercises after my extremely poor track session on Wednesday. I used to do a weights session on the legs once or twice a week when I had my gym membership. I figured perhaps I was missing a trick. A trick is bloody right - my legs were sore yesterday and sorer today - and I only did some crouches, forward lunges and some side to side. I spent close to half an hour of controlled exercise mind - non of this rushing, quick rubbish - if you're gonna do something you may as well try and do it properly - that's the Nepalese guru speaking again. But my god are my legs paying the price. Still it's a good indicator that I should add a few sessions in during the week - I'm figuring by my pain, that I need it.

I hope to be able to go for a long(ish), steady run tomorrow - dependant on the legs being less sore...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A prize winning pooch

A text book example of a gold medal winning lurcher...

A shocker

My legs felt terrible. Warming was hopeless - all right, it wasn't that bad, no hang on, it bloody well was...

It was just Sean and I tonight and while he ran an excellent session of three hundreds in a mind boggling consistent - and down right fast - 43 seconds, I ran two 1600m very very slowly. It was more of an extended warm up and warm down. I almost weep to mention the times of 6:30 and 6:20 with a 2 minute recovery. A shocker is the only way to describe it.

I'm now almost certain not to run tomorrow the Thornbury 10k because unless I feel capable of running under 42 minutes it won't even be a solid tempo run. If I were a betting man I would not be putting down a big ante.

Off to sleep now...