Monday, November 30, 2009

You know what Monday means...

the Gadget Show - yeah - and an hour on the bike - yeah - eh?.

I really notched it up a bit for tonight's session. My legs are feeling rather jelly like right now. I haven't even ventured forth to the shower just yet on account of still radiating vast amounts of thermal energy - but, I hasten to add, zero greenhouse emissions - nor, for that matter, any non-greenhouse emissions either - I think I'll shut up now.

Not sure what I'm going to muster up for tomorrow's training. I'm out of the office so a lunch run is out. Will I still have the energy by the time I get home? That's the bigy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well that;s the Blorenge for another year

I really felt like staying in bed and missing the Blorenge but H convinced me to go.

Conditions were as wet as I known them - no surprise there then, in the midst of this heat wave we're having - but it wasn't any more slippy on the steep, treacherous woodland section on the way out and back.

I went out - as has become the norm - 'steady'. Overtook a few on the way to the top and held on the fast run back. I was hoping to collect a few scalps on the descent but in the end I'm happy to settle for all square. My time (33:18) was a minute slower than last year but I didn't feel I fully committed to the race this time around. All in all it wasn't too bad. (I was 28th of a record field of 75 on account of it being a Championship race so a lot of the North Wales crew came down to run).

Now onto more important matters. I won my first ever monetary valued prize!!! EVER. OK, so it wasn't cash but a ten pound voucher for running stuff is almost as good - unless, of course, you don't run, in which case it would be a bit rubbish. Anyway, I was third senior man in the South Wales Summer Fell Series - how that happened, heaven only knows, but the stats don't lie and along with said voucher I won a sacred mug. The holy grail of the South Walesian fell running scene. A mug. 'The' mug......

Friday, November 27, 2009

Over the top

As you might have guessed from the tweets I got out for another Dundry run with Martin. He was a man possessed. From the first road crossing onwards there was no stopping him as he moved steadily out the front door.

I didn't feel too tired before the run but as I tried to reduce the speed at which he pulled away I just ended up getting more and more fatigued. The hill was a struggle - and he claimed he struggled too, but I didn't seem to gain any.

I reached the top to find Martin out of sight. As I ran back down - at least running the anti-clockwise loop it's all downhill from the top - I hit a massive puddle with no option but to pile on through - water to the ankle - doh.

I'm glad I keep getting out there on a lunchtime. It's good to have someone to run with - or on today's performance, run miles behind - but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. I'm sticking with it...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have they lengthened the track?

I managed to get out for a run at lunch with Martin. He posted a cracking time yesterday, 19:09 in the wind was a great effort. We were both a bit tired as we chugged up over Dundry against that damned wind - again. Does the agony never end? Do we have to spend all eternity battling the demon that is 'a strong gust or two'? OK, that's probably over stating it a bit. We ran watchless but I have a feeling we might have been a few seconds slower than last time.

There is no rest for the wicked - and after yesterday's appalling time, I am truly wicked - but not it a down with the kiddies, good way - I headed out to the track for some more penance.

Sean was back and running strongly. It was still windy but not as bad as earlier in the day. I ran six 400's with a goodly recovery. I started slow and sped up. My first was a lack lustre 84s! - now that's what I call lack lustre. Then came an improved 81s, a 79s, two 77s and a final push for a 75s. My legs were feeling very heavy and although I only managed six I'm still pleased.

Now I rest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You know your in trouble when...

You get the 'burn' in your legs half way up the second flight of steps to your office - doh.

It was windy tonight. Possibly the windiest I've know it at the Bridge Inn. And being the Bridge, what wind there is, is right into you on the way home - bummer.

I ran like fourteen sacks of potatos. I'm obviously not over my five and a half hours of running on the weekend. I don't feel in any way stiff - stop it - but my legs feel tired. It seems strange but I thought I might go all right tonight - but I was wrong.

I intend to head out for a run at lunch tomorrow and then hit the track later on. That might seem too much but I'm so flamin' slow right now I could run a million miles for one of your smiles, my mammy - what the hell was that - a million miles and it wouldn't make me any slower. I need to up things...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well I am - totally.

It's been a great weekend though. Totally pants weather, mind, but that didn't spoil the fun. Friday's drive up the M6 - leaving at 5, such that we did - was actually pretty good for once. There was none of the normal stop start above Stafford. We moved along at a steady pace and got up to the Hebdon Bridge area right on schedule - M6 as it is, that doesn't happen often.

We stayed at the luxurious Hotel du Anne and Bill - a most excellent establishment with on suite self catering cottage available at reasonable prices in the heart of some truly great countryside on which to run - brilliant.

Saturday's Tour of Pendle went fine until about 13 miles when I ran out of puff. The last few miles were killer, including two of the steeper climbs. I finished in 3:27 but was on for somewhere near 3:10 before I faded. Helen was second in under 3 - I wonder when she'll stop bragging about by how much she beat me - doh.

The Calder Do in the evening was fun. I had drooping eyelids not to mention drooping legs by the end but everyone seemed to have fun.

Then this morning we went out to recce the Noonstone race, we'd arranged a semi official club recce with lots of agreed attendees. Due to various illnesses - read hung over - there were only four of us in the end but it was good all the same. The race is run over some quite wild moorland and it was 8 miles of mostly tough going - and boggy, most definitely boggy.

The drive home was uneventful and soon, very soon sleep will come...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just a quickie

Things have been a bit - read, unbelievably - hectic. We are just about to head up north and I've not had time to train nor gert nuffin' since Wednesday. Not that I intended much, mind, but my planned easy hour on the bike didn't happen due to unforeseen required house maintenance - bugger.

Will the weather hold? Will I survive a 16 mile race in the hills? Will we all be doomed? And why did that chicken cross the road? Find out in a day or two... (excepting the chickens road crossing antics]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

79 to 81 duh duh dah radio 2

no, hang on, that's 88 2 91 - which is too slow even for me. No, I ran my laps in the range 79 to 81 seconds - except for the first one, which was 83 seconds - bummer. I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sean couldn't get away from work, so having arranged to transfer the generator to Rick in a secret car park rendezvous - I was wearing a dark rain coat, Rick was wearing dark sunglasses and a trilby as we made the transfer - we carried on to the track and ran eight 400 reps with a walked 100m recovery.

It was windy but thankfully the rain held off. I struggled a bit and after two or three was puffin somewhat. I have to admit I was slightly lagging and stretching out the recovery - Rick was having to wait for me, but only slightly, mind. I was bloody glad when it was all over.

I guess I should explain that I had already been out for a lunch time run up over Dundry - if you hadn't already read the tweet. It was a good run but a hard one - stop it. We - that's Martin and I - ran the clockwise Dundry route which today happened to be into the eye of the wind on the climb. We reached the top five seconds down on our last run but after a steady run in the second half, we got back thirty seconds up - with Martin still claiming the win - not that we were racing.

Another double run day which pleases me but I must taper from now for the Tour of Pendle on Saturday or I'll be doomed - doomed I tells ya, doomed...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rest, sweet rest

I thought about a lunch time run - for all of 2.3s. The weather has been rubbish. The forecast 4 tomorrow looks better - so I'm going to be giving some serious thought to a lunch time run. Honest, I'm going to be giving serious thought to it - I might not actually get out there, mind, but you can rest assured I will have given it full thought.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

All the two's

We went out for 20k this morning (/afternoon on account of being a bit wishy washy but eventually we did get out there) which included 2,000 feet of ascent.

At the start I ran like a bag of poo. Helen pulled away effortlessly on the first climb while I blundered along, puffing and panting like a tired, old pony. Eventually I found my feet - they were hiding behind a gnarled old oak tree, to which someone hadn't tied a yellow ribbon.

I feel sleepy now but I can't rest. It's been a good week of training for me but I must keep it moving forward. I've just entered the Tour of Pendle, a gruelling 16 miler for which I am totally unprepared. I have all of a week to prepare :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lovely weather

This spell of wet and windy weather is just the medicine the doctor ordered to make one feel like running. It makes it an absolute pleasure to feel the drips down your spine and the wind blast a chill breeze across your face. Lovely. Just lovely.


Anyway, despite that, I did get out for a run with Martin up over Dundry but alas, I felt knackered. He beat me to a pulp and I was a minute slower than Wednesday. At one point near the top of the climb I was going so slowly that I was all but running on the spot! Eventually I made it over and onto the downhill back to the office.

The drive home was a nightmare. The good driving conditions really brought out the best in some drivers. And just as I thought the nightmare was ending, inside 5 miles of home, the traffic on the A40 ground to a halt. I turned tale, dipped down country lanes and finally made it home - a frickin' long time after I set out - not back of the net. Far, far from back of the net.

I'm tired now, so tired - and a bit grumpy, as if you couldn't tell. It is defo time to veg on the sofa - and I never did find out why the traffic came to a stop.

Helen in runs for England tomorrow in the Master Cross Country thingy up Birmingham way...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy does it

I feel good after yesterday's training but - yes, there's always a but - I feel a bit lethargic. The weather is, how shall I put it, pants. It was an intensive day at work and the drive home through the spray was tiring. Tonight I rest, without guilt or fear of retribution, I rest.

Tomorrow I have another lunch time run planned with Martin. Dundry...

Addendum - sod taking it easy... Gimme back my speed!!!

I know I can't be idle if I want to go faster - and I really do want to go faster. I forewent the being a lazy bastard and hopped on the bike for a sweat producing hour - and I did produce some sweat - but that's probably too much information. My legs feel wobbly. In fact, I feel near bonked - to steal a biking phrase - so I'm off to get some carbs and a bit o' protein to refuel...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whoa, what just happened?

Have they put something in the water? - oops, better not moot such wild conjecture. Has there been a ripple across the space time continuum? Yes? No? Maybe?

The reason for such speculation is that in times such as these. Hard times, rough times - and in tonights case, wet times - finding my way out the door for 'a' run is testing. Sometimes I do, sadly, other times I do not. Today was an I do day. In fact, it was an I do do day. Yes - hold onto something - I ran twice today. Yes, I did say twice - I'm practically a professional athlete.

At lunch I got out for a solo run up over Dundry in a time a minute quicker than last Thursday's run. I ran steady to the hill. Worked hard on the hill all the way to the top before easing back over the top and downhill back to work. It was a good run.

Then tonight, in the cold and wet evening air - conditions I'd be forgiven for bottling - I hit the track. Sean was late but just as Rick and I were about to start up he popped. He ran five 1km reps off a jogged 200m recovery. I wasn't up to kilometre reps so ran five 500m efforts off a longer recovery, starting each of my reps with Sean on his. Rick ran 200's during Sean reps, while both pacing and timing him - if that makes any sense.

I was pleased with by times of 1:45, 1:41, 1:37, 1:35 and 1:39. It was slippy in flats but I'm not risking the spikes just yet. I've no niggles at the moment but don't want to tempt things. I'm buzzing just a little bit but I'll not get carried away. It's been a good day.

So there it is. One day. Two runs - bargain. I've another Dundry run planned for tomorrow or Friday depending upon whether Martin and I make it back to the office for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Easy run

A forty five minute easy run was enough for me this evening. I got out there and ran. I need to make sure I keep on getting out there. Now is the time for feet up.

I might try a lunch time run tomorrow before my track session in the evening. That might be overdoing it - and too be honest the chances of getting out there at lunch are... slim, very slim. Let's face it getting out once every couple of days is optimistic from me, so twice? - I'm 'avin a laugh...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday, Monday

I was going to go for a run at work. Now when I say 'was going...' what I really mean is 'I thought about it (for all of about five minutes' and I really might have gone for one if I wasn't tied up at midday. Oh well.

I made sure I did something though, and hopped on the exercise bike to watch the Gadget Show and while away a happy hour - not that type of happy hour, silly. It was a good solid hour's effort and after a quick shower I am well and truly ready for operation feet up...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The day that time forgot

It was a very long day yesterday. Technically, I suppose, it wasn't actually any longer than any other day but we were awake for a long time so it seemed long.

I was pleased with my run in the Shepherds Skyline race. I got a bit hemmed in at the start and lost a bit of time in the first half mile until things spread out but I guess what energy I didn't use up then I was able to utilise later - still feel I like it was a net loss though. Helen zoomed away at the start and I didn't see her at all during the race. She won the women's race from Anna Lupton, the first time she's beaten Anna so she was pleased. I was 62nd of 263 so inside the top 25% but not as near to the top as I want to be - guess I need to do a bit of training.

The Calder mob, apparently as rowdy as ever, picked up a great number of awards at the FRA Dinner. Though it has to be said the women far outshine the men. In fact, I not sure there was a single award collected for the men. The best part though, has to be the fact we actually got there this year - I'm so glad we weren't hit with any van trouble this time around so Helen could collect her Silver Medal in the British Championships along with team golds in the English and British Champs.

Anyway, I'm mentally drained after the long couple of days and a lot of travelling. Home now and about to commence operation couch potato...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lunch on the run

We went back up over Dundry again, Martin and I, that is. It didn't feel like we were going that much quicker but we were forty seconds up after the climb and then shaved another forty off from there to the end. It's true we didn't ease up as much on the run in but we certainly didn't run all out so I'm pleased there was improvement. I've been lazy this week and deserve a slap really.

On other matters, was it National change lane like a right nobber day today? The traffic across to the M5 was, quite simply, arse. People changing into my lane, other changing out, more in, others out, in, out, in, out - I think we can see where this is going - no, nobody started shaking it all about - because that would have really pissed me off. Still, once I was onto the five things improved and people started driving less like nobbers - there were still a few out there mind.

Tomorrow we are headed up north for a race and the FRA dinner. I'm off to choose my outfit... (like f#&k...)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A bit lazy

I was a bit lazy tonight. It was raining hard and I felt tired. I know I've not run since Sunday but I did manage a bike session. I shall be taking my kit to work where hopefully I can get out for a lunch time run - still haven't located that missing pair of trainers. I'm beginning to think they aren't coming back...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Two thousand feet

With Lord Hereford's Knob long discarded we went out for a run from home instead. The weather had improved and although windy it didn't rain. In all we covered twelve and a half miles across May Hill and beyond to Kilcot and back. I was surprised to discover the run included about 2,100 feet of ascent. No surprise I feel absolutely knackered now though. Yesterday's race, although shortish, took it out of me but I'm glad I got out there today.

The route went a bit wrong - I shan't blame the navigator though ;) It made for an interesting run. Boggy in places but at least it was somewhere I haven't before - not sure I want to go there again, mind, but I definitely haven't been there before.

With five runs under my belt this week, I shall sleep well tonight, Horatio.