Friday, December 31, 2010

Return Of The Mad Runner

2011 is gonna be the year the Mad Runner comes home. Starting tomorrow.

I'm off to run my first score orienteering event tomorrow - but that ain't the mad bit. No the mad bit is the nine mile run to the start at Mallards Pike in the heart of the forest - and then the nine miler back home afterwards. And in case you're not sure, that's the mad bit!

Today Martin and I managed another lunch run. Our first back to back ever. The start of a new dawn. I ran strong again as we tested each other. Each pushing the pace a little only for the other to ease back alongside. Martin still has the edge but I've definitely improved. He felt the pressure. No bike tonight though - the Mad Runner is allowed a day off now and then.

Well anyway, time to wave a big, but not so fond, farewell to 2010 and the last few years - it's been a lesson if nothing else. Tomorrow is the start of something big... and ladies, you can consider this hunk, a hunk of burning love back on the market - and with low mileage, mot, road tax, full service history and having undergone a recent full re-tune is an offer you can't refuse....... or maybe you can? Look into my eyes, not around my eyes, right into my eyes, and relax....

Happy bloody New Year everybody. Let's make Two Thousand and Eleven a god damn f$%king brilliant one. The year the Mad Runner returns....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Feeling Fine

Now normally I write a bit of preamble here but f@^k it - I had a bloody good run at lunch time. There I couldn't hold it in. It wasn't the hilliest. Nor the fastest but, as Tony would say, it felt greeeaaaaatttt.

Graham joined Martin and I as we ran a fairly flat route around the office. Probably about 7k I'd guess. We ran steady until we got into the Malago (spelling? Who cares) park. Then, having been given permission I dropped out the front door as my pace picked up. And for the last three-ish kilometres my pace just kept increasing. By the finish I was bombing. I really was. And it felt great, very nearly like the old me, the me of yester-year. Tonight I finished off the days exploits with forty minutes on the bike.

Got another lunch run planned for tomorrow and then Saturday there's something called orienteering? - what's that all about?

I feel like the new year has started already. Have I recieved a blown to the head? - no, stop it, sssh, no, matron! I feel like a new man and it's all down to friends new and old. Some in real life and other in the imaginery one but all much valued and hopefully I'll meet some of those imaginery ones. All of which leads me to wrap this up before it all gets too weird. Been, and I don't say this lightly, just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Extra Extra

Read all about it. Having been able to put my feet up for five minutes I've turned my attention to loosely planning my year in running.

My main goal for the year is going to be an ultra challenge. Having chatted through things with a couple of friends from Chepstow I think the 76 miles and 30,000 feet of the South Wales Traverse should present a worthy leg up on the path the ultra enlightenment. And I have a few of them interested in having a crack at it with me. Going to need to drum up some support runners for the attempt as well though. Any takers? The main thing to all this, is that in my mind, I feel capable of going the distance. After a few years in the running wilderness I feel the strength returning. The force is strong in me. My initial idea is to go for the attempt the last weekend in May, with its bank holiday for recovery.

Additionally for early season I've entered the Dursley Dozen, The May Hill Massacre and the Hogweed Hilly Half. I've also sent off my entry for the Long Mynd Valleys race - it's a British or English champs and has been moved so it doesn't clash with the Dozen - bloody kind of them! It's a bloody good race and hopefully, if everything goes to plan, I should get close to my 2005 time and possibly even nudge under the two hour mark.

Moving further into the year I'm going to put in for Ennerdale, Wasdale and possibly even Borrowdale - provided I get my entries in on time, as they're always popular races. It is about time I stepped up to a few of the more challenging races - This year I feel I'm going to have the stomach for the battle. By the Power Of Greyskull....

Getting Serviced

The car, that is. Picked what I thought would be a quite day to nip along to Feeder Road - and as written in the prophecy, it did come to pass. In fact, the traffic at 'Early O'clock' was so quiet I had to wait around for a while before the garage opened. Still, gave me time to catch up on the days news.

Finally dropped off the keys before donning my skimpy cat suit for the 3 mile run to work, with my office clothes safely stowed aboard my trusty running pack. And I was off. Dodging around the early morning pedestrians and cutting a swath through the traffic I arrived in no time - read 23 minutes. Showered, freshened and fully clothed I set about the days work.

With the lunch time Tuna baguette safely consumed I carried on into the early hours - of the afternoon - before once again donning my cat suit for the run back to collect my car are part with hard cash [wipes a tear].

Surprisingly the traffic remained light and I was home for tea as quick as a flash - a flash, that has to be said, took just over the hour to reach its destination - so I guess not really that much of a flash really.

Once home it was time for forty minutes on the bike before I could call it quits and head for the kitchen to cook myself up a tasty treat. Chicken and tomato pasta - I luvs pasta - and pies, I luvs pies too but I'm saving that for tomorrow.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Restful Day

Not exactly a rest day on account of two hours on the exercise bike, but it was at least restful. All I've managed is a quick trip to the shops for supplies and some curtain rails - couldn't face actually doing the diy bit but at least I got the bits for when I do. Got pick out some curtains - that's going to be the hardest part.

The two hours on the bike was infront of cheesey Christmas film number seven. Possibly the cheesiest to date. But on the bike front I can see the improvement. My average rpm is climbing as the weeks progress. Legs feel a bit knackered now though. Got some good ab crunches and pull ups cranked out as well. All good.

Back to the grind stone tomorrow...

Monday, December 27, 2010

X Marks The Spot

It was the day of the Stotts Treasure Hunt and it was great fun. I guess there was about 30 of us out there in the Wye Valley. But before I write another word I'd like to thank the Stotts for a great day. They must've worked so hard to put together all the control points - some thirty odd - and the associated clues.

It was sort of orienteering - pick your own route to reach various point scoring locations and answer the associated question.

From the gun I headed out to control point one. From there I split away from the pack to rack up a fifty pointer up on Offas Dyke. I was now on my own but using my self proclaimed brilliant sense of direction I was soon passing people all the while taking detours to rack up bonus check points. By control nine (of 14) I realised I couldn't reach 10, 11 or 12 so diverted to take four bonus controls before hitting 13, 14 and one final bonus score. I got back one minute inside the penalty time - after which you lose ten points per minute - perfect timing.

In all I covered about 12k and 1,400 feet of ascent in the snow and ice and it was great. Then it was inside to the warm for some grub. I didn't win the race but having had a great day I'd say we were all winners.

Finished off back home with thirty minutes on the bike. And now its time to put my feet up with another Christmas film - if I can find one...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

No Rest For The Wicked

And in 2011 I intend to be WICKED.....

So far this festive period has exceeded my expectations. I'm feeling far more chipper than I could have dared to believe I would. I'm down to my new lowest ever racing weight of ten stone and it's all lean meat! I'm feeling fit. Feeling strong. Never mind the Blacked Eyed Peas having a feeling about tonight being a good night, the whole of 2011 is going to be a bloody good year!

Stayed over at my brothers last night, having spent a great Christmas day with family. I ate too much but - at only two bottles of wine - didn't drink too much, lol. Today I popped round a family friends for lunch before hitting the road and, as Chris Rhea would say, drove home for boxing day.

Tonight I turned to the bike - and then flipped it the bird before lounging on the sofa. Just kidding, no I intended sixty minutes which turned out to be 75 minutes as I decided to stay on and write this as a bonus. Tomorrow I'm off to friends for a social 'Treasure Hunt' run lasting up to 90 minutes depending on route choice. Should be good fun. I'm taking the mince pies.

Well, with 90 seconds to go, I'm going to hit 'post' and then bugger off to the shower and get all naked!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Another Christmas, Another Failed Run

I was up in time for the run - honest - but at -10.9 degrees out there (coldest on my records, beating the previous -10.4) I'm not going to risk freezing my nuts off. True, I've not had a lot of use for them this year but best to keep 'em in good working order...

Instead I'm knocking out a quick hour on the bike at high resistance. Then I can eat and drink with a clear conscience. For eat and drink I certainly will.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas

When all through the office not a person was stirring, not even a PA - mostly on account that eveyone had f&%ked off on holiday, what with it being Christmas Eve an' all.

I was there. Not a lot of point of me wasting holiday - I'll carry over the spares and use 'em in 2011 when I've got myself a reason. BUTLINS!!!!

I was really pleased with me performance today - ooh matron, no, ssssh. I got out for 35 minutes at lunch. Off road in the snow. Gert lush. And as I ran my mind did wander, thoughts of happier times - and happy times to come. This is my new start.

The drive home was uneventful. The roads were as empty as they get and I was home by twenty past five. Then it was onto the bike for seventy five grinding minutes.

And finally, to kick off my Chinese Year of the 'Being One Fit Mother F%$&er', I've order the best rowing machine in the world - ever - the Concept 2 Model D. By the end of 2011 I'm going to have the body of a much younger man. Maybe even that of a 37 year old - and for sure I'll be doing one arm push ups on the dance floor.....

I'll go out on a limb and say it's been a good day as my days go. :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

38 Was Not A Good Vintage

39 on the other hand is gonna be a f%*king corker. Anyone who tastes ain't going to want to spit!

No time for training tonight, home late. Been a good day though. Lunch out with friends and the dinner with family. Thoroughly bloody stuffed - ooh no, sssh, stop.

Going to try for a double tomorrow. A solo lunch run - suppose I need to get used to solo from now on - followed by a bike session at home in the evening. Then I'll be ready for Saturdays inevitable over eating - and other excesses. What's worse is that Sunday's race has been called off - boo. Guess I'll be going solo again...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Missed Appointment

Yes, the lunch time run was off the menu. As happens, work comes first - when at work, that is - and today I was. The snow could not keep the force, that is the mad runner, at bay and I got to work without issue. It's just a shame work did what the weather couldn't. And the return journey home was just as sucessful.

Tonight I peddled my way to a solid 75 minutes on the bike. My last ever bike session ever - as a thirty eight year. For sooth, my friends - and, I suppose, those that aren't - tomorrow I reach the fine old age of thirty nine - ooh scary. But at heart, I still have the mind of a child and long may that continue.

With great age, comes great responsibilty. And to that responsibiliy I'm tempted by the Gloucester Marathon at the end of January. I said never again for the marathon but hell, never say never again. If I can crack 3:15 this year I can claim a guaranteed London spot next year - one of my earliest running goals. Have to say, although not in marathon shape, it doth tempt me greatly. Plus it could kick off my South Wales Traverse training. For those not in the know, this year is the Chinese year of the ultra long run...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Short But Long

And I'm going to get Strong. Ding Dong.

It wasn't the longest of routes - seven to seven and a half miles. It wasn't the hilliest of routes - 1,200 feet of ascent. And it certainly wasn't the quickest I've run. But it was bloody lovely out there. Cold? Yes. Too cold? No. I'd say just about perfick.

I ran over and up May Hill, across the top and down and up to Huntley Hill before heading back on the road. It was god damn slippy though and so much harder work than normal - hence the exceptionally slow time for seven and a bit miles - almost seventy minutes! Shocking.

The views from the top were... non-existent. It was an almost total white out. In fact it was so white across May Hill I couldn't even make out the undulations of the ground. It was just contrast-less whiteness for as far as the eye could see - which wasn't far. I was almost snow blind.

I'm going to finish off today's workout with an hour on the bike. Ding Dong.

Today's route:-

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Don't Like Cotton Anyway

It's been a funny day. I didn't manage to get much focus at work but all things considered on account of what day it is, it wasn't as painful a day as I was expecting. I either put it so far to the back of my mind that it couldn't break free - my mind is very deep - or should that be hollow? Or perhaps I truly am over the worst of it? I feel sad but at the same time consoled. Partly aided by a great bunch of FBer's. Some are new friends some less new and all the more valued but none old and all as fresh as the day I first met them. They are the best. They raise me up, so I can stand on mountains, they raise me up, to walk on stormy seas - as Rogan Josh would say. Oh bugger, I'm welling up - just kidding.

Anyway, I just about managed to make it home through the snow but the village is a white out suffice to say I shan't be getting to the office tomorrow. Going to try a lunch run in the forest though. I love running in the snow and we've got plenty here. Maybe a trip to May Hill will be in order?

Tonight I'm back aboard the exercise bike - although I might do some push ups later - now where did I put my eye of the tiger CD?...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recovery Day

Great night out yesterday - or should I say, this morning. As is to be expected after such occasions, I am not feeling great. And I seem to have picked up a right bugger of a cold in addition - arse.

Managed an hour on the exercise bike and that, for today, is my lot.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fifty Fifty

What a cracking day. It wasn't going to be a day when I missed getting out for a run. The snow was crisp - maybe not so deep - but certainly even. The temperature hovered around zero but the sun shone and it looked great out. One of the few days over the last six months where life is worth living. And as a bonus it's the wrinklies night out tonight - whoop, whoop, toot, toot.

I headed into Flaxley Wood for about six miles with eight hundred feet of ascent. It was a bit rutted in places but that all helps to build strong ankles - provided you don't break 'em! And I wasn't the only runner out there. Using my apache tracking skills I could determine from the stride length and tread pattern that someone else had blaised me a trail. As to the actual run I took things very steady but got back in a surprisingly quick time. One of my quickest and I hardly broke into a sweat.

Well anyway, safely back home and into the warm I now sit aboard the good ship exercise bike to finish today's workout with an hour on the bike. Another double day of exercise - back of the net. Everyday, in every way I am feeling fitter and fitter.

Bedroom with a view

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cold Hands

Got a bit of work done out in the garden - but at a price. It was frickin freezing - I'm just glad it was only my hands that got cold! Bloody freezing. And not even any snow to show for it. There was a bit of a blizzard at one point but it only lasted ten minutes and never settled. After that I just had to come inside and warm my digits.

Decided not to go get cold again so I hit the gym for some leg work - literally - and an hour on the bike. And I took that to the next level. Level 11. Jelly legs, yeah baby.

All finished off with a nice tuna, tomato and chilli pasta - which, unusually, I cooked from component parts and not a jar! Totally full. Feet up. Bring on the Wrinklies Christmas Night Out tomorrow - Dave number one is ready...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lunch And Dinner Too

Despite the threat of 'weather' we headed out at lunch time. Once again we headed north from the A38 towards and, this time, around the quarry. It was a bit soggy underfoot but still traversable in road flats. And despite appearing flat on paper there was actually 500 feet of ascent. Not quite 'the Dundry run' but a couple of the hills got us puffing. And we were out there for a respectable 40 minutes - although three or four of those were spent map reading. I hasten to add we didn't go wrong. Luckily we got back inside the warm of head office before the rain came. In all we covered about 5 miles.

Not content with the run I put in another 60 minutes on the bike. Now I'm happy. When I say happy I don't mean happy in the sense of a year ago but I think I'm about as satisfied as I'm going to get of late.

Every day, in a little, small way, I'm inching forward with my life...

Best of all my weekend starts here - whoo hoo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Too Much Christmas Pudding

Not being a big lunch time muncher I felt stuffed by the time I reached the coffee - it was a nice brew, by the way. I definitely ate too much. On top of that I didn't get home till eight thirty. Too late for a run but with all that pud sloshing around in my tum it was straight to the bat bike - ok, the normal one, I had to give batman his back. One hour later the price of indulgence had been paid.

Martin and I have planned our run for tomorrow. If its frosty we take to the fields. Otherwise we're over the hill.... shut it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Successful Day At Work

Building a bit more of the Legend. Least I know I'm good at something. There were a few nobbers on the road on the drive home though. Eveyone knows I'm the last to speed - well almost the last, I have moments - and I pootle up and down the motorway prending to be a lorry in the inside lane but come on people, keep up with the traffic for pities sake. Despite that I was home before half five.

Moving on. I'm on a low ebb at the moment. Going the distance at the works night out last Saturday has taken its toll and I'm paying the price. I've been feeling pretty knackered all day and tonight I could only muster for 75 minutes on the bike. Better than doing nothing though. Going to get my head down early...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Later Than Planned

Home just after nine o'clock I couldn't even raise for session on the bike. Just about going to make it up the stairs to bed in a few minutes. But on the plus side my tuna pasta bake was bloody fantastic. Was I ever ready for it...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Want Chips

So I have been left with no choice but to cycle for an hour for my supper. Having consumed much beverage of a high calorific magnitude - not to mention its other properties - last night and into the early hours I was left with no option. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good this morning. No hangover or nothin' - result.

Sadly, although I did indeed feel OK when I eventually rose from my slumber, the key word here is 'eventually' because I was not in time to get across to Ashton Court for the ten o'clock run. Not by a long stroke.

Well, that's it for tonight. I'm off to get chipped up...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making A Hash Of It

It was a great day for it - fnah - the Tintern Hash Run. Running out from the Fountain Inn we headed, well I don't know really, seeing as I don't run over that way very often - read, once a year at the hash. There were thirty three of us and the pace was leisurely. The conversation flowed. It was good fun. A very social run. It's not really meant to be a race and I think everyone enjoyed it.

On other matters, I took out 'son of cap cam' for a spin. It ran out of battery after about an hour - on account of the fact that I forgot to charge it up ahead of the race. I've yet to examine the footage but hopefully I will have something I can edit up into a short. I stopped half way round for about five minutes to try and capture most of the runners on film as they topped out one of the climbs. That stop dropped me way back down the field - let he who is first go last.

After that short stop I set off back towards the front before finally catching the leader with half a mile to go. He had done the work so I held back to give him the win - but it's not really a race anyway.

In all we covered just over seven miles and a reasonable 1,400 feet of ascent. A good Saturday morning run. Then it was into Fountain for a drink, a chat and 'meat' Thai curry. All very nice but all to soon it was time to head home to prepare for tonight's drinking session in Bristol...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Taking It Easy

Another day off and apart from a brief trip to the shops and the construction of my gym bench I've done shit all, all day long. It's a hard life.

Today I put in yet another sixty on the bike and as I peddled, came to a decision. [drum roll] I'm going to save up for a concept 2 rower. Yes, it's a lot of money and there are cheaper copies out there but as my Nepalese guru says, if you're going to buy a rower you should buy one that will last a lifetime. The Concept 2 will last two lifetimes.

I'm mostly set for tomorrow's night out. Got the sleeping arrangements, well, arranged so it's all systems go. But before that it should be a good day out in Tintern taking part in the Chepstow hash run.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Crossing The Country

The hour known as noon did approach and we did take to foot. We ran. Through fields of barley we ran - it was really more sort of grass - but run we definitely did. And it felt good.

It was a new route in the fields to the north of the office, eventually picking up the community forest path to head back to the A38 and the journey home. In all we were out for half an hour and we have a new route for the future. Plus we've got a few ideas on how to extend the route out towards forty/forty-five minutes - but that's a story for another day.

Tomorrow I'm off to update my wardrobe - day off, party time. The weekend starts here...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ebb And Flow

This week has so far been ebb all the way. The lunch run did not happen. The document I'm working on is up to 188 pages and my calves are still buggered. Guess I really gave it everything trying keep ahead of someone in a race on Sunday. In that I failed but not by much. The price, however, I am paying now. Anyway, I am hopeful tomorrow will be another day - to be fair, I'm certain of it. The lunch run is yet again rescheduled but come rain or shine we will run tomorrow.

And then my weekend starts. I'm off to Gloucester Quays Friday to get some new gear for the party season. This bad boy is getting suited up and then I'm out to get to every god damn party I can.

Oh, and can you guess, more bike tonight. Better than nothing though.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Heck My Legs Are Sore

Sunday's race has really kicked in today. My calves are killing. Had to cancel the lunch run - that and the fact it was so cold my nick-nacks might have frozen off! We have rearranged for tomorrow. I reckon the legs will be OK - but will it be any warmer? And more importantly, will my nick-nacks be safe...

Tonight, yet again, it was another hour bike session topped off with 80 ab crunches, 45 push ups, 12 pull ups - they mothers is tough - and a partridge in a pear tree - well it is Christmas.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tell Me Why

I quite like Mondays. Tell me why I quite like Mondays. Guess they give me other things to think about.

Tonight it was the bike for sweaty hour - you needed to know that. My legs have deteriorated through the day. Woke up this morning feeling fine - sadly, I'm lacking the something special online my mind - give it time though. By mid morning my quads were beginning to complain. By the time I got home even my calves had gone on strike. Hence the bike as the only thing my feeble body was capable of.

I was 31st in yesterdays race out of the 200 finishers - happy with that as the Cardington Cracker always attracts a quality field - well, I'm in it for a start, lol.

Anyway, here's a not so sexy shot of me from the top of the second climb...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Had A Good Race

But a real bad day. Didn't think people I don't want to see would be there. If I had know I wouldn't have gone. I know it's the cowards way out but every time I see them I die a little bit more inside. It is destroying me. Just when I think I am getting on with my life. Bang. There it is right at me. In my face. And I die a little more.

Beat last years time in the Cardington Cracker by 10 seconds in treacherously snowy, icy conditions - totally different from last years rather mild conditions. But I feel shit. Totally shit. And now I succumb to a bottle of wine to numb my pain.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Enough Of The Cold Already

It's too damn cold. Couldn't face a run. Didn't want the pain from the thaw. I am a naughty boy. Instead I did 75 minutes on the bike, level 10. Legs absolutely knackered.

Come warm or cold I'm racing the Cardington Cracker on Sunday. I have committed to the cause and I must not deviate from the plan. It's a cracking race and I'm looking forward to a good performance. My 'Bob Fleming' cold has all but cleared up so fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

When Two Become Three

For the first time in absolutely ages - I'll add another 'and ages' for emphasis - Graham was out with Martin and I for the lunch run. Instead of the normal Dundry run we headed cross country on account of the slippy conditions underfoot. And it was rather pleasant.

And as miracles go, Clive T, the optimism-less man, a man so pessimistic his glass is not only empty, it's got a bloody gert hole in it, actually had a smile on face after his run to work. He's been to a specialist, been gven some inserts and he's a new man. Might there become four?....

Anyway, not content with the lunch run I put in an hour not the bike tonight. Fingers crossed I manage to get out for my planned medium tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Changing Rooms

Ok, more moving this big Ikea shelfy thing from one side of the room against the wall to kinda free standing on the other side to act as a partitiony thing - heck, I know my interior decorating type stuff. I'm practically Linda Barker.

Tonight it was indeed more bike. An hour to be precise. Spent the time thinking about a small - hang on, I've not finished - coding project that's in the works for a mate. The bike is actually pretty thought inducing - I got some damn fine thinking done. Might suggest work get one - think of the exercise I could get done - not to mention work of course!

Off to shower now and then it's CSI Miami...

Monday, November 29, 2010

All Done

With the weekend shop missed I called in at my local 'nectar points' collection centre - if you know what I mean - to, well, collect some points - not to mention shopping. Sadly they don't just let you collect it, you have to do that thing they call 'paying' - don't like it.

All of which leads me, in a round about way, to getting to the fact that I was home later than normal and with the temperature back sub zero meant I was on my bike again. Eighty minutes tonight, an odd number, I'll agree, but better than sixty.

Hope this cold weather f$@%s off soon 'cause I gert hates it. Fingers crossed we get the lunch run in again this week - might be my only run if things persist as they are on the cold front - see what I did there? Ping ping, that's the oven. Time for dinner...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Did Someone Move The UK To Siberia?

What's all this cold weather about? Can't cope with a week of this.

Decided not to go for a run today on account of not wanting to freeze my... hands off. What were you thinking? So it was another bike session - the first of many this week I am suspecting. I think I need more thermals...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cold, So Very Cold

For once, when all around is getting snow, we - that's the royal we of us foresters - did get much at all but by god is it cold. I completely failed to get out for a run yesterday. It felt a little too cold for me - squeak, squeak. I did an hour on the bike, level 10, instead.

Anyway, having failed in my duty to train like a bastard I made sure I got out there today. I was 50/50 on racing the Blorenge as it's a shit race - no disrespect if you like it but I don't. In the end I chose a long training run instead and ran the Longhope Loop with the road variations - on account of it being 'a bit boggy' underfoot.

In all I covered just over twelve hilly miles in an hour and forty five. Admittedly that's not very quick but I managed to run the entire route, not stopping on any of the 2,200 feet of ascent - and I haven't done that for a while. There are one or two sharp bits and my form over the last year has seen me incapable of doing so. That in itself is pleasing because although the last two weeks have seen a drop in mileage I've kept things going on the bike and it's proving to be a worthy stand-in.

And finally my hands have warmed up and the pain has gone...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The weekend starts here

Day off tomorrow - toot toot. Fire up the weekend.

Tonight I put in another sixty minutes on the bike - sweaty. Should have been a run but I decided to hit the forest tomorrow for a longish one instead. I'm not that bothered about the Blorenge race on Saturday. Too be honest it's not one of my favourites. Three miles, including a mile grind to the top, isn't hugely fun. Can I be arsed to travel the 50 minutes to Abergavenny? Honestly, I just don't know... Another long run might be the order of the day - plus I'm out on the town on the night so might all be too much of a rush.

Bring on the party - will we end up in Reflex? I reckon so :) toot toot

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Know That Bloody Taste You Get At The Back Of Your Throat?

Oh you do, do you? Yeah, join the club. Managed the lunch run with Martin - bit chilly around the Urals. Decent run but this cold isn't helping much. Ten minutes in I was struggling. I could taste that bloody thing in my throat and had to steady the ship. Martin was miles ahead.

Surprisingly I was over the top only 15s down on last time - clockwise today by the way. I didn't do much running on the run in and finished just inside 31 minutes - 25s down on last time but not bad considering the status for my nasal passageways.

Pleased to have run, I just hope this damned cold clears up. It's the Blorenge race on Saturday and I want to beat last year's time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Off Colour

I felt a bit off colour this morning - in an ill sort of way, not the more normal of late misery way. By mid morning I was feeling better and cracked on with worky stuff.

Still a bit 'Bob Fleming' this evening, I elected to stay in the warm and dry and climbed aboard the good ship reebok for an hour on the bike. Catching up on the days news, as you do, the hour soon passed by and time now to relax and chill before it all starts over again tomorrow.

Other things of note today, I received my first payment of rent as a landlord - whoo hoo. Finally the finances are starting to settle down, a weight off my mind. And to top that I did indeed make the top twenty in Saturday's Elan Valley 10 Miler - I was, wait for it, wait for it, can you guess where this is going? I think you can. Yes, I finished in twentieth place from a field of 194. That, in my book, is one of my best results this year. Top 10% give or take - and lets face it, it's a tiny bit of take, I cannot lie. Sod that - Result. Bit by bit I am inching my finishing positions towards the top. Never going to actually get to the top, mind, but my ever improving form is at least something to look forward to.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where Is Mr Motivator When You Need Him?

Good run yesterday. Knackered legs today. I was thinking of a run but I just lacked the motivation. I know I should have run and I've been in severe danger of doing sod all but I mustered for 75 minutes on the bike. Not a replacement for running but something at least.

On the upside I set up the gym in the guest wing - all right, the ground floor spare room, but I like to call it the guest wing! To be fair an exercise bike infront of a TV is a few pence short of the full pound in gym terms. I'm thinking of getting a bench and a few other bits but I don't won't to clog it up with too much stuff that I'll end up never using.

I shall attempt a hill session tomorrow - but don't hold your breath.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Race, Good Race

I felt like a right miserable bastard on the drive across to the Elan Valley - two hours - doh. Had things swirling through my mind but that's enough of the wallowing - pull myself together man.

Didn't feel like socialising with the mass of Chepstow Harriers before the race but my Facebook chums worked their magic and come race time I was feeling much more chipper.

As to the race, just standing on the start line I realised it wasn't going to be a quick, flat one. There be mountains! The Mayoress of Rhayader got us under way and I moved towards the front on the initial downhill section. The first climb struck after mile one and went on for about two miles in differing degrees of steep and not so steep - I was puffing but digging in with a couple of fellow runners.

The pain of the race blanked all other thoughts and for a short while I was happy of a sort. I was on the limit and working just about as hard as I could. Mile five/six was another steep climb and the pain of battle was intense. Then it flattened till mile eight before climbing a bit and then the dropping to the flattish run in. I was fully wiped out across the line but managed not to be sick - you needed to know that didn't you? Go on, admit it.

I don't know my exact finishing position but I'm pretty sure I was top twenty of a big field well in excess of one hundred. My time was 66:30 which, despite being run on a slow course on account of the hills, is probably still my fastest 10 miler since 2007.

It was cold but it didn't rain and for an hour I was happy. I felt a bit more social after the race and went inside for the prize giving and a bit of socialising with the Cheppers. And talking of Cheppers, finishing fourth Chepstow man means I can drop a 90 for 97, gaining 7 points and, providing I've done the math correct, move from 9th to 7th overall in the Chepstow Championships. I'm not sure I can improve any further in the champs, needing an improvement of eight or more points I would pretty much have to win the last race - not gonna happen.

Todays Route:-

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Can't Every Weekend Be A Butlins Weekend?

Great blast last week with some really nice people. It's a boring one for me tonight. Got to rest before tomorrow's race.

Time to prepare for the race with a nice drinky-poo and piles - don't stop reading, haven't finished typing - of carbs for the ten miles that the Elan Valley road race has to offer. Bring it on. Bring it god damn on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mistletoe And Wine

'cept I replaced the mistletoe with chips. Chips and wine, much better. Shan't be needing any of that shitty mistletoe stuff any more.

Today's been a good training day. Shitty on other fronts though.

The lunch run took place a little late but we got out there. Anti-clockwise today - the more difficult direction to my mind - and I managed to get round just 2 seconds slower than last week's clockwise effort, 30:32. A direction best by a long way. Considering I've not run for eight days I'm pleased with that. Martin was out of sight - back to normal then.

Not content with that, tonight I pedalled my way to 30 minutes on the bike. Anger drives me to train like a bastard. I'm not there yet but I'm going to break records in the coming year. If music be the food of love then shut the f^*k up. If, however, anger be the food of speed then lay me out a f^*kin huge portion - oh er misses.

Elan Valley prepare to get your ass well and truly kicked on Saturday...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Ninety Is Done

and all I feel like doing is going to bed. Nout else to do. Been an upsetting, angry day. I'm not angry at anyone else, just me. The way I threw it all away. If only I was a better man. At least I've learnt a valuable life lesson; 'It's better not to love at all than love and lose it'. Shan't be making that mistake again. Just me and the pussies from now on. At least the bike calmed my anger and it was a full ninety at level ten.

I've decided to go run the Elan Valley 10 miler on Saturday. It's a bit of a way to go for a shitty road race but it's a Cheppers Champ race and I could do with trying to gain some valuable points and the anger might just help fire me around the course in a quick time. And I should add, today's planned lunch run is re-booked for tomorrow as I was caught away from the office.

I'm Just The Pieces Of The Man I Used To Be

Too many bitter tears are raining down on me
I'm far away from home
And I've been facing this alone for much too long
Oh, I feel like no-one ever told the truth to me
About growing up and what a struggle it would be
In my tangled state of mind
I've been looking back to find where I went wrong
Too much love will kill you
If you can't make up your mind
Torn by the way I left my love behind
You're headed for disaster 'cos you never read the signs
Too much love will kill you every time
I'm just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems like there's no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down, oooh
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can't you see that it's impossible to choose
No there's no making sense of it
Every way I go I'm bound to lose, oh yeah
Too much love will kill you
Just as sure as none at all
It'll drain the power that's in you
Make you plead and scream and crawl
And the pain will make you crazy
You're the victim of your crime
Too much love will kill you every time
Yeah too much love will kill you
It'll make your life a lie
Yes too much love will kill you
And you won't understand why
You'd give your life you'd sell your soul
But here it comes again
Too much love will kill you
In the end - In the end

oh, and 90 minutes on the bike ... echo echo echo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet The Tenants

I pulled - wait for it, wait for it, and, I suppose, an ooh er misses - a nine and half hourer at work. Had to meet the tenants to go through a few things. Me being me, I should have gone in late but I forgot - I think that's worth a doh. By the time I got home I was only worth an hour on the bike. Surprisingly, the balls of my feet are still sore so the bike helps on that front - will they ever heel - I mean heal? Still, it was a good session. I cranked up the level to ten and it felt hard but good - stop it. Before you know it, it'll be eleven - I said stop it.

Tomorrow I've got the lunch run booked in with a back up for Thursday just in case work happens, as it is so oft to do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back In The Real World

The Butlins weekend is over and I know I've consumed far too much food and drink - but not today, I hasten to add. Bloody good days, bloody good days.

I haven't trained since last Thursday and the withdrawal symptoms have set in. I need to get back to the running before I forget what my legs are for but the balls - wait, for it, wait for it - of my feet are still sore - high heels are not the most comfortable form of footwear ever invented so it was an hour on the bike tonight before burger and chips - lovely.

Now it's time to get back to normal - or as normal as I can manage - ahead of work tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Radio Silence

Not sure if I'm going to be able to post during the next three days. I'm taking a break so you can pretty much assume there isn't going to be any training. I'm taking my kit but in all honesty I can't see it happening. Still, you never know... pip pip

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well It Had To End Sometime

A bit of a leak has put paid to the thirteenth - not unsurprising I suppose, unlucky for some. Damn this weather. Damn it to hell. I've my tenants moving in tomorrow so it was a bit of an emergency. I had to bunk work to fix and then head back to work again. That meant I was away late and we're talking long gone six. With the schedule shot. I gave in to the power of the sofa - it is, I believe, a force from above and perhaps, capable of cleaning my soul. But then again, maybe not.

The weekend is going to be total annihilation. The Butlins weekend. I am so going to let my hair down so I decided I might as well start now - how much fitness can I lose in four days? How much weight can I gain? - don't answer that. I'm gonna burn baby burn...

Still, twelve straight days of training including my fastest Dundry loop ever can't be all bad. I'm going to kick ass in the Elan Valley 10miler. Bring that on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not So Easy Dozen It

Twelve straight days of training and today's corker came out of nowhere. The lunch run happened - Martin and I seem somehow more committed these days. I think we've managed to get out four weeks in five - a pb for sure.

No beating around the bush - ooh er, misses - because I'm well pleased and I really don't know where the hell it came from but today's run on the Dundry loop was my quickest ever. I've checked through my annals - don't want to miss spell that one - to confirm it. I was faster today than even in my prime of 2007. I can't believe it (it has nothing to do with butter).

I was over the top in 15:45. To give that some meaning, last time we ran today's clockwise loop I was there in 16:45. Crossed the line in 30:30 - Martin still whooped my but for the first time in weeks and weeks he was well in sight at the finish. In fact from the top I actually closed him down a little. Truth was I was never going to catch him but it didn't half give me heart to keep him firmly target locked. He just scrapped inside thirty minutes again. He is flying at the moment.

The odd thing about the run, and I guess it was because Martin was beating me by quite a bit, was that I felt I was struggling and going slow - until I got to the top, that is, when I realised that was an optical illusion.

The hard work - and to be fair, I've not really started into any sort of quality yet, it's all quantity and still not enough actual running - is starting to pay off. I'm beginning to feel I really can get back to where I was. I don't think I'm too old and I honestly feel I can go quicker than I've gone before. Not over the short stuff - my days of 5k's are behind me - but long? Long is where it's going to be at and I reckon I can top my times from before...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It Went As Expected

A session on the bike - no surprises there then. The lunch run is booked for tomorrow [crosses fingers and hopes the weather isn't total pants - I'll settle for mildly pants after today's torrent].

Another hour clocked up but I did crank it up a notch tonight with two ten minute higher resistance sections. Felt like it was doing me good.

Managed to avoid most of the bad traffic that seemed to be doing the rounds on the M5 this evening. People really don't seem to be able to handle wet conditions. Perhaps it should form part of the test? And since I lost a bit of time on the drive home I decided to lose a bit more and called in to Sainsbury's to get a few supplies for the weekend - the Butlins weekend. Not sure I've mentioned it before but I'm off to Butlins for a completely sober weekend [turns face from camera and pisses himself with laughter]. And as my Nepalese Guru would say, 'If you can remember the weekend you just 'aint tried hard enough...'

I think I missing something - Oh, yeah, that's the eleventh consecutive day clocked.

ps whoop, whoop

Monday, November 08, 2010

And That's The Tenth

Ten consecutive days of training - and my legs are feeling it. The stairs at work were an effort. Now I'm no expert but I don't think that's a good sign. So tonight I'm taking it easy with an hour and a half hard slog on the bike.

Tomorrow's going to be a tricky one. I've some moonlighting lined up after work so I think I'm going to struggle to fit anything in - ooh matron - might be the bike again unfortunately. Bring on day twelve - I'll not skip tomorrow, mind - actually I don't ever skip, too girly, I'm not a boxer - but the bike is a bit boring so I'll not over excite myself.

Heck my legs are aching...

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I can almost smell double figures - nope, my mistake, I think I've stepped in something.

Day nine of 'The Return' is complete. I met up with Rick and Tim at Ashton Court for a pleasant run through Leigh Woods. Sean was supposed to run as well but he didn't get up in time - I'm suspecting he partied a little too hard last night, excellent! That's no excuse though. I had a nice skinful myself round at my bruv's fireworks party but I made it over to 'The Court' as it is not known. It was a good night. But back to today. We ran for an hour at a fairly easy pace - for Tim it was practically a walk. My legs were feeling a little tight but not overly so. It was good to be back there. Maybe next time out, Sean will put in an appearance.

The run - and the good company - has sown some more training seeds for me. They train Monday evenings just after six and I reckon, with a little planning, I can work the old 'late start' routine and head there straight from work. It's an idea - but maybe I'll give it a miss tomorrow as I'm not sure how good the legs are going to be.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day Eight

Yes, my eighth straight day of training and even though I say so myself, today's was a cracker. I let nothing interfere or put me off the plan. Come the hour I got in the car. Drove to Speech House, in the heart of the forest, and got out there running. It was a lovely day for it - apart from the drizzle. Cool but not cold. Ideal for a long one - ooh, no misses.

I set off steady and meandered southwards heading towards Mallards pike, following parts of the half marathon route at times. It felt easy. It certainly didn't feel fast.

From Mallards I headed back north and west to pick up half route again for a few k's before deviating away. After crossing the Speech House road I picked up the pace. Not intentionally mind, but I espied a couple of runners ahead and couldn't help myself. Then after I'd eaten them up and spat them out I spotted some cyclists of whom I had to just go out pace. I was really starting feel the speed. The section from fifteen to nineteen kilometres was great. It almost felt like the old me.

After letting the cyclists eat my dust I eased it back down on the run in. I'm feeling rather pleased. Overall, the time wasn't quick. I was round the 13.5 miles and 1,500 feet of ascent in 1 hour and 42 minutes. But that's much better than of late and it didn't hurt at all - even on the quick bit. There's much more simmering away in the pot. I plan to gently increase the heat over the winter.

Anyway, after all that, I've even got my ninth straight day planned - the old 10am run with my old muckers, the Ashton Court Crew...

Today's thirteen and a half mile route through the heart of the forest:-

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Stuff Of Legend

A good day at work. Busy all day but didn't have much to show for it at the end but honest guv, I was at it solid. As to the legend... we had a cable failure - that's the royal 'we' of the water board - and after much faffing in the morning I was able to use a combination of Google Satellite maps and our internal mapping to guide the engineer on the ground right to the spot. As I told him to move back three metres from the lamp post past the fir trees, turn right and look over the hedge, there it was, the cable break. The legend grows...

I have a confession tonight. The promised run did not happen. After a damp, dreary drive home I could not face starting out in the rain. The dark and rain provided no enticement. I don't mind getting wet on a run but I really struggle to actually start one while it's actually raining - call me a wimp (but not to my face, please). Fear not though - well, maybe just a little.  I atoned with an extended bike session - 90 minutes - while I answered my emails and reconciled the bank account - yawn - in the dry. My legs are slightly jellified. Good session though, and seventh straight day of exercise.

Tomorrow I need to go long and I'm hoping to get a break in the rain to go get out there. I'm thinking of driving to the heart of the forest for a run in all its autumnal glory.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Day Six

But unlike the lord, I have no intention of resting on the seventh. I shall be using my Jedi mind trick, used so successfully on Monday's drive home, to get me back out there tomorrow night. It's going to be dark. It's probably going to rain and the tracks and trails will no doubt be thick with boggy mud but I know the woods of Flaxley will welcome me in.

Tonight, the drive home was respectable. I left a little late - 16:20 - but the traffic was still pretty good - bargain. On arrival home and after a quick munch on treacle biscuit - fnah - I was straight onto the exercise bike. I got all my emailing and rss'ing out the way while on the pedal before pizza and chips - yum, yum, tum, in my tum - well, I've got to keep the calorie intake up.

The rest of the evening is my own. Feet up and kicking back...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Going For Seven Straight

Days of training. I don't think I can remember the last time I trained seven days in a row. True, it's won't be all running but it's still going to be seven cardio days in a row - if I make it. The crunch day is definitely going to be Friday. The end of the working week. Can I possibly force myself out for a run after work? That is the big one. The fifty pence question. But hang on, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm only up to five so far. Today's was the lunch time run with Martin and we went up over the top - Dundry style.

It didn't feel very good out there in truth. Conditions were good but I didn't seem to be able to go very fast. We ran anti-clockwise meaning we get the hill in one great chunk and I struggled. I forced myself to keep on chugging and made it over the top but the descent was pitiful and it felt like I was jogging back in, I was so slow. Imagine my surprise to find that it wasn't actually that slow. In fact it was more towards the fast end of the spectrum than the tail. A big surprise. As always, Martin thrashed me out of sight.

Tomorrow it's going to be a bike session so I'm fairly confident I'll manage that. It all rests on Friday....... and then maybe an eighth and a ninth?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Here's A First

I'm going to post in advance of actually getting off my big fat arse. Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to burn the calories on the bike. It was a long one at work - nine and a quarter hours - but a successful nine and a quarter hours. Successful, that is, provided the work we did doesn't shut the treatment works down during the night. That would probably take off some of the shine. Fingers crossed. Despite the long day and leaving the office at five thirty, the drive home wasn't too bad. Only taking an extra five minutes over the norm.

This evening, my legs are feeling the effects from Saturday's race, the bike on Sunday and the hill reps yesterday hence the hour bike session taking place in T minus 30 minutes - well, I'm giving myself a few moments to relax before I hit it...

[and for the record my arse is not big and I finally have my six pack, last seen circa 2006, well and truly back, and more defined than ever - move over Peter Andre]

Monday, November 01, 2010

All By Myself

I did hill reps all by myself. It was hard to be sure, but I think I did four. All by myself.

My first proper hill session for an awful long time, and even then I've probably only managed less than half a dozen in three years. And what a shit night for it. It drizzled the whole time. I had a good commute - always a bonus - kitted up and headed straight out into the dark - lest I get cold feet. Head torch lights. Camera. Action.

I jogged over to Flaxley Wood and then ran four reps up the steep bit in a consistent time of just over three minutes per rep. Running in the dark is quite helpful on hill reps - you can't see how much further you have to go till you reach the top - but having said that, you can't see how much further you have to go when you legs and lungs are fit to burst... and then you reach the top. Then relax as you jog back down to start the next. I always use the 'recovery equal to the rep' method but in tonight's case the three minutes down seemed a damn sight quicker than the three minutes up - damn, Einstein and his time dilation. The four complete - I know, four, how pathetic is that? but I've got to start somewhere and if I try too many too quick I'm likely to fail. Anyway, the four complete I jogged home...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've Become Me A Monster

It was a bad day yesterday - had a few of those recently. Shouldn't let things boil over but sometimes they do and yesterday they did. Regrets, I've had a few, but then again yesterday's rant was one of them to mention. Lest I become a full on monster, my Mr Hyde will be kept at bay from now on. OK, he'll probably come out now and then - especially if any trick or treaters show up - we all know that's what the patio's for.

Today I lazed around the house. I've done a bit more clearing and sorting. Another bag of rubbish bites the dust. My legs felt OK so by rights I should have gone for a nice long run but I still had things swirling around and didn't feel like it - probably even more reason to have run but I didn't so there it is. Instead I fired up Frost Nixon and cycled along to the action. Well, the dialogue then, since there's not a whole lot of action to be had. Good film. How sensationalised it was from how it really played out I don't know but the acting of the 'apology' was cracking. And it gave me food for thought. I clocked up two hours of pedal pounding - and for once, in front of the film, it wasn't even mind numbing.

Sorry, this post's been a bit on the boring side

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Rest Before The Storm

The drive home wasn't great. No explanation as to why the traffic was so nobber on the '5' but I took evasive manoeuvres in the the dark - 'cept it was actually still light - and steered myself down one of my secret alternative routes. As a knock on of being slightly delayed I decided to go the whole hog so I got the weekly shop out the way. Leaving the weekend clear.

It's always been my aim to have a rest day today - and so it came to pass, as written in the prophecy.

Tomorrow it's the 'Loaf' at 2pm and my legs, now fully recovered, should see me round the course. It's 46:51 to beat from last year. It would be amazing to get any where near my 2007 time of 43:43 - but let's face it, that would need a miracle...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God Damn Legs

Are still bad but I did manage to get out for the lunch run with Martin - he killed me... yet again.

In the first five minutes I realised my calves were still tight so I decided to ease myself around the Dundry loop. It was that or return to base and I felt it would do me good. Loosen up the pegs ahead of Saturday's Sugar Loaf. So I carried on around the loop. I completed in 33 minutes which isn't the slowest but not hugely quick either. A good steady one. Fingers crossed the legs recover in time...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On My Bike

Disappointed by having to miss yesterday's Bridge Inn I haven't really atoned today either. My calves are still in poor shape but I have at least mustered for an hour in front of an episode of Grand Designs I've not seen before on tv, while also blogging this - multi-task-tastic.

I am desperately hoping tomorrow's lunch run happens. It's arranged with Martin - and well done him for his 18:21 Bridge Inn pb - just need to hope work doesn't intervene to thwart us.

I've had a slightly down week so far and with the Sugar Loaf race coming up this Saturday my mood is unlikely to lift any time soon - on account of who else may be there with who else. I can't let that stop me running so I won't. It's also a Chepstow fell series race, anther good reason to face it head on and rise phoenix like - but to be fair I'm not sure I'll be hanging around long after I've finished.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lemon Fresh

What is it with shower gel manufacturers? Why do they think we want to smell like lemons? Why I asks ya? And more to the point, why the hell do we buy in to it? I am now smelling like a lemon - fruity.

My exercise for the day is complete. An hour on the bike to try and work out the knots from yesterday's run - my calves are both tight. They don't feel much less tight now either but hopefully I'll reap the benefit tomorrow. I've the Bridge Inn 5k to run. I don't fancy my chances but I've not raced it for a few months so need to give it a crack. How close to 19 minutes can't I get...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A bloody nice day for it - stop it - and I came home inside last years time in the Exmoor Stagger. Result. But not by quite as much as I would have hoped for. Never the less I was pleased with the manner of the run if not how quickly.

Conditions, as best I can remember, were similar to last year. Maybe a fraction drier today but I don't think there was much in it. I set off towards the front and took it steady - slowly, slowly, catchy monkey and all that.

The significant difference this time round was the fact that I was able to run all the way to the top of the Dunkery Beacon without stopping once (that's the highest point on Exmoor unless Tony says different). Last year I remember being reduced to walking once in the initial woodland section and then multiple times on the way up. For me that's a big plus. I must be stronger.

The descents were a real boon. I out descended a ton of people - and by big margins, but then I needed to, to put big space between me and them else they'd have caught me back up on the ascents and flat. I almost descended like my old self, with gay abandon - I'll rephrase that - with fell style madness.

I was totally hanging by the time I reached the last woodland section. With a couple of miles to go I just about managed to keep the legs going till the finish. The race is supposed to by 15 miles but I measured it as just over 16 - which confirms last years measurement, and good enough for me to call it a long measure. Total ascent in the region 3,300 feet so pretty hilly as well.

My time was five minutes quicker than last year, I crossed the line in two hours and fifteen minutes. I'm guessing I'll be further down the field than last year despite the improved time as the competition at the front looked full of tidy club runners. Still, for me its not about the finish position its all about the time. And in my own opinion, I dun good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well I think I am. Got to get inside last year's 2:20 at tomorrow's Exmoor Stagger. I'm looking forward to the 15 miles and 3500 feet of ascent. Bring it on, bring it on...
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Square Eyes And Lunch Run

Working from home enabled me to get out for a woodland run at lunch - I did get some good work done as well, honest. I made the most of the day. Up early and straight into it. The report is getting there - if a little slowly - there's just such a bloody lot of it, approaching 150 pages...

The lunch run was lovely. Didn't see another soul. The weather held and I ran surprisingly easy. The weird thing was my time for the run. I last ran the route a twelve month ago. Then I made it round in 52 minutes. Today it was just nice and easy. I ran the hills steady - I'd like to say comfortably but although I climbed slowly at no time could it be described as comfortable. My time though was eight minutes quicker! 44 minutes today - how the hell did that happen? I must be in so much better shape than last year and the odd thing is I still feel I'm nowhere near my best. I've loads more improvement still to make. I was quite shocked by my time - but in a good way.

Today's route was almost exactly 9km with 850 feet of ascent.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Poor Week By Any Standards

It's not been a great week training wise - too be fair, it's not been a great month. Been a fair year but my minds been off it the last couple of weeks and the comeback has slipped. I still feel I'm racing well and haven't lost too much. And my mind is now reconciled to the ways things are in the universe. The cosmic dust has settled and I am free.

Today the lunch run didn't happen - the curse of the Tender Document struck again - might sell the idea to Aardman Animations... Anyway, I'm WFH tomorrow so I hope to get out for a good run at lunch, through woodland and countryside.

My preparation for the 15 mile Exmoor Stagger has not been great - re the above. I've still done sod all hill work and with the race on Sunday I'm going to struggle on the climbs. Thinking about it, I'll probably struggle on the distance.. and possibly the descents, maybe even the flat... and the drive there and back, lunch, filling the car with petrol - which I hope I don't as it's a diesel. Right, I think that's covered everything.

Well, I've looked up my time from last year (2:20:03) so I have my marker. I should beat it despite the low training mileage but I fully expect to be hanging on at the and rely on my mental toughness - if I still have it - and if not, I rely on being mental. I shall give it a crack.

Tonight I shall knock one out on the bike - ooh er, and then, as I said, a pootle through the woods tomorrow. And looking forward, I shall bloody well get out and run some god damn hills.

Now is the start of the rest of my life...

Hell, I'm gonna kick some Minehead ass on Sunday...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Come On Man

Pull yourself together. I struck out on the training - again. More relocation, relocation, relocation from her. .... I'm not thinking about it. Well, I did on arrival home. To see stuff packed up in boxes... it opens up the wounds, still sore, still throbbing. Brings it all back. It's fading again now but it's going to be a long, long time before I'm right. It's the little things. Sometimes, it's the bloody gert big uns, but mainly it's the little things that hurt the most.

Anyway, what the f*!k am I like? A frickin girl, that's what [no disrespect to girls intended]. I managed an hour on the bike in front of the telly, watching The Criminals Guide To Covering Your Tracks - or CSI Miami, as some people call it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lost Day

Didn't really get up to much today. My legs felt ok after yesterday's race but I've had a torrid, stressed and non-relaxed couple of weeks and today I mooched around the house. Did an hour on the bike by way of a little exercise. Moved furniture around. Cut the grass - and that better be it till the spring or I'm not gonna be happy - make that, even less happy than my already fairly low level of 'happy' at the moment. I slept in till 9:30 then got busy doing nothing...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Good...

But it's not right. It was Hogweeds Mimsey Muggle race today. A ten-ish mile multi terrain - right my alley. With championship points up for grabs I needed a good one. It didn't start off too well, at the first gate, two minutes in, I climbed the fence to the side due to congestion. I didn't so much 'climb' more 'fall over it' really, did a forward roll out and straight back up - didn't lose any time and those around me congratulated me on my style - yeh, that of a bloody idiot.

Anyway, after about ten minutes of running Matthew L and I were neck and neck, having a battle royal as we traded places multiple times around the course. Too be fair he's too far ahead in the champs for me to catch but that didn't stop me wanting to try and claim the scalp. Of late he's edged me so I was up for it.

I was strong on the flat. He was strong on the hills. As the finish was back up at the top, in Hawkesbury, it didn't look good for me. As the pattern of the race solidified I began to realise I was doomed, doomed I tells ya. Still, we had a bloody good tussle and he did, in fact, just edge it on the final climb. I was, at the finish, fair f*^ked, as I stood retching by the water station - means I put in full effort though - also means I'm just plain not fast enough as I still got beat - arse.

I feel I had a good run though, and the tussle with Matthew probably made us both work at full capacity. And it's the closest I've been to him of late, just 50m back as he crossed the line. I definitely need to start running some hill sessions - then I'll kick his sorry ass... (in a friendly, good natured way).

In the race, we finished 5th and 6th, with Chepstow Harriers packing 5 of the first 6 places. I'm pleased with that. My time of 1:18:56 isn't too bad on the 10.5 mile course with 1,600 feet of ascent. The organisation of the race went a bit wonky though, giving out the first three women's times as faster than the men at the prize giving! Oops, not sure there will be any official times or places as they seem to have screwed up majorly on that front.

As to the Chepstow Championship, by my estimate I don't think I've done enough to move up a place. I've improved my score but I think I'll still come up one measly point shy of moving up to 6th from 7th. Now if I'd beaten Matthew then I'd be sitting pretty in 6th equal. Oh well. Maybe I will have to go run the Elan Valley 10k. I wasn't planning to but Matthew's not running and I've a 90 pointer to drop potentially. So if I score another like today then I'll definitely claim sixth. Maybe I should do it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

On The Up

But only slowly. I'm beginning to feel better. I had some major report writing going down as I worked from home. Didn't get it finished but it did at least take my mind off other certain issues kicking around my head at the moment - and that helped. I will take each day at a time.

This evening I'm carb loading for tomorrow's 10 miler. I've not had the greatest couple of weeks training. I think I've slipped a few steps backwards since the Black Mountains race - but hopefully not too far. I go there to run strong and score good points in the Chepstow Championship.

I've got a couple of races planned over the next few weekends, including next weekends Exmoor Stagger - a fifteen miler, and I'm looking to beating last years time. Then it's the Winter Sugar Loaf although I'm not one hundred percent sure I'll run on account of who else might be there... I've also decided to go run the Calderdale Relay - or a leg of it - as I enjoyed it last year. I haven't run with the club much this year for obvious reasons and depending on how things go and how awkward things are, it may well be my last hooray in Calder Valley colours. All of which is making me sad again...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The End

Well the end has come. Came home to an empty house. The final sadness. I knew it had to come and maybe the sudden shock (and a few tears) will bring some peace in time. I'm getting some good support from Bubbly Office Lady - our Jules, at work - and in time I will come good. The finality has hit home like thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening me, Galileo, Galileo.

Today I strode out with Martin for the tougher, anti-clockwise route - with the one long climb verses the clockwise with the climb split into two sections. We left it to fate to decide - this year she's being bitch - flipped a coin and it came up tails - bastard.

I was shit. I have to admit I've not had much appetite the last few days and it's left me weakened. On the climb I really felt the weakness and by the top it would almost have been faster to walk but I didn't. I finished in 31:49 - not my slowest. In fact, upon studying my records, it's only 15s down on my fastest of the year over the anti-clockwise version. So the fact it felt so rubbish ends up being not too bad.

Tonight I have eaten better. Still don't really have the appetite but I need to keep my strength up for Saturday's Muggle.

I've booked myself a long weekend break mid November to go get hammered with a few friends - so that clear the cob webs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No More Moaning

It is time to pick myself up. Dust myself down and get on with living. No more whining. No more whinging. The last two years must be consigned to the past. It was the best of times while it lasted. Now to the future...

Tonight I mustered for an hour on the bike. Yesterday I was still too down to do pretty much anything. I even had to pull a half day. Tomorrow I'm down for a lunchtime run with Martin and Saturday is the Hogweed Muggle 10 miler. It's an off roader and should be better for me than the Chippenham Half - and that was my best score of the Chepstow Championship so far. It's another champs race and I need a few more points to move up the leader board. If I get a good one I can drop one of my lesser races. I'm gonna get myself fired up - the route even passes a couple of my water treatment works - whoo hoo!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Been out for eight and a half miles up to May Hill. That's 1,800 feet of ascent. Still feel angry. Still gutted. Still upset. Never have I felt more of a loser. I took the road route up as far as it goes before the last bit to the trig and over the top before heading to Huntley wood and Hobbs Quarry. Didn't stop once. Never done that, especially on the two mile slog to May Hill. It's surprising how much strength you get from anger. What a way to find out. A computer wallpaper. I feel like punching a whole through a wall. The hour on the bike afterwards hasn't done the trick either. The turmoil still burns within. I knew in my heart it was over. I don't want it to be. But this new crushing blow? The dust has barely settled. Mr good guy must go. Mr Nice must be consigned to the history books. They only ever finish last.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Anger Management

I didn't get out for as long a run as I was planning. Anger and upset meant I shot out the blocks far too aggressively. Mind, for the first two miles I was cracking along. Through the red haze, I soon realised I was over cooking things by a long long measure. That meant I had to loop back earlier than planned - it was that or be reduced to walking. In the end the run measured five and a half miles and 1,000 feet of ascent. Saw something today I shouldn't have. I have quiet anger inside. It burns down deep to my very soul. And that's your lot.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lofty Heights

Stopped off at Homebase on the way home to pick up some loft insulation. They've got a buy one get one free deal going down and for just twenty quid I've got enough to do the lot. Yes, just twenty big ones for four rolls and I only just got all that in the car - bloody glad I didn't need more than that. Can't believe it only cost me a twenty to max out the loft - I've got 270mm's worth up there now - beauty - and I've already laid down one half. It looks great and it's environmentally sound as well, made from recycled plastic bottles. All of which hides the fact I did sod all training tonight. I did add insulated silver reflectoring behind all the external facing radiators though. I don't know what's come over me. And now it's raining again.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Busy Busy

It's starting to get busy at work but I got away on time. Installed my new thermostat to do my bit to save the planet - not to mention a few quid. It's fully programmable so I can set different temperatures at different times of the day as opposed to the one global setting on the old one - plus its got a digital display - I gert loves gadgets.

Well tonight I climbed aboard the good ship Reebok. A much finer beast than the old bike - since I did my bit of redesign on it last year. 60 heart pumping minutes. I went at it full on. Got a good sweat on.
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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Finally, It Stops Raining

But I've been too impatient to do something. I was up at eight and straight into washing the car - - in the rain! Well, it saved having to rinse it off - and saved water - just call me Enviro-Boy. Then breaky. Then Screwfix to get the lighting parts I needed to convert the wasteful MR16 low voltage lights in the Bathroom to the more common GU10 mains voltage type running low power LEDs. I know, water and 240 don't mix but if there's a problem the RCD will trip and save me - and unlike Lionel Richie, I don't actually do too much dancing on the ceiling to put myself at that much risk. The only slight flaw in my master plan is that I mistakenly bought some red LEDs the other week as spares for my other GU10 lights - so its now a red light district come sun down.

This is all getting far too technical, as I was saying at the start, I was too impatient to wait for a gap in the rain in which to go for a run and too be honest I didn't think there was going to be one, so I spent an hour on the bike instead. As for the rest of the day it's time to kick back and relax in what is the last hours of the weekend. No more chores. No more diy. No more exercise. It's time to relax...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

So Far So Good

So far today I've managed to wash the dishes, affect a repair to the shed roof - re-instigating its water resistance integrity and been for a run - and all before 4pm. Just the weekly shop to go and I'm done.

I'm still fair full of pure green but that didn't stop me getting out for a run nor for that matter, enjoying it. It's so nice to be out there running along woodland paths, tracks and shaded trails - even if it was a little soggy in places. Let's face it, that side of things is in for the winter and beyond...

Today's route was up through Hobbs Quarry (a site of special scientific interest) - passing it's ancient lime kiln on the way. Then across into Blaisdon Wood and finally a loop round Flaxley Wood. I was surprised to find the total ascent was just shy of 1,200 feet. I know I was blowing at points on the run but I didn't expect that - no body expects that, use the comfy cushions.

It was a good run. Maybe not the fastest but I managed to run the large hill in Flaxley - and it's been know to beat me on occasion.

Today's route;

Friday, October 01, 2010

The End Of My First Week Back Home

And it's been a busy one. It began with a couple of long days shipping more 'stuff' back up - that's 99% of it moved, thank flip - although my bath robe remains resolutely stuck to the back of the bedroom door down there. I've reminded myself about it a multitude of times and in a myriad of ways - all to no avail, that bastard is still hanging on the back of the door. Other than writing a note across the back of my retinas I'm not sure how I'm going to remember it - maybe I should give it up as a lost cause.

Anyway, the start of the week also saw the start of a cold. Thankfully that's on the way out now so I should be good to run tomorrow - after I've serviced the old boiler - stop it, I really am talking about a boiler. She's all oiled up and with a damn good servicing she'll see me through the winter. For the record, I'm getting in a professional - stop it - it's one thing I'm not prepared to bodge.

I managed to dodge most of the rain laden traffic on the way home to get in bang on half five. Been relaxing ever since - apart from the hour I put in on the bike as I cleared out the last of this damn cold - oooooh, pure green...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Under The Weather

A foggy start to the day - and that's just me. I'm gunging somewhat, and sneezing. On the up yesterday's sore throat feels better. I guess it'll be another couple of days before I'm clear of this damn lurgy. I don't feel like training. Hopefully I'll feel a bit more up for it tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

On The Up

September's Chepstow Championship numbers - that's the results - have been crunched and it's good news. I've moved up from 13th place to 7th. It's not all good though because there's a good chance I'll slip down a few places once the last few people achieve the requisite seven races. But it's not all bad. I've got my seven but one of those was a stinker so with a good result in the off road Mimsy Muggle race in a couple of weeks I can get myself an extra eight or nine points - enough, perhaps, to keep seventh or even... no, seventh will be a good place from which to base next years campaign...

My legs are bad today plus I've been doing more moving so tonight it's feet up in front of the Gadget Show...

Blimey, there's been a lot of '...' tonight...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


A day when my legs actually worked. Seriously though, I can feel yesterday's race but I'm not too achy. Just managed an hour on the bike but felt a bit jelly legged when I got off. Been a good weekend of training all in all and as a bonus I have two lots of people interested in renting my place down in Bristol. Fingers crossed...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Warning! Batteries Low!

They are now, after the 17 miles and 5,300 feet of ascent that is the Black Mountains Fell Race. It was a warm, sunny day - which was a damn shame because it nullified my home advantage in the final British Champsionship Fell Race of the year. I was hoping for low cloud and hill fog because I know the route like the back of my hand while those from up north probably don't. Beggars can't be choosers though and to be fair the views from the tops were fantastic - and although racing, I'm so slow I get time to look.

Anyway, I set off in a very controlled manner. Last year I was out the blocks way too quick and paid from halfway. This year I wanted to have something left for the second half - and I did, although not quite enough to get me all the way to the finish but it was a much better paced race from me.

Once again, I cut my own path and hit the holy trail spot on, picking up close to ten places by the bottom - nice. I struggled on the ups. I just don't have the legs for it at the moment - which is not surprising as I've not done much hill work at all this year [read 'almost nothing']. Still, my race went well and it was only from the final summit that the batteries were showing low - but it's all down hill from there so I didn't grumble.

I finished in 83rd from a field of 200+ in a time of 3 hours and 7 minutes - 20 minutes quicker than last year. I'm pleased with that. With some hill/mountain work I could knock another ten off, easy. Next year I'll set the target at sub 3 hours - that would really be fell running.

It was good to see all my Calder Valley team mates not to mention the myriad of Chepstow Harriers. But now it's time to chill and get some grub down - well, more grub as I've already scoffed quite a bit but I've 2000+ calories to get through - yum.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Mountains Approach

And they're pretty big ones. Not the biggest, mind, but still pretty big and I'm looking forward to it. The forecast doesn't look great though - there's a little too much sun for my liking. I want it claggy and cloudy, the more mist the better so I can get a bit of advantage over those less familiar with the Black Mountains. Still, can't have everything.

Tonight I eat, and eat to win - just kidding. I'll be happy to come somewhere near the middle. Either way it's a bloody good excuse to be able to eat like a greedy bastard - gert lush.

I'm going to get off for an early night as it's been a tiring week - and a bit stressful - but it's calming down now. The mortgage completed today and 99% of my kit from Bristol is moved up here. I've instructed the agent to go find me a tenant and I've notified nearly everyone official of my change of address. Going to put my feet up after the race.

And now, it's time to eat...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Just tried out my new telescope - NERD - but oh what a view of the moon. I can safely say I've never seen it as detailed as that before - other than in photo's but somehow seeing it for yourself is amazing - NERD. All the detail you can make out. Brilliant.

Well, I've finally shifted 97% of my stuff back up Forest way. Only my tools and the like left. The Bristol pad needs a top to bottom clean and then she's done. I've started the ball rolling with an agent to market it so fingers crossed I can pick my self up some tenants - and I'm not talking larger - quickly so it can start covering the mortgage.

No training again but I worked up a sweat on the last of the diy. Almost too late in the week to muster now. Saturday is the big race. I hope I can raise my game. The last couple of weeks have been a disappointment. Still, I've down a few bike sessions - can't of lost all my fitness, can I?...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Energy Requirement

Did you know that an electrical device rated at just one watt - pardon? What? - as I was saying, rated at just one watt, if left on all year round, will cost you towards £1. It's not immediately obvious and singularly it's not a lot but do the math and the waste comes to light - and you can turn that off for a start or at least replace it with a low energy version. Seriously though, that TV on standby, aah come on, it's only five watts - yes, but that five watts is costing you a fiver if left on 24/7 - or to put it another way, that's a fish and chip supper with a bottle of pop. And then there's the microwave. Do you really to leave it on 24/7? Do you ever use it's clock - and don't lie. Well, that's another five watts. So far, we've saved a tenner. It's amazing how much the little things - stop it - add up to. I've got myself a CurrentCost Envi to start monitoring my energy use as an experiment to see how much I can save. I'm pretty good as it stands but I'm sure I've room for improvement.

None of which has anything to do with running or exercise but just thought I'd mention my crusade. Tonight I was back on the bike for an hour. Didn't feel like pounding the streets - been a bit of that lately - the 'not feeling like it' bit. Still, there's always tomorrow...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vax Amazing

I've been hammering the old Vax today. When I say old Vax, what I really mean is new Vax. It's working good - it's just some carpets can't be raised from the dead no matter water you hit 'em with. The upstairs is now clean and good to go. As too, the lounge. It's really just the kitchen to empty down - and to be fair most of that is done. All on target to meet my end of the week self imposed deadline and then this place is out to let.

My back is aching but I managed to hop aboard the bike for an hour in front of the iPlayer - no telly, just the iPlayer. The old Virgin Broadband has been a faithful friend for years, but alas she must go. I will be excommunicating her by the end of the week.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Remember

Why I like May Hill. The views on a day like this are Fantastic - and that's with a capital F. Back on my old stomping ground - quite appropriate because I was stomping like a good un. There wasn't a hint of running to be seen - not, at least, when looking in my direction. I didn't seem to be able to run today. Nothing felt comfortable and the up hill sections felt especially hard work - all 1,500 feet of it. One has to ask the question, with such great views and lovely sunshine does it really matter? Course it flippin' does but I'll let it slide just this once.

Anyway, I covered just over seven miles in the gorgeous sunshine. More moving stuff to be done tomorrow and then almost certainly another slack training week as I finish off the house tidying. Need to make sure I get out once or twice though just to keep me primed for the Black Mountains Race on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Been A While

Busy couple of days. Long work hours. Moving house stuff. All adds up to not a lot of running. Still, after the half marathon effort on Sunday I'm due a couple of rest days. Surprisingly on that front, I didn't actually suffer much after affect. My calve was sore on Monday but that was pretty much it. Gives me confidence that I've good endurance - albeit at a slower pace. That leads me to think, so long as I take it steady, I can have a good run in the Black Mountains race in two weeks time. You can bet your ass I won't be going off too quick in that bad boy...

Tonight it was ninety on the bike in front of DemandFive, catching up with murder and mayhem cover up school - that's CSI: Miami to you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back Sub 90

And it's been a while. Conditions were too good. I like the cold but the sun shone so I had to make the best of it.

We, that's the might of Chepstow Harriers, were out in force. It's one of championship races. Seven to count from twelve but you need at least to road and two off road, the rest you can please yourself. This was the second of my road races to count and I can now state categorically for the record, I f#@king hate road running.

Anyway, I set off reasonably. I didn't get too carried away but in honesty I was probably a five seconds a mile too quick for where I am at the moment. I hit a bad patch at five miles but got going again and then hit another bad patch at ten - and didn't. It was a struggle from there. The sun was full on and I was sweating like a bastard. My left calf began to cramp slightly but to be honest it didn't really slow me down. I did slow but that was more down to the fact I was completely knackered. The sustained hard pace of road running was killing my softly.

I didn't really rally at all on the run in but managed to break the magic hour and a half barrier. I wasn't worried about missing the target - wasn't my arse. Across the final 100m of grass I had plenty of time to amble over to the finish. I had all of 1.2 seconds to spare - could have eased back a bit really. My official time is 1:29:58 and I even made the top 100. I was 100th - nice.

Anyway, it's done now. I can tick the box. I think I was 7th Chepstow man home so more good points in the Championship and I've got all my compulsory races in so I just need one more race for seven and a champs score. But it has come at a cost, I stand here - sit here before you, a crippled, hollow shell of my former self. OK, it's realy just my left calf but it's sore and I am thoroughly bloody knackered.

Never again - until next time.

Chippenham Half Marathon route - oh, and well done to Chippenham Harriers for putting on a brilliantly well organised event. Marshals a plenty and lots of support. I can see why people rate it so highly. Thoroughly deserved praise.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Carbed And Salted

Been up to more house tidying today but nothing to strenuous - got a race to think about. I feel more than a bit nervous. I've closed the door on the conservatory. The living room is clearly too - subject to the chairs going on Wednesday. The second and third bedrooms are also done. Just the master bedroom and kitchen to go.

Need to get a few journeys up to Gloucester next week and I will make my planned moving date. Going to be a busy week ahead.

Anyway, back to the serious stuff - tomorrow's race. Can't believe I feel so nervous. I've carbon loaded through the day. Pasta and chips - beauty. And been hydrating steadily. Plus my pre-race ready salted crisps are at the ready for the journey across to Chippenham. All systems go but I'm really not sure...

Oh, and I saw the international space station tonight - that's got to be a good omen (don't know why though).
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Chepstow In August

Well Chepstow's Championship results are in for the year to August. I've moved up from 15th to 13th after my good result, and best of the year so far, in the Machen 10k. I'm still two races short of a full measure - nothing unusual there then.

It's been a good couple of weeks on the 'getting the house ready to let front' and all being well I reckon she'll be under new tenancy by mid October. The last of the major maintenance jobs are complete with today's consumer unit replacement.

I'm in full taper mode ahead of the Chippenham Half. The diet is on hold for now and tomorrow I carb load. I don't know what to expect on race day. Can I go possibly go sub ninety again? I hope so but I don't want to get my hopes up. I know I've been going better of late and I've lost a few pounds. I'm down to 10st 10lb's so that should help. I guess I should be happy whatever the result. After all, I'm able to run and above all else, it's better to have run and lost than never run at all. But more than that, the one thing you can guarantee is that the Mad Runner will give his all....

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taking It Easy

Been a light couple of days. Today it was back to the bike for an hour. Sunday is the Chippenham Half Marathon where I hope to stay the distance well enough to go sub 1hr 30min. Have to admit I still have big doubts I have the endurance at road race speed - ha ha, not going to catch me out uttering the words Speed Endurance - doh. Chippenham is also one of Chepstows nominated championship races so I need a good run to raise my position. After a good Machen 10K I need to keep the scoring going. In any event I'm easing back this week to give myself the best possible chance. Must remain strong and not fear the fade...

The house is nearing full readiness for letting. The DIY is almost complete. Shower, sink, conservatory, floor... it's all complete. There's only the replacement consumer unit install remaining and that's on the cards for tomorrow - by a professional I hasten to add. Then she's good to go. I've either packed up, thrown out, given away or sold my stuff in preparation. I'm going minimalist from here on in. No more hoarding. No more 'It might come in handy one day, I'll store it in the loft'. No, from here it's going to be, 'Don't need it, to the charity shop you go'.

Now I just need to get me some tenants...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lunch Run Is Go

or should that be 'was' go. As written in the sacred prophecy, as the noon sun rose to the azimuthal high point, we headed out for the lunch run. Martin legged it from the start - I didn't - I couldn't, I was really feeling it from Sunday's runs - that doesn't sound pleasant, but you know what I mean. That said, I got to the summit of Dundry in my quickest time this year. But the effort was too great. The price paid was too high and I was f#@ked.

There wasn't much recovery going on in the final phase of the run. At least the strong winds were on our backs now though. I finished in one of my quickest times but I completely fell apart on the last section. Still I had my trusty tomato and roasted vegetable pasta to look forward to. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm - ooh, and an apple.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The After Win

Been a bit of a rest day. After work I headed to the conservatory for a bit of painting - it's gonna need a second coat... Then it was onto the bike for sixty. Then feet up in front of the telly - Gadget Show, of course. Job done.

Tomorrow, all being well, Martin and I are heading out for the lunch run - rain, rain, go away...

Sunday, September 05, 2010


A win, in the inaugural White Horse Relay in the mixed category. Yeah. Whoop Whoop. Great day out with Chepstow and our two teams. As to who ran for the men's team and who ran for the women's was down to luck - I was lucky enough to run in the women's team. I'm a laaaaady. I should add that the team was changed to a mixed before the day as we couldn't raise a women's only. A shame for them but my gain as we took top spot. Our men's team also went well but lost out to Chippenham.

The event is a 14 stager, mostly off road but with some road sections. There were some short stages and some longer. Teams could consist of between 7 and 10 members - so, depending on the team size, four of more have to run double - hence the short and long legs. Right, description done, back to the detail.

The day started grey and by the time I arrived at the start of the first leg to meet up with the team it had started to rain. The rain continued until lunch. But it didn't dampen our spirits. Chepstow got off to a great start, winning and 2nd place on the first leg - no pressure for me, then, on leg 2 and it didn't start well. I slipped as the gun fired and almost fell over - nice. After surviving that scare I led the field out for half a mile before the Chippenham runner drew level and after a few surges I realised he was much the stronger. He went wrong twice but still caught back up quickly. We then ran together to the final road before he sped away. I was second home and Andy O for Chepstow was third. Leg 2 was only 2.6 miles and mostly flat.

From there I'm not sure of many more leg results. It becomes much of a rush ferry people and following the race.

My second leg (leg 12) was the longest of the day at 10 miles of mostly flat (300ft ascent) running - and it started off like a road race. I have to admit to struggling a bit. Matthew L and Jason from Chippenham pushed on hard in the first three miles of hard track and road. I just about kept in touch five metres back but even at that early stage I had resigned myself to fifth place. I knew I couldn't keep the initial pace going and thankfully things changed once we got off road. The rougher ground played to my strengths and by mid way we had dropped Jason and firmly had the RAF in our sights. Matthew and I worked well to reel him in and by about mile eight we went past moving into second and third respectively. After that I began to wilt. I knew I couldn't beat Matthew and let him go - that's to say, he pulled away - it's not like I could have stopped him. By the finish he was probably 10 seconds ahead so it remained close and another good Chepstow result.

Well it's been a busy day but fun and I'm knackered now. I'm pleased with my 2nd and 3rd places - and the team win. Leg 12, road like as it was, was a good warm up for next weekends Chippenham half marathon.

Leg 2

Leg 12

Friday, September 03, 2010


The end of the working week, as it tapered into the weekend, has seen my motivation for running dip. Last weekend was practically a festival to the great sport - I'm still talking about running. The end of the week, however, a festival to doing sod all. Not good, really really not good.

I'm looking forward to Sunday though. I've a double header day - yes, single day, two runs - F.A.B. Virgil. I'm in one of Chepstow Harriers team for the White Horse Relay in Wiltshire. A 14 stage relay taking in the various - you guessed it, chalk white horses. I'll be running leg 2 and then leg 12. Don't worry it's street legal, well, trail legal. With ten runners per team, four are required to run a double - it's the law, well, it's in the rules at least. Should be good fun.

Tonight I mustered for forty five minutes on the EB, I think you can probably work that one out. On the diet front it's been a successful day - which it needed to be after a bad one yesterday. I reversed that result to finish today, healthy food 4 - 0 junk food. Not one crisp, chip or snack has crossed my lips - back of the net. Oops, should I use that on a night when England are playing?...

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Ever post. Long day at work. Tired. Couldn't be arsed to run. Ninety minutes on the bike. Off to bed shortly. Yawn...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

And A Fourth...

Just kidding. There's no race today. After straight days of it, today is strictly feet up. To be fair my legs feel much better today than they did before and after the race yesterday. I almost feel I could have managed a fourth... No, let the body rest.

I've been controlled on the diet front as well - although it's been touch and go this evening. A late lunch has left me feeling hungry at all the wrong times and the bag of crisps in the kitchen is calling my name - I have twice stroked its sweet curves but so far I have resisted. That resistance is partly down to keeping a food log. It's a huge focus and helps to prove that when you've eaten enough calories... then you have eaten enough. Simple as that and is real quick and easy to use. I should add that I'm keeping grounded. I shan't be over egging things and becoming obsessed, just controlled and with that care and control I will attain my old racing weight in a couple of weeks.

And you know what? I feel a bike session coming on...