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...