Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Still On Track

True, it's not been a run day but come on, three in a row, I'm allowed a day off. Not totally off though. After a steady day at work, possibly the best ever drive home with almost no traffic, I stayed focused to the task and managed a sweat inducing sixty on the static bike waiting for the rains to come - that's quite a long sentence!

Tomorrow's orienteering has already been called off and said rains have now arrived. Assuming the forecast is anywhere near accurate it's going to be tough to get out for a run now I've no official event to attend.

On the up side my new head torch has arrived. A Lenser H7. Weighing in at the same cost as a replacement battery for my magicshine, I thought I'd give it a go. It's not as bright. It doesn't turn night into day. More sort of twilighty but I think it will do the job. So if the rains do last all day maybe they'll ease off after sun down and I can run then.

On the diet front, provided I don't snack later, I'm on target again...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Day Two

Of the diet and training plan. Yesterday was a success and I'm on track today - provided I don't snack later tonight, that is... I've struck while the iron is hot rather than make it a big deal as a new years resolution. I'm aiming to shed 10lb of lard in ten weeks. That'll be worth 90s on a 5k just by itself! I really have become too lardy over the last 18 months and it's stopping right here right now. To be fair there hasn't been much planning other than that I must commit more to training and give in less to apathy.

Today Martin and I got out for the anti-clockwise Dundry loop - and it was tough out there, into a really strong headwind. My achilles was sore but that didn't stop me. Earlier in the day I had warned Martin I wasn't running in the pouring rain and gales but, like it was destined to be, the sky cleared, Moses like as unto the Red Sea, in time for our lunchtime run. Still bloody windy mind.

Bring on day three...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Better Today

It's more about fun than serious at the Christmas Treasure Hunt. I wasn't taking the event too seriously as a race but I was keen to run pretty hard on grounds of training. You see, I've decided to kick off my new years resolutions early. More training - that one shouldn't be too difficult as my recent record is extremely poor. The other is to shed a few pounds (or more than a few hopefully).

Anyway back to the hunt, I managed to visit 16 of the 18 controls within the hour time limit. I say within the limit but I was actually 17s late - smack me. Those 17s were not through lack of trying though. I was piling it on from the last control - which was actually the first as I ran the reverse direction. Despite my best effort I still got back late - damn the owners of the house whose house name plate had been removed leading me to waste 18s searching for it before declaring it awol (control 10).

After the last combatant got back we all headed to the Lion in Trellech for chip butties. Yum.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hands Up Guv, It Wasn't My Finest Piece Of Orienteering..

There was a good turnout in the woods somewhere north of Chepstow for the Stotts Christmas-O. It was a chilly day but it wasn't raining. Well it wasn't raining until I started....

We were using a work in progress map update of the area but to me it was fine - but then I couldn't see anything for the rain on my glasses, so what do I know?

I struggled in the early stages. It was really just so difficult to see the map while monitoring my progress. I mucked up one and made a bad route choice to four but after that progress was just plain slow until the rain finally stopped and I could see clearly once more. Just a shame that was by the time I got to control nine. From there to the finish I went a lot better.

Good fun though. Looking forward to tomorrow's Christmas treasure hunt and maybe, just maybe, it wont rain....

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well It's Back To Work Tomorrow

Been a good couple of days. I ate. I drank. I baked and I was merry...

Got a couple of orienteers planned for the weekend and I need to bake something for Saturday's event. I'm thinking my special coconut orange cookies...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Neighbours, Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Thanks to their quick action I'm not looking at mopping out the ground floor. The water was lapping at the door quite literally. Me thinks a thank you bake is in order... and I think I'll leave the sand bags in place tonight.

Having kept the water just at bay I donned my waders and waded into the brook - well that's what they're for. There were quite a few blockages up stream of the main drain. That was forcing the waters out into the field and at the houses from a different direction to normal, with nowhere to go. The level is now a good half a metre lower up stream which should keep the waters at bay overnight. I'm going take an emergency day off tomorrow to get back in the brook and continue the clear out.

Once again I can't thank the fast actions of my neighbours enough, averting disaster and saving me from a very unwanted birthday present.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fun Run In The Darkness

...it got even darker after my battery hit empty. Unfortunately I still had a muddy, tree covered descent still to go but I'm getting ahead of things.

It was the first Rogue Runs night race of a four race series. Staged in the mighty Forest of Dean by a formidable team of race experts. It was bloody good fun - until the lumin deficiency. They even made us run through a 40m long tunnel. Selling it as a short cut - shortcut my arse. I got over-bloody-taken - both times! I hate you Creber [in my best 'On the Buses' voice and shaking fist].

On the final climb my battery gave up the ghost. It wasn't that bad on the climb as it was a good, wide track but once at the summit I was fair up a creak without a paddle. Having tried to continue along the muddy, windy tree covered path I couldn't see s*!t. Just had to wait for the next runners to appear to give me some light. Cue a 30s wait. Having found the light at the cost of two places, I finished. I'm looking forward to the next race in the series - just need to order a new battery first....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bostock's Brilliant Brunch

The man is a genius with a frying pan. A veritable legend - in his own mind - I jest. Don't do the English breakfast often. Today's was gert lush. Right that's enough of that nonsense I'm welling up. I've I lunch run planned for tomorrow. And no, I'm not going to look at the forecast for fear it puts me off. Up Saturday will be the Forest night run - organised by some right rogues so I've heard. Sunday - or Birthdays Eve as it is oft called - I'm going to be out to lunch - shut it. It's actually going to be out to dinner but there's no corn to be had with that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Son Of A B!*(#

Traffic on the way home was mental. Getting out of Bristol a nightmare - I'm thinking Brunnel didn't build the plimsoll bridge. It got stuck open causing absolute chaos!

When I did final arrive home imagine my negative joy to find bits of bird and feathers spread around pretty much every corner of the bedroom - lovely, just what one needs after a long day at the office. Then, having cleared that mess up, the damn cat - no, she's not in my good books - decided raw bird didn't agree with her and had a good solid puke all over the floor - aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Finally, with that fine mess cleaned up I hit the sofa - hard. Operation couch potato has commenced....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Spitting, It Were Spitting

Yes, it was a wet and windy lunch time run today. You know, it's really rather unpleasant when - to quote Adele - the rain is blowing in your face. Martin and I managed to get out there in the drizzle. Our commitment to the cause knows no bounds. Okay, I'm pretty sure there are going to be a few bounds along the way that we will know but at the moment we are having a jolly good go at not knowing any.

It was the clockwise run today and that meant rain in the face all the way to the summit of Mount Dundry - as it isn't known. I was a little quicker this time than last but not by much. Conditions were on a par with the worst we've run this fair winter season so mustn't grumble with my effort. Things are inching very slowly in the right direction - slowly being the operative word.

Hopefully we'll both be in the office Wednesday for another trundle...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Recovery Weekend

Recovering, from Friday, that is. I kipped in the van Friday night - well I say Friday night, it was more, early hours of Saturday morning... I did not rise till gone 2pm. Ye olde van is quite comfy. Suffice to say I didn't quite make it home in time to get to the night orienteering.

Today has been continual rain and I've been a bad boy. I did an hour on the bike and fifteen minutes on the rower. In between that I baked up another couple of panettone to take to work - added a few white chocolate drops this time so it'll be interesting to see how that works out. Also made a gert lush winter root veg stew with herb cheese dumplings - to quote a big fake bear, "mmmmmm tasty".

Hopefully tomorrow's planned lunch run will happen, it'll be the more favourable clockwise variant....

Friday, December 13, 2013

Four, A Magic Number

Yes, I've managed four runs this week - if you can call today's effort a run. I was a tad pathetic out there today. Martin and I ran the anti-clockwise Dundry loop and I was almost ready to call for an ambulance by the time I got to the top. Pretty it was not. I eventually made it back and I think it was a little quicker than the last time we ran the anti-clockwise loop. 34:09.

That's it, I'm out on a secret mission, it's the works night out down town.....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Works Christmas Dinner...

Don't normally do much for lunch - ooh, nice, that rhymed. Three course meal. Too much. It was nice but hardly cooked in the kitchen. I'm thinking it was bulk bought from the wholesaler - is that a word? Moving on. Should've gone for a forty miler to burn it off but I didn't. Have a feeling the week is headed south. I'm out on the town Friday night - and I'm not sure the fifty miler to burn that off is going to happen.... Well it's nearly christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Three In Four

Three runs in four days is possibly a seasons best - only took me till December... To be fair, I think I did run three times in four days some months ago but it's definitely been a while.

It was quite enjoyable, head torch blazing the way - and no, before you say it, I'm not practising my night time off road running for the 21st. Okay, technically I guess I was but out there in the dark it's safer than running up and down the country lanes.

I felt really sluggish in the first couple of kilometres. Maybe that was down to heading straight out after the drive home but if I gave myself time to think I'd probably have talked myself out of running. No, it was definitely better to have struck while the iron was lukewarm. Anyway, with the first few k's out the way I started to feel better and began to enjoy it out there. All done, it was only 9k but I'm happy with that.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Did I Ever Not Feel Like It But I Did It Anyway

Feeling knackered - and that was before I dragged myself out for a run. There was no way I would manage a run in the Black Mountains so I downsized to a run over May Hill instead. Not quite the same. I did stop and take a wistful look out towards the mountains from the top of the hill. It was a lovely clear day and you could make out the entire range along the border. Another day.

I felt lumbering at the start and felt lumbering at the finish but I got out there despite having a raft of excuses as to not bother. I finished off the days training with an hour on the exercise bike. Taking the weekend as a whole it hasn't been too bad. I managed a decent orienteer melded with reasonable mileage and two days of running. My achilles is feeling tight but I think the only way it will resolve is to just keep plugging away and ignore it.

Anyway, can't spend all day on here. It's time to get baking. Experimental cranberry and blueberry pies...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Wandering Around Woodchester

Wasn't tempted enough so the orienteering it was. I parked up the van on Selsley Common and ran along the Cotswold Way before turning off at Nympsfield and heading along the road to the event. 8km.

Quickly registered, I headed out on the blue course. I didn't exactly light up the world with my speed across the ground, briefly slowing on the ascent to control one to talk baking with Vanessa - you can tell I take this orienteering lark very seriously...

I had a good run all in all. I won't bore with the detail. Suffice, I didn't make any big mistakes, just one small one that cost me a minute or so. Other than that it went well. If I'd not run to the event I would probably have knocked a minute or two off running the trail sections but for now I'm happy to keep my orienteering strictly for fun.

I finished in 49:06 and 14th place (52 starters). That's my quickest by far and most importantly inside the hour at last. To be fair I think it was a little easier and shorter than normal but hey, you can only run the route provided. And that was the orienteering finished till the next time. With my dibber downloaded I headed home following a route suggested by Pat W and by the time I got back to the van I was fair knackered...

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Almost Tempted...

to head to Snowdonia on Friday night. The forecast looks dry. Cold, yes, but dry. Vera is back on the road after an MOT hiccup so it might be fun. The downside would be missing Saturday's orienteering league match....

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Plotting The Office Cakes

Haven't run so far this week. Nuff said. More importantly it's time to start thinking of what I bake to take into the office on my birthday. Yes, it's almost time to strike another year from the record...

My current thoughts are edging towards an experimental Christmas blueberry and cranberry 'mincepie' with my signature almond paste top.... Well, there's no point in playing it safe, is there?