Sunday, December 28, 2014

Time To Plan

Well I can't put it off any/much longer. I need to put pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard as the plan is most likely going to be a spreadsheet. I've decided on the Rogue Runs Berkley 20 mile road race in the spring - although I'm not sure what the official race title is - followed by an as yet undetermined late summer/autumn marathon. I'm not sure of the actual date of the RR Berkley race as I can't get on the website at the moment but it's in the spring sometime so I need to pull my finger out and get on with some training.

First off, I need to look out some local training routes. Most of the time I'm off road but I need to work out a few on road - with minimal risk of death by road kill. My new years resolution is to a) do some training and b) follow the training plan - once I've written it, that is.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Remember People..

Be careful after you sharpen your chefs knife. After researching the best way to use an oiled stone to hone the blade, I can confirm it is bloody sharp - and my sliced thumb agrees. Maybe when I'm 43 I'll be more wise - but I doubt it...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Few Mistakes.. yesterdays Bixslade orienteering. I got off to an absolute pants start. My brain couldn't make sense of the thick wood section not being as expected and I drifted too far east. That got me into a section of nonsensical paths - at least they were nonsensical to me as to where I thought I was but actually wasn't - are you with me? Well can you explain it to me then!

Anyway, having thrown away two minutes before having really got started, I then kicked into gear. Using a combination of compass and feature nav, I picked up two, three and four fairly precisely before a little hiccup on five. I took my brain offline while running on the uphill path to five and ran all the way to junction before looking at the map and realising I should have headed off the path at the bend - doh. Lesson learnt, don't switch off, not even for a second. It didn't cost me too too much.

Six was my nemesis though. My gps shows I was close on first approach but in reality I was using too much guess work. I simply headed off the main path at a junction with a small track and ran on a bearing off that. I didn't do enough to ensure that the track and where I located that track on the map were one and same. I just didn't get myself to a confident point of attack and subsequently lost a good four or five minutes. After that the rest were pretty straight forward and I didn't make any mistakes.

I'm okay with my time of just inside 65 but in reality it should have been under the hour - but then we all say that don't we? I'm making progress though, making more accurate navigation, using a wider range of navigational tools. I feel I'm going to threaten the hour barrier more often in 2015. Just need to make sure I keep practicing. It's a bit like fitness, if you don't orienteer for a few weeks you really do lose that sharpness.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Looking Forward To Day Off Tomorrow

Not doing much. Should be good to recharge the batteries. Probably going to run the Longhope Three Peaks. It's similar to the route of some race they run oop north 'cept it's half as long and has no where near as much ascent - so not really similar at all...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Feeling Run Down

I managed to get out for a run after work tonight but it was tough. For the record I do not like winter. I'm pinning my hopes on the lottery and a session of warm weather training. Got a fairly busy work week ahead so I'm not expecting to feel any less run down and time soon. Need to locate my mojo, as it seems to have left the building...

Monday, December 08, 2014

Strong Winds Forecast For Tomorrow...

Yes, roasted brussels sprout, cauliflower and onion wedges with balsamic dressing and topped with crumbled crispy bacon for tea. I'm almost beginning to feel Christmasy - sure it'll wane. Even almost caught my first Christmas film of the season but thankfully I came to my senses five minutes in and turned it off. As to the running, my legs feel surprisingly okay.

Hang on, what's this... oops, the winds are starting to pick up already....

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Another One Slower Than The Last..

Yes, despite a brief moment of hesitation this morning, as I peered through the curtains at the ensuing monsoon, I made it to sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then sunny again, Shropshire for the 9miles and 2600feet of ascent that is the Cardington Cracker. It's always worth the travel - even when you're out of shape - at the moment I'm an irregular trapezium.

I didn't have any intention of pushing hard from the start, as I discussed tactics with the Niki and Andy before the race got under way - that and admiring the double rainbow.

I'm not ready to race something like the CC all out from the gun just yet. I didn't take it too easy though, although I was perhaps a little over cautious on the ascent of Lawley. After that I started to increase the effort although it was a bit of a battle with the wind - weather conditions, not the beans. Both of the main ridge runs and the ascent of Caradoc were into really strong head-cross winds. At several points I was running at a thirty degree angle into it.

That took a toll and by the final climb I was a bit knackered so I took it steady to have something left for the final, overly long run in. That final stretch is probably the most character building bit of all. You're knackered, breathing like an asthmatic donkey on the way to glue factory and all you really want to do is ease off down to the finish but by then you're full on racing and every pointless place gained or lost is like the difference between winning the 10,000m Olympic final or coming last. It doesn't matter one iota in the grand scheme of things - but I'll give away an easy place over my dead body... Happy to say I managed to pick up three places on the run in so I'm happy with that.

Feeling it now though. The legs are beginning to ache. My time was a couple of minutes down but I'll blame that on the wet underfoot conditions and the ninety mile an hour typhoon winds. Be interesting to see how my positional percentage compares to last time.

Anyway, on a final note, my family keep enquiring as to what I'd like for Christmas. At the moment I'm thinking walking stick or zimmer frame...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Fast Heading Into The Weekend..

There's a couple options up for grabs. First there's Saturday's Woodchester orienteering training at... well I wonder if you can work that out? Then Sunday it's that time of year again. Yes, it's Cracker time. That's Cardington Cracker time to you. I almost feel festive. Okay, no I don't. Bah humbug.

There is also the option of the Wyche Ridge night orienteering on Saturday night. I've yet to follow through... with the threat of a night-O - phew, I wondered where that was going at the start of the sentence.

Hopefully I can achieve the treble...