Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not A Bad Round Two...

I felt things went well today. Taking nothing for granted, I could be heading for a tough decision... Stick with the tried and tested, working for bean counters who've never seen the rockface and don't appreciate what or how hard I work, but where I work alongside a great bunch of colleagues who do... or move onto pastures new where the bean counters sit much closer to the rockface and do a bit of climbing from time to time (and not too mention an improved package vs a pay freeze). If, but and maybe, it'll be a tough call...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Achilles Heel Is Confirmed...

..tucking into food I've just cooked, smelling so tasty, before it's cooled a little - doh. Yes, I did it again. This time a spicy little veggie curry with naan bread - the naan bread was okay. The curry... bloody larva... and no, not chillie hot - although it did have a little chillie kick. No, it was just plain boiling. Not sure I'm ever going to learn... Achilles heel confirmed.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


...Got the tomatoes and basil sown. Way later than normal but they'll catch up. On the upside the Strawberries look to be doing well - not sure how that relates but there we go.

Offa's Orra tomorrow - if I can scrape my mojo off the floor...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Through To Round Two..

I turned down a second interview on the first one. The job wasn't quite right and I'm not going to jump ship out of spite, or on a whim. It has to be right. Thought I'd blown it on number two but I got the call today. Going to be such a big decision but the chiefs at BW seem more interested in PR and admin than how and more importantly who actually facilitates the water getting to the taps. I think they think it happens all by itself... Going to have to check out the commute to Cheltenham before a final decision though - assuming things go my way.

Tomorrow I'm up for a bit of Orienteering and then Sunday I'm going to flog myself around Offa's Orra. 20km of pain me thinks..

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Windy Coast

By eck it was windy yesterday down in St Ives - and no James, I did not meet a man with seven sack owning wives full of cats or kittens - on the grounds of polygamy and cruelty to animals.

I did manage 10 slow miles though. The path down there is pretty rough and not fast running - so suited me fine. Nothing beats a ten mile run as a hang over cure...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So Unfit...

I really am pants at the moment. Got out for a lunch run with Martin - first time in ages. I was so rubbish on the Dundry climb, working so hard - but yet still so slow - I had to pause to heave a few times before carrying on to the top.

On the plus side, despite feeling so unbelievably slow, we were actually 30s quicker than the last time out.

I really do need to find my mojo... Perhaps a few miles along the south west Cornish coastal path will do the trick this weekend....

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trellech Reccie

Spent two hours out and about over at Trellech and Beacon Hill today. Was actually mostly on the Beacon Hill side - but the post title wasn't as catchey.

I found a few good controls and route sections and also ruled out a few. Also found a few new bits to add to the map. There's a couples of areas I'm not going to use on the grounds of brambles and general new growth making it too dense to find your own feet let alone a control. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending many, many days at Trellech..

On other matters, I finally found a cleaner strong enough to clear the limescale build up in the upstairs loo - 32% hydrochloric acid, nice.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

So So In The Forest

I didn't go too badly today at the orienteering. Really only made one mistake at control nine. Got on the wrong track - story of my life - and had to relocate. Lost a couple of minutes. Other then that I nav'ed quite well but just covered the ground too slowly.

I got in reasonable mileage. 2km there, 7km orienteering and 5km collecting controls and getting back to the car. Should be all systems go for a Trellech recce tomorrow and then Monday it's back to the grind stone..

And as an side, I didn't burn my tongue tonight and the pizza dough was superb...

Friday, April 10, 2015

That's It, I'm Decided...

It's the SNP for me. Their policy to raise their own tax to spend in totality is brilliant and I'm in. That will mean no net subsidy from the rest of the UK. So they win because they can make their own choices of where to make their spending cuts and the rest of the UK wins because our cuts won't have to be a big. Vote SNP. You know it makes sense...

On more mundane matters, it's orienteering tomorrow followed by... orienteering on Sunday. Well, sort of. I'm heading to Trellech for a bit of planning and to take a look at some possible control sites - providing the forestry commission hasn't destroyed them of course.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Gloriously Sunny Gilwern

The weather could not have been more pleasant, the views from the Gilwern Grunt more stunning. And with road works on the main road forcing a route change in this, its second year, I think the new route is even better than before. I measured the distance on the pre-race route check at about 8 miles with around 1450 feet of ascent. It was technical in places and very quick running in others. I'd certainly be keen to have a crack at the race in future years - if I ever get fit enough.

Anyway, we set off and just gone nine to check that the route marking hadn't been 'got at' as happened in the first year. We didn't run hard but it was still pretty knackering. The final climb was a right sod. On and on for mile and even at the top - or what we thought was the top, the evil and twisted Creber led us a merry dance up and down the slag heaps. Finally, with time running out we made it back without much time to spare from the eleven o'clock start.

I stayed just up hill of the start as there wasn't any point running down to the start only to run back up as second sweeper. I was pretty knackered after the first loop though and was glad I was only sweeping. To which end, it went a little Peter Tong, when a few runners, missing the arrow sign, continued running down the Tumble onto the road and far far away.

I'm not sure they had a good grasp of 'if you haven't seen any tape for a hundred metres, you aren't on the route any more' - I didn't see any tape for a good mile and a half trying to locate them. In the end I had to call off the chase, hoping that they retraced their steps in some manner before I set off in hot pursuit - although it was probably more of a lukewarm pursuit as I was feeling pretty knackered.

I have a suspicion they probably followed the public footpath up to Gilwern Hill but I guess we'll never know for sure. I hope they turned up safe and sound. The course really was well marked with tape or a marker every hundred metres - and I can confirm it was all there within two hours of the start. I'm not sure you could put down more tape without using up the worlds supply of marker tape.

Anyway, I headed back on a fairly direct route except on the very top which all got a bit confusing. The OS map showed a single, straight path over the top but on the ground that equated to tens of tracks zig-zagging and crossing all over the place. Using my shadow as compass, I managed to wend my way back to the race run in, having notched up a further 7 miles and 1400 feet of ascent.

As a day of training it's been brill. Lots of time on feet. 15 miles, 2850 feet of ascent and some stunning scenery - in amongst the rusting freezers and washing machines, left to die on the hill side...


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Not Unsurprisingly Achy Legs..

My legs, specifically the quads, are achy today. Tomorrow's double loop of the Gilwern Grunt should do me good. Out first to check the route and then sweeping. 24km of recovery run - just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Sugary Goal Met..

I made it round the spring route Sugar Loaf fell race inside 70 minutes. I'm happy with that considering how crap I am at the moment and it was good to see 120 runners on the start line.

I set of middle of the pack - probably nearer the back than the front - but at least that gave me a few targets through the race. I'd forgotten how long and steady the first climb up to Deri is. At first up the road and then onto the hill. I'd also forgotten how long the drag across the Deri is, as well. I picked up a few places.

I was feeling knackered on the final accent of Sugar Loaf but was buoyed knowing I had the fast, technical descent to come. All downhill and I enjoyed that bit. I gained another four or five places before hitting the road where I steadied to avoid too much stomping and that was that. Sugar Loaf complete.

Next up is sweeping at the Gilwern Grunt on Monday (and doing a route check before hand for some extra mileage).

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Uncertain Times...

It's been an up and down sort of week. There's to be redundancies at work - not the man at the top though. He's done a great job... On the up side, I got an email out of the blue from a recruiter looking for a plc programmer for a job in Cheltenham offering more money than I'm on at the moment. Probably come to nothing but you never know...

Definitely looking forward to four days off. It's been a long three weeks of site work. So it's the Sugar Loaf fell race on Saturday and possible sweeping at the Gilwern Grunt Monday. Other than that it's going to be relaxation time central.