Sunday, December 31, 2017

Not Sure What That Was...

A steady walk while wearing running kit? At least I managed to find a gap in the rain and it wasn't cold.

If I can get my current level of unfitness and general lack of running ability verified it might give me a focus to have a crack at Chepstow's most improved runner categeory at next years awards ceremony...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Well That Was Bloody Cold...

Today I was back out there on the hill marshalling the summit of the Skirrid race and boy was it cold. The wind was biting. Thankfully we were only there for an hour to see the 146 runners through and yes, I was glad to get off the top and head back down.

It almost gives one a reason to get a bit fitter in order to run instead of stand around in the cold marshalling...

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Curious Incident Of The Cramp In The Nigh-Time

By 'eck did the cramp ever strike last night and of all the places - ssshh, no, keep it clean - my left shin! What is that all about? And how does one even stretch the muscles in the shin area? No, I don't know either. With a calf cramp, it's pretty easy to stretch out. The shin? Not so easy. Cue fifteen minutes of pain, trying to use Jedi mind tricks to relax in the hope that the muscle tension would ease. Thankfully it did.

Anyway, today, just like Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, I was achin' all over - did you see what I did there? My quads and hamstrings are stiff and aching. Must've been a good workout yesterday.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Nice Morning Out In The Mountains

It was over to the far side today, my favourite area of the Black Mountains, for the Fan Brycheiniog fell race - but don't panic, I wasn't racing. I was marshalling at checkpoint one, Fan Brycheiniog summit.

I set off from the race HQ at the Tafan-y-Garreg Pub - a lovely little pub, serving good food and the availability of camping, making it a great base for a day out in the mountains - with what I thought would be plenty of time to get up to the summit. As it turned out, it was plenty of time, but not before I had a few moments of panic, thinking I was going to do a Finch and not make it to my position in time for the first runners. Having averted doing a Finch, I sat down at the trig, taking in the views to await the runners.

It wasn't too long before the runners started to arrive and it wasn't too much longer after that that they'd all gone through the summit on their way to checkpoint two and beyond. With my work done I packed up and headed back down.

I decided to cut down from the top ridge to follow and run with the race on the path below the ridge, joining the race route just after the checkpoint at Llyn y Fan Fawr. I put in a good effort on the way down for a decent 6k run. (The 6k on the way up was more of a brisk walk, if you were interested).

A good days training and it's always nice to give a little back to the race scene. My calf muscles are a little stiff now. I put that down to the brisk walk up followed by being sat down in the cool conditions to marshal followed by getting straight up and running back down without re-warming up.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


All I did was walk up a small mountain. Stood around for two hours. Received the occasional dib - ooh er misses - from the runners as they reached my checkpoint - not a euphemism, and then jogged back down again. I feel surprisingly whacked.

I was impressed by the very effective simplicity of the electronic wizardry used to record the runners through the checkpoints. Namely, rfid wristbands and an android phone with nfc. The app worked really well and I was able to see when the runners went through all the checkpoints and not just my own. It was also possible to watch the race unfold in real time on the web - for those not wanting to venture into the mountains.

Hopefully, I'll manage a run of my own tomorrow.... 

Friday, August 18, 2017

All Set Four My Tour of Fan Llia Tomorrow...

Where I'm marshalling at check point three of the Four Fans Fell Race. To be fair, it won't really be much of a tour. Pretty much straight up. Wait to see all the runners through the summit and then back down again. The forecast looks okay but I'm never one to rely on that so I'll be taking up one of my lightweight tents just in case. I quite enjoy the odd spot of marshalling so it should be fun.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Loop Of The Village

With the thigh soreness but a distant memory, I decided to re-run last Sunday's route. A loop of the village taking in Hobbs Quarry. It didn't feel any easier but thankfully it was a little quicker by 80s.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

No Run Today

My right thigh is a little sore, so I chose not to run. It's not too bad, but I knew it would affect my stride and that's when proper injury happens. I would have liked to keep the momentum going, but you've got to be sensible.

Instead, I put in a 45 minute bike session and the thigh is feeling okay now. So I'm aiming to get back on the bull, take the horse by the horns and go for another run tomorrow...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Crabtree Hill

To be fair, today's run passed through multiple sections of the Forest but Crabtree Hill was the most memorable on account that it was the bit I ran the most feebly on. For the most part the rest of the run was okay. My right thigh was aching a little by the end but nothing a months rest won't cure - just kidding. I do, however, have a mountain to climb in order to regain some semblance of my former self.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Speech House Walk

Although I did manage to go a little faster than walking pace..It was a pretty good run on a reasonably flat course. I'm conscious of keeping to the flatter routes at the moment on the grounds that I can't face to be demoralised by walking on ascent that I shouldn't be reduced to walk on.

Anyway, so I've got a few days off work hence the late morning run today and I'm using them to try and get some "running" done. Tomorrow I'm aiming to head across the road from today's run for a loop north of Speech House Walk in the Mime Bungalow Jog section of the Forest...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Meat Feast Pizza Treat

Ooh, I surely do know how to live. So it has been another lack lustre week. I've managed a few bike sessions and a go on the treadmill along with today's real run around the village. As a treat, for tea, I'll be cooking up a meat feast of beef meatball, bacon, peppers and spicy scotch bonnet topped with creamy mozzarella all on a sourdough base. The dough is proving as I sit back and watch the women's marathon at the worlds. Living the dream...

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Ol' Recycling Run...

Yes, with a sizeable collection of recycling ready it was the day to be sending it on its merry way over at Broadwell and it's a little known fact - I think it might even be an ancient Forest Bylaw - that you're supposed to stop off and run the Cannop Ponds/Nagheads Planation loop before heading home. Not wanting to break any ancient Forest Bylaws, I capitulated.

It's quite a nice loop as loops go and I managed to round the course two minutes quicker than last time out. That isn't to say it was quick but it was enjoyable enough and I don't think I struggled quite as badly this time although I was puffing on the inclines. Come to think of it, I was puffing on the flat and downhills as well.

Anyway, I can't talk now, I've got some charts to examine and some data to analyse...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Almost Felt A Twinge Of Enthusiasm...

...only almost though. I was perusing my run data on after another trundle - as you do. As a mathematician I somewhat like a nice data table with a few graphs thrown in for good measure of course. The charts on smashrun provide so much meaningless crap that I almost want to go for another run just to get my fix of charty goodness. The thing which draws me in the most are the ranking charts. They might just afford me a focus... 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mojo Down. Mojo Down...

Title says it all. I managed an hours interval bike session. Refuelled later with the perfect carb-protein mix, the king of meals... the fish finger sandwich.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Quicheless Day...

but one that saw me to some more training. Run and exercise bike sessions - tick.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Quiche Day

Feeling lackadaisical I managed a bike session of just over an hour with a period of intervals in the middle. Finished off with quiche, olives and salad - manly food, I think you'll agree...

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Slight Interval...

With a bike interval session this evening. One word. Dripping. Three words. Too much information. And now we head into the weekend and, fingers crossed, some more training...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Two Days In A Row

Another run and bike session done. My mojo isn't back quite yet but I do want to get some fitness back so it's time to dig in for the battle...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Thursday, July 06, 2017

A Bit More Exercise...

I'm building towards a run, honest. It's so humid at the moment though. Can't face it. Still, the bike gets the heart pumping and the sweat sweating...

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Few Things Can Beat...

A cheesey baked bean omelette - especially when it follows some exercise. Yes, actual exercise on an weekday! What was I thinking? Okay I failed with the run. I was feeling just too hot but half an hour on the bike is better than nothing at all.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A Bit Of A Jungle Out There...

Wasn't sure I was going to make it across the field today. You need strong legs to force your way through dense foliage like that. The grass - I mean dense foliage - is practically waste high at the moment. It's really shot up during the last couple of weeks - and I've not got strong legs.

I did eventually make it across and headed off into Flaxley Wood for a short loop before braving it back through the jungle field. Finished off with half hour on the bike.

I'm glad I managed a run today as I felt decidedly dodgy on Friday. Had headachy eyes and felt cold all day but was much improved yesterday. Feeling back to 'normal' today so all's well. Hopefully I can summon some mojo for another run sometime soon...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunny? Almost Got Hypothermia!

Parking field. Sunny. Mountain top. P!55ing down, windy, cold.

So, seeing as I'm not really racing at the moment I thought I'd volunteer to marshal at the Tour Du Calch. I was on Check Point 3 so it meant I could get a decent hike out and back in the sunshine - well that was the idea anyway.

What a difference a few hundred metres of altitude makes. It really was quite pleasant down at the race HQ. (And I actually sprayed on some sunblock before I headed out - although I'm not telling you that). I set out with plenty of time but as I neared the top ridge the weather started to get ominously inhospitable. So it was out with the map and compass in order to make sure I made it to my check point spot on time.

I eventually made it to the general area of my check point. It was a check point without a specific feature so I needed to recce the area to make sure I was indeed at the right point. Mr C's hand drawn orienteering style feature sketch was spot on and I was indeed at the right spot - as borne out by my GPS plot which shows me as near as damn it on the 620 contour.

So, having reached my spot, like a boy scout, prepared for all conditions, I put on extra layers to try and keep out the cold and rain and waited for the runners. Fortunately I only had about a fifteen minute wait for the first runner and they were all through inside the next fifteen. Marshal duty fulfilled I headed off the mountain as quickly as my feeble legs would let me.

Back down to the race HQ you would not believe it. Sun shining. Back to being a lovely day. Glad I went. Good training session.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Still Haven't Found My Mojo...

but at least it was another run done. In fact, I'm so slow at the moment I actually think I have to classify myself as a jogger. So I guess it was really another jog done. Despite the slowness of it all I do still enjoy it - when I manage to summon the effort to bother. 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

If I Was A Football Chant....

I'd be 'oooooooh, I am sh!t ahhhhh!!!' (at running). It isn't surprising though, seeing as I've been doing almost no running of late. Really need to find some mojo. Bigsweir Wood was picturesque as ever though.

Strava Activity

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wake Up Call

You know you've gone to seed when your legs hurt the day after a pathetically slow 5k run. I really do need to do some training...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Almost Like The Old Days...

as I locked horns with my old running compadre from back in the day, Crumpy - not that anyone has ever referred to him by that totally made up name. And I say almost like the old days as back then I could run a bit.

It was my first time out on the Newent Park run. A very enjoyable two lap course - apart from having to stop for 30s 600m out from the finish to throw up. The effort of running was obviously too much for me.

Apart from that I enjoyed it. The route was better than I was expecting and it was nice to catch up with the Crumps after such a long time.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Official Route Checker

At the Gilwern Grunt. I headed over to the Tumble for nine o'clock. Collected the marker tape and bits and bobs from the secret stash pick-up point and headed off around Gilwern Hill to check all the route markings were still in place ahead of the race.

Despite the sun shining it was surprisingly chilly to start with. As I pootled round it soon warmed up - or was it still chilly but I'd warmed up? Anyway, all the markers were safely in place - hopefully no one got shot for going wrong. With my job complete I reported back to base and then trundled off back home.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Lovely Day For It...

Orienteering on Painswick common. There were some cracking views from the top - and at the speed I was 'running' I had plenty of time to take them in but back to the orienteering.

Unsurprisingly it was flippin' hard work and I made a few mistakes. Most in the more densely contoured areas of the map. Although I did muck up eleven by bad nav, ending up to the right of where I thought I was and generally making a meal of it.

Despite the struggles it reminds me what I'm missing so I'm going to redouble my efforts to get out there and 'race'...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Well That Was Hard Work...

but I'm glad I did it. I struggled. I expected to struggle but I navigated okay considering I'm a bit ring rusty. I didn't have any major 'headless chicken' moments and although I steered off a bit too far on one or two controls, on the whole I did alright.

So despite the threat of some rain in the lead up to today's Compass Sport Orienteering Qualifier, the actual conditions were good. There was a lot of cloud cover but it didn't rain and it wasn't cold. I made my way to the start early to espy in which direction the early starters headed out - turned out to be a bit of a waste of time as there was only one way to go. Down the path, round the corner and out of sight....

I got off to a reasonable start. Found controls one and two accurately before steering off too far for number three. Four, five and six were all okay with a small wobble on seven where the map detail was confusing but I stuck to my guns and despite taking my time, headed into the control accurately.

I mucked up eight a little but quickly corrected myself. On the climb to nine I started to die. Across to ten, eleven and twelve I was sllllooooooow. The terrain was hard going with lots of dead bracken and shit like that to climb across. With no stamina left that was hard going.

Thirteen and fourteen were good but I stayed too high to fifteen and overshot the crag. It was a longish leg to sixteen and I went far too high but knew what I'd done and got back into it okay. Then it was down to the last few controls and the finish.

Best of all... I wasn't last (16/27) but with a few more on the course that'll change a little bit. I believe I might sleep like a log tonight - just hope I don't wake in the fire place - BOOM BOOM!

Thursday, March 09, 2017


found a bit of mojo. A short and very slow run over at Bixslade in the Forest. I have a feeling Sunday's orienteering might be a struggle...

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Pure Green

I was planning to go 'run' the orienteering taking place in the Forest today but I've been coughing and spluttering since Friday and couldn't face it. It's all being going a lot pants on the running front of late but hopefully I can get going soon. I've been looking through the race calendars to pencil in a few possibles.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Time For The Big Guns...

Yep, it was time to take the wraps off the ex-german army mittens for the first time this winter as I headed out for another run. I started with a quick spot of recycling at Broadwell - I say quick, but I think practically everyone in the forest had the same idea so it wasn't quite so quick as I'd hoped.

Anyway, with that out the way I parked up just down the road. With the temperature hovering around zero I wasn't going to get cold hands today, donned the mittens and headed out. It wasn't the longest run in the world but quite enjoyable in the bright sunshine. Still bloody cold though - but the hands stayed toasty warm. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

A Slightly Inauspicious Start To 2017...

It was wet and cold. Oh so cold. And wet, did I mention that? The rain was sleet like as it hit the windscreen on the drive over to Ninewells for the orienteering. Not my most favoured conditions. I don't really mind the cold or the rain for plain old running because of a thing called gloves - and when it's really cold, my ex-german-army mittens. For orienteering in the wet, my current gloves don't cut it. I guess I should invest in a good pair.

Anyway, suffice to say, my hands got really bloody cold, really bloody quickly and I wasn't long into the hour long score event before I was struggling to manipulate the map. In the end, the discomfort in my hands was too much and I headed back in early without reaching all the controls. I think I would probably have been there or there abouts on getting them all if I'd continued but it wasn't much fun out there. Still, I'm glad I went. Maybe get some better weather at the next one...