Friday, 30 May 2008


route: 4m, hilly, trail
weather: 15c

How nice does everything look at this time of year? All the trees and grass looks like it has been painted by a 5 year old. All the colours are too vibrant and everything seems too lush to be real. I love it.

Ran a bit of a sluggish 4m tonight. Last w/e of long runs. Will run 25 on Sunday which will be my last run over 20 miles until the event.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Cycle to Newcastle

Route: 40m (cycle), hilly, road
Weather: dry (that's all I was bothered about!)

Up and out early this morning with Craig and John for a cycle to Newcastle and back. Really nice route and good craic. Struggled to keep up with the others as on Craig's old tank of a bike (feels like riding a penny farthing!) but enjoyed it anyway. John has made me envious of his road bike - might have to get me one of those!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

More Hexham Running

Route: 5m, road, undulating
Weather: 13C, muggy

Back in Hexham visiting Craig and Rach and also trying to sort out a cycle route for August. Favourite for the moment is the Northern section of the Pennine Way (route 68).

Took the opportuinty of running a quick 5m route along the river. Nice gentle run, although legs felt quite heavy.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to get up early and join Craig and John for a 40m round trip to Newcastle. Should be fun!

Monday, 26 May 2008

Draycote Water

Route: 21m, fairly flat, road and a little trail
Weather: Wet, windy and generally unpleasant

We had to abandon the camping trip as torrential rain was putting more than just a dampner on things. So we have retreated to Rugby to Leon's house and opted for a more cosy, warm and dry stay!

Decided on a run up to Draycote Water today, although after looking at Leon's map, there may be some scope for a new canal run next time I'm down. Ran along the old railway line, right on Ashlawn Road to Dunchurch, through the village and down to the reservoir. Did two laps, fighting against the wind and rain and then returned the same route. Despite the weather, a pleasant run and pleased to return to a house and not a campsite!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Aston Cantlow

Route: 7m, road, undulating
Weather: Dry, 16C

Camping with the family in Aston Cantlow, near Stratford. Had a pleasant 7m run through a nice churchyard and some pretty villages. Unfortunately reached the busy A46 which was less than scenic, but that only lasted for a couple of miles. Good pace run with no problems. I plan to run to Worcester tomorrow if I can find a quiet route.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Altered route

Route: 5m, road, flat
Weather: warm and dry

Had to change the route as the 'canal system' I found on Map My Run turned out to be a locked sewerage works!! This meant we had to stay on road rather than being able to go cross country, but a pleasant enough run nonetheless. Ran with James from the course who maintained a blistering pace until about 500m from the hotel.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tomorrow's run

I've found what will hopefully prove to be a bit more of an interesting run for tomorrow. I plan to run it in the morning on my own and the perhaps run it again in the evening if it's any good with anyone who wants to join me.

Here's a google photo of the intended route:


Route: 5m, road, flat as a pancake :(
Weather: perfect, 16C

I'm away on a residential course in Warwickshire at the moment. Having to sit still for many hours a day, and then get togethers in the evening doesn't leave much time for running but managed to sneak a quick 5m run with a colleague before dinner.

We thought we'd found a good off-road trail, but it only lasted for a few hundred yards so we headed back onto the roads. Not a great route, but nice enough and just good to run. Every road seemed to lead to a busy dual-carriageway so only managed 5m or so.

Might look on google maps for a better route for tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Hexham to Haltwhistle

Route: 18m, Road, Hilly
Weather: 5C - 10C

Ran a great route route from Hexham to Haltwhistle along the old Roman military road. Great scenery and felt good throughout.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Route: 13m, road, hilly
Weather: light rain, 12C
Got dropped off on the A68 en route to Hexham to visit support team member Craig. He kindly cycled out to meet me despite the very hilly section back into Hexham (see video below!)
Good run, nice countryside, and superb old bridge on the way in to Hexham.
Tonight we are going to make final plans for the WHWR.

Friday, 16 May 2008

8 miles

Route: 8m, road, trail and fields
Weather: A lot cooler, perfect running weather, 12C

Don't normally run on a Friday, but missed last night's run as I was really tired. Ran nice and early up to farnley, along to Clifton, down through Weston Woods and back along Weston Lane to Otley. A really pleasant run.

118 118

Today I was a 118 guy for a school sponsored walk - it meant I could get home and head straight out for my evening run! (minus the wig and handlebar moustache of course!)

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Happy Birthday Briony

I like this birthday card Briony got on Wednesday!

6m loop

Route: Pool Bank, Road, 6m, one hill.
Weather: cooler, still and dry.

Ran down to Pool tonight and up New Pool Bank, down Leeds road and back to Otley.

Not sure what it is about the road between Otley and Pool. It's an innocuous enough looking stretch of road, but there have been a number of fatalities recently and tonight could well have been another. I arrived on the scene about 2 minutes after another accident had happened tonight. Car smashed in at the front, wreckage strewn all over the road and pavement. Stopped to check everyone was ok, and it seemed there were no injuries. Two minutes earlier and maybe I'd have been the injured one.

Slow down people!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tired run

Route: 5m-ish, hilly road and trail
Weather: 11C, cool breeze

Ran a curtailed route tonight. Was feelinbg good, but the headtorch batteries let me down and started flashing (that always really spooks me!!)

Good to get out nonetheless

Running while tired

Going for an 8 mile hilly run tonight. Not much difference from the usual runs I do, except that I'm exhausted. Beth has been poorly since Friday and I have had severe sleep deprivation.

Exhaustion is certainly a factor that I will encounter on the WHWR, so it will do no harm to have a go running while feeling very low and tired. Poor Beth is so tiny anyway and has lost a lot of weight. Been a bit of a worry, but she seems much brighter today and has eaten something.

So, to cut the waffle, 8m trail run up in the Chevin and then a very early night :)

Monday, 12 May 2008

Play off semi final at leeds

My training for today consists of watching others do some hard work for a change. Come on leeds!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Sun, sun, sun!

Route: 7m, Trail and road, hilly
Weather: hot, still and clear.

Another warm run today. Ran the reverse of the usual West Chevin Road route - up Leeds Road, into Danefield, across to the Chevin along and a good speedy descent of Windmill Lane and West Chevin Road to home.

Again, no problems and felt fit and strong even in the heat. Lost lots more fluid than usual but this is normal due to the heat.

A lovely weekend's running!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Ilkley Moor

Route: 18m, multi-terrain, Some hills, some flat.
Weather : 24C, Sunny, humid

Great run by road through Burley to Ilkley and then back home across Ilkley Moor and through Menston back to Otley. No knee problems, but I was careful to stretch every 6m or so and took care with any twisting movements on the rocky sections of the moor.

Really hot today and I definitely under-estimated how this would affect my hydration. Finished my fluid reserves with 3 miles still to run, so thanks to The Fox in Menston who filled up my platypus as I was getting rather dehydrated. Legs feel fine after this distance. Just got to stay injury free.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Balmy night run

Route: 6m, road, one good hill
Weather: 12C (felt warmer!), still, clear and beautiful

Really nice run tonight down to Pool, up Old Pool Bank and back down Leeds Road to Otley. Stunning evening, clear skies and nice crescent moon. No niggles anywhere and good energy levels.

Was thinking on my run about 9 years ago today. I was pacing around a maternity hopsital in New Zealand waiting for my first daughter to be born...


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Hill reps

Route: 5m ish, trail and road, hilly
Weather: 20C :)

Decided to do some hill work tonight and I am going to try and do some kind of specific hill training once a week until the event. Ran up Johnny Lane then power-walked up the steps to surprise view, before running to East Chevin Road and repeating the loop three times. Quite a tiring circuit, especially in the relative warmth of the day, but enjoyable and no knee problems.

Feeling positive!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Running ok again

Route: 7m, trail and road, hilly
Weather: rain, 14C

Managed a 7m run again without any knee problems. Ran a little tentatively which is to be expected.

No problems in terms of cardio-fitness (even beat a cyclist up East Chevin road!!) but just wary of the knee. Fingers crossed it was a one off injury. I'm obviously concerned that it will happen again, but my short term priority is getting to the WHWR injury free and fit and strong.

Keeping my fingers crossed.


Having reached my initial target of £1000 with 6 weeks to spare, I have decided to revise the target to £1500. This is an ambitious target, but one I think I can get to. However much over £1000 it goes to, it's a big bonus. Thank you to all my sponsors so far!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Tentative post injury run

Route 3m, road and trail, hilly
Weather: warm and sunny :)

Had a 'photo-shoot' with TES magazine this morning to try and help raise the profile of my fundraising for Epilepsy Action. Highly embarrassing, prancing around on the Chevin with a guy asking me to do fake jumps off rocks etc. Actually the photographer, Ben, was a nice guy and interesting to talk to. Don't know what the final shot will look like or if it will definitely go to print, but I hope so as it might help to increase my sponsorship but more importantly it will definitely help to increase awareness of epilepsy. I've spoken to lots of people rcenetly who have asked why I am supporting Epilepsy Action and what my personal connection is.

Whilst I was on holiday in Croatia last year, I was fortunate to meet a really amazing French family. The son was called Mathieu and he was 17. He had quite profound learning difficulties and severe epilepsy. I used to throw the ball round in the pool with him most days and would be greeted most morning with the familiar shout of "Philippe! Philippe!". One day while playing, he just sank. No warning signs, nothing. He had had a seizure and was drowning right in front of me. Once we all realised what was happening, he was dragged out of the pool and was looked after by his mum and dad. He was fine and woke up a couple of hours later without any recollection of the events. But it shook me.

It also made me proud to have met his parents. They remained calm throughout the incident (he has daily seizures) and treated Mathieu with complete compassion and understanding. The events made me realise how little I knew about epilepsy and when I returned home, began to look into it more seriously. My friend and fellow WHW runner Paul Tranter is fundraising manager for Epilepsy Action and it seemed like the perfect charity to raise some money for and a way to nudge other people to find out a bit more about this very common condition.

It is due to my fundraising that I feel under such pressure to complete this adventure I have set myself and why I was so sure I'd made the right decision to pull out of the fling last week.

I ran 3 tentative miles this afternoon and had no discernible knee problems. I am sitting at the moment, laptop on lap and icepack on knee. I am feeling concerned about the run in June - of course I am. But I know that I will give it my best shot and am determined to finish this race.

I'll try a bit further tomorrow and see again how that goes. Drop me a line of encouragement if you have the time!


Friday, 2 May 2008


Haven't run at all this week so far and have been assessing how the knee is feeling (as well as letting my legs recover from the Fling).

Mostly it is feeling fine, with absolutely no feeling of any injury whatsoever. Occasionally, I get a twinge that reminds me how precarious the run up to this race is. Going to leave it until either Sat or Sun and then go for a tentative flat off road run.

Fingers crossed!