Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Poor hill rep session

Thanks to Hugh for another good hill rep session, although I really struggled with it this time. Have been struggling with a stomach complaint for a couple of weeks now and hill reps weren't really the best idea tonight. Ran 3 X 4 1 min uphills (poorly) followed by a pacey 3 mile return to the club.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Short Sunday Run

I had wanted to run a longish run today, but I have been feeling tired after last night's marshalling duties (home at 4a.m).

So I ran a protracted version of a nice long run that I do sometimes. It was a nice day and I was plodding, so decided to take some photos.

Ran 6m, slow pace, but enjoyed it.

Hardmoors 110

Last night I had the pleasure of marshalling at the last check point (98 m of 110) on the inaugural running of the Hardmoors 110. There were some familiar faces there; Jon Steel (race organiser), Shirley Colqhoun (who looked positively chirpy!) and Murdo McEwan (although I had missed Murdo by an hour!)

This was an interesting experience for me as I haven't marshalled for a long race before. I always try to have a smile for marshalls - they give up their freetime to help keep runners safe for no persoanl reward but I was amazed to experience just how many runners could not say a simple 'thank you' and also how many support teams were actually rude and even aggressive. (There were many friendly runners too!!)

It was also interesting to see what kind of state people were in by this stage and reassuring to know that it's not just me that cries and hallucinates!!

The race itself seemed to be a success and the weather certainly added to its scenic charm.

Well done Jon - I may even give this a go myself next year!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Club run - moonlighters

With the nights drawing in, the 'moonlighting' group(trail running by torch light) is back up and running at the club.

Ran a great hilly 6.5 with a few club members. Good pace and challenging terrain. What a beautiful night - warm, clear and still.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Club run

Ran a steady 6.5 mile route with the club tonight. All on road, with a few hills. Nice to see a few new faces at the club too.

More night time trails

You could be forgiven for thinking that I am always ill or injured if you were to read selectively (and in particular from the last two weeks!) from this blog. I'm not - honest! But I have had a run of bad luck. Last thing to go wrong was that I found out I am allergic to anti-allergy pills! How ridiculous is that?! They made me quite sick. I have vowed never to take pills again unless I absolutely need them.

Anyway, running. Finally felt well again to run yesterday after as very sedentry day on a course. Ran a 6m hilly trail run in the Chevin with headtorch. Found it quite difficult at first after a few days off, but got into a rhythm eventually.

Nice clear evening, but getting cooler at night now.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Late run

I seem to be running a lot of 'recovery runs' these days! Recovering from races, recovering from injuroes and now recovering from colds! Had a bad cold the last few days (although I'm told it wasn't bad, I'm just a weak man) so didn't run Mon or Tues. Ran tonight though and seemed to be ok running.

Ran a 6m hilly trail route with the headtorch. Good fun.

Sunday, 14 September 2008


Route: 7m, road and trail, hilly
Weather: Really humid

Ran a kind of recovery run today of 7m on a familiar local route, up to Farnley along to Clifton and home through Weston Woods.

Felt very sluggish for the first 3m, but then settled into some kind of rhythm. No residual knee pain from last Sunday which is great. Still getting a bit of heel pain in my right foot, but this is nothing new and seems manageable.

Enjoyed the run today - lost loads of fluid as it's really muggy out today so off to refuel :)

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Knee still tender, so did a 25 mile intense cycle through Leeds. Managed to keep an average speed of a shade under 20mph which is ok on my bike!

Nothing beats flying through the city at dusk on a bike while angry motorists sit in their tin boxes!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

umming and ahhing

Couldn't decide whether to run tonight and quite wish I hadn't. Ran a steady 4m hilly trail and felt fine until the last downhill when the right knee felt tender. Could be just a bit swollen from Sunday still or could be a bit of IT band inflamation, either way I've stretched and won't run until Sat now. Feels fins after a stretch actually, so I'll just rest to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ice baths just aren't the same

Ran a short but hilly trail run with the club tonight of about 4 miles. Heavy rain made the trails more like rivers in some places, but I enjoyed the run out. Legs felt pretty much OK which is good news only two days after a 40 miles pounding. Ran in my new Montrail Hardrocks which I have to say feel amazingly comfy.

To help alleviate the few niggles I have (particularly in my front ankle ligaments) I had an ice bath tonight. One of the least pleasant experiences of my life, but did really seem to help the painful bits. Might do this more often after very long runs.

I think the ankles are particularly sore due to the unusual movements of the feet during ACW on Sunday. Road shoes and slurry make for some pretty slippy conditions and lots of additional stresses on the ankles.

Got to focus on a plan to get me through Long Mynd now. Going to start my getting and studying the map - navigation not being my strong point!


Monday, 8 September 2008

A Coventry Way

On Sunday morning I joined numerous other hardy souls who had braved the threat of severe weather warnings and turned up to run/walk the Coventry Way, a 40 mile circuit around Coventry's surrounding Green belt. To be completely honest, I hadn't held out too much hope for the scenery - I admit that I had a preconceived view of Coventry as an urban nightmare of a place, but I am happy to say that I was completely wrong and found myslef running through some impressive and typically English countryside.

Walkers started the race at 6am in order to get round in the light but runners were encouraged to start later to allow for checkpoint opening. Being allowed to start at whatever time you chose really helped my nerves as I was able to set off in my own time, avoiding the usual pre-race tensions!

I ran the race with Paul Tranter and we set off at 7.20 am. Navigation for the race was covered by a 35 page mini-booklet with very detailed maps and the whole route was really well waymarked.

The miles slipped past quite easily and despite the weather, the terrail on the first sections was remarkably good. At this point we were thinking of somewhere around the seven hour mark.

This target became unrealistic soon enough however, as the terrain changed through mud, clay, slurry and other delights and slowed us right down. At about 24 miles the conditions were very poor and both of us began to tire after this point. by 30 miles I was shattered and the pace had dropped considerably. Paul had a bit more in his legs but waited for me (thanks!) and we plodded on together for the last 8 miles finally arriving in 8 hrs 8 mins. The winner ran the race in well under 7 hours which was impressive in those conditions.

Overall there were some positives and some negatives (aren;t there always?!).

Positives: Finished a 40m race (1st ultra of 'the season')
Had something left in terms of energy at the end.
Reasonable time.
Navigated the whole course without serious error!
Recovery seems to be quick!

Negatives: Really sore tired legs (poor conditions and 1st long run of season)
Still found it hard to eat anything substantial although this mattered less as it was only 8 hours. Will still be potential issue on longer races however.

Overall I really enjoyed it. Thankyou to the organisers who did a fantastic job on the day and I understand do a brilliant job for various charities. I will almost certainly be back next year to beat my time.

Refuelling at one of the well organised checkpoints


Friday, 5 September 2008

Coventry Way still on...

Phoned ACW organiser this afternoon to check on the update of the race in light of the rain and severe weather warnings country-wide. He told me that there were no plans to cancel the race, so looks like a wet weekend's running!!

Received a new pair of Montrail Hardrocks yesterday and am desperately trying to wear them in in the hope I can wear them on Sunday. They felt comfy straight on, but it might be a different matter after 40 miles. Problem is my only other shoes are road shoes! I'll make a decision on Sunday morning.

PS This morning's weight 75.2Kg. Amazing how much it changes!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

First run with Beth

Ran with Beth tonight up in the Chevin. A nice 1.5 mile loop with a couple of sharp hills. Out like a lion, in like a lamb - just like her dad!

This morning's weight a disappointing 76.2kg (but it was after breakfast!!)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ilkley Incline

Tonight I had the 'pleasure' of joining 70 other loons to run the 1 mile (yes 1 mile!) uphill fell race organised by Ilkley Harriers.

It is a torturous race of pure uphill running...

I had not really given it the respect it deserved having done a heavy hill-rep session last night and cycling the 6m flat out from otley to get to the start. Needless to say the legs were lead-like, the lungs were burning and the thought of just giving up and lying in the heather half way up was ever-tempting.

I did finish, but I fear this year was slower than last year's 10:17. We'll see tomorrow when the time's are published. Won't be too disappointed as I really didn't prepare well for this one, but it's never nice to run a race worse than the year before. Edit - just read 10:27 :( 10 seconds slower than last year. I'll put it down to Hugh's hill reps!!

Nice 6m cycle home though!

No more serious running until Sunday's 40m now.

This morning's weight 75.8 Kg

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Hill Reps

Thanks to Hugh Pearson who organised another great hill rep session for us tonight. Ran 4 X 45 second high intensity reps, on three different hills. Absolutely shattered at the end of it. Not sure if it's the best preparation for tomorrow's Ilkley Incline race!

Started to monitor the weight today and I was thinking that if I publicly state my weight then this should help shame me into reaching my target weight. I plan to weigh myself every morning at 7 a.m. This morning my weight was 76.3kg. Target weight 68kg.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Two Short Runs

Set out to do a ten miler yesterday and could barely manage four. Had to eat wild blackberries to give me the energy to get home! Not had this happen for a while...can only put it down to post-cycle fatigue. Unpleasant, but not too worried really.

Tonight I kept the mileage low, but did some good hillwork. Ran about 3 miles of hilly trail at high intensity. Still felt very tired. Think I'm in for a rude awakening on Saturday!! At least Paul Tranter, my running partner on Saturday, says he's not been doing great mileage either. Hope he's telling the truth!!

I'm sure it will come together for Saturday, at least just to get round, but am not running well at the moment. One thing I need to do is drop my weight down somewhat. I am currently edging 80kg which is just too heavy. I would like to be nearer 68kg. I think that is about my ideal race weight. Some work to do then!