Friday, 28 February 2014

H.I.I.T week!

I feel that although there hasn't been mega mileage recently, I feel like I've done a lot. But then, it always depends who you are comparing it to. The wisest thing to do is only compare to yourself, and perhaps where you'd like to be.

Monday I had to take the car to the garage, so I put on my lycra and ran home from there. I was quite pleased to see exactly 6.0 on my Strava app. The run was uneventful, I'd put too many layers on so was boiling!
Later, once the car was ready I walked back again, taking the dog and a more direct route for about 3 miles.
Even later still, was club training with Sonja. We did similar to recent Mondays, but with 4 exercises instead of three. Tonight was- burpees x 10, shoulder press x10, squats x10, press ups x 10 then 2mins skipping. We did that 3 times before doing the reverse pyramid once more, starting at 12 reps of each exercise and working our way down to one. Then we stretched out.

Tuesday afternoon was spent in York at a meeting to discuss club paperwork and stuff. It was quite productive, but I only just made it back in time for the free taster session hosted by JDW Fitness. In fact, I didn't make it in time and the session had already started! Quite embarrassing as it was me who'd sent the emails round telling everyone to be on time!!
Never mind.
John put us through our paces with a variety of high-intensity-interval-training style exercises. It was hard work and we were all sweating cobs by the time we'd done. Sonja said how proud she was of us and John later said he'd enjoyed working with us.

Wednesday was pain. So, I did the Runners World yoga as suggested by the We Love a Challenge chaps. It was quite nice to stretch out!
Time trial at club tonight, and for some insane reason, I decided to jog down. It wasn't pretty as my legs were barely working after last night...
Greg took the session, which was basically an extended warm up and my legs felt a bit better.
Thoroughly prepared we jogged across to Station Road for the Time Trial. Yeah. Don't think I broke any records. I was very pleased I'd arranged a lift home rather than having to jog back! Did about 6.4 miles in total tonight so happy with that.

Thursday, still very stiff with some quite achey spots, but out for a night run with Hilary and Becky although we didn't really need our headtorches! Woo-hoo, things are looking up! (Although in retrospect maybe we should have used them as Becky nearly disappeared down a hole...)

Friday (today) and Saturday are pretty much rest days now. I will walk the dog obviously and perhaps do a little more yoga, but I have a race on Sunday over at Glaisdale on the moors near Whitby so I need my legs to recover in time for that.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The week after Hardmoors.

That up there is for Hilary. More on that later...

So, after Osmotherly. Need to un up more hills man! Legs pretty mashed if I'm honest.
But, always a glutton for punishment I went to Sonja's session on Monday night. We started early on the Flatts with circuits - 10x push-ups, 10x jump lunges, 10x mountain climbers then a short sprint. Repeat and keep going for 4 minutes. We did that 3 times. Then, everyone else did sprints, 7 out-and-back jobs. I did 7 jogs! It was enough.

Tuesday I hurt everywhere! Lower half from Sunday and upper half from Monday night.

Weds back to club, weather a touch better than last Wednesday's hurricane... We did 5x 4mins intervals. Again, I took it steady but I think my legs felt better afterwards.

Thursday night Hilary and I took ourselves to Kilburn Woods for a spot of trailblazing...
We'd planned to do Unicorn Way, but the Unicorn had been subjected to brash clearance/felling and had vanished under vehicle tracks and a blanket of fallen brash. We clambered about for a few minutes but decided we were only going to get lost and frustrated, so we took a different path which was all downhill and mostly ankle deep mud and water!! It was all good fun, I did point out to Hilary that if this had been a race she'd have beaten me down to the bottom...
We got out onto the main path at pretty much our normal point, so onwards over the horse gate and out onto the road at the bottom of Town Carr Bank near Kilburn. We stopped for a moment to admire the stars and a bank of snowdrops before starting the climb. My legs screamed at me a lot of the hill ,but we made it. The path on the top of Sutton Bank is lovely and flat, we made good time jumping puddles along the way. Next comes the infamous Angle Path which goes pretty much straight down... We took it steady at the top as it was wet and slippy, then once on the good surface, about half way down we came to a fallen tree!! Right across our path, thankfully we're both small so we squezzed between the branches and continued down on to the main tracks.
A long mile of good track took us back to the car and a celebratory pint at the Forresters Arms in Kilburn Village.

The party version of the song at the top was on in Hilary's car and we said it fitted tonight's run quite 'Didn't even know we were lost'!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Hardmoors Osmotherly Trail Half Marathon

What a lovely route on what turned out to be a lovely day!

I had an early start as race registration started at 7.30am with the race itself starting at 8.30am, very pleased I only live a 20min drive away from Osmotherly!
When I arrived, the designated parking area was already full, but I managed to find a spot on the road side. Took my gear to the hall and got registered. Said hi to Jen from club, Shirley and Dave R who were all busy on the registration desk.
Peter from club had already set off on the marathon route, along with a few of my We Love a Challenge team mates.
I found Pat and Carol who were also taking part in the half, and Carol's friend who had come up from the South to have a play in the hills.

We set off from the village centre and soon hit black ice! It made for a few comedy moments on the steep road. Thankfully, we quickly left the tarmac behind and the rougher tracks were a lot better. Down past the farm house near Oakdale Reservoir and sweeping back up onto the moor. Cross the road (more ice) at Chequers then we picked up the track which runs above the tree line at Cod Beck Reservoir. The Sheepwash was free of ice, but is still a tricky descent then another short stretch of icy road to the cattle grid at Scarth Nick then right onto the Cleveland Way and into Clain Wood for the start of the out and back section.
The route undulates through the trees, and I ran with Pat and Carol, down the incline, through more trees, across a very wet field, over the double fords and into Scugdale. Dave R was co-manning the check point here and I stopped for water and Jaffa cakes before pressing on towards the big climb that is Live Moor Plantation.
It never gets the sun under the trees, and the rocks are permanently greasy, although thankfully free of ice.
We were making good time so, we stopped for a quick pic and jogged along the flag stones to the turnaround point just after Gold Hill.

We were a bit quicker coming back as it was downhill! The descent of Live Moor is worse than the climb up, so once this was out of the way we could relax a little, safe in the knowledge there were only two more big climbs to come.
Back past Dave R, the two fords and the wet field, into the wood and now to tackle the incline. I didn't see anyone run up this at all. It's a real leg sapper this climb!
Soon we were crossing the road at the cattle grid again and into the last climb, up onto Scarth Nick Moor. It's a deceptively steep climb, then you think it's levelled out, but really it's a very gradual uphill all the way to the top of Beacon Hill.
It was very muddy on top of Beacon Hill. Then the fast descent on the far side, then the last little bit of tarmac into the village and into the hall to get our times recorded. Right at the monument in the middle of Osmotherly, I heard a guy catching up with me and there was no way I could muster a sprint, but he was the complete gentleman and didn't overtake. I feel quite guilty I didn't thank him as I was in desperate need of a cup of tea...

Carol and Pat at Round Hill

At the finish with our T-shirts and medals

I had my tea, had a chat with Jen, then Tim from Running Food came to see me about flapjacks for the Thirsk 10. I had contacted him a while ago and he said he could supply some of his fabulous flapjacks for use as spot prizes at the race. After getting changed and sorted out, I took charge of two boxes of flapjacks and a load of Buffs, big thanks to Tim for these.

Overall a fab day out. Really pleased with my time, around 2hrs 40-something. Bit stiff this morning, but I wouldn't expect anything different!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

A wet and windy week!

Had a fairly steady week really, for no particular reason.

Went down to club on Monday night as usual. Similar format to last week, working on three exercises, but this time they were: push-up-planks, shoulder press and step-up runs.
Then we did 'something else' which involved one legged press-ups, donkey kicks and jumping lunges! Another tough session from Coach Sonja!!

Tuesday was quiet, I'd seen snow on the Hambleton Hills so I got the dog and my big coat and went up Sneck Yate Bank to have a closer look. I wasn't disappointed.
Then I had to go to work and be on sandwich making duty ready for our client meeting about game bird diseases. It was a late night.

The weather on Wednesday gradually got worse as the day wore on. By the time it was 7 o'clock, it was blowing a gale with sheets of rain coming in sideways. Yuk.
Amazingly, about 15 people turned out into the melee to train! Paul G led the session, modifying it very slightly so we didn't freeze to death on the rest periods, but we still did 2 lots of 5x 2mins intervals.
It seems that pursuing a lighter 'racing weight' might not be such a good thing, as us ladies were frequently being blown sideways into the hedge while the heavier blokes seemed less affected!
Thank goodness for dry pants!
Thank goodness for hot drinks being served at the bar at the Athletic Club!!
Our main committee meeting followed, and we could hear the wind getting even worse outside, later the news reported winds of 70mph locally, and over 100mph in Wales!!

Thursday was the traditional run round Sowerby with Hilary and Becky. Not as wet tonight, but still the wind stopped us in our tracks once or twice.
We didn't have these problems once we were safely inside the Crown and Anchor...

Friday and Saturday are effectively rest days before the Hardmoors Osmotherly Half Marathon, early start tomorrow morning!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

You Have 4 Minutes!

Another Bex Life challenge from the We Love a Challenge chaps! That's for next week though.

I feel better than on my last instalment, still don't know what was going on there?

This weekend has been fairly steady, work then rest on Saturday then Sunday I completed the 'MultiSport Challenge' for WLaC. I went into town and ran 4 miles round the tracks of Sowerby then straight into the pool for a half hour swim. Went well, no idea how many lengths I did as the pool was full of kids!
I did forget my post-exercise snack though, so I had to go round Tesco hungry. I managed to resist buying the entire store!!

Now though, it's time to make a start on tea, toad-in-the-hole, oh yeah!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Boring Friday Night Blog

It's Friday, OH is out at Scouts and I'm bored.
Can't decide if I'm actually ill, or just really tired?


Back to Club on Wednesday. No school so we made use of the cricket/rugby field at the athletic club. Quite a good turn out for a wet, windy, cold night! Everyone was decked out in waterproofs, gloves and hats- all of which came off before too long as the weather really wasn't that bad at all!
We got warmed up then Rob set us off on our interval session. 8 x 1min with 30 secs recovery. Then he treated us to a 3 min rest (I know, we're spoilt!) then we did another 8 x 1min.
Managed to keep up with Hilary, but felt quite sick towards the end. I reckon we put out 8min/miles and hit our marker consistently throughout.

After training we had a meeting to discuss our club race, the Thirsk 10, in March. Preparations are going well.

Thursday evening, back out in the dark with Hilary and Becky for the weekly 4-ish mile route round the farm tracks of Sowerby. We were all a little tired, so we took it steady for a change, which I particularly appreciated as my legs were shot from last night! Even at a steady pace it was hard work.

Was well ready for my tea when I got home!

All day today at work I've felt really 'blah' achey in my back and shoulders and my head is full of treacle. I don't feel snotty or ill as such, but I certainly don't feel right. I hope it's not the lurgy that is going round Club at the moment, as it's been wiping people out and sending them to bed!! I have a half marathon to run a week on Sunday!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Best laid plans...

Yesterday, Monday, I went for a 10 mile run on legs tired from Sundays hike. The weather was overcast and windy, nothing to really comment on. It stayed dry which was good. The route is a classic taking in Cockerdale, A170, the villages of Scawton and Cold Kirby, Sutton Bank and part of the Cleveland Way.
I did get chased by some ponies and met some rather sinister sheep, but it was otherwise uneventful. I was close to bonking about 1/2 mile from the finish, but I held it together and got back in one piece.

That evening was Sonja's session at club. I was really quite tired but I'm still collecting membership subs, so I thought I'd go down and 'take it easy'. Ha.
After getting warmed up with drills and dynamic stretching, we got into the session, with the promise of 'something else' if there was time afterwards...
So, we worked in threes, and did 10x burpees, 10x mountain climbers, 10x Star jumps then did 3 minutes of skipping!
Then we did 15 of each, then 20 of each exercise, along with skipping each time.
As we caught our breath, Sonja explained the 'something else'. Oh dear, the same exercises (but without the skipping) for 12 reps, then 11, then 10 and so on all the way down to 1.
It took us 9 minutes to complete. Everyone was done afterwards, but we all did it! So much for taking it easy! The burpees were getting harder and harder as I had no 'spring' in my legs after this mornings hilly run.
Sonja stretched us out afterwards.
More of the same next week apparently...

Today was meant to be the 'Multisport Challenge' from the chaps at We Love a Challenge on Facebook. My intention was to run down to the sports centre, swim, run home. However, the power went off mid morning. When I rung Northern Power Grid, they said most of town was affected. I didn't know if this included the pool and really didn't fancy a cold, dark swim. By the time power was restored, I was too hungry to think about running and swimming and had food instead. I wont get another chance to complete this challenge until Sunday now as the times the pool is available doesn't fit well with the times I am available. Oh well.

On the plus side, I have now got a load of stuff done for club and got this updated.

And for those who are interested, I got a new PB at last weeks Time Trial- 2 miles in 14:31. Nice one.

Another side note, also need to get some maps sorted to go in the 'Hiking and Running Routes' section over there on the right of this blog!

Sunny, Muddy Sunday Walk

A Walk From Runswick Bay
2nd February

A 9mile undulating walk over farmland, through woods and along the coast.

Starting point- Hinderwell, near Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire.

We managed to get parked opposite the Brown Cow pub in Hinderwell, but to our dismay it looked rather 'closed' with a for sale sign outside! Oh no! We'd hoped to have our dinner there after the walk. There is another pub, The Badger Hound, just a few doors down so we checked to see if dogs were allowed in. They were so we thought we'd eat there instead.
Shortly after passing the Badger Hound, we took a side road and followed this out to the cliff tops by Port Mulgrave.

Port Mulgrave
Once we reached the edge, we turned left to join the Cleveland Way. The path follows the cliff tops, undulating gently for about 1 ½ miles to the little fishing village of Straithes. The path drops sharply to sea level in Staithes, coming right to the sea front.

Cleveland Way following the cliff tops.

Approaching Staithes.

Just some of many steps!
Staithes is a quaint little place, now more of a holiday destination than the thriving fishing village it once was. The myriad of steps, ginnels and little alleys being perfect for the smugglers that once haunted this coast.
Up through these steps and narrow passages we went, leaving the Cleveland Way but also missing our intended path! We hit the main road in (new) Staithes by the Co-Operative, and from there regained our route!
We took a track leading along a fence and passed a very nice farmstead before dropping into Oakrigg Wood. There are many paths in the woods, but we stuck mainly to the beck side, before climbing muddy paths to meet a field boundary further on. This led on to a good farm track which took us into the tiny hamlet of Newton Mulgrave.

Muddy paths in Oakrigg Wood.

Newton Mulgrave resident.
Through Newton Mulgrave and onto more tracks towards Ellerby. One field was completely planted with no discernible path across, which meant we took a while finding the little wooden footbridge and stile over into the next field! But we did find it and soon we were at Ellerby.
The Inn there was not dog friendly so we pressed on. We crossed the A174 and took another muddy track across fields till we met a minor road called Coverdale Lane. This started off well, but as it began to drop down to the beach, it got muddier and wetter!

Coverdale Lane = mud fest!
At last we popped out onto the beach at Runswick. Too many dogs to let Tammy have a run off the lead and the coffee shop was closed.
Next, we tackled the very steep climb out of Runswick, then just 1 mile of flat pavement to return to Hinderwell.
We were both very pleased to see the Brown Cow was open after all! So, we got our muddy boots and gaiters off, I towelled the dog down and we went in for food and beer. I had chillie-con-carne with rice and chips, and Paul had pie with chips and veg. Tammy had a Jumbone and a few chunks of steak out of Paul's pie.

The Beach at Runswick Bay.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A week that was.

Monday night was club with Sonja, everyone was talking about Nikki's brush with hypothermia.

Wednesday was a time trial. We warmed up with some circuits, then jogged across town to Station Road for the time trial. It felt held, always does but I suppose if a time trial felt easy then there's something wrong!! Becky and David set off either side of me and I never saw either of them again... Just waiting on results at the moment.

Thursday night headtorch run around Sowerby with Hil's and into the Crown n Anchor as part of our cool down.

I haven't been doing the We Love a Challenge exercises this week, which is a bit naughty as they centred around foam rollering. Next week a new challenge starts, a month long burpee challenge, oh, and the weekly 'Sting in the Tail' which I need to do before the weekend is out.

Spent quite a bit of time delivering letters to give local residents advance notice of the road closures for the Thirsk 10.