Monday 31 March 2014

Good few miles in the bag this week!

After the gloriously successful Thirsk 10, it was back to training!

Monday night I ran down to club. We had an active warm up followed by about a million each of press ups, mountain climbers and start jumps!

Tuesday was fairly steady and I had a work related meeting in the evening.

Wednesday I ran to club once more. It was the time trial tonight, but it was not the weather for it! It was rather cold and pouring with rain. Nice. I worked hard, narrowly avoiding drowning in the deluge. It later turned out however, that my time wasn't that great and I was a little disappointed.
It continued to rain for the run home and I was soaked by the time I'd done.

Thursday Hilary and I went for a steady pootle round our Sowerby Fields route. It had been raining most of the day, but stopped in time for us to go out.

Friday was a rest ahead of the Big Run on Saturday...

I normally work Saturday mornings, but having accrued some over time, I had the morning off so I could join Darren Barnes and Ray from the TEAM We Love a Challenge on Facebook for a round from Osmotherly. Don't worry, not going off to meet random blokes off the internet, I have met both these guys several times before, usually at Hardmoors events.
I felt a little apprehensive as we got ourselves organised and ready to go. I'm always a little nervous running with someone new for the first time as you don't know if you'll be able to keep up!
I needn't have worried, Darren and I were fairly evenly paced, and we walked up the big hills. It was misty, but that was ok. The sun threatened to come out from time to time. The route was pretty dry underfoot and the terrain sensible. Darren knew this route well so I left the navigation to him.
(We were running the 17mile version of the Osmotherly Phoenix.)
Our run was pleasantly uneventful.
We met up with Ray near Wheat Beck (he's been injured, so walked out to meet us, then ran back with us) and we continued to jog along at chat.
The boggy bit between Wheat Beck and Square Corner was just as boggy as usual, and the steps after crossing the Cod Beck almost at the finish were as evil as usual!
The sun had now come out, and we were actually glad it hadn't been that warm for the whole run as we were all in long leggings and sleeves and would have been far too hot!

We'd planned on having fish and chips, I wasn't sure my tummy was up to that (just usual long run tummy, no actual problems!) but I needn't have worried as the chip shop was closed. We had to settle for a cup of tea from the coffee shop instead. While we were relaxing in the sunshine with our tea, Sarah G from club and her friend came to join us! They'd also been for a run out.

Todays little jaunt takes me up to 34.6 miles for the week! Lots more than I usually do and hence the title of the blog!

Darren, me and Ray having tea in the sun!

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Thirsk 10 - A Marshal's Eye View

After months of planning, the big day finally dawned. It was cold, but sunny with not too much wind.
We all gathered at the racecourse to be given our briefing and told our jobs from head marshal Phillip. Then we got stuck into our duties.
My first job was handing out numbers and timing chips. Sarah and I worked together on our box of numbers, and other people sorted theirs. There were one or two issues, there always are but nothing the team couldn't handle.
At last the shout went up for runners to make their way to the start. It always amazes me the number of people who leave it til the last minute! The race starts at 11am, there is a short walk from the registration area to the start, which is stated on the website information, yet people were still arriving at 5 to 11 to collect their numbers and faff about with chips! Personally, I like to get to a race nice and early.
Anyway, I couldn't hang around as my next job was out on the course at water station 2. As I was looking for one of my helpers, I found a gaggle of marshals tucking into bacon butties! They'd done their start tasks and weren't needed again til the finish. Alright for some, I thought...
I couldn't find my helper so went to the water station without him!
Bernard was already at the station and had made a start on getting the bottles open and ready. Our helper, Stewart arrived and took the micky for me leaving him. ;)
Not long after we'd got sorted, the wheelchair athletes, being led by Stephan on his bike came whizzing by. They're self sufficient liquid wise so they only needed a clap and a cheer.
The lead runner came by at 11:36, he went on to win the race in a little under 51 minutes. Outstanding.
The front runners rarely need a drink, but soon the main pack arrived and they were thirsty!
Another chap, David G had turned up and he helped hand out the water and between the 4 of us we got everyone sorted.
I quite enjoy marshalling, it's great to see the runners in action and to be able to cheer everyone on, especially the people we know!
Once everyone had passed, we began tidying up. Several black bags full of bottles and gel wrappers later and we were done. Back to HQ for a sarnie.
A bit more litter picking and tidying up at HQ before finally we were able to go home. The weather had now turned and it was cold, wet and hailing at times! I was pleased I wasn't stood out in that!!

Overall I think the day was a grand success. Credit to our RD Marian, and everyone on the T10 team and of course all the marshals and helpers who came down on the day.

Later that evening, 30 of us piled into the Raj, a local Indian Restaurant for a nice meal, beer and plenty of banter and laughs.

Race results can be found - here.

Friday 21 March 2014

The cold too has passed.

I dragged myself and my virus round Helmsley castle at the weekend when my Stepdaughter came to visit. It was a lot of effort I have to say!

Monday, I did very little at home and skipped club- must be ill!
Tuesday similar, although I managed to do start this weeks We Love a Challenge exercises.

By Wednesday I was feeling much better and decided I should go to club- kill or cure!
Usual warm up and circuits, then the intervals were 5x 4mins. Went out too fast on the first one, but kept up a reasonable pace throughout. Think it loosened some gunk too...

On Thursday Hilary and I had a steady plod round Sowerby before it got dark. It was still light when I got home at 7.20pm. We'll be able to go out for longer soon.
Felt ok after the run.

Think I am back to normal now. The cold itself wasn't 'that bad' but I could feel it tingling in my lungs and didn't want to drag it onto my chest. Anyway, don't need to worry about that anymore!

Thirsk 10 on Sunday, all the planning and preparation will hopefully come together. Lets hope the weather plays ball too!

Friday 14 March 2014

Legs feel better, but now the rest of me is broken :(

During the last couple of weeks, my legs have felt mashed the whole time but on Monday they felt quite ok. I'd rested up Friday and Saturday previously and we did a walk on Sunday.
I jogged down to club and Rob had us on a rolling relay/Fartlek type session. I quite enjoyed it and had a couple of sprint-offs against different people!

At work all week, so didn't do anything extra until Club again on Wednesday. I was starting with 'a funny feeling' in my throat and was concerned I was going to come down with a cold. So, I just took it a little steady as I figured I would soon be too ill to do anything!

I was right.

Thursday morning and my worst fears were confirmed, I had indeed got a cold. Due to spend the next two days in a conference, so it wasn't the end of the world. However, by lunchtime I was feeling decidedly queasy and by mid-afternoon was actually sick!! Felt a bit better after that and managed the rest of the days talks and the members meeting.
I felt starving come dinner time, but my battered tummy filled up quickly. Hung on until the raffle was drawn (didn't win anything this time) then went to bed.

Friday I had planned a pre-breakfast run on the Stray (as we were staying in Harrogate) but I decided against it as my bpm and blood pressure was still up. I did however have a quick stroll between breakfast and the start of today's talks.
Back at work mid-afternoon but by about 3pm I was fading fast and 5 o'clock couldn't come fast enough.

Thankfully, I don't have any specific training planned this weekend so I can rest up, but it does mean this week has been particularly poor mileage wise. I need this to clear as I can feel it burning all the way down my windpipe and into my lungs. Trying to run will just make it worse. Bugger.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Local Walk - Ryedale in the sunshine!

Sunday comes but once a week so we made the most of having one together and took a short drive to the nearby hamlet of Cold Kirby for a walk.

Saw my first lambs of the season in the fields behind East Farm, cute!
Muddy slither down into Murton Wood, followed by a stiff climb out of the other side.
A long, not very exciting track (Ox Pasture Lane) took us to Ryedale where we dropped down through farmland which was populated with more lambs and ponies. Through several farms in quick succession and down to the banks of the River Rye. After a snack stop, we followed the Rye for a short distance, the path being on good board walk before climbing up and over Ashberry Hill. Now we turn right (west) along the Cleveland Way, into first Nettle Dale then into Flassen Dale. The track here is quite dull if I'm honest, but it was nice in the sunshine.
A stiff climb out of Flassen Dale and over a couple of fields back to the car at Cold Kirby. Back home for marshmallows and cider!

Larry and his mum.

Steep decent in Murton Wood.

Ryedale Boardwalk.

Mmmmmm choice of ciders!

I have thought about doing this route as a run, but it's really not very exciting. Still, 9 miles is 9miles so I may still do it some time.

(See 'Cold Kirby/Ryedale' in the routes section for full details.)

A Week on mashed legs!

Monday, the day after Glaisdale Rigg, I thought it would be a good idea to jog down to club. Yeah.
We did some odd one-legged press-up-mountain-climber combo. 40 secs on, 20 secs rest for around 20 reps. Ouch.
The jog home was steady but starlit.

Tuesday car was back in the garage to have the new ignition coil fitted. Walked home, then back to pick it up later. Total of around 6 miles.

Wednesday at club started with circuits, mix of traditional exercises. Then outside for 6x 3mins. It felt so hard. No energy in my legs at all still.

Thursday night headtorch run with Hilary, although we didn't really need the torches now (assuming we set off early enough or course!) Again, it felt like the longest 4 miles ever, but it turned out we still got round in 33-34 mins so not too shabby.

Had a nice rest on Friday and Saturday! Legs are so tired and just feel mashed. The dog has popped the tennis ball I use to roll the muscles, little monkey.

The Hardmoors 55 takes place on the 22nd March and the buzz on the Hardmoors Facebook page is growing daily. Everyone is excited, tapering begins now for the competitors. I hope to be joining them next year. All this running on tired legs will get them used to the idea, as I'm sure they'll be tired during the 55mile run!!

Sunday 2 March 2014

No kit, no race (Race report)

Fell running rules have changed, not carrying the correct kit can lead to disqualification. It's not much to carry, and lets face it, any runner can turn an ankle and have a long walk home in the pouring rain.

So, with our bumbags and backpacks full, we gathered at Glaisdale on the North York Moors for the latest instalment in the Esk Valley Winter Series - Glaisdale Rigg.
I haven't done this route before so was quite looking forward to it.

Quite quickly, I realised my poor legs weren't as recovered from the weeks HIIT as I thought they were, and I proceeded to struggle. Becky had asked if she could run with me as she's not good at navigating but was worried she'd hold me back... She need not have worried and after the top of the first big hill, I never saw her again! There were plenty of people and the route was well enough marked for navigation to be straight forward.
On the Rigg, it was quite misty. My heavy legs plodded on, trying to keep the runners in front in view.
There came a nice downhill and my legs picked up somewhat. Bouncing over scrub then some long muddy fields but nice to run down.
Over Glaisdale Beck and time to get stuck into a really tough climb. Into trees at the top of the climb, then flatter moorland and sloppy muddy tracks.
My legs were going through cycles of feeling so tired I had to walk, the walk made them feel better so I ran on til I hit the slightest of gradient then I had to walk again. So on and so forth. It was frustrating and in my mind I downgraded the race to a 'training run' and felt better in myself.
We hit road once more, and a glance at my map said we hadn't much further to go, I felt a little disappointed as I was in my stride at that point!
Down the road that turned into a rutted, muddy track. More splatting through mud and puddles, managed to overtake two people on the way down! Over the footbridge and last short push up to the pub and the finish! Phew!

Race profile

Me on Beggar's Bridge after the race.

Washed trainers in the river and got a picture of the famous Beggar's Bridge before settling down with a bowl of chilli to watch the presentations.