Tuesday 5 August 2014

Supposedly resting...

Isn't that the normal thing to do after a marathon? Hmm.

Monday I went to club, drove down instead of running! Tough circuits, but my legs didn't want to know for the running portion, so it was just a steady jog.

Wednesday was Rolling Relays organised by a couple of guys from club. Oh dear. I was put into Coach Rob's team as the middle runner.
The route was a 6 mile off road loop, the fastest runners doing the full 6, middle runners doing 4 and the slowest runners doing the final 2.
We jogged out to our 'collection point' and awaited the arrival of the fast runners. As predicted, Rob was leading the pack and I took off like the clappers to keep up with him. It went well for the first 200m or so, then I spent the rest of the two miles trying not to vomit. Amazingly my legs pretty much went along with it! Rob and I were first into the collection point for our slowest team member, in our case Rob's wife Christine. (Christine later told me I looked dreadful as I came in...) Thankfully Christine is quite a bit slower than Rob and pace became more comfortable. The only problem with that was, two other teams over took us. Dammit.
The event had gone quite well, and we all had good runs.
Afterwards, we met up at the Athletic club for drinks and nibbles with our Beginners Group as a bit of a 'getting to know each other' exercise.

Thursday saw Hilary and I dragging Rob L up the big climbs in Kilburn Woods! Well, I say dragging, he didn't have any problems at all and we told him he should try a fell race...
I was tired now from the recent activities and was knackered by the time we'd done.
Time for a pint.

The big news is I managed to cover 100miles this month! Hurrah. I even put in an extra 1.5miles before going to Kilburn on Thursday just to make sure...

Saturday 2 August 2014

Rock and Rowel, baby Yeah!!!

Very early start on the 26th for the L.D.W.A Rock and Rowel Challenge Walk. 26 miles, multi-terrain, self navigated. Sounds good, yes?

I got to Dacre near Ripon and found the village hall. These LDWA events are all about the food it would seem and there was 'help yourself' tea and toast for brekki!
It was 8am and about 15 degrees, I knew it wasn't going to stay like that though...

The runners start was 8.20am and we were into our first hill within minutes!!
I knew Dave R and Mel H from Elvet Striders and was also introduced to Rachel and Juliet and the 5 of us ran together. The navigation was a joint effort, one with a map one with the written description. The going was good on rolling farmland, it was already getting hot and there was little shade. First checkpoint down, we got our tally's clipped. Over more fields, passing farmers busy at work.
We were soon at the next check point at Bishop Thornton and I collected some crisps to munch on.
We pressed on, there was a long stretch of road now and we fell into a run walk pattern. I tagged along with the Striders. One of the ladies was nursing a niggle so fell behind.
As we approached the next check point, we realised our running numbers were sequential and it raised a giggle as the marshal's checked us in!
The table was laden with home made cakes, but I chose a couple of dry Ritz crackers, still struggling with eating on the move, but I had decided I was going to force myself to eat something at every check point.
We were now on the Ripon Rowel route, hence the name of the event. We passed through the Valley of the Seven Bridges and the deer park, part of Fountains Abbey. Stunning scenery, but it was blisteringly hot, especially in the valleys where there was no breeze at all.
On one climb through a wood, we found wild raspberries and had a mini-fruit-feast as we walked up the hill. It had been a long way between check points, but at Sawley village hall was a fine spread! Not only was there the normal cake, crisps and sweets, there was also various sandwiches and wraps but best of all, ice-cream and sauce!! Of course, we all indulged! The injured Elvet lady had caught up with us in the deer park and we enjoyed the ice-cream together.
Of course, we also suffered stitch together too...
The route takes in Eavestone Lake that was cool and shady, we were still running on and off, but I was now struggling to keep up with Dave R and MelH.
Another check point, here we were treated to refreshing chunks of water melon, delicious.
We crossed onto the access road across Eavestone Moor. Too hot and bothered to chat much any more. I decided I'd had enough of running now and said so to Dave and Mel. It was a while before they ran on again and I was alone under the unrelenting sun.
Brimham Rocks was the next objective, but there was a few more tricky zig-zags en route. I actually caught up with Dave and Mel. Turns out, Dave had cockled his ankle a few miles off the start and now his calf was bothering him, so he'd decided to walk so as not to make it worse. It's too hot for racing. MelH ran on once we got to the visitor centre at Brimham. It was weird to literally turn the corner after seeing no-body all day, and find hundreds of tourists!!
We walked through the cool rock formations and found the check point, last one before the finish! It was a good feeling, I was ready to finish now.
A nice bridlepath took us to Smelthouses, but I started to feel sick. I also noticed I'd stopped sweating, not a good sign. I didn't mention to Dave I felt sick and kept going. With my stomach reeling, we went through a farmyard and found the last self-clip point, just 1.5 mile to go. Was I going to make it without puking?? I forced down some electrolytes, sick of those too. I was desperate for something that wasn't sweet and sticky and warm. Everything was warm, even the top-ups from the check points were warm. Yuk.
With about 3/4 mile to go, I was happy to see the slick of sweat return to the backs of my hands and my tummy, although fragile had stopped churning! I felt better and chatted a bit more easily again.
On the final stretch, Juliet and Rachel passed us along with a couple of other runners, drat!
MelH met us as we walked through the village and informed us there was ice-cream and JELLY at the finish! That spurred us on for the last 100yards into the hall to have our time recorded!!
At last, I could sit down for the first time in almost 7 hours, it felt great!
First job was to get some jelly and ice-cream, it was wonderfully cold and gentle on my tummy. Once that had settled a little, we had a look at the food, there was cold meat, pasta, cous-cous, salad and hot potatoes. I had pasta and salad and some rather nice ham. As well as my milkshake I'd brought.

The Striders were off to the pub after, as much as I would have liked to join them, I felt I should get off home as I'd promised Paul a pub tea! It was amazing how hot it was and how heavy my pack was for the 5 minute walk from the hall to the car. How I'd mananged to run/walk in this heat for the last 7 hours I don't know!

I'd drunk a good 3 litres of fluid during the event and still didn't have a proper wee until Sunday!!
Time for a bit of a rest and replacing calories and fluids I think.

Finishing July! including Cock Howe Race Report.

I mentioned in my last post, I was off for a long run to Kilburn.

Well, it was a hot sticky morning an early morning downpour had only served to increase the humidity and the vegetation at the side of the path was steaming nicely.
I set off along Green Lane, an uninspiring track that leads from the A170 to the village of Bagby. From there I skirt around fields leading to Thirkleby. In Thirkleby I thought I'd try one of the gels I was carrying. It an orange flavour SiS gel. It was gross, although not as gross as I thought it might be! It gave me a little boost as I took off once more along farm tracks.
There is a bit of a climb into Kilburn village and I took it steady as it was so very hot!
Today was the day of the Kilburn Feast, a 7 mile road race part of the village festival. It was still 2.5 hours til the start but there were already plenty of runners milling about!
I'm glad I wasn't racing as it was so hot.
I sat on the bench just outside the village to have a snack and text Paul with my whereabouts. Coach Rob and Christine stopped for a chat on their way to the race.
I carried on, managed to find some mud on Trenacre Lane, then it's a gentle downhill across fields back to Thirkleby. I retraced my steps for a while, then took a different track back to Balk. I was flagging in the heat, so I tried my other gel, Hi5 'Mojito' flavour. That was really gross!! Fruity toothpaste. And it gave me tummy ache. Yuk. Short road stretch from Balk to Bagby then back onto the Green Lane. I pretty much walked all the way back as I was knackered in the heat.
I hope it's not as hot as this for the Rock n Rowel...

Fast forward to Wednesday 23rd. I'd dithered about doing the Cock Howe and Beyond fell race. It's a course I enjoy, but I have the RnR marathon on the Saturday. Was it too close? Considering my options - go to club and risk pushing it too hard on intervals. Go for a run by myself (probably not going to happen...) OR do the fell race, slowly. At about 10.30pm the night before, I decided to do the race!! I managed to secure a last minute start and after work on Wednesday evening we were off to Chop Gate for the start.
I ran up the first track as far as the grass hill, then walked. It's a long climb up a big steep hill! It had cooled down a bit but the sweat was still flowing freely off the end of my nose!
At last we reached the top and thought we'd best run on. The route crossed the moor on a little narrow path and the people behind me were pushing me faster than I liked as we passed downhill and jumped a little stream. Short climb, then over long bog-grass (dry today, usually ankle deep water) and out onto good track. The faster runners, including Hilary, passed me and pulled away. I didn't mind as I wasn't racing. I took it steady up the little climb, then just enjoyed the trot along the tracks, heading back towards the top of the initial hill. As I was pootling along, I actually felt sorry for pretty much everyone who wasn't up there! It was warm, but with a nice breeze, the moor looked amazing and massive under a big blue sky the track winding off into the distance, dotted with runners.
We turned off the good track at Cock Howe and the descent began. At first fairly gentle, I could have gone faster but couldn't risk turning an ankle at this stage in the game. I wasn't in anyone's way so just kept trotting on. It got steeper right up to the steepest part, although I did walk down it, I didn't go to pieces like I normally do! That bit over, the rest was steep but on grass. My stupid knee decided to make itself known, but I pushed on down the hill, onto the track, fell off the stile near the bottom and into the finish! Dave Parry noted I wasn't last! DCR said I looked too fresh... I didn't care as I had really enjoyed the run out, it was the right decision. (Also turns out, I was a full 5 minutes faster than two years ago!! Here's to going steady...)