Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Arse - Nemesis.

What a peculiar post title eh?

Well it is you see. My arse has stopped me getting out running. The preceding week's Sunday long run ended up with some discomfort in my tail.

Sadly Monday and the discomfort had turned into a stab which manifested its self everytime I put my left foot somewhere.

So really we can now say left arse, and somewhere deep too.

Anyways, sensibly (don't be shocked) I took a couple of days off running and took it easy.

Friday, still not much improvement, some pain, even when walking, but my physio pal tells me another week off and I should be back to running.

So I miss the Famous Grouse race on Sunday, and take some pictures instead.

I've managed a few bike rides, but todays 2 hour bash about in the snow drifts, has made me realise that this too is maybe doing more harm than good.

So I guess that's it for a while with running.

Physio again on Friday.


PS. Some good news, I got the tests back from the Docs today, and apparently, am not going to die of kidney, liver or lung related ailments soon. Though my cholestrol levels leave a bit to be desired.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Mixed Week.

Monday a pleasant steady 5 miles.

A niggling pain in my chest forced me to the doctors on Tuesday. The Doctor was so not impressed with my peak flow reading, that I then had to have lots of blood tests and a visit to the hospital for a chest X-ray.

Not a clue what, if anything is up, but it certainly put me of my stroke for the first part of the week, though I did manage a couple of short sorties. WTF does it take 10-14 days for a digital X-ray to get back to my doctor? Anyways, as I write this it doesn't hurt anymore, so we'll forget all about that unless we hear otherwise.

Thursday I did 10 miles. I slipped and heard my shoulder pop as I tried to slow my progress to the ground. Sore.

Friday, mileage deficit and a shoulder that hurts like hell. 0 miles.

Saturday, a good day. Did fairly well in our club handicap. Pleased that I was able to stay with some of the qiucker runners, at least for a while. Felt fairly strong.

Sunday, a long run over to Edale and back. Felt pretty rubbish all the way round, still ~20 miles not feeling good for the mind, is probably better than a 20 that feels easy.

A bit light on the hills this week, but in spite of the crap start to the week I still ran 40 miles which is where I wanted to be at the end of it.

The plan is for more miles and hills next week.
We'll see eh?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The First Bob Graham Recce.

A definite change in the weather this week, which required some adjustments, mostly mental.

Monday, I'd planned to do some hill reps, but in the end I couldn't persuade myself out into the continual freezing wind blown rain (snow higher up). The half of me that said another rest day was OK won over the one that said I was being lazy and ought to get my arse in gear.

Anyways Tuesday I got out. A steady run out to the foot of Mount Famine. The first ascent and descent I did was up the steepest route possible, which in theory was a good idea, in practice I kept on slipping on the steep tussocks, which may be in part that the Walshes I was wearing have little tread left on them. So once at the bottom I headed up the valley a little towards Dimpus Clough. The climbout of which gave an average gradient of 10% less to the summit. Still 450 feet in 0.4 of a mile (green line on the pic).

Only a short run but I made it out of the house. Also glad to have found a nice line for future reps.

Wednesday when not working, spent eyeing the weather forecast and packing lots of warm clothes for Thursday. More than a moment spent hoping I could keep up with the guys whom I was going to be running with. The forecast of blizzards and 100mph gusts not the weather to be travelling slowly in.

5:19 on Thursday morning I leave the warmth of my bed, and by 6am we're in the car and on our way to the Lakes. Driving is interesting with the heavy rain and winds. My wife informs me I am mental for even considering going for a run in this weather. She is probably right.

I get to the Moot Hall in good time, and by 9:06 we (Bill, Jim and Dave) are off. It soon becomes apparent that I am the one everyone else will be waiting for today. Rather than cane myself to keep up which would hae resulted in implosion, I settle for my pace.

Once above the Skiddaw car park, the wind makes its presence known. It seems the weather forecasters got it right. At the top of Skiddaw, forget running along the ridge, I struggle to stay on my feet.

Thankfully as we descend towards Hare Crag the wind doesn't come with us. There's good visibilty, and route finding is easy, but Bill kindly explains how to find the trod when the clag is down. On to Great Calva and then down to the River Caldew. Bill goes on his own with the water up to his thighs. The rest of us find somewhere slightly less deep and together form a group wedge, and shuffle our way gingerly across. That water was cold.
A steady plod up to Blencathra was spent chatting to Jim about his forthcoming winter round.
At the top we check out the various options for descent, opting for the Doddick Fell route.
The wind nearly had me over a couple of times on the way down, still by the time we get to Threlkeld we were only 15 minutes behind schedule, which considering the weather was OK.

Over the A66 and on to Clough Head. Rain, hail, and wind did not detract from what is a fierce climb. Head down, plod plod plod. With a bit of interest kicking steps in snow to make the summit ridge.

Once at the summit the wind was really doing its thing again. We shold have been able to run from the top, but instead had to make do with staggering at an angle to the oncoming wind to the col. Wild.

Decision time 3pm iirc. A couple more hours of daylight left. Carrying on was an option, though we decide to do the sensible thing. I've been on Helvellyn on less windy days and been blown over, and have heard of others who've been permanently blown away.

So after Calfhow Pike we traverse the hillside to Castle Rock and then down to the A591. A mile or so on the road and onto the King's Head at Thirlspot. 20 miles, 7000' and 2 pints of Hobgoblin.

Ann kindly drove back whilst I slumbered. Once home I ate, and then I ate some more. I'd eaten during the day, but obviously not enough.

Friday a day of rest. I was knackered after Thursday's efforts.

Saturday. My 45th Birthday.
Glorious weather. 8 steady miles briefly visiting the Kinder plateau, still feeling Thursday's day out.

Sunday feeling better a much faster run than usual over 8 miles.

So in spite of a shaky start not a bad week. 42 miles, and well over 12,000 feet of hills. Thursday was fun, and informative as to the actual route, though I think I'll forego epic weather days when checking the route in future. I'll certainly not be embarking on the Bob Graham round in such weather.

I'll probably leave recces up there until spring now. Lots of good stuff to do nearer to home.
Having said that I will be heading up to the Lakes in December for the Tour de Helvellyn which will be a good long day out.

I shall try and resist the temptation to ramp up the mileage and hills much for the next couple of weeks. Consolidation first me thinks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Round Kinder.

42 miles run and 8600' of hills this week.

Tuesday and Wednesday were relatively short runs.

Thursday's original plan was to drive over to the A628 and to run North to Black Hill, but Lisa's car was grumbling so we opted instead to run from the village round the Kinder plateau.

From hers over Matley Moor, and on to Mill Hill we go. We couldn't see much from there, but as long as we kept a void to our left all was good. In fact we didn't even bother to take the map out. We tried to run the lot though the peat groughs did their best to slow us down. I used my Trail Blazer walking poles for the first time and they helped progress. Lisa referred to them disparagingly with a phrase featuring the words "old man".

Approaching Blackden Brook, I checked over my shoulder and Lisa had disappeared. Odd but no doubt she'd taken a slighty different line through the peat hags, so I carried on. A moment later I checked back again, and still I couldn't see her. I stopped and scanned the area methodically. Nowt.

I legged it back the way I came and soon find her lying motionless on the floor. Interrogation quickly reveals that she has gone over on her ankle big time. I make her see if she can move her foot, and she can, so I know if we're not going to call Mountain rescue, that she better get back on her feet straight away. I give her my "old man" sticks and tell her to head down to the Brook whilst I work out our escape route.

Excellent, we are about as far as we can be from Hayfield, in fact about as far away as we can be from anywhere of note. Edale is around 3 crow miles away, so I take a bearing and we make our way across the plateau, and then down to Edale.

We check the train times at the Station and find that though it is 1:30 the next train won't get us over our side of the hill until 4pm. Public transport eh?

A quick ring round a few friends and we solicit a lift back to Hayfield just in time to get the kids from school. (Thanks Debs)

Lisa reports she has a blue tennis ball on her ankle (last seen yesterday with her own walking stick). :) Not so funny is that it'll be a while until her ankle is better.

Even though we'd only done ~13miles that day, on Friday my legs were sore, so I had the day off.

Saturday I needed a big run to get the miles up. So again, though this time alone I headed for the Kinder Plateau. This time mindful of what can happen in remote places I instruct Ann of route and times in case things go wrong.

A contrast to Thursday, Saturday is a still sunny day. I make good progress and feel strong most of the way round. Though the bogs were getting tiresome towards the end. I should have got up a bit earlier so I didn't have to finish in the dark, but otherwise a top day out. 19 miles and 3700'

Looking forward to heading up to the Lakes on Thursday for my first Bob Graham recce of legs 1 and 2.

Monday, November 1, 2010

BG training week 1.

I think it's more or less a week since I decide it was game on, so, if only to poke my self in to action, every now and then, I'll put some facts up here and observations on them, to keep me motivated.

Conventional wisdom says build up slowly ie increase total mileage by 10% a week. So as I did 22 miles last week on my recent return to running, it was only right that I did loads more this week.


I enjoy pushing myself, and I know that the BG is going to be a push. So a harder week to evaluate my weaknesses was in order.

7000' of hills this week and 38 miles.

I could have done more - Good. The running thing was OK, slow but I can do that for a few hours already. 3 1/2 hours my longest outing this week.

Bad- my shonky knees. My knees pain me on the bike, walking with a sack, and running. Bleugh.

So my knees are definitely going to be my weakness, especially descending. So I've done two things, one started some quad exercises and also ordered some Mountain King Trail Blazer Poles.

For sure that if my upper body can assist me in getting round via some stick things then I'm up for that. Plus i've seen some people fast descending using them, so if I get on with them and can master the technique.... well we'll see.

I've had a day off today.

Back to it tomorrow, and loving the shitty weather and darkness, which is somewhat odd for me at this time of the year.

Pictures to be resumed soon, my memory card for my GF1 fell to pieces the other day.