As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here's that tunnel I was telling you about.......

..........and theres every chance that I will indeed run through it next Monday

Lots of complaints recently-

First off,  apparently I haven't been updating my blipfoto account often enough for some photography enthusiasts. Many apologies. I suppose its a bit like when you look forward to a great band releasing their next single with such eagerness and anticipation only for them to take an absolute age to do so. Don't be expecting owt  interesting today though - it'll almost certainly be the same image as you see above.

Next issue - Somebody said they thought the photo I took of them at a cross country event would be better if it had more interesting things in the background. Well I had been reliably schooled in the idea that race photos should be as clear and sharp as possible of the athletesinaction (see what I did there?) and NOT include background elements to distract from the subject. I even spent several hundred quid buying a lens that would make my backgrounds MORE blurred. However, the following week I took lots more photos of said complainer and ensured that they included all manner of background additions from farm buildings to, stone walls, gates, cattle troughs - you name it . Hopefully some purchases will follow.

And now onto the running. Well theres still no running  so lets move straight on to the cycling.
Last Sunday I once again trained with my pal Popsy and his CTC cronies. I was expecting it to be a similar ride to the previous week, ie under 2 hrs and quite hilly. But it turned out to be nearer 3 hours and VERY hilly. I was struggling a bit by the last half hour but remained in my position on the front of the group where I had been most of the day.

Finally, don't forget to have a read of my interesting photography blog

Friday, October 22, 2010

Found this - not really a tunnel - just an arch - close enough!

Light, tunnels, and the end

Yes its nearly time to go for a run. The advice was to quit for 7 to 8 weeks and it was me that decided to wait until 6th November even though thats almost 9 weeks. So I have decided that I will take my first running steps a few days earlier. Monday November 1st will be exactly 8 weeks from my previous run and that is the day I will resume.

Not that I'll be doing 10 miles hard or owt daft like that on the first day. I will begin by running for no more than 15 minutes on grass. That 15mins will be within a one hour walk with Scamp so it wont be a sudden bolt out the door and back home again. The next day I will not run. Then I will run for 20 mins and possibly two days in a row. I intend to go on like this throughout all of November, gradually building up the time on my feet and consecutive days until eventually I'm back on the road and on a 5 day week.

December will see me move back to 6 days training per week and then at Christmas it will be all out for London 2011.

All of this is of course presuming that when I resume running there is no problem with my leg. I don't think there will be, but its always a worry, and until about 12 months after recovery I always get scared whenever I feel ANY slight niggle even remotely close to where the problem was.

Sorry photo fans but despite taking many thousands during the last few weeks I don't have anything suitable to accompany this post.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Braithwaite - nowhere will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

After a tough but short fellwalk with Scamp on Saturday I watched and photographed the Cumbria League Cross Country race at Cockermouth in the afternoon. Penrith Stu ran well and the photos turned out as good as any I have taken, but more about that aspect on my other blog.

Sunday saw me make the effort to get back on my bike again.

I met up with my pal Popsy mid morning for what I expected to be two to three hours steady riding. Three other lads came along too (actually it was probably me who came along too - they probably always turn out). As we started out I rode on the front and chatted to Popsy who I hadn't seen for a proper crack for a long time. The pace was more than steady but I felt OK so persevered on the front. The route was hilly, very hilly. No significant climbs as such but plenty of short steep hills. Most notably it was on these hills that I was found to be lacking a little in strength to push up in as big a gear as the others seemed to be managing. Perhaps it's to do with having done so little biking for the last few years? My CV system wasnt struggling though, so I could keep up no problem by putting in an occasional spurt of acceleration, spinning like crazy in my lowest gear.

After one hour of riding I suggested to Popsy that we let somebody else go to the front and take the wind. Not ten minutes later though the pairing at the front failed to remain together and at tandem pace so I went to the front again myself where I remained (apart from on the hills) until we finished the ride.

A total of 1hr 40 mins was a bit shorter than I expected to be out for but the pace was higher. No idea how far we travelled or therefore what speed we averaged, but after one hour we had covered 18miles. The last 40 minutes was far less hilly and mainly tailwind so I expect 19-20 mph. An ideal workout.

In the future (ie when I am back running) I may try to do a ride similar to this followed up by a short easy run of 5-7 miles on the 'other' day of the weekend (ie the day I don't do my long marathon training run)

Saturday we walked up Barrow and Causey Pike. This is the view of Braithwaite from  Barrows lower slopes

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

itchy feet getting

Three and a half weeks to go.

last week I was at the stage where I thought

"I know its better but if I ran now it would soon deteriorate and I'd be back square one"

this week I'm almost thinking

"it's so much better. I havent felt anything for weeks - surely I could run now and everything would be ok?"

But I'm not as green as I'm cabbage looking so I will stick with the plan and keep counting down the days
 'til 6th November.

I did actually run today - about 20 metres. Scamp was off the lead and spotted another dog across the main road. Not usually a problem but there was a "never opened" open gate in the railings that form the park perimeter and he made for it. He seems to be a quicker runner than me. My heart was in my mouth as he luckily found a quiet spell in the traffic and crossed without incident.

Scarcely half an hour later a cyclist was killed in the same place following a collision with a lorry!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Precious few adventures this week

Ive settled into a routine......

finish work - longer than usual dogwalk - get home - spend several hours in front of iMac - eventually slump in front of telly by about 930 and pig out on sweets or pudding.

.......and its not doing me any good.

This week I began to feel generally unwell and I NEVER get ill. I'm run down from lack of exercise and excess of junk food.

The good news is that we've had the 6th of October. The 6th of October is (approx) halfway between the 6th of September and the 6th of November. The 6th of November is the day I will run again - not very far and not very fast, but run I will, and now I'm on countdown.

T'other day I happened across Dave who is the new owner of my beloved Daisy (now called Jess). I only had my cameraphone to hand but here is the bad tempered, bad attituded, evil to Scamp, won't keep of the sofa little bitch in all her cute butter wouldn't meltness.

She will be three years old on Sunday

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Slippyhands comes up trumps

Today I went out on my bike again. I'm getting quite well disciplined at getting out for a decent length ride now - it's still several weeks until I can run again so any fitness I can hang onto is important.

We set off from Iains house near Penrith and travelled to Shap (village), over Shap (summit) then descended almost to Kendal, cutting the corner off to reach Staveley via some minor country lanes. A little bit of main road toward Windermere, then cut through to join the road which climbs up to Kirkstone Pass. From Kirkstone it was a pleasant tailwind down to Patterdale, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge and finally back to Askham where we had began 3hrs 15 minutes earlier. 

Those are the facts of the day. The stories of the day include me taking a severe whipping at the supreme fitness of Mr Kelly. As the day wore on I was reminded of the big run we did together a year or two ago over the Derwent watershed summits - that day I grew ever weaker but  somehow clung on to the pace until we finally bagged the final summit and I could drop down the waiting car. Today I still felt strong until about 4 miles to go but those final few miles included a killer climb which despite being probably just a tenth of the scale of Kirkstone,  sapped the last morsels of physical strength from my legs to accompany the mental beating I was enduring watching Iain disappear into the distance.

We had a good day out overall though, really caught up the craic, then enjoyed a superb cup of tea and delicious cakes at Ians gaff before going home (in the van). 

And here is the star of todays show - Iain 'slippyhands'  Kelly at Kirkstone Pass summit.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm the fat bloke in the middle

Tidying through some junk and papers recently I came across this photo.

It was taken just after I won my first running race in 2003. 

Despite having another 5 weeks or so to endure not running I am VERY positive about my injury as I can no longer feel anything wrong in the affected leg. I know it's too soon to run on it as the fracture will just open up again, but compared to those few weeks when I was nursing it on soft ground and it got no better or worse I now feel confident I will make a full recovery and one day will be running again as far and as fast as ever.

Earlier this evening I was scanning the FRA forum and noticed a thread mentioning that the entries had opened today for the Four Villages Half marathon next January. So for some obscure reason I entered it. Its not a fast course, it's miles away to travel to and at £18 it's in the bracket I usually say '"im not paying that much for a race that isn't an international  marathon". I'm just feeling so buoyed of late that anything and everything seems possible, so racing is an exciting prospect. The joie de vivre  is with me.

My number came through for the London Marathon this week. In the magazine is a list of record finishing times dressed in various fancy dress costumes. Unless I regain 2:40 kind of fitness I may consider donning a lightweight silly getup and attempt to be the first sub 3hr carrot/panda/leprechaun.

Cycling planned for tomorrow - 50 miles including Kirkstone Pass and the 8 mile climb out of Kendal to Shap summit. Hope it doesn't rain.