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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cycling to Loch Ness

Managed two Sundays in a row on my bike now. Most recently I went to Penrith again via the hilly A6 and home via a flatter route. Managed approx 20mph average - not bad going.

My leg doesnt hurt at all now (well sometimes it's a bit achey) but I'm not tempted to go running as I know the bone will not be fully healed for a few weeks yet.

This coming Sunday is the Loch Ness Marathon - I wonder what my time would have been?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Q. How do you know when summer is officially over?

A. When you light the fire for the first time since about April

(and you've got until about 6th November to put up with tripe like this)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More boring stories

Nothing to report on from last week.

The weekend did at least see me doing some stuff for fitness.

Saturday was the Three Shires fellrace from Little Langdale. Two of my pals were running, Iain of 42 Tops fame and Penrith Stu.  Iain pulled out last minute but I was in time to meet him atop Dunmail Raise just before he set off with a couple of lads on a BG recce of leg 3. I wished I was going with them and I probably could have as it turned out they were very slow so walking wounded Steve may have been able to keep up.

Instead I drove on, deep into the heart of The Lake District. Upon reaching Little Langdale I carried straight on through as there was nowhere to park and the tiny hamlet was thronging with fellrunners and their supporters and families.

Despite having dreamt last week about driving up a road so steep that my van tipped over backwards, I braved Wrynose Pass, parking near the top where the Three Shires Stone sits. Me and Scamp then studied the map before heading what seemed like it was probably South up a fellside I really hoped was the one the runners would come down some time later.

Indeed it was the right way and before long the runners were streaming towards me  as I clicked away on the old (new) Canon, capturing smiles, grimaces, trips, slip and falls. And even a bloke struggling to 'push' his bike down the hill to the road below. More on the photo aspect of the day will be found on my other blog. (I wonder how you do that thing where clicking on the words 'other blog' would open up said webpage? Penrith Stu often does it so it can't be that difficult - perhaps he gets his wife to help.

Iain said he usually did a long bike ride on Sundays so we arranged to meet up. Rain upon awakening was no discouragement to me but Iain (who had been out for over 6 hours the day before ) poo poohed the bike riding idea altogether. Having been promised home made cakes during our brief meeting the day before though, I rode through to his house beyond Penrith. Bacon butties were a welcome late breakfast but the cakes never made an appearance yet - the greedy bugger must've eaten the lot himself as reward for his fell outing!

I rode home 10 minutes faster faster than I had rode out. I dont have one of those bike computers, I find them far too elaborate (name that Reeves and Mortimer sketch) but my iPhone said it was 25 miles which I reckon to be pretty much correct. SO 17 MPH there and over 18 MPH home - not bad considering the hilly road I used and a town to ride through at either end of either ride. I am obviously still quite fit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Running, (as I haven't been doing so for a week now) requires very little kit, and that's one of the great things about running compared to say, cycling. Running every day means theres always some kit in the washing machine, some in the laundry basket and some hanging up to dry.

Not running means that everything ends up clean and put away in its place, and this......

is my shorts/socks drawer. It is usually plenty big enough but with everything clean it is jampacked full.

Don't worry though, my vest/T shirt drawer is OK, as is my long-sleeved-top drawer, because they often remain filled anyway if the weather dictates one or the other are superfluous to requirements.

(with the photography blog tending to be updates only after a photo shoot and usually  at considerable length, this is the type of thing likely to pop up on here whilst I am out of action running wise - sorry)

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's been quiet and it's gonna be quieter

Following last weeks 'test running' to see if road mileage made my injury worse I can report that indeed it did. It took a while to fully develop again but last Tuesdays 10miler was the final straw. On Wednesday it was hurting sufficiently for me to decide it is definitely a stress fracture as first diagnosed. So that's a couple of months off running - shame because I had attained  a peak of fitness and results not bettered since 2004.

I am not too downbeat about it though. Its better to know now and take the 8 week hit rather than mess about for weeks on end running easy on grass, getting less and less fit and possibly still not allowing it to heal whilst doing so.

I need to get out on my bike, especially during the relative light nights of September, but can't get myself motivated to faff on with all the prep'. The extra clothes, the bike to check over, the drink and  food to take in back pocket, the additional time spent actually doing it compared to running. All in all I am reminded of why I packed in cycling in favour of running 10 years ago.

I have also found myself doing lots more photography, especially at the weekends when I have sought out racing events to photograph. Inevitably this means I have blogged more on.....

.....than here, and am likely to continue in the same manner.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A different hill

After resting on Friday I was at Gelt on Saturday morning. A very easy first lap was followed as usual by a quick lap 2. Plucky was mostly a stride behind me even though I thought it was no more than steady effort. At one point he did begin to tax me a little but then it became much easier again near the end of the lap. 32 and a bit minutes is not a mega time, it seems just right for the effort put in. Plucky says he fully expects to run a 34 in the forthcoming 10k this Wednesday. I have my doubts. He seems no fitter than me at present and I must have lost fitness since my two 35's earlier in the summer. We'll see. I will be taking photos of the race as I see little point in racing until I have safely resumed full training.

Yesterday I was taking photos as well as getting a half decent run in. Helvellyn Triathlon is great to watch, especially if the weather is as good as it was yesterday.

A lot more on how I got on with the photography aspect on my other blog but heres the link to the images

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An iPhone picture of Blencathra but no ascent today

Blencathra in all her Glory. Isn't she a beaut'? To be honest although this is the classic view of the mountain (its the one you see whilst driving along the A66 between Penrith and Keswick), I actually prefer  a view from further East. I might try taking some pics from Souther Fell next time - the early light should illuminate the ridges nicely.

The permanent cairn on Clough Head provides a windbreak, the lee of which is a good spot to set up ones tripod.

From several thousand feet ascent recently to zero feet ascent today. Tonight was track night. A return to interval training. Very wary of my not asking too much of my leg I did just 5x800metres. A couple of them were 5:20 pace the others about 5:35. No problems with leg. I can still feel something but wouldn't class it as pain of any description. It just feels different to my good leg. I don't think it can have been a stress fracture, or even the beginnings of one - probably more likely that I bashed against a rock in the Rydal Round back in July (as that's the first day I felt a bit of a sensation in that leg) and did some damage that took a while to come out and then even longer  to repair.

I think my 'test week' has gone well. Five days of running has not caused any exacerbation of the problem. I will rest on Friday as always and do summat a bit longer at the weekend. One great thing about not doing Loch Ness is that there is no pressure now until January 1st. Four months of training for pleasure - no target mileage or pace - bliss

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

...or Blen again I could go somewhere different

The weather was so nice today I decided to go up them there fells. I though Blencathra would be a good choice.......

Oh my god I am Bill Murray.Whats next? Andi Mcdowel doing a hair advert from my back garden? And to make matters worse its nearly Thursday - will the day pan out differently from Tuesday and Wednesday?

As long as my leg hurts just as much as it has then all will be good (ie it's not really hurting anymore, just a bit achey at times - so probably not  broken or owt serious after all).