Friday, January 30, 2009

First Full Week On The Blog

Weekly Totals : Walking-5 miles; Cycling-31 miles; Running-25 miles; Approx - 4000ft;
Approx - 9hrs 30mins

Well, it has been a relatively busy week but not just with training and a few things have managed to upset the plan, just life I guess but still, it can get frustrating.

Sunday didn't quite go to plan, I forgot that I had promised to take the scouts for a walk from Waddecar, but this was okay and I was teaching map reading so used it as an excuse to do some micro nav and just remind myself I can navigate ! Monday went perfectly to plan and I cycled into work on my road bike, it is 15.5 miles each way so it gives me plenty of chance to get warm and I get to work really awake and ready for the day ! 5 mile run at lunch round Balderstone in just over 35 mins, that Christmas weight is still showing, I was running it in 31-33 last year. Cycled it home in 52 mins, took me 56 on the way in, I have done it in 45 mins but not too bad.

Tuesday I planned to go to the track but due to the traffic at the road works near work it took me 45 mins to get home (only seven mins quicker than the bike!) so I had to give it a miss, think I'll have to start going straight from work. Had a good climb at West View with Gem and Rick though so that was good.

Wednesday I should have been on the bike again but the morning was so foggy, it's bad enough being seen on a clear morning so I decided to give it a miss. Didn't run till I got home but did a good 7.5 mile tempo session. 10 min warm up, 3 miles at 7:15/mile, 2 min jog, 1 mile@6:30/mile pace, 2 min jog, 1 mile@6:30/mile pace then 15 minute warm down. I didn't finish the second mile at 6:30 pace my legs had gone but I did try honest ! It was when I got home though that I realised my Garmin wouldn't download to the computer, still not sorted, and I haven't heard anything from Garmin.

Winter Hill Friday
Just got home from a 12.5 mile bog trot round Winter Hill and Rivington with Ali and his two dogs, Toby and Kobi. As you can see from the pictures the conditions were pretty murky and the ground was really waterlogged. Both us and the dogs got stuck a few times but luckily not permanantly like this sheep.

We ran up from the top barn and across the moor to Two Lads and over to Counting Hill we then ran over towards Belmont and then back up to the summit of Winter Hill, down towards the road then back up over the summit of Winter Hill and to Noon Hill. We headed back over Rivington Pike and then down to Rivington and back to the top barn to pick up the cars.

The dogs loved it and they were well and truly filthy by the time we finished, they definitely made good training partners. It is really wet in this area at the moment and I don't envy anyone on the race next weekend. A good day well spent, rest tommorow then long run Sunday. I'll update soon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Garmin Issues

I am having serious issues with my Forerunner now. I went for a tempo run tonight using a workout I had set up on Training Centre, when I got back and tried to conect the watch it won't work. I have updated the software on my computer and the forerunner but still no joy even after a master reset of the watch. I can't use Sports Tracks either because I have got a Mac. Anybody got any words of wisdom ? This will totally cock up my recording of my training, gutted. Hopefully should here back from the email I sent to Garmin. Looks like its back to Runstoppable or Map my Run for a bit !

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

21/11/08 Yorkshire Three Peaks

On the 21st Nov Ali Mac and I did the Yorkshire Three Peaks run. I had promised Ali that I would take him round the route in the summer but we never got round to doing it. So, as a final blast before 2008 was out and I flew off to Cuba we picked a free Friday and headed up to Horton in Ribblesdale. We made a couple of drops to stash some water at the Hill Inn and at Ribblehead on the way up, we then parked up, filled up the bags with Jelly Babies and sausage rolls and went to clock in at the Pen-Y-Ghent cafe . Couldn't believe it when we got there and the cafe was closed, probably not their most popular time of year !!
It was looking like a great day, the sun was out and a chill in the air, perfect conditions for a nice day out. We were steady up Pen-Y-Ghent and were soon up to the short scramble to the summit. It was here that we noticed the impending dark clouds heading in our direction looking like they might be carrying some snow. The clouds were further away than they look on the photo
Ali Mac & Me on the summit Pen-Y-Ghent (No.1)
We chucked down a handful of Jelly Babies and a bit of flapjack and then headed down in the direction of Hull Pot Beck and Ribblehead. This area I know from experience is usually pretty wet and resembles a big sponge, the big field at the 2008 three peaks race had obviously impacted a fair bit on the route, with it being flagged, as the route was obvious all the way across here. Considering the amount of rain we had during the summer it was pretty dry really and we managed to get across mostly unscathed. The temperature dropped considerably on the way across and we did get a flurry of snow which added to the fun (does this make it a winter round ?)
We decided to have a quick bite to eat after the road section at Ribblehead and ducked into Batty Wife Cave to get out of the snow.
Batty Wife Cave
After some strange looks from some passing walkers we topped up the water bladders and chucked in some nuun tablets , which I now swear by for long distance running hydration. Due to the race route being over private land and the walkers route going the long way round we decided to use the alternative footpath up the steep front of Whernside. I haven't used this path before but apart from it being incredibly steep up the last climb to the summit its pretty good and direct.
Looking down from the climb up Whernside to the Ribblehead Viaduct
We arrived on the summit ridge feeling like we'd done a bit but had to look fresh because there were two walkers sat having lunch at the summit. This was pretty handy as we didn't need to use the self timer !
The summit of Whernside(2) The biggest one in the bag
(Think Ali was feeling the cold more than me !)
We descended the path to Chapel-Le-Dale and picked up our second water cache from the Hill Inn before we hot footed across the limestone pavements to the final climb up the steep steps to the summit plateau of Ingleborough. The wind had got up quite a bit by now and it had got pretty cold so we didn't hang around too long on the top, just long enough to have a chat to three lads who were also doing the three peaks, but over three days. Notice that we had wrapped up a bit more by this point (Ali two hats !)

Approaching Ingleborough from Chapel-le-Dale
Summit of Ingleborough(3) All downhill from here
All that was left now was the run back to Horton in Ribblesdale, mostly downhill on a rocky path with a few puddles to hurdle. We were soon at the railway crossing and heading back to the car over the river. We had got round in just over five and a half hours at a steady pace, a very enjoyable day. I decided we had earnt a cup of tea and a chip butty at Inglesport. I haven't entered the 2009 race but have my sights set on the 2010 race to try and break 4 hours. Maybe !

Friday, January 23, 2009

Review of 2008

Just for interest I thought I would post a bit of a run down of last years ups and downs. Some races, some great days out and other snippets of stuff.
My main aim for the first part of the year was the London Marathon. Most Sunday mornings were spent out on the road with Gem riding alongside me on the bike to keep me company which was awfully nice of her. We had a week in Majorca at the end of February, the main plan was to climb but I used it as an opportunity to do some running in the warm mornings, even some hilly stuff round Formentor. The Marathon day was great, the atmosphere was fantastic and it carries you round. I came in at 3hrs 43 not too bad but up to 18 miles was on pace for a 3:15, maybe next time. Gem and I both applied this year but neither of us got a place.
I carried on the distance work but spent a bit more time on the fells in preparation for the Fellsman on the second weekend in May. I wish I had done a bit more climbing as I found it pretty hard, it didn't help that the weather was baking hot for May and was up to about 26 deg in the valley. I think I suffered from the early stages of heat stroke and it took me about 2 hours of steady going and lots of water to cool down and rehydrate before I felt alright again. I was three quarters of an hour slower than the previous year but even Mark Hartell was slower this year (not that it stopped him from winning). I finished in 18hrs 33mins in 57th place out of 177 finishers, a further 122 didn't finish and retired on the course.
I joined Horwich RMI Harriers in 2008 and started training down at the track with them on a Tuesday night and doing the hill sessions on a Thursday. This saw a big improvement in my race performances throughout the summer. I haven't been down to the club for a couple of months but I will be heading down there again early this year.
I did quite a few of the local races in the FRA calendar this summer, mostly the mid week ones Great Hameldon Hill (BM), Stanhill (BS), Paddy's Pole (AS), Hendersons End (BS), Aggie's Staircase (AS) and Harrock Hill 3&4 (BS). I saw a gradual improvement through the summer and was starting to make the top third of the field in these races.
I spent a few days in the lakes having a go at the Lakeland Traverse, this was abandoned due to bad weather and high winds and we took a low level route instead, but is a score still to settle. I also supported Ian Charters on his 55 at 55 attempt on the Wasdale to Dunmail leg of the route, this gave me a bit of a taste for the BG. I then set my sights on the OMM and through the FRA forums contacted Anthony Fryer as a potential partner, we had a few runs round Todmorden and decided to team up for the event. This was my first mountain marathon but Anthony has done quite a few and won his class at the Rab mountain marathon in 2008. We decided to enter the elite class and then spent most of our time trying to get the weight down in our sacks. I think in the end Anthony was under 5kg and I was just under 6kg before we made a last minute decision to change tents, this added approximately 0.5kg each. We had a very challenging day on the hill on the first day and finished in about 6hrs and it had all gone well until we found out the camping field had flooded and we had to head back over to Seathwaite Farm. To cut a long story short we spent the night on the floor of a barn and after the BBC got hold of the story I even made the news !
My last race of the year was the Full Tour of Pendle in November and I managed to get round 6 mins quicker than the previous year so was very pleased with this. I also added to my shed inventory this year and bought a road bike from Ribble Cycles in July for commuting to work, the ride is 15.5 miles each way and I try to do it at least twice a week. The cycling seems to have helped my fitness and it fits into my day pretty well. Towards the end of the year I have given it a miss due to ice on the roads and bad weather but should be back on it come February.
I let my training slip a bit over Christmas, and Gem and I also were on holiday in Cuba in December so I probably had about 4 slack weeks really so a bit of fitness has been lost and needs catching up again.

New Blog First Post

Well this is all new to me but welcome to my Blog. I will be updating it every week to keep a log of my training and aspirations for 2009. My goal this year is to complete a Bob Graham Round a circuit of 42 Lakeland peaks in 24 Hours. It is approximately 68 Miles and 27,000ft of ascent in total so I have a lot of work to do yet but hopefully this blog will help me stick to my training plan.

I have been working night shift this week so haven't found it that easy to get out. I am back working days on Monday so training starts in earnest then.

I went for a 15 mile ride on my bike on Monday from my house to Hunter Hill near Parbold, it was fairly eventful as half way round it started snowing, don't think my racing bike is really designed for snow! Tuesday I had a run to Bretherton and back to Croston 4.5 miles and I ran 8 miles on Wednesday. I have scheduled a long run on Sunday so I'll update soon.