Saturday, February 28, 2009

Back on Leg 2, Running Well

Helvellyn Summit

Weekly Totals - Miles - 41.2 Ascent - 8264 ft Time - 8:03:32
I have had a pretty good week and I think my easier week last week has paid dividends.
Only running this week as I have had a couple of things to do after work and I didn't get my lazy backside out of bed early enough on Monday to use the bike. I'll be back on it this coming week though.
I started the week with a gentle-ish run round the moss from Croston on Saturday morning and down by the river, it was surprisingly dry on the paths and was an enjoyable flat run to start the day. Sunday morning saw me making an early start up Winter Hill running a few loops round the Pike and Two Lads and over Winter Hill getting a fair bit of climbing in and a good few miles. Felt slightly sluggish for the first couple of miles but soon settled into a steady pace, maybe a couple to many pints of Guinness on Saturday night !!
Usual plan of lunch time runs at work this week, just missed Thursday as I had a meeting that dragged on, but with a long run planned for Friday it was probably wise. I managed 33:29 round my 5 mile run at work so was pleased with that, fastest time so far this year, and I felt as if I wasn't giving it that much it just felt good, so I think the training is starting to pay off. Missed the track session on Tuesday and decided to eat lots of pancakes instead (you've got to put some carbs back in you know!)
Friday was an excellent day, I met Duncan Richards at Dunmail at 8:30 and we left his car there and drove up to Threlkeld in mine. I was keen to get back on leg 2 and run it after my day walking up there in the snow the other week, just to see what my pace was like and what it felt like to get round in schedule time. Duncan did his BG 25 years ago but is planning a return to form for a 50 at 50 this year. Me made good time up Clough Head and were moving well across the Dodds, it was good that there was low cloud, as I am planning this leg in the dark so it meant I had to remember features on the ground from the other week, and I didn't do so bad and didn't have to look at the map much, only to confirm I was right !
We saw a few walkers on top of Helvellyn and noticed there is still a bit of ice near the edges as well as a few dodgy looking cornices, Duncan decided to head down from Dollywaggon and skip Fairfield and head straight over Seat Sandal so I did these on my own but made good time up Fairfield and then back to Seat Sandal and met him down at the car. It took us 4hrs 15 mins which is about 11mins faster than my 23hr schedule, I need to look back at my splits properly but the ones I have looked at I was about spot on for time between peaks according to the schedule. I felt really good all day and wish I felt like this every time I ran, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I think Duncan had a pretty good time too.

Grizedale Tarn through the cloud

I feel pretty good today after yesterdays run, and should be out again in the morning from Rivington, may try a bit further this week. Apart from that plans for next week are another Friday out with some guys off the FRA forum running the Dunmail to Wasdale leg as far as Bowfell then dropping into Langdale maybe via Crinkle Crags, so should be a good day out.
I've also been considering an original round later in the year with more significance for turning 30 this year, it will probably be with minimal support compared to my BG but I am still doing the work to figure out length and whether it is possible. I'll keep the Blog updated as and when I can decide a possible route.

Running off Seat Sandal

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Its Official

Well, my attempt is now official, I posted my letter to Brian Covell to register my attempt last night.
Stocked up on Pancakes as well last night think I had about 6 they were very nice though. I have given up beer, crisps, nuts, chocolate & bisuits for Lent so it will probably do my training good as well.
Run planned for Friday with Duncan from Kendal, over leg 2 again but with two cars so we can run the whole leg. Should be good.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Steady Week

Weekly Totals - 82.34 Miles (60.78 cycled)
Ascent - 3099ft
Time - 6:33:01

I missed the Sunday long run as I decided to have a rest to see if I could get rid of my cold. It seemed to do the trick so I decided to use the bike a couple of times this week.

Monday I cycled in to work, 5 mile run at lunch time and then cycled home the slightly longer route as the wind was bad and the longer route stays out of the wind a bit more, not easy though with the wind in your face.

Tuesday I was on a course with work all day so I didn't get to run at lunch time. Wednesday ran 3.5 miles at lunch time, Thursday I did 5 miles and Friday 7 miles and a bit. Friday's run took me up the hill towards Mellor, I haven't run up here for a while, I had forgotten just how long it goes on for, but it was fun!

I have plans to do a higher mileage this week, and some more work on the bike, I am starting to fell a lot better than I did at the start of the year and my pace is increasing, and by weight decreasing every week so everything is going in the right direction.

I have a long run planned for Friday, not sure where yet but maybe leg 1 and a bit of leg 2. If anyone is at a loose end feel free to give me a bell and you can tag along. It looks as though there are a few of us running on the 6th March from Dunmail to Langdale so I'm looking forward to that, should hopefully get over 5o miles of running for the next two weeks so may be ready for another easy week after that !

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Leg 2 Recce

Weekly Totals - 41.4 miles (28 Walked)
Ascent - 6416 Ft
Time - 10:29:42

Good week of training just suffering with a cold now at the end of the week that I will hopefully shift soon. Last Sunday I had a walk in the morning with the Scouts around Croston, then went up Winter Hill in the afternoon with Gem to have a walk in the snow and a snow ball fight !! There was plenty of snow and from what I've heard the conditions were ideal for the race, the ground seemed pretty well frozen which would definitely help with the boggy ground round there. Through the week I had my usual lunch time runs and a walk one night round Croston at a good pace. I did a hill session one lunch time and got some funny looks from the lunch time walkers as I ran up and down the hill to the river near work, not normal behaviour for them.

Friday I headed up to the Lakes early to recce leg 2 of the BG, according to forecasts the tops were quite icy and required ice axe and crampons in places, I decided rather than risking it to wear my winter boots and go with my kit, if conditions were good then I could always bag a gully on Helvellyn as well. I can move okay in my big boots but I definitely can't run but I managed a steady pace over the Dodds.

I went as far as Raise before turning round, conditions had been pretty good, in fact it was fairly mild and the snow and ice were noticeably softer than earlier in the day. I had been okay moving across most of the ground apart from some pretty thick ice near the summit of Stybarrow Dodd that resulted in me cutting some steps. I think all the extra weight probably enhanced the training I'm sure but I probably could have got away with my fell running shoes. Still had a great day though, saw a couple of other runners and a few walkers. As promised on the forecast the clouds came in later on and a bit of navigation was needed just to ensure I took the right way back.

Summit of Clough Head looking towards Great Dodd

Clough Head Summit


Looking towards High Street and the clouds coming in

More running planned this week, hopefully I'll get rid of this cold by the end of the weekend.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Flexi Afternoon in the Trough

Weekly Totals - Walking-5 miles; Running 29 miles
Ascent - 4603 ft
6hrs 25 mins

After the adventure on Seat Sandal on Sunday we got home safely through the road works that seem to have been permanently in place on the M6 for about the last ten years !
Monday dawned snowy and cold so I decided against the bike, a decision I made a few times this week, the roads weren't actually that bad but I know how easy it is to slip on the skinny tyres and I didn't fancy any tarmac rashes this week.

I ran at lunch with Ali round our Balderstone run from work in a much more respectable time than I have been managing recently, and again on Tuesday in reverse. A meeting at work held me up from getting to the track but I will get there soon. According to Ian's Blog it sounds like a good session, I also like the 300m. I decided given the recent weather that the Bowland Fells were looking pretty nice and snow covered, and it doesn't happen that often so I booked Thursday afternoon off work. Climbed okay at west view with Gem & Rick on Tuesday night.

Thursday was one of those days that are few and far between, I had the fells completely to myself and they were fantastic. There wasn't loads of snow but what there was gave a winter coat to the fells. I parked at Fell Foot and headed off up Parlick into the crisp winter's afternoon, the air temperature was cold but there was hardly a breath of wind, perfect.

Climbing up Parlick

Top of Parlick

Following the ridge up to Fairsnape Fell there were wonderful views over to Pendle Hill, also shrouded in a winter coat of snow, and the south Lake District fells. I took the opportunity on the summit to take a few photos and enjoy the atmosphere.

Fairsnape Trig Point

Summit Shelter on Fairsnape

The benefits of the cold weather were great, the peat bogs across to Holme House Fell were well frozen so apart from the odd cracking sounds as I was crossing them they were pretty dry and my feet remained pretty dry and toasty. In places where the snow had drifted it was entertainig climbing up the fresh snow onto the peat hags.

After following the fence to Holme House Fell I followed the ridge down and then dropped off towards Tom Warings Well, and then from the stream climbed up to the top of White Moss and then followed the fence to the trig point at Hawthornthwaite Fell Top.

This is a hill I've never visited before and it is a strange place, obviously when the trig point was set on its foundations the ground was a lot higher than it is now, over the years the weather has done its worst and left an unusual sight at the summit, probably the only Bowland summit that involves climbing to get to the top !

That's what I call erosion !

I turned back from here and headed back to Holme House Fell via the head of Langden Brook, it was starting to feel quite surreal, the sky had turned a grey pink and a dim light was cast over the fells as I skirted round Fairsnape and dropped off the steep descent of Parlick and back to the car, not before I scared the life out of a walker as I leapt past them on the Parlick descent !

The Trough in all its Winter glory

Really glad I took advantage of the snow and had the afternoon, and the fells to myself. I finished off today with 4.5 miles at lunch time near work.

I have a walk planned with the scouts on Sunday morning round Croston for a few hours in training for the Bowlander hike then I think Gem and I are going out in the afternoon. Hopefully I might be able to get out on the bike next week before a Friday in the lakes on a recce of leg 1 or 2.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wintry Day on Seat Sandal

On Saturday Gem and I had an afternoon in Kirkby Lonsdale and noticed on the way home that the lakeland fells were looking like they had a good covering of snow.
So we decided on a plan to go and recce some of the BG route from Dunmail Raise. Although I am currently planing a clockwise round I thought I would head up Seat Sandal and down to Grizedale Tarn to take a look at the route and also where you leave the bags for the "sprint" up Fairifield. The initial plan was to do this and then have a wander over Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike and Hellvellyn then drop down to Wythburn and wander back to Dunmail.

The snow was pretty easy going on the route up to the summit but by the time we got to the top it was pretty windy and bleak, we had a quick brew and something to eat behind the wall out of the wind and then packed up and moved off down the back of Seat Sandal towards the col.

This side had obviously been scoured by the wind the snow was frozen and icy in places making the going quite difficult and pretty slippy. We actually ended up using an ice axe each and down climbing the steeper slopes by moving backwards and kicking steps. By the time we got down the weather was getting worse and it had started snowing now, as well as the wind. We made the decision to wander back to the top of Dunmail Beck and head back down to the car, the Gingerbread shop was calling.

Got some good wintry pics for the blog and about 1500' feet of climbing so not an alright day. Will have to see how long the snow lasts but it could make some fun recce trips.