Friday, March 20, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

Weekly Totals - 173.45 Miles (44.04 Run, 129.41 Cycled)
Ascent - 8809.1 ft (4011 ft Run, 4798.1 ft Cycled)
Time - 14:54:45

Phew ! What a week, yesterday was officially the last day of winter and I think spring has definitely arrived. I feel incredibly lucky to have been out this last week enjoying the weather and scenery that Lancashire has to offer (who needs the Lakes!!)

Sunday I enjoyed a lie in for a change, as Gem was out for lunch, so I headed to Rivington for about 11:30. I parked at Anglezarke and took my usual route over to Rivington before ascending the Pike, it was definitely a busy day round here for walkers, cyclists and motor bikes so I headed off in the direction of Two Lads and over Winter Hill. I had planned to do about 20 miles so I ran down to Belmont, crossed the Reservoir and ran down the Witton Weavers way before turning off in the direction of Darwen Tower. The weather was amazing and I ran most of the way in a vest and shorts, and the views back over Winter Hill were amazing with the sun breaking through the clouds.

The ground over to Darwen Tower was pretty wet and boggy in places but I made good progress, and was soon at the Tower and back in a crowd. I beat a hasty retreat and after running through the woods at Tockholes started the ascent to Great Hill.

I was starting to feel the distance a bit by now, luckily I had a gel in my bum bag and this seemed to perk me up enough. I was soon back at the car, 21 miles under my belt in about 3hrs 20 with just over 3000ft of ascent so I felt pretty good.

Monday I could still feel the miles in my legs after cycling into work so I opted for slightly shorter route of 3.5 miles at lunch time but didn't actually run that bad. I even felt like a couple of extra miles, via Houghton on the way home on the bike.

Tuesday I was in a meeting at lunch time so I missed my run, but I had planned that I was eventually going to get round to going to the track session at Horwich. It was a bit of a shock to the system but I ran okay. The plan was to run 3 sets of 7 laps (1.5 miles) at 6 min mile pace with 90 secs rest, I managed about 6:20 pace so lost out on a bit of recovery but was fairly pleased I managed to run at this pace rather than hanging back and running at 7 min mile pace.

Wednesday I cycled to work again, ran 5 miles at lunch, and to get an extra couple of miles in, I cycled back via Houghton and Brindle on the way home in the sunshine. Thursday I ran 5 miles at lunch again and then as the evening was so fine, we had a walk across the Moss to the Robin Hood and got some dinner.

Friday I had decided that as I was at work in the morning, and I had already had 40+ miles of running in, I would go for a long bike ride from work through the Trough of Bowland. It was a gorgeous afternoon as I headed out from work, through Ribchester and over Jeffrey Hill. I carried on through Whitewell, Dunsop Bridge and then up the last climb over the water shed and down the fast descent. Excellent ! 54 miles of pure fun (I think!)

It has been a great week for training, I wish I had felt this fit when I ran the London Marathon last year, next week I am off work so should get a few miles of running in, perhaps a few early mornings on the fells.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well it would be a shame just to do it for myself !

I decided that as I was going to all the effort of training for a Bob Graham Round that I might as well make a bit of money for those less fortunate than myself.

I have started a Just Giving page and I'm raising money for Sue Ryder Care, this is our partner charity at work this year so every penny I raise could be potentially doubled for the charity. Please feel free to follow the link and give generously.

Many thanks

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Running by the Ribble

Weekly Totals - Miles - 31.5 Run, 30 Cycled
I have had a bit of an easier week this week, as the legs were starting to feel the ascent they have done over the last couple of weeks, and I am just feeling a little bit of pain around my knees. We spent the weekend in Kendal for Chris's birthday at the Castle Green Hotel so I had a good realxing time, I swam a few lengths of the pool whilst we were there but thats about as energetic as I got. Had a good sweat in the steam room as well.
I had the Monday morning syndrome and didn't spring out of bed so missed the bike ride to work, but ran well at lunchtime around my usual 5 mile loop from work. Tuesday I ran the 5 miles in the opposite direction (variety is the spice of life after all !), and had a good climbing session at West View, although I appear to have gained a stiff neck since ? must be my age !
Wednesday I had a meeting over lunch time so missed my run but had a bit of a walk at night, delivering parish newsletters for the scouts. I cycled into work as well, a fresh morning with a great sun rise, its quite a good time to be up at the moment with all the sights and sounds of spring starting to show. Its also nice to be in the light after the dark winter mornings.
Thursday I ran 5 miles at lunch time (for a change), I managed to get a lift to work on Friday morning so I could run home. Its a while since I ran more than about 8 miles on the road so it was a bit of a shock to the system running 16.5 miles, I thought I was going to get wet on the way home, as the sky was really grey, so I put my new coat on that I bought last weekend (bargain) to road test it. After about 4 miles the sky cleared a bit so I put it in my ruck sack, but it felt good to run in.
My run home takes a different route than my bike home, by the River Ribble as far as Lower Penwortham and then through Lostock Hall and Leyland, I was pretty please as I managed to average 7:32 a mile over this distance. I'm not going to break any records but it's the sort of pace I was training at for the Marathon last year and it felt okay, my heart rate averaged about 80% so it was a pretty good threshold run. To top the day off I won £10 playing poker.
Next week I don't have anything in particular planned, I'm back in the lakes the week after, so It'll probably just be a week of cycling and running. Sunday I'll no doubt be on the fells early doors to try and get about 20 miles in and then I think I should get chance to get out on the fells again Friday afternoon. First evening race of the year in a couple of weeks and my first of the year at Liver Hill, its not a race I've done before but its free so should be fun.
I've also been asked to join a team for the Ribble Way Challenge in June, but its two weeks after my BG attempt so I have said I'll be a reserve. Looks like a good route though at about 100km.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Leg 3 Recce back in the SNOW !!!

Weekly Totals - Miles - 89.7 (60 cycled) Ascent - 7153 ft Time - 10:48:43

I started the week well with an early morning run on Sunday from Rivington, over the Pike, Two Lads, Winter Hill and Great Hill returning by White Coppice and by the resevoir to Rivington. I was running really well and ran 13.2 miles in just over 2 hrs with 2000ft+ of ascent so I wasn't hanging around either but it felt good and I was ready for a good week of training.

I was back on the bike on Monday morning and it was surprisingly mild, it seems a lot easier when you are not in darkness all the way, and I find I am only doing a third of my route in the dark now the lighter mornings have come, which is great. I could feel the weekend in my legs but didn't feel too bad, although when running at lunch time with Ali my legs felt pretty heavy. Cycling home was hard work and by the time I got home I was well and truly knackered. I had a shower and had my dinner but I was not feeling well. I felt as if I had flu or something, I was shivering but felt red hot I had an early night and a lemsip, and after sweating profuseley for half the night, I felt a lot better in the morning.

I took this as a sign to take a couple of days rest so I didn't run Tuesday or Wednesday but felt revitaised on Thursday on the bike to work and back so it obviously worked.

Top of the climb onto the ridge to Steel Fell

Friday I met up with a few guys from the FRA forum at Great Langdale, for a recce of leg 3 from Dunmail as far as Langdale. It was nice to see the fells covered in snow again and there were blue skys as we approached the Lakes, looking like it was going to make a good day, I wasn't dissapointed.

Climb towards Sergeant Man

The initial climb from Dunmail is a bit sudden and doesn't give you much of a warm up, I'm sure on the BG leg1 & 2 will be enough of a warm up! We made pretty good time onto Steel Fell within schedule time, and we headed on to Calf Crag. The cloud had come down pretty low which made navigation quite difficult and we did have a bit of confusion finding the top of Calf Crag, think I need to go back on a clear day and just remeber some features.

Daz, Dan & Kate on Sergeant Man

From Calf Crag we didn't really meet any more problems, and made steady progress over Sergeant Man, High Raise, Thunacar Knott, Harrison Stickle and Pike o Stickle. We were on a dash back for Emma to make the school run so we dropped down from the top of the beck below Rossett Pike and headed back to the car. Excellent day out, the snow was pretty deep in places and did stop me in my tracks a couple of times, but overall I felt strong especially on the ascents.

Looking back where we had come from

Don't know if I'll get any more runs in the snow but today finished clear and sunny and definitely had a spring like feel, almost t-shirt weather (for fell runners!)