Monday, 11 June 2012

Bob Graham Round report

I arrived at Moot Hall just before midnight where I promptly sorted out what to take and what not to take with my pacers. And all important last minute prep of which I probably should have taken more time over this. And then we set off, waving goodbye to about 7 or more people. Looking back it was quite a blur but I was pleased to see friends from Stone and well-wisher’s who were assisting a round about to leave around the same time. The weather was less than perfect but I read and hoped it would change later. As we set off through the rain up towards Skiddaw the temperature started to drop more and more. We weren’t even half way up and I was asking if we were nearly there yet. My pacers were Dave and his mate Ronnie. Truly great guy’s, at this point we were starting to panic. Or at least I was about the weather. We reached Great Calva by which time the rain wasn’t quite as bad and I got just enough of a run in to keep myself warm for a bit. The lower we were the better things were temperature-wise. We reached Caldew river where we came across a small problem, the current was very fast and the river was high. After some negotiation and allot of running back and forth I decided to just go for it. I fumbled across and shouted Dave and Ronnie over. They weren’t too sure still so they ran to the road and made their way to me. Dave and Ronnie at first weren’t to sure whether to continue or not and honestly I didn’t blame them. And I had enough pacer’s for leg two but after some soup and fumbling around they decided to joined us for leg 2.

Now 4 pacers strong with Simon and Julian we headed up Clough head, by this point the rain had subsided slightly from what I remember and spirits were high. When we reached the top there was clag in every direction. We did joke about the view frequently. All seemed well and we were joking and chatting away. Thing’s seemed to be on the up. I had a slight wobble around Seat Sandal, I had some problems eating earlier in the cold and wet. I was basically getting a sugar low. I really, really didn’t want this to happen and not on an ascent, I slowed down slightly and probably too much for and ate a cheese sarny. I already knew I was a few mins down on time and this wasn’t going to help.

I started to pick up slightly reaching leg 3, a small crowd awaited me which was lovely. I stopped for some flapjack and set off up Steel Fell. Now accompanied by Dale, Robin and his two lovely dogs who entertained me by fighting each other for the first 30mins at least (the dogs not Dale and Rob). We reached the top and cruised along for a while. Dale promised me some chocolate for every peak I reached, sometimes the promise was retracted as and when he saw fit but it was a bit of a laugh and great incentive to get my ass in gear. And thing’s seemed to be going ok for a while. I seem to remember seeing another group doing their round, one of which was wearing a skirt he found along the way! Interesting..  After a few peaks I started to really struggle with the descents. My nerves were going and my muscles were starting to tighten. I was pretty much in denial of this at the time but I really needed to have spent more time descending on the fell in training. Going up was always ok but after a while the decsents started to get to me. And of course even more so this started to affect my time again. Lord’s Rake was wonderful and truly scared me with the amount of clag. I don’t mind a bit of a climb, but I couldn’t see anything over the top edge. Which was probably for the best! We dug our heal’s in and slid down to Wasdale on the loose scree. Unfortunately I don’t think I enjoyed this as much as Dale at the time as I started to cramp up but it was still great fun. My brake in Wasdale was short lived. I was getting really behind on schedule. I had 2 mins to down some pasta and get going!

Climbing Yewbarrow was just as tough as I remembered it from my recce. It never seemed to get any easier. I kept asking how behind I was on schedule and no one would give me a straight answer so I figured I needed to put quite a bit more work in. I knew the last 2 legs wouldn’t be easy and I had zero chance of any kind of rest. On this leg I was joined by Julie and Ian who pretty much kicked me into shape and I’ll be honest I needed it. I don’t mind being told what to do I just don’t like failing. And who does.. We reached the top into yet more clag, at times this made for hard navigation but I have to say throughout. All of my navigators were first class so if we did stop to think it wasn’t for long and some even ran ahead to double check. I was still managing some kind of running pace of the flats and I felt ok considering. I could feel my right hamstring tightening and generally felt like I might slow but I tried as best I could to keep drinking and eating. Consumption was becoming a problem again but Ian and Julie were bit feeding me bits of chocolate which worked great. Just little bits and often. I was starting to get myself down a bit with the fact I couldn’t eat but kept it going. I really wanted to enjoy the view of Great Gable but sadly the view was again obscured by the clag. After Grey Knotts I really started to push, I had to make time in order to finish.

I ran straight through Honister on to leg 5. By this point I wasn’t saying much and just trying to get the job done. When I reached Dalehead, again in the clag I thought it was a house. I guess I must have been quite depleted. The steady rolling hills felt like a god send between Dalehead to Robinson. I was making time and felt like I could run the road section. My support said I could walk some of the small hills on the road to Moot Hall, I did for the most part but managed to run some as well. I was in quite allot of pain but determined to make the cut off. When I reached Moot Hall I touched the door and crumpled in a heap. I got there with just 4mins to spare.

In no order THANKYOU!!!!!!!!!! You were all amazing. I’m sorry for going quiet, not eating, slowing down, being a wus and or being grumpy. Thankyou for feeding and looking after me: John, Alison, Dale, Den, Tracy, Simon, Dave, Ronnie, Julie, Johnny, Julian, Ian, Robin and dogs (forgot their names, sorry), Ben, Amy, Helen, the near 50 people at Dunmail supporting other BGer’s and me, random drunk kids at near midnight cheering me in and anyone else I might have missed.

Carb loading

Faffing with gear before the start

View of Grizedale Beck

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon

Grizedale Tarn off Dollywaggon


With Dave Swift ascending Fairfield

Fairfield Summit

Fairfield Summit
Fairfield descent

Seat Sandal ascent

Seat Sandal descent

Heading for leg 3


Steel Fell ascent

Heading out for leg 4

Honister from Dale Head ascent

blurry run in towards Moot Hall

The end!

Thank's Simon and John for the photo's.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Marlborough Downs and Riga Marathon

Just a few notes. I should write more but I have way to much on my plate at the moment. To summarise, in short: new door ££££, boiler problems ££££?? awaiting quote.. New door not finished, probably due to rain.. EVEN THOUGH I'VE PAID THEM!!! Slight problem with a canvas I sold.. Something else. I forget too many phone calls.. No running.. Must taper..

Any way, running:

Great, ran with Mark who did his famous negative split which knackered me but felt good overtaking people even in the last mile of an ultra! No pb but Mark and I got 4th and 5th. I let him have 4th as it's his first. Even though that would have been my first 4th ever. But still I was 5th last year and I'm sure i'll get there. It's best not to be greedy :)
Mark and his kitchen sink bag :)

After my terrible run in London I decided to try for a negative split or even split after Mark's influence. And honestly I didn't want to hurt myself this close to my BGR. So I did it and it felt great, again I was over taking people in the last mile still. I think there's allot to be said for going out steady. Here's my split:

I lost the link for the Riga photos.

BGR next :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Busy busy busy... AGAIN

A quick re-cap of what I've been up too. Or at least the bit's that seem memorable/I can remember.
If I don't take note now this will all get dog piled in one big lump. 2 weeks ago I did the London Marathon and well and truely ruined everything on the day by going off too fast, getting stitch and walking around 20 times. Generally speaking I felt the whole experience to be a little frustrating. I can see why people love London but it's just not me!
One can only assume copyright is void with all watermarking they did here :)

The week after was the Fellsman, which as most know was called off at 1:40am dew to weather conditions. But at least I finished. Not in a great time but still I met some nice chaps and had a good laugh. Some highlights were, a guy pooring boiling water over my bag while I was trying to get my glove out. When I asked what he was doing he replied: "I'm making tea". He wasn't making tea! He was watering my bag. I didn't get angry I just eased away with my numbness. Speaking of which I still can't feel my toes. My doctor tell's me I've finally damaged my nerves. Generally speaking better than some poxy city jog (sorry my beloved road running pals).
Which brings me up to date. Yesterday I did leg 4 of the BGR with Simon and Dale. Which was truely awesome. I can't wait to get up there. Most people probably think I'm nuts but I'm loving all the views and ups and downs. 

This blog is really getting a bit messy in terms of consistency but then this is as I may have mentioned before more for me to remember and look back on. I don't want to get old and go yeah I did some running.. I think.. To be honest I do that now. I had to think quite hard to remember the first leg of the Fellsman..

Next is Marlborough Downs followed by Riga marathon. And then I need to make some blog space for my Bob Graham Round (attempt). I'll write more as and when I get time... Possibly more photo's too follow. Maybe even some legal ones. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Micah True

Everyone has a moment of inspiration or at least identifies where they can see why or how something impossible could ever be possible. For me it was reading Born To Run. I just read Micah True aka Caballo Blanco has left this world. He was seriously (from what I read in Born To Run) awesome! One day I'll have to get myself Copper Canyon.

With that said my life has been good. Although I don't have much spare time still. I completed another leg of the Bob Graham supporting Andy Blackett on his round. He was a beast. A real star, completing in 23:36. Simon and Helen joined me along with a few others. Simon did a great write up:

Sunday marked my 7th (I think) Stone circle. 37 miles around Stone. ..37 as I ran to Yarnfield to start.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Bob Graham reccy #1 leg 1

Honestly I couldn't have asked for better weather (apart from the hale!). All my hill reps are starting to pay off, the round is going to be hard but we do these thing's because they are hard.

Some photo's with numb fingers from the top of Blencathra:

Saturday, 25 February 2012

17 Miles around and up The Wrekin

Had a great run last week, nothing too intense but so enjoyable. Here's some photo's (and of course I was the only one going for the cup cake):

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Jan, Feb and much snow fun!

In Jan I went snowboarding, while I was there I attempted some running of sorts.. I say of sorts as it took me about 30mins to do 2 miles. There was a foot of snow and massive ascent, so if nothing else it was good hill work! On the way down I filmed the trail on my phone till my thumbs started to stop working. And the trail ran out..
I've been working steadily on my hill reps for my BGR attempt. I'm up to 22 now and I think I'll stay at that for a while now as it seems to be just enough and still seems like quite allot.

Last Sat Tim, Mark and I ran to Alsager (19.5 miles) and Tim and I ran the Alsager 5. Again mainly in snowy conditions with some blood on the floor (not mine!)
It was nice to take it fairly steady on a race that was so quick, I managed 32:52mins which was ok I guess. I'm still not sure my lungs are up to 5miles flat out any way. Also I never realised the route passes past my Grandad's old house and my Aunties house.

Next Anglaze Arke Amble.. I may take some seal skins for this one if the weather stay's as it is. To be honest I can't see it changing.. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My nibble box!

My nibble box..  Apprently:
Not so sure about the love mix though.