Saturday, 23 October 2010

Thursday long un and ouch !

Having been looking forward to a propper leg-stretch for ages, i've got to say that i'm a tad dissapointed with the end result of what was an outstanding day on 't moors.

Set off from Combestone Tor ( according to the all-knowing Moorland oracle that is Paul ) and ran, with smiles on face ( was a stunning day ) past many lumps of granite and through various swamps that Paul conversed with as if they were long-lost friends ( oh herro Fishlake Mire - how's it going, long time no see, how's your Bert's lumbago etc, etc ). Having set a bearing for a foreboding patch of evil looking swamp we ended up in.....a foreboding patch of evil looking swamp. Thigh high, fetid, reedy madness makes a great cross-training work-out ! Both Paul and dog vanished briefly and for a while it reminded me of old footage of tiger hunting from elephants. There was something down there in the reeds, rustling away and making odd growling noises but couldn't see what the hell it was....anyway Paul emerged but dog was in there for a while longer.

Finally emerging, reg-legged and stinking we carried on up to Redlake clayworks ( it's a pyramid Paul, it's obvious !) and gawked at the stunning views. One of the finest vantage points i've been to and has the added bonus of another Tor completely obscuring Plymouth...reesult !
As we set off again gone through 'the boulder field of certain death' we headed down towards Shipley Bridge. It's about this point that it all started to go pear-shaped for me. Got a bit of a long-term back injury that seems to completely screw up my right side ! The end result being that my 'toit as a toiger' right hamstring started to do it's thing and the niggling ITB problem flared up like a good  'un. So apologies to Paul and Spook for the need to asume odd positions on the floor to stretch every 10 minutes, absorb a mountain of brufen and
 generally slow down and be a 'big girls blouse'.

 Did manage to run up to Avon Dam but had to cave in and do some walking before the final mile or so descent to the car and a couple of pints of  'ye owd isotonic' at The Foresters.
Ouch !
So on the upside managed to push the mileage and ran through some awesome countryside but on the downside I have done a bit of damage to itb. Currently writing this in a stretch with hot water bottle strapped to the side of my thigh. Well everyone needs a hobby !
Getting married next saturday and then away for a fortnight. Let's see what i can break whilst in Egypt !

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

For those about to 'Clart', we salute you !

Beat my apathy into submission today, did a flyer from work to race up to Princetown for a brief evening 'hoon' before the sun went down. Parked up at the track that leads to the granite quarry and after a brief freezing as i got changed, headed down the track and past the farm, conversing with the cows as i went. Took a little detour to play sprinty hill games but in essence just carried on past the quarry and followed the track round to the left and headed towards Princetown. Started to get a little bored of the track so as i approached the town I headed of the beaten and started the climb towards the 'hoofin' great mast...that's a steep one missus and thankfully a little bit softer under foot, oh blessed clarts ! Got to the summit as serious lumps of weather started to fall and the temperature plummetted, so 'balls out' over the top for a fast flat to the tor ( no idea which one - any ideas Paul ?) and an even quicker descent through the boulders to the car....and relax !
Looking forward to a quality, long run through the shite on thursday.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Return of the Monkey

Having spent all saturday dressed as a monkey, 4 hours on the high ropes course, 2 jumps from a 40ft platform and an evening of drunken debauchery, I know return to the tracks and trails with a lingering headache and an angry liver.
 So just a quick one tonight, stopped off at The Drakes Trail carpark at Grenofen on my way home from work. Strangely the car ( or probably me) didn't want to turn off the main road, it just wanted to go home and curl up in the foetal position and whimper. But i convinced it otherwise and managed an hour 'hooning' around the trails, through the woods and through the river a few times. Wasn't the most focussed session ever but something is better than nothing ? The bath was full of undergrowth and my eyes and hair full of flies...happy days.
 Looking forward to some serious muddy miles on thursday with Mr Fox

Friday, 15 October 2010

Lakeland progress

Forced myself to take the scenic route home this evening as i knew it was my last chance to get some mud up my legs before a weekend of's my stag do on saturday ! Although repeated lifting of heavy beverages could be classed as weight training, I don't think much else will be acheived.
Parked up on Whitchurch Down and 'mooned' the sheep whilst changing in the twilight gloom. Managed to get in about 50 mins, so not too bad. Quick blast across the flat, up Pew Tor and then through the moderate 'clarts' to Windy Post then up to the foot of Cox Tor. Ten minutes of short hill sprints ( which seems to bemuse on-lookers) then back the same way to the car and the promise of sausages ! A relatively short one but it did give me opportunity to test the new Petzl....didn't fall over or break anything so it works !
See you next week with a sore head and an angry liver.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Training Plan...if it goes according to plan !

It's simple....i progressively push myself harder and longer, up and down steeper hills, in worse conditions without breaking myself ( which i often do ) until I feel confident that I can complete the Lakeland 50 without killing myself or holding back my running mate too much. Easy eh ?

In the past, on average I ran 3 or 4 times a week for about 4 miles on the roads around Tavistock with one longer, mostly off-road blast on my day off, usually around 7 miles up on Whitchurch Down /Pew Tor/ Cox Tor and would generally up the mileage if I had an event coming up.
Prior to committing to the Lakeland 50 I have complete road races including the Taunton Marathon and 3 half-marathons and to be honest my training wasn't well planned at all. I would do my regular runs through town and then, as the race got close, I would do a few big runs ( probably too big ), develop a niggley injury and then have to take time off to recover. My panic run a month before the Taunton Marathon is a classic example.....18 lumpy miles with my arm in a plaster-cast...not a good idea considering that i had done nothing for weeks.
I am determined not to follow this pattern again !

What I want to do this time is,

1. Slowly build my overall fitness and build up my off-road mileage.
2. Work on technical skills. ie Climbing and descending, posture and running style.
3. Experience running on as many types of terrain as possible.
4. Get faster ! Sprints, hills, interval training
5. Work on my navigation
6. Night running.
7. Get used to running with plenty of kit in my backpack.
8. Complete some tough practice events.

So far I'm up to 8-10 miles off-road and trying to fit in extra runs on my way home from work. Done a few hill sessions and sprints and had a great night run on Westdown with my running mate Paul.
Still hitting the gym regularly and working on core stuff.....apparently that's good too ?

Had a great blast on the way home from Exeter on monday night. I stopped at Sourton and according to Paul I ran somewhere around Corn Ridge apparently ? All I know is that I did about an hour and a quarter, it was pretty steep, I worried a few sheep and it was a stunningly beautiful sunset from the top of whatever Tor I was on.