Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday 31st March

The first week of Spring began, albeit the day before the clocks changed, with a hard run up out of Mardale over High Street and down over Kentmere Pike - not a great distance but with deep slushy snow everywhere the ground wasn't frozen it was a hard outing. Day after changing the clocks, Pauline and I went out over Winter Hill through Belmont and over Great Hill back to Rivington for another 18 miles. Monday & Wednesday, because now there is enough daylight, I went to Winter Hill trig point and from home (meeting Mark Davies & Ed Swift near the summit on Monday). Tuesday's traffic was so slow I couldn't get to the track so a quick road session had to suffice and the week finished with a 'traditional HRMI hill session' - up Foxholes, down Factory Lane and again for 45 minutes and my legs still ache.

Last Week
Miles: 70 Feet: 11900 Weight: 154.6 lbs Weight Loss 0.2 lbs

Next Week
Saturday in the Lakes, Sunday Blubberhouses Moor 25 - 25 mile LDWA event with Pauline that we have entered as 'runners' - until now we have always entered as 'walkers' and avoided the delayed 'runners' start but Pauline is emerging from her 'denial' period, having entered a couple of road races (of which more, later - keep watching). This week will mark the end of my winter training with a couple of easier weeks coming up and then a sucession of long races through May and June for next phase.

Last Six Months
6 months ago I weighed 173 lbs and this morning tipped the scales at 153 lbs.
6 months ago I ran/walked about 170 miles a month and this month I managed 308 miles.
6 months ago I climbed about 32000 feet a month and this month I managed just over 46000 feet.

I couldn't have done this all on my own so thanks to Pauline, in particluar, and to everyone else I have run (and walked) with over the last 6 months - I really appreciate all the encouragement, enthusiasm and advice I have had from you all and, Norman M, your advice has been especially invaluable.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday 24th March

Has been a fairly easy week but it hasn't really felt like it. Track and hill rep times were good so it is not that I am experiencing a measured drop in performance but the winter does seem to be 'dragging on' and the start of Summer Time, running in the daylight during the week and milder temperatures without freezing cold hands will be very welcome. Saturday's run out over Winter Hill was followed, on Sunday, by a 22 mile walk in south Cumbria that included another 3265 feet of climbing. The rest of the week was my usual 12s on Monday & Wednesday with a track session on Tuesday and a hill session last night. After last week's aberation I get back to losing weight.

Last Week
Miles: 58 Feet: 11265 (inc Sunday) Weight: 154.6 lb Loss: 1.7lb

Next Week
The Lakes on Saturday to have a look at part of the Wasdale to Dunmail Rise leg with some support runners, long run over Winter Hill with Pauline on Sunday and then the rest of the week as usual.

John Fleetwood
I still think a summer Bob Graham is a fairly daunting prospect and I thought John's Winter Bob Graham (17 Dec 2005) was pretty impressive but he then went on to a 19 Munro (unsupported) Glen Sheil Round (Feb 2006) and a Winter Ramsay Round (5-7 March 2006). If you are at all interested look at the link and don't miss the photographs 'Fleetwood's Long Distance Challenges'

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday 17th March

After the Haworth Hobble the weather and tired legs reduced Sunday to a pretty gentle 4 miles in the snow and while Monday's effort (in driving rain and sleet) of 8 miles was a little better it was a sluggish start to the rest of the week. By Tuesday things were getting back to 'normal and the rest of the week went well, apart from my weight. After touching my target of of 155 lbs at an average of 155.2 lbs I gained 1lb to reach 156.3 this week. First time since last November that I have failed to lose any weight. Must have stopped concentrating, having got so close.

Last Week
Miles: 68 Feet: 9000 Weight: 156.3 Gain: 1.1

Next Week
After the excitement of Haworth Moors it is back to Winter Hill tomorrow and then a walk in south Cumbria on Sunday so this should be a fairly easy week. Last week I ended up short of about 1000 ft so I'll have another look at Monday & Wednsday routes to see if I can get a bit more climbing in.

Food on the day
Maxim Original (flavourless) seems to offer the best way of creating a variety of carb drinks because it enables you to use your favourite flavours. I'll be using it from now on just make sure I can stomach it, literally. I should be able to get about two-thirds of my carb requirements this way so that eating at road crossings is minimised and so that hunger pangs between road crossings are avoided.

Support Team
Getting organised with runners settling on their preferred legs, as it were. Night section is covered - thanks to Paul Murray, Brendan Bolland and Mary White. Other legs are filling up and I and greatly encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm in the club - thanks everyone. And I will lose weight next week.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Haworth Hobble

Probably couldn't have had better conditions, cool and overcast with a slight breeze and after a start that was too fast to be sustained I settled in behind Tony Wimbush (who would end up 1st V50, 8 places and about 10 minutes in front of me) and managed to stay there until just before the climb to Heptenstall. No route finding problems this time and managing to eat and drink early enough made a huge difference. Finished in 28th place, 4th V50, 47 minutes faster than 2005 in 4:50:42.

Managed to achieve the 45-60 minute improvement I set myself, with a sub 5 hour time, after a 72 mile week so that including the race and the previous 8 days I had run over 100 miles with about 15000 feet of climbing. Pleased with this result.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday 10th March

One of last week's trips to the Lakes fell foul of the weather. Friday's snow and subsequent freeze meant it was very unlikely we would be able to drive the 10 miles, or so, off major roads to the part of the Shap Fells as planned. Instead we had a long run over Winter Hill and Great Hill and a pace somewhat faster than usual and I finished off with a 4 mile loop through Horwich, 55 seconds faster than my previous best time. Pauline and I went to have a run round Leg 1 or at least the off-road part of Leg 1 on an 'extended Anniversary Waltz' route that returned over High Spy and Catbells. A great day out, some warm sunshine half way round a great ridge to run down from High Spy. Dale Head's snow had long gone to ice and so the descent was a bit more hazardous than I would really have liked - what a contrast with the last time, in August, for the Borrowdale race. The rest of the week is somewhat dull after these two brilliant days and awful traffic on Tuesday meant I missed the track session on Tuesday - this absence was duly noted and commented on by one of my
pacers at last night's hill session!

Finally, on Thursday morning I tipped the scales at my target weight of 155lbs (weight reported below is a weekly average) so now just the last pound or two to go so that I can stay under 155 lbs or 11 st.

Last Week
Miles: 72 Feet: 10460 Weight: 155.2 lbs Weight Loss: 1.0

Next Week
Starts with the Haworth Hobble, all 31 miles of it on Saturday and with wintery weather forecast for both Saturday and Sunday I'll be waiting to see how my legs are before deciding what to do on Sunday. Last year at the Hobble I learned first hand what happens when you don't eat until hungry and don't drink until thirsty - I don't want to repeat the experience, ever again. Weather permitting, I am looking to take 45-60 minutes off last year's time to finish in under 5 hours. Should get 65-70 miles and try for another 10,000 feet - one of the 'magic must-do's for all BGR aspirants.

Support Team - Navigators
Navigators have enough pressure without me mentioning how critical their role is and so all I want to here is say thank you to each of for being prepared to do the job.

Leg 1: Steve Jackson
Leg 2: Sue Hayes
Leg 3: Colin Jones
Leg 4: Paul Murray
Leg 5: John Swift

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday 3rd March

An easy week (in terms of miles) was planned and an easy it was, in fact with a late finish at work on Monday it turned out even easier than planned. Since that is the first session I have missed for many months I don't feel too bad about it. Saturdays' recce of the Joss Naylor Challange, first leg, was pretty spectacular running on snow and ice south towards High Street with all the high fells and pennines covered in snow. Fortunately, the wind was behind when we were on ridge and after we dropped into Martindale (and turned into the wind) we were sheltered by the surrounding hills. Sunday was a walk in the Howgills, about 19 miles (not included in my weekly total) with over 5000 feet of climbing - not altogether a rest day.

Last Week
Miles: 46 Feet of climbing: 7628 (+5200) =12828 Weight: 156.2 lb Weight Loss 0.6 lb

Next Week
Saturday will be a long run in the Far Eastern fells with other Horwich runners and on Sunday Pauline and I are going to run an 'extended Anniversary Waltz' to have a look at the climbs on the Keswick to Honister leg for something like a 60 mile week with plenty of climbing.

February produced a weekly average of 61.1 miles for 4 weeks, weekly climb of 8935 feet. My left ankle has returned to its former status of 'slight niggle' and so, by and large, that is another month still "injury free and enthusiastic". I also have been able to arrange for 4 of the 5 navigators and I hope the 5 will 'emerge' in the next couple of weeks and individual runners are slotting into specific legs. Thanks for all the advice,encouragement and offers of help at training sessions, comments here and from the FRA Forum
My nutrition plans need a bit more work and they should be finalised by the end of March.