Friday 28th April
Saturday with Colin Jones & Steve Barlow over High Street was hard - hard in that the pace was faster than I can comfortably run along with several thousand feet of climbing thrown in as well. I added to the discomfort by going over on my left ankle a couple of times. This is becoming an all too frequent occurance, usually when it has just about healed from the last time I do it again. It is never bad enough to stop me running but it does make me leary when descending. My foot placement is probably not great - I tend to run slightly hen-footed and don't try to counter the resulting tendancy of my foot to roll by placing my big toe firmly on the ground while keeping my left foot turned out.. That is all I have to remember when descending rough ground (thanks Norman). I am also going to try strapping the ankle because I really don't want it to get any worse. Sunday's long run with Pauline was a struggle for us both and it must have been due to the last lingering effects of travelling back from New York. The rest of the week went well and Wednesday morning I managed 4 miles before porridge as well as 13.5 miles in the evening for my first twice in a day session. I thought about going out again on Friday morning but decided to save whatever is left in my legs (not much) for the weekend.
Mileage: 80.5 Feet: 13500
This is the first of a number of 'big weekends' over the next few weeks. We are off to Northumberland for the LDWA (Marshals') 100. When we first heard of it we thought it was just a name and didn't realise it had anything at all to do with the distance! This year it is just under 102 miles of continuous running/walking with about 14,500 feet of climbing. The plan is to do the first day at a little under a BGR pace, walk through the night and then see what the morning brings. The plan is to finish in under 36 hours, aiming for something close to 33 hours but we shall have to see. The rest of the week is going to be about finding out quickly I can recover.
Detailed schedule is available as a PDF file to download below (this has been replaced with a revised schedule)
Moot Hall 08:00
Moot Hall 07:04
Friday 21st April
We took our running kit to New York but, honestly, the prospect of running 12 blocks or so to get to Central Park at the end of a day's sightseeing that usually involved 6-7 walking was just so awful we decided not to bother. A week's rest with about 6 hours walking (and queuing - Statue of Libery takes a whole day. You have to queue to join the queue for the ferry and don't ask how long the ferry queue was) but what a place.
Mileage: 13.1 Feet: 5200
Somewhere in the Lakes on Saturday and something long locally on Sunday and a couple of mornings during the week to start to increase the miles. No alcohol from now on - does abstinence matter? Apart from dehydration that can be fairly easily overcome it inhibits glycogen production which impacts badly on recovery. Do you have to stop drinking to complete a BGR? Almost certainly not but (if you are a mere mortal) you have to do everything you can to increase your chances of getting round. You can only wish for good weather but for everything else there are choices and opportunities to make things just a little bit easier. Enough philospophy - need to sort some kit for this morning's run in the Lakes.
Saturday 15th April - Rivington Pike Fell Race
Being a bit short, there is a tradition amongst a (very) small group of Horwich runners to have a run up Scafell Pike in the morning before dashing back to The Crown for The Pike race. Madness, I know, but given reasonable weather it becomes a good day out.
With Mark Davies, John & Ed Swift from the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Mark & I included Esk Pike on the way up and Rossett Pike on the way back. Deep snow patches and fair bit of icy snow at the top of Little Narrow Cove made the final ascent a bit more entertaining than we (or at least, I) would really have liked. With John and Ed a year ago we reached the summit (without Esk Pike) in 1:56:50 and this year in 1:54:12. Last year we were back at ODG in 3:39:12 while this year Mark & I gat back in 3:27:05 having gone over Rossett Pike on the way back.
Rivington Pike FR
Last year, after Scafell Pike but without a 10 mile road race the previous day, I managed a PB of 26:05 placing 17 of 33 V50. This year - another PB of 24:21 placing 5 of 25 V50. It may get quicker, slightly, but it doesn't seem to get any easier.
Great day - thanks to everyone who helps make The Pike race happen. Thanks John, Mark and Ed for the other Pikes. Off to pack some running kit for Central Park.
Friday 14th April
An easy week, at least in terms of miles, but with plenty of climbing particularly during last weekend in Galloway. Weather turned out much better than we could have hoped - well, perhaps, apart from the strong wind whipping up the snow and ice as we walked down the Rhins of Kells. Having been battered off the ridge last year this was a huge improvement. Sunday was just as good although, perhaps, the wind dropped a little. On both days the Southern Highlands and Arran were clearly visible - both with heavy coverings of snow. Monday I should have started to make up the miles but my first Swoops came back from Lancashire Sports Repairs, newly fitted with their studs so I had to try them and they are much better than the original sole. Swoops are, probably, a little heavy and not quite as stable as Walshes and with their original sole don't grip as well but they do offer a degree of cushioning which matters, to me, on long outings. The rest of the week was pretty standard until today when Pauline and I went to Caldervale for the 10 mile road race. Pauline finished just inside her target of 90 minutes and is very pleased with her first ever race and I finished in 70:25 with which I am pleased. Ready now for Scafell Pike tomorrow morning and Rivington Pike in the afternoon.
Miles: 45.5 (+23 walked) Feet: 4900 (+7200 walked) 12100 in total
After "The Pikes" tomorrow we are off to New York for a few days and so although I anticipate a few miles through Central Park it will really be a rest and I'll be really looking forward to running in the Lakes when we get back.
Friday 7th April
This week started with a short but hard outing to Coniston with Suzanne Budget & Colin Jones. Round the fell race round in a howling gale. Part way round I mentioned to Colin that I had wondered about cancelling the trip in the light of the weather forecast "you could get winds like these on your Bob Graham", he replied. Wrong place for sympathy, obviously. By course record standards it wasn't a fast round but by my own, more modest, standards it was uncomfortably fast - and just what I needed. On Sunday Pauline and I went over to Yorkshire to do the LDWA Blubberhouse Moor 25 and got round in 05:08 with which we were quite please especially given that most of the second half was done in pouring rain. Great route, good event but take your own food (unless you really, really like jam butties). Slow traffic and faulty central heating controller meant missing Thursday's hill session but I went on my own and did the 8 miles I needed for this week's 71. Finally, my weekly average weight is below my target of 154 lbs so I all have to do now is keep it there and so this will be the last appearance of weight and weight loss on the weekly updates.
Miles: 71 Feet: 9236 Weight: 153.3 lbs Weight Loss: 1.2 lbs
Unusual week because we are off to Galloway for the weekend to have another go at completing the Rhins of Kells, a 20 odd mile long ridge that we were blown and battered off a year ago. Unfortunately the weather forecast is even worse than it was then. We will walk again on Sunday so for the first time for awhile I'll have two consecutive rest days. The start of the week should be as usual but with the Caldervale 10 road race on Friday, Scalfell Pike on Saturday morning and Rivington Pike fell race in the afternoon my next rest day will be a week on Sunday.