Tuesday 7 November 2017

Cumberland Ale 10 - Sept 17th 2017

A ten miler that Ive never ran before.
Its starts and finishes from Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth so that was another incentive to do it.
The first mile is all up hill and had another steep uphill at the half way point. In between there is lots of bumps.
I had good run and ran hard to finish 5th overall in just over 62 minutes.
Overall fairly pleased but still struggling to run sub 6s in training. Im hoping I will have more speed come Mid November.
Blain Rooney won in 57.57

Heart of Eden Half Marathon 15th October 2017

A route that started and finished at my old secondary school so it was nice to have a look around the old school yards.(smokers corner)
Its also a route that Id never ran before but knew it would be fairly hilly.
About 130 runners gathered on the start line and looking around soon realised a lot of the faster runners were absent. (insert smiley face here)
As the the gun got us started about 5 of us formed a small pack at the front, among us was club fellow mate Jack.
After a small fast downhill the route started to climb where Jack soon got bored and strode out and formed a gap. A gap that would extend till the finish line.
After a couple of miles I was in second place with a small group a hundred meters behind.
The course climbed gradually for the first few miles and I soon settled in to a nice easy rhythem keeping my pace steady
I was a bit surprised after 5 miles when a Dumfries runner caught, then passe, then got a gap of 30 meters ahead of me. He seemed a stronger runner then me so I decided to try and defend 3rd place and make the 2nd place guy didn't get too far ahead of me.
Around 9 miles things started to feel easy so I upped my pace a bit. The Dumfries guy seemed to be going through a bad patch and I soon caught him up and then pushed hard. I was hoping he wouldn't stick with me because I don,t think I could've carried on at the same pace but luckily he slipped back a little bit.
The last mile was down hill and I had to work really hard to keep ahead of 3rd (who had been caught by his club mate and first lady) and Iwaas soon running past smokers corner 1 hour 23 mins after I left to finish second behind Jack Erye who finished 3 minutes ahead.(insert sad face here)

A good workout that will hopefully help me towards the two ten milers coming up.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Lowther Trail Half Marathon

When a race is only 3 mile from your back door it be daft not to.
Ran this same race 2 years ago and finished 3rd in 1hr 32min. This year I finished 11th in 1hr 35min.
Felt reasonably happy with my effort especially on the climb up Knipe Scar where I ran it all whilst some others walked it. I never had much leg speed on the last fast 3 mile to the finish but I have not done any speed work for a long time.
Overall a good run with a few mates.
Everyone's keen at the start

Rich and Craig battle for 1st V50

Laal Pete


Steve and Scamp claimed 1st man & Dog Prize

Monday 14 August 2017

Skiddaw Fell Race

After spending a great week in Lake Garda running, eating and drinking what better way to come back to earth then a race up and down one of England,s highest peaks.

About 130 runners lined up at the start and to be honest I didn't know many of them. John Nichol was there who would soon catch me up on the steep climb and pretend to push me up - I was going that slow! He would soon be out of sight.

I don't know whats happened to my legs these last few months but I'm finding every climb hard and slow. I was never a fast up-hiller but I could normally grind my up not and not feel totally done in.

John got to the turn around point on the summit a good 2 minutes ahead of me but I managed to reel him in the descent and beat him.

I think I finished about 32nd and drove away telling myself I must start running up bigger hills.

Another great race organised by Keswick AC

9.6 Miles / 3100ft
Caution. Slow moving vehicle.

Smile for the Camera.

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Old County Tops Fell Race

35 miles / 10000ft

Two words. ROCK HARD.

I honestly didn't expect it to be this tough. What a fool I am.

Conditions didn't help. From Angle Tarn to Scafell Pike I don't think I've ever been so wet and cold in a fell race before.
I really should have recced the course too.
From Cockley Beck to Coniston Old Man I had imagined it to be a nice drag up. How further from the truth could I have been. I had to stop half way up for a breather, and this was after a 8 minute stop  and a cup of tea at the road crossing just 20 mins earlier.
Once up there, they are nice runable  parts -if you can muster the energy - unfortunately I couldn't haha.

Hopefully Oli will ask me again to be his partner next year and if he does I will proper prepare myself to give us both every chance of putting in a good time. Knowing the route will help.
No amount of Arthur's Pikes will prepare you for it. I would need to add some high fells into my training.

8 miles in and its a piece of piss

21 miles in and its horrible

Big Thanks to Eden team mate Oli Blomfield for putting up with my continual whinging for 8 and a half hours....and for keeping me from getting LOST!

Roll on 2018

Saturday 27 May 2017

Three Peaks Fell Race

I initially labelled this as shite when I uploaded it on strava. A few weeks has passed and perhaps I was a bit harsh. A more true assessment is I'm shite -  haha.

I trained all year for this and was hoping to get a PB, under 3-38 would have done it. Considering I got 3-39 last year I felt it was a realistic goal, especially with the hills I had done over the winter months.

A few weeks earlier I had ran the Ullswater Way (21 miles / 2700ft) in 3 hours and felt great. My last mile was a 5-45. So what went wrong...

A week before I got a cold. No big deal. A few lemsips will do the trick. A easy taper would do me no harm.

Wrong. Felt crap from the off. Took it easy on first climb and struggled on to finish in 100th place in 3hr 44mins.

Always next year :-)


Wednesday 3 May 2017

Update on the last update

Was it really 26 months since my last post and and my impending London marathon debut.

A lot has happened in that time.

London was great. As I mentioned in my last post -over 2 years ago - the hotel (expensive) and train tickets {another mortgage) were all booked and paid for. The training had gone great and I was hopeful of a sub 3. It was just a shame that I got a stress fracture 4 weeks prior. I felt total despair for my misfortune and couldn't even go to London to watch or even stay in the plush hotel for 3 nights. My wife, her friend and my daughter had no trouble in helping me out though and Im led to believe they had a great few days away. They did complain of having tired feet I seem to recall.

Later on that year I did Langdale marathon and finished a distant 2nd on a wet and miserable September day. That was my third and last marathon and even though I would like to get a sub 3, I don't think its going to happen now. I shall let my Windermere 3.04 haunt me forever.
And that was the main talking points on 2015.

2016 was a better year.
Less road running and much more fells.
My stats were 2290 miles with 399,000 feet climb.
104 runs up Arthur;s Pike

Highlights were.
Three Peaks 3hr 40 mins
Helvellyn Fell race
Howtown Fell race
Tour De Helvellyn

All 3 races seemed impossible a few years ago when I was injured with Gilmores Groin and it was great to do  3 Peaks again. I was only 1 second off getting a first class certificate and only 20 seconds from a PB. I promised my self I would train hard for the next year and try and get nearer 3.35.

Finishing Three Peaks
I thought Helvellyn would be a lot easier then what it was. Ive done this race a few times but I struggled a bit on the climbs and didn't push hard enough on the faster runnable bits but still felt good to running on the high ground again.


Howtown is a race on my doorstep and never been injury free to do it so was absolutely magic to finally run it. Had a great battle with club mate Derek Hurton and was pleased to finish in the top 10 in 2hr 22min.

Howtown Fell Race

Again Tour De Helvellyn was another event that is on my doorstep and thought it was be beyond me a couple of years ago.
Suppressed myself and finished 7th in 6hrs 27mins  - Delighted with time but couldn't have wished for better running conditions.

The main reason I let my running dairy/blog slip is because I was uploading all my activities on Strava but I've come realise I like expressing my thoughts down on paper.

Im hoping to continue this blog on a more regular basis. I've said it before in a much earlier post but this blog is for me and for me to read back when Im older and no doubt  wince at the shite I wrote.

That's me all caught up.

Sunday 8 February 2015


With December and January been and gone I thought I would post an update of my training/progress/ego.

Finished the Cumbria XC league feeling much better then I did at the start. A demotion to the middle group was very just. It meant that I had a 3 minute start on the fast lads - I needed them too - and I think it actually helped me race a bit quicker.
Enjoyed the Penrith XC the most. I managed to beat Alex Davies for the first time EVER at cross country. I used some underhand tactics though. Normally I race flat out from the start but on this occasion I tucked in behind Alex for 2 of the 4 laps. On lap 3 I pushed on ahead and to my utter amazement/joy he didn't give chase........ Phew...!!

Alex is also training hard for the London Marathon and is a seasoned sub 3 marathoner. Im keeping tabs on his training via Strava and when he ups his long runs I try to up mine the following week.
I would love to cross the line with him in sight but to do this I need a bit  LOT of luck.

December seen me hit by a Flu virus that knocked the stuffing out of me and I never really got over it till late January. I tried to carry on training through it but in the end I was forced to take a week off and and it took a lot out of me. I still got a very sore abdominal with all the coughing and I can still feel pain on my longer runs. This stems from my operation 2 years ago.

I purchased a marathon training book with a schedule to follow. I followed it for 9 days before I jacked it in. I've never followed a plan before and I was feeling a bit pressured by it. Instead I will carry on what I've done for the last few years. Fast lunch runs with long run at the weekend. I will start to add the odd slow evening run and a midweek long run too.

On Saturday I had a rare run up Arthurs Pike - very very enjoyable. No clock watching. No mile splits. No fell shoes though made it interesting in the snow and ice.

Hotel booked and train tickets purchased. Its not cheap this road running lark.

Friday 21 November 2014

London Or Bust

A year has nearly past since my last Blog post. A year that has seen me do most of my running on the black stuff.
The fells still cause me problems re the old injury but Ive not giving up on running the fells again.....yet.
This year Ive managed four fell races.
On New Years day I ran the 9 Standards fell race albeit still drunk from the night before! I soon sobered up.
In February I ran the High Cup Nick fell race in the afternoon after running Penrith Park run in the morning. Fairly pleased with my effort in this race but struggled a bit on the steeper climb up the Nick and ran out of battery near the end but that great feeling you get at the end of a fell race made it all worth while.
In June, two weeks after Windermere Marathon (more on that later) I ran the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Yomp.
 I really enjoyed this and ran comfortable most of the route. The wheels came off in the last 5 miles and the descent from 9 standards to the finish really hurt and aggravated my groin but finishing 3rd fastest on the day made it worth while. It also gave me some false confidence that I could maybe race harder on shorter fell races.
This I tested at Skiddaw fell race where every step on the descent was horribly painful.
Still 4 fell races this year is still 4 more then I managed in 2012!
I can still train a bit on the fells as long as a) don't go too far and b)  don't push too hard especially on the descents.
Skiddaw - never again?

Big feet...?

Most of my training is now getting done on my lunch break at work. I can normally get 5-7 good quality hard/fast miles in or a quality hill session.
The roads cause me much less pain on the old wounds. I seem to be able to run fairly comfortable without too much pain. It still hurts at times but is much more manageable.
When I was injured I said to myself IF I did get to the stage where I could run again I would try and run a marathon under 3 hours. I had only ran one marathon before and that was Loch Ness with very little training. I think my time was 3-16
I decided to enter London 2015 and told some running mates of my plan. The trouble with London is its a ballot so there's no guarantee of an entry and they recommended I try and get a good for age time at Windermere.  No problem there then - it was only 5 weeks away!!
Steve Angus, a veteran of marathons, assured me a sub 3-15 would be well in my capabilities thus insuring me of a place for London.
I ran 3-04 but the last 6 miles I faded badly. I finished 7th overall and got first V45 which meant getting my prize awarded to me by the great Joss Naylor. I cant begin to tell you how chuffed I felt.

Joss is on the right!!

I also ran two half marathons, Haweswater, 83 mins and Cumbriian Run 82 mins.

Haweswater Half

The rest of the year I trained with the idea of running the 2two autumn ten mile road races well.
Last weekend I ran the second one of these, Brampton to Carlisle in a PB time of 58-50.

I also running the XC races this year (badly) with the aim of them making me stronger. Ive noticed that I am much weaker without the hard fell miles so hopefully the XC will help.

So apart from a few Park-runs that's my year.
January will see my marathon training begin.

Anyone got any tips...?

PS Steve Angus is still UGLY and my old training buddy Stevie B is cycling daft now. More on these two inspirations in my future posts.


Sunday 1 December 2013

Now Then......Where Was I.......

Oh yes - falling on my arse in a stream of freezing water at the Outerside fell race in March!!

Its December now so thought I would update my blog - after all the initial idea for it in the first place was for me to have some written memory's to look back upon when I'm an old fella who cant climb the stairs anymore, let alone the fells.

April and May continued with a few slow runs and I carried on getting the bike miles in. The bike was going that well that I even purchased a new one.
2013 was definitely the year that I that I actually rode the bike because I enjoyed it rather the ride it just to keep fit.

Nothing of note to say about my running until early June when my big mate (Steve Angus) was attempting the Bob Graham Round. I was still struggling with my injury and wasn't sure if I could help support him . It was decided that I would turn up on leg 2 and do nowt on the leg but try and capture the moment on camera. To be honest I didn't really expect to be with them when the morning light appeared  but I surprised myself and did the whole leg and also got some photos of him.
Something I was really proud to do because he helped me on my own round in 2010 and was a solid support on leg 3 for me....... he also got some cracking photos of me on the round..... ( he didn't really) and was good enough to show up again at Moot Hall at the finish......(he didn't really).
It is something that I will continue to rib him about for a long time to come.
Steve flew around the round in a sub 20 hour time I was chuffed to bits for him. I knew how much time and effort he had put into it.

below are a small selection of photos that I took for him........ for which I'm still awaiting payment!

some hours later I went to the Moot Hall....

Well done ulgy.

The rest of June and July was spent on the bike with the odd run thrown in. We also moved house.

August I upped my running to about 20 odd miles a week and found out that as long as I didnt run long distances I stayed relatively pain free . At the end of the month I ran Dufton fell race.
A small field of 50 or so runners and I was was fairly pleased to get in the top ten and get prize for my age category but more importantly.....Pain free!!

Finishing Dufton

Buoyed by little return to fell running I upped my millage on the fell but soon found out I was still in pain when descending and putting effort in.I fell back to the flatter surface and also did the Ride for Micheal sportive - less said about that the better.

In October I got roped in to run in the Ian Hodgson relays. Little Eden did well where as I climbed well suffered a bit on the long downhill run in. It was good to be in it though having missed the team last year.

November was a busy month. Two ten mile road races, a XC and park run.

Derwentwater 10 was the first and I only really decided to enter it a few days before.
A Kath Batty Photo

My road running was going well and running at a lunchtime at work was giving me a bit of speed back.
I think I ran it in 62-15 - way above my expectations and I was again in the prize money for 2nd V45.
The following weekend I biked to Carlisle and ran in the XC. I suffered badly in this, mainly due to the poor choice of footwear but still really enjoyed it.

Next up was the Brampton to Carlisle ten miler where my sub 60 three years ago ranks as high as my 21-07 BGR.
It was not to be this year. 16 seconds over.
I have absolutely loved running these ten milers and hopefully will do for years to come.

B2C before the wheels fell off
Last weekend we spent in Leeds so I popped along to the local park run at Temple Newsham.

Today I tried to up my long run to 15 miles. I managed it but not without pain. I will continue to run up to ten miles for now .

So that's that. I'm happy to be running again and hopefully things will continue to improve.

Future events?
Well I would love to run in the Tour de Helvellyn, especially after last years fiasco of taking photos and I also would like to tick the Lakeland 50 off............. the only certainty is that it wont be in the next 12 months.

onwards and upwards

Sunday 31 March 2013

Not The Causey Pike Fell Race 2013

Second fell race in 18 months for me yesterday.
You forget how hard it is.

However I haven't lost my ability to make myself look an idiot......

Looks Deep
oh shit !
This is gonna hurt

Its cold

get up
wet arse
I don't think anyone seen!!

Back to the drawing board.

Lots of togs yesterday....

Keswick & District

fellrunner net (dobbos)

Sunday 20 January 2013

Its Proving hard work

to get bloody fit again!!

The last 8 days have seen me on the fells and its been bloody hard work. It does not help that I'm going out with lads who are by far much better/fitter runners then myself.

After spending a week at a rehabilitation centre where I did a lot of stretching, swimming and gym work I was eager to see if I could still run up Blencathra non stop. I did. Just.

It wasn't fast or pretty (40 mins) but I didn't care - I felt great!

A walker on Halls Fell Summit
Two days later I found myself at Spoony Green lane Keswick. I was going to test myself on Skiddaw now by running up the big tourist path. I was met by Steve Angus who was thinking of running leg 1 of the BG route but was feeling a bit below the weather and suggested we run up to Mellbeck and ascend Skiddaw via Carl Side. I hadnt been up Carl Side for over 20 years and liked the idea.The first couple of miles felt easy until we hit the fell. For me it was like running into a wall! For the next 20-30 minutes I moaned for England.
My calfs were screaming at the steepness and my heart fell below my knees as Steve effortlessly pulled ahead.
I got a second breath at the tarn and began to feel better and managed to run to Skiddaw summit - leaving Steve in my wake - he had stopped for a piss!!
We carried on down over hart Crag and jogged back to Keswick past Skiddaw House.
A good 2 1/2 hours out and if felt good.
Me moaning my way up Carl Side
Steve pretending he cant hear me
Good views though

Tuesday evening I was again left feeling inadequate after hanging on to Steve Bennetts back wheel for 24 fast ice cold miles.

Feeling confident I arranged to meet my old Wednesday night training mates - Steve "Turnip" Bennett and Sam "Beetroot" Ware at Scales car park for a head torch run up Blencathra.We met Steve Angus at the car park who had already been up earlier but stopped to pose for a photo.
captain beetroot and the 2 Steves
Sam has got himself fantastically fit these last 2 years and I swear he was not even trying as I huff and puffed my way up. He was wanting to chat but soon realised that I was beyond chatter and before long Steves and Sams head torches grew small and fainter.I was on my knees and as I was approaching the Zig Zags. Capt beetroot had ran back down to run the last bit with me.
I was on my arse and gave the old "go on without me - im not bothered bout topping out speech"
Sam wasn't having it though and coaxed me up the last bit where Steve B was still recovering after trying to keep up with the" beetroot kid".
Im so glad he did though because the views were fantastic in the clear night sky's.
turnip heed and beetroot

The descent was as bad as the ascent where I manged to trip up. This I fear was the last straw for turnip heed and beetroot and they disappeared into the night  leaving old sad arse to find his own way down!
Back at the car park Sam wanted to know if we were going to be going out on Wednesday nights again-
We are but your not invited anymore!!
Thursday and Friday I did nowt. Well thats not true - I felt sorry for myself.

Saturday and Steve Angus was wanting a shortish run so we decided to go up Blencathra via Blease and descend by Doddick. I used to be able to run all of this route but found it imposible today and walked a good bit of the steep fell side. With snow on the ground and high winds in our faces it was still tough going.
We got back to the cars after 1 1/2 hours and probably only 6 miles.

latrigg from Blease fell

stood in sumat Steve ?

I am starting Pilates next week. I'm still experiencing pain in my stomach. I am not going let it get to me.....

........ yet!!

Ive had a fuckin great week :-)