Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Good Shake!

I don't know what got into me with the last recce of leg 1, but I have given myself a good shake and I am more determined  than ever to have a good go at the Bob Graham Round.
I think one of my problems is that it is going to be six months till I attempt it, and the thought of doing nothing else but recces,  wore me down a bit. Also at the moment I feel as fit as I have ever been and the thought of losing the little bit of speed I have worked hard to get  frightened me a bit.
The following night I did my usual hilly 10 mile road run in a hard 69 Mins .
On  Wednesday night at the club I once again chickened out off  the mile reps ,opting to do a 7 mile run instead.
By Sunday I was chomping at the bit to get back on the fells and had planned a good run up to Thornthwaite Beacon from roe head but I only got as far as Loadpot due to bad weather, but what really made my mind up was the lace snapping on my speed cross  trainers ( the ones you pull tight), so it was an awkward run back to the car.
On Monday just gone I managed to get the 10 mile down to 68 Mins and on Wednesday we did the club Rocket Run, a 3 mile handicapped race, wished I had done more speed reps!
On Sunday I plan to do Derwentwater 10 road race at Keswick, last year I did it in 64 Mins.
I am also toying with the idea of getting the head torch out for Friday night for a run up Arthur's pike, but I'll wait and see what the weathers like first.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Leg 1 (again)

Wasn't quite with it today. This was the first time in months that I didn't enjoy running.
I set of from Spoony Lane at 8 o clock this morning, ran all the way up the side of Latrigg , only to realise I had left my water back  in the car (thought my pack was light), so after running back down , started again, nothing like a blast up Latrigg to warm you up tho!
Trudged up Skiddaw in 66 Min's and when I got to the fence took  a  Bearing for any future recces I might do  in the dark. Reached Calva in 39 Min's and then followed the fence all the way down. When I got to the Caldew I took another Bearing and crossed it. The slogg up to Blencathra summit which was reached in 60 Min's. Came down Halls Fell in 29 Min's but the conditions were horrible and then ran the 4 miles along the railway track back to Keswick. 3 Hours 14 Min's for the leg.
Noticed that most of the fence posts have been moved at the start of the climb of Gt Calva. The only 3 left  are on the straight path up when your out of the heather, and they had the reflector tape taken off them.
This was my first run since Wednesday and it felt awful, almost like a chore. Its still 6 months till I attempt the Bob Graham and  innitially I was going to knock all other racing on the head, in order to train up for this, but after today I think I will still do the odd race, just to break it up a bit.
Perhaps today was just one of them days where you ask yourself if its worth it.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

More Of This Needed

On Saturday morning I parked up at Dunmail Summit to recce the 1st section of leg 3 of the Bob Graham Round. This part of the round I have very little knowledge off ,so it was always going to be a challenge on the navigation front.
My plan was to get as far as Rossett pike and than return to Thunacar Knot and watch the leaders of the Langdale Horseshoe come through the 1st checkpoint.
The climb up Steel Fell wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be and the summit was reached easily. To help me get round this part of the course I had printed out some route notes off the bob wightman site. An excellent idea, even better if I had remembered my map to go with it! How bloody stupid of me, but  the notes had some bearings on, so I carried on map less.
I was soon on Calf Crag and with clear skies enjoying myself, not a soul to be seen anywhere.
For the next summit I am not sure which is the best route. The route I went was Sergeant Man and then High Raise, but I found the ground a little difficult. I wonder if its better to go up to High Raise first and then drop down to Sergeant Man? Plenty of time to recce this leg again and seek advice too.
From High Raise its easy running to Thunacar Knot (I am familiar with this part of the course from the Langdale Horseshoe last year) and then on to Harrison Stickle and Pike o'stickle. This was the first time I had been on these pikes and again I need to recce them for the fastest way off them.
I had 45 Min's left before the front runners would be coming so instead of carrying on to Rossett Pike I Explored round Pavey Ark for a bit and then ran back to Thunacar, where a crowd was now gathering.

It was fantastic to see how effortless the leaders seem to run, the first 5 or so had a big lead already. I waited for a club mate to come by, gave him a gel and then decided to get back to the car. I ran all the way back the same way I came, feeling a bit better about this leg. After 2 years of looking at it on a map it certainly is alot different to how I imagined it to be.

On Sunday I was going to have an easy day but on Saturday evening I got an email of Steve Angus(aka best athlete and author of ' adventures of a cumbrian ruuner') to go for a tough fast fell run.
On Sunday morning I found myself legging it over leg 2 of the bg on a 15 hour schedule! Not the best way to prepare for an attempt, but good fun and again really enjoyed the crack with Steve.  Anybody who wants to get faster I suggest you read some of his training days on cumbrian runner. Was very pleased with the descent of Seat Sandall, taking it easy in 14 Min's.

On Monday night I did my 10 mile road circuit in 74 Min's, 4 Min's slower then I wanted but wasn't to bothered about it after all the fell miles I had covered over the weekend.
Tonight (Wednesday) it was club night and speed reps, but chickened out of them and did a steady 7 miles around town instead.
This weekend I hope to do Leg 1 again.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Wednesday Club Night

Well I couldn't put it off any longer, with the dark nights closing in it was time to return to the club. In Spring some of the fell runners stop going to club sessions, instead preferring to run on the fells, which I have done since April.
A quick look on the club website revealed it was time trial night, a lung busting 1,75 mile road run where you set off  in twos and threes at 30 second intervals, a real shock to the system after plodding along all summer.
I was surprised at how many new members had joined since I was last there, what can only be good news for the club. It was also good to catch up too with people I hadn't seen in a while.
I was in the first group with Alex and Alan who had recently just ran the GNR in 1.19.and 1.25 respectively.
Before long we were off with Alex taking an early lead followed by me and Alan. Alex not sure on the course went on the road for a bit , whilst me and Alan sneaked up on the path for the first corner. After about 400 meters I was in the lead when Alex came by (at first I thought he was on a bike he was going that fast) and just carried on pulling away. About half way round there is a downhill section where I thought I would be able to recover a bit ready for the last up hill section to the finish, no such luck, all I could hear was Alan's foot steps getting closer to me so I had to keep pushing on.
I kept wanting to look behind me to see how close he was , but thought this might have given him a sign as just how knackered I was, but I suspect he knew how tired I was by the grunting noises I was making! I managed to cross the line 6 seconds before Alan and 21 seconds behind Alex.
Winter training back with a bang! oh and if Alan had been bothered to take his jacket off he probably would off beaten me by at least 6 seconds.
Roll on Spring!
On Monday night I intended to run a steady 10 mile on the road but felt rubbish and cut it short to 6.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Ian Hodgson Relay

Well I'm glad that's over with!
On Tuesday I recced leg 4 again, to try and find a better line coming off Hart Crag. This time parking my car at Brotherswater to get the 3 mile road run out of the way with. All was fine till I came of the road and onto the fell, my ankle was in pain. I carried on when really I should of walked back to my car, but foolishly carried on at a very slow pace.
Once on St Sunday I was in the cloud and mist and really wasn't enjoying myself at all.I finally got to Hart Crag and took a line down onto Hartsop Above How dropping down to the main footpath after Black Crag. This steep descent was going to be way me and Steve would run on race day. The path back to Brothers water was torture on my ankle. At this point I didn't think I would make it on Sunday.
After a session with Ray Pescod(stretched ligaments)on Thursday and no running at all , my ankle begins to feel a bit better.
I also gave up my entry for the Langdale Horseshoe next week. I feel like I have had enough of racing at the moment and want get some long slow miles in instead, the focus being on the Bob Graham for next May.

Fast forward Sunday and I'm stood in Patterdale sports field(ankle well taped up) talking to some other Eden Runners, waiting for Anth and Derek to come in from leg 3, in about 10 Min's time , when all of a sudden they appeared, so with a mad dash to the pass over point to exchange dibbers  we were off, still tying our bumbags on.

Derek and Anth

The initial climb was tough but we both worked hard with me tailing Steve all the way. Ankle was feeling fine and we managed to catch and over take 3 more teams before reaching St Sunday. The descent off St Sunday would be a real test for my ankle but it held up well and to be fair it never held me back at all. We caught another 2 teams up before Hart Crag. The descent of Hart Crag was OK and we were soon running along the ridge. After Black Crag we took the steep descent (half of it on my backside, which was faster then my running speed) to the path for the run to the finish.
 All the way we ran together or with Steve slightly ahead and it worked well, the only time I really got ahead was the last 20 yards to the finish line, taking the glory!

Keep up Steve!

Our time was 1.26 and our goal was to be under 1.30. Looking back we could see where we might of made some time up, but overall happy enough with that. Another good day out on  the hills.

Well almost a good day, me and Steve had to run another 3 miles on the road back to the car at Patterdale!

Christine and Penny (mixed team)