Sunday, 28 March 2010

A very very easy Saturday!

This was my last week of messing about on the High Street range of fells, as much as I love running these fells, I realise I need to get some proper hills in my legs for my fast approaching BG attempt.
I am also going to start having a more detailed look at legs 3 and 4, as they say (and I believe them) that the bob Graham does not start until Dunmail.

Im hoping that my pacers will be available to help me recce leg 3(stand up Iain Kelly and Steve (oh my legs are tired today) Angus). I have been over most of the route before in various fell races but never been to BS or Lords Rake.

Leg 4 I have sort of recced before, but plans to recce it again with Mark Nicholson and Craig Harding can be more easily made.

I am lucky to have some very good support for my attempt, all lads that I know and trust and have the upper most respect for, I hope I dont let them down.

Leg 1 and 2 I am very familiar with, but I again realise I am going to have to be cautious on the these first two legs and have again got Strong support, Derek Hurton and Anth Labrum for leg 1 and Robin Gillespie for leg 2. Dave Owen was to help out on leg 2 along with Robin but unfortunately has had to pull out. I still hope to see him somewhere on the day tho.

Leg 5 I plan to have a look at over Easter and on this leg I have no shortage of support but at the moment I have Shaun Haridsty, Andrew Murray and Steve Hartley.
I know it still 9wks off yet but it is important for me to know I have got the backbone of the attempt in place. No doubts they will be other changes before May but hopefully not to unsettling.
This week has once again been an okish  with a good run out on Wednesday night doing a recce of Askham fell race route along with Steve And Sam.

Thursday I again did 9 road miles but with the 200m hill reps thrown in on route. Im doing these to try and maintain a little bit of speed.

Saturday was a 20 odd mile fell run with Steve Angus. Steve is doing London Marathon next month is hoping to get under 2hrs 45mins (no chance!). In his youth he has managed 2hrs 34mins(very quick, any photos to prove it Steve?)
We were accompanied by his dog, Daisy, who put up a better display of hill running then her master and soon    tagged on to me, looking behind occasionally in shame!!!
OK to be fair, Steve had done 60 odd miles in his last five runs, hasn't been on the fells in months, was dressed for winter rather then spring and did not have a clue where he was, so I thank him for making me look and feel good!!!

Today (Sunday) I parked up at Threlkeld and ran up to Stybarrow and back. 1hr16 out and 59mins back.
Legs were a bit tired from yesterday but I wanted to push myself a bit and once up Clough Head (40 mins) I ran it all. 21 GT Dodd, 7 Watson Dodd and 8 Stybarrow Dodd in very windy conditions too.
With longer days now I hope to get some climbs in on week nights after work, if the weather allows it.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Middlefell Fell Race

46 miles run last week but I feel like im not putting enough climb/effort in those miles, maybe taking it a bit easy and not pushing myself hard enough.
On Saturday I made the trip over to Nether Wasdale and the Screes Inn for Middlefell Fell Race at 6.6mile/1750f it would prove a welcome distraction for me.
About 50 runners lined up at the start where you run along lanes and fields for the first mile or so until you reached Greendale and the fell bottom .
I was soon in my running stride and settled in about 10th position for the steep climb up the fell. I made a couple of places up on the climb but lost a place to Jackie Winn  about half way up where we had a brief discussion about the bg, he also said he would show me a quick line off the fell. I turned at the summit about 50 yards behind him but he was gone. ( Thats what I call a quick line)
I had quite a good descent passing one other runner (ok his quads had ceased up but hey ho). I was looking forward to the long run in thinking I might catch another runner about 200 yards in front of me, but running along the bottom I soon realised I was stuck at one speed. Maybe not such a good idea of avoiding  Alan's speed sessions on a club nigh now.
I managed to hold on for 9th place, my 3rd top 10 this year  so happy with that. The race tho was dominated by Keswick who had 3 in the top 4 and are looking strong for the year ahead. It was good to see Ian Davis back in good form too.

I plan to get back on the bg trail next week.

Monday          rest
Tuesday         rest
Wednesday    8 mile fell run
Thursday        9 mile road run inc 8 x200m hill reps (had forgotten how hard these are)
Friday            rest
Saturday        Middlefell Fell Race
Sunday          22 mile fell run

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Change Is As Good As A Rest..... I Hope.


This week I have kept away from the Bob Graham route and returned to my favourite fells, the High Street range on the eastern flanks off Ullswater.
On Monday evening I parked up at roe head and ran up to Arthurs Pike, spending a few minutes on the summit watching the sun go down the back of Blencathra. Ran back to the car feeling very satisfied.

On Wednesday evening, along with Steve B and Sam Ware (and Sam's dog, Fern) we all ran up to Loadpot at what felt like a very fast pace. There was still patches of snow and ice in places so we were all fighting to find the line with the most grass showing. We ran up the front of Loadpot and had a bit of a sprint to the trig point, which Steve won, mind you he did have a point to prove after dropping out at Clough Head the week before!! On the way back the head torches got turned on the pace was even faster on the way back. A good night of running.

Thursday I did 12 road miles which included 2 laps of the new streets race route. Did not enjoy this at all, I think my legs were wanting a rest or maybe something flatter would of been better for me.

Saturday I ran up to Thornthwaite Beacon, my favourite run, which I have neglected for a while.Not sure on the distance but I seem to think it might be 20 miles.  High Raise, Kidsty Pike and High Street were still in snow, the sort that doesn't quite hold your weight, making it even harder to run in. Ran it all, only stopping to take the odd photo and sitting down at the beacon to eat my Eccles cake.
Looking back up High Street

Froswick and Ill Bell

Running back and my legs were once again feeling it, especially the down hill parts, they never felt relaxed and I could feel every landing going up right through my knees.
Got back to roe head and bumped into Dave Owens (again) and he thought I might be over doing it. That is what I was thinking the last 3 miles too, so I will maybe back off a bit, but it was probably just one of them days, I hope.

So on Sunday I went from 20 odd miles to 3 and it was the best 3 miles I have ran for ages and a new fell for me too. Great Mell Fell is a fell I always look at when driving to Keswick and for the past 2 years I have wanted to run up it but never have.....until today.
Parking my car at the bottom of the old "firing range" I set off running to the foot of it, deciding on the way that I would run up the front of it, two thirds up and im bent over, hands on knees, maybe running it a a bit optimistic . Get to the top a short while later and its over  too quickly, so I run down the other side, which is more gentler and best of all is im running on soft grass and mud, not hard frozen ground or snow and ice and it feels brilliant, for the first time since December the ground is soft. Get to the bottom and I run all the way back up to the summit and back down the steep side. I am reminded here of just how crap I am at descending but im soon back at the car. This is one Fell that I am going to revisit again and again.

Great Mell Fell

View from the top

So with over 50 miles this week I will keep going but not do two long runs so close together again for a while.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Still Plodding

The week after Buttermere was a recovery week for me. I was surprised how much it took out of me, but what could I expect with so little road training.. So not surprising that the following week I only managed 28 fell miles, 18 of these was leg 1 on a foul morning where I was lost on Blencathra summit in a total white out and decided to retreat back down towards Mungrisdale Common (I thought I was heading towards Skiddaw House) and to the Cloven Stone where I joined the path back to Threlkeld. It was quite a shock to me and a good reminder how quickly conditions can change, no matter how well you know a particular fell, how quickly you can become disorientated. After saying that tho I must of been moving well , because I still got back to my car in Threlkeld in less then 4 hours after setting off from there!.

The following week was not so exciting. 52 miles ran. If anything I got a bit down this week about the bg. The reason was I enjoy fell racing more then anything. It does not matter what position I come, but they is always a point in the race where I cant think off anything more then I would rather be doing at that particular moment. I  suppose I  was thinking off some off the great fell races I was going to miss leading up to my attempt and just after it. Hopefully it will be worth it though.

This week has seen me doing 59 miles. On Tuesday I met up with Clive King, who is also attempting the bg this year. Clive had never seen leg 1 in day light so I suggested we do the 1st 2 legs, leaving a car in Keswick and the other in Dunmail. The going was fairly tough with a fresh dump of snow the night before, making the climb of Clough Head interesting to say the least. Clive is also 1 speed, which thinking about it, is what you need to be to get you round the Bob Graham. Plodding away, 1 foot in front of the other, constant speed, up and down, perfect. I have not got that discipline though, more off a crash, bang, wallop, oh shit sort of a runner. A very good day out and good crack with Clive.
Great Calva Summit

Seat with a view

Wednesday was club night and 200m reps, in which I once again declined and opted to run a fast 7 miles with Steve. Good thing running with Steve is it always ends up a speed session and feels more like a race, good training. I always run to and from the club too.

No prizes for guessing what I did on Saturday then..... Legs 1 and 2 again with Steve. This time though I wanted to run the 1st 2 legs at the pace Im going to do it on the day. Dont think I got this quite right though, doing leg 1 in 3.14, with a fair bit of snow on the ground too. What pleased me was my descent from Blencathra summit to Threlkeld CC, 22 mins, my fastest yet. We were joined by Mark Nicholson for leg 2, who wanted to show me a different line up Fairfield to what I am used to. Once again the climb up Clough Head proved challenging  with all the snow and on reaching the summit Steve had decided he had had enough and would run back to Keswick and leave my car at Dunmail for me and Mark. 
I always go to the right of the tarn, up to the col and then trudge/crawl up fairfield. This time tho Mark took me left of the tarn and showed me a more direct line up. Too much snow today for that line though so we ran to the col and climbed Seat Sandall, missing out Fairfield all together, I tried to convince myself with all the snow on the tops it equalled the climb of Fairfield for effort! 7Hours 15 mins including a 15-20 stop at Threlkeld waiting for Mark. Still too fast but all good training. When the clocks change I intend to recce Marks way on a night time, timing both ascents to see which one I prefer.