Saturday, 24 July 2010

Loadpot Fell Run

Since the Newlands road race on Wednesday night I have done nowt.
So today (Saturday) I had a run up to Loadpot, parking at Pooley Bridge, this makes the run about 10 miles and 2000ft.
Pre Bob Graham I would do this run from Roe Head car park and do it comfortably/easy in 1 hr 12 mins. Today I did it in 1hr 15mins, but instead of it feeling easy, it felt hard and I found myself having to work really hard, especially on the ups. The downs I took at a much slower pace then I normally would due to my groin still feeling tight.

When running this route I sometimes see the odd walker, but  the further on you go, the less chance you have of seeing anybody, so imagine my suprise when I was running back to the cockpit and seeing hoards of other runners coming towards me.
It turned out they were runners competing  in the Lakeland 50 mile race and ahead of them were other runners who had set off 12 hours earlier and were competing in the Lakeland 100 mile event.
This is an event that I might give a go some time, what better way of seeing Lakeland!

Tomorrow morning I am joining Steve Angus and some of his mates to do leg 1 of the Bob Graham, who have been in Keswick camping for 2 nights enjoying Steve's Stag doo ( I believe you had to sport a 1970s ponytail and sing ABBA songs to be part of the stag doo)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Newlands Valley Road Race

If I have got any serious intentions of doing the Langdale Marathon in September it might be an idea to start doing some road running, so with this in mind I drove out to Keswick on Wednesday night to tackle a tough 6.4 mile road race.

What a wake up call it turned out to be!!
The race set off and I was soon reminded just how hard road racing is. I clicked onto the second group of runners ( the first group were the elite) and ran with them for a couple of miles, but I soon found myself struggling to hold on to them and decided to back of a bit. I knew this was a mistake as I always find it harder to run alone in a race, but on this occasion I had no choice, I was done in..... at mile 3!!!
To make matters worse for me, my right shoe lace had come undone, but I knew that if I stopped to tie it back up I would end up jogging back, so I carried on, and to be honest it did not slow me down at all.
 Sure enough, other runners started picking me off and at one stage I was in with another group of 3 for a while, but I think they got sick of my shoe lace whipping their ankles and sped off.
With a mile to go I was more then happy to hold position and get to the finish line without trying to over take any one or let anyone else over take me. The runner in front of me was a good 50 yards ahead and he had glanced back to me, just to confirm that I was spent, I was.
With about 200 yards to go I was suddenly aware off someone galloping up on my right hand side. There was nothing else for it... not seen since Appleby school sports day in 1983..... the Stoddy kick.... and with that I was off, holding off the challenger (for 21st position) and charging past the poor guy in front who, by the time he realised what was going on  it was too late to react.
I crossed the finish line and said to myself  NEVER AGAIN.
Within a few minutes though the pain is forgotten and im catching up with some folk I aint seen in a while. They is also a strong presence of Eden runners, amongst them is Alan Marshall, who organises a lot of the  winter training for the club, I make a mental note that I must attend more this winter!

I said before the race to Steve Angus that I would be happy with 6min 18 sec miles and that is what I achieved with my time been 40mins 50 secs. This I am becoming to realise  is my opptimum speed limt, as when I look back at some of my PBs they are;

Half Marathon (keswick) 83mins
10 miles (Derwentwater) 63 mins

Both are 6min 18sec miles. (roughly)
So, for me to run faster times means I have to start doing things like intervals, fartleks, and more road running and I dont think I can be bothered with all that malakee , so I will contiue doing my long runs on the fells at the weekends and try and do a couple of road runs during the week.

Getting back to the Langdale Marathon, its going to be tough, less then 8 wks away and I have a 2 wk beach holiday to fit in. Last night showed me how far behind I am.
I am going to try and do Rydel round fell race next Thursday and if I get round without the groin playing up its Borrowdale the week after.

Monday, 12 July 2010

First Man On Mars

Today Mark Nicholson was the first man on Mars. Mark reached Mars in less then 3 days in his home made spaceship that he built in his garage out of spare bicycle parts (and a broken garmin).

The above paragraph would not surprise me if I read it in a newspaper in the future.

Last week I got a text of a mate telling me of Marks latest feat........cycling from John o Groats to Lands end. "No big deal" I thought as I knew he had done this several times before, but as I read on I was amazed to discover he had done it in less then 3 days!!!!! All up hill too (or is that the way it looks on a map).

This was just one of the many fantastic achievements Mark has done over the years, others include;

5 marathons in different continents in 12 months
Coast to Coasts (the wall and the Wainwright)
Iron man Triathlons
All The Wainwright s  (214 fell tops)
The Bob Graham Round ( the toughest!!!!)
Hill reps up Graham Street
and many many more....

As far as I know Mark does all these for charity, what a top top bloke.
                          Mark being chased on Mars by aliens!

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Feeling buoyed (is that spelt right) with the last weeks mileage, even though the niggles were still there, I thought it would be a good test for me to visit a regular 13 mile fell run that I do quite a bit.
Its a route that takes you over 4 tops and is all runnable, but testing (its quite tempting to walk at least 2 of the ups), but it would give me a good indication of where I was in terms of fitness

So on Saturday morning I set off and within a mile I could feel my right hip feeling tender, but after the first climb it had settled down. For the next 45 minutes things felt great, I was moving well, felt like I had a spring in my step and enjoying the environment that I was in (seen 3 other people on my run).

Then on the last steep descent I felt the top of my inner thigh tighten and made every footfall sore, so what do I do? stop? walk? no, carry on hoping it will ease off when I hit the flat.
Well it did ease of slightly so I pushed on with 4 miles still to go.
This route I normally complete in 2hours, so again I was pleased to see the clock back at the car record my time of 2 hrs 6 mins. Only 6 mins slower, but quite a hot day and the groin slowing me down. I drove home with the feeling  the speed was coming back.........This feeling did not last.
By the time I pulled up in my drive and tried to swing my legs out off the car the feeling had long gone.
During that afternoon I shuffled about the house and started googling "groin strains"on the PC. The readings were not very encouraging and im hoping that if I stay off the hills for a week or two, things will improve, fingers crossed.

Sunday was Skiddaw fell race so I took my camera to take some pics.
For 8 weeks before this race the weather has been glorious. 3 hours after the fell race the weather was glorious. During the fell race tho the weather was PANTS! and I was bloody soaked!!
But like the pro I am not, I stood my ground and waited for the runners to make their way up, with rain lashing me and hands numb I started clicking. I must off took a photo of every one on the way up and when the last one passed I had a quick look at camera only to realise the setting was wrong and most pictures were out of focus CRAP!!!
But like the pro I am I waited for the runners to return and started snapping again. On reviewing the pics when I got home they were CRAPPER still but managed to salvage a few.........only for one UNGRATEFUL ROAD RUNNER text me saying  how embarrassed he would of been taking such shabby photos. Thats what you get for sitting on a soaking wet fell (with a very sore groin) on a Sunday taking pictures of appreciative fell runners and STEVE ANGUS!

Apart from his complaints it has got to said that Mr Angus had a very good run today and I was very surprised to see him beat Mr Bennett.
Well done all.

The top photo was taken last year and shows  2 fell runners battling it out, a battle that lasted the last 2 miles.

The photo on the bottom shows a road runner from the 70s. (click on it to enlarge)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A Dash Up Dash Falls

Duped again!!
It was promised it would be a slow steady run up to Dash Falls by Mr Bennett last night.
I know I have lost a bit of fitness these last few weeks, but this is getting beyond the joke.
I thought I was running at a good steady pace , but it wasn't enough as Steve pressed on ahead as I struggled to keep within 20 metres of him and when I did catch up to him, he would pick up the pace again.
I couldn't see his face but I imagine it had a big smirk on it.
We finally reached Dash Falls where I made the most of the water that I was carrying and we were off back again, this time it felt faster though, so I adopted the "conservation trick" hoping it would slow him down, but no good, he was on a mission.
With a mile to go and the ground a bit rougher I dared to get within a metre of him but this made him more determined, in the end getting back to the car a good 20 seconds before me.
Pleased really because last week I had no life at all in the old pistols, but at least tonight I could at least try and pretend to race him. Things are getting easier, but I was alarmed to weigh myself and see that I have put 1/2 a stone on in the last 4 weeks.
Things will get better, I hope!