Sunday, 28 November 2010

Woodys Round Up

Possibly my favourite photo of the year

The day after Brampton - Carlisle 10 mile road race I met up with Scamp to run leg 1 of the Bob Graham Round, unfortunately he brought Steve A along too so it was a case of me and Scamps having a good run out and Steve A yapping all the way round. We missed the climb of Blencathra though and opted to run along to Skiddaw House and then back to Threlkeld. A good  3hrs out and it was good to catch up with Scamps!
Good to have Steve A back running too. 

Monday night I did nowt and on Tuesday I set of to do a good 8 miles but cut it short to about 4. I was starving and felt horrible.

Working late on Wednesday and parents evening on Thursday but managed a good 8 mile run after it.

Friday is traditionally shopping night in the stoddys household so not much chance of fitting a run in, fish and chips the more likely option.

Saturday I had 3 choices. Kirkbymoor fell race, Ravonstonedale 10k or Cumbria cross country at Maryport.
The big dumping of snow made my choice for me though, with kirkbymoor to far on the back roads and Ravonstonedale cancelled it was the shortest and most boring option, the cross country at Maryport. After having the drive from hell to get there (window washers frozen up) I got there to be told some knob had put a stonking big poster of me up in the register area........Steve f*****g  Angus advertising his race photos!

As for the race, well I never know how to run a race under half marathon distance - go off quick and hang on or set off steady and try and make places up - I decided to set of quick, so quick that I was still with eventual race winner Steve Hepplethwaite of Keswick AC after 1 lap. Needless to say that I crashed and burned and finished 4th out of the fast group, but for 3/4 of a lap I like to think I had Steve  h case I had a heart attack!!!!
He said to me at the end that he looked over his shoulder and thought ...
"bloody hell, its Stu?"
Good fun and 4 other Eden runners made the long trip too.
Me chasing Steve H down!!!!
Thanks to athlets in action photos for above image

Today, Sunday I was going to park at Askham and then run to Boredale Hause  and back, a good 4 hours I was hoping for, but again there was another fresh dumping of snow and after getting the Sunday papers in the car, decided that it was too risky to drive out of town. This is when I came up with my brilliant idea. Bike out, do the run , bike back.
I got a mile and after nearly coming off for the 3rd time and unable to feel my fingers gave up on this hair brain plan and returned home, again nearly falling off.
After defrosting my fingers I gave up on fell run plan and opted to run out of town and through Lowther Park to Askham and back, about 10 miles.
With the snow it really was a picturesque run.

Some photos below and more at  my Flickr

Sorry for all the photos today, but it really was a great run/photo day.
No sign of Steve B this week but reports have reached me that he is having an assault on the new streets race on Wednesday night. Report to follow.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

59.46........And Relax.

Over the last few months, I have used this blog to poke fun at some good running pals, notably Steve Bennett and Steve Angus, both have been, and still are (well maybe not Stevie B any more )  very, very good road runners.
Both of them have, countless times ran well under the hour for ten miles and well under three hours for the marathon, both of them I have uppermost respect for ( well maybe not Stevie A), and have recorded times that I will never get close to, but neither of them have done the Bob Graham Round in 21 hours.
In fact they haven't even attempted the BGR.......yet.
So for that reason alone they will carry on been the blunt of my crap jokes. Losers.

My point is for the last 2-3 months I have been road running, a lot, mainly to try and get under the hour for ten miles which I consider the Holy Grail for me!

After some decent half marathon times I thought I would push myself a little bit harder and try for it at Brampton - Carlisle, today.

The race sets of from Brampton, after getting a bus from Carlisle and you run back, the course is historically quick mainly because the changing rooms/showers are small at the sands centre. First back, first changed!
Walking nervously to the start

I set off with the plan of keeping up someone one who I thought I could keep up with. I couldn't.

After the first mile I glanced down at my watch only to realise that I had not set it off. I pushed the start button again and decided I would keep check on my time from now.
I tried to keep with this guy. He ran it in 56 mins

At mile two the fella I was trying hard to keep up with was obviously too quick for me and I let him go. I glanced down at my watch to see what time I had ran the second mile in.It was blank, I had failed to press the button correctly. I gave up on the stop watch idea and reverted back to GMT.

At five miles I was really struggling with the pace and felt rubbish. I calculated that if the race had set off on time I had ran the 1st 5 miles in 29 minutes. This spurned me on, but more importantly I stopped trying to race people around me and started to relax more. My running improved and it felt easier. 6,7 and 8 miles felt much better. I have ran this race a few times before and never have liked mile 8 to 9 but I pushed on and even caught another runner up. The last mile was a case of just hanging on but I felt like I was catching people up.
Club mate Alan M storming around

I crossed the finish line and asked the guy who was right behind me what his time was, he said "59.48". But I still couldn't be sure if I had managed it.

After collecting my bag from the holding room and had a quick shower (they are actually quite big) and then went outside to wait anxiously for the results to come through.

Again a good turn out from Eden Runners, who this week have fielded three teams for the Pennine relays in January. For a smallish club, quite a achievement.

Bumped into Steve Angus, who had also ran the race. He has only started running  2 weeks ago after a stress fracture had stopped him running for 10 weeks.
He was 11 minutes behind his PB for this course.
He still managed 64 minutes tho!!
Steve Angus. Gobbing off no doubt.

Finally the results came out and my time was 59.46

Wonder when the two Stevens are going to step up to the Bob Graham Round?

Big thanks to Micheal Pluckrose for the photos. ( with the use of Stevie A's camera)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Dunnerdale Fell Race

A few weeks ago, Craig Smith of Keswick AC described to me Dunnerdale  as a smaller version of the Langdale Horseshoe, and a fell race that I would enjoy...........well I beg to dither, I would describe it as Four little Ben Nevis's!!

As soon as my feet left the road and onto the fell I was in trouble, maybe I had set off too quick, but what ever it was I knew for the next 50 minutes it was going to be a struggle. I was relieved to reach the first checkpoint thinking that most of the climbing was done. No such luck. It was only the first of four little steep climbs.
I was feeling absolutely done in, and other runners were streaming passed me all the time. This continued till the last half mile where a bit of power retuned to my legs and lungs and I managed to over take 3 of them before the finish.Never have been so glad to see the finish line, you would think that I had ran a marathon, not 5 mile and 1800ft of climb.
I finished in 41st position in a time of 49.05.
Four other Eden runners had made the trip into Lancashire (only joking ) for the race, one of them been Sam Ware, who sometimes runs with me and Steve Bennett on a Wednesday night. After telling Steve of Sam's good run, it was agreed that we need to find someone slower to run with now!

I always find these short races hard and even so I found this one tough, it was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Great pie at the end is enough for me to give it another go next year.

Verdict. More fell miles and hills needed.

I'm not sure if Craig Smith reads this blog, but if he does, you should do the Great Lakes Run, its a bit like Latrigg!!

The photos below were taken by Luke Appleyard. Thanks.
Kim Colinson
Sam Ware
Still cursing Craig Smith
Gary Johnson
Andy Ramsay

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Derwentwater 10

Runners start in the shade.

Along with 585 other runners I lined up on the main street in Keswick for the Derwentwter 10 road race.

The race set off at a fair old pace, well for me it did anyway, I never can tell how to pace a race and as a result ended up doing the first mile in 5.30, which is OK if your capable of running sub 60, im not.

At the five mile mark I was bang on 30 minutes and I was feeling it.

The next mile was up hill and I should of been a lot stronger on it, but I felt like I was really having to work hard.

On the top I started getting caught by the odd runner and over the last 3 miles I got passed about 7 times,
I crossed the finish line in 61 minutes 40 seconds and in 38th position.

During the race I never felt relaxed at all, maybe I was trying too hard, but I never felt like I was running comfortably and the runners who passed me all looked relaxed and easy.

As you can tell I wore my watch.

There's another local 10 mile road race coming up in a couple of week s and I will carry on trying to get my speed up over the winter months, but also get out on the fells for a few long days.

James Douglas won in 51.56 followed by the Borrowdale pair of Morgan Donnelly and Chris Steele a minute behind.

As always a good turn out by Eden runners.

On Saturday I did a few miles on my bike and I think I'm beginning to enjoy it.

You can just make out my house between the trees. Not.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Having A Moan

The day after doing military service for the RAF I punished my self more with a tough and hilly 9 mile run, it was the least I deserved. 

Following a family weekend away where the most tiring thing I did was splash about in the hotel pool, I again did the same tough and hilly 9mile run which was followed the next day by some 1 mile reps.....
I hate reps of any sort.

Surely I had punished myself enough, well it appeared not as the next night I found my self doing hill reps with Eden runners.

It was after doing them and I was running back home that a thought came into my head "WHY ?".

For the past 2 years I have slowly improved by...... running.
Nothing more than that, running, uphill down hill,sometimes pushing myself, sometimes not, but nothing compared to what I have been doing these last few weeks.

I never used to wear a watch but now its the first thing I look for before a run.
Now I find myself timing a recovery run!!!
I think im in danger of taking something I really enjoy  too serious.
Yes I want to get faster but do I want to do it to a watch?

In the Cumbrian run this year I was looking at my watch every mile.

Last year I used to run on feel, if I got tired, slow down.

For the last 2 years my speed session has been to try and do as many races as possible

I'm doing the Derwent water 10 this weekend where 2 years ago I ran 64mins 24 secs.
It will be interesting to see if any improvements have been made.

I think im just a lazy trainer but on a more positive note Stevie A is back jogging and Stevie B is wanting to jog more then run at the moment.

Derek, me and anth all set for the off
Getting congratulated by George.

 No recent photo action so threw these ones in . Before and after.