Sunday, March 30, 2014
TF very kindly shepherded me round the Heptonstall fell race on Saturday to record a finishing time an hour slower than she did last year.
The high temperatures forecast did not materialise as a brisk easterly breeze kept levels down and at times provided a strong headwind.
From the outset we were at the back and manged to pull back only a couple of places by the end of the 15 miles of the route that mixes boggy peat, pastureland, hard tracks with a few wooded steep and muddy ascents and descents.
This is very much a community backed race with much support from Heptonstall residents all round the route, marshaling and encouraging the runners who also received a short sermon and a blessing from the local vicar at the start.
Haven't found any results yet and I don't expect to find much comfort in the fact that we probably finished third and and fourth from the tail in about four and a quarter hours. That won't diminish the pleasure of completing what was a well organised event in a testing yet inspiring environment.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I ran 57:00 in 2012 and 72:06 in 2013, so I am keen to see if my new medication can turn back the clock.
Happy to provide lifts if anyone is interested.
I was about to set off solo from the Lower Barn when CW turned up on foot. Coming back from a long lay-off, he had parked below the pigeon tower and reported for a very short tour of duty via a slightly roundabout route. Shortly after we set off, t'Y overtook us (in his car) then parked and joined in. He had fallen playing basketball (!?) a couple of weeks ago and damaged his ribs, so didn't want to run for very long.
CW returned to his car without gaining further altitude, leaving t'Y and me to take in the Pike. Then it was Wilderswood, where t'Y turned for home, leaving me to climb Two lads, the Pike, Noon Hill, Winter Hill, Two Lads and (for the third time) the Pike; I don't have much imagination.
Then, just after crossing George's Lane into the gardens, there they were, not one but two tree creepers, and they were doing what tree creepers do. Apparently, they can only creep up trees, not down. So their brief flights from most ways up one tree tend to be down to the near the bottom of the next. One soon flew out of sight, but the other did a couple of tree transfers and at one point showed off its fine white underside. So next time we're out, NLN, we'll creep around the trees in that area and see if we can manage a repeat sighting, and possibly even a photo.
Wednesday saw Our Northern Correspondent and me on top of Wasdale screes:-
Whilst Thursday saw me on a short run up Irton Pike, where the new asthma medication seemed to be working its magic, propelling me to my second fastest time since May 2011.
Monday, March 24, 2014
A great weekend in the Lakes with the Rucksack Club tackling the Buttermere Parish Boundary on Saturday – more of the route and pics at Out and About
Early morning at Penruddock looking towards Hellvellyn
Climbing up to Red Pike
Into the blizzard
The view from Dale Head
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Not the best prepared on race day - main road shut at Disley which involved a detour through New Mills after consulting the paper atlas, the Sat Nav and my phone!
So arrived approx. 10mins later then planned. Parked in the field and decided to make one trip to the registration. Slight problem, thought I had everything, but having had my kit checked and then went over to get my number I could see an extra column on the list with my dibber number in it. Where was my dibber? In the car - aaaaargh. Completely forgot about getting a discount for having my own dibber.
Got my number and sorted my rucksack and then ran back to the car for dibber. Arrived in start field at 10:30am - race start time. Thankfully the organizer was still going through the pre-race safety talk.
I liked the new diversion, lot softer on the feet. Mucked up my timing schedule though but I felt if I was on the top of Lose Hill in about 2hrs then I stood a chance of clearing the cut off. Wind in our face along the ridge but got to Mam Nick in 2:35. What a mixed blessing! I had to carry on. It was definitely hard work on the route to Brown Knoll, not quite as boggy as I feared, but not a lot of running done.
The check point at Jacobs Ladder had been moved slightly east, so it was a new contouring route up to the main path. Nailed the 'grough' route behind the Wool Packs and Crowden Tower (needs a bit of work for a poor vis day) which gained me a few places. Then finally onto Grindslow Knoll. Do I/don't I. Blow it, I went for the down and up. Said 'boo' to the marshalls on Ringing Roger as they were looking out for runners coming along the path!!
Final finish time 5:15:55, 20mins slower than 2012, 5 mins on first half, 15 on second. 50 mins slower than 2011!!
Did the down and up work. Well I think so, I have to scroll up 30 places for someone finishing with a faster split time for that section. So I'll be keeping it in! Results are on the sportident website www.sportident.co.uk
I'll be out doing Heptonstall next week with YJ
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
SN and I tried to get a clear photo shot, but as with so many newsworthy scenes nowadays, some weirdo had got there first; this one, apparently, fancying herself as a hokey cokey entrant to 'Strictly'.
Note to self - must find out about 'cropping'.
More info at:- http://www.chorley.gov.uk/news/Pages/Rivington-Pike-Turns-Red.aspx
The Fleet half marathon turned out to be a big disappointment to both myself and daughter Sally, neither of us getting anywhere near our expected times.
The trip down south started well enough but traffic problems on the M25 turned the journey into a nearly 11 hour ordeal reaching Brighton late in the afternoon, just in time to change and meet son Eden off the London commuter train for a six mile run home, followed after a few hours sleep by a 9.5 mile run.
So far so good, until the next morning when a foot injury that had not manifested itself the night before made even walking extremely painful. Not very encouraging with the Fleet half only four days away. Intensive treatment - lots of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation - had the swelling reduced and most of the pain gone and strapping to the foot completed the preparation. The only explanation for the injury could be the change to a new pair of shoes, barely broken in for training, let alone racing. It was back to the old, worn shoes for the event.
With no running for three days prior to the race expectations of a good run had diminished and the weather forecast of high temperatures was further bad news.
Sunday dawned with clear skies and hardly a breath of wind. From the gun there was nothing in the legs and as the heat built the mile times got slower and slower taking me to the finishing line in 2.02.03 (chip 2.01.12) by far the slowest time ever in a half marathon. That put me in third place over 70, miles (literally) behind the winner and 1500th out of 2445 finishers.
Sally trundled round in 2.48.29 (chip 2.45.38) and finished with a broad smile on her face in 2409th place.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
A helluva wind and so a relatively low level route, although not much shelter on the path out to Whimberry Hill and along to the ramp. A good thirteen miles for SS and myself with TF joining us briefly and EtU only missing out on Lead Mines Clough
Long time since I was on this path crossing R Douglas, but nice and sheltered it was too
Slightly more exposed at Two Lads
Someone trying to tell us something!
Out to Whimberry Hill
Gorse and gloomy sky – but no rain was seen
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
This was Rachel's first solo participation in a multi-event and she was a little apprehensive of what lay in store. However, unfazed by the strong competition, she paced herself well and completed both runs inside her target pace of 9 minute miling and completed the whole event in 2:37:32, just 88% on top of Brian Fogarty's time (the winner) of 1:23:43.
I had a nasty attack of the wheezes and dropped out after the first 1.6 mile lap of the two lap run course. Disappointing as my training has been going well recently and I ran my best track session of the year the day after.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I won't be out on Saturday 15th as I shall be boldly venturing into TLoB territory (that's anywhere south of the M4) for the Fleet half marathon on Sunday 16th. I shall however be out on Wednesday 19th leaving the lower barn at Rivington at 8.30 am if anyone cares to join me. EtU has already indicated a possible turnout.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Friday, March 07, 2014
Had a bit of a 'woe is me' moment earlier in the week after the slow time at Black Combe and began to wonder if it wasn't worth handing my entry back.
The route off Win Hill has been diverted possibly adding some extra distance, and more crucially biting into the dreaded cut-off. However having re-read the report from when I last ran (2012, 2013 was snow-bound in March) I realised I've got a bit more time to play with than I thought.
In 2012 I did BC in 1:59 and was at Mam Nick in 2:29 (cut off - 2:45). This years BC was 2:07 (cut off still 2:45) so going to be touch and go. but if I do get through the down&up from Grindslow Knoll had better pay off if I'm to keep under the 5hr mark.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I was out of action for ten days due to a back strain but managed to get myself to the final Mid-Lancs XC at Kendal where I played my little part in securing the title for Horwich (mainly giving our leading six some aggro when they lapped me to make them go faster - it worked as we won by the massive margin of 3 points). Full story in this weeks BEN and this month's Runaround for those who are members of Horwich.
I'll probably be able to make UTUP this Saturday.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
One of my fav races this one. I also had potential cracker of a race in the Kendal Winter League lined up for the day after. So to avoid clocking too many miles on the car I opted for a stop over in a Kendal B&B for the weekend.
I was expecting a 2hr+ time and that's what I got. With sportident timing it does allow you to analyse strengths and weakness and this year with out a doubt the weak bits far out-shone the strengths. The only strength I can consider was, turning up!
My times have yo-yo'd somewhat. Starting in 2009 with a DNF, 2010 with 2:16, 2011 - 1:52, 2012 - 1:59, 2013 - 1:54 and finially 2014 - 2:07. Hardly consistent racing and not looking good for Edale in 3 weeks.
Nice to see TYC out having another go (believe it or not I beat him last year!), his finish time was heading in a better direction to mine full results here http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=2241
Cautley (KWL) Sun 2nd March
Another day, another race. Speaking to one of the Dallam ladies the day before, she assured me this would be just as good as Barbondale.
The seniors race was heading up a different hill to the juniors.
At 12:00pm the juniors could see the top of their hill (photo taken from the road looking northwest)
Despite the disappointment with my current level of fitness, it was a good weekend of racing and will definitely be looking to book again for next year.
This weeks challange - sort the mid week training regime out. It clearly isn't working.