Thursday, 31 May 2012

The recovery

So I’ve had chance to recover and recuperate. I was a bit of a mess Sunday and Monday night and wifey was fantastic over the weekend doing lots of the house chores. However, I don’t think I was much company for her on my return. I then had a further chance to recover Tuesday as had a day off to see the plumbers round to sort a supply pipe leak we’d been having, whilst she was away on business.

nice pipe, nice hole

The leak is now fixed and electricals back together but I’ve still a bit of a mess to sort out and fencing to re-instate! It wasn’t quite as relaxing a day as expected with some further chores myself to do plus the tidy up of the mess being made.

Wednesday was food shop and trying to chill, but it turned into a finishing off of tasks (and filling the hole the elecy guys had made!). Soon I’m sure we’ll have moles taking up residence as they’ll like the look of the place!

Anyhoo, no exercise for me so far this week. Here’s a link to the day 2 of Lakeland fun, it stops early on which is just battery dying, we carried on south east as described via the three tarns. However, there should be some good write ups post next week, so long as the weather plays ball. Plus some time spent with my wife!!!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Lakeland fun: BG 3 plus a bit

Plus some suffering.

As I wrote Friday, the plan was to head up and meet with Don (saunders partner) for another training jaunt. We’d changed the plan to originally do the welsh 3000’s over a weekend and instead were going to the lakes to do leg 3 of the bob graham round on the Sat, plus a bit of leg 4 on the Sunday.

Driving straight from work I was listening to the bulletins wondering where I’d get stuck. However, luckily I managed a fairly clear drive and was in the lakes by ten and at the pub for a pint and map rekkie. I’ve a fairly good map-memory so will it all in mind and the pub closing we got heads down and tried to get some kip.

Saturday dawned to blue, blue skies and not a cloud in sight so we packed up and loaded our bags slathered some sun cream on and drover over to Dunmail raise.

This being the start of the day and the only way was up! Since this was new to both of us there was a bit of nav to do, but being a clear day seeing a top, cairn or lake wasn’t too much of a problem. Steel fell found no problem, swoop round to calf crag (second cairn/trio of peaks), bit of a think about which gully to head up for high raise (plus head on for second cairn) then a very short blast over to sergeant man for a quick summit. After this again contour round to Thunacar Knott, straight over to Harrison Stickle and head right to Pike of Stickle. By this point we were about 3 hrs in and had gone through 2ltrs of liquid a piece. So stopped for a quick refill at stake gill and reapply the sun cream.

On from here under black crags to Rossett pike, then a royal faff, route finding issues going up the suggested east side of Bow Fell (scrambling involved), back north along the path to Esk Pike and over to Great End. I saw nothing great about this peak, but may have been suffering slightly here. On from here to Ill Crag, Broad Crag and thence to Scafell Pike with some fantastic views. Unfortunately no time to stop so down to broad stand and then a choice of routes, we went via Lord’s Rake a slightly scree-y scramble then traverse back for the summit. Here we had a longer pause for a phone call (don) and then a quad burning, quivering descent to Wasdale and the NT campsite.

A fantastic day and hard work, but well worth the effort. Much food, sleep, showers (bliss) and a small beer followed before a long sleep!

Day 2:

Waking to bright sunshine, instead of lounging like lizards we sought shade! As both of us had discovered the Saturday quite hard we’d decided to amend our plans for the Sunday. Instead of Yewbarrow, Red Pike, Scoat fell, Steeple, Pillar and then Great Gable (followed by a long trod to the car). We changed this to a direct-ish route of Kirk Fell and Great Gable before the long trod to the car… Don was all in favor of taking it easy and going via black sail pass, I on the other hand fancied the direct, high nose head route, which won out in the end for being ‘short and sharp’.

Well sharp it was, short it didn’t feel like! 1hr10 of pure up later and we summited. Don in slightly better form than I (and about 10mins earlier!). We had a small pause to watch some others arrive and then cracked on. Down to the Beck Head tarn beneath Great gable, then up the obvious ridge/path. Meeting some multi-day BG-ers at the summit (4 days for the whole thing sounds much more like it!). Then a nice pathy, technical descent to the Sty Head tarn. Up and over to Sprinkling tarn, slightly longer but likewise to angle tarn, again with a nice bit of speedy descending.

Here was a well-earned pit stop! Topping up on electrolytes, water, food and letting the legs recover. Final push up to the col (hmmm weren’t we here yesterday!) and then ANOTHER technical decent, enjoying it, feeling the burn, spot of walking when the brain needed to catch up but above all keep going down… Finally the foot bridge across Stake Gill and a head cooling splash of water.

Unfortunately at this point I seemed to think we should be doing more so started running. Seeing as it was another 3k this probably wasn’t a great idea. However, I had it in my mind that some walkers ahead were (fictional saunders) competitors and they needed chasing down!!! Upon eventually catching them it seemed a bit rude to stop running, so we carried on. By the time we hit the pub and had all of 200-300m of road left it was a bit more of a two-step shuffle, but getting back into the campsite in Great Langdale felt excellent. If only to be stationary!

There followed a lengthy re-humanizing process, milk, food, showers, new clean clothes and sandals for battered feet! Into the car to collect Don’s left at Dunmail raise, swap gear and a long drive home.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, hard work, but worth it. Newfound respect and understanding of how hard the BG round is and kudos to those that have completed it. Still for me, 17 new mountains (yup – ALL new) and a lot of mileage later I’m happy, tired, but happy.

i'll post up Sundays route when i've heard back from Don ;-)

Friday, 25 May 2012

Being lax

On the write ups, but certainly not on the activity front!

Since last Friday I’ve been for a 45min swim, 1:40 bike, 40min swim, 2hr climb and then a yoga session. Not bad at all. Having said all that I think I could do with being at home to catch up with some chores.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen this weekend as I’m off to the lakes with Don for another training weekend. We’ve set our sights on leg 3 of the Bob Graham round (Dunmail to Wasdale) then overnight camp. Sunday is a bit of a loop (depending on how the legs feel!). Considering the forecast I think the most important thing for the weekend will be suncream!

In other news: had a team building day yesterday.. being a good boy scout my team won! The guys running the day had never seen such a good raft…

Friday, 18 May 2012

Gentle run

After the run with Don at the weekend my left calf has been feeling a bit tight so i rested it till yesterday and did only a gentle run 3.8miles in 30:05. I think a bit of cross training is in order so swimming tonight and then maybe a gym session tomorrow.
In other news:
We've had a water leak in the back garden. Which the water board tried to fix on Tuesday and made a RIGHT hash of it. They dug a shoddy hole in the patio, split through a armored electricity cable to the shed and then naffed off leaving the house without electricity. Queue one very stressed and irate Wifey. She eventually managed to get the electricity board out, who nearly didn't fix the cable (as it's not theirs). The water board said they now won't touch it, so it's on us to get a sparky in to join the cables and some plumbers for the leak! Joy
Oh and I was driving a new mini* this week, as wifey's was in for a mysterious leak that had supposedly been fixed by replacing the windscreen, but was still apparent. However, clearly not enough for the dealership who couldn't reproduce the leak and so didn't do anything.. Great, will just have to wait and see if it gets worse!
*chunky and yet still not spacious!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Plans change

Blimey well what was meant to be a quiet weekend (ish) turned into some late plans being made, all on Friday! Those can be the best sort..
Swim still on Friday which was nice, but harder work than i remember! Then some grub and collapse into bed. Sat was a dentist app for me (hmm lovely). Then helping a bit in the garden before i needed to pop out for the evening to Thame, ox. Wifey continued in the garden for a bit then welcomed Jon/BB/Georgie for some tea and a chat. They were down in Ware for a wedding and stopped in for a visit since they were down this way. Wifey really enjoyed the company for the arvo and the catch up.
Sunday was more late planning, but an early start to get over to marlow/henley way for a canoe! Mark, who'd lent us his back in apr for our exped fancied a short day out. But that didn't mean it was going to be easy. With the river Thames in good flow heading upstream for the first bit was hard work, but good fun. Then we had a wiggle down a tiny tributary. We got back to the main flow and charged downstream for a bit, before again turning off onto a tributary. This was upstream, but not too bad. Until a low bridge... Unfortunately with the higher than expected river it was a bit of a squeeze through this. On knees and pulling on the underside of the bridge to get through.. Well that was interesting! A quick pint and lunch before the final power upstream, across the flow and into Shiplake lock to get to our exit. Fantastic fun, hard work, and an unexpected surprise. It was a bit strange being 3 in a boat, but it made for a bit of easier work for the upstream sections! 8 miles in about 3hrs
Even more so was my Saunders partner Don being in the area guiding a charity walk on the ridgeway. Since he was 30 mins away, popped in for some dinner and a cheeky run! We'd goaded each other into a bit of a quick pace.. Which meant a bit of unexpected walking (uphill) and 37 mins for 6.8k. This is pretty much his 5k pace, just over a longer distance! So can't have been too bad.
A curry, few beers and a chat seem to have meant the welsh 3000's that was planned in a fortnight has changed into leg 3+4 of the Bob Graham round so he can get some nav knowledge for a support he doing in a couple of weeks. Plus i might have been arm twisted into the hathersage hilly tri. Hmmm, yikes?

Friday, 11 May 2012

a short week

Gotta love those bank holidays.. It's somehow strange for it already to be Friday, but equally brilliant to be.
After the race Monday night I got out climbing on Wednesday while wifey was at the gym. It's the first time for quite a while that i've been, which considering there's an indoor wall on my commute home is a silly situation to be in. It was cracking good fun and i bouldered about trying to build up some finger and skin strength! Before i ripped a flapper i headed on home for some cake ;-).. Not bad prep for font in early June!
Thursday was my normal run at work. No company again which should have meant a blistering time. However, i was clearly a bit pooped from the run Monday and climbing the night before so only a managed a 26:13 for 3.4 miles. Felt a bit crampy in my left calf. More's the pity I couldn't make yoga either, so didn't get the stretch out i'd fancied.
Tonight will be swimming, so long as we can find wifeys cozzie. Hopefully so, since mine is packed and ready to go. Maybe a tri could be back on the cards?? Think a bit of cycling could be in order... and that could be one more exercise too many!
I'll pretend i didn't mention that...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Home at last..

ahhhh a weekend at home and not having to drive anywhere, what bliss.

Dinner out Friday, a nice treat for us both. Saturday was a lie in, followed by some chores in town and a quick blat to the gym for a session for me, and zumba for wifey. Then in the afternoon a cakey bakey which helped during the rest of the weekend ;-). Plus getting the lawn mowed, which filled a large hessian bag with the cuttings!

Sunday was a much needed shopping trip as wifey needed some new work clothes for a new job in a few weeks. Plus having lost tons of weight has now cleared out most of what she had!

Monday was tip run, more house cleaning, garden tidying and catching up with all the things that had been put off for over a month.. But the evening gave a chance to compete in a 5mile road race. Very local to me, only a 10 min walk and one that i've ridden, but not run before. It was a really nice event, ~150 peeps and i placed 68 with a time of 39:13.

I tried to set a steady pace at the beggining.. i missed the first marker, but did 15:30 for mile 2 mostly flat, 24:00 for mile 3 which involved a big hill and started feeling a slight stitch at this point so only 32:10 for mile 4 marker. However, this meant a stonking 7 min for the final mile, which i can believe as i really put on a pace for the downhill. I would have preferred an overall 7:30 pace, but am happy with the 7:50 i ran.

All in all a fantastic weekend and just what the Doc ordered..

Friday, 4 May 2012

Bank holiday at home

Blimey, can't remember when we did that last....

Anyway, i'd not been running for 3 weeks (combination of the canoeing exped and then a stonking cold) but got out yesterday and managed 3.4miles in 25:11 so 5k in 22:57 (only 12s off my PB) chuffed with that..

Since i'm feeling that glow and as it's sooooooo local to me i'm probably going to give this a blast.

it's road race which is a shame (not being xc), but i know the route and hopefully it'll give a good time around 38min...

Yoga last night which was nicely relaxing and a good stretch too!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Devonshire knows...

As a birthday treat for my wife i'd booked a spa break in a countryside hotel in N.yorks (28/29 apr). It's a bit of a trek away, especially with a nasty M1 on a friday (even with a day off) but we arrived and slowly began a process of trying to get us somewhere resembling normal. Saturday was a very gentle walk up the strid river (near bolton abbey) and mooch to tea rooms in ilkley. There was also a spot of retail therapy, but nothing much as wifey had a massage and facial booked to help. I was at the gym and using the pool during this. It certainly did the trick and following from that was a lovely meal in their restaurant.
Sunday was more of the same with a pedicure for her and more gym for me. Then a long trundle home in again lovely weather (erm sorry - rain). I had taken outdoor running stuff, but to be honest it was ming out for most of the weekend, so i just didn't fancy it. However, gym-ing was fab, although i'm feeling a little achy now.
It was all vaguely familiar and had a lovely cozy feel to it. Both my parents grew up in Yorkshire and i remember visiting the grandparents several times over my childhood. Especially a week spent with my nan catching the train to Ilkley and bussing up to the cow and calf on t'moor.
Reminising over it's back to the real world with a bump.