Friday, 27 July 2012

Just a quick blast

Considering yesterdays failure to bring running gear to work I had a bit of energy in the evening. Since the recent weather is about to break I thought I’d take advantage of dusty dry trails and go for a cheeky MTB ride. I only had an hour as someone at home was otherwise going to bite their own arm off in hunger. I’d been thinking of a local loop for a while, so went out to trial the trails. Hmm, I think some changes may be required. Possibly due to the recent rain there was a LOT of undergrowth on the paths plus a lot of stiles and gates to contend with. Then when getting under trees it turned muddy and because there’s a lot of stables round us it was a gloop fest. On a few occasions I went in a bit too fast and almost went flying! However, it was a quick loop done in 1:05, 9miles so not too bad. I can probably bring that down with a bit less map consulting.

After a quick shower to wash the mud off we then went for our fav thai and a bit of a natter before falling into bed knackered. Possible run today (have gear and it’s not 30deg+!) then we’ll see about swimming with wifey tonight. A rare weekend at home (ish).. yay!

a not so shiny bike

Thursday, 26 July 2012


to remember where i take my own photos.. that one in the previous post that says it's Snowdon, isn't.. It's Yr Aran which we walked towards on the descent, but didn't actually go up! Ooops

Anyway, had a good yoga session last night. Moved up from begginners which is what we've been doing for the past 9 months or so and was finding a bit too easy. I really am now, yet again, the only male in the class. Which just means that i can do some things easily and some things are a bit of a struggle. Anyhoo all good fun and helping flexibility and core strength. I was intending a lunchtime run but fortuitously have forgotten my kit at home, which considering it's 30deg+ that's probably a wise move. I'll just have to go for one when i get home. I may (may) consider a hill rep session i've been meaning to do, but equally with the heat maybe not and might just do my 10k route instead.

Since the previous had a mucked up photo, here's one i do remember - kirkfell and SLMM sat morning campsite chaos.

definately kirkfell...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sunshine and sunburn

After all the recent busy weekends away and time spent apart it was a well needed weekend spent with my wife, but since she’s been hearing of all my exploits and hankering for some of her own we had a blast up to North Wales for a spot of mountains.. Camped at Hafod y Llan at the base of the Watkins path up Snowdon. It can be a bit midgey and some say basic. But it’s got everything you need (apart from drinking water – but we came prepared) plus has fire pits and wood.

yes we are going up that...

Saturday we took full use of the paths proximity and since a) wifey hadn’t done Snowdon for a long time b) found it hard last time, c) had lost weight and d) been running loads we thought it a good choice. Also as it’s not the main path it’s not as busy. She was on fine form and blasted up in near 2:30, we didn’t hang round long on the summit as it was swarming, but pootled off down the Bwlch main path to stop and enjoy the view. Then carried on down towards Yr Aran, before a surprise pass of the MR helicopter had us pausing to see what they were up to. They ended up circling the Watkins valley, but then went to a flare on the summit of Yr Aran –hopefully for training purposes only! We carried on down and were very glad to get back to the campsite and cool down! Unfortunately we’d not taken swim stuff, otherwise would have joined the many others cooling off in the river!

yup that's the watkins path

heli out on training

Sunday was a climb of Cnicht from Croesor. Not one I’ve done before but very appealing mountain and certainly a nice ridge to follow. Plus some options for scrambling if you’re that way interested (wifey isn’t). However, after this from Llyn Yr Adar the path is very faint till you get to Llyn Cwm-y-foel when it’s a bit easier to follow down the side of the valley back to Croesor. We contemplated a tea stop (one next to the car park) but couldn’t justify it, plus needed to be getting on home.

some say it looks like a mini matterhorn

So roughly 14 miles and about 5000ft of ascent over the weekend, not bad at all!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Norfolk weekend

It’s been a long ole while since I’ve been to the flatlands. However, as it was my father-in-laws birthday a quick trip up was planned. A late getaway on Friday to hopefully miss the traffic meant we drove through some very, very heavy downpours, quite biblical. Saturday was a well deserved lie-in and fry up (with lovely fresh eggs) before a trip to castle acre for a tea room scone and trip round the priory ruins. Certainly something different and educational. Back to wash the car and took the old man out for a few pints before collapsing back in bed.

Sunday made a brilliant bananarama milkshake:

10oz milk
1tbsp honey
1tbsp think cream
3oz ice
1 banana

Chuck in blender + mix! Yummmmmy

After this headed out for a 8km run with Wifey. There’s a few options up there, but we’d taken road stuff and it was one she’d done before. It’s not the most interesting (being very, very straight in some places) but was good none the less. I suffered a little with sore and stiff ankles (still from saunders),  but manfully persevered ;-). Then followed a brilliant Sunday roast with Yorkshires before the drive home and a quick lawn mow as it was dry for once and now looks less like a jungle!

I did manage a yoga session Thursday, but it was a sore on the ankles and tree poses were a bit harder than normal! These are beginning to get back on track finally now!

In more random news, we were given 1kg+ of rasberries so had a bit of a jam making session last night.

Monday, 16 July 2012

I’ve been saundered

This is a week later than intended - I was intending to put some photos with it, but just haven't got round, so thought i'd post it up regardless.

Where to begin. Well I suppose the start is always good..

Friday (just finishing the antibiotics for a chest infection) I jumped in my car after work and had the looooong drive to Wasdale head. It really is a long way round from the M6! Amazingly I arrived at 11 and then spent the next 30 mins having a wander round the campsite, pub and toilets to find my mates who had a) already pitched b) I was staying with and c) had gone to sleep…..

Luckily I managed to pick the right tent and found my compatriot Don. Crawling into bed I was soon asleep.

Saturday dawned to blue skies, which considering the forecast was a minor miracle. Dan and Sian were already up and raring to go having an earlier start than us. We chatted for a bit, watched them walk off in the direction of the start and continued to crack on with our preparations as well. After much food intake, packing and some faff we were ready and picked up maps to wander into black sail pass. I was a bit unsure how I’d fare at this point but we were soon through the start and given controls to mark on the map! A bit of cross checking and marking later and we were soon off to the first control. One bagged and it seemed like it was a bigger version of the Peak Mini –MM’s I’d done earlier in the year. However, I soon suffered a dawning realization that I was struggling with lung capacity, energy and a body that didn’t really want to be doing a big day in the mountains.

Thankfully Don was very understanding and since we’d done training together knew it was just a body-say-no weekend rather than anything else. However, we persevered and pushed on. It was quite a busy course and there was lots of passing and re-passing going on. But we made some sensible choices and were going well. Then just approaching one control (Greendale tarn) we were being waved at.. it was Dan and Sian! We had a quick reunion and walked and talked before deciding we needed to push on and so carried on to the next control.  After this it was a LONG slog over rivers, bog, tussocks and hill to get to the next control. Where with a little bit of sensible route choice and some hard work we pushed on to the campsite at Scalderskew woods (farm?). It was a good bit of running at this point and with the added advantage of people to overtake we managed a very respectable 63rd at the halfway. The evening passed to milk/protein, sleep, food, avoiding a quick shower, beer and chatting before a decent sleep.

Sunday, dawned to light grey skies, and several aches that were quite new! Faff in the morning and queues for the toilets meant than Dan/Sian managed to get away before us. However, as it was only a 25 min window for everyone to start we weren’t far behind (or all the other masses). As per the previous day it was a bit of hard work, coupled with some running, river crossing, bogs and hills to contend with. We made a few interesting route choices and I think one thing to learn is not to bother heading for a bridge or stepping stones, but if there’s a path in the general direction – take it!

However, we plodded on and had a bit of leapfrogging of a few teams. The final descent and climb and descent (round scafell, up to a sheepfold and then back down into wasdale) was hard hard work. We got the final control and headed into the finish. I’d love to say I put on a spurt of speed and sprinted for the finish but I couldn’t even muster a gentle jog. My ankles, legs and body were broken.

Food, faff and a long drive home awaited. It was 11 before I got in and I was sooooo glad I’d booked the Monday off to recover.

Looking back I was very glad to have been in the area only a few weeks before, am even more glad that I put in a sterling effort to train hard beforehand and even more so to have had a brilliant partner in Don. He sorted out some brilliant lightweight kit for all our training weekends, got food when needed and also matched my pace on the event and various STEEP descents on training weekend (normally at the end of a day). I’m pretty sure I’ll do another MM, probably the SLMM again next year!

Plus.. yet again wifey was at home whilst I was away for a weekend, sorting out our home and making use of the mortgage we pay on it! Thanks to her for letting me do this. (I just am not sure she’ll like the idea of another MM.. even if it is next year)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

hmm chesty

keeping the mind out of the gutter.. i've had a horrible chest infection for the past week (plus 5 weeks of actual coughing). Finally got to the docs, got x-rayed to check it wasn't TB (yikes) and then given some antibiotics. Was watching tennis and the tour whilst I was off inbetween sleeping lots and generally feeling low. I'm not quite back to 100% but am back at work and just about raring to go.

Which is a good job as i've a saunders event to get to this weekend. Hopefully the (very) few days between can get me further sorted and Don and I can have a cracking event.. plus the weather needs to play ball..

Anyhoo that's all for now. Will update when i'm alive monday.