Friday, 19 December 2008

well that's it. finish work for christmas today and 2 weeks to just chill with karen, the kids and charlie.
i feel mentally exhausted from the year just gone but hope to find some clear head space with some nice long runs over the coming weeks.
we popped out this morning for a quick one at 5.30 and it was fantastic. a crisp cool morning with stars and the moon (well ok 1/5 of it) lighting the sky. it fitting way to end my working year.
the break will also mean firming up plans for 2009 and getting entries sorted.
Happy Christmas!

Monday, 8 December 2008

the rest has ended,the training's begun

it only seems 5 minutes since i was coming through the Snowdononia Marathon finish line at the end of October. That sounds the 'end' of our running year. the usual sequence of events post snowdon are eats lots, drink lots, and eat/drink some more. this celebration usually last anything up to two months, though i vow that in 2009 i shall be a man of less extremes.
anyway, it looks like the rest (of sorts) is over. yesterday we headed up to the lakes for a training run which would take in the first 16miles or so of the lakeland 50. having been out partying til the early hours of saturday morning, i could have done with something a little easier. alas it wasn't to be and so, along with a small but fairly fit bunch of like-minded idiots, we battled the chilling winds, snow and ice that clung to the fells and tops for a good 5 hours. often up to knees in snow it was surely an adventure. the race actually takes place in august so by then hopefully it will have melted and there will be no need for full winter mountain wear and kit.
that said, we wouldn't have it any other way but it does mean that we're off again so the partying needs to receed (maybe just a little)

Friday, 5 December 2008

joy of running

it's 5am. dark. damp. no, wet. cold. and misty.
myself and the pooch head off for what i thought would be a forgettable 5 mile trot round our lanes.
but no. there i was loving every footfall every stride. we could have run forever today.
running never ceases to amaze me how sometimes when you least expect it, you enjoy every single moment of it. even when all the elements are against you.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

(nearly) goodbye 2008, (nearly) hello 2009

i can't believe it! how quickly has this year gone.
we've had loads and loads of fun and new adventures in new places, and some familiar ones too. 7 ultras and 1 marathon completed as a 'team' and somewhere around 2500 miles. probably the two that stand out were the highland fling (a great race, wonderful people and our first venture over 50miles) and osmotherley (we knocked 1 hr and 5 mins off last years attempt and it is a special race for us having been our first ultra ever).

being a bit anal, i need to plan 09 well ahead and so i've just about completed selecting the key long races, which will be indespersed with some shorter fell races locally.

so here goes (subject to change)

that's lyth - jan
rombalds stride - feb
high peak marathon - mar
wuthering hike - mar (assuming not still lost on high peak)
spring in lakeland - april
highland fling - april
coast to coast - may (hmm?)
wharfedale - june
osmotherley - july
lakeland 50 - august
ridgeway 85 - august (hmm?)
high peak 40 - sept
snowdon - oct (solo)

eek! that's a few more sneaking in than this year. the coast to coast still deciding about. anyway, looks like some more fun, rain, mud, hills, and inspiring places to be had!
best get training!

Friday, 14 November 2008

we're nearly famous

just on the off chance i contacted runners world about charlies running exploits to see if they would be interested in featuring him. well, it's all happening and te photographer's coming next weekend! so watch out...we'll be appearing soon!

which means...we've had to cut short our brief respite from our adventures (whilst i've been living it up a little)and get out there training again. two lovely runs in the early morning darkness is just the start we need.

planning for 2009 is underway. watch this space.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

one for the road

running solo and on the road at the same time are as rare as methodists at a beer festival for me.

but just once a year i go back to where my long distance running really started - snowdon marathon. fantastic in so many ways. it has a quirkiness about it to make it worth battering your limbs on the tarmac for 25 miles (1.2miles is off road thankfully). starting in a usually boggy field with a start line that would befit a craggy island race with father ted, it has ups , downs, great scenery, gales and driving rain and a killer hill at the end just for good measure.

this year i managed 4.07, 15mins quicker than last year and 32 minutes quicker than 3 years ago. hopefuly next year i'll break the elusive snowdon 4hr barrier.

in the meantime, it time to unleash my pooch out onto the countryside once more..maybe the roaches fell race in a week, definitely the six dales circuit in 2 weeks. bring em on.

Friday, 10 October 2008

5am there's nobody around (actually where we live there's few folk around anyway at anytime) but the odd bit of wildlife caught in the line of my head torch (charlie has a flashing disco light collar for early morning / dark night sortees so i can see where the heck he is).

its 17+miles into work mainly along the canal which means charlie has total freedom to follow scents, jape around and roll in any old muck he can lay his snout on. gorgeous morning with light breaking around 6.45. todays run in seemed to pass quickly though we didn't run it any quicker than usual..funny isn't it?

anyway, our timing into work was spot on as breakfast was being served so charlie treated himself to a mammoth sausage buttie...good reward for the early morning effort.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

its been a quite couple of weeks for charlie. he's having a bit of a rest from all this long stuff and honing his footie skills (video to follow soon). i've been doing a few sessions for snowdon marathon including a 17m road run and hated it!!! so it all off road here on in. sod the tarmac..its boring and it hurts.

tomorrow im running into work - a nice little 18 miler - and i think charlie will be leading the way

after snowdon we're off again - six dales ldwa in november (a mere 25m) then its round rotherham (of all places) - a gentle pre-xmas 50miler. better stock up on the flapjack for the pooch hadn't i!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The ultra running collie Oscars - people i need to thank

To get to where we are today has been down to peoples support, advice, help or just ...whatever. so here's a roll call of some of the people along the way (so far)

my wife and kids for supporting us through the highs and lows and allowing us 'out' for hours and hours, if not days at a time

steve 'coniston 14' jones for mugging me into my first ever race

kev 'modest' mckay for all the top quality advice, support and total positivity (even when i ran badly)

charlie 1 for being my buddy and running with me in the early days (luckily he didn't have to run ultra mileage)

steve 'i'm putting on weight' mees for opening up the derbyshire peaks to me and his patience in showing me how to read a map and use a compass

laura 'gosh' hey - running brought us together but getting caught kissing pulled us apart

steve 'yes mate' hall for making me run faster than i want to on club night

dave 'coach' owen for saying well done when you've finished the session (even if you haven't done well)

michael 'honey monster' honey for fixing me up when injured

judith cooper for the massage pain trying to keep me injury free

steve 'zodiac' daniels for general mad ramblings and funny stories

simon, kirsten and kate bailey (all quite 'handy' runners) for getting me thinking about fell running in the first place

all the forumites for having great craic with and running with at various races (fellrunner, t rex, safety pin, phil / col / mark (safety pins mates), nurse gladys, froghopper, nottso, britnick, luna man (who inspired me to set up this blog, so blame him), run gary run, still dreaming, clairster, warfdale plodder, pete waywell, mrf, jim noone, caterpillar girl, valley runner, ru and many more (sorry if i've forgotten anybody)

charlie 2 for being the best running buddy i could ever wish for. without him running ultras would never have happened

sainsburys for the 'all butter flapjack' that keeps charlie motoring

From 42 down to 3

it's funny how life can be. there you are one minute running your heart out across 42miles of fantastic countryside then a few days later its back to normal running routine for a while.

but do you know what? this morning me and charlie headed out in the darkness of the early morning for a short, yes a short, trot out. across the newly mowed fields. and it was bliss.

i felt so elated to just enjoy a no pressure run out and to smell the morning air without a care in the world. moments like these are what i believe running is all about. bliss bliss bliss.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

September 24th 2008

it's been 4 days since we ran the high peak 40 and 18 days since running the bullock smithy (53 miles). i was flawed running the two so close to each other whereas charlie spent the next day brushing up on his football dribbling skills in the field. just watching him made me feel even more exhausted.

we did the bullock smithy in 14hrs57minutes landing back at the finish at 2.57am! and the hp40 (or should i say high peak 42 after taking a wrong and costly turn near the end) in 9hrs23mins. the thing is whilst you can tell i'd run that distance, charlie flies round like a spring chicken.

his secret? he's fed flapjack all the way round. sainsbury's all butter flapjack to be precise. stop feeding him it and he stops running (well almost).

2008 has been a great year so far for both of us. we've done some spectactular runs, seen some awe inspiring places and not got lost too many times.

our longest this year has been the bullock smithy but perhaps the best was the highland fling in scotland. 53miles of fantastic running. charlie even got his own medal (i kept the champagne).

other races we've loved doing are the wuthering hike, osmotherley phoenix, wharfdale marathon, kipling kaper, that's lyth.

the summer hols were spent coastal running in cornwall and mountain/fell running in the lakes - its a toss up between who has the best beer but i'd put my money on cumberland ale everytime for post run refreshment.

we're having a few days off then training starts for snowdon marathon..the only race i run without charlie (charlie sulks at thought).