Saturday, 27 February 2010

a double header

happy times in our household this weekend with two birthdays. mine comes first, chronologically, but overshadowed, as usual, by hollies the next day. this is a special year i guess as hollie enters the teen years (fasten your seat belts). its amazing where the time goes, i can vividly remember the day she was born. and for me? a bit like my training, i just keep notching the numbers upwards.
festivities, treats and celebrations started yesterday with a trip to Hollister and Selfridges for a little bit of fashion indulgence as well as a wee purchase of these little beauties from CampFour.

another treat in store today on my run when i came across our lovely local herd of wild deer. its such a priviledge to gain the occasional glimpse of these magnificient animals (though my BBerry doesnt do them justice)

a full weekend of fun, sausages, steak and Pure Ubu ahead and into next week too (Hollie's festivities last a full 6 days..mine a mere one if i'm lucky!)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

suspended reality

i had quite a surreal run this morning

at 0530, equipped with head torch, we headed out for a tempo run along the lakeside, in the valley so to speak. the underfoot conditions were a mix of ice, water, mud, snow, a right ever changing hotch potch. and the fog was thick.

after a little while, everything around felt a little strange. we were immersed in a white blanket with the head torches light bouncing back off the fog. visiblity was zero, only seeing anything once you were on top of it, making each footfall quite interesting.

the running felt good, flowing even..though something didnt seem quite right..the effort level didnt feel the comfortable hard it should have but the legs were turning nicely and the pace seemed good

it felt like i was running in some shrouded bubble..with no reference points to judge anything by

it was all an illusion. what it felt like wasn't the reality. the watch told a different story (backing up my low effort level). but it had felt like i was flying along. reality had been suspended.

Friday, 19 February 2010

the GREAT winter spring debate

hayfella at smileyrunner wrote 'The world is on the cusp. Poised between winter and spring. You get the feeling it could go either way; slip back into winter's sleety grey, like yesterday, or continue inexorably forward into spring's warmer embrace'

so come on ladies, gents and all our canine friends JOIN THE DEBATE NOW!

For 'its nearly spring'
birds are tweeting earlier in the mornings
its getting lighter earlier and darker later
the easter eggs are out in the shops
the dfs winter sale ads have stopped
the fields are filling with gambling lambs
theres already talk of the summer transfer window
the salads at work are getting better

For 'it's still winter'
just pop outside and see
we still light the fire every night
the headtorch is the must have piece of kit still
my shorts haven't seen the light of day yet
charlie still has a full coat and hasn't had his customary lean mean shave yet
everyone keeps banging on about the snow and how cold it is
we're still drinking red wine and not much white
the hills are pretty empty :)
we still haven't booked a summer holiday

there's a few starters for ten but we want to hear what you think! is it nearly spring??? or is it still winter??? or do you not care?

vote and have your say now!

Monday, 15 February 2010

pure ubu

this is my latest find for post long outing rehydration
why was i drawn to it in the first place? the dog of course and the brilliant piece of wordsmithing on the bottle (see opposite)
it tastes pretty good too!

the white stuff..

..its still here! on our run we encountered these vast stubborn scapes of snow and drifts, mostly iced over and passable on foot...thanks to Charlie who acted as an excellent pathfinder!

talking of the lad..he's signs of any stiffness and mad as a...:)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

charlie update

8 hours on and the lad is considerably fact you'd be hard pushed to notice he'd been out running in the hills for over 6 hours yesterday
we're off to the lakes for a week soon where we'll run'll be a good yardstick to see how he does
the trouble is, like most collies, you cant hold him back. he'd rather be out there than not. think i'll step up his supplements..and mine too ;)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

no blue skies

im afraid this is a bit of a sad post
i've had his nibs for a few years now and now the long stuff seems to be to taking it toll after each outing
i give charlie every aid possible but even so his stiffness post run is clear to see. during our outings he's fine, more than fine, he's in his element
but when we get back he lays down a while and then the stiffness shows when he gets up
but hey if i rest afterwards im the same
if im mobile i walk it all off..maybe i should keep him mobile to walk it out
i think what im saying is that i think we can continue together to do our ultras this year, he's ok for not sure i can see how the coast to coast can become a reality for us together
seven days of 26+ miles per day
i know in his mind he can do it, but im worried about the impact on his limbs
i'll see how he is in the morning but im not that optimistic right now
the whole coast to coast idea was inspired by our running together..without him im not so sure i'll have quite the same appetite to do it

Friday, 12 February 2010


the latest ive ever finished an event was on the 56mile 2008 bullock smithy where we finished at 02.56am. and the earliest i've ever started a run i reckon will be around 0430, but in summertime daylight hours.

today ive set a new record. i woke at 0230am and, unable to go back to sleep,headed out of the door at 0400am with the pooch for a two hour trot.

not a sole around. it was earily still and so quiet. no birdsong. all the sheep and cows were huddled lying down. a plane at 30000ft or so disturbed the peace at one point. it was cold and frosty and to be honest it felt more like sleep running to me. i'm like running early doors but 4am is perhaps just an hour too early even for me.

a 30miler tomorrow and thats me done for the week, totalling 65miles.

time for bed i think.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

i haven't done it in ages!

im talking about running harder / tempo efforts (not the 'other thing').

i've been happily getting the miles up and running steady so i thought it was about time to mix it up and sharpen myself up a bit too.

every run i'm feeling great at the moment and today's was no exception. just 1m warm up/down with 2x2m at tempo effort...the equivalent of lsr pace for a lot of you i suspect!

it got kind of 'out there' for a while running fast-ish in the pitch black with a headtorch into a light snow flurry..a weird strobe lighting effect firing at me.

is it me or does snow always 'fire' at you as opposed to away from you?!

anyway enough about's a pic of my leader

Saturday, 6 February 2010


this week i have been mostly running to and from work
well not every day
its the start of my back to backs to toughen me up a bit

3hrs run home in the pitch black x-c, canal path and road
bit of tucker
5hrs sleep
up at 4am
bit of tucker
3hrs reverse route run starting 5am
bit of tucker

only downside was not being able to take charlie..i'm in the doghouse

but...spring is here. its official, as i ran through my first lamb filled fields of the year

60miles easily done and dusted this week.

still on track...amazing :-0

Monday, 1 February 2010

white nancies and marine boys

this weekend had a bit of everything

...a bit of dissapointment in failing to make it to the that's lyth event in the lakes due to my terrible choice of totally inappropriate car for the snowy conditions. setting off from home at 5am me and the pooch (my front seat co-pilot) got as far as just south of preston before abandonning all positivity that it was a good idea to continue. real shame as beyond preston it was ok apparently and the event was held in belting cold sunny clear sky conditions

... a bit of running around and on the white nancy instead, which was lovely.

...a bit of weights in the gym afterwards (no dogs allowed). this, and swimming, are really paying dividends for me this year..and the change keeps things fresh too

...a bit of teaching will to a. swim under water and b. sit on the bottom of the pool

...a bit of one of those moments when kids say the funniest things when will came out with 'i'm a big fan of pins and needles'..he's just discovered them and how to make them happen!

...a bit of a ten miler this morning to set me up for the next mileage build over the coming 3 weeks (60, 65, 70)

all in all a bit of a good, if at times improvised, weekend :)