Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stanage Pole & Headstone run

I felt like doing this run yesterday but instead I made the wise choice to spend some time with TSK and ride to Clumber Park. As a result we enjoyed the full-on autumnal display of the trees and canal tow-path riding.

Today I chose to find my way to the Redmires Reservoir through the fog and run over to Stanage Pole, along Stanage Edge top and back along the bottom with diversions as necessary.

The path from Redmires and Stanage edge itself was eerily quiet as there was no view to be seen and the fog quietened the sound of what few people andcars were about. Every encounter was unexpected as visibility was around 50m. The mountainbikers checking the map, the miserable-looking scout group complete with full 70l backpacks.

The path along the top of Stanage hasn't changed. Hopping from rock to gritstoney worn rock, avoiding the bogs and trying not to scare the stupid sheep off the edge.

Somehow, on the descent I missed the lower path and ended up at the A57 which, weirdly, I didn't expect since I've only every got to Stanage from the Ringinglow Road. I made a poor navigational call with respect to avoiding wet feet (never sensible for a fell-runner) and turned left onto the A57 towards Manchester but then redeemed myself by deciding to take the strines Road, the footpath connecting me to the road above Rivelin Edge then return to Redmires Reservoir via the Headstone - one of Mr Loftus's favourite routes.

The run over to Rivelin Road was truly quiet and I saw no-one. Despite donning my new headtorch for the foggy road, I saw no cars. As I heard the Garmin beep 10km my hips started to ache from the period of tarmac pounding in my fell shoes. I walked a bit and managed to eat until I arrived at the muddy path taking me over to headstone and ultimately, the vanu.

5 minutes scrambling ensued as I did my best to avoid the hoof-trodden bog of the farmyard.

Even an easy passage across the A57 proved what a groggy day it was. At the end of the trudge across the next field and before dropping into the Rivelin Valley, I perched on a wall and photographed the atmospheric trees before resuming the final climb to headstone.

I can't pass without a visit.

Another shot and an accidental self-portrait.

At the top of my next climb I meet a man on a hybrid bike who is following the water company culvert around the hillside. I decide to take the path over the fells for the last bit of up-down and up again passing ladies in wellies with dogs, cautiously crossing a wooden walkway. Wishing to limit the water ingress to my feet, I ajoin them, also hoping I don't end up on my backside after yesterday's fall.

The final descent to the carpark is a good one. I'm almost tempted to make a circuit of the reservoir just to get a few more miles in my legs but decide that in the conditions, quitting while ahead is a good thing. I have a stretch and climb into the van to get changed. It's a brilliant little space and I love it more when I'm soggy and muddy than I do at any other time.

I head into Sheffield to pick TSK up from the Student Union where he's been to a pedal car AGM and we pig out on the way home. There's Yorkshire parkin in my bag.

Still happy to be home.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

238 Days to Go

Day in the Lakes Half Ironman is pending. When I said I was thinking of doing it, Mel corrected me, that I just said it like it was going to happen. She had a point.

Whether I am ready for it or not, 6 months from now, there's nothing I can do to stop myself from entering this Monday morning.

I fell off my bike on my arse today. A reminder of how slippery a metal bridge covering is to wet, 100psi tyres. Only my pride is dented so it's game-on.

I have been riding lovely and carrying heavy bags all week. Probably great for my strength. At least I hope that's why I felt so knackered today and only stayed in the pool long enough to avoid being sick on Friday.

This week I managed to:
  • swim 28 lengths in 25 minutes on Friday.
  • Today I rode 60 km in nearly 3 hours.
  • On Wednesday I ran 12 miles in 2hours 10 minutes.

In 238 days time I want to:

  • swim the equivalent of 64 lengths in 38 minutes in very cold water
  • Ride 56 miles (90 km) in 3hours 40 minutes including the Kirkstone Pass.
  • Run 13 miles (22 km) in 2 hours 20 minutes up some monster fells
All together now.

I don't want to miss out on endurance training so when I travel to Manchester for work three days in a week the kit has to come with me - swimming, towels, running shoes.

The thought of starting the day in the lakes Triathlon and not finishing fills me with dread. I'm trying not to worry about finding the time and dedication to do the training. It has to happen, that's simply it. At least at the moment my motivation is sky high but the dark nights are coming, hours of knocking out miles. An ongoing enthusiasm for long runs. Early mornings going to the pool. Cold open-water swims. A fluctuating workload. All these things could screw me up but my intention not to let them is high. That's me that - all good intentions.

This year I'm going to try not to let illness worry me too much. I can be an unbearable princess about catching colds. This time my aim is to be so strong that I can get through it without too much disruption. Not so precious. Not so fragile.

When I'm not actually physically training, it's the exciting challenge of keeping up with the laundry and the most important yet boring aspects of training - eating and (enjoyably) sleeping - one more hour of that tonight. Whee hee!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Still renewing

The most frustrating cyclo-crosses of the year. Where I feel strong but the muscles just don't have the enthusiasm to continue doing what I'm asking of them. It's supposed to wear off after 3 weeks (this week) but it's stll going. Soon normality will be restored.

I'm going to take them fell running tonight just in case.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I tried really hard to go out on the club run this Saturday but sheer disorganisation meant I did not make it. It's probably not a bad thing as I was riding really slowly. However, I managed 80km, the rain was falling at times and my feet got cold but I lasted for 3.5 hours and I can't say I was anywhere near exhausted at the end of it.

Roll on racing tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This week was

Fairly lovely - riding to work, a swim, lots of hard work. No running as yet. A trip to the gym before driving to manchester.

The start of training is affected by work but not important at the moment. Having fun and maintaining momentum is important. Later it is going to get interesting.

Tommorrow it is a club run, race then, hopefully, fell running on Tuesday.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hatching a plan

There is a plan in the making involving a half ironman and one of the hardest Standard distance triathlons in the world.

There's a lot of training and a few trips to the pool and the lake involved.

I don't need to commit until 1st November but that's still a long way from the race in June. Will I be ready?

I have demonstrated this year that I can more or less commit myself to training for the three peaks and if I don't have a house move to do (for once) I should be OK.

None of the elements bother me too much (which is worrying). I've swum the distance (but in the pool). I've definately biked the distance though it's a long time since that's included anything like the Kirkstone pass. I am not far off having run the distance (but not in a fell race). Putting all three together is the worry - as it always is with a first triathlon at any distance.

In all the standard distance races I have done I have always been tired at the end - less so towards the end of the season. With the longer distance I will need to do more transition training and more training whilst tired.

After 8 years of doing the three peaks I almost got the hang of the nutrition between events and eating on the move which is also something I can bring to the 1/2 ironman.

First, I have a bike to clean and a cold / sinus infection to get rid of. I wish I could say that training starts tomorrow but the only contribution I will be making is to go to Swindon house to pick up my running shoes which I think I left there. I hope I left there.

I'm going to hope, upon all hopes that I'm back to it on Monday.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Work Balance

Being 36. Starting a new job. Relearning new skills. Finding that I'm working on something completely alien to my envelope of knowledge and struggling to get motivated about it. The hope that soon we will win some work which is more familiar and interesting to me.

A real enthusiasm and passion for living here. Great new friends. The Peak District on my doorstep.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

September Stats

Running: 23.35km, 8.9km/hr, 473m el
Cycling: 410.65km, 17.6km/hr, 5367m el
Swim: Deprived