Thursday, 28 February 2008

Friday 29th February 2008

Last Week
0 miles, 0 feet, 00:00:00

Back to obssessively checking weather forecasts for the weekend and although I have seen better it doesn't look bad enough to have to stay indoors - I don't think even if it was, I would. The novelty of 'resting' has worn off and I hope the three weeks (less a day) will be sufficient for complete recovery. The calf feels fine and I'll start to find out on Saturday if it really is with something short and gentle. If all goes well, something a little harder on Sunday and then a gentle week. No mileage targets just a "go with the flow" week, a "glad to get out even in the rain" week and if all goes well, back to something more serious the following week.

I spent too much time playing with computers this week but much of it was stuff that would have to be done sometime and it is done and out of the way now. On-line Jazz radio is pretty good and perhaps it is going spell the end of Digital Broadcasting which, not helped by high hardware prices, hasn't captured the imagination, even of those who can receive it. I have been enjoying Jazz 90.1 as well as the excellent Jazz88 FM and you just can't beat NY rush-hour traffic reports - if you thought the M60 was bad you should try these on a bad Monday morning.

Can't wait for Saturday's run.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday 22 February 2008

Last Week
0 miles, 0 feet, 00:00:00

Now the rain has returned my calf feels as good as new, well very nearly. I struggle to find any tightness in it when I stretch it and all the tenderness that was there when it is prodded has gone so I am tempted to conclude it is ready to run on. Another week's rest will only do it good and so I am beginning to look forward to next weekend - talk about wishing your life away!
I have been able to avoid gaining weight much to my surprise - perhaps it is the stress!

We missed the LDWA "Beacon Bash" last weekend. Not a favourite event despite being well organised and supported but it is a tricky, picky route that requires a deal of concentration all the way round. Pauline decided her route finding skills were probably not up to the challenge and parts of it have overwhelmed my own route finding skills on occassion (there are a couple of sections I suspect we have followed a different route each time we have done it and on one, less than glorious outing, we would almost certainly have been quicker walking and getting lost less) so perhaps it wasn't a bad decision.

It has been an interesting week, in some ways. I found a small piece of software that allowed me to catalogue all our books really easily. You enter the IBSN number and it fetches all the details from Amazon (author, title, etc) and all you have to do is confirm they are correct (or edit them if they are not) and it saves them. A little bit of work and I downloaded the list to my Psion (an MX5 that must be about 8 years old - a vintage computer and apart from not having a colour screen it is still better than all other handhelds because it has a proper keyboard) so that I can take it to bookshops and check whether I already have a copy of the obscure mountaineering books I delight in.

The last few days, in particular, have been strange as I haven't been obsessively checking weather forecasts for the weekend trying to decide whether a Lakes recce would be worthwhile. I hope those of you who enjoy the outdoors have thoroughly enjoyed the recent good weather - what a fantastic break in winter training the sunshine provides.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Friday 15th February 2008

Winter Hill Fell Race

No miles since last Saturday's Amble apart from a very gentle stroll up to Rivington Pike on Sunday morning to watch Rob Hope win the Winter Hill fell race. The prospect of a Saurday and Sunday without either running or walking is pretty daunting and I daren't even think about next week and another weekend the same, especially when the weather is so good. I just keep telling myself to retain some sort of perspective - if all goes as it should, it is only another 2 weeks!

Things I have been 'thinking about doing' for a while have actually been done this week. I found a copy of AH Griffin's "Inside The Real Lakeland" which I had forgotten we had and it is a real delight to re-read it. I wonder what lurks forgotten in the depths of the garage? Perhaps I'll have a look tomorrow when Pauline is out enjoying the sunshine, running on Winter Hill.

The most poignent moment of the week was putting away my kit after the Anglezark Amble when the realisation struck that not only would I not need any of it for Sunday, I wouldn't need any of it for another 2-3 weeks. It took a few seconds to come to terms with this new paradigm and a few minutes longer to appreciate I needed to think
somewhat differently about the next few weeks - the plans to shift weekend training to the Lakes aren't going to happen as intended, just yet.

Almost a week later and this week hasn't been too bad except my "never very good sleeping" pattern is disrupted (check the posting time for this, for instance). Pauline even observed last night that I looked very tired, "worse than you do on 70 miles a week". I keep thing that tonight's sleep will be better - well, perhaps tonight's will be.

Anyway, my calf seems to be improving. Some massages, some stretching and lots of rest have got it to the stage where I am only just aware of a slight tightness sometimes. Even that eases after a little walking so I am aware of an improvement and it feels better than it did this time last week which means that resting it is working.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Anglezark Amble and a torn calf muscle

Last Week
24 miles, 2900 feet, 04:02:25

Glorious conditions even if a little soft underfoot in places. Lying 3rd on the way to Darwen Tower and the long drag up Cadshaw Valley proved too much for my right calf and it tightened ominously again. By the Tower it had eased and the ground improved and the gradient eased and so I decided, perhaps unwisely, to continue. Just missing a sub-four hour time but faster than 2005 I finished in 4:02:25. After finishing I began to realise how much worse things might have been - my calf shows no signs of swelling or bleeding and by the next morning after a massage was much improved. Slightly worse than a week ago but still causing no more than slight discomfort.

This time however I am aware that without a complete recovery it could become more serious vey easily so complete rest for two weeks which should be enough time for it to recover and tehn one more week, just in case. I can afford to lose three weeks now but if returning too early extended the recovery period to five or six weeks that would be a different matter.

The really good performance was Pauline's. First attempt at running the Amble and finishing in 04:54, faster than my 2004 time.. Chuffed to bits she is, and rightly so.

Next Week

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Friday 8th February 2008 - Best-laid schemes ....

Kentmere Fells last Sunday morning

Last Week

47 miles, 4503 feet, 9:31:01 run
7 miles, 800 feet walked

"Gang aft agley" as Burns wrote. Starting with the snow on Friday night which prevented the walk leader from getting out of Todmorden and thus causing the cancellation of the Rucksack Club meet last Saturday. No matter as the news spread early enough to be able to get a 20 mile session over Winter Hill instead. All was well, well apart from the two and a half hours in snow and hail showers, until two miles from the end when my right calf tightened ominously. Not quite reduced to walking but the discomfort was enough to banish any plans for running on Sunday. The gentle stroll before lunch on Sunday was uncomfortable enough to confirm that not running was a good call.

The rest of the week was a series of gentle sessions each between 5 and 10 miles long, missing both the track and hills sessions on the grounds that they wouldn't be gentle. The calf improved during the week and it now feels as though it should be fine for the weekend. The easy week I planned turned out easy enough but not in the way I had intended.

Next Week
The main reason for taking an easy week and nursing the strained calf is, of course, the "Winter Hill Weekend" - Anglezark Amble on Saturday followed by the Winter Hill race on Sunday. The rest of the week is going to depend on how quickly I can recover from Sunday.

Two years ago I did both and I will be trying to match the times I achieved then, 4:03:01 for the Amble (24 miles, 2900 feet) and 2:29:56 for Winter Hill (11 miles, 2700 feet). Last year I didn't do the Amble and got round Winter Hill in 2:17:45 and much as I would love to beat that I won't be disappointed if I don't. The weather looks pretty good for both days, at the moment, so let us hope it stays that way.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Friday 1st February - Thats Lyth

George at "Thats Lyth" CP3 and his first daffodil of 2008

Last Week

71 Miles, 7181 feet, 11:17:15 - all run

First hard weekend of the year. 20 miles Sauturday morning, 4 on my own through Horwich before dawn and 16 with Denis over Winter Hill followed by 21 on Sunday on Thats Lyth. The strong wind on Saturday made half the route very hard work but is has dried much of the ground, more than seemed possible a week ago. 21 miles is an odd distance for Thats Lyth but I marshal at CP1 and then run the rest of the route and since Pauline was marshalling at CP3 I ran back to there from the end - the climb up out of Kendal to Scout Scar wasn't as bad as I feared although probably slower than I would have liked. The 16 or so miles form CP1 to Kendal I managed just a little quicker than two years ago when I last did this which I am pleased with. On Monday and Wednesday I did a bit less than usual to keep the miles sensible for the week, for this time of year. A good session at the track and a particularly intense Hill Session last night completed the week.

Next Week
An easier week, not least because the following weekend will be a hard weekend on Winter Hill. We are walking with the Rucksack Club tomorrow and then before an LDWA Xmas Lunch on Sunday I'll get some running miles in Kentmere although precisely where is going to depend on the weather. Having used fairly flat routes on Mondays and Wednesdays until now I'll include Foxholes Road & New Chapel to increase the climbing a bit.