Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Week

Last Week
59.6 Miles; 4400 feet; 10:09:29 - all run
Fourth week of winter training when I aim to do 50-55 miles and whatever climbing happens. In a month of two I'll start to target climbing but for just now I will be happy to hit a weekly mileage target, avoid injury and remain enthusiastic. The week before last was disrupted by a cold that hasn't quite left me but is considerably less troublesome than it was then. Last Saturday I went out to do a 16 mile, 3 ascent Tour of Winter Hill and found my climbing legs were almost empty and in the end I did about 12 miles and 2 ascents before calling it a day. On Sunday Pauline (who had a longer Saturday than my measly 12 miles) and I went to run round a local LDWA route starting and finishing at the Balcarres Arms in Aspull, planning on a recuperative beverage at the end. It is a pleasant run apart from a couple of very muddy fields and when we got back to Aspull we were somewhat disappointed to find the pub closed. Sunday lunchtime obviously isn't as busy a session as it used to be as the next nearest pub (as opposed to bar-restaurant) was also closed.

Our week finished with a short run up the mast road to the summit of Winter Hill from the Jolly Crofter on Christmas Day. No time for a recuperative refreshement as we had to get back to get the Sprouts on.

Next week we are in Keswick for a few days and with good weather forecast we should get plenty done.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Just One More Roll Of The Dice

Last August was pretty disappointing and sitting at Threkeld looking around at three support teams I was grateful to the Leg 4 people (Rae, Phil & Suzanne) for getting me there from Dunmail, grateful to Pauline and Keith (and Ed & Julie) for looking after me at road crossings all day and that Paul & Ros were still prepared to go on to Keswick, if I wanted to, was overwhelming. I wasn't confident of getting to Keswick and I really didn't want to blow up in the Back o' Skiddaw at 2 o'clock in the morning so really there wasn't any other sensible option.

I didn't race much for the rest of the year although Pauline and I did plenty of running and walking together and we began to formulate our plan for 2009. With fair weather and good preparation I think just one more roll of the dice is worthwhile. The year is filling up and, like last year, there are plenty of other long days out in our diary already including a  "Joss" or two, another BG to help on and some other things that are still only in the very early planning stages.

Winter training started after a bad day at Pendle when a 'turned ankle' resulted in a long, slow, painful jog back to the DNF Bucket to hand in my unused tags. Four times I have done the Tour and twice I have come away with injured - perhaps there is a lesson here? Things improved and a day on Helvellyn a couple of weeks ago with Colin Jones reminded us why running in winter is so good.

Few days out will be as quite as much fun as this was and thanks to Colin for both the photos and for a memorable,magical day in the hills.