It's been ages since I last updated the blog. I think I put myself under pressure a couple of posts ago when I publicly promised to stop writing boring drivel about running, and to come up with something a bit more interesting, thoughtful and engaging....!
Two months have passed since then and having not been able to achieve the higher standards I set myself, so I've decided to return to writing boring drivel about running again. After all (I've reminded myself...actually!), this blog is for me. A reminder to myself. A memory jogger for when I'm older with dodgy knees and want to look back and say...'I used to run 30 miles across the hills on a Friday just for fun'.
So, just because I haven't been writing doesn't mean I haven't been running. I've been training fairly consistently. It's not been great, but giving time to the other stuff in my life is important too, so what I have achieved in training is good enough. When someone decides to pay me to run, I'll do better :-)
It has to be said that the weather has been rubbish this early Spring. I've cancelled 2 or 3 trips to the Lakes because I'm not really equipped for the snow and icy conditions. I've missed 2 events due to snow. Crampons and ice axes have been the order of the day in the higher hills until very recently, so I've been keeping myself busy on lower ground here at home, trying to rebuild stamina and strength ready for the late Spring and Summer events.
Just last Friday, I left the house lathered in sun cream only to find myself, 90 minutes later, standing on Fan Llia, in the middle of a black thunder cloud being lashed by spiky hail stones, million mile an hour winds (!) and making a bee line for lower ground. The weather still takes me by surprise, but an hour later I was back down to shirt sleeves and wishing I'd brought the sun cream with me for a top up.
I've had some lovely runs around the Beacons, finding new routes and trails and have consistently been covering 25+ miles in my weekly long run since early February. I did the Black Mountains Roundabout for the 4th year running and got lost a lot due to the poor visibility, with a group of others tagging along behind the lady with the GPS, as I led them around in circles for a bit, following the arrow!
I had a great weekend running from Keswick to Ambleside with Annie and Sarah in early March. We stayed at the half way mark in the Pooley Bridge Inn with its welcoming fires and plentiful cider, and I came back on the high road, over High Street in the driving snow. We covered 50 miles at a leisurely pace that weekend over the 2 days, but due to my detour over High Street I've still only done the Lakeland 100 section around Haweswater once whilst doing the Lakeland 50 back in 2011. I'm heading back up in May to shake that monkey off my back!
I've recently started building up my road miles too. I think of myself as a runner, so when all my training is off road, slow, and uphills are walked, I begin to lose confidence in how much running I am really capable of. So it's been necessary to remind myself that I can cover distance by running.....without walking the tough bits. The routine at the time of writing is that I aim for 30+ off road miles on a Friday followed by 15+ on the road miles on Saturday with Martin. It's going well. I try to throw in some shorter hill or speed sessions and a mid distance faster paced run in the week, and I've been cycling the 10 mile round journey to work. I think I have built a good base, and the real tests are about to start.
In 2 weeks, I have the MCN Summer 40 over the Beacons, then 2 weeks after that I'll be starting the LDWA 100 which runs from Wadebridge in Cornwall across in Devon and finishing in Teignmouth. There is a 48 hour cut off for this, so the plan is to take it easy and complete regardless of time just to get the distance under my belt and build confidence for the UTLD in July.
So back to the drivel I'm afraid.
Here are some photo's to distract you...