62@62 Race To The Stones an update.

 

 

Well I have just finished week 9 of my training for the Race To The Stones and still feeling really good.

I have had some really good runs and some really average runs. Mostly just plodding out the miles for base training. However on Wednesday a couple of weeks ago the weather was sooooo good I thought I would just run up to Liddington Hill and join the Ridgeway and hack around for a while. Mainly to familiarize myself with where to get up on to the Ridgeway at Liddington Hill. I accomplished that and more. 12.5 miles later after stopping a few times to take photos I was on top of the world. It was such a good run. One of those where you forget all about the average ones.

My weekly mileage is starting to increase in a comfortable way and apart from the usual aches and pains of age having to problems or injuries.

Except one week I did have to take a couple of days off. I was on my usual 8 mile daily run when at mile 6 I just doubled up in pain, probably for no more that 5 seconds so thought nothing of it. Got home and the heavens opened so to speak. And throwing up as well. High fever then freezing cold and so on. I think I had got either food poisoning or gastro enteritis, not sure which but it wasn’t very pleasant what ever it was. The good thing though is that I lost weight (which I have kept off) have stopped drinking milk and ended up throwing all my biscuits in the bin, just couldn’t stand having them around. And not had any since either, so really pleased with myself. Also ran some quick (ish) training runs for having a few rest days. All in all a positive outcome really.

So what are my weekly totals so far :- 46…54…56…60…42.5…60…67…35…62.5 Which is all looking good but my longest run since I started this training schedule is only 14.5 so really need to be upping the longer runs. Most done in hr zone 2 which I have to admit I do sometimes find it difficult to keep within, but needs must.

What else. So I have also been entering a few races for next year.

10 Feb….Exeter 1/2 marathon

11 Mar….Imber 33 (my first ultra)

28 Apr…..Malvern Hills trail 1/2 marathon

13 May….Hereford 1/2 marathon (possibly, not entered yet)

16 June….Ridgeway Revenge trail 1/2 marathon (not entered yet)

14 July…….RACE TO THE STONES…….

11 Aug…….Wye Valley trail 1/2 or full marathon (possibly, not entered yet)

9 Sept……Swindon 1/2 marathon

I think that should be enough especially leading up to the A race or event the RTTS

I have also treated myself to a new pair of shorts. Gore 2 in 1 ultra shorts. Compression inner and normal outer. £75 !!!!!!! Bit pricey for a pair of shorts but they are really comfy and if they do the job then it will be worth it. I am also off to Bristol tomorrow to try on and buy an ultra vest. No not a singlet, it is one of those vests which you can put all your kit in and has a couple of drinks bottles at the front etc. I have managed so far with a camel back without the bladder but it is a bit of a pain now as I have to stop to get more water or gels or my camera out so time to splash out again and get the proper gear.

So that is it for now. I will update again in a few weeks unless something significant happens in the mean time. So many thanks to you all for reading and taking an interest in my challenge.

Pete

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62@62 Week 5

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Week 5 and it was an easy week this week. Sort of. Weeks total was 42.5. Only ran 4 miles a day to have a rest but was so nice on Thursday that did 8 instead. I then did a 14 on Saturday. Whilst it was ok, average pace was fine, I felt really tired towards the end. After jumping in the bath and falling asleep I realised that I was lacking in the old nutrition department (again). Last week I ran 60 and felt fine. The conclusion I came to was that on Thursday I ate a load of rubbish and it manifested itself on the run on Saturday. So yet another lesson learnt. Unless I go back to eating packets of biscuits all the time I need to watch the food a bit more closely. So no real problem just another thing to watch out for.

Which leads to me on to Sunday afternoon here in Swindon there was a Vegan event. I assumed it would be full of really interesting information about nutrition, proteins, carbs, tasty treats to nibble on. Well I have to say I was really disappointed. It was great if I wanted to buy makeup or talk about cruelty to animals etc but nothing for a soon to be ultra marathoner.

As part of the training schedule leading up to The Race To The Stones I have started signing up to some races. So this week I signed up for The Malvern Hills Trail Half and The Imber 33, (which will probably be my first ultra race). I am planning to but have not yet signed up for The Herford half and The Exeter half. Mainly so I can beat all the S.A.S. men that will be running the Hereford half and I can beat all the Royal Marine Commandoes that will be running the Exeter half. 🙂 🙂
Yeh right you may say. Well I have done The Fan Dance a couple of times, the first time at the age of 60 I came 2nd in the over 45’s and the second time at 61 I came 4th in the over 45’s So I don’t know if doing these races will help or hinder my training. I am still at the stage of the more miles the better. I still need to research more on a proper schedule.

I am also getting used to my new Garmin 235 Made a mess of it on one day where it said I had a heart rate of 199 !!!!! In theory I should have been having a heart attack if that were true, my hr max is 168 (in theory) Although I don’t think it is really accurate I am pleased with the readings. Average resting heart rate of 47 and it said based on my VO2 max reading I am in the top 10% of my age group in the country. !!!! And that is based on some of the slowest runs I have ever done. Not sure I fully understand it yet. However it is a very good runners watch and I am looking forward to delving a little more deeply into all of its functionality.

Overall a good positive week both running and none running so bring on week 6.

Thanks for reading.

Pete

62@62 Week 4

 

 

Week 4 and all is well.

 My total for this week is 60 miles, which I am quite pleased with. Six days of 8 mile runs and one run of 12 miles. The 12 mile run felt a bit slow but based on my time it was pretty much the same pace as every other run, so it may have felt a bit of a struggle on the hills it wasn’t actually any slower. Next week (5) I am going to have an easy week. When I was in my twenties I used to average 90 plus miles a week. I even went over the 100 a couple of times but I really don’t think it is wise for me to aim for that sort of mileage again. It would be nice and I have the time to do it as well but I just think my body would not cope with it anymore. It will be interesting to see what I do average a week over the next few months though. I am old school in that I want to ‘get the miles in’ but realistically I am not sure if that is the best thing to do anymore. My runs this week were lovely. All done in that lovely autumnal weather that is warm enough and sunny enough to really enjoy just being out there. And on Wednesday I was just cooling down on my drive after my run and my lovely 85 year old Italian lady from next door brought me a Espresso out. It was absolutely delicious a real Italian Espresso, it went down a dream.

 What has also been nice this week is that a few people have stopped me and wished me luck. They had seen my article in the Adver and were ‘well impressed’. One guy an (an ex runner) even offered to take me up on to The Ridgeway and pick me up after when I am doing my long long training runs.

 I also bought myself a new Garmin watch. I could not resist treating myself and so I bought the Garmin 235 which is probably far to good for what I need, but the more I read the instruction book the more I am impressed with it and I am sure it will improve my performance. At worst it will tell me I am having a heart attack 🙂

 I think I am starting to get a handle on the nutrition as well, With the help of a good friend from Malvern. Apart from I fell off the wagon on one of the days and ate a packet of custard creams it seems to be working. I have not eaten processed food or meat for a month now and I feel like I have more energy than I have for a long long time. I do believe I am starting to eat the right things but what I am not doing yet is making a delicious balanced meal. I just eat the healthy food as and when rather than cooking up a meal. Hopefully by the end of this challenge I might be able to put a proper meal together !!!!!

So that is it for week 4 lets see what week 5 brings.

 Many thanks for reading my blog post.

 Pete

 

62@62 Week 3

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Week 3 and feeling really good. 56 miles under my belt this week and no aches and pains. The only thing I am concerned about is my Brooks road shoes. Now I have been wearing Brooks for a few years now and I have never had a problem (ie. blisters etc.). They are really good shoes. However I bought a new pair a couple of months ago and I have already lost one toe nail and probably about to loose another one, big toe this time which is quite annoying. They don’t appear to be ‘relaxing’ after use of a few weeks like previous models I have used. Quite annoying as now starting to do a decent amount of miles per week and really don’t want to have to put up with sore toes. I will have to have a chat with the guys at Run Swindon to see if anybody else is experiencing the same thing.

 

Nutrition is going really well, although I think my portion size is a little on the large size and so need to cut down on the amount but feeling full of energy. I have not eaten any processed food or meat for quite a while now and am feeling really good and dare I say it full of energy. I had a really good chat with a lovely friend on Sunday and she has given me a lot of good advice on what I should and shouldn’t be eating so should be bouncing with energy and running even more miles a week soon.

 

The same friend introduced me to The 5 Tibetans and if you don’t know what that is then check it out it is worth it. She like myself didn’t want to spend hours at yoga class and suggested it and so I am going to give it a go. Sort of thing you can do in the house in front of the telly. Unless somebody is going to sponsor me to go to a gym or classes then I would much prefer to spend my time outside, running in the fresh air and not stuck in a gym. Which brings me to my training schedule. As I have said before I am old school and believe I should just be out there knocking out the miles. I am still not sure if this is the right thing to do. Anybody out there have a clue if there is a better way than just running as much and as often as I can (which is 7 days a week)? I really would appreciate any advice.

 

Well, I am now going off for a run, 8 miles for the first day of week 4, it is lovely and sunny out there but a bit windy.

 

Have a good week everybody.

 

Pete

 

 

62@62 Week 2

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62@62 Week 2

So week 2 of my training for the Race To The Stones has come and gone. I increased my mileage from last week and apart from the Saturday I have felt ok all week. 54 miles this week, some of it slow (just under or just over 10 mpm) so nothing strenuous at all. Except for Saturday. It was not an easy run and felt quite tired. After the run I was just exhausted. Sat on a chair on the patio in the sun when I got home and fell asleep. Absolutely no energy at all. So I put some clothes on and walked up to the Co Op and bought two bottles of sport drink a packet of jelly babies and a pack of 5 mini jam donuts and ate the lot sat on the bench outside the shop. It was like having an injection. Within minutes I felt better and had the energy to walk home again. So what have I learnt from that little mistake. I have cut out all processed food from my diet and trying to eat ‘healthy’ food. I think the problem is not that I am not eating lots of sugary rubbish but I am not eating enough (quantity) of healthy food. So I fell off the wagon yesterday but not going to worry about it. I learnt a lesson and that is the positive thing that came out of it.

What else has happened. On Tuesday I met Tom the photographer from the Swindon Advertiser (who I know quite well anyway from all the photography I have done for them). It was fun as I had already done my run for the day so could just enjoy it. Especially as it was a really sunny afternoon. Lots of photographs taken, lots of curious looks from people walking past. Hopefully the article will be in the paper this week.

After lots and lots of research I have decided not to update my Garmin GPS watch just yet. The only real advantage I could see was having a HR monitor and to be honest at the moment at least I am running on feel not HR zones (do ultra runners run on hr zones)?? The watch I have got gives me time, distance and pace so don’t really need to spend the money just yet.
Also I think I am going to go for calf guards rather than compression socks. The only reason is that my big toe goes through my socks and shoes really quickly and I don’t want to be spending lots of money (they are certainly not cheap) on lots and lots of socks and end up with lots of right leg socks and no left leg socks !!!!!! I have got a draw full of right foot socks 😦

Lastly, for the first time in about 10 years I am going to loose a toe nail. Now in the good old days in the 70’s it was par for the course to regularly loose them. I am pleased to say with the technology and design of running shoes these days it very very rarely happens. So I was a bit disappointed when I noticed that one of my toes was blistered and the nail was black. Hey Ho only a minor issue so I am not going to worry about it.

So a good second weeks training and looking forward to week 3.

If I haven’t bored you and you have got all the way to the end of this post, then thank you for reading it.

Thanks again.
Pete

62@62 week 1

 

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62@62 Week 1 is over and I am feeling really positive, long may it last.

So what has happened. Firstly despite storm Aileen doing her worst a couple of times and absolutely drenched me, I ran a weeks total of 46 miles. Not a huge amount you would say. And you would be right but these first few weeks are going to be about running my 7.6 mile course everyday of the week, really just to get used to going out everyday again and when I am feeling tired or sore.

 I also got interviewed this week by The Swindon Advertiser. They are going to publish an article about me as they think it is quite unusual for somebody of my age to take on the challenge that I am. I thought it would only last 20 minutes or so but we chatted for and hour and a half. Having photos taken on Tuesday so it will be really interesting to see what it ends up like. For me I know there are lots of people out there like me running Ultra’s but if I can get some PR and some sponsors out of it then I will be well pleased.

 The other thing this week is I did a bit of shopping (which I don’t like doing) and bought myself a wok and a load of Tupperware so I was quite pleased with myself. I have given up eating processed food but still need to either teach myself how to prepare proper nutrition/food or get somebody to teach me. It is not a problem at the moment of course as there is still plenty of time to go but I want to be prepared for when I am running 70 – 100 miles a week.

 Which reminds me I still need to carry out much more research on a training plan. Should I be doing heavy mileage which is the way I have always trained or should I have a much more structured training plan. Should I be running on heart rate zones or on feel? Makes a big difference, not least on should I buy a new gps watch with heart rate monitor. Again if anybody out there can offer me advice I would really appreciate it.

 Well that was week 1 and I am now off to get my kit and shoes washed and dried ready for week 2.

 Thanks for reading.

 Pete

 

62 @ 62

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So what is 62 @ 62

Well it is my next challenge. It is at the age of 62 to run a 62 mile Ultramarathon known as The Race To The Stones which is 62 miles along the Ridgeway Path starting in Oxfordshire and ending at The Avebury Stones and all it one day. Why on earth am I doing it you may ask. I like a challenge and believe we all have to push and challenge ourselves just to see really how far we can go. I have competed in Ironman triathlons, I have represented GB in Duathlon a few times and ran quite a few marathons. I have never run more than 26.2 miles though and I consider this a huge challenge that I am not taking lightly. Especially at my age. Well you are already fit and healthy so it shouldn’t be a problem you might say. Well no, I have been off training for a year after a foot operation and suffering some sort of ‘virus’. The good thing about being ill was I have had all the heart tests done and it is all perfectly fine, in fact it seems to be pretty dam good, so that I know I am not going to have a heart attack whilst doing it. I do know that I will go through a host of other pain though during training and race day !!!!! However I WILL do it, I have never failed in a challenge yet and do not intend to start now.

So, today is day 1 of a 10 month journey to get to race day and I hope to blog/photograph/video the next 10 months for anybody that is interested in my journey. Here is a list I have thought about of what I need to do, or think about. If anybody can think of anything else that will help me along the way I would really appreciate your input.

Training schedule including interim races.

Kit, clothing, shoes, watch, GoPro etc.

Nutrition

Yoga/Bike/weight training/core strength other stuff.

PR and sponsors (not charity but help with kit/nutrition etc).

So if anybody can think of anything else fire away.

For now I am going to go for a run  🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Pete

Jack’s Restaurant opening in Old Town Swindon

Just a few images from the open afternoon of Jack’s Restaurant and Coffee House in Old Town Swindon. It was formally knows as Café Art.

I start most of my working days with coffee here. It is a lovely place. The people there make it of course he staff are just great but the coffee is excellent and the food is to die for. Along with free wifi it is a great place to while away a few hours, working or people watching.

Singer and Song Writer Nick Harper in Swindon

I really enjoy music photography. Especially when you get blown away by somebody that is new to you. Monday night I photographed the re-launch of The Academy of Music and Sound Swindon. Nick Harper performed a master class to some of the students that were there that night. I have to say I was blown away by his sound/music he is so good. It really is worth checking him out. You may like it, you may not, but he is certainly very very good at what he does. I managed to have a chat with him and he is a really nice guy as well. I for one will go to one of his gigs to check it out properly.

Holocaust Memorial Day Service in Swindon

As I do every year I went down into Swindon Town Centre to the Cenotaph to photograph the very moving short service for Holocaust Memorial Day. It was a cold day but at least it was not raining like last year. Cold enough to cause one young man from a local school to feint. I wont name them but many of you will recognize some of the faces of the crowd that attended.