Getting better……

exmouth park run

So, first thing is what a lovely run at Exmouth Park Run this morning. From watching the rainbow move across the water towards us to hailstones, driving rain, brutal wind to lovely sunny beautiful weather. A lot of people moaned but not me, I really enjoyed being out in it, seeing the waves crashing on to the beach, it was lovely.

Hows my training going. well sort of ok really. I have ditched the idea of a completely plant based diet. Not that I think it was bad but I just don’t have the knowledge and motivation to make proper balanced nutritional plans based meals on a daily basis. So I have gone back to being a vegetarian and feel so much better for it. I still stay clear from most dairy stuff, don’t use cows milk, very very rarely eat cheese and so on, I do have yoghurt now and again.

Also I have really slowed down and trying to make most of my running zone 2 hr running. Now I use a wrist based Garmin and they are not hugely accurate but I have set up the watch to show hr, distance and elapsed time which is all I need. I no longer feel annoyed when other runners overtake me, I know how good I used to be, represented GB and so on, sub 3 hour marathons, Ironmans etc and have a longer term plan to complete and enjoy the ultra’s in July. Not mess them up like I did Race To The Stones!!!! It is only 3 weeks to the Granite Way 20 so it is going to be interesting to see if I can not get involved in a race.

Yesterday treated myself to some new shoes and shorts. I have been running in Brooks for several years now and generally they have done the job. This time I fancied a change and after having gate analysis done (I always have my gait analysis checked when buying new shoes), they discovered that I don’t pronate as much as I used to and so can manage a fairly neutral shoe. I tried some Hoka’s and they were really comfortable, lots of nice support and they also reduced my pronating a little, so got the Hoka’s, every little bit helps. Have not been out in them yet so it will be interesting to see how they go. My Brooks were pretty much worn out but will keep them for those really horrendous weather days.

Right that is me for this update, I will of course be back when and if anything changes.

Thanks for reading.

Pete

Back in the saddle…..

Misty Park Run

So, after a tough week for other reasons I have managed to start running 6 miles a day again, double what I was doing last week but I also don’t want to jump into doing too many miles too quickly for fear of injury and illness again. This morning was Exmouth Park Run. It was lovely. There was a sea mist hanging around and so it was very cold and misty at the start. But by the time we got to Holcombe Point the mist had gone and the sun was out. It was stunning. Unfortunately I didn’t stop to take a photo which I regret but it was awesome and encapsulated everything about Park Run. Runners streaming along in both directions, bright sunlight with a bank of mist behind them. Just awesome.

From a running point of view, well I am trying to keep to zone 2 running which in general I am managing to do but as expected it did raise higher than I wanted it to during the Park Run. Now wrist based hr monitors are not very accurate but it did show my hr as a lot higher than I wanted it to be, so give or take inaccuracies it was too high and I should have slowed down a bit, but that is so hard to do when surrounded by other runners all trying their hardest. I also think I stood around talking a bit too much and allowed myself to get a bit cold which doesn’t help.

Plant based eating is going well. I am not even finding it too monotonous based on my lack of culinary skills. I don’t feel too tired or lacking in anything. My back aches a bit but that maybe down to I have got out of the habit of taking ibuprofen every day. Need to clear it up as don’t want any aches and pains when running my ultra’s.

Thanks again for reading and following and will report again soon.

Pete

Man Flu but look on the bright side ….

Well, xmas was a bit of a disaster as most of it was spent in bed with the worse case of man flu anybody has ever seen, or trying to stop the water pouring through my gable end wall in all the storms. I don’t mind being ill but it does p me off that I can’t get out and run, the one thing that keeps me sane. Anyway the up side is that it has given me the opportunity to get some reading done. Firstly I re-read Rich Rolls Finding Ultra which is a really good read but more importantly it has re motivated me to train for ultra running rather than just running, (there is a big difference). In fact one of the first things I did was changed my watch face to show HR during my runs. I need to go back to running in Zone 2 Only problem is that my Garmin is wrist based HR which tends to be not very accurate so need to watch the trends rather than the absolute numbers. I am going to look into getting a chest based strap which are much more accurate than wrist based.

I have also started to look a bit more deeply at a plant based diet. I need to be a bit more careful in what I eat rather than just oh thats plant based I will eat that. I need to be a bit more structured in my approach to what I eat on a daily basis, oh and learn how to cook as well !!!!!!

I also need to ease off the Park Run runs, unfortunately I get very competitive and end up running a bit quicker than I want to (for my ego) so need to again run on HR and not pace. I do enjoy the Park Runs, it is very social. Which is also why in 2020 I will join the Exmouth Tri Hards, find a decent sports masseur here in Exmouth and possibly start Pilates.

So enough for today and thanks for reading.

Pete

Starting again ultra running and plant based diet

Well here I am again after a long time of writing nothing on here. I seem to have definitely lost my mojo for blogging and quite a few other things to be honest. However the one thing that has been a constant in my life is running, so no matter what is happening I always seem to gravitate to running and I am still running pretty much 7 days a week with perhaps a day off once in every 3 or 4 weeks.

So I have set myself some goals and entered some races for 2020.

March……Granite Way 20
April……EXmouth 1/2M
July…….Exe Trail 50k
July…….Escape from Dartmoor

So what are they. The Granite Way 20 is a 20 mile event at Oakhapmton. Exmouth 1/2m well a half marathon obviously. Exe Trail 50k, is a 50k event from Dawlish Warren around the Exe Trail via Exeter through to Budleigh Salterton. Just 6 days after the 50k I am going to do the Escape from Dartmoor, where you start by ‘escaping’ from the prison and you can run in any direction at any speed etc for either 12 or 24 hours. I am going to do the 12 hours, because in theory I should be able to run back to Exmouth wishing the 12 hours. So not a race at all just a bit of a fun event.

I have also started a plant based diet. Now I have never really enjoyed meat anyway and have never had any red meat in years. I have been doing quite a bit of research and definitely giving it a go. I am sure you all know what it is (basically it is being a vegan) so I am not going to bore you with the details but I have got rid of all the biscuits, cakes, bread, dairy, fish and so on and look the other way when I pass them in the isle when I am out shopping. I do not intend to be obsessive about it and yes will have the odd mince pie, xmas pudding, xmas cake but only as a treat instead of eating them all in one sitting and maxing out on them. Am I feeling better since starting it. Well, sort of yes, I don’t feel as though I am loosing weight and feeling lighter or anything but I am at the point where I can refuse to eat none vegan food because I don’t have the urge to eat it anymore. What I have noticed and it has been quite noticeable to me is that I seem to be running faster with no extra effort. My basic speed has increased. Now is it really down to a vegan diet or is it I am more motivated and forcing myself to run quicker, to be honest I have no idea. I have a feeling it is down to eating good food and my body is responding to being fed good food rather than all the rubbish I used to eat. To that end I am going to keep on with the plant based diet and along with that I have bought a multi cooker and a couple of vegan cook books (vegan for dummies really as I have absolutely no idea how to cook and I am the worlds worst cook).

So, hopefully I will have much more motivation to get blogging again and write about my progress, and also get my cameras out again and start taking photos again.

If you have got this far thanks for reading it all and hopefully be back to catch up on my progress.

A little motivation

Well, today is 6th June and in-between watching the D Day 75th anniversary celebrations on TV (being a veteran (15 years) myself I just couldn’t not watch them) I got out for a run. Starting to increase the miles little by little, but it isn’t any easier yet.

However got a little bit of good news that has given me a little bit of motivation to get back to training properly rather than just running. (I am sure there are a lot of you out there that appreciate the difference). I applied for the Great West Run a half marathon in Exeter in October. I was granted a good for age slot in the race, which in itself isn’t a massive deal, it is nice to get a little bit of recognition. (I had to prove that I have done a sub 1.45 half in the last year, which I could). So I now have to sit and work out a schedule between now and then and work out a plan of how I am going to be able to keep up the good for age times.

So for now I am off to go and use the roller to tease out the aches and pains from this mornings run.

Thanks for reading.

Pete

Another Park Run, musings

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This was the view from the start line of the Exmouth Park Run this morning at 09.00. It was lovely (again). Cool, no wind and all of the sand that had collected all over the road and paths due to the storms had been cleared up. I wasn’t really ‘feeling it’ but once I started running, all was forgotten and I just enjoyed the run. And being the competitive person that I am just ended up pressing it harder than I originally thought I would. Ended up with a park run pb and first in my age group again. Not that either of them mean very much. Position is very much dependent on who is there on the day and as for the pb, well my real pb is sub 16 mins but that was nearly 40 years ago. It does show however that my times are dropping and I must be getting a bit quicker again. I put it down to the fact that I am starting to feel more settled here in Exmouth. And as I complete on my house purchase next week then I shall be in my own place again and will get everything out of storage and have my ‘stuff’ around me again. Stuff being my bikes, a variety of different running shoes and other assorted kit.

So all in all a good day today and confident that things are going in the right direction.

A bit of everything

Just a few photos from around the place. Taken on different days most when running but I have now got my cameras out of storage and went out for my first walk with one of the DSLR’s. For anybody that is interested it was around Exmouth harbour and it was with a Nikon D500.

Exmouth Park Run

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After running pretty much all my life, since moving to Exmouth I have started participating in the Park Run. I have to say it is far more competitive than I thought it would be and of course here in Exmouth some of the runs have been quite ‘challenging’ due to the weather conditions. The photo attached does not really show just how rough this Saturday mornings run was. We all got sand blasted for half the run, good for the skin eh!!

Whilst I try not to be too competitive on the Park Runs I am pleased to say that so far I seem to be coming first in my age group. It doesn’t really mean very much as it is just for the record and you don’t get selected for anything etc it is nice to think that I have not lost my fitness too much over the last few months of selling my house and moving down here.

I like to carry my phone around with me, it is made easy by the fact that I wear an ultra vest and so I shall be putting more of my run photos up. I also want to just ‘mooch’ around the town and take some urban, street and photojournalism images.

My Move To Exmouth

Well, after lots of messing about and hassle I finally settled in Exmouth. I decided that now is the time for a new adventure and new challenges. I have left all the blog posts below in because that is what stopped me moving earlier. And although I (failed) as I quit at 31 miles (so did a lot of other people by the way, it was the hottest day of the year) I didn’t want to loose the posts and once settled into my new place I will start ultra running again.

So far I have found Exmouth a lovely place to be. I have lived all over the Uk and around the World and so can live anywhere really so it isn’t the physical surroundings that has ‘wowed’ me but the people. I have found everybody really friendly and really helpful. I hear a lot of people complaining about exmouth, no decent shops, nothing to do, old fashioned etc. well some justified comments I suppose but having lived in some pretty awful places I can safely say that it ‘aint’ that bad around here.

So this first batch of photos are just snaps I have taken either on the phone or on a small compact camera. Fairly soon I will be getting all my gear out of storage and start taking ‘proper’ photos but these are almost first impressions photos.

62@62 Just 9 weeks to go

So race day is 9 weeks today and how time flies.

It has been a long time since I have posted anything here. There are several reasons and being too busy is not one of them. First off, some statistics. I have run 2040 miles since starting on this particular challenge and apart from during a couple of races all of them have been solo running. Most of the time I like solo running, with no headphones and music of course. I like to be out there with nature and thinking about ‘stuff’ whilst I am running. As so many runners will attest to, running is a great time to think through your problems and worries and quite often the answer will come to you, sometimes you are in so much pain you forget what the problem was in the first place. Saying that, it is a lot of miles to be running on your own, especially as at the moment it is just a case of ‘getting the miles in’ just nothing too exciting. It is so nice though when something out of the ordinary happens and just such a thing happened when a young buzzard hopped on to a post next to one of the paths I run on. It was almost tame, I stopped and took photos and talked to it and it just looked at me. It was just awesome and made so many of the runs along that path just so worth while.
So, back to why I have not blogged anything for quite a while. I can only put it down to I have lost my ego. What do I mean. Well, when I started on this particular challenge I got a bit carried away with thinking that because of my age and the level of challenge, that lots and lots of people would be really interested in what I am doing and that I would get sponsors (not charity but sports equipment/advice/gym etc.) because there are not that many people in the country doing what I am doing. The truth is, nobody wants to sponsor me and only a handful of people are really interested. Now I do not consider this a problem and I am not looking for sympathy or feeling down about it or anything. It is just the reality of it. Now I have represented GB in the past and so I know what it is like to ‘be up there’. These days I still manage to win my age group or in the top three and in the top third or quarter of all ages, which I am quite proud of. But it puts you in that area where you are not at the front or you are not at the back and you just fade into the crowd. This isn’t just me by the way it is an observation over 40 years of running. Look at the London Marathon for instance. The front runners or the back walkers get all the media. The thousands of runners that put effort in, week in and week out, run good times but just get lost in the mire. I have always run for me and never ‘looked’ for glory and never will but some days/weeks I just think it would be nice to get some credit for what I do. No problem though, please don’t think I am being negative, I am not, but again as any runner will attest to, running is so much in the head and the more happy you are the better you run. Of course is also works the other way round. Running well makes you really happy.

I have competed in a couple of events in the last few weeks as well. The first one saw me become an ultra runner. It was the Imber 33. Thirty three miles of mud, rain, wind and a little bit of sun around the Imber ranges on Salisbury Plain. I have to say as tough as it was I really enjoyed it and learnt so much about ultra running, the experience was invaluable. The second was The Malvern Hills Trail Half. As the name implies it was a trail half over and around the Malvern Hills including up and over the Worcester Beacon. Although it was only a half, it was quite tough, the mud was several inches deep and quite a few runners ended up falling. I am pleased to say I managed to stay upright, but then again I wasn’t racing as such, it was a training run/learning event for me.

So with 9 weeks to go what am I doing. Well apart from trying to sell my house I have got the Neolithic Marathon in a couple of weeks and the Ridgeway Revenge 1/2 in June. Both being used as hard training runs rather than races. Long runs at the weekends and a easy midweek 14 over to Avebury. Keeping the mileage up to between 70 and 80 a week. I have and will be taking protein shakes after most runs as well. I realised that I was not eating enough protein and being the lazy cook and not knowing where the kitchen is in my house I decided to get a protein supplement. And I have to say I do feel better after taking it after every run. So there is another lesson learnt. Eat properly when you are running 70 – 80 miles a week.
Well, if you are still reading this, thank you and I will update you all a bit nearer the time.

Pete