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

Advertisements

Another Park Run, musings

img_0369

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.

Exmouth Park Run

IMG_0288

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

62@62 Race To The Stones

Well week 23 of my Race To The Stones challenge and all is well. I think.

Last weekend I raced in the Exeter Half Marathon. First of several races this year. I said to myself I wasn’t going to race hard but just gauge what my fitness level was. Of course all that changed when I was on the start line and I ended up ‘racing’ it. I managed to hold a conversation during most of it, completed it in 1.48 and won my age group. So was fairly happy with that, especially as I was in a certain amount of pain for most of the run. I think I have a long standing injury with my piriformis (my bottom) and I think I over did it on the run, in fact I could hardly walk the next day. And so I took a couple of days off from running, bought a roller and have managed to book an appointment at Swindon Sport Injury Clinic to get it checked out. I have started running again and it does not seem to give me too much of a problem if I just run at normal training pace, but still going to get it checked out as don’t want any problems when I start going over the marathon distance.

21 miles done yesterday and felt ok for saying I had not done a long run for a few weeks. So as the Imber 33 is in only 3 weeks I am going to try to get a couple of long runs in per week for the next 2 weeks. I am getting both nervous and excited about my first event over the marathon distance. It will be a new experience for me. I know I am going to do it. I just want to do it well in a respectable time.

So back to long distance training for me.

62@62 A Running Update.

Ok so about time for another update I think. As I have not blogged for a while this covers weeks 10 to 18. I have really started to ramp up the mileage in the last few weeks. Weekly totals are as follows 64, 69, 60, 66, 52, 71, 47,71 and 70 including excellent longer runs of 21 and 22 miles along the Ridgeway at the weekends. The rest is just the 8 mile a day standard run apart from a couple of days at Lympstone in Devon, home of the Royal Marines and a good training area.

In general I am really enjoying the training. There are days when I really don’t want to go out but once I am out all is fine again. Not too many aches and pains and still got plenty of energy so must be doing something right. After saying that it is all long, slow, distance running and I have not got down to doing any speed work, I still have that pain to come!!!!

I have spent quite a bit of money on kit recently. I bought an Ultimate Direction V3 vest and I have to say it is brilliant. Having a purpose designed ultra vest is a revelation. I wear it on every run I do and it allows me to take pretty much whatever I want with me. I always carry a camera but on the longer runs I carry extra clothing, gels, food, water, maps, compass etc. and you really don’t know you are wearing it. An excellent and necessary purchase. I also spent £180 at Decathlon. I bought so much kit and love it all. Mainly compression gear and winter running wear. Another worthwhile trip.

For reasons I wont go in to I am now not running the Hereford Half and the Wye Valley Marathon. So races I am in so far are:-
Feb…Exeter 1/2M
Mar…Imber 33
Apr….Malvern Hills 1/2M
May…Sarcen Trail Neolithic Marathon
June…Ridgeway Revenge 1/2M
July…..Race To The Stones
Sep…..Swindon 1/2M

So I think that is enough for now. I may enter something after Swindon but thinking of going to Bali or Hong Kong for a holiday and also decided to move from Swindon this year so that will take up a fair amount of time.

A question I am asking of myself at the moment is should I join a gym??? I seem to be spending a lot of time running but not really pushing myself to do any weights, stretching, isometrics etc. I realise I need to do all this ‘other’ stuff but struggling a bit to getting round to doing it !!!!

So that is it for today. Off to watch Moving To The Country to get some ideas about moving this year.

Thanks for reading.

Pete

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

62@62 Week 5

DSCN1448

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