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.

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