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.

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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