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 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

 

62@62 Week 3

pdrw005

 

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

DSCN1436

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