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 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 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

 

 

Jack’s Restaurant opening in Old Town Swindon

Just a few images from the open afternoon of Jack’s Restaurant and Coffee House in Old Town Swindon. It was formally knows as Café Art.

I start most of my working days with coffee here. It is a lovely place. The people there make it of course he staff are just great but the coffee is excellent and the food is to die for. Along with free wifi it is a great place to while away a few hours, working or people watching.

Singer and Song Writer Nick Harper in Swindon

I really enjoy music photography. Especially when you get blown away by somebody that is new to you. Monday night I photographed the re-launch of The Academy of Music and Sound Swindon. Nick Harper performed a master class to some of the students that were there that night. I have to say I was blown away by his sound/music he is so good. It really is worth checking him out. You may like it, you may not, but he is certainly very very good at what he does. I managed to have a chat with him and he is a really nice guy as well. I for one will go to one of his gigs to check it out properly.

Holocaust Memorial Day Service in Swindon

As I do every year I went down into Swindon Town Centre to the Cenotaph to photograph the very moving short service for Holocaust Memorial Day. It was a cold day but at least it was not raining like last year. Cold enough to cause one young man from a local school to feint. I wont name them but many of you will recognize some of the faces of the crowd that attended.

Supreme Queen at Swindon Wyvern Theatre

Saturday night I was at the Wyvern Theatre again, this time to photograph Supreme Queen. They were awesome, what a performance and so much like the original Queen band. They were so good I got really carried away and shot nearly 1000 images. So I found it quite difficult to select and process them down to a reasonable level. This is just a very small selection of the gig. I am sure some people are against ‘tribute acts’ as they are not ‘the real thing’ but trust me, this band are awesome and well worth going to see.

Diana Dors Blue Plaque Unveiled in Swindon

Saturday lunchtime saw me in Kent Road Swindon where there was the unveiling of a Blue Plaque for Diana Dors who was born at 61/62 Kent Road in Swindon. The plaque was unveiled by her youngest son actor Jason Dors-Lake and her granddaughter Ruby Lake. Diana Dors Cadillac was also there in front of the house, now pink but was originally white and presented to Diana by the film studios. It has to be said that Jason was quite a ‘character’ and was spreading peace and love for much of the visit to his mother’s birth place.

An interesting and of course enjoyable couple of hours for me.

Dick and Puss an Adult Panto in Swindon

Friday evening found me at The Wyvern Theatre. I had been allowed to go side of stage to take photos of Dick and Puss an Adult Panto. Well firstly what lovely lovely people they were or are should I say. They invited me up into the dressing room and I had such a lovely chat with them. They made me feel so welcome and at ease which of course is so important as I firmly believe that my (or any photographer for that matter) state of mind is reflected in the passion and quality of the photographs I (you) take. I like to think my photos are or border on art rather than just a ‘record’ of what went on.

Anyway, I laughed so much during the performance I sometimes found it hard to hold the camera steady. I like bawdy humour and it was bawdy but I and the audience really enjoyed it, and the audience joined in very enthusiastically.

So, if you ever get the chance to get to see them, do so, don’t take the kids though it is an hilarious adult panto.