Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ribble Valley 10K Road Race (Sunday 28th)

I entered this race to make me do something over the festive period, I tend to give in to eating and drinking (and this year playing Mario Kart on the Wii for hours) around Christmas and New Year.

I didn't have any hopes of a time for it as I had done nothing since the 23rd run wise and I also figured it would be a much more undulating course than Wesham as it was in Clitheroe.

I got there in plenty of time, picked up number and was determined to warm up properly so once I was finished all the admin faff I set off to run the last mile of the course (reverse direction) then run back again. This went well, a little sluggish at first but I felt better on the run back. It also gave me knowledge of the last mile of the race, which had a nice amount of downhill but a very cheeky hill right in the finishing straight.

There were some public toilets near where I was parked so I made a pitstop in them on the way back to my car rather than queue at the race HQ. I think it was still around 10:45 am when I was doing the final faff at the car thinking I had loads of time still to get to the start.

I thought the race started where it finished, err no! I heard someone say that they needed to get a move on because the start was a fair way away. So I set off running to the start, and kept running and running.....3/4 of a mile later I arrive at the start where just about everyone else is already lined up. What an eejit!

I get a minute or two to compose myself then it was pretty much straight off. I wondered how I was going to cope having done the best part of 3 miles as a warmup, my legs felt like jelly for the first mile.

It was a closed road course which was good, it also had a field of about 1000 runners which is probably the biggest field I have raced it. It meant there was always someone to pace off all the way round, I never bothered with my Ipod.

I took it easy for the first 5k then speeded up a bit as I felt good and thought I was probably taking it a little too easy. I only checked my pace a few times and never paid attention to the time until I saw it as I climbed that bloody hill into the finishing straight.

I got round in 52:21 so not too bad, I enjoyed the run which is the main thing and a three mile warmup may not be such a bad thing in future! I forgot to change the Garmin to km so my splits are in miles but it was (can see what effect that last hill had):

00:08:34 6.99mph 8.70mph 169bpm 180bpm
00:08:40 6.92mph 8.13mph 176bpm 181bpm
00:08:34 6.99mph 8.50mph 176bpm 179bpm
00:08:15 7.27mph 8.25mph 179bpm 182bpm
00:08:00 7.50mph 8.45mph 179bpm 181bpm
00:08:03 7.45mph 8.95mph 180bpm 184bpm
00:02:11 7.13mph 8.56mph 184bpm 186bpm

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


As I was allowed to finish work at 1:45 pm today I got to cycle home in the daylight. What a difference it makes, it helps it was a nice afternoon too. There were lot of people out and about in the park I cycle through (probably trying to knacker their kids out for this evening).

It makes such a change from the night commute. I have started my usual obsessive checking of the sunrise/sunset calendars again to see how much daylight we get back over the next couple of months (it'll be light after work in March, it when it always happens!).

Came home to wrap the last pressie of Jez's that I had completely forgotten about and opened some chocolates.

Christmas Eve Commute

I had been kind of planning to cycle to work on Christmas Eve all month. If the weather had been minging I might have passed on it but it is perfect this morning and it frees me from having to deal with any potential traffic problems on the M55/M6 today. Obviously as I've cycled in the motorways will be absolutely clear.

It was a pretty mild morning and lots of mist about on the fields as I climbed the short hill out of Preston. There was a lovely sunrise happening behind me and I almost crashed into a lamppost trying to look at it, then wobbled into the main carriageway of the Marsh Road at one point too. As the Marsh Road is a dual carriageway with cars hooning down it at 70mph minimum it wasn't an intelligent thing to be doing, traffic was at least very light being Christmas Eve. It really was lovely, gorgeous colours all diffused in the mist.

It is a major drawback of cycling west in the morning and east in the evening, I miss all the sunrise/sunset action. I hadn't brought my camera with me this morning anyway which is just typical when there is actually something to look at.

The new tyres seem fairly quick rolling even though they are a little wider at 1.5, I think they should help the handling when the panniers are fully loaded. I actually averaged 16mph today which is the fastest for quite while, even carrying the laptop as well as my usual clothes etc. Legs will probably fall off on the way home now!

Muddy Run

I found some mud to run through in St Annes yesterday, made a nice change from tarmac or sand. I took my kit to work to do a bit of a lunchtime run and thought about having an explore of some of the tracks/bridleways south of Queensway. I had a look on the satellite image of the area on Fetch and could see I could make a loop out of them from work.

I did wobble for a while when I thought I couldn't be bothered but our office seemed to be stiflingly hot so if nothing else I wanted to get out into some fresh air for a while. The tracks were flat as a pancake not surprisingly but it was nice to be running alongside fields, very quiet. The tracks were generally muddy and grassy bridleway, some really soft sections were really entertaining in road shoes.

I think there are plans in the pipeline to put a big housing development in this area which is a shame. The ground seems to be a complete swamp though so they are going to have to spend an absolute fortune sorting the drainage out, do not buy a house here!

I eventually picked up the track through the little woodland and popped out by the crematorium onto millionaires row and back to work. It was four miles at about 9mm pace, definitely a good decision to get out there. I can do a little bit more exploring but I should be able to get some nice loops out this way.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Night Ride

We had a bit of a festive night ride around Gisburn forest last night followed by pub meal in Slaidburn. It feels like ages since I have ridden offroad (because it is ages since I have!), the mountain bike always feel really slow and heavy after lots of tarmac riding. It was really a social paced ride rather than the blast such a short non-technical ride would normally be so good to take it easy.

There were 7 of us in total for the ride (with a few more joining us for the meal), including Stu and Deb on their tandem (I have come to really dislike being stuck on the back of ours so it languishes in the garage). It was quite a mild night but there was a lot of moisture in the air as we were in the cloud for part of it, though visibility with the powerful lights wasn't too bad considering.

Some section of the trails have become quite eroded since I last rode round the forest, not just by bikes but some sections have had a lot of water run down them, lots of quite loose stuff and ruts on parts of it which added to the entertainment value.

Its only 10 miles or so round which was just perfect for a group ride, I was ready for my food afterwards.

Where did the weekend go?

The weekend has passed in a bit of a blur, it was always going to be busy with staying over at friends on Saturday night (lots of wine consumed) and another friend staying with us from Sunday afternoon.

I didn't make the XC race on Saturday, I had a lot of stuff to do and I was doing ok timewise in the morning until work paged me around 9:30 am (I'm on call until 29th) which lost me just over two hours of my day whilst I sorted out the problem. I never quite caught up after that and the race had to give.

On the plus side I managed to finish my Christmas Cake off as I was stuck in the house "working".


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Club Run

Club run tonight. I can't make up my mind if I'm ill or not but felt not too bad today so no real excuse. I had to force myself out the door tonight, really felt like staying in which was made worse by the fact we had our woodburner fitted yesterday and its all warm and cosy with it lit (have to admit I was wrong about it). Its also December and its always difficult for me to keep things going in December what with seemingly constant darkness and festivities. I'm glad I made my running mileage target at the beginning of the month.

The few races I've signed up for are short and can be done off my current fitness base but should stop me vegetating completely. I have in the past continued to try to push throughout December and just ended up knackering myself out, an easy December usually means I'm raring to go in the New Year.

I found running very hard for the first three miles but I got more into it for the last 2.5 miles but I did seem to be really noticing the cold air on my chest and zipped up all my layers, it wasn't that cold really so it was a bit worrying. Chest did feel a little tight (getting all paranoid about a chest infection now!). It was just over 5.6 miles at about 9:31 pace which is as fast as I could be bothered running but it was good to get out.

Think I'll rest up tomorrow as we are now going out in the evening and save it for XC racing on Saturday. Apparently there will be some hills on Saturdays course, though its in Rossendale so I would be very surprised if there wasn't.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Still didn't feel like doing much today, briefly entertained the idea of going out for a run after work but gave that up and decided to make marzipan instead. I found a recipe describing it as easy and I already had all the ingredients in so off I went making my usual mess of the kitchen (I am not a tidy baker/cook).

I added some vanilla extract to the recipe and have to say it tasted not too bad at all, a little more crunchy than bought stuff as I had used golden caster sugar in it. I ended up with a fair amount of marzipan:


which I impressed myself with by not scoffing (well, apart from the obligatory tester piece or five) and put it in the fridge for a while whilst I rescued the cake from its hiding place under the stairs and got the apricot jam softened for sticking duties.

It rolled out surprisingly ok but its was a little more fragile than bought stuff but I managed to cover the cake ok:


Its supposed to dry for a couple of days then I can get on with bodging the icing. I also have enough left over to make Stollen (if I find the time).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Slop Slop Sloppity Slop

That's what I was running in today, interspersed with a lot of puddle infested hardpack trail for an XC race. I made it along to the Blackpool round of the MidLancs XC series this afternoon. I took both trail shoes and walsh fell shoes as I'd heard there was a lot of track at this one but when I turned up and saw the mudbath that was the field it was the Walsh's that were put on. It was very wet, lots of standing water on the car park I abandoned the car in.

I managed to get covered in mud just walking around, looking at the kids running round they were as filthy as they would be if they'd tried to cycle on it without mudguards, mud just flying everywhere.

A very short warm up, no where near enough but it was cold and I was sliding around a lot anyway rather than running. It was raining again byt the time the ladies race was ready to go. Another fast start but I held back a little as it was hard running all the soft mud but I managed to stay in touch with a few other ladies running which always helps. There was a lot of hardpack (with deep puddles) which was quite fast and didn't feel too bad running in the Walsh's though there was a short section of tarmac that was quite odd due to studs squirming (I went back onto the sopping grass quickly).

The course was around Marton Mere and also passed around the edge of a static caravan park which I wasn't expecting. I was glad to finish and felt a little better this time round though I was quite hungry for the last mile which wasn't ideal. The last section back to the finish was really hard work, it reminded me of Coniston trail race it was that wet and sludgy.

3.6 miles in 30:51, I was 50th out of 78 ladies so a bit of an improvement. I didn't bother putting my trousers back on, no point as my tights were so covered in mud (I realised the benefits of wearing shorts, baltic or not). I watched the men's race for a while until I started to shiver then headed home, heating on full blast in the car.

When I got home I very carefully took my muddy boots off and out them near the radiator to start drying out and managed not to get any mud anywhere. I walked upstairs but hadn't realised exactly how thick the crust of mud was on my tights and proceeded to scatter mud all over our biege bedroom carpet. I then compounded the error by not leaving it to dry and getting the hoover on it, which just succeeded in rolling it into the carpet or streaking the mud, sigh.

Had to have a go at it with the carpet cleaning foam, will need another go shortly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brrrrr out there today.

Garmin arrived last night, I picked it up on my way to my works meal which contributed in a little way to me ending up 20 minutes late for it and everyone wondering where I was. In typical me fashion I forgot to take my mobile with me so no one could get a hold of me and I had to hope I didn't break down on the pitch black M55 at any time. The biggest lateness contributer was the time hoover that managed to suck an hour out of my life last night without me noticing.

I configured the Garmin, removed the strap and replaced it with the pins (for bike mount and much comfier velcro wrist strap) and charged it up at work this morning. Was great to run with it again but I'd forgotten how big it was!

The wind was from a generally southerly direction so I ran the opposite way from normal. It felt so cold today, no sun to take the edge off. I headed down to Fairhaven Lake and ran back up towards the pier. I actually ran on the beach rather than the prom today for a bit of variety, though the softer stuff was quite hard work at times. There was also a section of quite cambered beach that my right IT band really didn't appreciate at all. Will be stretching that a lot, do not want to have to go and get it all released and "massaged" out again, no sirree.

I left the beach at the lifeboat station and headed to M&S, which I located last night as I was driving round trying to find a parking space, picked up some food and again found it a faff running back to work with it in my hands.

5.2 miles at 9.05 mm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Stupidity

I managed to misplace my car key (and house keys) for a short time this evening. Nothing too dramatic when put like that but I misplaced them in my car, which I'd just parked up after driving home and hadn't gotten out of yet. Luckily Jez was already home so I could go into the house and pick my little Joystick up and come out and look for them.

I found them on the floor behind the passenger seat!???? I am surmising that I took them out of the ignition (which I really cannot remember doing at all) and put them on my jacket on the back seat but forgot and pulled the jacket out and they've fallen off onto the floor and I really cannot remember doing anything with them.

If I'm this bad now what am I going to be like when I'm a pensioner, I already struggle with packaging, my 76 year old nana can open stuff better than me.

It is not Thursday!

So why have I spent all morning thinking it is?????

Anyway, took my kit to work today for a lunchtime interval session. Its a lovely day but the wind felt really bitter when I was running into it on my warmup. I took in a short section of beach just for variety before getting back up on the prom for the hard work.

The plan was 5 x 3 minute intervals with 1.5 minute recoveries. I did all intervals ok, I tend to find the longer ones easier to pace though the amount of distance covered is increasing as I turned round and did the last interval back up the way I came (it just takes me further away from work otherwise), over 2.5 miles over the intervals and recoveries. The last one was into the wind which was much more difficult.

The last jog back to work was into the wind and was cold and the cold air seemed to be annoying my chest more than usual, I have been doing a lot in the dry cold air lately so will have to keep an eye on that.

Just over 7 miles in total between warmp up/intervals/warm down. Not sure what I'll do tomorrow as bike won't be fit to ride, probably bring my running kit in for a short one at lunchtime. I won't be going to the club as its my works Christmas meal tomorrow night.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The P Word!

I set off home at about 5pm but I didn't get very far. Had all the usual clothing and bike faff, lights on, out the door and a few pedal revolutions and I decide that the saddle was too low. I thought it had slipped this morning but now I was sure. I stopped under one of the remaining working lights in the car park to adjust it and as I was looking down at the saddle QR I heard the heart sinking noise of air leaking out one of the tyres - arse!

It took me a while to decide if it was a leak or not, neither of the tyres seemed to be getting softer and I was stood next to a drain, so I moved up a bit just in case it was the drain, nope! I rolled back into my building and into the bike cupboard. It was definitely coming from my tyre and I pinned it down to the rear.

I took it out and moved the wheel round listening but then spotted this stuck in the tyre:

It was in sharp side down (naturally) and had cut right through the tyre, I prised it out and the remaining air in the tyre came with it, ho hum.

So tyre levers out, tyre off rim (came off easily, hurrah), spare tube out, multitool out, mini pump out. The tyre was cut right through so I used the knife on the multi tool to cut a section off the old tube to try to protect the new one a little. New tube in, tyre back on (managed to get it on with my thumbs only, hurrah again). Starts pumping air in. 15 minutes later no appreciable difference in the tyre and I remember why I hate mini pumps.

Someone offers me a lift home, which was very thoughtful but no idea who it was so declined. Someone else who I do know offers me use of the electric pump he has in his car but I have presta not schraeder valves so no go. He also offers me a lift home but it would be well out of his way so I decline, if I have to I'll ring Jez.

Another 10 minutes of pumping and I think there is a smidge of air in the tyre, I phone Jez. He's happy to come get me but does mention that if I've been at it that long then perhaps there is a problem with the pump - d'oh, why didn't I think of that.

Luckily there is one other bike in the cupboard with incidentally exactly the same mini pump as mine, I borrow it. I don't hold out much hope but its quite obvious after a few strokes that it is pushing air into the tyre. I get the tyre up to a fairly decent pressure (go me - mini pumps still suck though). I phone Jez back and suggest he meets me just outside Warton, it'll take me about as long to cycle there as it will take him to drive there.

I did think about cycling all the way home but: I have a pump that is useless, no spare tube and a cut rear tyre, not sensible. It was after 6pm (about an hour after I'd originally set off) when I finally left site, the temperature was dropping and it was frosting up. I cycled through the little park and just comprended as I approached it that the large puddle was actually starting to freeze, nothing I could do but ride over it and hear the ice crunch.

I got to Warton just as Jez did, perfect timing.

I have a feeling that piece of glass is part of the debris from the crash I had to cycle past the other week, my own fault for not checking my tyres. I used to do it religiously when I was commuting several times a week and I need to start doing it again, particularly on a bike I rely on as transport. I also need:

Another pump
Another tyre/tyres (Vredestein don't make the S-Licks anymore, boo)
Spare tubes
Some tyre boot material in the pannier
A headtorch when commuting (used to carry one all the time)
To start checking my tyres for debris, lubing my chain, generally looking after the Spesh.

I was very lucky it didn't happen on the pitch black section of the Marsh Road!

More expense! I almost pulled the trigger on a new Forerunner 305 today, I've been looking for it fairly systematically over the last few days but I still haven't found it. One more try tonight then I think I'm going to buy another one (no big deal if we end up with two, Jez keeps muttering about using it again as its technically his).


I woke up feeling very tired yesterday, didn't sleep at all well and mindful of all the bugs going round decided to have a rest day. I felt ok when I woke up this morning so was probably a good idea. I got all my kit on, had a slice of toast and stepped out the house to get the bike and everything was all sparkly - for some reason I wasn't expecting it at all.

It wasn't a hard frost but the road was well covered. I walked my bike to the end of our cul-de-sac before getting on but not clipping in. It was pretty slippy all the way to the centre of Lostock Hall where the traffic volume had cleared most of the road. I clipped in here as it was almost clear but occasionally had to avoid the odd icy puddle. I did think about heading back home as I didn't fancy another hour of riding on ice again. I decided to give myself until the docks to make a decision.

When I got to the docks it started raining, the cycle path was completely clear though very wet so I continued on. The rain got heavier for a while then stopped. There was no more frost at all but lots of water. The wind picked up on leaving Warton (or I probably just turned into it) and the rain followed. It was hard work fighting the wind for the last few miles and just to round things off the rain got really heavy with the odd bit of hail.

My lower legs were pretty wet when I rolled into work but my top half was bone dry, hurrah for Paclite. I do have the trousers in the pannier and I can put them on if its wet on the way home, my knees got quite cold once the lycra was wet but I coudn't be bothered to stop on the way in and put them on. However the sun is shining here now so I might get away with it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Target Reached

I set myself the target of running 600 miles this year, todays easy run took me to 601 miles so I'm a happy bunny.

I've joined the 750 mile group of Fetch for next year, it will be a push but all the long runs I will have to do early next year should get me up there. I won't mention my cycling miles as they've not been that great, however the commuting I've been doing has helped so I'm going to set myself a target of 2000 miles next year.

I may review it upwards but I'm factoring in that the marathon training may take a lot out of me at times and the cycling will take a back seat.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Run (ish)

Set off to do a longish offroad run. I decided to run from Abbey Village, up to the Tower then back down. I decided against running Great Hill as I thought it was too cold to have my feet sub merged in freezing water for long periods of time - this turned out to be a good decision. I ended up going out a bit later than I had originally planned but I don't think this was a bad thing in the end.

I expected it to be a little icy up around the tower but fully expected to be able to run ok on the lower tracks - excepting perhaps the top steep part of Mill Lane as its always wet and gets little sun, I expected that to be frozen.

The run was 8.5 miles long but I actually only ran, in the accepted sense of the word about 3.5 miles of that the rest was sliding, skipping, tip toeing, hopping, lots of walking and one arse/ice interface. I think the watch said 1hr 50 minutes or so moving by the time I'd finished but I gave up with really worrying about the time pretty early on and got the camera out. If I'd been wearing the Garmin I expect it would've stopped recording a lot I was going that slowly. Just as well it was an absolutely beautiful day!

After parking up, getting my kit on and setting off I had only just gotten past the Hare and Hounds pub when it was icy on the very first track - I reasoned it out that it probably hadn't much sun. I managed to run ok along the verge and the non-frozen bits and it was fine after about 30 metres anyway. Just before the reservoir overflow (which was running hard) I was passed by two MTBers. I was behind them and they were riding ok until the corner at Roddlesworth Res where they started riding very gingerly. More ice, this time covering pretty much the whole track but only in that corner, which is quite shaded. The water at the edge of the reservoir was frozen though. They continued on up the fireroad but I took the narrow track in the woods instead, which was absolutely fine for running.

There was a large patch of sheet ice on the track just as I started climbing, easy enough to get past on the edge and keep running but I'm glad I wasn't coming the opposite way on a bike. I wasn't expecting the ice so low down but it was clear againg for a while. I past the little fishing jetty and continued on, the track was ok for a while then it became solid ice:
It was basically snow which had melted to slush then frozen solid again. It was a couple of inches thick in places with footprint indentations in it. I managed here to run up the side of the track as it was impossible to move on the ice. When I got to the kissing gate at the end I had to hang onto it and pull myself up the steps as they were so icy.

The bottom of Mill Lane was fine, the odd patch but it was easily runnable, then it became ice again. I had the choice of slipping around on the ice or moving up through running water (baltic) at the side, eventually even that ran out and I was hanging onto trees at the side of the track to continue moving. The top section I expected to be frozen wasn't but it was streaming with freezing cold water and I could run again, for a bit.
I got to the top of the track and turned for the Slipper Lowe carpark, more ice on the main track and more verge running. The carpark had a thin layer of ice on the road as well but there was a strip of clear tarmac I was able to run. I decided I wasn't going back that way and did think for a minute that if its this bad down here what is it like at the top? I decided to find out!

I took the bridleway signposted Lyon Den to take me up onto the top of the moor. The bottom section had obviously had the sun because it was melted and I was able to run easily, pretty much all the way to the bottom of the right hand switch back where I had some ice, then some frozen solid snow. I could actually run on the snow, it was solid and I got good traction surprisingly and managed to get to the gate at the top of the climb running. It was a bit hit and miss for running all the way up to the next gate, I had to run on the track edges a lot but sometimes even they were icy. I had a choice here, I could continue straight on over to the Tower or take the usual route, down a bit then off round the rutty singletrack and back round to the tower, as I love running that singletrack I decided on that.
I sat on the bench and had a gel, it was going to take a lot longer than I planned for this run, it really was a stunning day:

I set off down the wide track for a bit, it started off ok but then changed to more frozen snow with the odd patch of ice. The snow had been well trodden in and the footstep indentations had frozen. It was really hard work to run on. I tried stepping on the flat bits of snow and it would work for a while but after a few steps I would go through the snow and flounder about. I ran at the edge of the track where I could but it was very slow progress. The footstep shapes were so frozen that I had to be careful not to turn my ankle on the edge of them.

I was slip/sliding all over the place on the way down the main track but strangely the first part of the singletrack was ok. A bit more running and general bog hopping for a change. It all changed character again when I started heading back towards the Tower.

The snow had filled up the track and had again frozen over, I gave up any pretence of running and just tried to keep moving forward. I got my feet very wet a couple of times and as I was constantly in snow and not moving very fast they were quite cold for a while. I have a feeling the track down from Great Hill would have been like this today. The closer I got to the tower the deeper the snow was and the more difficult it was to move forward.

I tried to keep stepping in ready made footprints but it didn't always work and I was worried about my ankles and knees as they were taking a battering with all this slipping and tripping. Eventually the frozen snow was so deep (stuck my foot in a frozen print and I went in over my knee) I was using hands, knees, elbows and arse to keep moving. It was hilarious and tiring - I had another gel before setting off to the tower.

More of the same disjointed moving all the way to the Tower. I got there and had a look around. The visibility was good but it was obvious all the tracks were suffering from the same problem apart from the steep drop down to Sunnyhurst Res (surprisingly). I climbed up to the tower and sat one of the benches at the bottom to decide which way I was going to go down.
I decided on the steep way, I didn't believe it would be clear all the way down but it was a lot shorter. As I moved off the tower I stepped onto a smooth sloping section of paving that lead to one of the flights of steps to get to the tower base. I hadn't realised it was frozen and as I put my right foot on it I started sliding. I had the sense to basically sit down and so slid to the steps on my arse rather than having a big dramatic fall. I ran the top section of the descent slowly, watching out for ice. It was fine until I turned the left hand corner and was confronted by:

Which was by far the worst yet! The sun doesn't really get round there (I did know that) and it was very deep and very frozen. Lots of trying to stay in footsteps and mincing down in general to the bottom. What I could see of the other track it looked much the same.
More sheet ice then across the field, I could at least run on the grass. I got to the road ready to drop down to Earnshaw Res which I expected to be fine but was again really icy. On the rougher parts of the track I managed to get some traction but halfway down I was again reduced to hanging onto the hedge to not slip. I ran along the grass at the side of the road but then stopped just before heading up the steep cobbles of Dean Lane. I've never seen the reservoir so still, it was like the proverbial mill pond - did I mention it was a beautiful day:

Again to confound me the really steep cobbly track was clear (but very wet and going to freezed hard) so I actually managed to run most of it but then the rest of it was a bit icy. There was actually a good line to run for most of it but it didn't stop the huge group of pensioner ramblers from thinking they owned the entire track and getting miffed when I didn't seem to want to run on the ice.

I decided to do the fence track which wasn't actually frozen but complete slop, the novelty was refreshing and I ran most of it. Then I just ran down the fireroad back to the car which was my longest spell of uninterrupted running so far!
The sun was really dropping by the time I got back to the car and its all going to freeze hard again - I won't be bringing my bike round here tomorrow!
There were some nice ice patterns on the last res, highlighted by the dropping sun:

That was a bit long! Did I mention it was a beautiful day ?

Friday, December 5, 2008


That was my run today! I think I've got rid of the sniffle that had me, I've certainly got my motivation and energy back and if it had been dry last night I would've went out with the club but Jez's disapproving look when I mentioned it convinced me I probably shouldn't go out in freezing rain when trying to get rid of a cold.

I felt a little sniffly still this morning but I was ok once up and about. I had to get some cash to pay for my Xmas works meal so I thought I would head into St Annes town centre, via the beach, pick up some cash and a nice posh butty from M & S then head back. 30 - 40 minutes would be enough.

It was cold setting off and the battery in my HRM strap needs replacing as otherwise I'm dead with a 00 bpm heart rate. I got some cash just outside work then trundled off. I wasn't paying attention at all and ended up on some different streets, then on the wrong side of St Annes Road East which was just daft so I had to run north for a bit before hitting the beach. I got blown down the beach, I think "bracing" is the term, it was great, definitely good to be running.

I ran under the pier then popped back up onto the prom to head back into St Annes. I ran down the prom a bit first, which was a bit of a mistake because once I got to Clifton Drive I had to run all the way back again to get to the shops.

Now I know there is an M & S food hall in St Annes, I've seen it with my own eyes, but could I find it today? I ran up and down the main square for a while looking like a complete plank until I gave in and went into a bakers and bought a less luxurious butty. They had no fivers so I got 8 pound coins back which made it sound like I had sleigh bells on when I ran with them stuffed in my pockets - I just turned my Ipod up but people did keep turning round when I approached them.

I ran back to work carrying the butty, I don't know how people can run with those doughnut bottles in their hands, I hate having stuff in my hands when running.

I measured it at 5.21 miles (excluding prancing up and down the square) and I did double back on myself at least once as well. Just over 45 minutes at 8:45 pace.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Had to come back home as had what turned out to be a very long dentist appointment (should've checked what was involved before agreeing to crown rather than replace a filling). Lots of icy pavements and a very icy car park. I'm just so glad I was travelling at a snails pace and not my usual fling my car into the space as when I hit the brakes I didn't stop immediately, would've slipped into the car in the opposite space!

Feeling a bit sorry for myself, the dentist surgery was freezing and I'm going to have to work later at home to make up some time now as I thought I wouldn't be that long. I'm feeling like I want to hibernate, hopefully it will pass soon, along with this sniffle (be gone!).

Off to make some hot Bottle Green Spiced Berry (in lieu of mulled wine) to feel better - oh and have some extra zinc, the white spots are back on my nails again.


That was my right calf muscles yesterday as I got out the car at work. I tried a short jog across the car park and it was a bit of a sharp pain, even I'm not daft enough to try to run through that. It is better today though, more stretching and its no longer sore to touch.

I think I'm fighting off a bit of a sniffle, lots of people in the office not well so am just going to take it easy for the next few days - other people's germs! Its too icy for me to be happy cycling (Stu had to walk part of his cycle commute today) and its actually really icy on the pavements in St Annes today so not really runnable. May just give in to the weather this week.

On the good news side Jez and I have been given tickets for the Revolution at the Velodrome on Saturday, really looking forward to it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rest Day Today!

I spent most of Saturday afternoon engaged in calorie manufacturing (pastry, ice cream, mince pies assembly) and stood on my feet. I was tired in the evening as had decided to take it easy on Sunday.

Sunday was a gorgeous cold day so I decided to walk into town to do some little bits of Christmas shopping. I thought it might be icy and decided against the bike and got the SLR to take some pictures of the frostiness. I took the less direct route into town and took a few pictures along the way, walked around town for a while then walked the same way home. Most of the path was ok, I slipped on two black ice patches at the start but the tramway bridge was lethal, very icy

I then spent the rest of the afternoon on my feet again sorting various bottles of Cranberry vodka out and lots of other stuff. I was knackered by 6pm and my legs felt sore - I walked about 8 miles in all heading to and from town - so much for an easy immobile Sunday.

It was really frosty this morning and my calves were really tight when I woke up. I got my running kit together in case I felt like a short run at lunchtime. I actually had to scrape the car the frost was so thick, even the heated screens took a while to clear. I was almost at Jct 32 when I realised my works pass was still in my pannier from Friday! I decided to turn back an get it and headed down to Preston rather than the M55, big mistake, lots of traffic queueing to get into Preston and I was stuck in it.

I got home again, got out the car and my legs were now really stiff, picked up my pass and headed back to work now driving on diesel fumes and if I stopped to get more I would be even later in.

I'm having a rest day today!