Thursday, 10 March 2011

UTMB ...It's all about it really.

la la la love

Seems a lot of peeps having a hard or stressful time at the mo so i hope my catchup doesn't seem like a whinge .I’m very lucky . I have good health, a job and enough money to pay my bills. . Lots of folk out there having a hard time at the moment including a fair few friends of mine so a couple of bones that don't seem to want to stay put is nowt really.

So this is just where I’m at for those interested, two months have gone by since I did the foot again so no running here. It’s been a funny old time trying to train. I’ve mixed it up good and proper with spinning, gym bike swimming etc. It's all been fairly light stuff and in a way it’s not been too bad. I’ve had to stop now and again if I felt any hurt in the foot and the training has been far from all out because of it.

Probably the best thing has been the twice weekly tri club swimming session. I really can’t be doing endless lengths but in this one hour sess I’m directed to do whatever , usually before I’ve got my breath back from the last set ! . I was moved to the fast lot after on a couple of sessions but any pretensions of being fast as soon knocked on the head. If six of us are in the fast lane then I hold my own in third or fourth. If it’s only g, J and me in then I’m hanging onto their coat tails! Still I know I’ve done a sess and I like that. Mind i still have to be careful . I've pushed of a couple of times to hard and felt pain in my foot. Even swimming has its risks.

I’ve virtually zero roads biking so I accepted an invite to go up to Stirling and ride with Jules & co. I took up my cyclo cross bike after hardly being on it since I got it fully expecting to have to work a bit harder to keep up with the road bikes but how wrong was I . I joined the Stirling bike club social and development group as Jules said they teach how to ride in groups really well. Of we went and I was soon struggling to keep up!.Think i was asked if i had just removed the stablizers !

Heck I was knackered! Still Jules was right and I’m really pleased I went because I learnt so much. Riding close up in groups takes a bit of getting used to. Your wheels are only inches apart! Yet it seemed to work. Over dinner and wine Jules said in his inimitable way he would lend me a training bike and if I still could not keep up I may as well give up !! lol.

The next day I ditched the bike for one of Jules training bikes and it was a different world. A smaller but faster group of TRI club peeps was out and I more or less kept up. I was dropped on a couple of hills be not by much. I had two fantastic days not least for the company and ended up each day in probably the best Italian cafes around after each ride. Great craic .

After i headed north with the idea of walking the finish of the Cateran trail race at the spital of glenshee. I phoned ahead and they said there was very little snow and the hills were fine to climb. In the morning it was a different story and thick snow abounded. I didn't have the right gear for that but i can think if worse places to be stuck . The bar never closed either. Another time .

Keswick -Buttermere missed again . I do love that race. I doubt there can be many tougher or more beautiful road 20 milers (34k). Bomb went off while El bee reminded me how crap my bike was on road. (I kid you. Like the Stirling lot he was full of patience & encouragement.)

We went up Honister pass (had to get of an push the step bits) . My brakes were rubbish down the other side and man is that steep. Heck , i been out out the kona tourer bike a few times and it was 100 times better than this bike. Newlands was better but again had to push a bit then onto Winlatter which I made up, down and round and back up Newlands. Man I was truly rubber ducked. Great day out El bee . Great day and my foot didn’t hurt. 42 Miles of hills i think . Thanks Leon, i'll be poppeing back to do the same route again soon.

I got back and got the whip from the bedroom and thrashed the bike good and proper. It went on eBay and sold the cyclo cross bike and I have a shiny new road bike.

Naomi’s 100th came up fast. Of course I had hoped to run it but it was not to be. I’ll be there for the 200th though ;-) . In fact it was going to be a quick attempt by me,something I rarely do in road marathons but that will have to wait. maybe Loch ness in Otober or malaga Met up with Jim from the North east marathon club and George and chewed the fat in the airport. When we got there we found it had rained for two days and the course was flooded in parts. On the morning I took bomb to the coaches and it was freezing with a howling gale. Everyone was wrapped up in big winter jackets! I went back to bed. :-)

When I woke up it was warm and sunny with a slight cooling breeze.I was so pleased. Loco won the ladies race, collecting a trophy bigger than her .My first thoughts were ‘and your hand luggage allowance is …… ‘ Naomi came in with bomb both in great times considering the flooding , chiefy went sub 3:15 , stander took a huge chunk of his pb , B- lass got up from feeling well not well and ground out a decent half and everyone had a great race . With the sun out we were all able to celebrate at the finish line. I popped over to the bars across the road a few times to get cold beers. Twas Magic & the party was excellent as well.

So time went by. Two months now and I’m just feeling my foot will take some proper training at last.. This is good as my favourite race is only 11 weeks away. . …But… i find crazy sensible thoughts are going through my head. This is not usual or me at all. I thinking ‘can I run a 114 miles trail race with 20,000 ft ascent from zero running or if I’m lucky virtually no running and only cross training and zero winter training or long runs’ Is it wise to? And then there is the whw two weeks later. Another race I love. Do I want to risk the foot or give it another month or two? Never mind the Highland Fling and the Cateran beforehand. After all, I still have UTLD and SDWR. And, do I want to just get round. Why not give them up , do all the short local stuff I love and get proper fit.? Hmmm. Mind i will be gutted if i don't see my whw mates and most of all sandy pick up her goblet.

I know why these thoughts are there. A few weeks ago I was accepted into UTMB. (100 miles , 28,383 three counties , France, Italy, Switzerland. ) . Amazingly with all the trouble last year I still managed to qualify and then I was invited to share a chalet with some great Ultra running buddies.

It’s a big deal to me. If you know me, you know I don’t rally give a flying fuck about distance. I run races I like the look off -usually in lovely places. Ones that take me to great places in the company of lovely people. Could this be much better? A great race, in a great location with great buddies! And, the list of runners is like a who’s who of Ultra running. I’d love to watch this lot never mind be in the same race. In fact, I think it’s sort of becoming an unofficial European 100 mile Ultra running championship. I need my foot to be ok and be fighting fit to do it justice and of course savior it all.

I’m already resigned to missing the Hardmoors 55, in fact I’m now Race day race Director for the race. Big and daunting task being legally responsible for over 100 folks through the North Yorks moors.Especially at such short notice. Mind I’m honoured to be asked. It will be a very busy weekend as I’m supplying water and maybe some flapjacks down the North shore at the North East Marathon Club Kielder Marathon the next day.

This is lovely I hear you say, but I’ve been thinking about all the support I do. When I’ve been injured (which is the best part of a year) I do support where I can. Lately it’s been at various park runs and races.

However, if I’m going to have a chance, presuming the foot lets me and I decide on a just get round policy I need to train harder now. Unfortunately I have to work although as I’m my own boss I can play with the hours but still, this means just like running I need my weekends to do the equivalent of my long runs and races. Something to replace the long hill races doubles and such like I would normally do. The stuff that allows you to run fuck off miles and still walk ok after. I can’t imagine what my legs will be like if I do Hardmoors114 on nowt. . It will be a year since I ran an ultra and only a handful of other runs really and without all the hill races and runs I would expect my legs to pack in after. Should be interesting to say the least!

Anyway the shiny Bike has done about two miles since it was bought a few weeks ago. So this weekends ‘long run ‘is a probable 260K ride (Not all at once- I’m not El bee! -el bee (leon is doing 10 fred whitons in 10 days.. This is really really fuck off tough. Honestly , i watched the DVD the other day. Getting round once is the pinnacle of most good cyclists dreams . This is madness. Read about it and sponsor him at )

... No, it's over to the Cumbria, Yorkshire dales border taking in some beautiful dales and a couple of decent hill climbs, one of at least 1500ft, round yet another brilliant and beautiful race (dent dale)i should be running and back again for a night out with a great mate and to pick up a lost treasure on the way. Weekend one of ten training weekends . Mind i've just seen the weather forecast and If we get the heavy snow i'll be trying ot get the train back.

Anyway , no decisions about anything to make for a while so i'll just enjoy my training and see where i end up. I may be alot more upbeat next month . Soon the lighter nights will be here and some bike TT's start and the open water swims make the training more interestin. i might even run sometime.

oh and if you have some good tough x training sessions i'm all ears. I think i'd like to row a marathon but you need buns of steel to stay on a rower that long.


stay warm and sunny friends



  1. cycle a marathon...
    like your page loading, misty beige and flying birds, then you, in pink tight shorts ;)
    take care

  2. I think I better make a trip to the Indian reservation for some spell from the medicine man.
    And you better be down at least 2lbs by Tuesday xx