Friday, 30 October 2009

It damn well IS about the bike!

There's something about cycling. I can no more go out for a gentle pootle on my bike than I can seduce Nicole Kidman (eh up, where's this going...). Take today. I meant to go out and just enjoy a nice easy loop through the village, up into Kendal, round the edge of town and back up the Shap road to home. With a heart rate of between 108 and 117 (60 -65% of max). What happened? Average heart rate 140, max 170. Somehow, every ride is like a time trial. It's just no fun unless the bike is going as quickly as possible. All the time. Is it just me?
I've had a very worky week this week, with not much opportunity to get out, so I'm feeling guilty and slobby. Maybe that's why my ride was so manic. I was angry with myself. Next week should be better as we're having a little home holiday. Mind you, these normally turn into vigorous training camps with informal schedules and such like, but this one will be a bit different as we're getting ready to have the old kitchen ripped out, a couple of walls knocked down and a new one installed. "Two weeks" says our (brilliant) builder. I have my doubts. Still, with a week off, I'm sure we'll get out. I wonder if Nicole's got a bike?
Cyclesmiley rating 8/10 (well, it was fun going 30mph downhill)

Friday, 23 October 2009

OMG, a PB!

Went for a lunchtime trot around the River Loop yesterday and stunned myself. I ended up doing it in 26.20, which, I think, is about 30s quicker than my previous best. I have absolutely no idea how it happened! All I can recall is having a sense of urgency because I needed to get back and work, so I ran each section between the stiles as a little interval. Not going mad, just pushing on. I guess the few seconds I saved each time gradually accumulated.

It was a lovely day for it. The breeze was chilly, but there was still some residual warmth in the sun. The sheep are all busily being made pregnant now, so they are going around with variously coloured buttocks (the ram wears a girdle-like contraption which bears an inky pad. He approaches ewe, mounts and, bingo, one bonk-stamped lady sheep), but there was a curious lack of birds. Perhaps they've all flown to the sun for the winter. The overgrown footpaths are gradually getting clearer as the vegetation dies back . I like this time of year. The gradual increase in light as the leaves fall is lovely yet the foul chilly stuff hasn't arrived. So a high smiley rating I think; for the PB and the conditions.
Smiley rating 9/10

Monday, 12 October 2009

My LSD for last week...

This is a deviation from the normal blog. Think of it as Smileywalker. I didn't do a long run this week. But we did do a long (6 hours) walk in the hills around Whinlatter.
We started up through the forest...
With tantalising glimpses of the open fell above us (Brown How is just up on the right)

From there we visited Whinlatter Top (below), Tarbarrel Moss, Ullister Hill, Lord's Seat, Broom Fell and Graystones before dropping down and back to the car.
Great day. Great skies. Cool and windy weather and a celebratory Green & Black's mini butterscotch chocolate back at the car. Now that's what I call long steady distance training!

Smiley rating 9/10

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Time to get real

I came to a major decision on my River Loop today. I've decided not to go for the Highland Fling next year.
It's a question of time; the amount of time taken up running and the amount of time required for the long runs. I guess I just don't want to commit to 4 hour+ runs on a weekend. So I'm scaling back my ultra ambitions and am going to refocus on doing more frequent, shorter events next year. More local, smaller-scale fell races for example. That way I can make my long runs a maximum of, say, 2 hours and combine them with shorter midweek runs, speed sessions, hills etc. It also gives me time to train by not running, something I'm getting increasingly interested in. I'm going to bike more. Gym more. Swim more. Mix it up. Find the fun.
I didn't expect to have such a major think on the run today. It was too beautiful a day for all that soul-searching! It just happened. After yesterday's rain the river was much bigger than just a couple of days ago. The sheep were just as dumb though, but it's getting into tupping time. So the rams are getting interested and the ewes, wary. I ran OK, with the last vestiges of my cold trying to climb out of my lungs, and the air was wonderfully crisp.
Smiley rating 7/10

Statto heaven!

For those who like numbers, I did a gym session yesterday:
15 minutes spinning bike, 15 minutes cross-trainer, 15 minutes rowing - all at 60-65% of max HR. Then weights: Flys and chest press lying on a Swiss ball, bicep curls and shoulder raises - all with 6kg dumbells. Lying chest press 2x12 reps with 15kg; seated shoulder raises 2x12 reps with 10kg; leg press 2x12 reps with 55kg; 2x12 reps hamstring curls with 10kg; 2x12 reps calf raises. Core stability: 2x12 reps of V-sits, 2x15 obliques in V-sit, 2x1min plank. Expresso in cafe to finish.
This is my new, non-running day routine, with the occasional 500m swim replacing one of the spinning/cross-trainer/rowing sessions. I've no idea how much good it's doing, but I feel great after doing it and I go with Maggie which makes it all the better.
Also, doing it makes you realise how office life / working at a computer and just running makes the upper body completely pathetic! My chest press and shoulder raise figures are a real laugh. But I'll carry on and see how I get on. I'm hoping to do some sea kayaking next year, so this should all help.
Smiley rating 8/10

Monday, 5 October 2009


Managed to totter round my lovely River Loop today. On the way back I overtook Mags who was enjoying a powerwalk around part of the course. It felt really funny running past my wife and just carrying on!
After a relatively dry September the river is very low. It's interesting because stones that are normally black with damp moss are browny white and the sound is a tranquil chattering, rather than the near-silent menace you get when it's really full. The sun was out. The sheep were nibbling contentedly. The crows wheeled around. All was well in Hayfella's world. Except my rasping lungs, but you can't have everything. Hopefully gettingout will chase out the last vestiges of my near-death apocalyptic evil killer flu (OK, a cold).
Smiley rating 9/10. For showing up.

Friday, 2 October 2009

All things Lemsiptastic

I should record the date, like those 'first cuckoo of Spring' letters that used to appear in the Times. I've got my first cold of winter. Expenditure on Kleenex and Lemsip through the roof. Feeling miserable. Snuffly. Pathetic. Moping about, making Mags' life grim. Typical bloke.
Feel better today. So am on the mend. Looking forward to getting out for a run again. That's a good sign.