Round up 2

And the results for January are in………………………………….

Jan 2017 hr

Mon 2nd  – 36:48 mins. 3.0 miles. 12:13/mi. 811 ft elevation

Thu 5th  – 1 hr 19:43 mins. 6.4 miles. 12:25/mi. 2014 ft elevation

Sat 7th – 1hr 06:39 mins. 6.0 miles. 11:06/mi. 1643 ft elevation –

Tue 10th – 1 hr 29:27 mins. 8.2 miles. 10:54/mi. 1598 ft elevation

Thu 12th – 1 04:18 mins. 5.5 miles. 11:41/mi. 1620 ft elevation

Tue 24th – 49:06 mins. 4.5 miles. 10:54/mi. 897 ft elevation

Thu 26th – 49:19. 4.9 miles. 9:57/mi. 561 ft elevation

Sat 28/01 – 1hr 12:20 mins. 6.1 miles. 11:51/mi. 1266 ft elevation

Monthly totals:

Time: 10hrs 0:13.

Distance: 44.6 miles

Average pace: 13:27/mi

Elevation: 10,410 ft

Down in all of the parameters- Time, Distance, Pace, and Elevation, compared to the previous month. I’m not overly concerned by this, and I did have a bout of horrendous lurgies that knocked me completely off my feet and kept me from running for almost 2 weeks solid. The important thing is…………….I enjoyed each and every one of these runs.

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Back to the Future

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Having taken an entire year off from running stupidly long distances has had the effect of altering my attitude to those same stupidly long distances. I haven’t changed my mind about running Ultra’s. Not at all or in the slightest. It is still something that I most certainly want to do. No, I just look at at them a tad differently now than I did before.

As I return to the non conventional clique of ultra running………. I am somewhat apprehensive. I previously had curiosity, intrigue, some concerns, and even some worries. But not any apprehension. However I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what I am apprehensive about. I think it is a mixture of things to be perfectly frank. Finding the time to train, the long laborious solo runs in preparation, the pain before the purple patch before the pain again, and other things that I perhaps haven’t identified yet

For by reducing the distances I have ran for the last year, I have removed those thing from the equation when I have thought about going for a run.  Going for a short 1 hr run up The Plain has needed much less organising, has required much less mental strength, and been vastly less punishing on my body, than getting ready for an Ultra.

Now I have to build them back into the equation.

That’s that sorted then

Like a plan…..kind of….ish

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Now that all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Year are behind us, I have given some thought to the training for my much anticipated return to the world of ultra’s (anticipated by exactly who I can’t answer). So pull up a seat, make a coffee, make ya self comfy, and prick your ears back (figuratively speaking…..cos I’m not actually talking am I…….try keeping ya eyes peeled instead then)

The plan…..kinda…..ish actually isn’t a plan really. At the present I have a good idea of what kind of running I intend to do, but when and how that running will actually occur, I don’t really know. So I will explain what I do know:

I didn’t run any great individual distances last year at all. The farthest I ran on any one single run was just over half marathon distance. Instead I made the decision to increase the elevation gain of my runs. And I enjoyed doing so. I had planned to run a particular route that is just over marathon distance and has an overall elevation of over 5,200 ft. Several of my Fac Off buddies had expressed an interest in joining me, and I was viewing this as a fun day out, no pressure, not a race……just a nice day out.  As on many other occasions, the Big L stepped in with other ideas, and I never actually managed to do this run.

So my plan….kinda….ish involves increasing my milage, time on feet, whilst continuing to have elevation gain as the bedrock. I will chuck in the fun day out run as part of that training. In the words of Bugs Bunny…….”That’s all folks”.

Round up

As per my previous post I am unsure how my training for Ham & Lyme will look, what it will entail, or even when it begins. Haphazard, sporadic, and lacking in continuity, will more than likely be accurate descriptions.

In the meantime I have decided to publish a monthly round up of the runs I have done, starting with the Dec 2016. Now the very high majority of my running is done off road. So with that in mind unless a run is annotated as * Road*…….. then it is off road. No frills, no long winded and never ending babble. Just the bare bones:

December 2016

Sun 4th – 1: 07:32 mins. 6.8 miles. 9:54/mi. 969 ft elevation

Tue 6th – 1:27:10 mins. 8.9 miles. 9:46/mi. 1845 ft elevation

Thu 8th – 1:09:35 mins. 7.1 miles. 9:47/mi. 1486 ft elevation

Mon 12th – 50:21 mins. 5.3 miles. 9:26/mi. 344 ft elevation.

Wed 14th – 53:51 mins. 6.3 miles. 8:32/mi. 647 ft elevation.

Fri 16th – 59:24 mins. 5.9 miles. 10:02/mi. 1064 ft elevation

Sat 17th – 1:17:11 mins. 8.1 miles. 9:31/mi. 1276 ft elevation

Tue 20th  – 1: 34:54 mins. 9.3 mi. 10:06/mi. 965 ft elevation

Sat 24th – 48:57 mins. 4.9 miles. 9:50/mi. 877 ft elevation

Tue 27th – 52:11 mins. 4.2 miles. 12:22/mi. 1601 ft elevation

Fri 30th – 54:14 mins. 4.4 miles. 12:15/mi. 1608 ft elevation

Sat 30th – 47:07 mins. 3.9 miles. 11:54/mi. 886 ft elevation

Monthly totals

Time – 12 hours 26: 27mins

Distance – 75.1 miles

Average Pace -09.56/mi

Elevation -13,568 ft 

Tick -Tock

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“Time is free….. but it’s priceless. You can’t own it…… but you can use it. You cant keep it…… but you can spend it”

“Time is the most precious commodity. It is the one thing you cannot get back and you cannot buy it. It is finite.”

“Time lost is never found again.”

“Time is precious………waste it wisely”

So there we have it.  A few obligatory quotes about “time” (cos lets be frank here, it just wouldn’t be a blog from me unless I quoted someone else). But time is precious, to me, to you, and to each and everyone on this planet. It not only is ours to use but also uses us. Time decrees when we wake in the morning, when we eat lunch, when we are working, when we are with our loved ones, when we are relaxing, when we are doing. When we are not doing. We all to some degree or the other find ourselves dancing time’s jig.

I am no more or no less unique in the demands that Mistress Time asks of me. I work, shift work in what at times can be a stressful job. I am a Husband, a Father, and a Grandfather. My wife and I have 6 children between us ranging from 8 years old to 28 years old. We own horses, dogs, and rabbits. I am a Governor at our local village school. Nothing exceptional or unique in any or all of that.

However, I should also mention that  my wife and my eldest daughter both have lifelong chronic illness’. I then have to mix in the fact that my youngest daughter has Autism and a recent secondary diagnosis of PDAS (Pathological Demand Avoidance Sydrome). The impact of these conditions combined with life’s routine and normal time demands leave me in a constant state of “juggling”. Juggling this appointment, that appointment, this hospital visit, that shift, the trip to football, childminding, cutting the grass, cooking dinner, etc, and so on. I now chuck in to the equation……..running. Participation in Ultra’s and the training for them, funnily enough requires a fair bit of running.

Having taken a break from the time demands that getting ready for an Ultra brings, but now being on the brink of returning to those same demands…………I am unsure exactly what my prep for Ham & Lyme in July next year will entail. I can however promise you that it will most probably be as sporadic and haphazard as all of my previous preparations.

 

“Fac Off”. “No. You Fac Off”

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I have been away for a considerable time now. Not that I have been on an extended holiday so have been too busy sunning myself on a beach with a crystal clear blue sea lapping at my feet to update anyone with my inane ramblings. Nor have I “been away” for an extended stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure either and been denied access to t’internetwebbthingy. No. But I have been  entirely absent from this blog for some time now.  However I have also been true to my word and  I have not ran any Ultra’s this year.

So what has been happening? Beyond Brexit and Trump that is (not gonna get sucked into any debate about those two pearls of wisdom here!!). If you are interest to know I suggest that you read on………….

I have continued to run. Shorter distances. But continue to run I have. I made, what I believe to be the correct decision, to take a year off from running Ultra’s. By default then this included the training that is needed to run an Ultra. In fact I think it would be accurate to say that the longest distance I have ran this year is just over  half marathon distance.

But in this time something incredibly enjoyable has happened…….. As I have stated previously I do not belong to any Running Club. I don’t for a solitary moment baulk at those who do. It has just never felt right for me. That’s all.

Saying that however, I have hooked up with a group of runners called Fac Off (Frome And Country Off Road Runners). A group of people who enjoy informal off road running without the strict application of any over zealous Health & Safety regulations. A group of individuals that accept personal responsibility for a twisted ankle, a bruised knee, nettle rash, perhaps even a badger bite , whilst on a group run, be that day or night. And, as if having a mature attitude towards the risks we all face when running wasn’t enough…….there is generally beer and chips involved after a run too!! As a solo runner for the previous 35 years, the discovery of this bunch of like-minded, mud obsessed, hill loving, idiots……..has been unexpectedly refreshing for me.

I will continue to run with this eclectic group of new found running buddies for as long as they will suffer me. But I am returning to the world of non conventional running next year. Ham & Lyme 100k with Albion Running, having deferred my entry this year, is carved in stone for July next year. It’s Albion Running so I know it’s gonna special and it’s gonna be unique 😊

 

 

Chocolate Bar

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I have been missing from this blog for sometime now and feel I owe an explanation

Just like a certain famous chocolate bar advises us all to do…..I am taking a break. A break from ultra running. For this year only. I will still run more conventional distances and I WILL return to ultra’s again next year. I have by no means lost my mojo for an extended period or fallen out of love with running. I just have a very real need to concentrate my time and efforts on other vitally important aspects of my life

I have a very busy year planned coupled with a very stressful lifestyle. I am not complaining about this and wouldn’t change my lifestyle for the world. It would not  be  appropriate for me to expand this with more detail beyond having reached a decision to concentrate my time in other areas of my life (and lets be honest here – training for ultra events and taking part in them requires a whole lot of time).

So my priority for 2016 is not to spend copious and endless hours roaming around the countryside as I take on my next big challenge (either in preparation or in participation) . By default then  Chapter 3 has been deferred until next year.

It has not been a flippant or easy to decision to come to, but none the less, I feel it is the right choice to have reached