Running In January

After a few days of debauchery, running in January is always a massive effort for me. It’s like trying to start an engine that hasn’t been turned on for months. I can feel those extra pounds and every glass of wine/beer/etc swinging from now protruding gut.  Today was a glorious day though and with tired legs, I really made the effort to get out in the hills for a nice, slow 6 miler. I know after a couple of weeks of solid running I will be back to enjoying it again.

Happy New Year!

 

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Grizdale Night 10km

We made a weekend of this in the Lake District. So during the day we drove over to Lake Grasmere and got the Kayak out for a paddle on this lovely bit of water.

On the way to this race from our cottage we booked in to Ambleside I told my daughter there was a kids 1km race. She said she wanted to do it. She’s not keen on running so I was pleased she wanted to have a go. When we arrived at Grizdales visitor center we could hear a brass band playing Christmas tunes. It was a lovely touch to what is already a great race atmosphere. Everyone with hats and head torches and the odd person dressed as Santa or an Elf.

We ran with the kids. Set off and I was immediately reminded of the steep start to this course. At the 500m point Santa was there to give the little humans a high five and send us back down the hill. The kids got a medal at the finish line and we was nicely warmed up for the 10km race.

We ran this race in February of this year so I was familiar with the route. It is 3 miles up and then 3 miles down. I trained well for this event and found the hill a lot easier than I did on the previous occasion.

Running at night with all the head torches bobbing up and down really adds to the great atmosphere. These Petzl Night runs are now a firm favorite of mine which I have said in other posts.

Now the proper marathon training starts.

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Cold Days Running.

This has to be the perfect weather for trail running in. It’s cold, no wind and the ground is slightly frozen. After work, the sun is about to set and I managed to squeeze in a quick 3 miler. It may have been short but this is one of the best runs I have done this year.

  • This Month – 65.4 Miles
  • This Year – 550.3 Miles

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Coed Llandegla 24km Trail Race

24km is an odd distance for an organised race, that’s 14.9 miles. When and if I make it to the finish line and my GPS says 14.9 miles I will run that extra bit crawl that extra bit to make it to 15.

Coed Llandegla (Coed means wood in Welsh) is a race I am doing next weekend. This place is where I usually take my mountain bike for a run as they have some great routes. Training has gone really well with a slight drop in weight, which always helps.

Making an effort to do more trail runs as the road pounding is becoming tedious although I’m not going to stop doing those types of runs. Looking forward to this.

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Running Heaven

There are times when running is just plain grim. Usually when you first start out or after an illness and post Christmas. I find running hard most of the time but every now and then you get gems like the run I had on Sunday.

We went for a 7 miler on the trails in the hills of Llangollen near a place called Llandegla where I sometimes take my mountain bike for a spin. Late afternoon on a Sunday evening after an already great weekend this was by far the best way to put and end to the…..well……weekend.

I still found it physically hard but the environment puts all that to the back of the mind and I can honestly say this is the first time in ages where I have run with a massive grin on my face. The post run buzz was great and enhanced even further when I got home after a nice hot shower to find a really good glass of red Italian waiting for me to saviour.

Sometimes running can be heaven.

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Snow Way

In a few weeks I’m doing a Half Marathon Trail Race in the Lake District. I work in an ideal environment to train for this sort of thing so after work I’m out and about on the hills plodding around. The ground is saturated at the moment and very muddy in places. The other week I was doing my usual run in my normal running trainers. I was slipping and sliding all over the place and basically skiing down the slope bits.

I have these Inov8 trainers that a mate had got me and they have a blocky tread. I did the same run in equally bad conditions if not worse and the confidence in grip was fantastic. No slips at all and I was able to just run instead of worrying about the ground.

I now take 2 pairs of trainers with me to work and decide what to use just before the run.

No more skiing for me.

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Scotland – Christmas Break

Those days between Christmas and the New Year are usually lost on me and I sometimes end up doing nothing and regretting it. A couple of days ago I got back from a great couple of days spent in the southern parts of Scotland and exploring parts of Hadrians Wall in the far north of England.

We found ourselves on a dark Friday night walking to Tunskeen Bothy to spend the night. We were here just a few weeks ago and promised ourselves a quick return to do some more exploring of the area. There really is something quite special about opening the door to one of these cosey shelters and finding like minded people have left food, cut wood and other supplies for the next people who come across the place. We made ourselves a hot meal and had a good nights sleep.

Many northern parts of the UK have been hit by some serious flooding and as such we found ourselves cut off from the approach to a mountain we wanted to get up that day. So we made other plans to go and explore the nearby west coast. We went to 3 castles that day with one of them being Turnberry Castle which has links to Robert The Bruce and is thought to be his birthplace.

We decided to go to another bothy that night. It was some mileage away and again we found ourselves in the dark walking uphill in the driving rain among unfamiliar hills. When we found the building with our headtorches struggling to spread light in the foul weather we were rewarded with a wonderfully well kept mountain bothy. Another really great place that gave us another great nights sleep.

The next morning we awoke to a cold windy day and set off down the hills back to our transport.

On our way back we took in a walk along parts of Hadrians Wall with a visit to Birdoswald Fort. An incredible place that has opened the door for us to explore this border area in the future.

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7 Miles Around The Great Orme

We do this run 3 or 4 times a year. The kids are at school and we book the time off to spend the morning running around this massive Limestone rock on the North Wales coast and then rewarding ourselves with something hugely calorific but delicious. It’s 3 miles up and 3 miles down with the last mile running down the prom. In February the Nick Beer 10km race is held here which we have done a few times over the years.

This Sunday in a howling gale we plodded around but despite a cloudy start were rewarded with some great views of Snowdonia. We couldn’t hang around to long at the top as it was getting a bit nippy. Great run and a lot of fun.

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