Fell Down The Stairs.

I had booked all last week off to spend time with the kids as they were on school holidays. On Tuesday I fell from my attic stairs and done my back in. I could hardly walk let alone run. I had grand plans for running. However it did give me the chance to catch with stuff I needed to do whilst laying on my back. No No!! not that.

Anyway I’m healing well now and ready to get my arse outdoors for some proper training over the next few weeks. I missed all the great weather boo hoo!

falling-tripping-down-stairs-staircase-stairway

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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.

shot

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Camping Snowdonia.

Me and my son decided to go out for a night of camping near Capel Curig in Snowdonia. It’s a short drive for me and a pleasure to spend some quality time with my boy (away from the girls) in a place we both love. It’s a working farm set amongst the mountains with views of Mount Snowdon near a lake. We had a great evening sitting around the fire stuffing our faces and putting the world to rights.

At about 06:30 I awoke with a bladder that felt like the size of a hot air balloon. Once the balloon was let down so to speak I looked across the lake to see the sun rising. It was simply stunning. Tom woke up and put his chin on my shoulder looking out to the scene and after a few minutes said “it’s too nice”

 

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Bespoke Fitness Denbigh 10km 2016

I haven’t done a 10km race in ages and as such was really looking forward to this. I have never done this event before and never done a race with this particular organisation. Denbigh is just down the road from where I live. I did the race with my other half and a mate of mine. This was one of those days where the weather was perfect for running, cool, sunny and a slight breeze. The hills here are brutal. Very little flats to plod along but you are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Really well organised with tremendous support from every single Marshall around the route.

I will  be doing this again.

 

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Data

For those of you who find a list of numbers and data, tedious, geeky and nerdy you need to look away now.
I have been recording GPS data of my runs and rides since about mid 2008. I lost 3 years of that data when my external hard drive which had all the gpx files on it died. So now the data only goes as far back as 2011. I don’t actually put it to any use. I know some people that correlate this data with food input, sleep patterns and all sorts of other parameters. I simply like collecting the numbers. Every couple of years or so I will have a browse and see if I can remember a random run and it’s surprising how much I do remember. I think the main reason I keep it though is motivation. I find myself reluctant to run if I forget to bring my GPS or phone. So I’m going to keep doing it for that reason alone.

I also have a written copy of my runs with a note or two on how it went. This I never read. I simply record it and turn another page. While I don’t have reams of text it does go as far back as 2006. This will, in all honesty be the most tedious thing anyone in the history of reading will ever read.

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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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Llyn Alwen and Llyn Brenig Trail Ride

I was supposed to do this route the day I smashed my ribs in. However a mate of mine persuaded me to go to a different place where I bit off more than I could chew. So it was great to finally get out to these 2 beautiful bodies of water tucked away nicely behind the Denbigh Moors in North Wales.

I got up early and the temperature was reading minus 2 centigrade. The last time I went up to these hills in the winter I got my van stuck on an icy track. I had nothing to fear it was a dry cold with no wind. Perfect conditions. I parked up near the Alwen Dam and set off in an anti clockwise direction around the reservoir. I was the only bod about at this time of the morning and I soon had a massive grin on my face enjoying the riding and the spectacular views. The route takes me north and when I start a descent we head east towards Brenig. Passing a track between the 2 lakes are some really muddy icy puddles that extend for half a mile or so. I was giggling like a little school boy as my bike slipped from left to right with every peddle but at the same time I was making steady progress.

Alwen

I arrived at Llyn Brenig and followed a new man made path around the northern part of the lake. As you rise up to this tedious stretch you are rewarded with the most spectacular view of the water and the hills. I paused to get a banana down my neck and some fluids but more importantly I was savouring this moment. The route then meanders along the shore of the lake and sometimes through little wooded areas. I then crossed the actual dam and hit the main road that then loops me back to Alwen.

Brenig Mountain Bike

This is a fairly easy route I would say blue all the way round. Some parts, if it’s wet are muddy but easily passable. Some slight ascents that had me puffing but I’m out of shape at the moment but above all it was a pleasure.

Going to be doing this again in the spring.

 

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Grizdale Montane Half Marathon 2016

I didn’t exactly prepare well for this race so when I got up at 05:30 in the morning on a wet and cold Sunday January morning my enthusiasm was not at it’s best. After a 2 hour drive up to the Lake District we arrived in time to see off the full marathon runners.

Everyone around me looked fit, skinny and healthy and I was feeling the opposite to all those adjectives. We had a compulsory kit list which I had all the items in my running pack but it seemed most people ignored this and just took the usual fluids and a few gels. If I do it next year I will certainly hold back on all that stuff.

We set off and the first 3 miles are just up and up. This is all on a forestry track. It’s runable but when it flattened out slightly I was already feeling “it”. After a mile or so it opened up and my spirits were lifted immeasurably. You can see Conistan water from up high and I forgot about the running. Soon we were on a single track picking our way through a muddy path then It was back into the woods. At mile 10 I could feel all those days I hadn’t trained properly and I had to dig deep to run. At this stage you are rewarded with a nice decent all the way back to the finish line.

A well organised and interesting run. I’m loving the trails.

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