Monday, 21 December 2009
Firstly my year in numbers...
Total miles run = 1,624
Number of runs = 181
Avg miles per run = 9
Avg weekly mileage = 31
Number of marathons = 7 (inc ultras)
Furthest run = 52.4 miles
Shortest run = less than a mile (following ankle strain from ACC!)
The year began in earnest as I was in full marathon training mode. In preparation for London I ran a number of half marathons including the Fleet half where I got a PB of 1:32 (which including an unscheduled toilet break due to a bad breakfast selection!). So training was going very well and I wanted to break 3:30. So well in fact that I upped my target time to 3:15 and in doing so completely blew it. Despite the disappointment at the time I still posted a PB of 3:42 (London Marathon race report here). Not wanted to waste all the fitness I had built up from 5 months of marathon training I found myself on the start line of my first ultra run just 3 weeks after London.
The Marlborough Downs Challenge was a 33 mile ultra, and my first steps into the unknown of ultra running... Could I cope with running even further than a marathon!? It was a great day and I loved it, and it sowed the seed for more challenges like this (Marlborough Downs Challenge race report here).
My next ultra was the 50 Mile Challenge in Kent. The exact distance was 52.4 miles (a double marathon). This was something a little different as the course was a 6.5 mile loop on trail, farm tracks and country lanes to be ran 8 times. This was the challenge of all challenges but I relished the prospect of pitting myself against such a course. I should of mentioned that it was around this time (I think before Marlborough actually) that I signed up to the Mad Dog running team. The Mad Dog is my personal online coach who provides training schedules, inspiration, advice and race day strategies. Since signing up with the mad dog he has provided much encouragement and definitely helped steer me successfully through my first ultra races. The race day strategy for the 50 mile challenge was spot one! 9 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking from start to end. It felt great and I finished that race on a real high! (50 Mile race report here).
It was actually just after London that I signed up to the next ultra race in the year – the Atlantic Coast Challenge – 3 marathons in 3 days along the North Cornwall coastal path (Marlborough and 50 mile Challenge was training for this one!) The thing I was quickly learning about ultras is that you always have to come back for more. The pain of the race soon dissipates and you are left with a feeling of real elation and a yearning for more. The ACC was surely the perfect answer to this! The ACC was truly epic , and it must surely stand out as the highlight of 2009! The scenery was simply stunning, and the terrain was not to be taken lightly. I paced the 3 days well and actually felt stronger each day finishing 6th on the final day, and 9th overall. Not bad for a novice. And such a different feeling to how I was feeling just months before in London. I had found something I really enjoyed far more than a road marathon. When you train for and run a marathon you become obsessed with time. It’s all that seems to matter. Ultras I’ve found are very different – it’s far more about the journey rather than an obsession with the end and getting there in a negative split! And the journey experienced in an ultra is one that is so such more varied with terrain that keeps you on your toes and scenery which keeps you mesmerised for miles. The ACC combined all these things and was truly stunning (ACC race reports here).
Injury followed the ACC with an ankle strain that put me out for over a month (and evidently still isn’t 100%). I need to learn from this that I can’t always run as far or fast as I would like when my body is saying no. Note to self: listen to body more in 2010. I said before that every ultra seems to be the best yet, and this was definitely true for the Muir Beach trail run in November set in the Marin Headlands behind San Francisco. Once again this race proved (as if proof was needed) just why I like running ultras so much. When you tell people about the distance you might cover in an ultra all they focus on is the very real number of miles you are running and ask why... but of course if running ultras was just about running mile after mile after mile I’m sure I like others would question the sanity of doing such a thing. But there is so much more to it than that... the escapism, the adventure, the thrill, the threat of not finishing, the camaraderie, the sights, the sounds,... just living life... (Muir Beach race report here).
And that’s where I think I will end my 2009 review.
So what does 2010 have in store for ultra disco stu... well there’s the small matter of the Devon 100 miler on 24th April, which should certainly keep me focused!! I’ve entered two ultra races in prep for this one. A 45miler in January along the grand union canal from Northampton to Tring, and a 12 hour race (Wiggle Lightening 12hr) which is around a 10km loop in a park in Herefordshire. Then later in the year there is the Wiggle Lightenings’ big brother – The 24hr Adidas Thunder Run in July (again around a 10km loop!) So that little lot should keep me busy and out of trouble.
Here’s to ultra running.... CHEERS!!
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Today was the 26th running of the BRE 5 MILE anniversary run. And as the 25 or so starters lined up to run this circular route around bricket wood you could cut the tension with a knife! Ok well actually it wasnt quite like that. However my stomach always turns before this one. Without trying to sound bigheaded i was the supposed favourite having won it last year. However there were a few new faces so who knows! Anyway it was me against the watch. I set myself the goal of running a sub 30 minute 5 miler earlier in the year but since then my running has been more about building endurance not speed. In short i didnt feel i was getting faster. Anyway i set the early pace wanting to lose as many others as possible in the first mile so i could settle and run my own race. This worked and it was just me and one other colleague by a mile in (5:45 m/m). Dave stuck close to me over the next mile too and i began to think that i wouldn't be able to lose him. 3 miles in and i started to pull away and didnt want to lose the ground back so pushed on. It was at this point that i started paying more attention to the time again. Could i break 30 minutes!? My previous year time was 30:15 and i thought that at this pace i would get close. I felt in control despite the fact that i was clearly pushing as fast as i could. With a mile to go i knew barring a disaster that i had won but still wasnt sure if i would break 30. The final mile is a gradual uphill. Not what you want at this stage in the race. Despite this i pushed on through and coming ever closer saw that i could do it. I crossed the finish line in 29:37!! YES i had done it :-) retained the BRE Anniversary trophy for another year and got a bottle of pinot noir for my troubles. The wife will be happy!
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Coach Ken and Disco Stu at the start of Muir Beach
From the moment my plane approached San Francisco airport and I could see the Marin headlands looming large in the background I instantly knew this would be something special. The course promised over 7,000 ft of elevation gain, which is not something you find on the grand union canal. To be honest I had no real concept what this type of elevation gain meant in reality, but I would soon find out!!
The day before the race one would normally rest and stay off your feet so as to conserve maximum energy for what was to come, but I was in San Francisco and wasn't going to waste a second resting. To lighten the load I hired a bike which would at least save my feet from the pounding they would take from a day’s sight -seeing. My leisurely bike ride turned into an epic 18 miler starting at Fisherman’s Wharf on the North Easterly tip of San Francisco, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and finishing in Tiburon on the opposite side of the Bay.
Golden Gate Bridge with Marin Headlands behind
From Tiburon I caught a ferry back across the Bay to Fisherman’s Wharf. Quite a ride and the perfect warm up for tomorrow.
I woke early on race day to find a place to eat for breakfast to get my fill of carbs and fat which would hopefully see me through the day. I found a classic looking American diner just down the road from my hotel (the type you see in every American movie). After much hesitation about what to eat I opted for the ‘Elvis Scrambled’, which won over the oatmeal. It was hardly a contest to be fair. All washed down with 3 cups of coffee and an OJ. I was done... yum yum.
Mel's diner and the 'Elvis scrambled'
Ok so on with the race... Whilst I was telling myself that I would take it easy at the start, quite frankly I always say that and it never happens. The race started with little fanfare and we immediately started up the first ascent.
Straight UP from the very start
I fell into a comfortable pace quickly which edged me slowly through the field, and I found myself running with many others doing the 33km (not the 50km!).
long line of runners stretching back along coastal near the startPacing this race would be completely dictated by the terrain, so it was a case of go easy on the ups, and bomb down the descents in a controlled free-wheeling motion with minimal breaking. This served two purposes; making up time lost from the ascents and minimising stress on the feet and knees caused by unnecessary breaking, and it worked well. I was keeping an average pace of 10 minute miles in the first half of the race, which was intentionally slowed at opportune moments to take a few photos of the stunning surroundings. The Marin headlands are truly breathtaking and I felt lucky to be running in such a race. At many points throughout the course you would be greeted with wonderful panoramic views of both the San Francisco Bay pictured here, city skyline and the pure blue Pacific Ocean which stretched for as far as the eye could see.
San Francisco Bay
Such drama made the miles fly by with little thought to how far or how fast I was going.
The aid stations on the course were like nothing I have ever seen before. In my first 30m ultra in England the choice was orange squash, and a custard cream (perhaps even a jelly baby if you were really lucky!). They do it differently over here with the aid stations more resembling Zack’s 10th birthday party with treats galore! Here they had on offer, cola, energy drinks, energy bars, jelly, pretzels, potatoes dipped in salt, bananas, jelly babies, sweets, and pumpkin pie! Honestly, I’m surprised American runners can even move on the trails with all that lot to scoff! As hard as it was I resisted all these delights on the first loop as I flew through each aid station not even stopping in case the temptation was too great.
Back out on course the miles continued to stack up and before long I was nearing the end of the first loop, but not before reaching ‘Fox’ which was a long steep and arduous ascent with many false summits. Once at the top though there was a fast 1 mile decent down ‘Coastal’ which returned to the start/finish area and the end of the first loop. 33km in the bag and time to get my camelback refilled for the second loop. I also grabbed a cap and sun glasses which provided a welcome relief from the sun strong rays.
Of course straight away I had to turn around and go back UP Coastal, and this is where it started to get difficult for the first time in the race. I was 21 miles into the race and so this was classic ‘hitting the wall’ territory but the views continued to impress.
The long climbs up Coastal and ‘Pirates Cove’ didn’t help matters and even the downhill sections were now starting to feel more difficult as my legs got a pounding from the harder fireroad surfaces. However I knew that this was just my body (actually my brain) trying to get me to stop and/or walk. I continued to push abet at a slower pace than the first loop as my average pace dropped. Miles 21-25 were without doubt the toughest miles I’ve experienced in any race to date. But I was half expecting this given the tough terrain so it didn’t come as a complete surprise. I thought that if I could just get through these tough miles then I would find a second wind.
At the bottom of Marincello fireroad I hit an aid station and this was perfect timing as this time I was ready to refuel. The pumpkin pie was especially good! They also stocked plenty of ice which I put under my cap to keep me cool. That helped a lot and pushed me onwards towards the summit at the top of ‘Bobcat’ (the highest point on the course at 1,029ft). What helped my cause further towards the summit is that I now found myself being chased by another runner. So with this new impetus I found new life in my legs.
Once I finally reached the top of Bobcat I was rewarded with a wonderful 2 mile descent down ‘Miwok’ and ‘Old Springs’ where I was once again able to let the break off and free wheel down the mountain side to the bottom and onto the Tennessee Valley Road. This put some distance between myself and the runner behind and I didn’t see them again. From here the finish was getting close but first I would have to tackle the ‘Fox’ for the second time. This time though I had a better idea of what to expect so I mixed it up and used a run/walk strategy to push myself up the mountain side. Before long I had reached the summit as pictured here.
I made it! Up at the top of the 'Fox'
I thoroughly enjoyed the final descent down Coastal Road to the finish line running the final mile in 6:46. I crossing the finish line in 5 hours 41 minutes coming in 11th place. Not bad for an Englishman running his first ultra abroad on some crazy terrain.
A big thanks to Coach Ken (runningstupid.net) and Mrs Coach Ken for their hospitality during my stay! I will be back for certain to run again!! Perhaps the Headlands Hundred!
What next? Well training now begins in earnest for the Devon 100 on April 24th. This race has provided a great base upon which to build, and has given me added confidence that I might not only complete my first 100m race, but even enjoy it in the process! Yeah right ;-)
Sunday, 8 November 2009
The course was a 3km loop which you did 3 times to make up the 9km distance. The only plan in my mind was to run my own race and not get to carried away at the start and run way faster than I could sustain (i've learnt well from my coach the 'Mad Dog'). After a 15 minute delay to the mens race we were off. As expected the front pack stormed off with me fighting for space behind, as elbows flew around to get position. I quickly settled as I watched the leading pack disappear through the trees (probably running about 5:30 min/mile pace) something I'm definitely not capable of over such a distance. 6:30 m/m was my target average pace for this race and I was going to do everything I could to sustain it to the finish line, and perhaps even duck under 35 minutes. Of course nothing was certain.
In the first lap after the pack had settled I was passed by a few runners but nothing that worried me too much. I told myself that I would be seeing them again if I could stick to the plan and keep something back for later when others would undoubtedly tire. And so it was that the miles flew by, and I stuck to my race plan, as the miles ticked my... My splits for the first 5 miles were 6:30, 6:27, 6:31, 6:24, 6:31. Mad Dog would be proud of that! In the second lap I started to pass other runners as I had predicted. This always feels good and gives you the motivation to keeping going and pick off the next person. The last lap was going to be tough as I hung onto my avg 6:30 pace, and continued to pick off other runners one by one. My breathing was hard and fast but I controlled it and kept in rhythm and my stride long so as not to slow down.
And soon enough I was nearing the finish line and gave it one last push in the final 400m to past a few more ahead of me and surge across the line. Looking down at my watch amazingly I managed to finish 3 seconds within my 35minute target time! My average pace was 6:26, over a distance of 5.44m. I was well happy with that!
I've just checked the Chiltern League website and the results are also in! Cross Country running is not so much about the individual, as it is about representing your running club and doing your very best for the team. And Leighton Buzzard Athletics Club came 1st in our Division!!! what a result!! well done LBAC!
My individual finising position was 31st pace out of 115 in Division 2 category, and 137th place out of 317 finishers overall. Not bad for a long distance runner ;-)
FULL RESULTS HERE.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Monday - 60 mins bike / 15 mins treadmill / 1000's of squats ;-) ...ok thats a lie but about 10mins worth...
Wednesday - 48 min bike / 30 mins treadmill / 10mins squats. bike session was mega tough with the bike set on a 3 peaks rolling mountain session. The resistance on each peak and indeed the lead up to the peak and after was hard core but my little legs coped admirably! :-) 30 mins on the treadmill felt great with all signals from the ankle being positive! hooray
Thursday - yesterdays bike sessions was hardcore so took a break from bike today (knees were feeling it a little!). But I ran for 1 hour!! yes thats right, disco stu is back and running again!! I had set myself the goal of running for 45mins today but it felt good so I carried on and hit the 1hr mark! this was about 1/2 hour ago hence I sit here now in my office feeling very good about myself :-D The RIGHT ankle is absolutely fine now with no ill-effects but. Now for the slightly odd thing... with all the focus on the right ankle it seems my left ankle has been feeling a little left out so it sent a few signals on the treadmill that it too needs some care and attention. really don't think it is too much to worry about, but as a precaution I have wrapped it with the compression bandage.
I know... a pretty dull post but it feels like a real turning point and reckon I will hit the trails this weekend for a proper run!
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Saturday, 3 October 2009
On Day 2 of the Atlantic Coast Challenge I was shooting a video clip along the coastal path and took a bit of a tumble... here is the result! The reason for the tumble... a combination of talking to a passing walker who asked how far I had run, and obviously not paying any attention to where I was going! lol
Friday, 2 October 2009
It was always known that the final day was going to be different to the first two days. The terrain from Lelant to Lands End was going to be far more challenging by a factor of 10+. It was also the longest day at 28 miles partly due to an additional diversion caused by a land slide which closed the coastal path at Zennor Head.
I started Day 3 with the same routine. Getting up at 7am and polishing off two bowls of ready brek, some toast, and a coffee. Then around 9am, two hours before the start a banana and Luzocade energy drink. This kept my carb stores loaded for the rest of the day meaning I never had to worry about food whilst running, which helped a lot. After the final day course briefing where we were reminded in no uncertain terms to expect a tough time out there. We were loaded onto the mini-buses for the last time and driven to the start point in Lelant where we disembarked outside a church at 11am on a Sunday! The parishioners were somewhat taken back by the presence of 100 or so runners descending on their quiet hamlet. Yet some clapped and spoke words of great encouragement which was nice. I should add that this was the same reception we got whenever we were out on the coastal path. The locals and non-locals alike were a pleasure to meet on route so thank you to everyone who encouraged me forward.
I knew with it being the final day that I could give it my all and leave nothing in the bank, but at the same time it was going to be a long day ahead so I still had to pace it right. The start was low key just like the previous two days. No big fan fare, or a horn... not even a Ready, Steady, Go. I think there was perhaps just a GO... as we were set off on our way.
The beginning section was nice and flat as it hugged alongside the local train track. I kept my pace steady and found myself in common company with other runners that I had met and run with in the previous days. I chatted to a few which always helps to relax. Half an hour in and we soon found ourselves on the first beach of the day - Porthmin Beach in St Ives before running along the narrow cobbled streets around St Ives harbour.
I took a call from my wife who gave me words of encouragement and then it was up to the top of St Ives watch tower before a short descent onto Porthmeor Beach and then a longer climb up onto the coast path ‘proper’. This is where the fun really began! The terrain changed from nice runnable surfaces to broken trails strewn with rocks of all shapes and sizes which made footing particularly interesting.
At this point I was running with another runner Marcus who I got speaking to around the harbour. Conversation always helps to make the miles go by faster, not that there was too much time to talk as one had to concentrate quite a lot on footing to avoid an easy slip and twisted ankle or worst. I had actually noticed Marcus towards the end of the previous day (he was the guy on the horizon I was chasing but never caught!). Marcus finished a few places ahead of me on Day 2 so I knew our pace was similar. So the game plan was to stick with him for as long as possible today. This worked a treat as we worked together to increase the gap between us and the runners behind us and reduce the gap of those in front making pretty light work of the rock strewn paths.
We followed the official diversion around Zennor Head off the coastal path and to the first check point of the day. We didn’t hang around, and followed the diversion signs back towards the coastal path. However the signs disappeared and we found ourselves trekking across rutted farm fields. We could see the Atlantic in front of us though, so despite going off course it was just a matter of time before we hit the path again, which we did dipping under a barb wire fence much to the surprise of the competing walkers that we bumped into on the path.From here the terrain got pretty tough as the path twisted and turned, with short sharp climbs and awkward footing around the randomly placed rocks. You couldn’t run it all as it was just a maze with the path also extremely narrow in places. Despite this I was really enjoying the challenge. It was around here that we caught up with a group of four runners. These guys were obviously working very well as a team, and whilst they were slightly slower than us I was more than happy to stick behind them for a while and let them pick their way around the rocks. Eventually when there was enough room to pass, they commented that we could get past, which we politely accepted and we were once again on our way.
The miles were flying by and before long we had arrived at the 2nd checkpoint of the day which was at around 15 miles. This checkpoint jutted out over Trevean Cliff and was an impressive point to stop and get a photo taken for the album!
I kept telling myself that it wasn’t far to go. I would normally cruise such a distance in my lunch hour, but this wasn’t my lunch hour and with 22 miles already in the legs not to mention the 50 or so miles from the previous two days I was obviously starting to feel it. The terrain didn’t let up either and involved a lot more up and down especially around Carn Leskys and Carn Gribba which I took slow and steady. Despite being so close now to the finish line my morale was the lowest it had been throughout the Challenge. I don’t know exactly why... I should have been overjoyed having got so far, especially after learning from a competing walker on the path that I was in 6th place for the day, but somehow at the time this didn’t matter. All I could do was just to keep going however much I wanted to stop.
I eventually got to Whitesand Bay in Lands End where the coastal path continued on sand for a short stretch before winding down into the town. From there it was another climb back up above the town where I took this photo before the final mile marker for Lands End.
My aims when starting out on the Challenge were to complete it, enjoy the journey along the way, take in the amazing scenery, meet new people, and test myself to my limits running further in three days than I had ever done before. I managed to do all these things, and the icing on an extremely tasty cake (‘Rocky Road’ flavour!) was that I finished in 9th position overall on the Challenge with a total time of 14hrs 56minutes. I have to be mighty happy with that!!
Thanks to the Mad Dog for all his wisdom whilst in training for this, and to Coach Ken for his continued support across the other side of the Atlantic on his podcast show Running Stupid. And to my wife for her continued support and understanding of my crazy running stunts.
So what next?? Well I received confirmation only this week of my place in first Virgin London Marathon next year. However I have bigger plans than this and have entered the Devon 100 ultra run (North coast of Devon to South coast) which falls on the same weekend as the London Marathon next April. So my training now begins for that but not before I put my feet up (and my swollen ankle) for a week or two first :-D
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Just after we started the gentle climb up from the start line I bumped into Danny from the RW forum - good to meet you finally!
The organisers had warned of a gate shortly after the start which as predicted caused a major bottleneck as you can see... Damn! This played havoc with my average pace meaning that I was playing catch up for most of the day. This probably worked out well though as I pressed forward with extra vigour.
Towards the end of this part of the costal path was the biggest staircase on the whole challenge which went straight up to the top of Gooden Heane Point. On approach to it certainly looked very daunting!
But as with all these things... slow and steady was the order of the day. Once at the top the view was well worth it across Gooden Heane Cove with Horse Rock (middle of picture) and Gull Rock (far right). Impressive stuff!
From here the path flattened out and so speed was again the order of the day taking in Western Cove and going along the Reskajeage Downs and the North Cliffs.
This stretch was the best surface on the entire path so I gave it my all, and tried to keep a runner who I had seen on the horizon along this entire stretch in my sights to keep me going. By this point the sun was beating down and it was getting extremely hot. I’d failed to pack any sun tan lotion but got lucky as I passed some competing walkers on the challenge and asked if they had any. They did, so thank you very much whoever you are!
Then it was around Navaz Point with Godrevy Island in the background with the lighthouse. The couple who took this photo asked in bemusement what was going on and why there were so many runners about. I’m not sure they quite believed my answer when I told them what we were doing.
Just after this was the final main checkpoint of the day before the descent on to St Ives Bay sands which was a 3 mile stretch of golden sands to pretty much complete the day. I had been looking forward to this part all day as the beach which lies just in front of where we were staying for the weekend was stunning. And so despite my tired legs I enjoyed every second of it soaking up the sun (and sweat).St Ives Bay sands
After the beach there was just the small matter of navigating around Hayle Towans to the final checkpoint, and back through the town (where I mistakenly added an additional hill I didn't have to! doh...) I then finally reached the finished at St Ives Holiday Bay in a time of 4hrs26mins completing 24.55miles and placing 11th for the day. Result!
I treated myself to a massage straight after which I figured was well deserved and would help recovery for the final big push on Day 3 from Lelant to Lands End.... gulp...
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
The route started at Trevose Head near Padstow (about 15 miles north of Newquay) and would go South along the North Cornwall Coastal path for 3 days finishing at Lands End on the southernmost tip of England.
Each day started with a briefing at race HQ in St Ives about what to expect and the detail of the course for the day. Maps were handed out but it became apparent on route that when you needed it most the map scale was just a tad too small to be of real use meaning that you are never 100% sure of the exact route, which all added to the fun! If in doubt we were told to keep the sea to our right and the land to our left and you cannot go far wrong!
After the briefing we were loaded off like cattle onto a convoy of white mini buses that snaked their way to Trevose Head for the start. Polite small talk was made with other runners but this journey was always the worst bit of the day as you just wanted to get going.
And so it was that we finally did get going shortly after midday as 120 or so runners set off on their intrepid way.
It was so great to get going and I was not nervous at all. It just felt right to be finally on my way. Day 1 promised some flat stuff including runs on sandy beaches including Booby’s Bay in the very first mile, as well as a many steep assents and descents. The terrain was very varied not only on each day but also throughout the 3 days as it would progressively get tougher and tougher.
My pace from the start was quicker than I had intended but it felt right so I did not change it. Of course it was the terrain that would dictate my pace for the most part so my strategy was to run strong wherever the terrain was kind to me and slow down for the tougher sections to reserve my energy. The early sections were nice and flat and grassy and easy on the legs but involved much zigzagging around the many coves including High Cove (below).
A big shout out must go to Tommy 'sicknote' from the RW forum whom I met on Day 1 at the start and the end! Here's Tommy cooling off!!..
Monday, 28 September 2009
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
It promises to be quite special!! gotta run...
will post twitters updates during the event...
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
The 8 miler went well. I'm getting quite into these progressive runs now where the next mile is (of should) always be faster than the last. Of course this wouldn't be possible without the garmin telling you exactly how fast you are going. I keep an eye on the mile laps splits and gently up the pace each mile, which is easier said than done I can tell you! My splits were 7:55, 7:42, 7:28, 7:26, 7:22, 6:58, 6:56, 6:42. Pretty happy with that especially in the new shoes.
So hopefully they will be just the ticket for the Atlantic Coast Challenge which is little more than 1 week away now!! eek :-) The entrants information has just been posted on the website so I've gotta read that through with a fine tooth comb! One thing I've never had to do before which is compulsory on this event is to pack mandatory items in your racing backpack. this includes torch, compass, whistle, waterproof, warm jumper, food, notepad etc which is certainly going to add some weight!! I plan to go out and test the fully laiden race pack tomorrow on my scheduled long run to see what its like. They say never to try anything new on race day so I don't want any surprises!
Just hope the knee is going to hold out!... its been showing me a few signs of late that it might need a bit of a rest so plan to take it fairly easy now in lead up to ACC!
Sunday, 13 September 2009
First the first run of the week. I did have a 10 mile hill session scheduled however my knee is sending a few signals that I should perhaps take it a little easy in the run in to the Atlantic Coast Challenge, so instead I opted to find flatter ground. I used my new OS Discovery Map for the 1st time and decided to head out West from Leighton Buzzard on the Cross Bucks Way. Map reading is not my strong point, but with a well marked trail this was a fairly straight forward route. Some very nice scenery and lots of animals as the photos below show! I'm not a big fan of running through fields full of cows, as I find them a little unpredictable, however I came through unscathed! phew :-O
click here to see the Bucks Cross Way route