Monday 3 November 2014

Ton up.....

     Having chalked up 100 miles for the first time this year, October turned out to be quite a good month runningwise. In fact, I ran quite a bit further than a hundred miles if all the fractions were taken into consideration - plus the warm-up sessions and 1200m I raced at the Yorkshire Veterans T&F Championships - which I haven't counted. From a total of 19 runs 15 were enjoyable early morning jaunts over and around Castle Hill, most of them at an easy pace with just a few fartlek sessions prior to the two track races. Each of those 15 runs included an average 468ft of ascent so I suppose that could count as hill training. The only other training I did, to use the term loosely, was two supposedly 'fast' miles by way of sharpening, though I'll never know how fast they were because I pressed the wrong buttons on my Garmin and didn't realise my mistake until I connected it to my computer! It must have been enough for it enabled me to top the British 800m Rankings and reach 2nd place in the 400m Rankings - which have got to be the highlights of the month, if not the year. Here is a break-down of my 15 Castle runs....
These times will be slow for most people - but look at those elevation gains....(Click to enlarge)
My wonderful partner, running up Hebden Ghyll....
      A 10 mile run round Mossdale on Saturday brought the week's total to 25 and was a cracking start to the month of November. A large shooting party up the ghyll, bagging pheasant and partridge, kindly held their fire and formed an impromptu guard of honour as my wonderful partner and I jogged by as fast as we could to avoid being sprayed with gunshot should their activities resume. After 2 miles we parted to go our different ways, she on a shorter seven mile route whilst I continued uphill to the high point at 1,540ft. The sky was darkening and a cold sou'westerly blew me up the hill. But it would be blowing full frontal as I dropped into Mossdale to turn for home - as it was doing already for some mountain bikers I passed, all of them togged up to their watering eyes.
      I'd to literally force myself down the rocky track into the valley against the wall of wind, but I was
....and Old Runningfox breasting the wind down into Mossdale
enjoying it in a masochistic sort of way. A dozen or so horses grazing a limestone pasture at 1,400ft were sensibly staying close to a sheltering wall - unlike some Aberdeen Angus yearlings that got a bit skittish as I divided the herd running through Kelber. By the time I reached Yarnbury I felt to be losing the battle, running out of energy and beginning to feel a wee bit knackered. Pace was slowing and my lungs weren't at all happy at being saturated with all that cold air. But hey ho, only two miles to go now, to the luxury of a refreshing shower, warm, dry clothes and a reviving mug of tea in front of a hot fire. Into the last mile and back in the ghyll I was thankfully out of the wind. Shooters had suspended activities for lunch and greeted me enthusiastically with waves and encouraging words as I passed through their ranks, belying the way I felt by trying to look good. It's amazing how we runners can put on the style when someone is watching. Or how we suddenly produce a burst of speed in the finishing stretch of a race when we've been almost on our knees a minute before.
Top of the British 800m Rankings, but was it worth the strain? Well, maybe.....
      So that was the week that was. 25 miles in four days of running bringing the month's total to a round 100. With maybe a couple or so bonus miles if we add up all those fractions, races, etc..  I can't honestly say I've enjoyed all of them, but my old body seems to reap the benefit of their cumulative effect. Running, to my mind, is the most natural of exercises, though not necessarily the easiest in later years. The trick is to listen to one's body and not go beyond the limits of what it tells you.

Pity about those three seconds...should have done some training
      Racing, as in those Track & Field Championships, is like telling the old body to sod off and mind its own business for a wee while. Following on straight after the 400m race that 800m hurt, really hurt. I came away from the meeting feeling like a befuddled zombie. I'd to keep moving. I daren't sit or stand still in fear of keeling over. I'd taken my body beyond its limits and in a quiet sort of way, which I fully understood, it was telling me of the dire consequences of repeating such things. I'll listen, for a while, until maybe once again I get the urge to show my contemporaries I'm still around, and I'm not done yet..


  1. 100 not out... So if the November weather holds are you going to chalk up another 100?

    I have a friend who talks about happy legs, so keep the legs happy and the miles will come.

    1. My legs are no trouble Coach, they could easily manage 200. But as I've said before, wheels aren't much good when the engine's knackered....tell that to your friend.
      Happy running.

  2. "It's amazing how we runners can put on the style when someone is watching. Or how we suddenly produce a burst of speed in the finishing stretch of a race when we've been almost on our knees a minute before." - Soooo true! We're such a funny lot, haha!

    1. Must be the adrenalin Karien. Pity we can't bottle it and take a little swig whenever we start slowing down. Now there's something for the sport nutritionists to isolate and work on.......

  3. You are some man. I envy you. Still limping from a fall in February and beginning to wonder if I'll run again. I can still hardly walking the stairs

    1. I don't think anyone falls more than I do Breandan. Ever heard of Ibuprofen? Or Voltarol? I live off such things. They go everywhere with me - along with the Arnica, Hirudoid Cream and crepe bandages. People have lost count of times they've taken me to hospital with broken bones in feet, ribs, fingers, etc..and recently for an operation. Broken ribs were the worst, that stopped my gallop for a week or two! So persevere, show it who's boss, get those runners laced up and push yourself out the door... Hope you're firing on all cylinders again soon. In the meantime - Kind regards.