Friday, 30 January 2009

Return of the Garmin

Exactly what it says on the tin. 

I am now the owner of a new Garmin- with the new ware on it as well, which is nice. 

Happy days, and out for a longer tarmac run tomorrow. Joy. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

run home III

Took a slight detour on the run home this evening, trying to get slightly longer on the tarmac, as it were.
Starting out from London bridge, went along the north side of the river down to Blackfriars bridge, across that, and back along the south side to london bridge and home on the normal route.
didnt feel too bad at all at the end- seem to be on the road to decent running again.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


As I cant cycle for the moment, as has been exhaustively documented, I decided to run up to Explorers instead- loosen up a little from the weekend. 

Took about 25 mins or so, which, with a backpack, isnt too bad at all. 

Not having my Garmin is really getting to me now, as I cant really quantify anything. Called them yesterday and apparently there had been some kind of hold up. They neglected to say what the hold up was, just that there was a hold up. From my calling them, it was sorted in a couple of hours.

If I HADNT called them, how long would they have waited to sort it out? Considering it arrived there not last friday, but the friday before... goodness only knows. Not exactly covering themselves with glory. 

However, a new one is apparently on its way. It had better be. 

Physio this morning. Hand still swollen. He recommended getting an X-ray, just to rule out the possibility of a broken hand. You never know after all. 

So I tried calling Pruhealth, who told me that a physio couldnt refer me, I have to talk to a doctor, who then writes it on a bit of paper. I call PruHealth and tell them he's written it on a bit of paper and they let me go for an X-ray. 

The bit of paper doesnt actually go anywhere, or do anything from what I can understand, so whats to stop me from just calling back and saying Ive done it?

Really. I think these guys are a bit too cowboyish for my liking...

DAR- we didnt come last! we completed the run- and there was 1 person that didnt complete the run and retired- so we didnt actually really come last. 

Sunday, 25 January 2009

New Forest DAR

Damn. Fairly tired.
DAR was down in the New forest this time. Its a fast course, and generally has quite a breeze to contend with- especially when on a bike.
This isnt wasnt going to be the case for us- the left hand is still a bit buggered up and there was no way I could ride a bike without large amounts of pain and probably killing my hand even further.
So the decision was to just run this one, and not even take bikes so as not to be tempted into (more) pain.
The entire plan was to complete the run as fast as possible, which, looking at, seemed to be doable in about 5 hours or so.
We set out on the loop anticlockwise, knowing there was some serious bog to be contended with on the top and left hand side of the map. The points on the right were in forest which may or maynot be there thanks to the forestry commission, and it would be better to look for those whilst in a semi-coherent state.
for the first half of the run, all was going well. we werent stopping too much, we kept things real and could remember what was happening on the map etc.
after 2.5 or 3 hours we got out of the forest and had bog problems.
Not just any bog, this was knee/thigh deep bog with tussocks that may or may not have been tussocks, scratchy heather, deeeeeep bog water, gorse, trees, and other stuff.
Looking back at it, this was the turning point. 30 mins crawling through a bog is not conducive to speed or rest, especially when vaguely lost. But we soldiered on. More bog followed and we lost countof the amount of times we were falling over.
I should point out that we were trying the bog routes as on previous occasions we had tried following the paths with less than total success. The map does NOT correspond to the paths on the ground, as we have found out a number of times.
However, as time dragged on, so did our feet. Another bog, and the inevitable bog/river crossing which was better than the first bog we hit.
Finally finished in 6:37. Totally knackered, but alive. Jibbers left knee was in pain and his right ankle was showing signs of wear.
Astonishingly I had no blisters from my Mudrocs, and apart from massive lacerations from the heather/gorse/trees and large amounts of mud from numerous knee deep dunkings in bog, I was fine.
Surprisingly I dont feel as tired as I did as last week after the fell run, despit being out there for 5 hours more. Could be the fact we were constantly eating every 30 mins, and were totally stocked up on high5 4:1. but that was about 40km in 6.5 hours.
and I dont remember there being any bogs in the London event... so that should be ok.
Good race though. Glad we didnt bike afterward, or I think we'd have died.
NB- Tom Gibbs finished the ENTIRE thing in 7 hours.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Run home part deux

Ran home from work again today, much the same as last time, though had more in the bag- by about 2 shirts and a pair of jeans.... so not that much, but it all counts.
distance- unsurprisingly 6.93 km
km average 5.02
total time34.49
and apparently 491 kcal spent. right......
not much faster, but I felt a lot better, getting my running legs back, or so it seems.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Running home 1

Ran home from work today. The Garmin hasnt come back yet, so I borrowed Cyclops's instead. It finally picked up enough satellite coverage over London Bridge so I ran from there.
average of 5.03m per km.
Not too bad, considering its my first training run for a while, but i dont think I could keep that pace up for 4 hours or so.
stretched out for ages once I got home, and had pasta and tofu. see how I feel tomorrow, and another run home on Thurs, see if I can match it then.

More Pain

Cycled to Explorers and back last night. 

Going there wasnt too bad, but pressure on my wrist gave me a bit of pain. Its like I should have bar endz to reduce torsion on my wrist. 

However, coming back, the pain was almost unbearable, added to which, it was so cold on my hands that in 7 mins, they were numb, and in 10, I couldnt actually use them. 

Got in and had the worst hot aches ever- running around my room screaming. Not pleasant at all. So it looks like the cycling section of the DAR is out. We might have to just run the whole damn thing again, and use it as practice for navigation and leg stamina. 

Monday, 19 January 2009


113 Zephr Independent 73.32

Not too bad, and in the top half (by 3 places) 

And I can still feel it in the hamstrings and quads. 

Weighed myself yesterday- 77kg. daaaaamn. So much more running for me then. 

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Box Hill Fell Race

Damn me.
Im knackered.

Got down there by train... there is a direct train from New Cross Gate to Dorking! Can you believe that? Honestly had no idea, so we got the train to London Bridge and then went past NCG and felt like right idiots.

Got to the place, no issues, was a beautiful and sunny day, a bt squidgy under foot, but nothing too bad. There were a lot of tri runners and a lot of club runners around, all looking dauntingly good.

We figured that Id end up red-misting at the beginning and running like an idiot and Jibber would think it was longer than it was and end up not going all out. Turns out we were right on both scores.
Unfortunately My forerunner, as noted below is being repaired, so I have no geeky stats to talk about.
First hill, there were LOADS of people walking. Literally, straight from the (mass) start. was almost like a brawl. up a hill, along a path and then a straight down.
Was overtaken by a suicidally fast woman at this point. No regard for life or limb. Or just total trust in her shoes. Probably both.
I was relatively fast on the first 3 uphills, but was really feeling it after that.
Something I noticed was how much faster everyone else was on the flat. Like wierdly faster.
I settled into more of an 8hour DAR pace, and everyone else thrashed past me. I guess if id have followed them I'd have blown up really quite quickly.

There was a fair amount of pain going around, but not in my knee, which is good. No issues on that front in the slightest- just general cardiovascular pain.
By the end I could tell my running style- especially my footfall was suffering- could hear it slapping away instead of being nice and stealth- but running downhill, I was just trying to get as many studs in contact with the ground as possible.
Running down stairs was interesting- though I managed to over take people on that front.
There was one really long uphill section... second to last hill I guess, where I had to pace myself between points. Walk to the tree. Run to the next one. walk to that molehill... that kind of thing.

Final sprint down the hill to the end was good. Though I did have a fleeting thought that it would be best if I didnt fall and break/twist/destroy something. Gave it a lot on that last downhill and nearly couldnt stop. Collapsed on the ground at the end and it felt like the sky was floating away.
Was ok after a few mins of lying on the ground and gasping like a fish though.
Not sure about the timing yet- I think it was somewhere around 75mins.
Walked back. Had a meal at a pub and a beer. Came home.
Collapsed. Seriously.
I cant believe how damn tired I am. Must have flaked out for a good 2 hours, and am vaguely thinking I might go back to bed.
Jibber is totally dead to the world.
Oh... and an interesting point. We were both dehydrated throughout the race. I guess its because we are used to carrying water and food around with us and dont have the need to stock up beforehand. I was gasping by the second hill. So thats a point worth remembering in the future for a fell race.

Friday, 16 January 2009


As I mentioned, I broke my forerunner 305 back in Norway. Screen basically got smashed, but it still recorded etc.

Called up garmin and it is out of warranty, which is a tad annoying, though I can get iit replaced. (No such thing as repairing these days, just replace the entire unit...)
Cost about 55 quid or so.
Theoretically it should only take 5 days or so. We'll see.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

physio on wrist

Sprained the heel of my hand, so its not actually the tendon, more like the ligament.
Not as horrifically bad as I thought, Just have to let my hand rest, not strain it, stretch the wrist and fingers, but not torquing them the wrong way, and ice massage it.
2 weeks off and then be careful for another week or so... and with the stretching, all should be good.

So lots of stretching and Core for the next few weeks.
Thats what Im saying. Lets see if I do it.

I Hate Gyms II

Running- 15 mins on incline 12, about 8kmph. fecking knackered.

Cycling- 15km in 20 mins, 10km in the first 11km. 102-5rpm.
I swear my heart was going to implode.

Gyms are so depressing. its all numbers and no euphoria.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Wrist tendon

So ouch.
It appears that the handstand workshop had a bit more of an impact on my wrist than I thought.
Left wrist, tendons on the thumb and index finger hurt considerably when flexed back.
I'm thinking this is lack of flexibility antagonised by considerable hardening up in the grippy direction from a number of years climbing.
They probably need to be stretched progressivly rather than be subjected to 2hours of abuse immediatly.
I've already booked myself into the tumbing course on tuesday, but think I may need the week off to ice it and rest.
If I can cancel I will, but we'll see.
Have been direct icing it, so theoretically, that plus rest should sort me quite soon.

Friday, 9 January 2009


First class at Circusspace today- on my first Carnet, which I decided to take as a handstand and hand balancing class. 

After a 15 min warm up, which wasnt all that bad, there were 4 of us in the class, 2 girls who were by far the most controlled and flexible, myself and a Cambridge Professor dude who comes down to Cicusspace every thursday and myself, who was by far the least controlled and flexible. 

What followed was another 15 mins of core strength "warm ups" which felt more like a workout than a warm up- planks, side planks, twisty stomach things, crunches, side crunches- dishes, the whole shabang. Doing hand balances are a lot more about core stability than I realised. 

Then came the hand balancing proper, which is interesting for me as so much climbing has tighened my wrist tendons on one side, (the wrong side for handbalance), and, this I didnt know, has also tightened my shoulders quite a lot as well- hence making it difficult to balance. Your shoulders have to be open and quite flexible to make a striaght balance... my shoulders are tense so I cant get into a balancing position easily and have to arch my back quite a lot- which, although balancing me, isnt quite right. 

So we did balancing, balancing squat to straight and back, straddle to straight and back pike to straight and back- all of which I am really quite rubbish at. 

By the end, I was surprised that my wrists werent in too bad a shape, and my core was knackered- unsurprisingly, so were my arms. The conclusion being, that I have to sort out my core strength, shoulder flexibility and general all round flexibility, and all should be good. 


So everything that Ive been wanting to do (or trying- in a fairly un-remarkable way) in the past few years, is necessary for this. Well. No wonder Im rubbish at handbalance. 

Bring on the practice. 

Oh- and a minor issue- I have a place for the London Marathon. Im thinking sub 3.45. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

I hate Gyms

Warmed up on a rowing machine for 5 mins at about 2:30 per 500m, then jumped on a bike- managed 10 mins at level 13, 10km at 102rpm, before feeling like I was going to throw up, hit a HR of about 180.
Stretched out hamstrings and then moved onto a running machine in the much much cooler room (rather than sweating like an idiot in the room with all the TVs and music and crap), and managed 10 mins on the highest incline varying between 8, 6 and 3kmph.
Hit an HR of 188 at 2 points on the 8kmph sets- and by the end I was kind of getting into it, but felt like death.
Why is it that running and biking outside is so much easier than inside? wierd.
Was doing it all to a 164bpm Podrunner mix- which is definitely the way forward indoors- block out everyone and everything else and just go for it.
I still hate Gyms though.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Circus Space

Well... an interesting evening. 

Joined up onto the induction program last night in circus space, thinking of going into something that strengthens the core muscles and general body conditioning. Ive been planning on doing it for a long time, but didnt have the time to go on the induction (which needs to be done before you actually do any classes)

There was a 15-20 minute warm up which included general gymnastic type stuff, where I was very aware of horrifically tight hamstrings. 

What followed was a tumbling introduction- the 3 girls in the induction had done gymnastics as kids, one did capoeira, and they were generally at a better level than me. However, I gamely went through forward rolls, backward rolls and cartwheels on both sides. Then came hand balancing- hand stands, rolling out of them etc. which was good to do on a very basic level, and finally was the acro balance- which involved doing balances with other people- very much static and core strength. 

All good fun. 

So I am at level one, which is good to know, and after a 2 hour "not exactly beasting" I was tired, but not knackered, had a blister on the bottom of my left foot, and was ready to get into it properly. 

Amy- the instructor was really professional, knew how to explain things, and was very patient. (Very handy). 

So Im all sorted to get stuck in- and rather than rocking straight into the tumbling this evening, which I could do- Im going to start on the hand balancing thing on Thursday. I hope. 

Monday, 5 January 2009

Back from Norway

Brief background of the last 2 weeks. 

Started in Hemsedal, boarding and skiing- actually ,mostly boarding- which was good fun. The snow was good to begin with, getting more icy as it went on. 

Temperature ranged from 0 to -20 or so, and I managed to get a fair few jumps going through the board park. 

One slightly memorable run through saw me nail the massive jump in the middle, and then catch the lower jump at a bad angle, ending up in a faceplant from 5ft. Black eye, bruising on the thigh (which is only JUST coming out a week and a half after it happened) and minor concussion. First time Ive had concussion as well, which was fun. 

Unfortunately I managed to smash the LCD display of my garmin 305, so Im going to have to get another one. Looked at some Suunto watches, and although they are good, they arent quite as training oriented. 

Dog sledding was great- the dogs were very loud, very keen, and ran like the wind. 

We were taught some background details on ice climbing by Leslie out in Gol, where it was about -15- a bit too cold for decent ice, but we got a couple of routes in, and amassed a vast range of knowledge about placements, ice conditions and general ice information ready for Rjukan. 

At Rjukan we only managed to get a couple of days worth of climbing in, WI2-3 was the highest we got- single pitch only, but it was a good taster to know what we are capable of, and what needs to be thought about for a later date. 

Managed not to get the hot aches at all- which may be because of the ice massage I was doing to my knee before I went- opening capillaries on a daily basis and getting used to the cold and heat. My feet got very cold though- especially the toes- so new socks will have to be investigated. The worst part was the ice axe placements when tired- it got more difficult to actually place with any degree of accuracy once the arms died. 

However, we all survived, and Im going to have to see about investing in a pair of Quarks and some Airtechs. 

Back to the running etc. as I was consuming massive amounts of calories to keep warm in Norway, and evidently not expending them at the rate I thought I would. 

added to that, Boxhill fell race is coming up on the 17th, a DAR on the 24th, and Ive booked into the Open 12 for June. The calender of pain is beginning to take shape.