Thursday, 8 September 2011

Mud Sweat And Nae Tears

Long time no see!
A serious lack of progress in my general fitness, being a fat bugger and always finding that I couldn't run two steps has meant a blog that lurked at the bottom of JK's WHWR blogroll leading to complaints from race legend JR that he was sick going onto the blog to find I had written nothing. Still around 3 stones heavier than I was on race weekend 2009 and leading a now sedentary lifetyle, I had been out walking a lot more having become head walker to Millie my German Shepherd pup (now 9 months). The problem with pups is that, until they are fully formed (at about a year old), you have to be restrained in the amount of exercise they are given to avoid damage to their joints that causes distress later in life. So now I'm getting out 3 times a day for walks of 45 minutes and Millie is getting bigger and fitter and therefore more demanding. Then the decision is taken to have her neutered and following her op she hates me and the vet says mild lead exercise until her wound has healed. Bugger! So i'm going stir crazy until i realise I can walk just as fast and further without her although she hates me for going out without her!
Anyway, today is yet another anniversary of my birth. This is a good one though as I don't have to worry about appearing in JK's over 50 spreadsheet for a couple of years as I have moved up one! No, I'm not 60, there is an over-55 ranking.
So, a bit of forward planning required, as walking the dog in the rain means I need some good waterproof shoes. And as we move further afield and she passes the magic 12 month mark I can really think about getting fitter and starting to run again, realising that if I can't get running again over the winter, then I never will. So for my birthday I decided on being allowed to buy a pair of Goretex trail shoes that, even if I don't get running, I'll get mileage out of them walking on the same trails.
So I pulled on a brand new pair of Inov8 Roclite 312 GTX this morning and set off on a wee circuit that I use with Millie, being about 60% trail on the Clyde shore near my stately abode. Before doing so I logged into Facebook to check my wall and found a lot of messages from friends and family including this one from Ali B. "Happy birthday BDTP! Nae tears xxx" Now Ali has had a pretty traumatic time over the past year or so and when she was on a downer I'd send a message or comment with the admonition "Nae tears". So she was making reference to what became a standing joke between us and occasionally some other pals. However, as it arrived just before I set out I saw it as a double edged sword. Nae greetin' or nae muscle injuries (tears).
Off I went quick walk, then off at a jog, and suddenly realised that I was moving fairly freely and that, subject to a complete lack of physical exercise in the past two years, I might just manage to get round at a reasonable pace. Jog/walk was all I intended but I was surprised just how much running I was able to do and before I knew it I'd managed about 3 miles in around 35 minutes. OK I might just manage an audition for the next episode of Run Fatboy Run, but I'm quite happy with the effort and a bonus was just how good the Roclites felt, really well cushioned and supportive given my current weight. Pretty muddy on the paths and as normal I sweated like a sweaty thing(PC or what?). And nae tears; of either type.
so my first run was 3 miles at race pace if, that is, my race is on the West Highland Way between kinlochleven and the Lairig Mor.
But it's a start and more than I've done for a while. Maybe I needed the rest.....

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Real LFB

I have a mate who is a London Fireman. As a former member (retired) of the emergency services we seem to have a kind of affinity, possibly based on running, of which neither of us is doing much, but probably based more on being the shit stirring kinda guy expressed on various forums and social networking sites that appear to be taking over from blogs these days. He has an excellent blog and his most recent post describes his difficulty in publicising a Facebook Group that follows the progress of the London Fire Brigade's current dispute with the Fire Authority in the metropolis. The Facebook group is called Real LFB and everyone who is concerned for my friend and his colleagues is urged to have a look and give some consideration to joining it!

Friday, 1 October 2010

A New Running Arena

I have lived in the western end of the old county of Dunbartonshire for 35 years, although two of my abodes,including the current Chez Hall, have been realigned into Argyll and Bute. One of the most interesting places I was introduced to early in my policing career was the St Peters Seminary (priesthood college) in Cardross where certain crimes had been taking place. No. Not what you may have thought! These involved criminal elements from the Glasgow and Vale of Leven areas pillaging this Gillespie Kidd and Coia designed architectural gem in pursuit of the valuable scrap metal that was removed from the roof and structures of this wonderful site. By scrap I mean that it was scrap once removed by acts of theft and vandalism from this stunningly designed building. The practical use of such a building is another matter, but I think it fair to say that the building was seldom described as"stunning" by the staff and students who had to live within it's confines.
Fast forward several years and the pillaging continued and this led to it's being abandoned and left to descend into ruin. As an A-listed building, though it is protected and it is to the shame of the authorities that the Archdiocese has not been subject to an enforcement order to restore the building to it's former glory.
Today I was at a planning day, where a company called NVA led by an Angus Farquhar were making a presentation to the populace regarding a planned artistic project to restore the grounds to a publicly accessible trail and restore the grounds at least to something that will benefit the community. It's a large project that hopefully will harness education (HND training in landscaping and building) to at least make the building safe and gradually integrate the walks created into the structure. Some fine examples of similar works were on display and, as is my wont, I soon fell into conversation with Angus who, it turns out, is a 3.31 marathon runner(Lochaber 2010). He asked if I knew the site and, when I told him I used the paths on training runs albeit with some difficulty due to the neglect of the area,he told me that one of his long term plans was to have a Sunday morning running group to use the trails and embrace the natural surroundings as a year long arts project. Soon we had expanded his scope from the small area of the site to embrace Carman Moor, Stonymollan and even extending up the new Three Lochs Trail to Inveruglas. I feel an ultra race coming on!
So will I ever get running again, to be involved in this fine project. We turned to injury and he suggested Alan McInnes of Balance in Napiershall St, Glasgow. A two visit cure, he assures me!
References welcome!
In return I recommended his local club which would appear to be Garscube Harriers ;/. I dropped a couple of names of members I know so I have a feeling I haven't seen the last of Angus.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Perth Ultrafest

Congratulations to all who took part in the 24hr, 50k and 100k races at Perth yesterday. Photos here

Friday, 3 September 2010

Tour de Scotland by Motor Home

Just to let everyone know that I am still alive and thinking of all my readers I thought I'd post some wee photies from my holiday trip round the North of Scotland.

cut off the tds2010 suffix to get into my other photos from ultras and other events I've photographed in the past few (15) months since running stopped

Tomorrow I am off to watch some hamsters run round a wheel for 24 hours. Perth Ultra Festival by any other name!

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Hogmanay Thoughts

Just a couple of hours to the bells and time to look back on my year; well, two half years.
I failed miserably in my goals other than in the three races I actually ran. A Pb at Alloa was a good sign, despite little speed work in my training. I finished the Highland Fling albeit with a struggle between Inversnaid and Beinn Glas where I was told by the stewards and my wife just how bloody awful I looked, worse even than normal! I struggled to recover and missed a chunk of training due to recovery and being on holiday in May. However a successful completion of the West Highland Way race was achieved; albeit a struggle with blisters and back. Two things motivated me to finish. My crew and my nephew Darren. A wee boy with disability that bothers him a lot less than it could. With an outlook on life like his, how can I complain about a bit of discomfort. Over £1800 raised to help make Darren's life a little easier, the least I could do for his inspiration and example.
That, however, was that as far as running went. My body refused to operate in running mode and although I have made satisfactory progress (in my osteopath's eyes), I am currently suffering from tight adductors due to the exercises I was doing with him on Tuesday.
Worse, instead of losing weight as I'd hoped I've gained two stones since June. Mainly due to inactivity and over-indulgence in the wrong kind of calories.
So, once the New Year dinner is out of the way I will be starting all over again, with an tentative target of the Devil of the Highlands in August. My only goal is to be confident enough, this time next year, to be able to say I've got an entry for the WHW race in 2011.
I'll start by blogging more often. That may be limited in scope at first as I will be starting off with some very easy running and swimming, as well as having to spend some time in the gym. (Part of my running problems are due to lack of basic strength and conditioning in my legs. At the end of the day I have the endurance in my heart, lungs and muscles but my joints and skeleton need to be improved to ensure I can survive an ultra.)
Additionally, it seems that Facebook has taken over as the preferred means of communication amongst the ultra community, and it also helps that other friends are more aware of activities. But it lacks the motivational aspects that the blog has; blogging being a kind of training diary as well as a commentary on all aspects of life.

So here's to a very Happy New Year to all of my friends and family. Thank you all for the tremendous support I received in June. I'll be having my New Year glass from a rather nice Goblet!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Tanks? Firemen?

I post this link without comment..... other than where do people get their references?

Quick before it is taken off the site!