Shame on Me 24/10/10

Yes, road running again.
This year 12,000 people entered the Birmingham Half Marathon.

I've now run all three of these now to be annual events. I entered to support Mrs Lightning AKA "The Panther". I really don't like road running. Especially round the dull roads of Birmingham. At the start of the race loads of people were wearing jumpers that they discarded at the side of the road. Water stations all along the route with thousands of plastic bottles and gels packets also discarded at the side of the road for someone else to clear up. All very different to the average fell race.
Not much good to say about the race. Only that I was a bit faster than last year.

Bring on the next cold wet muddy misty mountain race.

Wrekin Training Run 21/10/10

Just got to the foot of the Wrekin in time to leg it up and down before it went dark. 30 mins.

I must get myself a new head torch. I didn't do much night running last year and tonight I remembered how much I enjoyed it two years ago.

Lake Vyrnwy Training Run 17/10/10

A trip over to lake Vyrnwy in Wales to help the Panther with her preparation for the Birmingham Half Marathon next weekend.

It was ideal preparation. 12 miles round the lake with no climbing or descending. I generally don't like road running but with such nice scenery it wasn't too much effort to plod round. With the pace we had on the way round the Panther looks good to equal her time of two years ago. I'm not sure whether I'll plod round with her on the day or run it as fast as I can just to see what I can do it in.
photo taken on a previous visit
After the run we popped in Lake Vyrnwy Hotel for a chilax in the steam room and Jacuzzi to aid with the recovery of the leg muscles.
We finished off the visit with a pint and a meal in much acclaimed restaurant. I think this is my favorite hotel restaurant combination ever.

Breidon Hill Fell Race 10/10/10

AM 7 miles 2300 feet.

I missed out on this race last year due to being committed to running the Birmingham Half Marathon. This year, despite running the Langdale Horse shoe the day before, I was determined to run this race again.
So, with stiff legs and back I set off at a slow pace with the intention of jogging round. It was a bit of an effort to start with, but, halfway round I started to feel more energetic and picked the pace up a bit.
I finished within 30 seconds of my previous time 2 years earlier.
Glad I did the race. It was a good chance to catch up with the Shropshire lot.

Great photos from Alastairs excellent fell running pictures site

Next year I won't be doing Langdale so should be able to give it a better go .

Langdale Horseshoe Fell Race 9/10/10

AL 14 miles 4000 feet.
My second run of this race. Last year the weather a bit on the misty side so navigation, because I didn't know the area, was a of a problem. I was lucky to tag along with someone who did know the route so got away with following MG round and not getting lost.

This year I knew where I was going and the weather was forecast to be good. I really wanted to break 4 hours this time (4:05 last year).
Started off at a reasonable pace and continued plodding round. Navigation was not a problem and I was looking good to break 4 hours. It came close though. Going up the last mountain, Pike of Blisco, I started to flake. I started going down the other side towards the finish, which, for me, should have been a fast descent and a chance to catch a few people I had no energy left. I let a few people pass me and didn't care. I even started not to care about breaking four hours.

10 yards from the finish I just manage a pose for the camera

In the end I came in in 3:55 but I felt as if I were ready to collapse. It nearly killed me. I must have got some thing wrong with nutrition and sleep.
After wolfing a load of food and having a nap in the car I felt right as rain (apart from the back) and ready for the next days race.

Arenig Fawr Fell Race 3/10/10

AM 6.7 1900 race website

This is my second run of this race. It was touch and go whether I was going to make it. My back was still (and is still) hurting and I was at a friends gig the night before. But, I dragged myself out of bed and got there just in time to register.
It's organised by the legend that is Yiannis Tridimas and it has the finest array of soup and cakes I have ever seen at any race. That alone should be enough of a reason to attend.
photo from Alastair's site
It is also a really good race route in an under used part of the world. It had rained heavily in the days leading up to the race so was very boggy and slippery in places. Even with the new xtalon 190's I still ended up knees and elbows deep in the bog on a couple of occasions.
In the end I came in a whole two seconds faster than last year so I must be getting better ;-)
Really glad I attended the race again and have already put it in the calender for next year.