Tag Archives: long distance running

The Causeway Coast Marathon Starts Here

Over the past 6 months I’ve become far too lazy and far too fat. I’ve come to realise that without a goal to aim for I end up getting this way.

So I’ve decided to sign up for the Causeway Coast Marathon in September – that’s 6 months away. I’d like to aim for a sub 5 hour time so the training isn’t just going to be about putting in the miles, but also upping my pace.

My fastest marathon to date (Amsterdam) was 4.30 with my 2 Belfast times in and around 5.15. I know this will be a tough ask but I want to aim for more than simply plodding along and finishing in 6 or 7 hours – I already know my body can plod.

I aim to document my journey on here and via my YouTube channel

Ely to Cambridge (in a roundabout kinda way) Report

So a few days ago I left my job of 17 years to follow my passion of photography. I wanted to mark the occasion with something a bit different so upon waking up this morning I decided to test myself at marathon distance. Having only done a handful of runs in the past 10 months with the longest (by a fair shot) being last month (15) it was always going to be a challenge. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Start the Day with Coffee

Start the Day with Coffee

You know it really hit home how quickly the train can travel between Cambridge and Ely – around 18 minutes, and as the countryside sped past I realised I would be on my feet for a good few hours going in the other direction.

One Way Ticket

My pace would be considerably slower

I had run part of this route before, as part of the Monster Ultra so upon exiting the station I made my way to the River (Great Ouse), making sure it was on my right. Within about 10 minutes I was out amongst typical Cambridgeshire Fenland views – flat and wild.

Welcome to Ely

Hello Ely

Goodbye Ely

Goodbye Ely

I pretty much followed cycle path 11, well until I took a wrong turn which meant I had to double back and around on myself a few times – also meant the overall distance was going to be more than a marathon.

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Pit stops included the coffee shop at Wicken Fen where I devoured in record time a very tasty sausage roll. I had also packed a lunchbox of pasta and this was consumed in the wilds of White Fen, with a Marsh Harrier hunting overhead for company – idyllic.

Pesto Pasta FTW !!!

Pesto Pasta FTW !!!

I reckon I hit close to my limit around mile 23 but pushed on and ended up with around 28 in the bank. Currently sitting on the sofa with the smell of a steak being cooked by my other half wafting through the house – glorious.

Oh and the run was also part of my #30DaysWild ….. So what was so wild about it I hear you ask? Well how about

Marsh Harrier (Male and Female), Kingfisher, Hare, Lapwings, Reed Buntings (also being shown a bit about surveying the nesting progress), Azure Damselfly, Several Butterflies, Bumble Bees, Cuckoo (heard, not seen), a few friendly dogs (and one which sounded like it wanted to eat me) …

A top day in the wilds of Cambridgeshire …. A little video showing some of my exploits …

Fulbourn to Wicken Fen Report

So yesterday I decided to run to Wicken Fen – as you do.

First long run since July last year. Felt great to be out and I even surprised myself with how comfortable I felt. Looks like it was around 14.5 miles in total, including my first ever sub 2 hour half marathon. And there was cake !!! There ALWAYS has to be cake.

And Lo There Was Cake And It Was Most Pleasing

And Lo There Was Cake And It Was Most Pleasing

Backwater

Backwater

Boobs for the Next 10 Miles?

Boobs for the Next 10 Miles?

Also my first report on the new FujiRunner blog can be read here. Running, for me, is a fabulous way to discover photography locations. I plan to document some of my adventures on the FujiRunner blog.

Yay I’m FIXED !!!!

Okay, perhaps not … but you know what I’m bloody impatient .. so I’ve just been out for a 4 mile plod around the fields ….. felt no worse than normal so I take that as a good sign.

Seeing a specialist next week, until then I may have time to get a few more runs in .. heck he may even say it’s all in my head and there’s nothing wrong with my Achilles (the bulge is just a fashion accessory) …

Okay perhaps not …. but I’m going bonkers not being able to run ….

/Grumbles !!!!

Making Room for Running

I have a post over on my photography blog which approaches this subject from the photography aspect. This post will be from the running aspect.

I have a bit of an obsessive personalty (as you may have already realised from looking at some of the pictures of my feet after ultras). My main passion in life (and growing) over the past few years has undoubtedly been photography with running coming a close second. I also used to fill the remaining hours of the day with other pursuits including, drumming, gaming, home cinema and conservation.

There came a time in 2012 when I had so many things whizzing around in my head  (as well as holding down a full time and pretty time consuming job) that I’d sit at home on a Saturday morning and get frustrated about having so much to do that I would quite often do nothing. Well actually that’s not strictly true as I would run. I needed to run as I not only found it a bit of an escape from the pressures of all of the other stuff, but I knew I needed to keep running if I were to maintain my chances of completing some upcoming Ultras.

Every time  I’d be out running however I’d be frustrated that I’d not been out with the camera. My two main passions as they had become require many hours of one’s time – and even for me (being an insomniac) it felt either running or photography needed to take a back seat.

This worried me as in my heart of hearts I knew photography would  be the upfront driver and yet I also knew if I simply decided to run shorter distances (and therefore cut the amount of hours needed) I would loose interest and with that would come an unhealthy lifestyle and finally piling on the lbs I’d managed to loose over the past 2 years.

Making room for both of my passions meant that other pursuits such as gaming and home cinema took a back seat – resulting in not only the end of year sale of some of my consoles but also the agreement with myself that for the first time since I became interested in gaming I would not be picking up either of the latest consoles (which launched this past November).

I’ve helped myself on the running front by not entering as many events in 2014 – so far just two (which I’ll talk about in a later blog post) which will allow me to focus more photography while still having something big to train for.

As I start to ramp up the training heading into 2014 ready for my first event (April 2014) I feel I’m in a much better place to devote just the right amount of time to running while ensuring I leave enough time to continue to grow as a photographer.

The Wall Run 2013 – Part 1

So I’m writing this two days after taking part in the 2nd Annual Wall Run – a 69 mile Ultra which takes place alongside Hadrian’s Wall.

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I took part in last years event which didn’t quite go according to plan. This year I felt better prepared having not only put in extra training but also focused on trying to keep my feet in one piece during the event.

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I did however feel so much more nervous than last year – I think a mixture of actually knowing what the event could and most likely would entail, but also the fear of failing AGAIN.  I didn’t realise how much it was playing on my mind until the train passed by those famous Tyne Bridges – this was it, no turning back now. (well I could have but it was a long run back to Cambridge if I did)

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It was also at this point that it hit home that I would be doing this without my running buddy, Alistair. It would later hit me (hard) how much I missed his company.  As I left Alistair, his wife Lauren and my own wife Nicola (who once again would be spending her birthday chasing down  her husband across muddy fields) I felt sick. I felt excited and if the truth be told quite emotional.

The train across from Newcastle to Carlisle was packed full of other runners – it was however difficult to strike up a conversation to pas the time. I tried with one girl who looked like she may be running it, but upon me asking “you running?” .. she looked confused before answering .. “no I’m on the train !!”

As we arrived in Carlisle the first thing that was (very) different from last year was the weather – it was dry. It was actually sunny. As we arrived last year we could have  charted a small fishing boat to take us from the station to the Castle. A rather uneventful registration (apart from some bloke trying to feed me some kind of flapjack which to be honest tasted like 3 day old socks wrapped in pine nuts – I tried to be polite and swallow but couldn’t stomach it and proceeded to yak it back up into the one thing that was in my hand – my hat. The poor bloke looked shocked and moved away)

It was as I was leaving I got my first “Hey, are you that guy from YouTube?” comment … This made me smile as I nodded. “Good luck this year, you can do it” he followed up …. Made me smile even more …

I was staying outside of Carlisle .. which after last years events (read 4am no sleep due to clubbers outside my window) was a godsend. The Taxi driver, after hearing me chat about the following days events, proceeded to inform me that there was a really nice 6 mile run around the hotel if I fancied it …. err no thanks. Strangely the receptionist also made this recommendation and also how well equipped their gym was.

No thanks …. just show me where I can eat the animals !

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Dinner and my usual pre race pint of the Black stuff and it was time to hit the sack – but not before another chap asked me if I was that YouTube bloke ….

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Right time to get some sleep …. they say today had been the Longest Day but as I my head hit the pillow (or rather some flimsy excuse for a pillow) I had  sneaky feeling tomorrow would run it a very close second.

I also realised my hat still smelt of pine nuts ..