Tag Archives: 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.

IMG_1229 IMG_1230 IMG_1231

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 !!!!

Injury Update [FAT BOY DONE BAD]

Long Road

Posts have been few and far between give my lack of running due to injury. I am however pleased to report that while not 100% I’m certainly a heck of a lot better than I was a few months ago. I’ve been having weekly sessions at Cambridge Physiotherapy Clinic as well as daily exercises to both resolve the lumpy bits as well as strengthen my achilles for the future.

It’s been tough not running. For the first month I was okay with it – heck perhaps not even missing it too much. As the time away from running has lengthened my frustration has grown, compounded by the fact that my wife is back to running after our recent vacation and full of the joys getting outside for a run brings.

Fat Boy

I’ve actually done very little exercise (aka zero) since starting the program and this (given it is a continuous struggle for me) has seen me pile on a few (7) extra lbs in weight. I’ll never be one of these people who can get away with eating crap and it not showing and as I stepped onto the scales this morning I was annoyed to see how far I’ve let myself slip since stopping running. A few years to get to a weight I was beginning to be pleased with, and only a few short months to start to head (quite fast) in the opposition direction. A 3 week trip to South Africa (man they love their meat .. and wine … and some more meat) didn’t help my cause. Thankfully I now can spot the signs and feel myself carrying those few extra lbs.

Turning Corners

So this post hopefully starts me back on the straight and narrow. Firstly my physio has said that I can start to consider some short running again. I’m planning on heading out this morning. First run since 31st August (that’s 84 days or 2016 hours). While it’s still going to be quite a while until I can get back to any kind of distance it is at least encouraging to know that I can slip on my runners and at least get back out into the open. I also realise that I don’t want to go back to the bad old days regarding my fitness and weight and find that I’ve been using my injury as a lazy boy’s excuse to do zero exercise / drinking too much beer. I have two bikes which have had zero use in the past few months (one actually sitting on a roller in the garage so weather can’t be an excuse) and that has been something that even with the injury I’ve been allowed to do. Not good enough Nigel !!

Setting Targets

I’ve set myself a target to loose those extra lbs by 24th December (32 days from today) as well as regain a certain level of my fitness. While I’ve not signed up for any races in 2015 (nor do I think I will) I’ve got my eye on some interesting running challenges next year – just for me. I’ve learnt my lesson however and despite what seemed like an odd ability to get up and run 20 miles without too much thought I want to make sure I’m better prepared for running next time out.

With the latest version of iOS on the iPhone came the Health tool. I carry my iPhone everywhere and it is interesting to see how little I’ve been moving over the past few months – again something to make sure I change.

Too Few / Too Fat

Too Few / Too Fat

 24th December Targets 

  • Weight: 82.5KG
  • Daily Average Movement: 8KM

Fingers crossed for my run later and the start of stage 2 in my recovery.

September So Soon?

Didn’t that Go Quick 🙂 August I mean …. I’m sure there are a few of you out there who are disagreeing right now – especially those who managed to commit and stick to running every single day in August.

Well you can now take a seat, relax those weary legs – the challenge has officially come to an end. So how did we all do?

  • In total as a group we ran 2300 miles
  • 29 runners and walkers lined up on the start line on August 1st.
  • From our runners (20) an pretty amazing total of 8 of us managed to stick to 100%
  • From our walkers (9) 6 managed to stick to 100% (although this could be as high as 8 depending on some last minute totals.
  • Despite this being a 100% challenge those who missed a day here and there still, I think they would agree, have laid more miles down in August than at any previous point before – so for that an amazing achievement as well.
  • Our longest day was actually the last day (even that in itself is a tremendous effort) with just over 140 miles being ran or walked. Smashing effort folks.
  • Fastest mile goes to the speedster Lynne who cracked open a 6 minute 34 mile. I warned her that if she went any faster there may be a rift in the Space Time Continuum.
  • Longest miles on a single day was held by Ruth (a 40 mile ultra).
  • Top three folks in terms of total miles went to Jojo (298, including a marathon just for kicks on his last day), myself (181) and Emily (152). All 100% folks managed to break over 50 miles  which just shows that despite the challenge being a mile a day at least, folks were doing more than this. Cracking Stuff.

With 2300 miles under our belt we as a group would have reached the border of Iran (heading East), Mali (heading South) and if we had headed North, well let’s just say we would have been a tad chilly.

And now the important stuff. You have ran and walked, mostly with a smile on your face, for a month – what’s it all worth to the Great Apes? Well as you know at the beginning of this month I said I’d donate a certain amount to my chosen charity Orangutan Appeal  – and that time has come.

I’m pleased to say that all of your efforts have meant that I’ll be sticking an extra £300 into the appeal which takes my running total (excuse the pun) to almost £1700  !!  Thank you so much. This Charity and the work they do is very close to my heart and each and every penny of this £300 comes from each and every one of you. Amazing effort.

So pleased so many of you came along for the run and for those who managed to stick out for every day – truly amazing.  Expect some video / photo footage to be produced soon 🙂 Yes I have been collecting some of the photos and movie footage you have sent me 🙂

And now for me it’s back to normal training – two events left this year. The Cambridge Ultra (45 miles) on the 26th September and then a week later the Round Ripon Ultra (35 miles – hopefully not 40 after getting lost last year). Still places available in both if you want to enter 🙂

As a final recap the total miles are below – some of these may increase by a few miles here and there but I think I’m pretty much all caught up.

Thanks again ….

Total Miles in August

Total Miles in August

Now … about that Run 366 challenge 😉