Friday, 29 May 2009


Well, probably being a bit dramatic here. However I do have a calf problem on the inside of my right calf. I ran 5.5m on Tue and was certainly aware of some tightness there which has persisted. I am being sensible for onec and have decided to give it a full weeks rest at least. I am also going to see Amanda again.
Its 3 weeks now so plenty of time to get it better and I may benefit more from rest than doing 30-40m/week in 7m runs which is what I would have done.
Its just hard not running and there's that nagging doubt that all the fitness is leaking away with the inactivity. Nonsense I know but I would rather be running fine at this stage than not.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Time to reflect

Today I intended to do a hilly 20m. I was also planning a 30m next weekend. On my run today I was considering the advisability of doing anything tough from here on in. After reading folks thoughts on tapering on the WHW forum my thoughts have changed to simply making sure I am at the start in as good a shape as poss. I only did 16m today and was feeling my right calf for the last few miles terrified it was going to "go" properly. It didnt but its not quite right either. This all needs careful planning. I have done the hard work so lets just take it easy.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Cotswold Way

As part of my training for the WHW I wanted to do some long successive days. I also wanted to do something a bit different. All the training on the WHW can get a bit samey. As my Father(Jim) lives near the Cotswolds and its 102 miles with a similar profile to the WHW I thought it would fit the bill.

On Saturday I flew down to Birmingham and made my way to Banbury on the train. All v easy and by Saturday evening we were drinking some very nice Italian wine and planning the next 3 days.

The plan was to run North from Bath to Chipping Camden. This involved an early start.


The drive took about 2 hours and it started raining heavily as we approached Bath(a sign of things to come). After a couple of tours of Bath city looking for the Abbey which is where it all starts(or finishes) I was chucked out the car and told to find it on foot. The rain stopped at that point which was welcome. After a quick visit to Starbucks for the usual pre run ablutions(sorry ) I found the Abbey and immediately started running South. Not a good start. I made my way back to the start and reset my watch.

The run through Bath was lovely, its not a city I know so it was good to see a bit of it. I made my way out and headed north. After a couple of golf courses(there were many) I met Jim at Cold ashton. A lovely village. He seemed keen to restrict my calories but once I had made it clear I wasnt there to lose weight we were fine and off I went. The next section to Tormarton was pretty dire. Running across the M4 in torrential rain did make me wonder what I was doing there. The rain continued for the rest of the day more or less. I met Jim in Horton but only after getting horrendously lost in a country estate. I eventually found myself trapped behind some gates waiting for someone to set the dogs on me. I managed to escape through some undergrowth and made my way back to civilisation. Unfortunately I was heading the wrong way and was sent back the way I had come to Little Sodbury. Let me tell you I was very pleased to see the Cotswold way sign.

The last 10 miles or so went very well. I suddenly started feeling good and felt I was moving well. I finished in Wotton under edge and we made camp in an Inn for the night. 32m completed.


The Inn turned out to be the focus for all the local insomniacs with drink problems so probably wasnt the best choice but never mind. I headed out of Wotton feeling pretty good. It wasnt to last. This was easily the worst section. I had 14m to do and I got lost so many times I lost count. Stinchcombe Hill and Dursley were real low points and it rained and rained and rained. The kind of rain that you are instantly soaked.

It took me over 4 hours to do less than 14m. Not good. The next section to Painswick was better but I knew I wasnt going to do my 35m that I had planned. Painswick is lovely but I wasnt interested. I headed out as quickly as I could after being refuelled by Jim who was doing a great job keeping me fed and motivated.

The final section to Birdlip seemed to go on for ever. The day had seen me going through alot of thick mud in woodland and that is how it finished for the last few miles. I eventually finished after 8.5 hours running and covered 30M. Tomorrow was going to be tough.

Day 3

Started at 9am and things just seemed easier. The first 10m whizzed by and I was in Dowdeswell in good time and feeling good. This in spite of the fact that I had forgotten my ruc sac and guide book. The signs were good and I didnt get lost all day.

I met Jim at 21m just south of Winchcombe. Felt good and made good time to Stanton which was only 10m to go. It was at this point I felt a slight pull in my right calf. I decided to walk all hills as a precaution but wasnt really up to doing much more than that anyway. My right big toe was also giving me alot of pain due to a big blister under the nail but I wasnt stopping at that stage.

The last 2 hours were in lovely early evening sunshine and Broadway looked gourgeous. Jim met me evry 2m or so after that and I finished in Chipping Camden feeling quite pleased with myself.

The 40m that day took 8.5 hours so i was pleased with that.

Overall then, a soggy experience but not one I would have missed. The Cotswolds are very beautiful and I'm sure in normal conditions the trails would be a delight to run on. In fairness the last day was great running. Jim was great the whole way giving great support. Hopefully this will turn out to be a good launchpad for a good WHW

I have now done over 1000 miles this year so thats another milestone.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Since the weekend I have felt,well, shattered. I ran with the Harriers last night and could barely keep up. My knee was also sore again.
I'm not really worried about any of this, it goes with the territory.
I plan to rest today and do 2 7m runs before the weekend and hope I'm recovered for Sunday and my 1st day on the Cotswold way. At the moment Sunday is rainy but a nice temp so could be worse.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Some progress, I think.

My aim this week was to get running properly again and do two 20 milers at the weekend.
Well looks like I've done it.
Yesterday I set off at 5.20am for a Tour de Strathearn (as we call it round here). The idea was to get some experience of running early ie at the same time as the first stages of the WHW. I have always felt rotten at the beginning of the WHW so this was my attempt to do something about it.
Well guess what I felt pretty ropey when I set off. It was cold and windy. However I worked my way round and had some good spells. Not surprisingly I didnt see many folk about. This really is a tough course and I always seem to forget that until I am doing it again. I felt pretty tired at the end but OK. My time was slow at 3h 17m but thats OK. My knee was sore but again some voltarol took care of that and no harm done as far as I can tell.
Today I set off at 8am on the same run but the other way round. A much nicer morning and a good run. I was shattered in the last few miles and 3h 20m is about the slowest I've done this route in but again thats OK, its only training.
Both knees were playing up a bit at the end but I think all is well.
So thats 60m for the week.
This time next week I should be ending my 1st day on the Cotswold way. I aim to do the Bath to Chipping Camden trail over 3 days.Its 102m long and about 13000 up and down so a major challenge.

Monday, 4 May 2009


The last week has been a slow process of recovery.
I had a very sore knee all of last week. On Tue I has a massage. By Friday I felt a run was possible and did 5.4m flat. The knee did not like it at all and Sat am I took a voltarol. Bliss.
Sunday I did 7.2m slow but apart form some medial patella discomfort everything seemed OK.
It might turn out to be blessing in disguise making me rest. We will see.
Otherwise I have been fine and after 2 weeks of virtually no running (apart from the fling!) I feel ready for the challenges ahead.