|Posted by Dougie on July 8, 2011 at 5:59 AM||comments (1)|
Week 26 (27/06 - 03/07)
Weight : 11st 12lbs
Booze : 12
Miles : irrelevant
Wednesday : Midweek League Race (5 mile) at Welwyn GC.. Was intending to go easy
because of the weekend race, so set off with Steve A and ambled round the first mile, then
we both thought "Bugger this" and pushed on a bit.. Probably shouldn't have, but we made
good progress and I ended up about doing about thirty four and a half or so, with Steve not
so far ahead..
Control Code Grid Ref Description
Start 100 317 056 Start Day 1
1 119 306 090 Stream at 315M
2 120 297 086 Knoll Belles Knot
3 121 269 085 Stream Junction
4 122 289 129 Knoll High Saddle
5 123 297 133 Knoll
6 110 313 118 Bridge
7 102 322 127 Finish Day 1
Control Code Grid Ref Description
Start 101 318 125 Start Day 2
1 109 307 111 Tarn Edge SW Corner
2 126 296 100 Sheepfold North West Pen
3 127 267 091 Stream Junction
4 141 270 058 Crag Foot
5 129 288 047 Knoll South End
6 130 312 041 Gate / Stile
7 103 314 050 Finish Day 2
Weather forecast for the weekend was good, with little or no rain predicted.. The organisers
had put out an email the day before warning of mozzies at mid camp, so we made sure we
had the repellant with us..
The Start : This is where it all started to go wrong !!!! We got the control details, marked up
the maps, then headed off uphill in North / North West direction.. In such an intent to make
good progress, I didn't really have a defined route to CP1 with known location points on the
way, and ended up drifting too far West of where we should have been going - it's difficult to
know exactly what was going through my head, but it certainly wasn't logic and clear
thinking.. With so many teams going in a number of directions, we were just drifting West..
By the time I realised exactly where we were, I was kicking myself for allowing this to
happen.. I worked out a route to the CP, but had lost a significant amount of time against our
"rivals".. We did see Kash & Alan, and realised they were as far wrong as we were.. A tricky
(dangerous) descent towards CP1 and then we passed Paul & John, then Tony & Rachel (all
heading in the opposite direction towards CP2) - this gave them the morale boost they
needed, and gave me such a kick in the sore bits.. As we got to CP1 and headed back
towards CP2, I was so mentally deflated, it also affected me physically, and I felt drained..
Steve did his best to cheer me up, which is one of his strengths, but I was beating myself up
for making such a mess of the start.. Overall, we had lost about one hour.
CP1 to CP2 was fairly short and (another) climb.. I can't actually recall much of the detail of
the route from CP2 to CP3 (even looking at the map now), but it was another climb up and
over the saddle between High Raise and Thunacar Knott..
CP3 to CP4 was a long drag but basically, we climbed to 600M and contoured round
Ullscarf to the knoll at High Saddle.. My left hammie cramped up painfully, and Steve gave
me a toasting for not accepting some of the salted peanuts he'd offered half an hour
beforehand - yes.. yes... I know... I should know better etc at my age.. But, this was the first
time I'd ever cramped up during an event - it was a sure sign of the amount of salt I was
losing out of my body in the hot conditions..
Going from CP4 to CP5, we met Paul legging it back towards CP4 and realised he must
have missed it.. We caught up with Bill & Bell around CP5 and the three pairs headed
towards CP6 - I knew this was a tricky descent, but was trying to find the best route through
the fern covered rocky slopes (I'm not really sure there was a best route ?). As we
approached the final part of the descent towards CP6, we saw Tony & Rachel (we had finally
caught them up) and the four of us headed into the finish and mid camp..
We got the tent up, and managed to get a decent area, big enough so all five pairs could be
together.. Brew on and we felt better..
We cheered on Bill & Bell as they arrived, but the response of "B*ll*x" meant that all was not
well with Steve Bell.. He came into mid camp complaining about how much of a H&S risk
the last descent was, and that no-one should be made to endure that (well, he works for the
Council, so that explains a lot, I'm sure).. This wasn't the last time the toys were lobbed out
the pram over the weekend, that's for certain.
I was the first to slope off to bed, but it took a long time for the camp to quieten down and I
certainly didn't get to sleep as quickly as I would have wanted..
I woke up in the morning with Steve nibbling my ear and nudging me in the back with his
elbow (??).... [That's sentence is a lie - Steve, please don't sue me]
We got the Day 2 CP info and I marked up the map.. The Day 1 results meant that Tony &
Rachel had 30 mins lead on us, and Paul & John had about 16 mins on us - We had a lot of
ground to make up..
We packed up our kit, and headed off to the start.. I needed a last minute portaloo visit,
which actually worked well in terms of timing, because it seperated us from the other four
pairs, and we gave them a 5 minute head start on us (chip timings allow for this etc).
We caught Bill & Bell, then Paul & John and Kash & Alan on the first climb to CP1, but
Tony & Rachel were away and out of sight.. The first we saw them was as we approached
the sheepfold at CP2, and they were exiting it towards CP3.. They didn't see us, but it gave
me some confidence we were closing the lead they had.. I choose a different route out of
CP2 and towards CP3, hoping to perhaps make up more ground, but we didn't see them
around the CP, so I reckoned they were still ahead..
The route to CP4 was a tricky path descent and, as we moved away from the path to climb
towards the crags, Tony & Rachel appeared behind us.. They had lost some time (but not
enough).. They got away from us again on the fern covered climb to CP4 - I was really
showing signs of tiring at this stage.
The route to CP5 was (yet) another ascent to a knoll where Tony & Rachel continued to
open up a gap on us as I slowed more..
There were two options to get to CP6... Go left (up then down) or go right (down then up).. I
decided to get the last climb out of the way, so "up then down" was the choice.. About
halfway up the last climb, we stopped for a last gel and drink.. I'm not sure what happened,
but the next thing I knew, I was on all fours retching violently.. I had all sorts of thoughts
about having drank "bad" water out of the streams etc, but got my act together after about
10 minutes, picked myself up, and made my way up the hill again.. I'm sure I didn't look a
pretty sight to the teams that passed us on the hill at that time, but Steve pacified them by
saying "It's ok, he's Scottish, he'll be fine".. Anyway, as we approached CP6, we met Tony
& Rachel again (at the checkpoint) and ran into the finish with them.. I knew we hadn't
caught up the 30 mins lead they had overall, but we did beat them on the Sunday, so that
was some consolation..
We think my doggie impression on the last hill was due to excessive sun or some form of
heat exhaustion.. Either way, I don't want it again, thank you very much..
Overall result (Day 1, Day 2, Overall) :-
32nd= Tony Conway & Rachel Clay MIX 05:52:46 (44th) 05:17:24 (28th) 11:10:10
41st Dougie Gray & Steve Ambrose MV 06:22:38 (66th) 05:13:06 (22nd) 11:35:44
81st Paul World & John Panter MV 06:06:10 (53rd) 07:38:51 (98th) 13:45:01
90th Bill Scales & Steve Bell M 07:01:13 (81st) 07:44:32 (99th) 14:45:45
99th Katarzyna Burdzy & Alan Dickson MIX 08:30:00 07:34:54 (97th) 16:04:54
Our 22nd place on the Sunday was pretty pleasing, but, of course, the first CP on Day 1 set
the state of play - I don't think we were ever going to recover from that one..
So, another Saunders completed safely (which was a great result for all of us), and hopefully
I can learn from the mistakes made. However, no matter what physical condition I think I'm
in, it is never enough to prepare you for the terrain and the ascents / descents of the event..
The body always feels like it's taken a pounding come the Sunday night.
Next year ??
|Posted by Dougie on June 27, 2011 at 11:58 AM||comments (0)|
Week 25 (20/06 - 26/06)
Weight : 11st 12.25lbs
Booze : 10
Miles : 22
Tuesday : First time I've made it to the speed work session with the club, and it's the one I
hate most.. 6 x 1200's.. Steve & I kept each other going until he perked up and ran away
from me on the last couple.. But I'm not far away from his level, which is a good sign..
Thursday : About 8 miles or so with the club.. Reasonable pace to end as I was stupid
enough to try and run with Louise, who is considerably quicker than me.. I thought I was
doing ok until, as we reached Mark Hall, I slumped to a halt, as she simply kept going with a
shout of "I'm running home, see ya" !!
Sunday : About 8 mile run up and over St Martha's - managed to get all the way to the top
on the steep side (from Chilworth Manor) without stopping..
Did a final kit check and pack this weekend.. All fits nicely into the rucsac, weight comes in
at around 16lbs, with full water bottle.. Have split the tent so I take the outer and the poles &
pegs, Steve takes the inner - seems a fair enough split..
The main group travelling from Hants / Surrey (9 of us) have finally agreed on a mini bus up
to the Lake District - Stevie A is on his own from Essex (Billy no mates), We'll all meet up
there on Friday sometime..
Weather forecast (as at Monday) for Ambleside for the weekend, looks like being reasonable
(no rain) for the Saturday, with perhaps some small showers on the Sunday..
Next report (final one for this year) will be the actual race report.. Anyone wanting to view
results as the weekend progresses can see the website www.slmm.org.uk
We are doing Harter Fell class, and are team number 376.. The other groups are :-
Kash & Alan 201
Tony & Rachel 381
Paul & John 361
Bill & Steve 274
|Posted by Dougie on June 23, 2011 at 6:21 AM||comments (0)|
Week 24 (13/06 - 19/06)
Weight : 11st 12lbs
Booze : 12
Miles : 30
Just seen a fat bird walking down the street wearing a t-shirt saying "I love hip hop"
I think the C and the S must have fell off.....
Just arrived home to find a pretty woman grouting the bathroom wall and singing "It's a
heartache, nothin' but a fools game"
I thought to myself "She's a Bonnie Tiler"......
Tuesday : Did my Roydon loop, around 8 miles, but got caught in the heavy rain (again)..
Quickest I've done the loop in 69 minutes.
Thursday : Easy run, around 5 miles from the Fox at Matching Tye with the HRC group.
Sunday : PH3 run was from Send, so I ran there with rucsac and map etc.. Overall, about 17
miles (incl the PH3 run) - felt ok, good running terrain / conditions etc.
The Sunday run will probably be my last longer effort as it's < 2 weeks to go now to
Saunders.. The start times have been published, Steve & I set off at 09:34 on the Saturday
morning, so not too early.. Out of the 5 pairs heading up together, I reckon it's between us
and the Tony / Rachel pairing for line honours and bragging rights.. The good news for us, is
that they're not setting off until 10:04 on the Saturday, so we'll be out of sight by then (they
can't follow us etc) - however, they've made it clear they'll be tracking us all down !!
Final kit check and pack this weekend - hopefully it will all fit in.. If not, then Stevie boy's
gonna be taking all of the tent, not just half of it..
|Posted by Dougie on June 13, 2011 at 5:42 AM||comments (0)|
Weeks 23 (06/06 - 12/06)
Weight : 11st 13.25lbs
Booze : 8
Miles : 15
A teacher starts at a London primary school and tells all the kids she is an Arsenal fan. She
then asks the kids who they support.
All the kids except Johnny say Arsenal..
She asks Johnny "Who do you support, then ?"
"Well, my mum's a Spurs fan, my Dad's a Spurs fan, so that makes me a Spurs fan as well"
Teacher says "Well, if you're Mum was a prostitute junkie and your Dad was a rapist burglar,
what would that make you ?"
Johnny replies "An Arsenal fan !!"
Thursday : First run for about 18 days.. Decided to head out on my own from Roydon on a
circular route of about 8 miles (or so) with map in hand etc.. Unfortunately, got caught in the
heavy rain which completely knackers me for the map reading (glasses get wet and I can't
see the details on the map).. Out for just over 70 minutes, reasonable effort, but I doubt if it
was very quick.
Sunday : Met up with the PH3 Hash group at Lurgashall (West Sussex).. Some good running
at times, but I've definitely lost something with the 18 days off..
Need to try and have a decent couple of weeks training in lead up to Saunders.. The start
location has been announced for Saunders - it's about 4 miles west of Ambleside, which is
great for us, as we're staying at YHA at Ambleside on the Sunday evening.. The bad news is
that we could be heading towards Scafell & Scafell Pike area.. Hopefully. it'll only be the Elite
boys that have to get up and down there a few times, leaving us woosies to mince around the
lower slopes etc..
I need to plan out my kit, and put up my tent in the back garden (as a memory aide) - Nothing
like a quick erection in the garden to get the neighbours curtains twitching !!
|Posted by Dougie on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM||comments (0)|
Weeks 21-22 (23/05 - 05/06)
Weight : 11st 13.25lbs
Booze : 20
Miles : 0
My wife suggested I got one of those penis enlargers....
So I did...
She's 21 and her name's Sue....
Unfortunately, I've been laid low since the Brecons sortie.. I've had a bug which got into my
chest and buggered me up good style. I'm only now beginning to shake it off (Thursday of
Week 23 !!)
So, no running at all over last two weeks - this isn't what I needed with < 4 weeks to go to
Saunders.. Hopefully, I won't be back to level zero when I start running again..
|Posted by Dougie on May 26, 2011 at 5:16 AM||comments (0)|
Week 20 (16/05 - 22/05)
Weight : 11st 12lbs
Booze : 10
Miles : 39
In light of Fulhams decision to erect a Michael Jackson status, Chelsea are also planning on
putting up a statue outside their own ground.
A lifesize replica of Bullseye legend Jim Bowen will be placed outside, with the plaque reading
: "Let's have a look at what you could have won !"
Just got my Olympics ticket allocation back. I just missed out on the mens 100M final, but
picked up 35,000 seats for West Ham v Doncaster..
Tuesday : 10k Midweek League race at Royston.. I would probably describe it as undulating,
as the climbs weren't too significant. I started (as usual) fairly steadily (some would say
"slowly"), and started to pick up from about 2k.. Caught up with Stevie A at the 4k mark, and
we had a good pace going until I must had said something wrong around 7k 'cos he just
buggered off into the distance in a blinding flash.. Time was just over 43 mins, but I was more
satisfied with the steady way I ran it..
Thursday : Did about 7 miles loop around from Roydon on my own with map in hand
Saturday & Sunday : Brecons Training Weekend.. Altogether, there were eight hardy souls
who made their way to Pencelli Castle campsite on Saturday morning for a rather wet and
I had already plotted seven checkpoints (CP's) for each day, with grid references and
descriptions. The "teams" (pairs) were to mark up their maps, then work their way round the
CP's.. Each pair was given a chance to lead to next CP, whilst the remainder followed, but
ensuring they had an eye on where we were on the map. As we hit the hills on saturday
afternoon, the weather got steadily worse. In the interests of safety, and maintaining team
morale, I decided to cut it short at CP5, and head back to base - always have a plan B is the
motto for the day.. (then have C and D in reserve)..
Sunday morning was similarly poor weather, although it brightened up around midday, and
was superb in the afternoon.. Again, some variation necessary on the original CP's / route in
order to get most out of the day..
Altogether, we covered around 25 miles.. Time on the feet was close to 11 hours, carrying kit
on our backs - legs were tested on some of the latter climbs.
The guys seem to "enjoy" the weekend (as much as I can stretch the meaning of the word
"enjoy") - they certainly all agreed they got a lot of education and useful information relating to
navigation / route choice / use of altimeter / contouring / safety.. They tested out their tents
and stoves, their newly purchased clothing and rucsacs etc - all seemed to work ok.
My @ss is hurting after the weekend, but it's nothing to do with the fact I kipped in between
Steve & Tony in the tent - it's definitely a sign that I need to do more steep hill work in the
next six weeks before Saunders..
|Posted by Dougie on May 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
Week 19 (09/05 - 15/05)
Weight : 11st 12.5lbs
Booze : 5
Miles : 38
Unconfirmed reports emerging from Tynecastle are that Neil Lennon's attacker was his long
Three men were captured by savages & told that their manhood would be removed in a
manner appropriate to their jobs..
The 1st man was a lumberjack, his would be chopped off..
The 2nd man was a butcher, his would be sliced off..
The 3rd man was rolling around in hysterics.. His captors asked "What's so funny ?" He
replied "I work for Dyson"....
Tuesday : Tonight I was to fulfill my duties as Top Town Park Marshall for the first race in the
Ladies 5K Series.. In order to get some training in, I ran from Roydon to the Town Park,
conducted my duties in a professional and supporting manner, then ran back again to
Roydon.. About 70 mins total there and back.. Nice running underfoot, flat as a pancake..
Thursday : About 8 miles with the club run.. Much of it along the river path.. Thoroughly
Sunday : Hash run was from Abinger Common, so ran from home with two OS maps, rucsac
& compass to meet up with them, then ran back home again after it - the Hash group are
now really questioning my sanity.. Overall running time was 3h 45mins, covering about 22
miles off road..
Starting to gear up for training weekend in the Brecons (in a couple of weeks time).. Planning a route for Sat & Sun with CP's etc, in an attempt to replicate much of what will happen on Saunders weekend for the novices.. Here's hoping I don't scare them off..
|Posted by Dougie on May 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM||comments (0)|
Week 18 (02/05 - 08/05)
Weight : 12st 0lbs
Booze : 5
Miles : 26
Paddy & Murphy buy four budgies from a pet shop and proceed to drive to a cliff. Paddy puts two of the birds on his shoulders and jumps off, falling straight to his death. Murphy looks down at the remains of his pal and says "Feck dat, dis budgie jumpin's too bloody dangerous"..
Tuesday : Long hill reps x 6.. felt cr@p, and ran exactly how I was feeling..
Thursday : 5 mile handicap race (actually 4.89 mile, but hey ho, lets call it 5).. Slow start, picked up after first mile, finished steady.. Time, prob around 35 mins methinks
Sunday : Hash run was from Polesden Lacy, so ran from home with two OS maps, rucsac & compass to meet up with them.. Overall running time was 3h 15mins, covering about 18 miles off road..
|Posted by Dougie on May 6, 2011 at 5:44 AM||comments (0)|
Week 17 (25/04 - 01/05)
Weight : 12st 2lbs
Booze : 12
Miles : 26
Apparently, the Irish SAS joined in the US assault over the weekend..
They stormed Debenhams after hearing Summer Bed Linen was on the 3rd floor..
Tuesday : 10 x 400M's.. Thought I was running hard, but well down the field.. First speed work
I've done for some time, and it showed
Thursday : Managed to get home early (holiday weekend etc) and threw in the seven mile
route up & over St Martha's - even got up to the church without stopping, that's a first for this
Sunday : Was meeting up with the Hash guys, but plan A was slightly different from the
norm.. The Hash run was from a pub in Farnham which was also hosting a beer festival that
weekend (there's great planning for you..). Some of the troop were planning to cycle out to
Farnham, do the run, have a few scoops, then cycle back.. I decided to run out there (instead
of cycling), have a few scoops, then get the train back.. Run distance was going to be about
15 miles for me.. Unfortunatley, after I got the train back, I then met a couple of mates, and
went on the lash for the rest of the day / evening and got thoroughly rehydrated.. Felt so bad
all day holiday Monday, believe me..
Need to up the weekly mileage for a while, as it's only about two months to go to Saunders..
Have Brecons training weekend in a few weeks time.. That will give me an idea of what the nav
capabilities are of the other pairs in our group..
|Posted by Dougie on April 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM||comments (0)|
Week 12 - 16 (21/03 - 24/04)
Weight : 12st 1lbs
Booze : ??
Miles : ??
Firstly, let me apologise for my lack of reporting over past few weeks.. Work, holidays, other
priorities have taken their toll on my time / ability to draft the reports..
Unfortunately, there seems little let up, I fear more weeks will come & go..
As a summary of the past weeks..
Drinking too much, Training too little...
Well done to the recent VLM competitors..
However, there's always someone who goes off way too fast and blows up in the final 10k..
This year it was obviously my Saunders partner, Steve A..
His second half of VLM was 3 seconds slower than his first half !!! I mean, what a schoolboy
error.. We all know we need to finish strong - what was he thinking about.. I will need to
educate him during our 2 day stroll in the Lake District in July..
See you all soon, hopefully,