30 September 2007
29 September 2007
As soon as I heard the news I completely lost my drive and focus and got on with other things. Since then I have managed to get out for a couple of runs and I plan to do a ‘humble’ one hour ‘cross race on Sunday. But I am not expecting to do much because I have not bothered with any sharpening since black Monday. I know it seems trite, but it was going pretty well for me and I had made a real effort to take myself out this summer, sometimes at the expense of the family or my work. I cannot say I did not enjoy the training, but I always hate the torment of feeling I should be with the family or elsewhere. So I guess it is time to redress the balance. I think I’ll take the kids swimming this morning. See you next year. Phil.
23 September 2007
Events of last week seem to have passed and I feel like the time to reflect has brought things into focus a bit more. Firstly, John's clearly very down about the whole affair... he's very keen to complete 50 events and this type of thing is obviously causing as much distress to John as the rest of us. His hands are clearly tied and he couldn't take the risk of treading on anybody's toes. It's a depressing thought that this race is on a knife edge with issues like Foot and Mouth Disease about, and no-one could guarantee against a similar fate in 2008... or beyond. We all assume that the current outbreak is still just a blip... but ...
I spent a bit of time with Rob Jebb today and aside from the obvious annoyance, he quickly pointed out that it's probably not as bad for 'us' Wheelbase riders and similar, because we get out our 'cross bikes and race them until January... some of the fell running community own cyclocross bikes purely to do this race and their numbers are larger than we think. Their bikes won't be used until next year's race. That's the strength of grip this event has.
On the up side (or is that the down side?), Rob was just flying today at the Silcoates Scramble. The course was fast, dry, and with a ten second run-up each lap - hardly Jebb territory to the type of people who think Rob's 'just a runner' (!) - he just cleared off half an hour in and that was that - won very comfortably. He wouldn't have been there, of course, were it one week before the Three Peaks, but he, like all of us, has had to rapidly adjust his plans for the next few weeks.
Rob's moving into unknown territory with a special invitation to ride the Iron Cross - the USA's answer to the Three Peaks - on October 14th. Rob's not sure how he'll get on given that he may not know the course well enough to dose his effort, but it'll be a hell of an experience, and in some way, compensate for the blow dealt in Yorkshire this year.
21 September 2007
18 September 2007
My fury about the politics that has led to this situation is best expressed elsewhere, and there's no need for me to re-record the outpourings of the other 399 competitors, most of them are happily getting on with this on the forum.
I tried to explain to my five year old daughter this morning why one race being cancelled was such a big deal. The only thing I could equate it to was the loss of Christmas for a year. The anticipation, the preparation, the sheer child-like obsession and wanting. The talking about it afterwards.
Whatever the reasoning or explanation, I feel like the year has just lost its focus now. The National Trophy races start in early October, and rather than looking forward to fine-tuning my form after the three peaks, I can't be arsed to touch my bike. I feel like I've been travelling on a long road to an important destination, to find it not there. Utterly empty and very sad.
I've looked for silver linings, none are there just now. I'll have to see what next September's Christmas brings.
17 September 2007
Seemingly people think that the movement of people affects the spread of Foot and Mouth disease, even though millions of pounds worth of empirical research has shown this not to be true.
"There is no need for people to stop visiting the countryside. At the present time, the only impacts on visitor attractions and rights of way outside the infected premises are those which result from the closures of some footpaths and access land within the Protection Zone and restrictions on animal movements and events involving susceptible animals. The Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone around Normandy and Elstead have been lifted and with them all rights of way and land closures, apart from those on the infected premises." DEFRA
16 September 2007
15 September 2007
All this might not sound good news for me, but it's not all bad. I seem to have found a new level of intensity in my training. If I have forty five minutes for a run, then I seem to be able to really push it dead hard.
The other thing that's really nice about it is that this website helps you to upload your runs or rides and view them in Google Earth, or google maps (see below), colourised by speed.
I'm looking forward to pouring through the stats and uploading the map in two weeks' time.
See the following map miles better in Google Earth here.
View Larger Map
14 September 2007
So far so good – I managed a lovely 45 minute evening run along to the
09 September 2007
I have completed the event a number of times since 1993, and am definitely a Mr Average, with a PB of about 4 hours 20 odd and a worst time about an hour longer. I eternally chase improvement and for me the key is in getting the weight down and fitting in some quality training around my work and family life. This year is going slightly better than average I would say and one of the reasons is in my rejuvenated ability to fit in some running.
In my 20s my first love was fell running but after a nasty ankle injury I had to easy off on the running and concentrate on the bike. In part a family visit from brother in July encouraged me to get out onto Dartmoor with him for some early morning runs, where I concentrated un uphill running and found that, with due warm up and stretching, I could get away with the occasional run. I took the gamble and splashed out on a new pair of super cushioned shoes and I must say that this has worked wonders for me – because demands on my time often take me away from home and, critically, away from the bike. This summer I have had a family holiday in France and slotted in some early morning runs whilst my young sons cycled alongside coaching me (as illustrated in the pic)! More recently I have found myself running in the dawn along the side of a Western Greenland Fjord on field work, and last week in the along a lake side of the Danish Lake District, near Silkebourg. It seems to be working, I have lost nine pounds in about 6 weeks and yesterday my standard 70 minutes road cycle circuit was reduced to 65 minutes and I had a certain bounce to my pace. So far so good, now I need to start working on the intervals and sharpening up my off road skills. See you next week – if you are in Dundee early on Tuesday morning or Bristol on Friday. I am the big guy pounding the streets in my Nikes at about 6 am. Have shoes will travel. Phil.