Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Abergavenny Three Peaks

Great to return back to Wales to trot around the three peaks of Abergavenny. Although they are not mountains .... the three altogether had an elevation of over 5000ft with a total mileage of about 30ish miles.  Weather was perfect and I even learnt some Welsh in double quick fashion. Pont Wan! (Sign next to a metal bridge) didn't initially appear to make sense until I was at the point of no return! A gaping hole in the middle of the very wobbly metal floor that even made me stop and think twice.
The rest of the trot was uneventful, apart from the  usual off piste adventures and landing up in the wrong town but I just expect these things to happen. Compass? Yes, I did have one but no I didn't think that I needed one (well until it was too late)..... Nae matter .... I was on holiday and so what if I arrived an hour or so after my ETA? The day was finished off with some excellent company, cold beer and interesting life stories. A grand day.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Rap jumping in Stoke Newington, London - October 2012

Absolutely brilliant! Rap jumping is great... more than great in fact!  It really has a very different feel (cause you face down rather than up) than abseiling. Although it was only 150ft high .... my heart definitely added a couple of extra beats above what was needed to climb up the tower. Fun, pure original fun! Weighing up abseiling down a skyscraper and rap running ... I have to say rap running definitely had the extra edge! It was like eating a sugared doughnut without licking the lips...... running down the side of a tower holding a rope in your hands without squeezing the fingers (aka braking) is equally difficult especially when you jump out and away from the tower! Great fun .... Really great fun, I just wanted to go faster!! I have to say, what was really good was being able to have a go three times!  But I STILL need to find something that will get the heart really going and the knees knocking ..... I think I need to find something a little different..... height isn't the issue now..... Time to go underground.... next ..... potholing in December........ ;o)))))))))))


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ok, so this is it! Rap running down a 150ft tower! This has to be a blinking fantastic giggle and a half. Why? Well, when I abseiled down a sky scraper it didn't even make my heart flutter, skip a beat or speed up even a nano second! Result? Time to run face down, down a 150ft tower..... Ok, so this picture is just a building ... But it gives a flavour! ;o)))


Sunday, 16 September 2012

All done ;o) and I have to say, the build up during the days leading up-to the abseil was more nerve wracking than the actual event! After yet another busy day, I arrived and felt very /too laid-back.  I thought that when I got up to the top of the building the nerves would kick in ... they didn't. Surely then stepping onto the side of the 540ft skyscraper?.... Nope, not a bit of it!

The views were amazing... truely amazing... Looking out and then down the side of a skyscraper whilst perched on the side was great!

This was someone's else's video of the view at the top! 
I have to say that this was one for the books but also what I learnt is that my threshold appears to have risen even higher! Oh dear .... That leaves me with another dilemma .. what will I do next!?!?!? It's got to be higher, push the boundaries and well it has just got to make me think twice! But what?!? Suggestions on a postcard please! :o)))))

Photos to follow!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

This has to be one of my top ten giggles to date.  In two sleeps time, I will be abseiling down a little skyscraper. The weather is looking good, wind is down and unless the tubes and trains all breakdown at the same time .... it seems that there is no way of stopping this from happening. I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  
Hmmm, ok, so I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous.. I am... but the excitement of knowing that I am going to be pushing the boundaries again outweighs the nerves 10000 fold. Day to day, life is simple, logical and straight forward and the opportunities of pushing the boundaries are seldom (although I admit to having more than some).  So when I know the opportunity is near, the excitement just goes through the roof. 
However,  as I sit here, I am already planning and thinking about the next, how I can follow in Prince Andrews abseiling steps and how I can fast track high lining and base jumping! 

But for now ... It's two more sleeps until Broadgate tower ... the fourth tallest building in London ......That should keep me occupied for this weekend ;o) 

Broadgate tower

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Quick summary of the last couple of months!

I really can't believe that it has been a couple of months since I last posted. The most exciting highlight has to be picking up a secd Headship of a two form entry school in Hackney. This of course, along with the process of getting the job, has impacted my training and running routines. In so far as races are concerned I have sadly had to pull out of the UTMB this year as the race finishes 15 hours before I lay out my thoughts and visions to the staff at the new school. I didn't think that it would be a good look nor start if I turned up on day one hobbling, on crutches and unable to string a sentence together! I will save that for next year ... ;o)))).

I did even though I was blighted with a chesty cough, blisters from a previous 40 miler and a garmin that decided to pack up a week before the race, cross the start line for the lakelands 100 miler one stage fell race. I learnt on the first 26.5 miles many things a) there is nothing quite like  fell running in the dark after 3 months of rain b) running through knee and calf level mud, grunge and water does make your skin softer c) when you step forward one and slide back two - it's a good indicator that one is off track and definitely off course - even on a fell run! d) never listen to a guy who has not recced the route (this is second time that I have and on both occasions subsequently gone on a 2 hour detour! e) working garmins are fantastic! and finally f) running up hill with half a lung working is not such a good idea!

So with my long list of excuses presented  it won't be any surprise that I missed the timed check point at 3.30am - this was a shame as in my mind I was still strong and eager to go forward. Never mind.... It was a good training run and insight into how hard the terrain was. I have to say that yes, I was gutted but not so gutted considering my situation and knowing that there were only 26 females that crossed the start line out of 300 and how many races expect a 60% drop out rate?

Not sure that I should have been in the race in the first place... But hey, I wouldn't have done half the things that I have done if I didn't just give it a go. Rock on next year I say! ;o)))))

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Backward running! UK championship in Manchester! Bizarre, completely bizarre.... but another one that I can't wait to go back and do again. This time 6th female overall..... but considering that I hadn't had a go before, I can only get better! The longest mile in the world.... when going backwards! What I did learn is that you can get 'wobbly knees'.  When you run backwards you can get uncontrollable wobbling of the knees and means that you need to do is sit down as quickly as you can before the knees do it for you! I did have to check at one stage!

Great fun though!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Nuts!  Completely nuts! Pen-y-fan 18 miler. When I first got the joining instructions it didn't occur to me that the 'race' was anything other than 'last one to the top and back buys the beers!' It was only when I plotted the check point grid references that it became very clear (10pm the night before the race), that I had to return to the summit three times - a total of 5247ft elevation and similar loss.

In true Welsh fashion, weather on the day was cold, foggy and damp which made the 4am car journey a little hard. The briefing at the base was a little surreal - standing amongst extremely fit men and females (who did not declare their military backgrounds until after the race) definitely brought out my drier side. If we were playing 'spot the difference or odd one out' the game would have lasted about 2 seconds. Stunningly, a very kind gentleman came up to me and pointed out a path that cut out the third and final trip to the top .... just in case!! ;o)))))) Set me up for the race like a treat!
Vis was about 2m at the top so there wasn't any 'lets enjoy the views to forget the pain'.  Nose to the ground all the way!

I have to say that the day was uneventful, bar the jippy stomach and cramps that found me running to the toilets without stopping even to pick up a medal at the finish. In short, it's something that I just don't want to experience again although on the positive I am more than sure that it got me to the end just that little bit quicker. Returning next year should confirm this.

It did get a little bit exciting at one stage as I was 4th female and as I had over taken I was in a good position (third female was just ahead) to get into the 3rd position.  Unfortunately, I went on a 1/2 hour or so jaunt on the other side of pen-y-fan ..... before retracing my steps  in order to get back on track.... that cost me dearly and in fact at the end of the race it turned out that the pair of ladies that I had pasted earlier kept to the right track and passed me without me even seeing them. Very frustrating!
So, it was 5th female and 22nd overall (male and female). So, I was really happy with that and completely unexpected too.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Olympic run 2012 - we were the first 5000 people to run in the olympic statum.  Not only was it a privilage it was great to actually see the stadium in 2012.  although I live not 10 miles from the stadium and the olympics are being held in london this year; sadly i am unlikely to see anything other than the crowds on the already crowded london transport.  I didn't run at any great speed the aim was to see it and take some photos! ;o))))

Olympic park run 2012!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Go Beyond : County to Capital - 45 miles from Wendover to Paddington.

After a crazy few days booking some runs at New Year, yesterday was the first long *cough* race. I say race, but really I mean getting to the checkpoints before the cut off time.  Last year I did the same race but only got to checkpoint 2 after running a 3 mile loop x3 times (yes 3 times) before heading up the right track.  However, with a working GPS and compass at the ready I only added less than 1/2 mile to the overall run.  I can't help but beam! 

At THE  'oh no .... I am back to the same point again', I stopped and took a moment before giggling and skipping up the hill towards checkpoint 2.... it was such a great feeling to know that I was on the right track and wasn't going to do a 9 mile loop.

Blisters on the feet were appearing and popping from checkpoint 2 (15 mile mark!) but you can't focus on them or even think about it because if you do .... then you will feel the pain in full which is guaranteed to get worse. It is the same with the muscles - they were starting to cease by mile 28 .... clearly they were desperate to let me know that I was being stupid to start the year with a 45mile run across the countryside .... and don't get them started about not taking poles! That said, although it was a slow trot is has refocused my need to go out and do more miles and more running with the gym thrown in on the side.

Ahhh, the best bit .... the finish.... I was greeted by the Go Beyond Team, flashing camera and the best massage ever (thank you).

Such a good feeling! Such a good day and importantly I finished.  

Time to rest until the 2 stage 90 mile event next weekend.  Hope the blisters heal in time!

I am now ready for Monday.