Sunday 26 October 2014

Winter 100 - 2014


The centurion Winter 100. My first crack at 100 miles, wih the best training.... Ok hang on back up a bit... I have actually had a really shite cold including a few days fever that I've mentioned in my last blog post.

So ok, I felt like crap, and decided to just plod along and see how it went. I'd spent my money on the entrance fee so decided to give it a go.

So at 10 am I started off with everyone else plodding along near the back, and. Well.... I survived a whole 20km (around 12.5m) before dropping out at the first checkpoint. Three hours to stagger that far, coughing up loads of phlegm, I just had no energy and couldn't have gone much further. Whilst I sat down waiting for my OH to pick me up I started shivering uncontrollably and it took me half an hour to be able to relax.

So all in all, an incredibly piss poor first attempt at 100 miles, I would say I've learnt lots of lessons, but in reality, i've learnt just the one thing. When stuffed with a chest cold don't be bloody stupid and try to run 100 miles. I could have. Maybe plodded out a marathon, but frankly I was stupid and would have been better off curled up in bed for the day.

Centurion themselves were fantastic, and I look forward to going back to another of their events in the next year or so.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Colds suck

I hate having a cold, it's been dragging on for over 20 days, so no running and I'm going to be running my first 100m race, with 0 runs in the last two weeks.

At least I was going well up to then, a marathon the last Sunday in September, and a ultra 51m the Sunday before.

I need to not think about speed, that's irrelevant if I get timed out so be it, I just need to keep on plodding. Well I'll be back on here next week to say how it went. What worked and what didn't.

Sunday 5 October 2014


Whilst I am actually in the right mood and doing some posts, I have been asked what trainers I wear.
It's not a very exciting question.

For roads and dry summery trails I wear  Asics Gel-Nimbus 16
For long trail and road in good conditions I sometimes wear Hoka Stinson Trail
For muddy and rough off road conditions I wear Salomon Speedcross 3

Out of the three trainers that I wear the least convincing of them are the Hoka's some swear blind by them for distance runs, but personally I struggle with them and seem to get a lot of rubbing around my big toe when wearing them. So I'm thinking of still taking them in my drop bag for my first attempt at a 100 mile race, but ensuring I have a lot of tape on my big toes before I wear them.

The Nimbus are a bit heavy and big, but they just do the job, they work, I can plod along happily in them and don't seem to pick up many injuries what more do you want :-)

The Speedcross 3 are great for tougher off road conditions and in mud. Not cheap but good.

Those that are after a cheap pair of trail shoes to chew up mud look at More Mile - Cheviot 2 these are way cheaper, and are great in mud, but personally I find them a bit uncomfy when running on a flat road, but they are so cheap they are worth a punt on as your first pair of trail shoes if you need a pair.

Well that's about it for trainers, yeah I'm crap at giving detailed explanations so I'll never get any freebies :-)

EDIT: So as I'm unlikely to buy another pair of Hokas when they fall apart if I buy another pair of padded Ultra trail what would I go for? The answer is I am not sure the three main contenders at the moment are:- Inov8 290 , New Balance Leadville 1210 , Skechers GoRun Ultra with I think the inov8 being the favourite at the moment, but this is only based on other reviews and what I've read not tried any of the 3.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Montane Ultra events in 2015

Montane Ultra Events

Ok, so my plans for 2015 revolve around two events.

In January I am running The Spine Ultra
In July I am running Lakeland 100

I didn't really spot until today that these are the two big UK events in the Montane UK Ultra events list. The other events are the 5 Trail 26 races, that take place throughout the year, so I'm tempted to sign up for them to just get the full house of the Montane events.Although it's not really the full house if I do complete them, because I'm doing the 'baby' Spine Challenger not the full Pennine Way.

Neutral shoes

Well in my last post around 8 weeks ago I said that I had gait analysis for the first time, and amazingly it came out saying I'm neutral, so I switched to Neutral shoes, I tried Brooks expensive neutral shoes but jus didn't get on with them a bit tight across the top of the foot.

So I went back to my old faithful brand Asics, so I went for Nimbus 26, and no aches and pains so far in my legs so it seems to have worked going neutral, amazingly I've got over 250 miles on the new shoes already. Including Ladybower 50 and Loch Ness Marathon the week after.

So good to go at the moment.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Gait Analysis

Haha so been running nearly 2.5 years,and have been getting trainers for over pronation, and getting ones for more pronation each time. 

So first times had my gait analysed today.... The results.

Perfectly neutral on left foot, and very, very small over pronation not worth worrying about on the right foot. So the recommendation, neutral shoes, ooops, when compared to what I've been doing. 

Friday 15 August 2014

The Spine Challenger 2015 - Starting to feel it....

I should be asleep, instead I'm buzzing and all excited after re-reading another article about The Spine Challenger.  It's 2 A.M. on the 15th of August, and I am wide awake and buzzing with excitement about something that will not be happening until the 10th of January next year.

This article on last years Spine mentioned a top 10 list of runners to look out for in the build up to the 2014 race. I'm thinking this year with 200 of us starting out, with 125 doing the full spine and 75 of us doing the challenger, that if there was a bookie taking odds I'd be in the 'top 10 most likely to be the first DNF'. I can assure everyone that I'm out to prove these fictional bookies wrong

I have a desk job, my scary moments come when I have to press a button and hope that nothing goes bang my scariest decisions are down to choices where I don't want to cost my company money. Frankly some of these are quite fun adrenaline filled minutes, but, doing The Spine Challenger is just so different to my normal life, that's what makes it so special, and exciting.

I am going to be out of my comfort zone from the start to the finish, reading about how Nick Mead felt when faced with having to slog up pen-y-ghent in the dark when exhausted (I'm also probably going to take 12 hours longer to get there). It's scary but also liberating, it's almost the inner cave woman wanting to come out and roar. To scream back against all our modern comforts that I really love

I'm honestly sh****g myself about this race! but in a good way! that will help me to hopefully prepare correctly.

There are all sorts of reasons not to challenge yourself, not to take yourself out of your comfort zone. But, when you do it's bloody awesome knowing what you can do.

I was talking this month to someone who doesn't see me often and he still remembers large me, and he wasn't sure if I was me, or someone else, (that makes sense to me), anyway... Back to my ramble....

Why am I doing The Spine? Because it's there and I want to do something that when I'm a boring old fart I can look back on and say I gave that my best shot, irrespective of how it turns out. Completely and utterly selfish reasons

Thursday 22 May 2014

Ultra Running

I guess I have sort of developed into the beginnings of a very slow ultra runner.

Yes I've only done one, but hey one 50 mile run is more than quite a lot of people.

I'm now 30 days away from my second Ultra.  The Wall, a 69 mile jaunt with a few yards going along the side of Hardians Wall.

I've somehow, ok I now how!! Signed up for The Ridgeway Challenge 86 miles in August, Ladybower 50 mile, and Loch Ness marathon in September, The Winter100 in October, my first 100 miler, i'm crapping myself with nerves already.

Then in January my biggest challenge to date, and possibly my biggest challenge ever.  The Spine Challenger even the first 108 miles of the Pennine Way in January... It's going to be a little bit of a challenge.

Training, well i always feel that i've never done enough.  In 2012 I lost 6 stone, and started running for the first time since school.  Now i've run a total of around 1850/1900 miles.  I've done 580 or so miles so far this year.

I'm not very quick and seem to be getting slower that's because i'm upping my total milage so I hope that after a few months of this a bit of speed, not a lot but a little bit will creep back in when i'm more used to running the distance.

Well we shall see.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Hello 2014

Well I got a little carried away with this running lark.
I completed 1 marathon in 2012, 2 marathons and 1 50 mile ultra in 2013.
For 2014 so far I have signed up for 3 marathons ( Milton Keynes, Loch Ness and Snowdonia) and 3 Ultra marathons (The Wall 69 Miles, The Ridgeway Challenge 86 Miles, and LadyBower 50 Miles).

I've also had a fun Xmas holiday reading 7 Agatha Christie Poirot novels.

So reading, and running are pretty much my plans up to the end of October. What are you up to?

Steph x