Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Mini mountain marathon - Borrowdale

After the last mini mountain marathon of 2016 in November I entered Hannah and I into the first of 2017 as it was also going to be in the Peak District. Unfortunately they then changed the location to the lakes. We decided to still give it a go as Ali was happy to look after the dogs. So on Saturday I headed up to Leeds to collect Hannah once she finished work. We stopped at Tebay for our tea which was lovely and nice to see it quiet for once. Hannah had worked out a layby for us to sleep in near the start so once we got there and parked I quickly made up the bed and we got some sleep.

In the morning we could see snow on the hills and after lots of faffing, from me, we were on our way at 818am. The first control was relatively easy and flat to get to and then we started climbing. The climb was long but steady and we were soon at the next control. Leaving here was impossible without getting wet feet and then we were in snow. My feet were really hurting and I was trying to get them to warm up. Eventually they did and we got to the next control on the snowy top of a hill. On we continued and started Scrambling a bit, this meant we went too high for the control. A bit of map work and we realised we didn't want to follow the others further up and we started Scrambling down as we were sure the control was below us. This was interesting and slightly terrifying as it was a steep snow covered slope and very very slippy. I was using both hands and when it was less rocky by bum. Hannah had a bit of a slip but fortunately stopped pretty quickly. We were very pleased when we did find that control.

After that excitement we headed back to the valley and along, collecting one more control. With a bit of cajoling Hannah even managed some running as we were going to be late back (which means losing points). We were only ten mins late back in the end so not too bad. After changing into dry clothes it was time to head home, via a late lunch at Tebay.

It was a fab day but such a long way.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Waterways 30

So the day of the ultra finally arrived and I wasn't feeling ready. I hadn't really done much running since Christmas and no long runs but at least I had the best team mates in the world and Ali as our support crew. The race was an hour and a half from home so that meant leaving at 6am but at least it gave lots of time for the rest breakfast to digest.

Us canicross lot started five minutes after the rest of the runners at 9:05am, a nice low key start as there weren't loads of us. I was starting with Chip and obviously she set off like she had a 5k race to win! Especially as her pal Bernard was up front. Soon she settled a bit but was pulling hard so I tried to go with her as much as I could without killing myself. The hardest bit being a ploughed field where most people were walking so we had to do a lot of overtaking. Once on the canal we found our spot though. Here it was surprisingly muddy and I was sliding a lot. Once or twice I thought I was going to end up in the canal! I kept seeing jen and Laura with mav and echo, they were running faster than me but maybe stopping a bit. Before long the support crew were there cheering and then Ali was there with George. We trotted past the first feed station as I'd made sure to carry enough water and food and before long Ali popped up again, this time with Cybi and George. Chip was super happy to see them. I shared a mini pork pie with chip as she ran and she was running like a pro. At about 16miles I thought she was licking the grass so tried to persuade her to have some water. Then I realised she may have been eating it. Another pork pie and she was back into pro mode. We came across a metal bridge and she stopped, I carried her across and would have done anyway as I would have been worried about her paws going through one of the gaps. Onto 19.5miles where Ali was waiting with Cybi and George to swap over. I set off feeling sore but fine and we went onto the Trent flood bank. After a mile we were running into a freezing headwind and I was really struggling. I had to walk for a while and got some more food into me. George took the opportunity for a woogle since I was walking. Back running and we reached a stile, Cybi popped straight over but George refused. A nice man picked him up and lifted him over which George loved as he loves men! Turns out there were lots and lots of stiles which I ended up lifting George over, a couple Cybi even struggled with. Then on the last one there was a gap underneath so George went underneath and Cybi over, nearly hanging himself in the process!

I was really struggling now and doing lots of walking. I was looking forward to seeing ali but she wasn't at the next checkpoint, half an mile later and there was her and chip to chivvy me along. Cybi was being a star, walking sensibly when I walked and pulling but not too hard as then it was too much when we ran. He was constantly checking on me and really looked after me. I saw Ali again 2 miles from the finish and then she was there with chip just before the finish who joined us to cross the line. 31.5miles in total. My longest run ever by some way! U even managed to finish just before it started raining.

It was a great day but I really suffered for the last ten miles. If I do another one I definitely need to get more long runs in. Today my legs are super sore. My four legged team mates were amazing and Ali as always was the best support crew I could wish for. Now to recover.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tri Dog Duathlon

I'd seen that there was a doggie duathlon running but I was a bit worried about how any of mine would cope in transition, one of the organisers reassured me and Chips foster mum was going to be marshalling in transition so I decided to give it a go. It was down in Gloucestershire so me and the woofs headed off in Bumble on Friday to camp up on a farm where the race was taking place. We got there before it was dark so I could pre-ride. The course was very short (1.1 mile bike and 1.1 mile run) due to the ground conditions being hard work for the dogs. The bike it was fine with a hill from the start and a long draggy hill halfway round. But the canicross section was so muddy I ended up carrying my bike. After the preride I got the awning up, took all the woofs for a walk and then we had our tea. As it was getting cold we all curled up in bumble nice and early, me with my book. 

Saturday morning and it was cold (3 degrees in Bumble) and the ground was frozen. After briefing they took our bags over to the transition for us, mine only contained my canicross line as I had put flat pedals on my bike to make transition quicker. Before I knew it it was time to go. Chip knows what is happening at the start now and dragged me up the first hill. She listened well to her directions and before long we were arriving at transition. I felt like I was faffing but we were soon out and running. The final field was no longer a muddy mess but so frozen it was hard not to go over on my ankles. Finishing I was really pleased with how we had both ran, although Chip looked a lot fresher than me. Turns out we had managed to finish second female.

In the afternoon they ran a second race for people who wanted to race a second dog, it was entry on the day so I entered with Cybi. As always he was a little start but the ground was a lot muddier so a lot harder going and he really was tiring on the run. It was great that he got to race though as he does find two days a bit too tiring now he is getting older.

Day two and the conditions were super muddy we also missed our starting time due to me dropping Chip's lead and her deciding to have zoomies. Amazingly she still was able to pull me up the first hill but the second she lost a bit of confidence and stopped pulling, I think it may have been the ground being so heavy going meant I was slow. Out on the canicross section though and she was flying, super strong and due to starting last we had to do some overtaking, which she did like a pro.

At prize-giving I was chuffed we had held onto second, just by a couple of seconds, as we were slower today and came third on the day.

A fab event, the next one will be a triathlon so I need to persuade one of the dogs they don't mind swimming too much.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Getting a long run in.

After a busy week at work, including working Wednesday when I would usually try and do my long run I ended up with only Sunday left to do it and no motivation. Fortunately I have the best training partners and headed out first with Cybi and George. I wan't to run a certain path in the opposite direction from previously and wondered if a path I've used on the bike would take me far enough the main road.

The path did take me a fair way but not as far as expected so there was some running on the main road to Bakewell which meant I kept stopping to get the woofs off the road. But it was worth it to link in the other path on a stunning morning. We ran 8 miles and only saw two other people.

After getting home and sorting the boys out with PJ's and their breakfast I headed out with Chip to run to Tideswell to meet Ali. We went via Eyam and along the fields, there are lots of stone stiles this way and notmally Chip needs help over them, not today she was climbing them like a pro.

Once in Tideswell we grabbed lunch and spent some time with Ali before heading home on tired legs, this time staying the other side of the main road. I definitely had tired legs and the final descent to home was the slowest I had ever ran it. Chip on the otherhand was still running like a pro on her longest run yet.

So 21.5 miles with 900m of climbing. Maybe I will manage to ultra in Jan.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Wet wet wet

Another run with Helen. After a very wet run round Cressbrook on Monday we stayed local and set off up Coombes Dale. Not far along and we were running up a fast flowing river. It was cold! I was impressed chip just kept going. I have never seen Coombes Dale so wet and was glad to come out of the river when we got higher. A nice 5 mile run.

A run along the edges.

The Early Morning Crew suggested a Thursdays run and since I was working from home I could run and still get home in time to work. We met at Curbar Gap and had a lovely run along Baslow, White, Froggatt and Curbar Edges. Definely one of my favourite runs and lovely to stay in the dark and finish I'm the light.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Betws y coed trail challenge

The Saturday in Wales we headed down to Betws y Coed for the trail challenge. After registering I took Cybi and George out for a run, we ran some of the 5k course, some of the 10k and some other linking trails. Added up to 6k all together and we all enjoyed it. An hour later I was getting Chip ready for the 10k start. It's starts straight uphill and Chop was very unsure on this bit. I think we were overtaking too many people and it meant too many dogs about so it was scary. Once it started to spread out she settled into her running and we were having fun. Unfortunately somewhere we missed a sign and a group of us ended up well off course and we had to turn round and go back. Coming into the finish and I had akr any ran 12k. But it was a lovely location. Although we stayed between two of the waves these group start races aren't for me. But I definitely would like to do more running round there. 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Tissington Trail and Dovedale

Every since I ran this loop with Vikki and the boys last year in torrential rain I wanted to return and run the loop in better weather. On Wednesday I had arranged to meet a friend for a long run so it seemed ideal. We decided to meet at a car park on the A515 as it would be quiet for dogs waiting in cars. The plan was one loop one way and then switch dogs and run another loop the other way. Four of us met at 8am for the first loop, the car park was super windy but fortunately once on the trail it was nice and sheltered. I tool cybi and George for the first loop and was chatting I took us too far down the transpennine trail so we had to turn round which added an extra couple of kilometres, oops.

The weather was ideal and the trail nice and quiet. Back at the cars and kettle on before heading out with chip. She was unsure at first as we started on road but once we got on the trail she was fab and pulled me the whole way round (no extra miles this time). I was very glad of the company of Jennie as it was hurting and without that and Chip pulling I would have been walking. I was very glad to get back to the car park where I cooked us both sausages. Cybi helped himself to a bit of Jennie's sandwich, cheeky boy.

A total of 21miles, really pleased with that.

Canicross Anglesey 5k race

I had a good night's sleep in Bumble with the woofs and arrived at Newborough Forest nice and early so we all went for a walk. The beach had quite a few off lead dogs so we stuck to the forest which seemed to smell nice as the woofs constantly had their heads down. Back and registered I was number 22 so early off (it was a paired start so different for me). At briefing they explained how the route was signed using an odd system of circles and squares (think it comes from sled dog racing) I was a little concerned having gone the wrong way the day before but turns out I didn't need to worry as it was brilliantly marked.

I got cybi and Chip down to the start early so I could find a spot to wait out of the way they were pretty good only starting to go crazy when we went to the start. I got a little confused as number 21 wasn't there so started about 5 seconds late. We set off fast with Cybi and Chip both pulling as hard as possible with me trying to run up sandy hills. The course was lovely and we were gaining on someone ahead of us till cybi stopped for a poo. We were caught by one person so the seeding worked well. I was really proud of how they ran and had a great time.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Chips first Bikejor race

When the start list came out for Novembers Midlands race I realised it was ideal for Chip. We wouldn't catch the people in front and behind was her foster dad with his dog who she loves so wouldn't be scared if went past and then scooters which shouldn't catch us. Cybi seemed a bit tired so I decided to give her a go. She was a little scared at the start and needed a bit of encouragement but then she ran like a pro, only veering off course twice (once at the end) to look at something. We were never caught either! Cybi ran on the Saturday and was tired so I decided to bike Chip again on the Sunday. This time she was keen to get going at the start, woofing away! An early stop as she needed a poo meant our friend Ruth nearly caught us but we managed to hold them off. We were first in our category both days and on the Saturday we were the 5th fastest wheels time over all the categories. I was super proud of her and it looked like she was having a great time. I felt so bad not biking Cybi and if he isn't as tired in December they can do a day each. There is also a new 3k category which will be ideal for him now he is getting older.