Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

It's Not Always Good ...

Last week was a curious one. It felt like everything went wrong, but I guess that's exaggerating the truth a little .....I think both of us were a bit smashed-in after a very hard weekend on JNC** support duties, Monday passed in a bit of daze (this is increasingly the case for me nowadays - it's the medication), but Tuesday evening came and seeing as Helen was working I thought I'd go out for a little run by myself: I've had bad runs before, but in all honesty this one sucked big-time, my biomechanics were terrible and what should have been an easy six-mile route turned into a nightmare and I was in bits when I got home and I've been nursing a sore hip all week as a consequence.

I had Wednesday off work to do some work on our van (aka "The Moneypit") then Thursday it was reluctantly back to the grindstone. I came home in a terrible grump, so Helen suggested a nice run out on some of the country trails hereabouts, you know, something to lift our spirits. We chose a route that we normally run as part of our winter headtorch series and once out there, were reminded of why we do it in winter. The grass, thistles and nettles made it an absolute fucking nightmare, so much so that we diverted in order to reach broader and less irritating pathways. Funny though, for all the annoyances we finished this little run very strongly, you would never have expected it at the start.

The plan was to head up to the Lakes on Friday evening, but we didn't go.  It's a long story, but basically the only reason we were going was so that Helen could recce some of the L100 route and she doesn't need to, the route is a known quantity. Also, she's been read the riot act lately and knows that she has to restrict her mileage a bit, otherwise permanent injury is the likely consequence. It was an ugly discussion, but she gave in eventually, compromising with the promise of a long bike ride on Saturday and run up in the dales on Sunday. I haven't been out on the bike much this year, so it was nice to be reunited with the bike I put together a couple of years ago. It was a bit creaky the last time I rode it, so a bike-mechanic friend looked at it for me and sorted out a few things, the result was a creak-free bike and it was a real joy to ride :-) Could tell I hadn't been out on two wheels much of late though, it was hard work in places. Also, I stupidly included a descent of Greenhow Hill in our route, this caused immense pain to my damaged right hand and I didn't dare go too hard in case I couldn't brake as hard as might be necessary. I should point out that Greenhow is an absolute b***ard of a hill to go up and claims a life every now and again coming down, it's not one to be taken lightly.

Sunday we didn't stray far and did one our stock routes from Thruscross up and around Simon's Seat. We've done it loads of times, but it's one of those runnable trails that allow you to really test how fit you are, it's only the bit from Appletreewick up to the crag itself that you can't run. I felt absolutely crap, very disappointing after a good outing the day before. Helen, by contrast, was flying and forgetting her injury niggles for a moment, she's looking as strong as I've known her. I am convinced she'll make the L100 start line, but how she's going to do is in the lap of the Gods. Based on her Cumbria Way victory last year I am convinced she can do well and claim a podium spot. I know for sure that she can run well under 30 hours, but the big question is just how much by. I guess time will tell.

** JNC = Joss Naylor Challenge