Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Great week cycling AND running!!

15th November 2017

Since my walk on Dartmoor the week just got better, My Plantar Faciitis was only faint after a long day on Dartmoor!
Wednesday was a fantastic day, the sun shone and there was no wind so the Wobble headed down to Lyme Regis for coffee on the front, we were celebrating Susies birthday so we chose a lovely cafe on the sea front and sat outside in the warm November sunshine, drinks only as we planned a Pub lunch in Kilmington so an hour after leaving Lyme and over a big Hill, we arrived at the Pub and had a wonderful lunch washed down with a nice pint of Beer!! a nice celebratory lunch, but! then we had to cycle to 12 miles home over Membury Hill which is several miles of climbing. A brilliant day out for all.
Thursday, I decided it was time to  a short 3 mile run around town as my Plantar Faciitis seemed to be receding, and as the weather deteriorates over the winter, cycling becomes less attractive and  I get fed up cleaning my bike. I took it steady, very steady making sure I stretched at the finish, and rolled my foot over my ball in the evening, all seemed well!!!
Friday I missed the club ride so managed 16 miles on my own .
Saturday was another short 2.8 mile run, seemed to go OK so it looks as though I am back running, YEH!
Sunday was damp, cold and windy, but I did manage to cycle 36 miles over the Somerset Levels, getting home, tired and chilled!!
Monday was a cold.frosty but bright sunny morning so I didn't fancy a cycle but! an off road run, so I headed over Neroche woods on the Blackdown hills, the ground was frosty in places and it was wonderful to be out in the woods with the autumn colours of the beech trees being stunning. I felt ok and managed 4.5 miles, I could have gone further but decided not to push it. I do have a faint pain in my foot .but generally it seems OK.
Tuesday was another bright day so 45miles over the levels and the same route was done on Wednesday with the Wobblies but this time we stopped at the Lemon Tree cafe at the Willow and wetlands centre at Stoke St Gregory, a great ride and bringing my cycling since Sunday to 126 miles, so pleased with that, AND I have run 5 miles last week and 4.5 this week so far, My plan is to run again on Thursday or Friday.

So overall a great week and lovely to be back running.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


7th November 2017

After a couple of bike rides over the weekend, Monday was a day out walking on Dartmoor, and outing postponed from a couple of weeks previous. The weather forecast was looking fair, might/might not rain but generally good.
I was walking with an 86 year old friend from my college days, but had no concerns as Martin is very fit, very active and could walk the socks off me!!!! we used to run the college expedition group many years ago as well as being climbing partners.

We had selected the South moor which meant a 70 mile drive down to Ivybridge and then Cornwood and finally parking at Cadover Bridge,on the upstream section of the River Plym, not a million miles from Plymouth.
We were the only car in the car park as we booted up in the early morning sunshine, a winter chill to the air meant a jacket on to start off. We set off in the direction of Trowlsworthy  Tors, the open moor stretching out ahead of us. we first followed a farm track before progressing onto the open moor and the rough grass. There was a fair few livestock around, sheep, horses and cattle, completely ignoring us. 

We decided first lunch would be on Trowlsworthy  and found a nice niche in the rocks out of the wind. Open views over the South Moor opened up as well as views over Plymouth Sound. Next objective was Hens Tor which was just over the horizon, so careful walking over tufty grass and crossing boggy areas where the streams were running off down to the Plym, sometimes it was tuft to tuft to keep feet dry! Hens Tor is an insignificant Tor I suspect rarely visited, very few foot prints around the Tor or paths leading to or from the tor, never the less a lovely spot to stand and stare at the beauty of the moor.

The next stretch was a navigation exercise as we had to find the top of Shavercombe  so a compass bearing kept us on target.
The top of Shavercombe is quite spectacular with a hidden waterfall which provided a nice sheltered place for lunch. We then followed downstream to the Plym and a river crossing, which provided a challenge and we had to walk a way up stream to find a reasonable crossing place, but even with walking poles to assist our balance it was a delicate operation on the very slippery boulders, some slightly submerged, but what we also found was there was not one river to cross but several tributaries that fed it, so we were pleased to gain a slightly higher ground away from the river. We had intended to follow the Ply back down to Cadover Bridge , but as it was quite damp we decided to take a longer route passing Ditsworthy Warren house, now a outdoor base for the navy recruits, a very remote rebuilt cottage in the middle of the moor. There is also in the area some fantastic prehistoric settlements, stone rows, field boundaries  and 'warrens' used by the tinners in the last century. The sun came out for a short time as we climbed up over Ringmoor Down, quickly followed by a short sharp shower of rain, our only one of the day.We had to use a compass once again to ensure we were on target for Ringmoor Cottage as the moor was quite featureless at this point. underfoot was hard work with very tufty grass. it was wonderful to be out on the open moor, views all around, and above all we hadn't seen anyone all day!
There were some ponies as we neared the road , minding their own business chomping the grass. As we hit the final road half a mile from Cadover it was clear it was school going home time as even though it was a back,narrow, minor road it was quite busy, so taking our lives in our hands with traffic passing closely, but! not enough to spoil the day as we got back to the car, well satisfied with the day out. the day was getting quite dusky now with cars with lights on, and after changing out of our boots and driving back to through Cornwood, needing lights ourselves down the narrow lanes. only about 10 miles covered but a lovely day out, we made a promise to meet up again in  January when the beauty of the moor will have its winter coat on, be it snow, frost or wind and rain, still a beautiful place to go and many memories of our time training Ten Tors teams on the moor some 25 years ago!! time flies but Dartmoor doesn't change. 

Leaving Cadover bridge
                                       walking up to Trowelsworthy Tor
                                First lunch at Trowelsworthy
                          view back over Plymouth Sound
                                 Shavercombes secret waterfall
                          Leather Tor in the distance 
                                     Towards Princetown
Ditsworthy Warren trees in the foreground 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

cycling and more cycling

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Well my planned walk on Dartmoor didn't happen, a heavy cold took hold and on the Sunday evening before I felt dreadful! and worse on Monday morning, so postponed till this coming Monday [I hope].

However, I have tried to keep up the cycling three times a week, so Wednesday and Friday last week saw me out with the local club, a nice ride in warm weather over Lamberts Castle and Musbury before coffee at Millers Farm Shop at Kilmington, nice very large piece of chocolate cake before the uphill ride home over Membury! only 38 miles covered. Friday was the usual fast friday ride, where I hang on the back only taking a turn at the front if I have too! by the time we reached the cafe at Yandles in Martock we were averaging 17 mph, the weather was very mild so eight of us in shorts today! another 38 miles !!

Sunday we went to Gloucester to see the grandchildren and celebrate Mrs IanBs birthday with a birthday tea, iced biscuits, chocolate fingers, hula hoops and jelly and ices cream followed by the customary birthday cake with candles, we had a lovely time the children particularly enjoying the balloons.

Monday was official birthday, so it was off to Sidmouth [in the car] coffee on the beach[nice and warm in the sunshine]  and lunch in the white horse cafe, what else but egg, chips, mushy peas, bread and butter and a mug of tea!!!!

My cold was still hanging on but I decided to get out on Tuesday, even though I wasn't feeling great, I went over the levels on my own and by the time I got back I was very tired and had no energy!! not a great ride I felt quite ill by the time I got home and was ready for my lunch, so only 38 miles covered again at a 12 mph average![ a lot of my rides at present seem to be around the 35 - 40 miles!!!] I was hoping that the Wednesday Wobble would be better. i was also trying out my new 'Raceblade longs' mudguards checking for rattles etc, all seemed well, now to wait for the dirty roads once more as today it was dry, hopefully they will give a little more coverage.

I decided that I would get out with the Wobblers, a couple of Anadins before leaving teh house made me feel better. five of us went over the Blackdown Hills to Dunkeswell via Hemyock on a lovely Autumn morning, temperatures not bad with no wind. we stopped at the Aerodrome cafe for coffee and cake! before heading home and practising our team time trialing skills on the Luppit straight down to Smeatharpe with a tail wind. We had a great ride and strangely I felt ok today, which is all very odd, given I had no energy the day before! averaging 14.5mph and over 3500ft of climbing. The Blackdowns were wonderful with their Autumn colours, there are lots of Beech trees which are just turning, but they also make it very sketchy on descents with lots of leaves on the road, my gears were playing up and seemed to be jumping about meaning I couldn't rely on my lowest gears on the hills, so struggled in a much higher gear, I hope I have now sorted them out for next time.

On the running front, still no running, in fact none for a month. I am trying a 'night time splint' as some websites seem to recommend them 

they look medieval, and you are supposed to wear it overnight, I wear mine for a couple of hours each evening whilst sat in front of the TV. I am thinking that it is getting better, not sure if its the splint, I am itching to get out and run, especially as the dark evenings and bad weather are round the corner, but, also worried about starting again too early.

So a busy week, and month with 410 miles cycled and zero miles run! 

4000 miles cycled this year so far and only 490 miles run, I hope I will manage to top up the running to 500 by the end of the year, particularly as I entered the 1000 mile challenge, I was going well until the dreaded PF caught me out! I seem to be cycling just over 100 miles a week at present which is good, not too much, not too little.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

A quiet time on the cycling running front

22nd October

Since the last post I have not run due to my continuing Plantar Faciitis, which does ant seem to get any better, I also discovered after my 40 mike cycle ride on my winter bike and winter shoes that it felt worse!! So a bit of a shock. After messaging a friend, he has said the overnight boot works well so I will give this a try. I might try running again soon as I now think it was brought on by my extended French cycling trip.
Anyway this last couple of weeks the focus has been on putting my house on the market and dealing with all the trauma of having people tramp though your house and then not make an offer! We also spent time looking after the grandchildren in Gloucester, which is always good fun.

Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to get and cycle several times a week usually around 45 miles, the roads are now very dirty with farms gathering in their maize crops.

This weekend Storm Brian has visited us, I marshalled the Parkrun at Seaton on a very blustery day with a very high tide, but a lovely morning out and over one hundred runners turned out.

I also this week helped my daughters class visit Dunster castle, a great day out, great weather with lovely children who behaved well on the day.

My next event is an Audax in November called ‘breakfast in Bampton’ a 100 k event in Devon.

Tomorrow, I am off for another Dartmoor walk, southern moor this time, I hope the weather is ok!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017



Got news today been given a place on next years Grizzly the annual 20 mile off road run along the coast down in Seaton Devon, my third full Grizzly, IF!!! I can sort my Plantar Faciitis!!!!
the other good news is my friend Rachel has also got a place!! bad news she is injured as well!!
we have nearly 6 months to get it all sorted, I hope/know we can.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Grid iron


what a great day out on the Wessex CTC Grid Iron Audax 68 miles round the New Forest,

leaving the house at 6am it was chilly but by the time I had parked up at Lymington , the sun was shining , I met up with 3 colleagues from the the cycling club.

It was a good start in a large group. The route was a superb route through the New Forest, taking in many traffic free lanes, dodging, horses, donkeys, pigs! hens etc on route.

the checkpoints were well serviced with tea and biscuits, despite the large numbers , they coped well.

The weather was really good, the afternoon was quite warm, very little wind, and by the time we were descending back to Lymington, it was getting quite hot.

A great day out 69 miles covered, not too many hills, lovely company.

Monday, 2 October 2017

cycling, no running


Last  month has been good for cycling with 424 miles covered and the last couple of weeks 140 miles my average. This is good as I have the 'Grid Iron' Audax this weekend, this is a 68 mile route round the New Forest. I am a little concerned that the highest mileage I have been doing is only 50 miles so will feel it with another 20 miles in the day.. I hope I have a better day than the Dorset bike ride !!!!

Running on the other hand has been a massive 4.75 miles at the beginning of the month when I decided that my Plantar Faciitis needed addressing, hence rest and exercise [when I remember], I think its getting better, then I feel it again, I am missing the running and as the weather deteriorates feel I need to get out to run when the weather is poor to cycle.

I have entered the Herepath Half at the end of this month, but sadly I am having to pull out. 
The Grizzly entry ballot opened last week and despite saying I wouldnt do it again have entered the event again for next March, I am hoping to have cleared my PF by then, heres hoping!!

I did Marshal at the Seaton Park Run at the weekend , which I enjoyed, it was god to see 160 people enjoying the run on a chilly damp seafront run.

One final historic moment last week when we have finally got the estate agents in to value our house with the intention to move to the coast!!!  so its weeks of house hunting to come after 30+ years in our current house, which we love! it will be a pull when the sign finally goes up, as we have lots of space around us, and a lovely spot.