Thursday, 21 September 2017

Rotary Great Dorset Bike Ride – in aid of Cancer Research

22nd September 2017

Saturday was wet and windy, but, Sunday dawned very chilly, the wind had dropped and was set to be a nice day.
It was early 6:0am when I finished packing the car for the 47mile drive over to the start of the Great Dorset Bike Ride near Wool, near Wareham in Dorset.I came through a lot of mist but the sun was rising giving stunning temperature inversions in places,  I got diverted near Dorchester as roads were closed, partly road works but partly the Ironman in Weymouth.

There were few cars there already as the 100 milers had to register by 7:30, I sat and had my coffee and second breakfast of muesli before wandering over to the registration. I have to admit at this point I wasn’t feeling too great, tired and a little ‘coldy’
It was an efficient system as I picked up my number in good time for my start at 8:30. I prepared my bike and got ready with shoes helmet etc before heading over to the start line in the sunshine . We were released in small groups to avoid traffic congestion, there was a small group of ten, I found my self leading as we headed towards Wareham, it was very chilly, the roads were still damp and after a couple of miles my fingers were decidedly cold! A  couple took over the lead , the rest sitting on our wheels. We climbed up towards Cloud s Hill, I was in the lead again, the speed was 16.7 mph!!!

We were soon at the first food point after about 16 miles, I have never seen so much food, I wasn’t ready for this but stopped and had a banana and drink of energy drink. As I left here I was on my own my average speed so far 16mph+
After Bere Regis it was the pretty Dorset villages Milbourne St Andrew etc before the climb up through the classic village of Milton Abbas the village that was moved from its original place near the Abbey so the Lord of the Manor couldn’t see it! It’s a steep climb up through the village , before turning to continueing to climb round the back of Bulbarrow hill.

It was a fast descent down to Winterbourne Strickland, I was still on my own, only passed by a couple of riders and I had passed several others. I was not feeling too good after the long climb and doubt set in! more climbing before  a very fast descent over Oakford Hill [ironically I ran a trail race over this hill a couple of years ag in the ‘Dorset 3 Peaks’) I reached the junction at Okeford Fitzpaine, this was where the 72 mile route turned back to the finish.

Right to continue the 80 mile route round Shaftsbury, left to the finish, I had completed 38 miles and it was 18 miles back to the finish ! or another 42 miles. I made the decision that I wasn’t feeling too good, I seem to have no energy, and I sat at the junction which as it happened was at the bottom of the Bulbarrow hill climb, with several 15% sections over a couple of miles.

Decision made, I turned left and started the climb of Bulbarrow, I was on my own once again, I struggled up the hill, promising myself I would walk at the next tree etc, I didn’t and made it to the summit, stunning views across Blackmore Vale, the sun had gone now though and a chill northerly wind was blowing ,I was very hot and my legs felt weak, it  was a feeling of a cold coming on.

I descended down through more wonderful  Dorset villages and countryside through Melcombe Bingham  to Cheselbourne and a feed station, I was feeling very tired now and still had 10 miles to get back. After a cup of tea and piece of flapjack a chat with a few others on the 72 mile and 38 mile routes I set off on my own once more. About a mile from the feed station the road suddenly went up steeply, I really struggled up here, the Garmin showing 12% I was pleased to get to Puddletown and knew it was only a few miles to the finish. I passed a number of very young riders with their mums, obviously doing the 10 mile ride etc. It was a fast finish downhill  and I crossed the lines with 51 miles completed, I was offered a medal for my efforts, but I turned it down as I felt I had cheated by only doing 51 miles instead of the 80 I had signed up for. The greetings at the finish were tremendous, lots of people cheering and clapping us in.

I wandered back to the car and sat for a while feeling drained, no energy, I was only glad I had turned back when I did, I would have been in trouble had I turned right over Shaftesbury.
It was a lovely route in generally good weather, and very well organised by the Rotary club in aid of Cancer Research.

When I got home, several mugs of tea and a lovely evening meal of roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and nuttolene slices with gravy I was starting to feel better. By Monday I was feeling a little better.
Wednesday wobble day, was set to be a good day, I had recovered from my Sunday ride, I had plotted a route over to Tiverton across the Blackdown Hills.

Only four of us set off across the hills, my garmin refusing to give turn by turn!! We got to Kentisbeare after a beautiful ride over the Hills through Smeatharpe and near Dunkeswell, the old WW2 D day aerodromes , followed by the lovely woods at Blackborough. The descent down from Kentisbeare towards Willand and hopefully Tiverton was fast and long.

This is where it went ‘haywire’!! we got lost and couldn’t find any signs to Tiverton!! So after a riding round  narrow lanes lost, we finally ended up in Cullompton, we made the decision to forget Tiverton and instead find a café for coffee as it was 11:30!! We found a great café and after beans on toast followed by flapjack we were now back on track to head back through Uffculme and Hemyock to ascend back up to the top of the Blackdowns up the Culm Valley.

It was a good ascent through narrow lanes climbing for several miles; I have to say I felt much better than Sunday even though we had covered 40 miles so far. We finally covered the last few miles over Staple Hill to home. 53miles covered, I felt fine, I cant believe the difference In how I felt . It was a good ride but I was a little embarrassed that my Garmin let me down and I got us lost!!! I still don’t understand how we ended up where we did. Everyone enjoyed the ride anyway.

It was also good to get the new router so we now had our internet back!!! Its surprising how much we now depend on it.

Cycling no running!

16th September 2017

Tuesday the weather forecast was not good, a fine morning with showers in the afternoon on a strong breeze, the problem is how accurate are they, in the past few days they got it wrong!!!
I decided to get out early and managed a ride across the levels round North Curry, a steady 32 miles starting off in the sunshine and finishing under heavy cloud. Given I hadn’t cycled for over  a week I felt good.

Wobble Wednesday again dawned damp and windy, but it wasn’t raining at meeting time so 8 of us met up to decide where we could go that would give us a tail wind home, which meant going west or at least North West, so Hestercombe House was the destination going over Corfe, Near Wellington and through Bishops Lydeard, a 34 mile ride before coffee, we were lucky with the weather with pleasant sunshine. Hestercombe was quiet for a change now the children had gone back to school.
We left Hestercombe in bright sunshine cycling back over the levels through Creech St Michael  and Shepton Beauchamp, we managed to get to Curland about 10miles from home when the rain came!! It was heavy and windy and the roads were soon running with water, I had brought a lightweight Montane waterproof which helped keep some of the rain out, I had also put my mudguards on my bike ready for the ride on Sunday.

It was a very wet group that arrived back home but by the time we got home the rain stopped and the sun came out, it was a good ride today with 52 miles covered.

Friday was a trip to Exeter to update my iPad, after parting with a large amount of cash on a new one, I was disappointed to find out my internet was down! After a good 40 minutes on the phone with an EE person trying various things to get it back they finally decided I needed a new router!! So now left without internet till I get the new router delivered!

Watch this space!!!

I have decided to stop running for a while [month] to see if my Planter Faciitis improves.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A week in the campervan

12th September 2017

Wet weather once again meant no Wobble for me, it always seems to rain on Wednesday! So Thursday I got 41 miles in over the Blackdowns once again, heading over to Dunkeswell through Churchstanton and Hemyock. I set off in warm sunshine, sadly as I neared Dunkeswell black clouds were on the horizon!! I stopped for a very quick snack to get as far as possible before the first spots of rain, I was on the Luppit Straight and then it came down a very heavy shower, I stopped to put on my jacket under a tree whilst the worst of the weather came through. I remounted and continued on wet roads for the next 4 miles, then!!! It was dry roads for two miles then wet again! So by the time I got home I was wet!

Friday afternoon, it was wheelers ride they do a route over the levels, a group of 7 of us set a good pace to the café at Martock 16.7 mph!  the weather was just right, warm and no wind. 51 miles covered. So a good 119 miles cycled this week in preparation for my 80 mile Dorset cycle ride this coming weekend.
But that was before I had a week off in the Campervan !!!

Saturday [2nd Sept] we had a date down in Wimborne, but after queuing for over an hour in Dorchester we turned around and drove home, a very frustrating morning!
Saturday was also the 2nd birthday of our twin grandsons, I cant believe its gone so quickly! So Sunday we were on the Motorway to spend the day with them , party food and cake celebrated a wonderful day. That night we camped at ‘Briarsfield’ once again and really nice site. We were due to look after the grandchildren for two days whilst mum attends inset training for her job as a teacher.

We had a lovely two days playing with the children, bubbles being particularly enjoyable !!! Wednesday I had booked us into the Caravan and Motorhome site near Hereford , the site was on the site of the old railway station at Moorhampton.  

A very clean and quiet site, unfortunately we pitched on the wrong side of the park and found we were never in any of the sunshine! And a fare distance from the toilet block. We spent a couple of days visiting Leominster, Ledbury, Ludlow and Hereford real ‘grockling’ for a few days, Ludlow and Hereford were the highlights both interesting places the architecture dating back to the 16th century, we  were disappointed that Ludlow castle was closed for a Food Festival.

We were also in the ‘black and white’ village area, that is wood framed houses, painted black and white and dating back to the 15th and 16th century, very pretty villages. We were also struck by the agriculture in the area, very rural.

We had a great few days away, the weather was changeable, there was no internet or mobile phone signal on site along with no TV reception, so a few days without technology!! And we missed it.

Saturday we were back at Briarsfield spending Saturday and Sunday with the children again whilst mum ran the Great North Run for ‘Tommys’ charity. So late Sunday evening we drove home after a week away in the Van, no running and no cycling! I was hoping that the rest from running might help my Planter Faciitis.

Monday 11th September was wet and windy again so my planned cycle ride abandoned once again and the morning spent internet banking. By the evening the showers had lessened so I thought I would try a run! I felt OK running no problems, PF not  noticeable 4.7 miles run, it was only when I sat down after the PF set in again!!!!! And quite painful, I really am unsure what to do about it as I have trawled the internet and tried several suggestions, but sadly I think I may have to give up running for a while and hope it goes away. The Half Marathon at the end of October is not looking very promising.

Today [Tuesday] looking showery but I must get a few miles in to prepare for the ride at the weekend.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Weather gets better, lots of activity and a Bank Holiday.

30th August 2017

Following on from the last post Wednesday dawned bright and sunny, it was actually going to be a good day for a Wobble!
Ten of us gathered to decide on today’s coffee stop. We chose Hestercombe as most of us had, had a few trips to the coast lately so an inland trip seemed a good choice.

We set off at a good pace , down the lanes recently resurfaced or should I say surface dressed with those horrible stones leaving piles of grit and stones to catch you unawares on the corners!!! We had to take it steady in places. Up and over Bickenhall and Slough Green before descending down to cross the A358, a dual carriageway where traffic doesn’t take prisoners!! Fortunately there are traffic lights to slow them one way and there is a central refuge to wait until the other carriageway is clear. Crossed over we went on through Creech St Michael and the horrid speed bumps and chicane style traffic calming, must be horrible to live there and travel through those every day!

Over the M5 Bridge looking smugly at the traffic racing along, all three lanes very busy, before climbing up though the newly built housing of Monkton Heathfield and onto Hestercombe House and a welcome coffee stop

A pot of tea and a piece of strawberry flapjack hit the spot nicely, it wasn’t too busy so we were able to dominate the café with the 10 of us dragging tables together. It was lovely sat in the sunshine, but! All too soon it was time to remount and return. We went a similar way home but added a few extra miles bu going back round North Curry and Hatch Beauchamp, 41 miles only, but a lovely ride in great weather, no wind either!!

Thursday yet again dawned bright and sunny and Thursday was run day, a trip to Sainsburys to stock up for the Bank Holiday before I put on my trainers for an evening run, it is strange how the body changes each time you exercise, last week the same run, I really struggled, heavy legs, no power etc, today was totally different I knew it was better after the first hill, I felt good so pushed the pace, 6.4 miles, at a 9 min mile pace, I really enjoyed it, the down side was my Plantar Fasciitiswas nagging me when I sat down later, and the following morning! I really don’t know what to do about it I have tried several things, but I am reluctant to give up running, but! Maybe I need a couple of months of to get it right!!!!!!

Friday was again lovely, very little wind so decided I would meet up with the Wheelers for their afternoon ride, its usually quite fast  for the first 24 miles to the café and then a steady ride back for the last 18 miles. Many of them had met up early for a longer ride, but I couldn’t make it so, that left 2 of us to do the ride, I knew Mark from before and knew he was a strong rider, but we agreed to let each other know if the pace was too high! We set a good pace with an average of 17.5 mph to the café !!! which was fast for me, But I didn’t feel too bad and apart from the uphills where I managed to hang on to Marks wheel I did quite well and pleased with my performance, it was a good afternoon for cycling, warm, sunny, no wind. A welcome cuppa at Martock  Cedar Tree café at Yandles wood yard

we were able to sit outside, another 6 of us this time and again it was soon time to saddle up for the ride home. It was a good pace, a bit fast at times especially the big 15% climb out of Seavington  St Michael. A great ride and will try to catch it this week weather permitting I think the faster pace helps my fitness 40 miles covered at 16.5 mph.

Saturday was Bank holiday Saturday, and that means stay at home as its busy everywhere, it was gloriously sunny again, unlike the weather of recent times. I made the decision to go to Seaton to do the Park Run as I was feeling fit and I hadn’t done one since March.

It was easy driving down, as it was early, 240 of us lined up on the pebbles, many holiday visitors, I wondered how they would get on with the pebbles at the start and at the turns!!!
It was a good run I tried to keep a steady pace and kept a couple of runners in sight as a pacer, the pebbly turns certainly slowed you down! It was soon over and I recorded 16mins 57 secs which was 1 min and 3 secs slower than last time, so pleased with that, it was however, very hot!! I think the winner was something like 16 mins!!!

Sunday I decided to rest and spent the day sat in the shade reading!! But Monday I was out on my bike early to beat the heat, out at 8 back by 10:15,  28 miles covered .

Tuesday was another run off road with Rachael my neighbour, 6.1 miles off road round Neroche, an enjoyable run wher we are able to solve all the world’s problems and more!!! It was once again very hot.

Today [Wednesday] the weather has changed and started off very wet! And chilly, you can tell it’s a wobble day!! So no wobble for me, perhaps the weather will be better tomorrow! For a ride 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Good running and cycling week

The summer continues in name only, the weather still remains very changeable with a hint of Autumn in the air, but! At least it was good weather on Wednesday for the weekly wobble, we cycled over Beaminster Down to Hamishes Farmshop at Yetminster, a great coffee stop, we were able to sit in the sunshine before cycling back through East Coker and over Ham Hill to pick up the old Fosse Way road back home, a good 50 miles today.

Thursday was run day and it was a very hard run again around town, only 6 miles  but I did struggle,my tendon and PF noticeable.

Saturday I joined a local cycle Group the ‘Chard Chaingang’ for their Saturday morning ride, I did know several of the group and decided to give them a go. There were 13 riders as we set off towards Winsham and over Chedington to Sutton Bingham before heading back as Wednesdays ride over Ham Hill to the levels and the community café at Kingsbury Episcopi, we overwhelmed the café with 13 cyclists ordering coffee, tea, cake etc! it was nice to sit outside in the sunshine. Our route home took us through Ilminster and back onto the cycle track, a great ride in good company and another 50 miles covered, I must try to get out with them again.

Sunday was a trip to see grandchildren in Gloucester, and meet up with our other son, who was in town for a dog agility show. We had a lovely day in the garden, the twins growing fast and grand daughter now growing even faster. It was a very wet drive home on Sunday night.

Monday Mrs B had to work so I took myself off to run the coast at Beer, big hills, very warm, I managed to run most of the hills, and had a very enjoyable run, but! Very hot. 6.5 miles so a good run.

So after a couple of poor weeks for getting out at least the weather wasn’t too bad and is looking good for the Wobble today. No events planned until the Herepath Half marathon at the end of October, hopefully giving my injuries time to mend themselves.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Jurassic 10k, House swap and rubbish weather continues!

15th August 2017

I tried out my new shoes on a run around town, 5 miles, its amazing how new shoes make a difference. My tendon and PF still continue in the background, but dont appear to be affecting my running, after a mile or so they seem to ease off. The mornings getting out of bed seem to be the worst.

My lead up to the Bridport Jurassic 10k was a run around the route on Thursday, a very windy day and I did struggle feeling quite dejected when I got back to the car as I didnt feel it went well at all, my legs felt heavy! I decided that I would try to loosen them with a cycle ride on Friday so 25 miles on a low gear, did seem to help a little.

Sunday race day dawned, lovely sunny warm day, making a change from the rubbish wet weather we have been having, I have been shower dodging all week.

West Bay was already quite busy when I parked up, and collected my number, I was told there were more entries this year, last year I did 24/64 with 1 hr 8 mins could I beat it!! this year.

We lined up on a great morning, gentle breeze, very warm in the sunshine.

                                      view of the race start on 'Broadchurch hill'

I kept a reasonable pace up the first hill, holding my own about half way down the field. We soon hit the single track footpath, fortunately this year the gate was open rather than the stile, I tripped on the footpath and fell heavily on my elbow, I did jump up quickly but my arm felt achy and there was broken skin.
we were soon running through the caravan park and the first drink station, I had decided this time to try flat coke with water in a small bottle, but still accepted a drink.
the climb out of Eype was steep and we were soon walking, I seem to be holding my own, and felt ok.

down in the dip before the very steep climb to Thorncombe Beacon, another drink and descend down a little before climbing back up and around to Down House Farm and the long fast descent back to Eype, I should have gone faster down the hill,but! I didnt  I had no idea on my position in the field, my time seemed ok. The final climb before descending to the finish was hard, more walking!
I tried a fast descent to the finish, holding my own with no one passing me. The finish area was lined with supporters cheering us on. I crossed the line in 1hr 10 mins and 34th out of 74. Not as good as last year, but I did my my best and was happy with the way I ran, given I didnt prepare enough with running.

I got home to find the grandchildren had arrived to swap houses for the week, we had a lovely time before we went to Gloucester to House/cat sit for the week whilst they had a holiday in our house, visiting the coast etc.

I forgot to pack my trainers, so no running or cycling for the week, although we did lots of walking whilst in Gloucester.

We came back on thursday, and had a lovely if some what windy day on the beach at West bay with the children.
I did manage to run 5 miles round town on the Saturday, seemed very hard work, very heavy legs again, not going too well at the moment. Sunday 26 miles cycle ride to try once again to loosen my legs, maybe its old age creeping in. 
No wobble again last week, the weather seems to target Wednesday for a wet day!!! I am hopeful for this week!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A cycle, a walk, a run and new trainers

2nd August 2017
Last week was a busy week with a good 39 mile cycle ride over the Blackdown Hills on Tuesday, Churchstanton, Hemyock, Dunkeswell with 5000 ft of climbing, a hard ride but the weather was lovely after the changeable weather we seem to be having at the moment. 

Wednesday dawned wet and windy so no Wobble again!!! My new running shoes arrived a pair of Asics Cumulus, my old Nimbus  have managed approximately 700 miles plus over eighteen months. I did a short town run on Wednesday evening after the rain only 3.4 miles with my daughter who was visiting.

Thursday was a nice change as I met up with an old work colleague [old being a key word as he was 86!] for a walk on Dartmoor. We caught the bus from Oakhampton to the Fox and Hounds on the west side of the Moor and then walked over the Moor back to Oakhampton via Great Links Tor, Sourton, Meldon Reservoir a good 10.4 miles on a very moody moor with sunshine and showers, it was good to walk with Martin as we used to run an Expedition Group at the Local college, Martin was very fit !!

                         Open North Moor

                                    View West from Sourton
                                     Meldon Res

                                      View towards HIgh Willhayes and Yes Tor

Saturday I was up early for a run and put on my new trainers, they felt very plush and given my problems lately with Tendonitus and Plantar Faciliwhats it!! I thought it would help and I think it did I felt very comfortable 5.1 miles.

Sunday was a cycling day with an early morning ride of 26 miles over the levels, this was before driving over to Highbridge to look at a campervan/motorhome , an Autosleeper Lancashire, very nice vehicle, but! Too big for us so no new van, we finished the day with a 99 ice cream in the park at Burnham on Sea before the heavens opened.

Monday the weather was looking good, and Mrs Ian B was busy, I wanted to see if my fitness would be good enough for the Jurassic 10 k on the coast at West Bay, so I was running by 8:30 heading up the hill out of West Bay feeling ok, walking up Thorncombe Beacon, but a fast run back down again! 5.2 miles in just over the hour, I felt OK and decided when I got home to enter the race next Sunday, so watch this space!!

                      Thorncombe Beacon looking west towards Golden Cap and Lyme Regis

So overall a good week despite the appalling weather , I have not worn shorts since returning from France  two weeks ago, the weather this morning the rain is hammering on the window, so no Wobble ride again today!!.

My plan for the rest of the week is to run the Jurassic route tomorrow, then cycle Friday, rest Saturday and race on Sunday.

92 miles cycled and 24 miles run