Tuesday, 25 September 2012

You're nicked mate

I'm a weekender

I took an ad hoc trip to the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday and have a mooch over some of the mountains there. The intention was to get some navigational skills developed without the pressure of running for recce's or for training. What a beautiful day it was too. Map and compass and a set of legs, what more do you need. 

 On the way up to Ingleborough

Sunday, 16 September 2012

HIgh Peak 40

I ache. The High Peak 40 is no easy race. It's challenging on many levels. The mixture of fell, road, technical, ascent/descent and public dodging makes for an interesting day in the Peak District.

I've recce'd the course a couple of times and am pleased that I did. However this course is marked, really well, really really well so those who are tentative with a map, this is a race that will suit.

An early Saturday start driving over to Buxton, I circled the event area at the school three times trying to find the entrance. Things were not looking good from the start! 

Monday, 10 September 2012

It's not what you know...

It's who you know but mostly it's a bit of both!

I've been having a fun packed weekend in the Lakes with my buddy Gaynor Prior. She's recently moved, temporarily, to a lil place called Keld, near Shap. Saturday was spent mostly moving and shifting from Grimston to Keld, however we managed a little run in Gaynor s new back garden Saturday evening. I'm soooo jealous, she falls out of the back door onto trail, fell and just a little further,  in the mountains. The evening was beautiful, the fell was soft and inviting and the company was grand and the weather was warm. We skipped over little rivers, panted up inclines and flew down the other side, tsk, such fun should not be allowed, it dangerously makes you smile. 

Gaynor managed to talk me into Marshaling at one of Epic Events pool Triathlons on Sunday, so it was going to be an early start Sunday morning to drive to Ulverston which was about about an hour away. Here is a link to the race details (results) for those who are interested in how the other half live (Ulverston Pool Triathlon). So Saturday evening was spent with nice food, Gaynor cooked the most amazing Chicken in lemon and white wine sauce with gorgeous broccoli and sugar snap peas, we drank a cheeky wine and I spent the rest of the evening learning how to tie figure of eights and 'stoppers' in very big ropes! Gulp!

An early start and the the boss drove us to the leisure center, after saying hi to a few familiar faces from the Lakeland 100/50 race, I was ushered into my marshal position and the race started. I became, traffic warden, marshal, general supporter and Tourist Information center, come spokes woman. My brain hurt. It was good fun to watch the guys (and girls) do their thing, particularly interesting was some of the 'attire' the fast chaps don, my gawping caused a few traffic near misses and pointing in the wrong direction... I was just stunned ok! 

So, we returnd to Keld, (after a little stop in the New Balance outlet) a quick salad and threw on the running kit. We had an amazing couple of hours discovering what will be Gaynor's training ground over the winter (most likely). She is about six miles from Mardale Head. So a nice warm up on the open fell to Mardale and then hill reps up Gatesgarth Pass on my next visit. I have my own bedroom and a key.... I'm so so lucky. Of course it's an open house to all who know her, she's that kind of girl. haha. 

Some pics included.

From G's house

Albert helped with some unpacking 

Figure of 8's and Stoppers and wine

A road bit


Bionic woman.... or Gaynor



Playing on a summit
Trees and some green

The gate to wonderland

Stumble out of the door

Kid in a candy shop sees the treats (sheep)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Kit stop

There's been a Revolution

I've been excitedly waiting.... for my latest bit of kit. UltraAspire let me loose on the Revolution (REV). I've a few packs and sacks that I tend to swap around according to what i'm doing, however I was in need of a product that works for me during ultras. Nothing too big as i'm more likely to put the kitchen sink in there and lets face it the kitchen sink is superfluous on a run! I don't need half of the stuff I pack in a bigger rucksack and so in my quest to 'whittle it down' I opted for something small, however it needed to carry my bottle for me, as: I'm lazy, and: I like my hands free... oh, and I hate hydration tubes and that floppy bit of plastic that you fill with liquid! Bladder.. yuk

Waist packs, I love em, however they can be a faff when you've shoved everything in and it all falls out every time you open it. The gel I'm fumbling for is often found it's way to the bottom, at the back, under all the kit (that I don't need) and it's everything out then everything in to get at it. What started out as a really organised pack, everything in it's place and carefully packed, ends up being a mix of clothing, empty gel sachets, crumbs, plastic bags and a sticky compass. Oh... and a hair clip, I always find a 'hair clip' in my sacks and packs. I don't use hair clips when running... yet there is always a hair clip. Regardless, waist packs are great for the shorter races when minimal fumbling is needed, yet, not user friendly enough for me on the longer stuff.

So, a pack that is small, has everything to hand, none of this stopping lark to faff for bits and bobs on the move and the REV looks like it might satisfy.

So, I'm not about to launch into a full review, that's not the point, however I wanted to let you know about what I thought generally. 

I tested it yesterday for the first time. I had a run with a friend and seriously awesome runner Iain Ridgeway. He laughed and sniggered every time the bottle fell out of my lovely new Rev. However, and importantly, this was the only real design (ish) fault I can complain about. The bottle only fell out (spilling all contents) when I was taking the vest on and off. During the 20 mile run, the bottle stayed exactly where it was housed... In it's only lil pouch! In addition, I'm a tot and I had the straps pulled as tight at they would go and it was still too big! I'll just have to eat more cake!! 

Otherwise.. it's a great vest, the pockets are just about big enough for essentials, they are conveniently placed, everything to hand, there was no 'rooting around' I knew exactly where my kit was and it didn't look like all of it had been thrown in a washing machine together at the end of the session. I couldn't over load it, (yey) and It was just about big enough to carry the essentials! I like my new toy, but I liked Mam Tor mor....