Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Nutty Burgers

I’ve been living off home-made veggie burgers of late. Aunt Aggie's made some mushy nut and bean mix and stuck it in a glass bowl in the fridge. All I have to do is take it out, dig out a handful of the ochre coloured dough, make some interesting shapes out of each handful and drop it into a frying pan. Makes a nice change from beans on toast. Today I fried a car shape, a cloud and a dodecahedron.  
The Weather’s been brill lately and after a tough ten mile test on Monday, I took the plunge and gathered my gear together for tonight's George Ogle (GO) Memorial 6 miler. I’ve clearly never got over Guns 'n Roses as I turfed my bag into the car and eased myself into the driving seat in my skull and crossbones bandanna, waving nonchalantly to the concerned neighbours, peeping out from behind the curtains.  Thankfully for them, I’d misplaced my top hat and shades.

The GO Memorial is a trail race, or rather multi-terrain, with 2 miles on tarmac cyclepath and the remaining 4 miles following a former mineral rail line on hard gravel with a small detour up a hill with steps and then down a hill and along the river bank. All in all about 1100ft of ascent,  although none of it too steep. Well, you can’t have steep gradients on a rail line.
Around 120 lined up for this event.  We set off and it became evident that the snails were out in force. I guess evolution will train these slippery ground huggers to stay indoors at this time of the month. Thankfully there were plenty of marshalls for this PB Fitness event but I needn’t have worried as I spent 5 miles tracking a young Blaydon athlete and trying to keep the speed up and the distance between us down, but without much success.  I consider myself pretty useful on the old trail running scene but the last 2 miles were a long slow descent and the only technique I needed was to run faster and avoid inhaling any insect wildlife. I caught myself at 5 miles trying to imitate a locomotive with my arms as the trains used to do and it was then that my left cerebral hemisphere had some strong words with the right one. Must be the nutty burgers.
Finished in 36:49 and nipped back to the car to get my camera to take a few shots. A t-shirt, banana and some mini Pringles was my reward for the £12, but as I drove back north all I could think about was nutty bean burgers. Must get out more in June.....   

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hotter than July

Currently sitting in the office waiting for an extended lunch break.
Can't believe the weather given the misery in recent months. Fletcher Henderson is the only music you need on a day like this as Auntie Aggie sits on the veranda chewing baccie and rocking in her chair with her threadbare dungarees and straw hat on.
You can tell its hot when your Kit-Kat melts in its wrapper on the car seat and you need to stick it in the fridge to chill. Out last night in shorts for 30 miles with the bike gang. The knee's still no worse since Sunday and I plodded round the lanes and across the fields for 6 miles on Monday night, so there's still a chance of a race before the end of the month.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Borrowdale Trail Race

Spent the weekend over at the Lakes. Yesterday the young un' did a 1500m open water race in Derwentwater. It was pretty murky and even watching her made me feel cold. But it soon warmed up and, afterwards, I dug the bike out of the boot and cranked out 30 miles or so including up and down Whinlatter Pass from both sides. There was a sportive on and I had plenty of company coming toward me as I went out and then, turning near Buttermere, met some varied groups and riders on the return leg up front, some of whom I knew as I made my way back to Keswick in the sun.

I spent the rest of the day walking around Keswick, sampling coffee and mooching around and finished off with a top of the range pizza from Penrith as we camped out at the 5 Star Travelodge.

This morning, the sun made its second appearance and it was a proper warm day and so I was pleased to line up at the start of the Borrowdale Trail Race. Bit pricey, but Keswick was heavin this weekend as it was the Salomon Mountain Festival so not to be missed.  I registered for the 13k rather than the 21k race. I know; wimp.
We set off from Portinscale, the 21k lads leaving 15 minutes earlier than those doing the shorter distance. I spent the first half with Mrs Mac taking it easy toward the back with the new handy camera - good shots when stationary but not yet adequate on my customary and legendary on-the-move-shots. Well, legendary in my lunchtime half way I think the rear half of the field had had enough of me and so, with the knee no worse (partly attributable to some compression socks that were pulled up over my dodgy knee), I moved on up the field and had a run in the last few miles. So good, it reminded me of the 'good times'. The views on a day like today were stunning.

A Portobello lad won the short event and he seemed pleased at the end. I knew I had confused him at the start as I darted off at high speed with him close behind only to pull-over after 200 yards to get shots of the field. Given my current form, or lack of it, I had no intention or capability of maintaining that sort of pace over the route. Carl Bell won the long event. Afterwards we had tea at a cafe and headed home. No obvious after-effects on the legs, well, not yet anyway; A thoroughly good weekend.


Friday, 18 May 2012

There is a proverb that goes something like ‘the palest ink is the best memory’. Now , I’ve no idea what that means, but it’s given you something to think about that’s more interesting than this blog entry!
I can report that this body is a 'running free zone' at present.  It’s not such a good situation given I’ve splashed out around £50 in pre-entry fees for events over the next 8 weeks and that I can’t see myself even managing a fraction of the distances on offer.  
My fall back is, of course, the bike, which has probably (but not definitely) been the cause of this pain in the patella. I’m not wallowing in any sink estate of depression though, although I suppose I miss the craic and the miles. It’s just a pity the weather’s so grim for biking. 
There’s a lot of this injury business about which is cold comfort but at least I’m not alone. I’ll take my camera to Keswick for Sundays Buttermere Trail Race – it could turn out to be a nice walk.  

Monday, 7 May 2012

Ashington Sprint Tri 2012

Out yesterday for an early slow 10 mile run, then a steady 3 later in the evening; still in one piece so that's good, isn'it?  Overcome with relief I promptly went on to enter the Buttermere Trail Race (21km) even though I doubt I can make that distance at more than an easy jog; I'll have a bloody good try at it though!
Rocked up to watch the young un do the Ashington Sprint Tri this morning. Lots of abilities on show today and a reasonable day for this blossoming event. Photos uploaded now on the Flickr site.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

100 watts

Well, I guess you can tell from the inactivity on the site that I've been otherwise occupied. Having finished a shortie by Alan Bennett, I've now moved on the 2nd colourful tome that is George Martin.
To complicate all matters cerebral, the new HiFi arrived yesterday following a gratuitous and ephemeral moment (is there any other kind?) of consumerism. I opened up this mornings proceedings with Grace Jones 'Slave to the Rhythm' possibly the best produced CD of the 80's. Outside, the seismic reverberations blew the starlings out of the long grass and had the recalcitrant, tortoise shell cat that sometimes cruises by, clutching its ears.  This was followed up by fourteen minutes of Dire Straits 'Private Investigations'. Sitting in the early morning sun having my eardrums pleasantly assaulted I felt like the man out of the maxell tapes ad; just without the hair.
The running season has been put on hold. I am compensating with the bike but just have to exercise a little patience while the legs decide to play by the rules.  As the rest of my body relishes this torpor, at least my ears will be undergoing regular, full-on exertion in the cause of some good music.