Success – we took on the Lakeland hills and won!

Wow, the temperatures soared and the scenery was outstanding. We did it! 

Image

We’re both very pleased to have successfully completed this challenge and are very grateful to everyone who supported us – Thank you!

 

Challenge 7: Lakeland Trails

Next on the agenda is a half marathon for Jo and a full on marathon for Paul in and around Coniston in the Lake District.

Two weeks to go and counting!

Challenge 6 – The Cambridge Half Marathon

completedCambridge Half Marathon 2013

The next challenge is a half marathon through the Cambridge’s historic city centre. It is a daunting distance but the training has started in earnest and includes:

Interval runs – 3 x 1  mile best effort

Race pace 6.2 miles

Slow 5 miles

Long run – starting at 8 miles and increasing week by week

Bootcamp for strength training.

The countdown has started!

Success – We beat the Bonfire Burn!

Jo, soaked – but the end is in sight!

completedWow, I was anxious about this race. It’s the first organised and competitive running race I’ve ever taken on. The only other racing I’ve done, apart from my school days, is eights rowing where you’re all in it together – and those races still make me hugely nervous. I was dreading the thought of being out there on my own. Being fitter and faster than me, Paul was in the first wave of runners and so headed off to his group. I joined my group and standing on the start line waiting for the off was scary, although the torrential rain provided a bit of a distraction. We had both completed a few 10K runs in the gym over the last couple of weeks but I hadn’t taken my training outside. Would I be able to run that far on rough terrain and in the wind and rain?

Happily I can report that I found this race to be great fun. Yes it was wet and cold and windy and muddy – and my arms and fingers were locked in position as I ran! But despite the weather doing it’s worst I found the kilometers flew past and I enjoyed counting the markers as they went by.

Paul did brilliantly too, although he froze as he waited on the finish line for me to appear. We were delighted to have completed the challenge and raised some more money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bring on the Cambridge Half Marathon!

Challenge 5 – 10K Bonfire Burn

Bonfire Burn 10K

OK so this is a challenge that 3 of the team have signed up to – Paul, Becky and I are all planning to take this one on. I thank post-Olympic inspired enthusiasm for the additional recruit! It’s a simple formula – a 10K run around a Cambridgeshire village on 4th November. As it takes place after Paul’s triathlon attempt he should be a master at taking on a public event. Becky and I are complete novices to this though and, given that we usually only run distances of about 5K – when we run at all, a serious training schedule will need to be drawn up. Starting now. Goodness.

http://www.bonfireburn10k.co.uk/

The Next Challenge – Number 4

Paul is planning to complete a triathlon in Well-Next-the-Sea later this year and training has started. Does he have a racing bike? No.  Can he swim? Well he’s having lessons and doesn’t think he’ll drown. Does his wet suit fit him? No. But he can run. Watch this space for updates on his progress.

Triathlon update.

I committed fully to the triathlon training and enjoyed training in each of the three disciplines, I even had a swimming lesson and made regular trips to Jesus Green Outdoor swimming pools to practice. Thanks to my brother, who owns Diving Leisure in London I got hold of wet suit that fits and I decided to solve my bike problem by hiring a very tasty road bike for a week.

Race day was the 2nd September, and it came round quickly. At 8am I found myself on the quay at Wells-next-the-Sea in the light rain facing the 1.5km swim, I was a little apprehensive! Reassuringly the race organiser told everyone the tide should help with the swim…but he could not guarantee it! In the end, the race went very smoothly, the swim felt good (33mins), the bike section (1hr 24mins) was a pleasure as I took in a number of very picturesque villages and managed to avoid a puncture. The final leg, the 10km run (42mins) was along the coastal path and also on the beach itself, but I felt good and managed to keep a good pace all the way round despite the tough terrain. I finished in just over 2hrs 40mins which I thought was a good effort for a first Olympic distance triathlon. It’s a great sport and I hope to take part in more triathlons in the future.

However, most importantly, I managed to raise around £250 for the Alzheimer’s Society for this challenge, so I would like to thank my friends and family for donating money and also for coming and supporting me on the day. Fish and Chips on the sea wall at Wells after the race with Jo, my parents and sister was a great way to finish!

Challenge 3 – The Wolds Way

Right, the blisters have began to heal, the physical pain is subsiding and the mental pain is beginning to fade. So let’s reveal the details. The plan was simple enough – 79 miles in 4 days; 2 nights b&b, 2 nights camping. Shorts, t-shirts, suncream packed? Check. Lightweight tent, not waterproof but cheap so can be chucked on the morning of day 4? Check. Proper walking shoes marketed as the correct and advisable footwear for such a walk? Check. Scoobs limber and ready to walk like he’s never walked before? Check.

Day 1: We arrived in Hessle, the start of this National Trail, at just about 09:30 on Saturday morning. We had plenty of supplies and were feeling excited and eager to get on with the challenge. 10 miles in we stopped for a picnic on a log in a picturesque location on the outskirts of woodland. So far everything had been textbook and we were in high spirits, buoyed up by the spectacular sunshine beating down on our backs as we walked.

You may have guessed that things took a turn.

It was by about 4 pm that the weather started to change. It got cold and felt as though night was already drawing in. There was bickering when we briefly lost our way and there were tears every time a hill appeared ahead of us – as going downhill put pressure on my now very blistered feet.

Despite all of this we did arrive at our guesthouse in Goodmanham at our expected time of 07:30. After a lovely feast and baths all round spirits were high once again.

Day 2: After a hearty breakfast  a good chat with our hosts and a lot of blister plaster applications we gingerly put our shoes back on and set off. However, upon opening the door we realised that we were in from an almighty battering from the weather. The road we stepped out into was already a river. With credit to us we did manage to complete the second day and arrive at our campsite in Huggate  after a solid tramp through mud and rain. So why had we taken a cab back to the car in Hessle by Sunday evening?

Here are our excuses:

1) Upon arrival in Huggate we were told that, contrary to published information, the pub at the campsite (actually just their beer garden) – would not allow the very wet Scoobs inside to dry off and warm up. Big problem!

2) All of our camping gear, our clothes and our boots were soaked through.

3) My feet were no longer really operating as feet and Paul’s were causing him big problems too – not helped by the fact that we’d been walking in sodden shoes all day.

Summary

We walked from Hessle to Huggate – the biggest part of 40 miles – in 2 days. We feel that this is an accomplishment in itself. However, we did not reach Filey because of the unprecedented June rain. We went home feeling disappointed and unable to utter the words ‘Wolds Way’ for quite a few days. We are determined to go back and finish the trail as soon as we can.