Saturday, 23 March 2013

Rip Curl

Spring is here... Had hoped to we might continue some light running in our third attempt at a fitness comeback since taking on this massive project. The continuous onslaught of snow has scuppered plans this week but we may brave the drifts today after a belated investment in YakTrax. I fear we might drown in the giant drifts.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday trot

I realised last week that it's now over a year since my last race. It's been twelve months of very little running, lots of house renovating and eating fairly badly as we cope without a proper kitchen. Time now to take stock of my emerging tubbiness, grit my teeth and get the trainers back on.

The last month has been a painful back to basics with some depressingly slow shuffles around town. We braved our first tour of Pendle today, inspired by the ice blue sky. Fortunately we were slow enough to take one or two blur free pics, the upside of starting from scratch... The lungs are okay but this shuffling bear's legs are feeling it now. Oh well. Gotta start somewhere.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Alive and just about kicking

Well then. Up I pop again after 5 months...Can't quite believe its been so long since the move. I'm now nicely installed in the most amazing place; a defiantly Yorkshire corner in a red rose world.

The move to a new home has been followed by months of destruction and rubble as we discover various problems hidden behind the vividly painted walls and old stone floors. Still swamped with the renovations we're just picking up the running trail before the dark nights set in.

Running dropped off dramatically, squeezed out by the growing demands at home and work but I've felt the absence of our athletic lifeline and have grown slowly plump as the weeks pass. So once again M and I build up our runs; last night a trot from the house through the heather for a muddy amble to remind these creaky knees of the real outdoors. Hopefully we'll keep it up to consider some new year racing and a cross country or two.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Lots of things have been on hold, or paused for weeks and months now. The winter has whispered past with me barely noticing as life tumbles on in this never ending washing cycle of annoying stuff, like surveys and solicitor bills. 

The new home is almost in sight just a couple more weeks and we can return to those fond routines, back on the sunny road to running fitness with some bits of DIY in between.

M's work trip away to the sun has left me thinking of us leaving this home not long from now. It feels sad to be leaving all our running steps behind across the hills and by the river. Perhaps a bit of us will stay in this lovely Yorkshire valley. For now the warmer days are keeping me perky as I pack our things and imagine our new home; a Lancashire lass I'll be.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

New Playground

Runningbear's adventures have been more like escapades this month, starting with another wobble in the world of house buying and selling. M & I are hoping that we are over this final 'test' in this stressy world of ultra house buying endurance... Dare I say we hope to be moving in the next month.

I'll not be surprised if summat else goes pear-shaped but for now I'm being sustained by thoughts of this beautiful new playground on our doorstep and a shorter commute to save more of those summer evenings for sun kissed runs and suppers with a view.
Runningbear's new home-to-be is big and handsome with breathtaking views but in need of some TLC along the way. M & I are already planning our running routine with hill reps in the front garden and a home made cross country circuit at the back. 

This helps to distract from the actual running now, which is far less nice or exciting. We're getting out a bit but I'm feeling a bit fat, unfit and my body feels ancient. I creak about our well trodden routes with constant back ache, silently screaming hammies and complaining knees. Running feels a bit unpleasant, painful even. But I'm guessing this is what being unfit feels like.

Real life feels like its been kept on hold except for work which just seems to race ahead of everything else. I've been keeping sane with night time instalments of Borgen (hurry up series 2) and some Lens browsing. Can't wait for life to start again...oo bring on the light nights, weekend races and running in sunnies.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Snow Way!

I've bimbled about this last week with a few short runs to get the legs back in action. How unfit am I!? I can't believe I feel so pooped after only 4 miles... these achy breaky legs have long forgotten the days of 22 miles on a Sunday morning under summer skies. 

I'm still making my comeback though I suspect it'll be a protracted one. The snow dump this weekend got in the way a bit but thankfully has stifled any over enthused urges to get back into some mileage. Hurrying the return is a common mistake and my legs have forgotten how to do this running thing. I'm instead enjoying some vicarious racing but am puzzled about the Dewsbury 10k.. was it cancelled?

House stuff still distracts M and I from the flab and unfitness...we slowly approach the move to our dream home with caution. I still daren't say nowt until it's in the bag. Maybe we'll make it in time for spring; the time for nesting. Happy shuffling.

Saturday, 28 January 2012


So I write this as I contemplate the last 3 months of not running and wonder if a blog name change is needed. Running has instead been replaced by a big dipper drama of house buying. I think we've lived through the gritty Eastenders equivalent as opposed to the quaint period costume drama experience and we're not at the end of it yet either. I'm wondering if anything else could go wrong but hoping a move to our very own corner of heaven will be on the cards soon...
So for now I'll not taint our plans by typing any more until all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. There's at least there's some space to return to the running passion that always helps to put all other things in perspective. I'm making my training comeback today with a brief grassy jog under sunny skies. The frost and sunshine is tempting me out of the fluffy dressing gown and into the outdoor world where house viewings, fickle buyers and conveyancing bills are distant memories. 

The race calendar is out of the window but a gem of a summer race should work well as a focus to get me training again. Perhaps this very well rested Runningbear's killer instinct will return... wish me well for my foray into the grassy pastures of Ben Rhydding hockey pitches. Grrr.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Still Here...

...alive and kicking but very busy selling and buying houses. The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of selling then not selling, buying then not buying and not much running has featured either. Anyway, I'll not jinx our plans by sharing specific news of our fab new pad just yet as there's a bit further to go before it's in the bag. For now we're whiling away weekends pondering the costs of rewiring and deciding what kind of survey to go for. Exciting stuff of course but no running adventures to report. I'm now growing a curly wurly belly. The new place is however a fab spot for runners and will hopefully feature in 2012 blog pics. It's funny how you know a place is home as soon as you walk through the door.

P.S. That's M upstairs.
P.P.S As you can see, the roof needs a bit of work.

Monday, 10 October 2011

CurlyWurly Heaven

Ampleforth 7 was the second race in as many weeks after what seems like yonks off from proper racing. The combination of a gammy leg and new-job-syndrome have taken their toll this summer. [That and being trapped in a Chewy Soft Chocolate Heaven; I've now developed a CurlyWurly dependency having rediscovered the childhood treat at a garage en route to work]. But, the cross country last week brought home the realisation that there's no more time for excuses and some serious training and racing is needed. This tidy and low key race was another chance to toughen up this ageing boot and get some hard tempo miles in the legs.

The drive over took us past the beautiful Byland Abbey. There was much quaintness to be seen roadside as we ambled our way north for a very civilised lunchtime start. The trail race starts in the grounds of the great Ampleforth college; a famously posh school with expansive grounds and sports fields to die for. The course undulates around the forest overlooking Yearsley and offered little respite as we scrambled doggedly up the trails and stumbled the muddy descents. The course took us up and down, right and left, mostly on foot but sometimes on butt - the aptly name 'chute' descent spat many of the more tentative footed out in a soggy heap at the bottom. 

Byland Abbey
I ran hard if not very fast, enough to call it a tempo effort and sufficient to win the ladies race and place 5th overall in a smallish field. M finished a place in front, leading the field for parts of the race but feeling a bit too tired and heavy legged to keep up the pace of the earlier miles. The race was a welcome break from the usual Sunday long run. The drop in mileage provided a timely ease down before a return to some hard miles again this week. I've now entered a few more events; encouraged that the racing pain will dull as the weeks go by. I'm starting to enjoy the mud, the rain and the wind again. Hello autumn! 

This week in trainers...



Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Adventures of Runningsnail

What a scorcher of a week! It's been all shorts and sunnies on school nights; running each evening in brilliant October sunshine. Another healthy training week has been had leading to yesterday's tentative return to racing. It was a painful day out for this Runningbear. 

I've been putting it off for weeks but slowly ran out of excuses and just had to face up to the racing facts; I'm a slow and slobby Runningsnail. Yesterday was when the truth hit home at the Northern Athletics XC relays. The event was a confusing mixture of County Vets and Northern open teams - a fact only announced this week which led to a last minute kerfuffle and Bingley ladies scraping just one team in the V35 category. The boys (including M) had a fine V40 team also competing in the Yorkshire Vets Champs.

The event at Graves Park, Sheffield was my first effort at jumping back on the racing horse after a rubbish summer of injury and eating too much pie. It was also a rather long drive for the sake of a 2 mile race. Yes you read that right; a 2 mile race! I've never run such a short race as a grown up. The one lap route seemed to involve one very very long hill with a bit of downhill at the start and finish. This course really should be reserved for youngsters only... I'm still coming to terms with how slow I was. We finished second V35 ladies and won a small silver & plastic thingy. M's team mirrored our success as second V40 team, stealing Steve's prize (had he been running for a Yorkshire club!). Results here.

It's a funny thing coming back from injury. Though in my head I know I'm off my best and the racing is about getting fitness back, I still walk away from these things torturing myself about my crap time/position/pace. It's daft I know but hard to change the internal hand wringing. I'm now trying to deftly convert this said mental torture energy into Runningbear rocket fuel. I've some way to go before race fitness returns and remain a flabby, untrained Runningsnail with a soft underbelly. I've yet to build back the roughty-toughty shell that grows with the grit of some hard racing. So the adventures of Runningsnail continue for now... it's race #2 at the Ampleforth 7M next week. Wish me luck!

This week in trainers...