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Showing posts from December, 2011

Little Alps Run!

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At the moment I'm over in France with the family, staying in Villa Monette skiing from the village of Samoens. Today I took a day off the slopes and went for a run for a couple of hours. It was great to get up out of the village on foot for a change, and I set off up a mountain called Le Criou, which we climbed in the summer.

I ran along the road out to the village Vallon-en-Haut, then set off up the hill from about 700m. After an hour of winding through the woods I reached the hamlet Trot. No-one lives here during the winter, but there is a tiny "Buvette" (little shop/cafe which is occasionally open at weekends in the summer), which looked as though it had been left just a couple of hours ago - tablecloths still on tables and things hanging on the walls!

It was a great little run, the snow was only about a foot deep at worst, and the view was amazing all the way up and down, but especially from Trot where I could see mountains all around, including Mont Blanc.

Trot and t…

Last race of the year...

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Last weekend I was in the Lakes for my last event of 2011, and one I'd been looking forward to since missing it last year... the Tour de Helvellyn, organised my Joe Faulkner and Nav4.

The race started on a cold but clear morning in Askham, with start times between 7 and 9am. Milling around before the start I spotted a few very fast-looking people, including Kim Collison, Bruce Duncan, and last year's winner Alex Pilkington. I started at 8:45, with about four or five people still in the hall, including all the above. The weather was good at the start and the ground was icy, but as we climbed the first hill I felt like I was moving well (first long run since slicing my knee a few weeks ago) and passed a fair few people.

The route was a lollipop shape, with a long run out, loop up and around the Helvellyn range, then the same run back in. By the time I hit the loop section I was going well and had not yet been passed by anyone from behind. I had just about caught up with Dave Spe…

Elite is a scary word!

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I found out a week or so ago that I have been accepted onto the University of Sheffield's Elite Sport Performance Scheme. This means I get a free gym membership and help and advice on training from the Sports team. The scheme can also help discuss time off with the University if required, although my PhD supervisor has been really great up to now so fingers crossed this won't be necessary! It's nice to be able to represent the University, and I am very grateful to those who support the ESPS financially in order to allow us to follow our dreams...

I have never spent much time (any time that should be!) in a gym before now, but I think it will be very useful. I have been using static bikes for warm up and down, then focusing on leg press type strength machines, as well as rowing and static weights.

And finally for now, some more news in brief...
Big Alps Run planning is reaching a critical point... Booking flights and getting things sorted. I am planning to start on something …

Blood and Woofs

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I've been really busy for the last month or so, so haven't written anything on here. Apparently it's now nearly christmas, so here's a quick update on what's been going on (split over a couple of posts)!

The weekend after the Dark Peak Club Championships I was over in Staffordshire for the Roaches fell race. A 15 mile out-and-back race from Meerbrook Village hall, I was warned by regulars beforehand that the first (and therefore last) few fields were horribly boggy and slurry-ish. They weren't joking! Anyway, the race went quite well to begin with, and half way to the turnaround I was about 4th. The guy in front and I took a slight wrong turn and lost a couple of places, but then caught most of them back. However, it then all went a bit wrong... Coming down an off-camber descent in the woods I slid and tumbled over onto some gritstone rocks. These were like a cheesegrater on both knees, my right arm and left hand. To cut a long story short I lost a couple of pl…