Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tracy Chapman - A New Beginning

Jen says... Well my footcare experiment continues... here you can see my left foot, the one I am keeping taped 24/7.

- To see my left foot after Rory has expertly re-wrapped it click HERE.

- To see my tea-soaked right foot click HERE.

In summary, I don't think keeping my left foot taped permanently is helping as the skin seems to just get clammy and quite a lot peels off when you take plasters off. Re the right foot, it still isn't doing great either, although this may be in part due to the fact that I haven't managed to stick to 20 tea-soaks/day...

Next week I am going to continue with the right foot tea-soaking but change the treatment of my left foot to only tape before running...

New Horizons - The Moody Blues

I got a call from Ade Caroen today, one of my MdeS 2010 trainee's. I always love talking to Ade because he is SO full of life and is a real energy giver. And like most people who go thru an amazing transformation and a life changing journey, Ade is looking for another goal to focus on.

I think most of us are in that situation and I more than most can draw strength from seeing others take the plunge... it's a very fortunate position to be there at the moment that someone else takes that first footstep to making their dream a reality.

Ade, well whatever he does he will make it... he's just that sort of chap. Extremely thorough and prepared to do whatever it takes to make the finish line.

I'll keep you posted with his progress...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bitune - The Great Compression

Jen says... Rory and I finally bit the bullet and tried out a pair of compression calf guards today. Rory had seen people using Boosters at the MdeS so this was our chosen brand.

Rory needed a ridiculous XL+ (the largest size available) whilst a S (the smallest size available) was all I needed. As you can see here the difference is comical!

We both did an hour on the treadmill, Rory's was a recovery run given his equally ridiculous 80 miles on the weekend, whereas I opted for a fartlek session.

I traditionally suffer from tight calves, which is probably partly the cause of my long stint off recently with achilles tendonitis, and it is during speedwork that I get particularly apprehensive about injuring them. These made a real difference - I'm not sure whether it was psychosomatic or because they actually had a physiological difference, but I will DEFINITELY continue to wear them during training... an expensive but very worthwhile investment in my opinion...

October - U2

Rory says... Yes I know it's still September but as the ULTRArace October Newsletter hits the stands it does make you wonder where on earth all of this year has gone. My sights are now definitely on the 2011 race calendar and I am trying to emulate my fitness levels of early 2009 right now. After the 80 miles in the Isle of Man over the weekend, I am actually not suffering at all and an hour on the treadmill tonight got me running hard at a good tempo without any post weekend pains.

All of this points to up in training and sub 4 hr marathons starting to pay off.

However, looking back to the early months of '09 I was running three times at a very steady 11.7kph. So that's where I am off to now over the next few weeks as my 4.0% body fat target is back on my horizon.

Watch this space to see if I can 'Keep the faith', now where are my compression socks, I need all the help I can get?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Fragma - Toca's Miracle

It's been a few days of discovery for me really and my trip to The Isle of Man has put me in good stead for the next few days of my training. I was really inspired by Anslem Robinson who today weighed in 21lbs lighter than he was just two weeks ago following my training and diet plan. Combined with hard exercise and an unstoppable determination he was always destined for lightness.

He's coming back for more in the New Year he says... I worked him so hard it hurt me! But it works and it can work for one and all.

Recovered from my 80 miles and I am back running tomorrow preparing for Sunday's Mablethorpe Marathon...nice.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Daytripper - The Beatles

Well in the heart of Liverpool it only seems right eh? It does feel like one he'll
of a journey to get to/from The Isle of Man but when you get there it all seems really worth it. Infact, the timeout has helped me no-end and has helped me focus my thoughts for the months ahead and it has shown me how important/unimportant certain things I do are.

ULTRArace is full steam ahead but is at the end of the season and I feel Jenny and I are both working hard on our 2011 season preparation, so hopefully we can both exceed our dreams in Morocco next year.

Running and walking 80 miles ain't easy but it was this weekend... Long may it where's that Yellow Submarine they are always on about?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Way We Walk - Genesis

Well the second End2End in as many days really tested the trotters today and 40 miles of walking really worked my feet and it's amazing how all that walking hurts after many hours on the road. I must say that the walking fraternity are quite an officious bunch and it was 'Hi-Vis' heaven and there were far too many rules for me to follow if I was being honest but we were well looked after and we got from A to B without getting run over or causing major incident.

I think completing the course in reverse helped as Bethany and I knew what to expect and towards the end we helped, encouraged and fixed people as they fell by the wayside... there was some courage today, I can tell you.

My feet held out and Bethany's got her to thirty today before they started to blister down the hills and she showed great courage in carrying on to the end. This will work well for her JOGLE Ultra preparation...

Tomorrow... well it's a lie in and then a plane, bus and two trains back home... nice.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Forty - U2

Well I joined the End2End Club again today only this time on the Isle of Man. A glorious day of running with an ever changing backdrop of breathtaking scenery that helped mask some of the large hills the island has to offer.

Running with local ULTRA legend Bethany Clague helped pass the time and also helped me realise just what the island has to offer. Bethany should become a tour guide, I think...

Anyway, mile after mile passed and 'Saint Ernie of Man' our support for the day kept us topped up with vital supplies ALL day. He made a real difference to our day I can tell you. He will be there tomorrow, thankfully, as we tackle the route again, only in the other direction along with 300 other competitors out to make their journey from End2End.

So far my journey to the Isle of Man has been most satisfying... I enjoyed my speaking engagement at the Creg Ny Braa Hotel on the famous TT Course and I loved the run today...

More tomorrow as I need to out my feet up!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Crash - Propeller Heads

Waking at five to get two trains, a bus and a plane to get to the Isle of Man today was a real test of endurance. Even 'Fat Unhelpful Man' at Long Eaton train station ticket office was helpful... especially when he told me the first train in the chain was 'delayed'. When it finally appeared on his screen, it was in fact only 12 minutes late and that kept my connecting journeys intact to get the prop plane over to the 'Rock in the Irish Sea'.

I did have a couple of interesting moments with a group lager drinking pre-nine am off on a guys holiday abroad and a toilet in Liverpool South Parkway station that cleans itself and has a press button bog roll dispenser... whatever next? It was a bit strange as it announced to all what was going on with the whole process over a loudspeaker for all to hear. 'Door Shutting... Trousers Down etc.'

Anyway... I am here. In one piece and ready for a 40 mile warm up tomorrow, before the 40 mile warm down on Sunday. Oh and I'm Public Speaking at 7.30pm tonight in Creg Ny Baa... which includes a 'Chip Butty'! Food for thought eh?

I'll let you know how it goes later...

Set on you - George Harrison

Well the Isle of Man beckons and it will be twice in a month to fly into Manx Airspace but this time to enjoy the Island itself and not just pass by...twice. Talking of twice and the Isle of Man and you can guess that the weekend involves running/walking the length of the island with its most famous ultra-athlete...

Bethany Clague. 'Claguetours' has me public speaking tomorrow evening to raise money for the local hyperbaric chamber... nice. Following a very full day with our 9bar sponsors today in Wales, I already feel most travelled and last night’s tear up with Jenny is still there in my quads.

I didn't train today as I have 80 miles at the weekend to bash in.

Better get some sleep me thinks...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I Feel Good - James Brown

Jen says... well I have seriously underperformed with my right foot treatment today with one solitary tea-soaking (sorry Jane)... the left foot, however, is being meticulously taped by Rory as you can see. Nothing major to report, which is good given I have probably done my first proper training day since pre-MdS today...

3 runs, no injuries. The last was with Rory who decided to up the ante and do a 3 mile sprint - never seen him run so fast and I was struggling to keep up:-) Still, it's about time as, although he is clearly the master of marathon running, I think he can speed up his marathon time with a little pain... right, off to watch Dirty Harry now... catcha soon.

Heavens to Betsy - Direction

Rory says:- While Jenny has been tittling with her feet... I have been looking at my Direction. After spending some hours teaching navigational skills in fields, I then used Tom Tom to negotiate my way across Derby. Now that confused the heck out of my I-phone and made me think of what we used to do in the old days (Pre-Gadget) of getting from A to B via X.

I actually think it was easier back then as we didn't rely on being told where to go but then again we didn't have the back up of being told to turn left or right at the next junction. Only in my case yesterday I got into the position of going the wrong way up newly reversed direction streets in Derby whilst speaking to Jenny on how to navigate her way around Nottingham via the phone I was using to Tom Tom with. What madness!

I am hoping that I will not be taking such a complicated journey into my training... as this is where the new direction is starting to take shape. With my male macho in full flow, my performance coach (that's Jen, though she doesn't know this) is out running with me each night. It hurts like hell, but it's starting to pay off... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Foot Song - Adventure Time

Jen says... it's the end of Week 1 at the ULTRArace household and I'm currently sat with my right foot soaking in a bowl of tea as part of my new footcare regime...

On 15th September, Rory and I started our footcare experiment, kick started by Jane Crafts, Footcare Professional Extraordinaire. Over the next few months we will be performing different treatments on my left and right foot to find out exactly what works and what hurts...

This week...

LEFT Foot - following a filing, smoothing and creaming by Jane, every toe was taped up. They will remain permanently taped (replacing it when needs be). We want to see if (a) the already blistered toes heal whilst taped and (b) whether the taping prevents further blistering with my running regime.

RIGHT Foot - received no treatment by Jane last week. This foot is soaking in tea as frequently as possible and then being left to dry on its own. This hardens the skin. Question - are the blisters caused because the skin is too delicate and therefore needs hardening up?

Running - I've done a fair amount this week incl. a 29 mile recce of our ULTRArace Grantham course... no new blisters on either foot and my taped foot seems to be healing (although taking the plasters off peeled a lot of skin with it - note to self to it in hot water next time)!

Autumnsong - The Manic Street Preachers

Rory says: - As we head over the Autumn Equinox, it's time to think about a proper winter training programme and get a month of good running in before the nights draw in at the end of October.

With our ULTRArace Grantham weekend firmly in the bag, I am going to draw on that experience and inspire myself to emulate some of the performances that I witnessed. I must say it was hard not to be jealous of the guys as they ran 58.6 miles along my favourite canal running route.

To help me get my first week's the mileage up, I will be running/walking a double 40 miler with Bethany Clague (an inspiration herself) on the Isle of Man at the weekend.

Now there's a thought to focus on... I must go and foam roller my left ITB!

More later...