Thursday, March 31, 2011

My First Parish 2009 Vol 2

In December I started a long rambling blog about my first Parish Walk in 2009. Thought I better carry on with the story as can't believ it is over 3 months since I started it.

As I mentioned Colin Garvey and I entered the walk for charity and we agreed to walk together too. We were warned against this and I guess it has some downsides but we both finished on the first effort to do the walk so it definitely worked for us.

We didn't do any races before hand but had done some training together beforehand and also some individual training too.

We only had time for 2 long walks of 10miles plus during training for the Parish. The first was a 14 mile walk which I think we finished in about 31/4 hours. We were pretty excited that we had done our first longer walk and finished relatively unscathed - a couple of minor blisters but everything else intact! This spurred us on to trying to walk to peel on the parish route to give us a feel for whether we could really do the whole thing.

The main mistake however was to leave it too late to do the trial run. I think we tried it about 4 weeks before the main event.This was probably a bad idea in itself but was made much worse by the fact that Colin got pretty bad blisters and when we arrived in Peel we both realised we were pretty tired and the thought of doing that again and still having nearly a marathon distance to go did make us feel pretty daunted! matters went from bad to worse when he decided to slice his blisters a couple of days later which then got infected and he eventually only just recovered the week before the big day...

Anyway undaunted we set off on the big day with the plan to walk to peel at around 4.3 mph - try to get there in under 8 hours. We walked together until the sloc and then eventually got split up as we went up. I then had a few texts telling me about the beer at the round table which was very refreshing. We joined up again into Dalby and felt pretty good through Peel. From then on we stayed within about 400yds of each other although it is difficult to walk side by side all the way we stayed around each other and definitely spurred each other on. Perhaps the highlight being our trip through Andreas. Colin was catching me back up so we could walk together again, when I heard a terrific roar from the patio of the pub which was full of drinkers /spectators/supporters one of whom lifted colins spirits enormously and probably got
us both over the line! By then we were not eating much but when he was offered a tumbler of Baileys by an excited spectator, Colin went for it in one amidst the cheering crowd of drinkers and then roared off at blistering pace all the way to Ramsey, now leaving me in his wake!

Maughold was a struggle for us both and was dark cold and wet!Hot salty soup rescued us and some words of encouragement saw us back to the coast road and then it is all downhill from then on!

6am on the prom and we were all smiles with one of the most rewarding feelings ever, a first finish (and Colin swears his first and last...).

Happy days :)

Anyway we proved to ourselves we could do it and I came back for a second effort last year so I must have enjoyed it?!?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Garmin Set up

I managed to get out on Sat afternoon after a game of golf in the morning. Carrying a golf bag round Langness probably does not qualify as too much training but it is better than nothing and stretched the legs out. In the afternoon I did 8.5m with the dog which I think finished him off for the rest of the weekend! It is a good hilly course round West Baldwin so got the heart pumping and managed to keep a reasonable pace.

Unfortunately undid some of the good work with a meal out and late night at new restaurant in Port St Mary called Sabri - worth a try good food and very friendly staff! Anyway less of the restaurant critic and more to relevant blogging; went out tonight (in nice bright conditions) and did a quick 5.5 miler (without dog this time). Took time to review my Garmin settings and work out the ideal set up for the watch on Parish day.

Many of you may have the forerunner already if not it is worth thinking about; I find it really helpful both in training and on the big day. Training I tend to set a goal for each mile and try to keep the walking in the zone that works for me. During parish training, uphill if not too steep try to keep around 4.8 to 5mph (12min miles) downhill around 5.5mph on the level around 5.2/5.4. Last year I reckon I was about .3 slower across the board so hopefully the speed training over the winter will pay off this year? Anyway back to the Garmin - I think the best set up is to have 1 display split in 3 showing the 1mile lap speed that resets each mile in the big box at the top; bottom left an average overall speed and bottom right lap distance. That means on one page you can check speed (where you are on each lap as early on in the lap the speed is not necessarily that accurate) and how you are getting on overall. If you have your mind set on time to get to say Peel or the end you can work out what overall average speed you need to stay at and then just keep it around that for each mile - easy!?!

The second page has overall time top box, overall distance and elevation. Tend to flick to this every couple of hours or so on the day mainly to see how long I have been going - but don't want be reminded too often as you then realise how long is left!

Final page dont use too often either but I set up with 4 screens - time of day, heading, calories (makes you feel really good burning 5 figure calories in a day!) and instantaneous speed.

Having said all that, the 305 battery life proved to be about 10 or 11 hours so first Parish I ran out of battery. Second time round my physio Wendy Shallcross very kindly lent me her watch too so I swapped it on half way round. Towards the end though I was way past looking at average speed - just wanted to keep going!

I believe the newer 310 version has a 20 hour plus battery life (the 305 is rated as 8hr I think) so if you are thinking of getting one that might be the one to go for as it would probably last for the event.

Must sign off again its getting late...

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm In

I guess I should have entered earlier having blogged about it since November! But for some reason never got round to it. Anyway, I am officially in the race and less than 100 days to go. I have also entered the team event so Kathryn and Lynn have to join the "Callin Wild Clumpers" now - just looking for 1 more non finisher who is going to make it over the line.....

Managed to get out last night, not too far and still struggling a bit with right shin but managed to get up to a reasonable speed and home before it was too dark. The light nights are nearly here so absolutely no excuses for at least 3 nights walking during the week during April - lets see how that challenge goes! I am beginning to get a bit tired of the same route as I have been a little lazy about finding different routes around the house. My plan for next week is to do the East - West Baldwin loop round back home which is about 8.5m and pretty hilly so it is a good test.

bye for now

ps for those of you following all this blogging - no I have not tried the glide yet...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birthday Presents

As stroller sue spotted in her comment on my last blog it was my birthday at the beginning of the week. The first day of spring brought presents which are clearly a sign of the times. I opened my "up and running" gift bag to pull out running hat gloves and the piece de resistance - a tub of glide!

I must have inadvertently tipped Gemma off when I showed her one of Richard's recent blogs with a review of the best chaffing protection. I was impressed with the attention to detail of the post including pictures of the various products... Now I am the proud owner of one so I guess I will have to do a review myself when I do my next long walk and test out the protection!!

Managed 5.5 tonight although a bit slower as my shins are still sore from the weekend I think. I am getting pretty fed up with continual shin and front of foot pain - anyone out there with any further tips please let me know as even going a bit slower did not help much tonight.

Lighter nights are a big help and seeing more and more people out there.

Anyway the only other parish related thought is that as of the 21st I am now in the over M45 bracket :( so will have to wait and see who is in that group for the parish.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Raad ny Foillan

Dropped my daugher in Castletown this morning and went for a run with Gemma - it was a gorgeous morning, the views over Langness were amazing. We did about 41/2  mile loop round the end of the runway. Got back to the car and then went back round the runway on my own and picked up the Raad Ny Foillan (anyone who doesn't know it is a fantastic coastal route with stunning views -

Some bits of the path were really boggy and churned up but generally it was ok. I bailed out up to Port Soderick and then up onto main road and back into Douglas. I did 18miles in the end in 3 1/2 hours but some running at the beginning and then some trudging up the cliffs and through the odd bog so I was quite happy; except I made another beginners mistake and did not carry any water with me?!? My only excuse was that i left in a bit of a rush and had a drink after the run - not good though I was really thirsty. The plus point is that I am now really looking forward to the rugby and have built up a good thirst!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Last Dance

Well my dancing exploits are over so training can now refocus on walking. Planning to double up walk to peel tomorrow and the watch the rugby with a few mates and have a guilt free drink.

Anyway the dancing at the St Patrick's day charity event went ok - I think it was late enough for the audience to overlook the mistakes and just enjoy our efforts! The night was in aid of oscars dreams - I am not sure how much we raised but I reckon it must have been at least £15k which is amazing with big thanks to Steve McGowan and SMP (who have nominated OD as its charity and are big supporters of The Parish - Mark Denton another parish walker from SMP told me they have 25 entering this year). Also thanks to Castletown Golf Club for the event during the day and all who donated prizes and helped especially Matthew Wickers and Andy Scott who helped us raise such a lot of money in one night (I am on the OD committee so I have an excuse to give it such a big plug

Here are the pictures - what more can I say, except I was a little jaded today....

and I thought we were in time!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's Day and the dancing

Well those of you following the dancing saga might be relieved to hear that I have had my last training session and the Big night is tonight. I am not sure the dance training has really provided too much help for the parish efforts but I guess every bit helps and it has been good fun!

I hope to resume walking training at the weekend and really feel like I need a couple of 10 mile plus walks as I have struggled to get the miles under my belt so far.

I will report on whether our efforts at rehearsals paid off and will try to post a couple of "exclusive" pictures!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Was it a good weekend or a bad one?

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier poat I was in Manchester at weekend, so training options were limited. I was also out on Friday night so had a really good weekend on the entertainment front!

The only walking I got in was a long walk around the city with my daughter cath.the good news is she is a really quick walker and we ended up walking to sale so we got about 5 miles in in the end. I have been trying to get her to come to the walking training but she still thinks it is for us old foggies... May be it is something to do with the luminous gear!

Roll on the hour change - that will be my next kick start...

Verdict - good weekend.. Just can't afford too many more in the next few months...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Back to walking

Got out for a quick 5 half miler tonight. Felt quite good, under an hour on a hilly route so quite happy with that and the shins did not feel too bad after Sunday's exertions.

I donned some new brooks shorts tonight. I bought them online when I mustn't have been concentrating, as whilst I like to wear hi viz stuff these ones are a bit ridiculous. When I got back my daughter demanded I get changed and never wear them again.... Anyone want some luminous yellow large shorts!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Thought this might get your attention. I am doing weekly dance training for a secret charity event so whilst I could not train tonight I had a reasonable workout doing the steps...

I am not sure how people learn complicated routines as this one is fairly simple but we are still making hard work of it... Anyway need to get out walking tomorrow as my shins are still fairly stiff after sunday's race and the jumping up and down tonight did not do them too much good either!!!

Off to Manchester at the weekend so not much time for training then either - hopefully the hour change will give us all a boost to up the training regime.

I seem to get about 25 views a day of this blog which is good, so hope I can still think of parish material in a few months time...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter league over - it must be Spring

The last winter league event finished today, 10k at the NSC. It has been a great set of races throughout the winter. I have not done any speed work before but really glad I entered the series. I was not really sure what to expect but picked up some tips last year from Alan's sessions and did some web surfing which also helped me understand the mechanics and tips for walking more efficiently.

Did ok today despite really sore shins before I started - I decided to walk down as it's only a mile or so to see if in could warm them up. This really helped as though I hobbled down there I got the shins going and was ok from the start with only mild pain during the race. I have not really suffered too much with this before but it is really annoying and I must work at getting rid if it - warm up - I keep neglecting this....

Anyway did 61mins something, so destined not to break 60mins but getting closer...
The prizes for the series were awarded after the event congrats to everyone - special mention to Kathryn c who works with me as she came 2nd today and 4th overall with a 7-8 min improvement over the winter. Also big thanks to up and running and the organisers as a lot of effort goes in.

Carried on with the parish training by walking up to mount murray afterwards to pick the car up - pretty tired going up richmond hill as needed some food and more drink and late night on sat nite was perhaps taking its toll. We were at children in need charity ball which was great fun but the red wine was probably not the best preparation.....

Anyway relaxing sunday afternoon and roast dinner will definately sort me out and ready for training walks during the week....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

King's speech

Ok I was planning to go out tonight but got home and gem had bought tickets for king's speech.Great film - walk tomorrow I guess - don't get down beat just cause you miss a day or two:).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Light Nights

Well Spring is almost here I think; got home about 6 and it was still pretty light. I was intending to go straight out but everyone was just about to eat and I could not resist. Left it for an hour and then went out for a quick 5.4 mile loop. It is quite hilly but gave it a reasonable go once I got going. I am struggling a bit with shin pain at the moment - not sure if it was caused from the long Peel walk but it is a niggle at the moment. I started off a bit more slowly and that at least got me warmed up before I tried to speed up.

Anyway I am going to try to get out most nights now - aiming for 5 days a week. There were quite a lot of walkers out tonight which is good to see. I am also going to try to start losing some weight as every pound carried up the sloc is a pound too many! Let's see how that plan goes too!