Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nice Weather (Part 2)

I managed to get out on Saturday morning for a stroll before the Judging and Health and Safety course I had opted to attend. Ray, Stew, Andy and Dave walked me back to the NSC and then continued on for a lap off Groudle before finishing at The Caff.

I intended, once the course had finished, to go and spend a few hours in the Pubs of Peel, however, the weather was poor once I returned home so the decision was made with Wife'y to get some wine and have a night in. The pubs would have been busy with the Rugby being on and the couple we usually have drinks with on a Saturday evening had bought tickets for the band Space at the Villa, both these facts made the decision of staying in easier. Until Thursday I was on days over the weekend so had not planned anything with them but I managed to get Saturday and Sunday off so at least I could chill before Sundays 10K. Christine and one of my daughters, Daniella, drank the wine so I had an alcohol free evening, this is something I plan to change today as soon as I have finished writing this.

The IOM 10k Championship was held in wet and windy conditions which kept some of the regulars away. I completed the distance just over a minute slower than my current PB but with the weather conditions, and the mileage covered this week, I was happy enough. I ended up 4th Overall 3rd Male (Adam 1st, Gianni 2nd and Hannah 1st Female 3rd O/A)

I was also delighted to receive a Trophy awarded by the Manx Harriers committee for my performances over the last 12 months on all events that I have competed.

Next week I am on evenings Monday till Wednesday and then off for 2 days before starting another set of 7 nights on Friday. I hope everyone's training is going well and hope you have all entered the Firefighters Memorial walk by now.

I'm off to the Pub!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Nice Weather!

A good start to the week weather wise meant I got out for  training walks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and although colder on Thursday the group met as normal at Bikestyle for are usual lap. Dave Walker turned up wearing a heart rate monitor and proceeded, once we were on the promenade, to break some kind of unofficial heart rate record. Hanging on I managed to glance down at my watch and blurted out through bursting lungs the speed I had seen displayed, Dave immediately dismissed what I said, however, he confirmed sometime later that my watch was reading correctly. God knows how many beats per minute his heart rate monitor recorded. My Dad would always say the heart will only beat so many times before it stops, if this were remotely true, I think a good portion of the beats I have left were spent on Douglas promenade on Thursday evening!

I decided to have a rest day today (Friday) the weather, once I had got to Peel from work, compounded that decision. Tomorrow I am attending a Level 1 Judging Course at the NSC. My intension is to walk with the group earlier in the morning and get back to Pulrose Power Station with enough time to shower before making my way over to the Harriers club house for 10 o'clock. The Caff may have to be missed unfortunately.

As a reminder from last weeks Blog - Manx Harriers have a 10k event on Sunday with entries being taken on the day. If you don't fancy taking part, helpers will most certainly still be required.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Another Week Closer!

After Sundays walk with Dave I rested on Monday evening, I had planned on just a short recovery walk but the evening, once home, seemed to come and go. Tuesday, at work, I could not wait to get home, changed and back to Douglas to meet the group at Bikestyle due to the fine weather. I left work at 1530, but by the time I got to Peel it had started to cloud over a little and on my return to Douglas the heavens opened and the day I had been looking out on, from my office window, could not have been more different. It was good to get out though and the rain meant the pace wasn't bad either.

Wednesdays training with Sam was a no go as he had other commitments, so a stroll with Christine to Shoprite and back was the alternative. I did manage to get out on Thursday morning for a few miles before work which was a bonus as I had thought no miles would be covered due to being on evenings, starting at 1500hrs. Friday morning seen me start another D.I.Y task at home (another ceiling). I have only myself to blame really, having finished the new bathroom ceiling last week i still hadn't got round to tidying the tools up and putting them out of sight in the garage, because of this Christine suggested maybe I could start on the bedroom whilst all the tools were still in the house that were needed (I normally pretend not to be able to find tools to stall these things). It seems a harsh punishment for not tidying up after myself, but on the other hand, it is a job that has needed finishing off since we renovated the house nearly 4 years ago so I don't really blame her for taking the opportunity to finally get it done. It did mean my plan to get dropped off in Kirk Michael again and either walk or run back was pushed aside. I made sure I tidied up after myself before leaving for work so not to fall into the same trap next week, however, in my eagerness to place everything out of sight in the garage I neglected to push the Lawnmower back into its space and left it outside. I have already received a text saying whilst it is out I may as well make a start on the lawns, I will never learn!


Andy Dawson, Stew, Ray and I met on Saturday morning. It was a rather foggy start to the day and by the time we had finished it had became damp also. I got back to Peel with enough time to get showered, make lunch and leave for another evening shift so any extra miles walking around the streets of Peel frequenting the local pubs will have to wait until next weekend. I have taken Saturdays day shift off next week so I can attend a Judging course at the NSC, held by England Athletics. Hopefully, with an early start, I can get some miles in first before using the facilities at the Power Station to get cleaned up in time for the course to start.
Manx Harriers are holding their Manx 10k and junior championships next Sunday at 10:00am. Entry can be made on the day. Helpers, as always, are required to lap count, marshal or make tea / coffee. If I can manage to get another day off I will see you there!



Sunday, 5 March 2017

103 Days to Go!

Here we are another week closer to the Manx Telecom Parish Walk 2017. The Parish Talk was held on Tuesday and from what I hear was well attended. Unfortunately the live feed and recording of the evening did not go to plan so for those that could not make the event, if anyone has any questions I am more than happy to answer them from my own experience of distance walking over the last 2 1/2 years. I am also lucky to train with multiple parish walk winners and finishers, so if I don't know I have their knowledge and experience to draw from, Stew Jones and Dave Walker were 2 of the Panel on Tuesday evening.

Only Ray and myself trained on Tuesday so we left from my house in Peel for a random lap of the town. the pace was not great, partly due to the narrow pavements and multiple road crossings, but also due to my ankle being sore. It was only the second time I had trained with the Achimed tendon support, the first being Saturday. I thought on Saturday it was just my Achilles being tight that was causing me discomfort but once the symptoms were replicated on Tuesday I have come to the conclusion its the support. The mode of action of the support is that it causes a massage effect due to the silicone inlay which supports perfusion, the further effects are swelling, irritation and pain are relieved. I can confirm that all the above have definitely been noticed in the short time I have been wearing it and the pain experienced whilst training is an unfortunate effect of this, however, it does suggest that the support causes the greatest effect during physical exercise. Regardless of this I decided to train without wearing the support on Wednesday and opted to wear the heel raises that come with the Achimed support to further help in the tendon recovery to compare. I am encouraged to say that both training walks on Wednesday went well, I got dropped off just outside Kirk Michael by Christine in the morning and walked the Coast Road back to Peel and trained in the evening around Douglas with Sam, Rich Wild and Ray. Yes the tendon was sore but nothing like when wearing the support. I am going to try wearing it only when at work or strolling during the day or evening when nipping to the shops or walking with Christine around Peel for the next 7 days to see how it goes.

I was going to Recce the first half of the Leg I am hoping to complete as part of the Race the Sun relay in May on Thursday as the day started looking quite bright. By the time Christine was leaving for work, I was going to get dropped off close to Kirk Michael again and pick up the old railway line, it had started to look a little dull so with that and the chance a contractor may have been calling to measure up for an extension to are driveway I decided to advance the heating and sit in the comfort of the house and wait to see if he turned up.

Thankfully the Contractor did arrive so it wasn't a wasted afternoon. My phone also pinged at 15.30 to remind me I had a massage on my Achilles booked at 1600, I think I had blocked this from my mind due to the excruciating pain I'm in whilst suffering the punishing manipulation at the Adjust Clinic in Peel. Thursdays training group met up at Bikestyle for the loop around Douglas and Onchan. With the nights now stretching a little it allowed us to extend the walk and instead of turning up Harbour Road, above Port Jack, we continued along King Edward Road and took the turning up Groudle Road before joining are normal route back through Lakeside Gardens. By the time I arrived back at the car I was soaked due to the weather turning wet around half way through the walk. It gave the rain jacket a run out though which was good, I know it will keep me dry during the upcoming Firefighters Memorial Walk if it turns wet. The only downside I feel to this kind of waterproof material is I feel like I have been poached after only a few miles. I am sure if I spent a lot more money I would find a top that not only held out the wet but also allowed the garment to breath. here's hoping for a dry walk on the Firefighters and Parish.

Saturday morning Stew, Ray and I met at the NSC for a walk. As I made my way into Douglas a few groups of fellow walkers were already out on their way through Braddan and also at the top of the Ballahutchin heading in the direction of the course, possibly towards Santon. We decided to follow the same route but again turning left at the end of the Oatlands Road to head back through Crogga Mill and along Marine Drive to finish back at the NSC but not before pausing at The Buttery (The Caff was packed) for breakfast.

This morning (Sunday) I met up with Dave Walker for a stroll, Dave was unable to make it out yesterday due to work commitments. This week has seen me cover more mileage than any other since New Year partly due to being off work. I return to work tomorrow so the next weeks training will be interrupted by the inconvenience of working evenings from Thursday. I may have to consider walking to Pulrose from Peel on Thursday to make up for the session I will miss.

Entries close for the Firefighters Memorial Walk on the 13th April, so if you haven't entered yet get those entries in so not to miss out on a great event.





Sunday, 26 February 2017

Change of Plan

I had planned to compete yesterday (Saturday) on the Manx Harriers organised Open 10 / 20k Walks and Run held at the National sports Centre. After completing the new bathroom ceiling task I had started on Thursday I settled down on Friday evening and made the decision I was not going to race. my Achilles had been sore after a gruesome massage on Thursday and although I was confident I could walk the distance I wasn't sure I could maintain the pace over 20k. I had PB'd last time out on the final round of the winter league but the last 1600 meters of that race I had felt my calf and in turn my Achilles tightening. I still wanted to do something so contacted Richard to see if he was still planning on taking part in the 10K run being held after the 20k walk. It turned out he had decided to give it a miss also so we agreed to meet at the NSC as usual for a Saturday morning stroll. The weather on waking was wet and windy to say the least but within 30 minutes it had improved and by the time I had got to Douglas the rain had stopped. We headed for a lap of Baldwin which is normally quite sheltered but decided to carry on further as the weather improved. just short of 18 miles were covered by the time we returned to the NSC. My ankle was no worse than when I started and of course I will never know if it would have been the same had I taken part in the race.

History was made on the 20k walk in that the event was won for the first time by a Female. Hannah Hunter completed the distance in a time of 1:47:18 2nd place went to Erika Kelly 17 seconds slower but still a massively impressive time. I see Hannah training most days  between Peel and Douglas, the effort and commitment she puts in makes this result much deserved. The same has to be said for Erika who started her journey into race walking not long after myself in 2014 attending coaching sessions with Bridget Kaneen on a Saturday morning in Peel



Hannah and Erika 1st and 2nd overall



Tuesday the 28th February sees the annual Parish Talk. It’s being held at Keyll Darree Education and Training Centre near to Noble’s Hospital. Doors open at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Entry is free, and tea, coffee and biscuits will be served. The event will last around an hour and a half.

Friday, 24 February 2017

What Day Is It!


I have started writing this during my last night shift of this cycle (01.26) and already I am struggling to remember what I have done training wise earlier in the week. I know I was definitely out on Tuesday night as usual but for the life of me can not remember Monday evenings training if any. Nights seem to have that effect on me. Wednesday I must of premeditated the weather to come on Thursday and walked with Sam Fletcher who is getting back into his training after an elongated break. Sam decided around late November to take some time out and come back fresh in the new year, unfortunately, his wife Laura became ill and training, not surprisingly, took another knock. Sam, over the last couple of years, has been a strong competitor finishing 2nd last year to Richard Gerrard on the Ramsey Bakery End to End walk and winning the Fire fighters memorial walk back in April. He was also set for a really good finish on the 2016 Parish Walk before suffering a hamstring injury on the way out of the Maughold loop which ultimately saw him retire from the race whilst in 7th position.


As mentioned the weather on Thursday was awful with damage caused to property, tree felling and flooding in some places. Richard Wild was still keen enough to put the group message out to see if anyone was training at 17.30 as usual. One or two had legitimate excuses why they wouldn't be turning up, I played the work card and chickened out turning my hand instead to a little D.I.Y job that turned out as equally bad as a walk in the wind and pissing rain would have. In fact, if I'm honest, I think the walk would have turned out better! Once finished here in the morning I will grab a couple of hours kip and start the task over. The one good thing about completing a set of nights is I am now off for the next 9 days, returning to work a week on Monday, by then we will already be 6 days into March with only 47 days until the 2017 Firefighters memorial walk.




Peel Breakwater and Lighthouse is in there somewhere.




I have entered the Manx Harriers Open 20k Walk  tomorrow so will have to only get slightly drunk tonight and steer away from a fish supper on the way home. Saturday night however will be a totally different affair with much drinking and eating if only to celebrate the end of another week of working nights!!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Well Done Julie!



I will start this week’s Blog by congratulating Julie Barlow on winning the 2016 / 17 Winter walking league. Julie has shown consistent improvement and was overall victor in the 10km league with a clear margin over Stewart Jones and last year’s winner Tony Edwards. Although not racing last weekend Dale Farquhar has set some massively impressive times this series along with Gianni Epifani who went just under 49 minutes last Sunday.


Compared to last week the miles have been quite low. I didn't walk on Monday due to being on an evening shift at work but managed to swap Tuesdays evening to a day shift so I could get out that evening. Wednesday again was an evening shift so again work got in the way of training. Being on evenings does mean I have the mornings free so there really is no excuse other than Christine is home most mornings as she does not need to be at work till after lunch, so spending time with her either shopping, carrying out D.I.Y duties or just nipping down to the local cafĂ© for coffee is the best excuse I can come up with.


 Thursday night was spent with a few work colleagues at the Hooded Ram in Douglas for a curry and drinks so my usual Thursday evening blast around Douglas was moved over to Friday morning, Dave had asked the question on Thursday evening if anyone fancied walking Friday a.m. so it made the decision a lot easier to leave the pub when I was offered a lift back to Peel, at a rather early time of 21.30, knowing I had planned to walk the next morning.


 I started my set of nights on Friday / Saturday morning for the next 7 days so the usual arrangement of leaving work and meeting up with the group at the NSC was arranged. The route in the end saw us back in Douglas after covering 16 miles , so that and the 13 miles covered the morning before, have ended the week well with the possibility of a few more miles on Sunday being gained.


 The weeks already since New Year seem to be flying past with the last round of the winter league now gone and the Open Meeting at the NSC only a week away. Interest in the Firefighters Memorial Walk seems to be building rapidly with the first 39 entries already in. The inclusion of the 20 mile event, finishing at Bride church, for those 17 years and over, will hopefully tempt more people to take part in what is a great event.


 Before work on Friday I watched a program on ITV filmed on the Isle of Man called Britain's Best Walks it took in three routes, Dhoon Glen, Laxey and Snaefell if you did not catch it its really worth a watch, if only like me, you need reminding every so often just how lucky we are to live on this fantastic Island. The Race the Sun event gives the opportunity to see what the Island has to offer whilst running along the coastal paths of the island starting and finishing in Peel  I have chosen to do the first leg across Peel headland to White Strand before taking in a short section of road and turning on to the old railway line at Knocksharry Stop, Glen Mooar, Glen Wyllin and finishing at Ballaugh beach car park where I will hand the timing chip over to are second team member Dale Farquhar who will carry on over the beach and dunes via Blue Point and Smeale as far as the most Northern point at the Point of Ayre. I will need to plan between now and May some familiarisation walks / runs of the route before setting off on the day. I’m fairly confident but there is a section just after Bishops Court, following the old railway line, where you turn to head down onto the beach so I really need to be sure where this is so as not to run past. Luckily Christine works at Penny Bridge equestrian centre in Kirk Michael and hacks out along the old line most weeks so has a fairly good idea where I need to turn off, but more importantly, she can collect me from Ballaugh beach to save me having to walk back or try logistically to leave a car there so I have my own transport back home. I am hopeful the Achilles issue will be resolved by then, it was pain free racing last Sunday but has niggled a bit this week when training just enough to remind me it’s still there. I have another session of friction massage planned for next week, although painful I really do feel the effort both Bronwyn and Jorel are putting in is starting to pay off, I am also going to order some ankle supports next week to try.


 If you have not entered next weekend’s Open Meeting at the NSC but you could spare a couple of hours on Saturday I know Bridget Kaneen and the rest of the organisation team would appreciate any help with lap counting, marshalling or even tea making on the day. Bridget can be contacted on 497594 if you can help out.