Thursday, 14 April 2011

Time for a holiday..........

I've not blogged for a while.  I've got a lot going on at the moment and I'm not feeling the best mentally or physically.  I've not run since the 29 miler but have just received my booklet for the Fellsman (panic). 

So, I'm off to Scotland for a week with the boyf and the dogs to do a bit of MTBing, some walking and some running.  I need to get the enjoyment back into it.

Dietwise I'm on and off the 811 but I'm staying 100% vegan.  I'm loving my frozen banana and date smoothies and feel better on the days I'm 811rv.  It's a transitional process, and at least I'm going in the right direction.  I know it's the right thing to do, so I'll keep on with it.

Hopefully my next blog will show evidence of a re-charged Deb ready to crack on and complete both the Fellsman AND the Housman Hundred.  All I'm looking for is a completion, and I'm sure I'll achieve it!

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Three Shires - 29 miles..... of hills......

Nice weather - NOT!  Roachford Rocks in background...

We'd been promised ok weather, but that promise wasn't kept!  The alarm went off at 4.15am (on a Saturday.... I know!) and the preceding week of insomnia was really beginning to catch up on me already.  Still, we got ourselves up and out and arrived at the venue in Staffordshire at 7.20 ready for an 8am start.  Nice hall, lots of nice toilets and a welcome cuppa and biscuit.  I'd drunk my banana, pineapple & date smoothie  (with a stick of celery for sodium) on the journey so managed to avoid the temptation of the biscuits.

The Three Shires (Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire) is run by the LDWA Staffs branch and involves loops using a single venue for CP2 and CP3 before a return to the venue.  CP1 is just a table on the side of the road (with wet biscuits as it transpired).  The usual crowd were there at the start, and the event had reached its maximum of 160 participants.

Roachford Rocks.... great bouldering!

We set off up a long hill to an exposed trig point on Gun Hill.  I HATE uphill starts as my legs don't warm up till about 4 miles in, so I slogged up.  The weather looked like a storm was imminent, so we really didn't want to be that high up!  We trotted all the way down the other side on a long and rewarding downhill section, but I just couldn't settle into a rhythm, I couldn't get my 'eye in' and bound down like normal..... I was overly cautious.  I don't know why...perhaps concern about knee pain after last week, so maybe the fact I was so tired..... not sure, but it felt horrid!

The long down was followed by a very long up towards the imposing rocks we could see looming ahead of us.  We climbed through fields and farmyards until we eventually reached Roachford Rocks.  There were people bouldering up there, and you can see from the pics that it is a great place for them to be!  We got some welcome shelter in the wooded area, but soon ventured out onto the ridge.

Trig on the ridge.... awful weather - we just had to get down!

We hit the ridge at precisely the wrong time as the rain and dark clouds came slowly creeping over the rocks and sat directly above us.  Despite the warm air temperature, the wind was cold.  Fortunately it was behind us so we were protected by our packs.  After what seemed an eternity on the tops we began snaking our way downhill again along the slabbed path.  They looked like they were going to be treacherous, but we managed to trot our way down well.  I still had no confidence though, and I was beginning to get a bit fed up. 

Sandy track to the Packhorse Bridge

CP1 was a pile of wet biscuits and a drink on the side of a fell - not nice for the marshalls at all, and not much better for us.  We continued downwards along a rocky stream bed and my ankles seemed to be all over the place.  I was protected my knee and so allowing my ankles to take the motion - something I was going to pay for later!  We continued right down into the valley bottom, taking in a a lovely Youth Hostel building and following a stream to a lovely old packhorse bridge and some sandy tracks..... not easy on the legs!

After that it was up again to CP2.  We missed out Shuttlingsloe as it was a steep up and steep down for no real reason (you can see I was fed up by now!) and I didn't see the point in punishing my already aching ankles!  CP2 (and 3) was in a village hall and was well stocked with food.  True to form, Rich stuffed sausage rolls and pork pies down his face, and I had to abandon my banana for a biscuit.

Camber and fields on the 7 mile loop..... ankle breakers!

Leaving CP2 we then had to do a 7 mile loop to return to the same CP.  This was demoralising... you felt you were doing a loop for the sake of it, rather than actually travelling somewhere new.  Anyway, what didn't help was that the loop was almost all on a camber (the same camber too) and all it did was cause more problems for my ankles.  At around 20 miles I gave in and said I couldn't run anymore, and we then went into 'get home' mode.  We completed the loop, went to CP3 for food (I'd eaten my dates instead) and then set off on the final 7 miles home.

Lovely church at Wildboarclough - by CP2/3

It was a slog and a drag all the way home.  We looked back to the earlier 7 mile loop and could see the walkers making their way across the field.... we were glad it wasn't us!  We were overtaken by runners (and a few fast walkers) on this slog to the finish, and the fact we were now travelling so slowly didn't help matters.  It was still very hilly, and each hill just seemed worse - either longer or steeper....... yep - I was TOTALLY fed up!

Eventually we got to the finish.  The one good thing was that the food was AMAZING!  Rice and salad, bean salads, quiche, pork pies and lovely lovely puddings.  OK, so I stayed vegan but the raw went out the window..... I was fed up and hungry, so I won't apologise for that!  Certificates at the end but no badge (gutted).  My legs were killing (both ankles/Achilles and hip) and I just wanted to go home.  Could barely keep awake in the car on the way home.... I was knackered.

The sun came out on the final stretch - but I still wasn't happy!

I woke up Sunday morning in agony - ankles would not flex at all, and my hip did not allow for movement up or down hill.  I've never been bad like this after a run - not even after the 90 earlier in the year.  I need to just put this down to a bad day and NOT hold onto it, but I am now worrying about the Fellsman and the Hundred.  I need to put the negative thoughts out of my head!  Needless to say, we didn't go to Blubberhouses, and I need to see what my ankles are like before I decided if I'm going to Calderdale (36) next week.  Maybe my body is finally saying 'no thanks' or maybe I'm just tired and got too much going on at the moment...... time will tell.....

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Off the wagon....

7 perfect days (pretty much), really enjoying it, no hunger, no cravings then.... I fell off my wagon!  Annoyed at myself because I wasn't hungry or craving, I just chose to eat rubbish because I was feeling a bit down (lots going on at home, work etc) and was kind of punishing myself I think.  The fact I'd lost no weight at all made me want to sabotage the plan, but it's not particularly helpful in the long run!  Only good thing about it is that the foods I had tasted really fatty, creamy, rich and pretty horrible actually, so I've written it all down so that when I want or crave them in the future, I remember that they're not as lovely as I might think!

So, back on the wagon tomorrow as I want to try running this weekend on the 811rv system, or at least give it a go!  Friday I will eat lots of fruit to carb my body up, then I'm planning on keeping it simple at the weekend with just water, bananas and dates with some grapes in the car for the way home... nice and juicy!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

So - the weekend..... we've got about 6 weeks till Fellsman and 8 weeks till the 100 and I'm NO way fit enough to even get round, so it's important that we do the 2 days this weekend (body permitting).  It's 29 miles on Saturday at the Three Shires, then 23 miles on the Sunday at Blubberhouses.  I'm pleased the shorter one is on Sunday!  Saturday will be no problem, we'll get round, but we'll take it very steady (yes - even steadier than usual!) and aim to get round in one healthy piece so we can at least arrive at the start on Sunday.

Sunday's will just be a case of getting round, and I'm happy if we just walk/shuffle round as long as we get out and do it.  Fellsman in 62 miles, so we need to make sure we can do it even if we break it up over two days.  I've run 62 in one go and 70 over 2 days as well as 3-4 50 milers.  Rich has never gone over 31 miles, and he's never completed two long runs on consecutive days.... so this weekend is about getting round!

We'll be knackered on Monday!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Day 6 of 811rv....

So, I'm on day 6, and I'd LOVE to say I haven't cheated.... but I did one day.  For no apparent reason (wasn't hungry, craving or anything) I decided to eat a biscuit.  On the upside, I ate only one (I can NEVER eat only one!) and afterwards I felt a bit strange, like I had an invader in my tummy!

Apart from that, all is well.  I'm not hungry at all (if I am, I eat fruit) and I'm eating 1300-1800 cals a day which is too low, but all I can manage volume-wise so far.  No cravings, in fact I've tried to tempt myself a few times and gone through the list.... chips, chocolate, cake, biscuits, crisps..... but nothing takes my fancy.  Again - highly unusual for me - I can talk myself into eating rubbish quite easily, but I genuinely don't fancy it!

Stress of mealtime options has gone, and it's just the excitement of which smoothie to eat today (melon & grapes = good, pear & kiwi = acidic and horrid!).  I've had a few mono meals - usually just bananas, just grapes, just melons etc, and my smoothies are usually just two fruits.  I'm loving my dates of an evening, just 50g as a 'treat' and so I can get my cals without the volume at night.

I'm hitting 90/5/5 everyday easily and I don't worry about it too much now.  I'm concentrating on fruit and not worrying about the greens too much as I settle in, but sometimes of an evening I feel munchy, and I go to the fridge and pull out all the cucumber, lettuce and cherry toms.... it's what I REALLY fancy!!  Strange, but nice.

On the downside, no more weightloss (NOT happy) so I'm still at 2lbs!!  Still, I can't possibly put weight on on this diet!!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Day Three of 811rv

I'm feeling good!  No cravings, no hunger, no problems.  I'm drinking a lot more water than I thought I would (considering I've upped my fruit and veg considerably) but apparently this can be due to the amount of bananas I'm eating - my body hasn't caught up with me yet!  Dr Doug Graham's other book arrived yesterday "Nutrition and Athletic Performance" which is much more tailored to me and what I want from the diet.  I read it in 2 hours, but I LOVED it!  Lots of ideas (and help on the forum too) regarding what I can take with me on long runs etc.

I'm struggling to eat enough cals (never thought I'd say that!) but the ratio is easy.  I'm nearing 90/5/5 rather than 80/10/10 which is not an issue!  I had a few dates last night to add some extra cals, but even then I only got 1200 down my neck!  I'm trying harder today!

So far I've eaten a whole watermelon (half as a fruit, and half blended to make a smoothie) and I've got 5 bananas chopped up for my lunch.  I should be aiming for about 8-10 really, but I'll have to work up towards that.  My body feels light, I've lost 2lbs and 1.2% body fat - but I'm not doing this for weightloss, it's health and athleticism I'm working towards. 

I've not been hungry, but the first night I felt 'empty' like I needed something heavy in my tummy.  Conversely, it's the LAST thing I need in my tummy, but it's all about retraining the mind - my body is MORE than happy with the nutritional change!

So - all good.  I'm learning more from the forums and reading and re-reading Dr Doug's two books.  I'm LOVING my home-made smoothies - a particular favourite being frozen melon with red grapes.....pure nectar!

Melon and red grape smoothie - LUSH!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Refining the diet....

As you know may know, I've been veggie since I was 12, vegan on and off for years, and managed 6 months 90% raw vegan last year. I felt amazing during the raw vegan stage and my weight levelled out, recovery improved, energy increased.  Then.... for a variety of reasons..... I fell off the wagon, much to my detriment.

So - I have decided to get myself back onto the RV wagon.  I've been reading up (re-reading Natalia Rose's books that inspired me last June) and getting to grips with Dr Doug Graham through his book "80/10/10" and I've committed myself to it for a minimum period of 28 days.  Once the 28 days are over, I'll see how I feel, but judging by my successes last year, I think I'll be good.  More and more endurance athletes are taking  up a vegan lifestyle, and more of them are refining it further to achieve raw vegan - with considerable success.

Evening Meal - HUGE and delicious!
 Anyway - thought I'd let you know as I'll be commenting on progress on here.  I'm giving it the full 28 days of no-cheating, 100% 811rv and I'll report back truthfully on all I experience.

For info - my food today has been:
Breakfast:  Smoothie made of 2 bananas, 1 pineapple, 100g blueberries (gorgeous!)
                 200g melon
Lunch:       4 bananas with 200g of strawberries
Snack:       200g red grapes
Tea:          Romaine lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber
Supper:     About 7pm I'm going to have a raspberry and mango smoothie.... can't wait!

Raspberry and Mango Smoothie - YUM!

I've easily achieve the 80/10/10 (80 is a MINIMUM for the carbs....) as it's currently coming in as about 90/6/4.  Not been hungry, and really enjoyed the taste of the food.  No cravings yet.......

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Two Crosses - crashed out.....

Woke up early, weather not the best, but ok for running.  Before Rich even got out of bed he warned me he may not be running - his knee had kept him awake during the night and pressure on it was not likely to help.  After walking up and down the stairs a few times he decided he may give it a go, and pull out if needs be.

So, we got to the start at Tottington Youth Club, Bury.  The drizzle was persistent, and we should really have started in our Pertex, but we decided to trust the weather forecast that said it was soon to dry up.... wrong!

Two Crosses is an LDWA event run by East Lancs Group (our own group) and we have been looking forward to having a chat at every checkpoint along the way.  £6.50 entry included well-stocked checkpoints, tea and toast at the start and an array of soups with bread, puddings and cookies at the end.

The start - Tottington Youth Club, Bury

We set off uphill through the housing estate and climbed our way up towards the misty tops.  Irritatingly, RIch's knee seemed to be fine, but my knee decided it was not having any of this running lark!  The ground was pretty sticky and wet in places, which really didn't help matters.

Jumbles Reservoir
We had a nice long run down towards Jumbles Reservoir, out the other side and up to Affetside and the first checkpoint at Turton Tower.  My knee was not coping with the long downhill sections, and the pressure on it uphill meant we were slowing right down in the first few miles!  Not good.  What was worse was that the weather was not getting better and we had managed to get quite cold (because we were moving pretty slowly and not generating much warmth). 

We passed the split for the 18 or 25 mile option, and were thinking off the shorter route, then realised we only had the description for the 25 miler.  So we decided to battle on.  Then I saw the long slog we were due up the next hill, and as my knee gave way on the downhill road section I decided enough was enough.

We walked back to the split and got a lift back in the sweep up car.  It was gutting because we'd been looking forward to this, but with the double weekend coming up in a fortnight (29 miles on the Sat and 23 miles on the Sun) it would be silly to risk it all now.  Two weeks rest and I hope it'll all have settled back down.  I'll give Chester a miss next weekend, perhaps go do the social walk with the East Lancs group instead.  We'll see.