The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Week 16

Some ramblings before the Fling.  It's Thursday night and true to form I still have to get ready for this weekends ultra, the famous Highland Fling.  Skye and Lynne have other plans this weekend so I'm going solo on this event for the first time.  I am staying in Tyndrum Friday night / Saturday morning and catching the 0345 bus to Milngavie.

Mileage is well down but there's a couple of reasons for this.  Late finishes at work makes it impractical to run home, even though it's only three miles.  Lift offers from a colleague have been too convenient meaning midweek runs are down.  I've also been running with Lynne at the weekend, enjoying the company and helping increase Lynnes mileage.  On Sunday we completed 9 miles, Lynnes longest run yet.  I should have continued and put higher training miles in but I was content and called it tapering for the Fling.

Niggles - the calf is still making it's presence felt.  I didn't manage to get an appointment with the physio so I'm going to have to "wing it" as they say.  On the same leg I feel like I have shin splints, and with such low training I have no idea where that came from.

I better get ready, the forecast is cold so it looks like I'll have to be prepared and pack winter kit.

Mon 3, Tues 3, Sun 9.  Weekly total 15 miles.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Weeks 14 and 15

My Facebook news feed highlighted the More Mile R66 cushioned running shoes.  With the marketing statement saying "More Mile’s R66 Running Shoe offers superior cushioning to ensure all day distance comfort" and austerity forcing cutbacks, at £29.99 a pair I just had to give them a try.

On arrival, I was surprised just how lightweight the shoes were, to the point of being suspicious of receiving an empty shoe box through the post.  The black and white range is a good looking shoe which wouldn't be out of place wearing as an everyday trainer.  Knowing they are road shoes I was hoping they would be suitable for trail as well.  One look at the sole quashed that idea unless the surface is hard packed and dry, the tread is very shallow and a mostly smooth underside means sticking to the road.  More Mile do a trail shoe (Cheviot) which I may try in future.  

I took a chance and ordered my usual size 9 which is just bordering on being tight at the toes so I would definitely order a half or full size larger next time, particularly if they are being used as marketed for long runs.

Putting them on, the back of the shoe was very shallow.  It felt as if they may slip off my feet but they stayed in place for the duration of the run.  Although classed as superior cushioning, the sole felt very firm.  I have used them for all my 3 mile runs home from work and to be honest I would be wary of putting in high miles but may start using them for 8 to 10 mile outings.

What they will be perfect for is short breaks and holidays, the kind where luggage space is at a premium and I need a casual shoe that can double as a running shoe.

Training wise, after the Cateran runs I have trailed off a bit.  I did a Saturday night run round the outskirts of Aberdeen in foul weather, eventually finding myself on the AWPR development site at Kirkhill Forest by accident.  To say it was a mud bath is an understatement, it was very eerie passing all the earth moving machinery, sitting idle waiting for their operators to return.

I still have a niggle with my calf and with the Fling approaching a visit to the physio may be in order.

Week ending 10th April.  Mon 3, Tues 3, Thurs 3, Fri 3, Sat 19, Sun 8.  Weekly total 39 miles.
Mon 3, Tues 3, Wed 3, Thurs 3, Fri 3, Sun 8.  Weekly total 23 miles. 


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Weeks 12 and 13

I returned to the Cateran trail twice this past week, the first time since completing the DC110 last year.  As reported in earlier posts, I don't feel as fit as I have in previous years.  This didn't stop me replying to Alyson, who posted on Facebook she was doing a night run on the Cateran trail and was looking for company.  I needed a reason to do some high miles and where better than the "special trail".

This was my third year in a row where I trained overnight on the Cateran, this may well become a yearly visit for me.  I was thinking of organising and posting myself before Alyson saved me the bother, I had no hesitation in replying and participating in the run.

I won't go too much into detail - we left Blairgowrie at 2200 hours on a clear mild spring moonlit night.  One of the reasons for liking this part of the trail is the night time view over Perthshire and it did not disappoint.  The moon was diffused behind clouds, below were the orange glow of various towns, a tower in the distance was lit by red lights and acted as a landmark till clear of Alyth.  The training run felt good, so good I started to name it "The Perfect Run".  I felt strong, not out of breath, heart rate zone good, almost like floating across the trail.  I knew it wouldn't last but made the most of it while it while I could.

There were a couple of reasons why this was labelled a perfect run.  First of all, great company, Alyson, a fellow DC110 runner and previous training partner helped the miles go by.  Secondly, we had Duncan as support.  I'm not used to support during long training runs but having Duncan meant a far lighter load to carry and reassurance if anything was to go wrong.

A second night time sortie was organised, the same route with Alyson and Karen.  On leaving for Spittal, I realised my Hokas were in poor shape.  On my previous run, the insoles parted company with the bottom of the shoe.  My back up and even older Hokas with lack of tread were not suitable for the Cateran "bog"sections.  This left me with my relatively untested and un-cushioned Saucony Xodus for the run.  I was a bit apprehensive using these as quite a few miles of the Cateran are on road.

I needn't have worried, the shoes performed admirably.  Although a bit hard on road, the trade off was worth it for secure grip in the muddy sections.  After years of using Hokas could this be a swing away from thick cushioned shoes?  Maybe not, I've ordered a pair of More Mile R66 shoes, I'll give a review when they arrive.

It was another spectacular nigh time Cateran run, this time in clear frosty conditions.  The company of Alyson and Karen made the miles fly past.  The forest trail above Loch Shandra was severely churned up by forestry machinery making progress difficult, hopefully this won't be the case in May.

After two night time jaunts on the Cateran my training is now back on track.  It's up to me to keep the momentum going and do the required training before my next event, The Highland Fling.

Week ending March 27th - Tues 3, Fri/Sat 32, Sun 5.  Weekly total 40 miles.
Thurs/Fri 32, Sun 6.  Weekly total 38 miles.