I’ve always had a race that I wanted badly. For some reason, I can’t tell you why, I have always been drawn to Leadville. I don’t know if it is because it is tough. I don’t know if it is the idea of the challenge of altitude with ears that I am not sure can deal with it. Or whether it is the small town romance. Over the last few weeks, I have been watching and listening to the stories of Western States. The story of Gordy Ainsleigh. The heroics of Scott Jurek. The beard of Rob Krar. This is now firmly on my radar. It is on that journey, the path from A to B goes via Auburn. Let’s nail the time needed at the HK100.
I want this race. I want this. I want this buckle. I know the only way to earn it is by starting now. Not tomorrow.
As I slowly grow older and fade to a greyer state, my wife keeps me young. Michceala is a few years younger than me and when I met her she introduced me to a whole wave of new music. Not new per se, but stuff I didn’t listen to because I was stuck in a state of James Blunt-ness. A Starbucks haven of middle of the road music. I was ageing quicker. I blame the previous incumbent whose highlight of music taste was either Wham or George Michael or even James Blunt. I was being musically waterboarded.
Anyway, a band Michceala introduced me to was the Maccabees. A band from London so not really sure how I missed them and missed their albums. This song is off their new album and I absolutely love it.
“Your best friends forgive you,
Your best friends forget you get old, you get old”
On a side note, an inspirational friend, Andre, completed the Angeles Crest 100 Endurance Run this weekend. A grand slammer, a 200 miler, Badwater finisher, and now he has completed one of the hardest races in the US. A massive well done to him and massively proud to know such a phenomenal human being. Andre has inspired me as much as any other person if not more.
You can hear more about him here
Incredibly I am on an earlier podcast (click here). To be interviewed was an utter privilege so a massive thanks to Vince.—
This week was a final push before heading back to England. Andy, my coach from Mile 27, wanted to make sure the blisters were gone before we pushed on. They were still pretty painful on Monday afternoon so I waited till Tuesday morning to do a little jog.
Monday – Rest Day / Blisteritis
Distance – 0 km
Pace – 0.00km
Shoes – Salomon X Series during the day with lots of blister plasters.
Nutrition – Nothing
Tuesday – Departing Blister City
Three laps of the fields at Tonbridge School. Gorgeous day so ended up topless. Felt good. Left foot perfect and right still a touch tender but will be perfect by tomorrow. Can’t wait to get back on this.
Time – 1 hour
Shoes – Inov8 Terraclaw 250
Nutrition – 500 ml water, GU Salted Caramel Gel
Wednesday – Foolish Games
No battery in my phone or Suunto. Stupid fool. Great day in London watching Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and a trip to the British Museum. What a phenomenal building. A really boring get it done type of run. 4 laps of the rugby pitches at the school. Dull, arduous, but mentally a challenge. Not overly quick, not overly slow.
Distance – 17km – worked out on Movescount. 4 laps of the rugby fields.
Time – 2:14
Shoes – Salomon X-Series
Nutrition – Nothing
Thursday – Bodyweight Dynamic Exercises
Spent the day in London again. Ended up travelling to Marylebone just to pick up copies of a magazine called Like The Wind. Just a phenomenal piece of writing/photography/poetry. Just a stunning magazine. So much so that I am meeting Simon the editor on Saturday to try and get this to Hong Kong. Seriously exciting.Bought another pair of Inov8 Terraclaw for my good friend Nic and some more of the Ultra Mid Socks. Amazingly great socks. There was so much I wanted to buy. If you are ever in London, you should definitely visit Southampton Street. I know my next trip will be based here!
Friday – Evening Sojourn or Where Steve Got Seriously Seriously Lost Several Times
In all honesty, I just wasn’t feeling up for a run. I just didn’t fancy it. I procrastinated and delayed the simple idea of running. I didn’t go in the morning. Instead I had a Greggs Cheese and Onion Pastie. I didn’t go in the afternoon. I didn’t go in the early evening. Then at 7:45pm I just went. And boy I was glad I did. Some seriously stunning views off the trail and eventually ended up at the side of a motorway. Oops. Turned around and followed another trail and ended up at the side of a river with no bridge. Continued on another different trail and ended up next to a stunning fishing lake. But I was off the route I had put into my Ambit 3 and my location service wasn’t working on my phone. Eventually ended up running through some housing estates in Tonbridge before finally arriving back at the school. Just a pure adventure.
Distance – 11.8 km
Time – 1 hour 30 minutes. 2 hours out in total. (30 minutes staring at maps)
Pace – 6:37/km
Shoes – Inov8 Terraclaw 250
Nutrition – 500 ml water, 500ml Tailwind Mandarin Orange
Saturday – The Lakes 2.5
Just one of those great days. Had to go and meet Simon from Like The Wind to have a chat about getting the magazine in Asia. Really chuffed that we are able to work together. Such a stunning piece of journalism and artwork. Unfortunately they don’t have any of the first edition left. Was really good chatting about links and synergistic projects that could be workable. Lots to think about anyway.
He kindly gave me a cap though – which will be seen a lot when I’m in Race Director mode. Can’t wait to show people in Hong Kong the magazine! September will be when we have it in Hong Kong. Went to a great little coffee place called Timber Yard. Really nice.
After a 2 and a half hour journey back from Charing Cross with a bus replacement service, I decided to go for a run. Suunto dead so just worked everything out when I returned. Great run along the same lakes that I discovered last night. Did a few laps as was just beautiful as the sun was out in full force. Swans, ducks and geese. A few squirrels passed my path. Days like this really make me miss London massively but I know that in terms of lifestyle and the fact that I have so many various things going on – I wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff that I am. Well not working full time as a teacher anyway. A pretty good afternoon and felt pretty comfortable. Not the fastest Ive ever ran but was nice to just take it easy and spend time on feet.
Distance – 18.7 km
Time – 2 hours 35 minutes
Shoes – Salomon X-Series – lots of flat so wanted to see how these compared to the Inov8 on long flat hard trails.
Nutrition – 500 ml Tailwind, 500 ml water, 1 hammer chocolate gel.
Sunday – time ticks for no run
Sadly no time for a final running with the departure tomorrow. Was hoping to smash the 60 km mark for the week. Never mind. Always next week.
Total km – 57.6 km
Total Time on Feet – 7 hrs 40 mins
Total Elevation – 42m
Much better than last week. Still feel that I am missing around 10-20km off what I would like but will wait to hear from Andy. Feel comfortable. Switching the shoes around definitely is helping with strengthening different muscles as don’t have as much pain in certain areas as usual. The Inov8 and X-Series are bloody great shoes. Would definitely recommend to anyone. Finding running on flats is causing all sorts of little triggers in the calves. Just not used to this much flat. Might have to look into adding a short 5km flat run in somewhere when I get back to Hong Kong. The 1210’s need more longer runs to do the weight and cushioning justice. Will get them out for a long, long run next week back in Hong Kong… where it just recorded the hottest day ever, great(!)