Big_G


Latest posts by Big_G

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Shades Marathon Training

Posted: Today at 18:07

Cal, I do have a little list (in my head) titled "things that need doing", but I tend to just get on with stuff when the weather's bad.  I do realise that with that rule, the garden fence will never get done....

Shades, yeah I think the Vietnamese wouldn't have understood Cream Teas.  Similarly, when I first went over I didn't understand the concept of a dish called Pho for breakfast (it's basically soup, with different meat and a separate dish of fresh veg that you put in the soup yourself....for breakfast), but after a month of that I grew to really like it!  One of the vets in Vietnam is hoping to come over here at some point for a few weeks at the zoo, so if he does I'll be sure to introduce him to the cream tea...Devon-style, naturally!

I did 5-miles last night and 10-miles this afternoon, all at an easy pace.  Felt okay....not great, but okay.

Tomorrow I'm going kayaking with a mate on the River Exe.  The River Exe has a couple of pubs on it that have parking spaces (is that the correct term?) for kayaks so I think we're heading to those  Kayaking is something I've wanted to get in to for a little while, but never looked into it properly.  But, I went kayaking in the sea earlier in the summer and also went a couple of times in Vietnam, so with tomorrow it will be the most I've ever done in a summer.  I don't own my own one as they're fairly cheap to rent for a day or half day.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: Yesterday at 17:13

Hi Shades, just a quick one to say that the marathon I'm doing is Barnstaple so it's in 3 weeks time (25/9).

Mowzer, good luck with the painting.  I need to do my fence really, but it's another thing I keep putting off doing!  For example, I could have done it today I suppose, but instead I went for a walk and a cream tea  I did love the food in Vietnam, but I have missed the cream teas!

Thanks Ian, good luck to you too!

Saturday 5K ParkRuns

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 17:13

Killerton was mentioned above and Parke, also in Devon, is another hilly off-roader.  324ft of elevation according to Strava.  It's a great route though, and the times vary wildly depending on if it's been raining or not.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 29/08/2016 at 10:21

A great write up there Shades.  It sounded like a real trip down memory lane for you!  3 pubs in a line of cottages sounded really good from years gone by, and I suspect is something that is incredibly rare these days.  Unfortunately, (in the UK any way) many of those pubs are long gone now - last I read is that traditional pubs are still closing at 27 pubs a week in the UK as they just can't make it pay with all the taxes and other overheads.  Also, as many pubs are tied to a national/international brewery, they are limited to which beers they can sell so often can't sell local beers that may be brewed a short distance from their premises.  Also, I think for many pubs, at best they get bought out by developers and turned into flats, or at worst knocked down totally and the plot redeveloped  You have probably picked up in my time on here that I like my real ale and in many ways I think Wetherspoons is really good in that they offer well priced, well kept, local ale, but in other ways I can't help but think that they may be part of the problem too with them pushing the prices down - you can regularly get a decent pint of local ale for about £2 to £2.29, which I suppose the local pubs can't compete with.  But I did take delight when they started "going after" the coffee shop chains - unlimited, filtered coffee in a mug for £1.29 between 10am and 2pm every day, and it's not that bad either.

Mowzer, another great report from you.  As a matter of interest, do the LDWA events count towards your marathon total?  What number are you on now?

Jugula, yes I did enjoy the Torquay game as they won 2-1.  It was a good atmosphere and it was an exciting game as it was end-to-end although I have to say the quality was, let's say, "variable".  I did read with amusement that at a recent away game, Torquay's bus broke down so the players had to get taxis into the ground, and then started playing about 15mins after they arrived - they lost that game.  Anyway, the next two weekends are also home games, so it's 3 home games in 3 weekends.

Ian, not trying to turn this into a football thread, but how did your team get on?  Did you enjoy the match?

On Saturday evening, a few of us went to an open-air theatre production of Hound of the Baskervilles.  It was held at Agatha Chritie's house (Greenway), and it was really good.  We took picnics and wine, and the second half was as the light was fading so they had spot lights set up, and you could hear the owls and other birds in the trees surrounding the stage area.  It was really good, helped by the fact that we were very lucky with the weather!

As for me, I went out for a 10-miler this morning, but cut it short (7-miles) as my guts were playing up.  As well as that, my legs are still very achy - generally, I feel very heavy/ploddy although my body weight is fine.  Hmmmm.  I have to say, I'm already worried about this marathon I've got coming up....I even have a slight doubt about the Half next week!  Gulp!  Hopefully my next run will be better.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 22:12
Jugula, really sorry to hear your news and that your Dad's wife is making things difficult for you. I know there's nothing I can really say, but try and take care of yourself and your family.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 08:45

I did a 7-miler this morning.  After saying I'd do everything slowly for the next couple of weeks, I just felt the need to turn the legs over a bit faster so I did alternate steady miles (10:30min/mile) and quicker (8min/mile) miles for the session, so just 3 miles at the quicker pace.  It felt quite good, but I could still feel the run I did yesterday in my legs.  It always amazes me how quickly fitness goes, after just a month of very little running!  

I can't remember if I said, but I am now a season ticket holder for the mighty Torquay Utd.  I'm not a massive football fan, but the season ticket was cheap so it's an excuse to meet up with a group of friends I don't see that all often.  I have missed two home games due to being away, so today is my first game.  Come On You Gulls (or something!).  I did go to the last game of the season last year and enjoyed it, so decided to get a season ticket and tag along with my mates.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 12:28

KK, ha ha.  No pics of that bar...I didn't stay in there that long  But it was quite interesting people watching, especially watching couples walk in and then walk straight back out again!

Shades, not sure why that's the case regarding the reports as two people were sharing the role whilst I was away.  I'm not doing the report this weekend either as I'm busy (this was all pre-planned, and Chair knew this when I took on the role initially), but I'm picking the role up again from next weekend.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 09:54

...leather jacket made there, and doing a cookery class.  It was a great pace.

To be honest, after Hoi An and also Hanoi, I was disappointed with my last place - Ho Chi Minh City (which used to be called Saigon).  I had 4 nights here as I had heard good things about it, but to me it was very Western with skyscrapers etc.  Just another city really, so I promptly signed up to a 2 day/1 night tour to see the Mekong Delta and its floating markets and rice paddies, which was very worth while.

So, that's just a small taste of what I got up to.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself over there, met loads of great people, sampled lots of nice food and drink, and feel that I got a good taste of the country.  1 month wasn't really enough though, as I missed some places out, but that's just the way it goes.  From having only an outline plan and nothing booked (apart from the first 10 days), I think I got to see a lot of the country, without feeling rushed.

But, back to running now!

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 09:50

Hi all, I'm back (got home late on Wednesday), and yesterday was a bit of a sleep-deprived blur as I was on the go for 36 hours with very little sleep travelling back from Vietnam   But, I got up today and did my first run and did 6-miles at a steady pace.  It felt incredibly fresh to me (in a good way!) in comparison to my last run in Vietnam and I did enjoy it, although I did feel really "ploddy".  Unbelievably (knowing how much I ate) I haven't put any weight on over the last month, which was a surprise.  So now I'm thinking about running again and have a Half next weekend and a marathon 3 weeks after that.  I think, other than the Half, I'm just going to run all at a steady pace and try and get one or two 15-20 milers in before my marathon.  So not ideal, but never mind  

Now I'm back, I can post a few pictures.  Feel free to skip over

http://s4.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/465898/gallery/van_long_reserve.jpg?width=350

The above was taken on a boat in the Van Long Nature Reserve.  Just after this, there were wild monkeys playing on the cliffs, although they were quite hard to spot!

 

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/465898/gallery/hanoi.jpg?width=350

In a previous post I mentioned that in Hanoi we were sitting down outside, and then suddenly we were asked to stand up (very quickly) as the staff cleared the tables and chairs, whilst waiting for a policeman to walk past.  Well, that was here - all those people sitting on chairs on the street had to move very quickly!

http://s4.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/465898/gallery/halong_bay.jpg?width=350

The above was taken whilst kayaking in Halong Bay, where wild monkeys were easy to see.  The scenery was like this for miles and miles.  This was one of two organised tours that I did whilst there, and it was a great way to see some lovely parts of the country.  In general, I tried to avoid tours, but sometimes they just make sense as organising all of the activities on the tour myself would have been very problematic!

 

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/465898/gallery/train.jpg?width=350

On one train journey, it was billed as the most picturesque in the country, with the train running along the edge of cliffs tops with lots of bays and beaches easily viewable from the train. 

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/465898/gallery/lantern.jpg?width=350

The above was the "lantern festival" at Hoi An, which coincides with the lunar calendar.  Hoi An was my favourite place, and I would have liked to have spent more time there really.  If I was to go back to Vietnam for any period of time, I'd spend a week here I think.  Unlike other cities, the "old town" was free from traffic which made it great to walk around.  The two beaches were lovely, the food amazing, the old town really interesting and I just loved the atmosphere here.  Highlights for me here were getting a nice

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 22/08/2016 at 16:51
Last full night in Vietnam taking in some food and drink in HCMC, following two days in the Mekong Delta.

What a great country - the people, the food, the history of this place and the beautiful wildlife are all amazing.

Personal highlight for me was Hoi An, which is an old town where I could probably have spent all month as it had everything. A cracking beach, stunning food and restaurants, buzzing markets, authentic cooking classes and top notch tailors (I got a jacket made, but I'm kind of already regretting not getting a suit made too).

Even the 9.5hr night train wasn't too bad, although I did later take a 1.5hr flight as opposed to the equivalent 18 hour train journey for more or less the same price.

(PS, I take responsibility for accidentally taking some people into a dodgy bar in HCMC, where the young waitresses were wearing very skimpy outfits and the clientele were western gentleman of the older generation. It was amusing people watching, though....! The bar honestly looked 'normal' outside!).

Absolutely no running, and although I don't want to come home, I am missing the exercise. Really not sure how the marathons are going to go, although I suspect badly - I have one on September and one in October. Gulp!

It's 22:50 here now, and I have all day tomorrow (Tuesday) but have the 00:30 flight on Wednesday morning back to London, and then a 5hr coach trip back to Devon. It's going to be a loooong day or two!
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