Saturday, March 17, 2018

(Days 7-16) A 360 view of #Dementia496

The last week or so has been a real mix and excuse this post as it will seem a bit jumbled together as days 7-16 have just flown by!

These last 10 days of #Dementia 496 have been a real mixed bag, adding an extra mile a day doesn't seem a lot but when life gets busy fitting in any running can be tough, I have now started adding in an early morning run, started it as a 3-4miles run and is now a 6.2miles start to the day. This will increase as the month goes on. I am now needing to put in longer runs to make this happen.

A 360 view of #Dementia496

Day 16 is over half way on the days - 15 to go but I have now done 136miles out of the 496 - that is 360 still to do. This week Mon-Sun (Strava week) will be a 105mile week, then 154, then 171.

Day 7-9 Recovery and Magazines!

Recovery mixed with Physio and a trip to W H Smith to check out the Trail Running Magazine to take a look at my article in it.

Day 10 - HPH Hill reps on the Chevin

Saturday morning early with some Hyde Park Harriers doing 10miles of hill reps on the Otley Chevin - 5000ft climbing, the next day or two were recovery!

Day 11 Sunday trails

Out on some local trails on the Meanwood Valley Trail and nearby.

Days 12-15

These have been a combination of runs to make up the miles with a few slightly longer runs after work.

So the early morning runs have really started, I must say I struggle to get out before work most of the time. Day 15 takes me over 100miles for the challenge 120/496 almost half way on the days, no where near in the miles.

Day 16

Was a proper good run out after work 16 miles at 7.58min/mile pace and a 1000ft+ climb - felt like a really good run - that is 136/496 - recovery 17miles tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

#Run1000miles 2018 Ambassador - A bit moor from me

Check out the new Trail Running Magazine for some #Run1000miles advice from me, but here is a bit more about me as one of your #Run1000miles 2018 ambassadors

I haven’t placed a win on my record yet and there are many faster and stronger runners out there than me, but I love to get out and run. I first ran a half-marathon back in 1993, but for seemingly no reason at all I never really ran again until 2014.  I managed to get running again after having both of my anterior cruciate ligaments reconstructed over a period of 8/9 years. There have been many difficult days of struggling with injury and physiotherapy after surgery. Running the trails had been far from my mind and my knees used to collapse when playing football or doing simple games with my young boys, now my lads want to race me up a hill. Running has now become my go to sport and I just love it, getting out on the trails and moors, seeing the natural environment, enjoying the space, sounds of nature, and at times the smells!
Why did I not get running again sooner? I don’t really know! I have lived in places I would now love to run, one of which was Malawi and the Mulanje Mountain Porter’s race is on my bucket list. This picture was taken when I climbed Mulanje mountain with some friends.

I was really unfit and I started doing parkrun and running with friends David and Andrea from work at lunchtimes, during this time my father Eddie Armstrong died and was buried just as few days before my first half-marathon in February 2015 since re-starting running. This is why I now run to raise money for Dementia UK.

A look back at the #Run100miles 2017 challenge

This was a great way to start 2017 for me, I had just completed my first two ultras toward the end of 2016 and this just kicked me on. I was also turning 40 in 2017 and it was always going to be a big running year as I had a place in the Ultra Great Britain 200 mile #RaceAcrossBritain. What had I done signing up to such a race… well I had to get my head down and run. My training was go long, short, up, down, fast, slow and having a goal race for the year and being part of the #Run1000miles challenge every mile seemed to count. I went on to finish joint 9th overall in the 200 mile race from Southport to Hornsea along the Trans-Pennine Trail.  My own 1000mile moment was half way round the Ilkley Skyline Fell Challenge. I was on my own as much of my running is, but that mile was special and I knew it.

Integral Running - My Races and challenges for 2018
My next planned race and first ultra of the year is the Highland Fling in April and I’ll be running in 2018 for Dementia UK. Although I might be able to fit in the Liverpool to Manchester 50mile ultra next month as my #dementia496 challenge will keep me busy in March.

My goal race of 2018 will be the Ultra Great Britain #RaceAcrossScotland 212 miles along the Southern Upland Way – that should help me reach the 1000miles for sure.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#dementia496 (Days 2 & 3) - The Welcome Ultra: a little bit further

Taping and Sweeping the Welcome Ultra

Days 2 & 3 of my #dementia496 challenge was a bit more than expected, but I don't like to miss out on a good day out in the hills and with the snow, it made it all the more memorable.

Day 2 - Running with Scissors

Just 2 miles to do but as I got the chance to got out and help mark an ultra marathon course. 21 miles of taping the route with Ryk Downes the Race Director of the Punk Panther Ultra Marathons -  in-between taping the route and hiking through the deep snow drifts I got at least 2miles of running done. Breaking some trail on the way as well as dealing with some biting cold winds on the moors.

I made video to give a view of these days - great fun and full of too many memories to write or take pictures of.

Day 3 - Last Runner - The Welcome Ultra

Having the chance to sweep the race and being one of the running sweepers meant I more than got the 3miles done to day - nearer 33 with the 32.7 race miles and a few jogs to the start and home; it was just a top day out and a great course - I must race this one next time it is on, although I might not recognise it without the snow. I recommend this race series as a must do.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#dementia496 (Days 4, 5 & 6) HPH Hill reps and recovery

Sugarwell Hill reps x12 with the mighty HPH

It was a great idea at the time to do 4 miles of hill reps on Sugarwell Hill, this was nr 2000ft and 12 reps of the hill ...gate to gate finishing at the top with some steps which are always fun. But with 12 ups and downs, leg burning, muddy, slushy trails I was happy to get to 4 miles and finish when my watch beeped as I got to the last rep finished and rested on the gate. That was 81 miles for the week and my dementia challenge is on track followed up with an easy 5 miles recovery, then a 6 mile run at lunch time. This 4 miler was good training on heavy legs and it was great to have some awesome Hyde Park Harrier support doing their own reps whilst I went straight up and down! Thanks Amy, Richard and Naomi.

Any amount of support is welcome... I want to make each mile count.

Donations for Dementia UK

Thursday, March 1, 2018

#Dementia496 One Mile (Day 1)


I had this idea last year to do an accumulative running challenge last year- and I decided a few weeks ago after having recovered from some injuries that it was going to happen in March.

So today it is the 1st March so it was mile to do, tomorrow on the 2nd it will be 2 miles and so on! A final total of 496miles in the month hence #dementia496. Towards the mid point of the month that is going to be a lot of miles each day and the last week or so will be new running territory for me. I will try and mix it up with different types of running, training and some days I will do more than one run to fit in the miles to fit around work and life.

Today I got up and out early which is not usual for me to be out for a run before work, I like my bed too much, so this might be part of the challenge as much as running the miles. Today I got some pristine snow to do my one mile in. One mile... snow and thoughts of the one person I know dearly that suffered with dementia.

Any amount of support is welcome... I want to make each mile count.

Donations for Dementia UK