7 mile run – warm and definitely not as fit as I have been

Went for a brief run tonight because I’ve hardly since anything since finishing the C2C2C challenge and needed to wear in my new shoes. I had to stop at least 4 times which really disappointed me. There was a huge hill when I went clockwise around Yarrow Reservoir for the first time ever but my fitness was not there. My new shoes seem ok though and really cushiony with the gel soles and gel shoe supports.


I’m definitely not as fit as I was when I had completed the Insanity Workout and the swimming challenges. I really thought I’d continue my level of fitness or level off at the high level of fitness I’ve been at but I’ve slightly tailed off lately especially since the holiday in the Lakes after the C2C2C challenge. I only hope I’ll be ok for the Tough Mudder challenge and not let anyone down.

Gareth Macdonald, one of the guys doing it as well has been training non stop since the beginning of the year and lost between 3-4 stone in weight. Recently he’s been doing high intensity training sessions twice a day! I’ve not! It’s THIS I’m worried about being a dead weight for the team. We shall have to wait and see.

First run in a while and first cardio session since C2C – 11 mile run in hot sun

With the guilt of doing ZERO cardio or any training for Tough Mudder in 2 weeks due to the pains and repair of the C2C I knew I had to do something pretty decent this week. I must have put on about 7 pounds during the St Bees break after the C2C and I can feel it.

So I decided to go for a a run with decent distance rather than going for pace. I thought I’ll aim for the route my mate Johnny and I planned to do before the C2C challenge and see how I get on with my fitness and ligament issues I’ve had lately.

As I started I could feel the right shin and ankle feeling tender already… this was really worrying thinking that this might end up in disaster… but after a few miles I completely forget about it and it never became a problem.

The first 6 miles was OK apart from having to take a few stops due to feeling a little unfit and the heat was so hard to run in. But wow Rivington and especially Anglezark in the summer, incredible running through the trees, uneven terrain etc it was absolutely marvelous regardless of how many times I had to stop. I never went all of the way around Anglezark reservoir before and it was a really fun path to run through.

My Camelbak of water lasted pretty well until the end and I had an energy gel around 5 miles but after 6 miles I just hit a massive no energy slump and I just cruised home at a very slow speed. My muscles are this point were getting quite tight and I kept having to stop a lot for fitness reasons taking breathers which was surprising. But I’m not feeling down at all it was great to get out and get a pretty decent set of miles under me. I checked my Facebook running group and there were a few other guys who put in a similar set of miles and a bit slower than me so I felt pretty good about that too.

Surely it will get easier with the more miles I do. Today I feel very tender though as if my body is on protest with the abuse it got yesterday. Hopefully it will recover for tomorrow and I can get out again. 20140721_172717_Rivington Ln 20140721_174729 11Milers

Tuesday 1st July – Day Four of Coast to Coast – Run – Robin Hoods Bay to Ingleby Cross (39 miles)

So Aidy and I arrived back at Robin Hood’s Bay where we arrived yesterday afternoon. Going downhill into the village we could feel our quadricep muscles absolutely killing from the cycling, but I was glad of it, no more saddle soreness.


When we got to the bay, Aidy said not to dip our feet in the sea (as is customary for the C2C walkers) because we’ll get blisters, but I went to just dip the edge of my shoe in the sea and then a huge wave washed up and over our ankles. Never mind we’ll be ok!???

Aidy and I said goodbye to Aidy’s mum and thanked her then headed up and out of Robin Hood’s Bay. Already up the steep incline which takes you out of the village we could feel the aches in our muscles.


The weather was hot and sunny and our pace was good. On our way out of Robin Hood’s Bay and up the Cinder Track we came across a walker aged in his 60s. He was asking what we were doing and we told him humorously that we were walking to St Bees, like it was nothing. He gave us a grave stare and asked us if we were ‘army boys’. He indicated that he’s done the C2C many times and knows his stuff and advised how tough it would get. At this point I was still thinking ‘nah it’s only on foot it’ll be fine’. Even mentioning that we’re en route to Ingleby Cross made him stare on a scared state. Ha we’ll be fine pal but thanks for your concern… although the last time an elderly man gave us advice, when we were on Day One at the pub for our tea and he said we’d arrive at Kirkby Stephen after 11 when we said it would be around 10, he was right. Again in sure we’ll not hit any problems.


He wished us good luck and we went on our way up and off the Cinder Track, past Whitby and up towards the hills of the Yorkshire Moors. But this was our first problem, the huge road downhill from the top of the Yorkshire Moors to the coast was now uphill, uphill for a long long way. It was now when we realised our first niggle – walking takes a long way to get anywhere over long distances, especially when you’ve already covered the same track by bikes averaging at times between 10-20mph when we were walking between 2-3mph. We were taking about as soon as we scale The Yorkshire Moors but after 3 hours we hadn’t even got anywhere near them! – just this huge uphill road! Is was soul destroying.

At one point I had an ETA on my phone on what time we’d arrive at Ingleby Cross and changing the pace ever so slightly meant finishing between 3-4 hours later. The tiny fractions of pace resulted in huge changes in arrival time. At this point I upped the pace and we could eventually see the hills we needed to scale in the far distance.

My feet started to feel sore, get very warm and feel sticky. I was wearing my hardly used Aldi running shoes (already falling apart) which cost me £20 and I had already tied the laces too tight, resulting in zero space for my feet to move about and breathe. Luckily Aidy’s mum, who has decided to hang about in Robin Hood’s Bay drove past us and I decided to wear my sightly better Karrimoor shoes which saw me through the cycling part. I also relaced the shoes to provide more space for my feet but at this point I could feel blisters starting on both my stupid wonky little toes where they were squeezed up against the other toes the whole time.

We started to scale The Yorkshire Moors and after 5 hours of walking we were still pretty gutted we could still see the East Coast sea. Haha so jubilant to see it the day before, now wishing it would do one. We knew though we’d be soon decending The Yorkshire Moors and we’d never see it again, or at least for this challenge.


At this point not only was I stopping occasionally to put on suntan cream but I was checking my feet for the damage report…. Not Good! I went through a whole 7 pack of Compeed blisters plasters just in my left foot. The walking became more and more painful but I just plodded on. Aidy was really supportive ensuring that I was ok.

We started scaling down the Moors and through the villages taking our time. At this point it wasn’t just my toes and blisters causing me problems but my muscle aches in my legs… it was bloody agony. I pushed as hard as I could until it got to a point where the if I stopped my muscles just seized up and took a while fit them to become movable again. It got harder and harder each time and then when we got to about 5 miles from our destination when we came to a pub where we needed to get water – Disaster!! – my legs had completely locked up and I mean I couldn’t move on them. At this point after a short chat we decided to get a taxi from our location to the B&B. I felt a bit cheated but I had no other choice. To be fair, the final 5 miles was over a busy main road with no pedestrian pavements etc, just grass verges which would be agonising to walk on. Also any more walking would result in massive damage to my muscles.

The taxi arrived and we arrived at our B&B in Ingleby Cross at about 6:30pm. It wasn’t as amazing as Park House but it was pretty and clean and the room was modern and nice.
We got to our room and I checked in detail the extent of the damage. Both my little toes had blown up like balloons the blisters were that bad! I washed and changed into my evening clothes and we decided to head to a pub nearby for food and well deserved beers.


Even though the pub was about 300 yards away it took a bloody long time to get there with my stupid feet. We arrived and ordered a pint of Black Sheep and ordered some burgers. The Black Sheep made me think about the time I nearly flew into a sheep on the way up to the Fat Lamb on Day One. I thought How Far are we away from there!!! How am I going to do this with these feet?

At this point we were cheered up at bumping into Mike from the Park House B&B also having a beer. We updated him on our progress and he said he was sorry they couldn’t fit us in at such late notice. He had to nip back to the B&B and we had a couple more beers to cheer us (me) up. At 9pm we decided to get back for an early night and on our way out with me limping outside we bumped into Mike again and he offered to take us back to our B&B – Plus when he told Beverley about our arrival in Ingleby Cross she passed onto him two of her homemade cake for us to enjoy – Still Legends!!!

We’ve got back to our B&B for some early shut eye straight away. I’m hoping my body will miraculously recover overnight and in time for tomorrow’s Ingleby Cross to Richmond trek. I can’t tell you how worried I am 😦


Coast 2 Coast 2 Coast training not as good as should be

Last night went for a 10 mile run with my good friend Johnny who’s doing the Tough Mudder with me. It was 20 degrees so my god we felt every single degree. I emptied my Camelbak 1.5l water pouch in just under 90 minutes. My form wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be but I put it to the heat and probably due to the lack of training I’ve been doing. I should be doing 35 mile runs by now.

I feel absolutely fine this morning, no stiffness and to be fair to myself, the actual training I should be doing whilst running is taking it easy, power walking through most of it. During the running route I can’t simply run all of it or you’ll be hearing mountain rescue helicopters quicker than you can say “Run Forrest!”.

I’m going to do another run on Thursday, a huge bike ride on Saturday and a run again next Tuesday then probably rest. I should be fine but I could be better prepared

Nice little post wedding hangover run up a mini mountain

This weekend Angela and I stayed over in Knipe, Askham for a wedding of two very close friends of ours. We stayed at Knipe Hall which is a beautiful stone-walled huge cottage which housed all of the wedding cast.

20140531_080000Looks like something you’d see in The Shire on Lord of the Rings

The day after the wedding which went on past 1am, I woke up with a delicate head and proper guilt about having done NO runs/cycles all week. Because I brought my running gear I thought I’ll go for one without attracting any attention to myself – hopefully just slipping away unnoticed. I headed off down a path and was going to do an easy run I pre-planned through Bampton Village until I passed by one of the groomsmen walking from his hotel from the village back to our cottage. This guy (Liam, the bride’s brother) is a bit fitter than me and has done Land’s End to John o’ Groats. So I said hello and that I was going to have a quick run through the village and then he said “Why don’t you run up that hill up there”.

20140601_105019_Unnamed Rd Pictures never do it justice

I looked at the hill and thought he was kidding until he said with a straight face “I reckon you could do that in around 20 minutes”… Yeah so not kidding. So without losing face me and my ginger bum started to scale the small mountain. It was very steep and I was only stopping for my ankles to recover, my HR was fine. Towards the top it was like a forgotten land with craggy rocks and wildflowers everywhere. Once I got to the top I just laughed at how awesome the view was.

20140601_103557 - Copy
These pictures do it no justice at all. I just looks like a small mound.

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And then I kinda started to get carried away.

Knipe Run
I made this via Google Earth to illustrate the hill accent.

I got back to the wedding venue and everyone had woken up and was sat outside – then there’s me arriving in my tight Lycra gear feeling like an idiot haha! But Liam said “so you managed to do it then” and I was like “Yeah it was pretty good actually – only took me 15 minutes to get up” (BOOOM)! I’m such an idiot and a typical MAN 🙂

First run since January and since I started my training/health kick – BOOOOM!!!!

I was keen for today’s run not just because it’s a nice change to swimming hundreds of boring lengths of a pool but to see how my pace was since my form has considerably changed lately.

So pleased about my pace!! I’ve never ran as fast over this distance ever!! Overall averaged at 8 min/mile and one of my miles running a 7:21 min/mile, my slowest at 8:30 min/mile which is normally my super fastest pace.

So pleased with my improvements which will only help me as I prepare for the monstrous Coast to Coast to Coast challenge. WOOOP!

RunRouteRunElevationPace RunTimes

Training Schedule Done!

So I’ve done a first attempt or draft at my training schedule which can be viewed from here: Google ICAL Calendar Link

OMG so much to do! I’m going to be so busy all the way up to September. A MASSIVE sacrifice meaning I’m going to miss out on most of the summer relaxing, too many beers etc etc. I can at least look forward to St Bees in July.

With the planning, the biggest thing I have tried to do is fit it around Angela and Seb, although it might not look like it. Most of the evening training is after 7pm so I will be seeing Seb before he goes to bed. There are a lot of weekend commitments that sometimes take up half a day but this was expected training for some of the killer endurance challenges.

It IS SO difficult trying to justify this to Angela as they are both no.1 and my world, They come first but with pool opening times, work and voluntary commitments I have had to put a little bit of family time to the side so I can get the right training done.

Then the question remains Why am I doing these things if they are not as important as family? That’s a tough question to ask. Firstly, my overall lifestyle has changed anyway with fitness and healthy eating which takes up so much time and I cannot have this AND the free time I used to have cuddling on the sofa on a Wednesday watching Emmerdale. The challenges are important to me because things like these were so far away from my grasp a couple of years ago and I feel that now is the right time to attack it whilst I am still young and the time before we start having sprog number 2 and 3.

Angela is so supportive and understands what this means to me. I’ll go through this training schedule again with her and I’ll move things around to ensure that we can have maximum family time whilst keeping this strict training program.

Charity Donation Pages Set Up!!! What’s next?

OK so the five charity donation pages have been setup.

I have setup a joint event donation page for both the 1,000 length swim challenge and Great North Swim which can be found here – http://www.gofundme.com/FantasticFive-Swimming

The Coast to Coast to Coast Challenge charity donation page can be found here – http://www.justgiving.com/PaulCarruthers-FantasticFive-CoastToCoastAndBackAgain

The Tough Mudder Challenge charity donation page can be found here – http://www.gofundme.com/FantasticFive-ToughMudder

The Great North Run charity donation page can be found here – http://www.justgiving.com/PaulCarruthers-FantasticFive-GreatNorthRun

The next things I need to do are:

  • Setup training plans for all five events
  • Work out cost of equipment hire, nutrition, B&Bs etc
  • Contact the local media for promotion
  • Contact big local companies for sponsorship possibilities

Still lots to do – this is becoming relentless and almost too big to manage on my own before I’ve done any actual training!!!

Whilst waiting nervously, I’m researching energy intakes for endurance events (ie 1000 x 25m swim)

So whilst I wait to find out if I made the cut for the Great North Run I’m doing research on the correct energy intakes I need if I’m going to do these massive endurance events.

Posted this on a nutrition website:

I’m planning on doing a 1,000 x 25m length swim in a pool for charity.Currently I’m doing 200 lengths in 2 hours so hoping to do the event over 10-11 hours.I’ve read loads of information about hydration and taking on electrolytes as discussed in this blog:
http://www.1vigor.com/article/swimming-performance-hydration-electrolyte-muscle-cramp/But what about the calorific intake during the event? Every 20 mins I’ll be taking on the required hydration and every hour I’m planning on getting out of the pool, spend a minute taking on some calories and and then get back into the pool.I estimated I’ll be burning around 9,000 calories during the whole event so I’ll need to replace lost calories each hour. This makes 900 calories per hour – doesn’t that seem a lot? What is your advice and what foods/liquids are recommended to be consumed?

For example, I found this product which says
“EZ Fuel Endurance 2:1 is a carbohydrate ratio of Maltodextrin and Fructose. It also contains electrolytes to maintain hydration levels”http://www.discount-supplements.co.uk/ez-fuel-endurance-2-1-1-5kg-bag-s#product_detailsPer 100g it gives 380kcal energy and they recommend to take 50g and mix with 500ml
so over an hour I would take around 250g with 2.5 litres of water?
Does this seem a lot? I’m worried about upset stomachs which I heard is easy when taking on too much energy and electrolytes.I drink around a litre of water per hour normally when I do my 200 length swim

Great North Run 2014?

Well I had a conversation with Iain, manager of AFC Masters and I’ve agreed to step out of the Manchester 10K so I can do the Scout training. I was a little gutted last night when this sunk in. I also felt that the other We Love Manchester 10K isn’t as big of an event that I would like it to be to lure sponsorship AND to test myself. I do 10Ks like I said in midweek evenings.

So how about this for an upgrade?

Great North Run 2014 in Newcastle (7 September)? 13.1 miles / 21 Kilometer run! Is this crazy – well it’s not a full marathon but it’s a step in between isn’t it? I’ll definitely look into this and reignite my Fierce FIVE Challenge idea.