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March 2017
03-03-2017, 07:47 PM,
#1
March 2017
Kicked March off with high hopes after a record-breaking February.
139.1 kilometres, including two half-marathons, represents a bit of a mammoth month for me. I plan to add a third half, making three in five weeks, when CC5 and I take on the first half of the Moyleman, tomorrow.

My first run came on the first. 8.9 kilometres in a shade over an hour. No heart-rate monitor, Runkeeper silenced and out of sight, I ran for pleasure. Stables, Black Cap, Woods, Chalk Pits, soaking up the views on a cold, grey morning. Good, honest sweat, lush turf, chilled torso thawed under a hot shower the best reward.

Here's to March; it's Moyleman Month.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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04-03-2017, 03:59 PM,
#2
RE: March 2017
Well done, S. I'm very glad you're feeling better with your running.

Best of luck with the training tomorrow and with the awesome Moyleman race on 12th March. There are a few Almerians including me interested in taking part in that fantastic race next year.

Saludos desde Almería

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04-03-2017, 05:55 PM,
#3
RE: March 2017
(04-03-2017, 03:59 PM)Antonio247 Wrote: Well done, S. I'm very glad you're feeling better with your running.

Best of luck with the training tomorrow and with the awesome Moyleman race on 12th March. There are a few Almerians including me interested in taking part in that fantastic race next year.

Saludos desde Almería

We'll hold some special places open for a few Almerians!
There is more to be done
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04-03-2017, 06:02 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-03-2017, 06:07 PM by Sweder.)
#4
RE: March 2017
Moyleman Part One
21.97 kms
2:44:37 

I always tell people that the second half of the Moyleman is the tougher half. Not only because you've already run 21 kms before you get there, but because of the massive uphill start up Itford Hill and the killer finish up Mount Caburn's cruel Witch's Hat. Now I'm not so sure.

   
Part One Elevation

Both sections offer a similar rate of climb; around 950 metres each. Yet the opening section, from Wallands to the South Downs YHA, is unrelenting. After the initial 3 mile climb and long drop into the woods there's Heart-Attack Hill, the Relentless Bastard, Death Valley leading into the haul up Kingston Ridge and the climb at the end of the Yellow Brick Road, up past Breaky Bottom Vineyards. The second half, after the long haul up to Bo Peep, offers a fairly flat section along the old coach road. Here, for around 7 miles, runners can catch their breath and get ready for the last big climb up Caburn.

   
Relentless Bastard

CC5 picked me up at 9 and we set off under bright skies. I worried that I'd over-dressed with gloves and lightweight running top over a t-shirt, but I was glad of them later as the wind picked up. Duncan was getting grief from his blister from last weekend. Unusually for him, he held back, even walking a couple of sections as his shifted gait caused havoc with his IT bands. I struggled too. A week of driving, almost 1000 miles at the wheel, and a solitary plod had left my body rested from running, but the expected bounce didn't materialise. By the end my legs felt pretty stiff. I was glad of the slower pace. 

The course is in good nick. We're expecting a couple of days of wet weather and some on/off sunshine, perfect for keeping the slippery sections tricky without making the course impassable. That won't stop me watching the skies and checking the forecasts, though.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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05-03-2017, 12:12 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-03-2017, 12:14 PM by Sweder.)
#5
RE: March 2017
Twittens in a monsoon; well, half of them, anyway. The sun peeped out as we flogged our tired limbs up and down the narrow cobbled streets, finally stepping out from behind the scurrying cloud to beam triumphantly as we staggered into Ground Coffee.

We met Mary Lou at the foot of Station Street. She looked energised, wired, even, just back from Blackcap in a do-or-die attempt to fire her Moyleman corpuscles. 'I had to shout into the wind to help fight my way up' she grinned, endorphins almost visible under her shining skin. This running malarky is weird, isn't it?

A fine Moyleman quartet this morning. Tom Roper, fresh from his Brighton Half triumph, photographer extraordinaire James McCauley, Duncan and me, piano-wire hamstrings humming like wet live rails as we forced warm blood through battered legs after yesterday's exertions.

   
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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05-03-2017, 10:05 PM,
#6
RE: March 2017
(04-03-2017, 05:55 PM)Charliecat5 Wrote:
(04-03-2017, 03:59 PM)Antonio247 Wrote: Well done, S. I'm very glad you're feeling better with your running.

Best of luck with the training tomorrow and with the awesome Moyleman race on 12th March. There are a few Almerians including me interested in taking part in that fantastic race next year.

Saludos desde Almería

We'll hold some special places open for a few Almerians!

Muchas gracias, Charliecat5. Hope you`re better from your blister. I'm glad you all enjoyed your training doing the Moyleman first half.

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07-03-2017, 09:21 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-03-2017, 09:29 AM by Sweder.)
#7
RE: March 2017
8.87 kms, hangover cured.

We celebrated Phoebe's 22nd last night with mucho gusto.
Cocktails, including a rather wonderful attempt at Daniel Craig's Vespa Martini from Casino Royale, Guinness, more cocktails, a decent session IPA, a sublime Argentinian Malbec and as much grilled meat as a man could ever hope to carry. Not a Maffetone in sight. Raucous laughter filled the Monday night air as our family rabble-roused into Tuesday. Great fun.

   

Cue 06:00. Dawn's nervous blush turned to full-on blossom as I dragged myself out the door, hounds in tow. No time to wonder what or where that pounding was coming from, I just needed to start running ... Start I did, very, very slowly, wobbling up onto the downs as the Big Dimmer Switch In The Sky eased onto full brightness. Past the stables, where young people wrapped up against the cold lumped clods of soiled straw into an open skip, horses whinnying hopefully as they sensed an outing close at hoof. On to Blackcap, rumbling up the steep approach, looping around the trig point to sling-shot back down the slippery slope. Momentum shoved me up Mount Harry. My legs groaned, glutes still whining about Saturday's efforts. On I chugged, sweat rolling down my frozen face. 

All the while a totally random Peter Gabriel track played on repeat in my head. I used to love PG. I saw him soon after he left Genesis, in 1978 at Battersea Park, on after the Skids and just before the Stranglers. That gig is infamous for the Stranglers' use of six cuddly strippers during Nice 'n' Sleazy. They'd hinted that they might parachute into the gig. The powers that be ruled against this on safety grounds and spent a good deal of the day scanning the horizon for unauthroised aircraft. Even as the band cranked up the first skank bars of their latest hit, officials craned their necks, binoculars glued to their foreheads. On came the six luscious ladies, replete with stockings, suspenders, feather boas and enough exposed female flesh to satisfy Rubens. Cue chaos as security scrambled to get to the stage, desperately searching for the 'off' switch. 

   

Gabriel, hair cropped, kitted out in white overalls with an orange safety bib, had just written and released Salisbury Hill, the song that tells the tale of his departure from Genesis, but it wasn't that that looped through my foggy noggin this morning. It was this:





'I ride tandem with a random
Things don't go the way I planned them
In the humdrum'

Great stuff. I got home and played Peter Gabriel 1 from start to finish as I scarfed my eggs and bacon.
What a talented nutcase he is.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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07-03-2017, 07:27 PM,
#8
RE: March 2017
Hurrah for daughters and their birthdays, and many happy returns to yours! Tomorrow (International Women's Day, as I am sometimes reminded by Mrs R) is Miss R's 23rd. We shall try to emulate the style with which you marked your offspring's.
χαιρέτε νικὠμεν
Next race(s): 
Seaford Half Marathon, 14 May
The Adder 10 mile, Friston Forest, 29 May
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07-03-2017, 07:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-03-2017, 07:35 PM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#9
RE: March 2017
Gets under your skin somewhat, doesn't it ... Humdrum, I mean. Now I also can't get it out of my head ... grrr.
Run slow, run far.
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10-03-2017, 08:04 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-03-2017, 08:10 PM by Sweder.)
#10
RE: March 2017
Last outing was a little more eventful. 
Heading back from Blackcap over slick turf, sun burning through the early morning mist, I lost sight of Ripley.
Concerned, I turned back, only to see her streaking towards me, belly flat to the ground, ears pinned back.
She'd dawlded, realised we'd moved on and was catching up at speed. 

As I turned back towards the gate, I felt my right foot let go it's tentative grip on the slurry leading to the fence. It flew across me, taking it's compatriot with it. For a moment, I was suspended in mid-air. I could clearly see the stramash of mud and flint upon which I was about to splatter, there, below me. I had time to think 'oh, this is gonna hurt' and to throw out an arm to help break the fall. 

Thump. As if the slo-mo had been released, I crashed at full speed in an almighty heap. I lay still for a few seconds, assessing the damage. 
Right arm stung a bit. Right knee and lower leg had taken the brunt. I glanced down. Blood, mud and something white. Bone? Perhaps.
I sucked air, moving slowly. The dogs danced about me, sniffing. 

What IS he doing? Most odd. He's lying in the mud. He always shouts at us when we do that. hmmm.

I got up. Lots of things hurt, not least my right leg. I tried a hobble. OK, not broken. If that was bone (it was) it's simply a loss of skin over the bony bit below the knee cap. I was two miles from home, I'd best get on with it. On into the woodland, taking the overgrown trail through the trees and out onto the tops of the chalk pits. The pain subsided and I managed a decent enough rhythm all the way home.

A timely reminder of my own mortality. No more poignant moment then a few days before the Moyleman.
It's here.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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10-03-2017, 10:31 PM,
#11
RE: March 2017
(10-03-2017, 08:04 PM)Sweder Wrote: I got up. Lots of things hurt, not least my right leg. I tried a hobble. OK, not broken. If that was bone (it was) it's simply a loss of skin over the bony bit below the knee cap. I was two miles from home, I'd best get on with it. On into the woodland, taking the overgrown trail through the trees and out onto the tops of the chalk pits. The pain subsided and I managed a decent enough rhythm all the way home.

This reminds me of the time Mrs MLCMM broke her arm whilst out running. Thinking she had no choice but to somehow get home anyway, she ran on. Of course, the adrenaline kicks in and she feels fine when she gets back; it's a whole day later before she finally accepts the inevitable and has an X-ray. Busted shoulder. Six months to heal.

Get it checked out, OM.
Run slow, run far.
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11-03-2017, 11:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 13-03-2017, 10:44 PM by Sweder.)
#12
RE: March 2017
I did, mate. I ran 13 Kms marking top of the YBR to Firle Bostal this afternoon.

The morning mist did burn off today, after our 9am rendezvous at Ground Coffee. Duncan stepped up to make the statutory gag about the arrows being printed the wrong way round, we assigned sections, shared out signs and staple guns and went our separate ways.

I had another meeting immediately afterwards, with the great and the good at Lewes FC. This lasted two and a half hours. By the time I'd had lunch - a handful of nuts and a banana - the sun reigned supreme in a bright blue sky.

My section's not too long; about 7 miles top to tail. But both ends are inaccessible by road, so I end up running a good amount of it twice; from the car up one way, towards the YBR, back to the car and then on up Itford Hill to Firle Bostal.

It's an emotional time for we Moylemen. We few, this band of brothers who josh and jape and crack wise and harsh with much gusto. I know each of us were thinking about The Man, about why we do what we do at this time of year; about tomorrow, the stress, the adrenaline, the laughter, the tears, the hugs. The beer. This is our field of dreams. We have built it; they will come.

Mañana.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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13-03-2017, 07:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 13-03-2017, 09:00 AM by Sweder.)
#13
RE: March 2017
We built it, they came. My word.
I can't get my breath, I woke up at 5 this morning and walked in the hills, mind whirring with memories.
So many heroes, so many wonderful people giving up their time, joyfully, standing around, cold, cheering and clapping, coaxing runners home ...

One man crossed the line, broken. He rested his hands on his knees, mumbling something about 'oh, but that was really hard. Really, really hard.' I put my arms round him, pulled his soggy chest into mine, and hugged him. And he sobbed. He's a squaddie, this lad, with a face that could break down brick walls. He sobbed like a child, held onto me, wouldn't let me go.
'Thank you'

Thank me? I cannot get my breath. I can't see the screen now, either.
Jesus wept. I hope you were watching, Big Man. So much love.

         
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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13-03-2017, 10:37 AM,
#14
RE: March 2017
Superb stuff. Realising today that I have now actually taken part - running the second half yesterday - after being involved in its inception and helping to organise it for 3 years is a remarkable feeling. V moved by this all.
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13-03-2017, 04:46 PM,
#15
RE: March 2017
Congratulations, S., on organising such an epic race with such moving anecdotes in such a fantastic scenery and in memory of such a wonderful person. It's a pity I haven't been able to take part in it yet but I think it's an experience that any Running Commentary member must live at least once in a lifetime. I hope I'll manage to go next year and do at least one part.

Well done, OATR. I'm glad you're feeling moved after being able to take part in it as a runner apart from having been an organiser since the beginning.


Saludos desde Almería

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14-03-2017, 10:36 PM, (This post was last modified: 14-03-2017, 10:43 PM by Sweder.)
#16
RE: March 2017
The 2017 Moyleman photo-stream is here. 
I urge you to scan through to get a feel for the day
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moyleman/sets/72157678019139603/page1 

As you do, imagine how lucky we feel to have not only the best photographers in the business with us, but also the most generous.
Not one of them would accept a penny and freely insisted that runners be able to download and keep any shots they fancied, free of charge.
This is The Moyleman

More off-piste observations here
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-build-come-ashley-head 
http://www.onehundredandthree.com/2017/03/race-report-moyleman-marathon.html
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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15-03-2017, 07:28 AM,
#17
RE: March 2017
Bloody brilliant!
Run slow, run far.
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15-03-2017, 08:39 PM, (This post was last modified: 17-03-2017, 10:32 PM by Sweder.)
#18
RE: March 2017
Scraped my weary bones over the short course on Tuesday. 
The leg - the one I all but split in half last week - has turned purply-yellow below the knee and is a bit hurty, so I downgraded the intended Blackcap jaunt. Just as well. I'm still banjaxed after the weekend. It's the best weekend of the year, yet so much goes into it there's not much left afterwards. 

I'll slip out in the morning for another 4k or so, before strapping a large aircraft to my haunches and launching myself into the far east. I confess, the thought of eleven largely uninterrupted hours wrapped in headphones & stuffed into a reasonably comfortable seat appeals right now.

Before I go, I have to tell you about Janet. Janet is a local runner. She's been around the Parkrun scene about as long as I have. She turns 70 this week. ON Sunday she decided to run her first ever full marathon. She chose the Moyleman. As she cavorted over the finish line, way ahead of a fair few runners, she grinned like a child, eyes sparkling.
'I loved that! Thank you so much!' I grabbed her hand and kissed her cheek. I had no idea of her back story at that point, the sight of her just filled me with joy.

RESPECT.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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17-03-2017, 01:54 PM,
#19
RE: March 2017
If I can run any sort of marathon at 70, let alone the Moyleman, I will amaze myself. And yet, it's a definite aim of mine, because people such as Janet are just so inspiring! Thanks for sharing that, she's wonderful!

And what a great photo!
Run slow, run far.
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17-03-2017, 10:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 18-03-2017, 04:18 AM by Sweder.)
#20
RE: March 2017
Goes without saying, I didn't sleep a wink on the flight.
Shanghai is lurching awake outside. I've been up since 3am after seeing the night out with some salutary Guinnii and a glass or two of red.

Yesterday started with a good run, a short, quick skip across the Chalk Pits with the dogs. I felt great, could happily have run longer but time, as ever, was the enemy. However, my right achillies is tight. This is a new thing and something I'm wary of. A snapped achillies is a painful, debilitating thing. Ask David Haye. Not sure if there's much I can do about it, but I'll be taking it easy, once work is done for the day.

Great Moyleman coverage in the Sussex Express today, as relayed to me by my committee colleagues via WhatsApp. The Great Firewall of China blocks Twitter and Facebook, but Whatsapp survives. We shall overcome.

   
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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