Grizedale Half Marathon

Me and my beautiful wife, Helen, had entered this off road trail race some months ago, along with almost everyone that we knew. Just look at all the COLTs, and this doesn’t include some random Cycle Bunnies or the crazies doing the full marathon, who had set off 15 minutes earlier.

27629197_1817939534904657_5654275185825969830_o

I had picked up a couple of niggling little injuries in the last couple of months and hadn’t run at all in the last two weeks, so I was determined to take it easy. It was cold on the start line, and as requested by the organisers I had my space blanket, whistle, thermal top and waterproof to take round with me. I didn’t need any of it, but I suppose it covers the organisers in case something bad happens. What I didn’t take was enough water as it was cold, really cold. I had laughed at a couple of people for wearing shorts and vests, but I was far too hot, especially as the first three miles were almost constantly uphill.

At the top though, the views across Coniston Water made the up hill all worthwhile.

FB_IMG_1517765345548

As I mentioned, I’ve not ran enough, so by the feed station at 8 miles I was starting to feel tired, and by the end my legs and feet were very sore. I just managed to sneak in under two hours, which considering how much climbing there was, I wasn’t too disappointed in.

My wife, on the other hand loved it, and managed her fastest ever Strava Half Marathon, finishing with a huge smile on her face.

The race was well organised by Epic Events, and as with all of their races they allow you to download photos for free, which is a very nice touch. It was also one of the few races that I have done where I’ve had my name on my number. Matthew 216 sounded very biblical. I looked up the bible verse, and all I can say is that there are some not very nice things in that book.

Enough rambling. It was a great day. Big thank you to Jim for giving us a lift there and back, and to everyone who I said hello to, far too many to mention. I feel that me and my lovely wife might well be doing a few more trail races in the future.

 

Advertisements

Book Review 2018 – Part III

Did I mention that I’d had a go at publishing my own short e-book? Read about it here. Sales have doubled today, it’s up to two copies.

Back to the book review, and I have two very good books for you (both much better than my short story).

books3

First up is What Goes Around by Emily Chappell. When I lived in Oxford I often travelled to London and I was always fascinated by the cycle courier’s, and slightly terrified by what they did day in day out. Emily’s book takes us from her start as a courier, when she was a newbie up to her being one of the most experienced couriers in London. She writes about the people she meets, other couriers, receptionists and her friends from the world of cycling. I love the short cuts and the hang-outs that only the courier world know about. I really enjoyed this book, although it reinforces by desire not to cycle around London. I find it bad enough between Wigan and Leigh and I doff my cap to cycle couriers the world over.

Next up is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl decides to walk most of the Pacific Crest Trail, a route that starts at the border with Mexico and heads all the way to Canada, passing through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Many years ago, after reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, I was all set to take on the Appelachian Trail, but promotion at work put a stop do that dream.

In this book Cheryl doesn’t hide anything, including the death of her mother and her infidelities which led to her divorce, along with her intermittent heroin habit. She is also completely inexperienced when it comes to long distance walking, and never tries out her loaded rucksack until the morning she starts. Inevitably she can’t lift it as she is carrying everything including the kitchen sink. Fortunately she meets some kind and experienced walkers who help her sort out her kit, sending home the items that she won’t need. The year she’s walking also has some of the worst snow in history, meaning that almost everyone walking the trail has to leapfrog a section.

This is another book that I really enjoyed, even though its hard in places. As with the courier book earlier, I’m not planning on long distance walking, but that doesn’t stop me dreaming about other adventures.

I’ve Written a Book

When I say that I’ve written a book, it’s not a book. It’s a short story, very short, less than 7,000 words, or 36 pages of a Kindle. It was more of an exercise to see how easy it was, and if I could manage it. It’s fairly easy, although I would probably design my own cover next time, if there is a next time. I was also amazed that it isn’t that easy to publish your own book for free, which is what I intended to do, instead it is at the lowest price point possible, 0.99p. I think this is all about Amazon wanting to make a profit, although they do allow you to promote it for a few days for the knock down price of free.

What’s the book (short story) about?

Last summer, me and my lovely wife went cycling in the highlands of Scotland for a week, and this is my take on our mini adventure. Here is a link to the book, although I won’t be disappointed if you decline to make a purchase. Below is another link, and did I mention that I wasn’t particularly happy with the cover.

Within a day of my book (short story) being available, someone from Canada had bought a copy. I doubt if my royalties will allow me to get that Colnago.

As I said earlier, it was more of an exercise to see if I could self publish, and over the next few weeks I’ll probably post each chapter on my blog. If I’m honest I don’t think it’s very good, but then I’ve bought loads of books in my life that have been unreadable.

I would like to have another go in the future, but something longer but probably still cycling related.