Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Just run what could possibly be the last competitive run of the year and it was bad. I wasn’t very tuned into doing this one. This last year has mainly been dedicated to long distance off-road. I wanted to sample that kind of running. Job done and I thoroughly enjoyed the year. My overall running improved over most distances. Including the short distance track training sessions. This is why I was disappointed with a lackluster performance at a local 10k. It hurt more because I was racing with 4 other club members. 1 of which I should have at least gone over the finish-line with. The others are just too fast. As it was, I was 34 seconds down on him. Next year I’ll fix that. Most of my year’s long distance running is non-competitive, because I put most of the miles in with just me and the dog – with some distant distance goal in mind. The dog can run my legs off at the twitch of her tail - so no competition there then. I have to admit though, I have a competitive streak which ‘streaks’ more during shorter races. This is now the dilemma, to know how fast you can run any distance - you have to train for the distance or even the type of surface you want to race on. If I decide to run more Ultras this year, (Which I want to do) then I’ll not be thinking shorter distance speed - so won’t be as fast as I could be. Maybe the simple solution is forget about short distance racing, unless I’m prepared to forget about Ultras even marathons! Who knows, maybe circumstances will dictate what distance and type of running I can do in the future, so I may get a crack at becoming competitive over the shorter distance yet. Short distance would be fairer to the family because far less time is needed for training. But how I would miss those Welsh hills.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A 'little break' fishing for Scottish Salmon

Just returned from a nice break. the last day of the season Salmon fishing on the River Tweed in Ashiestiel in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The drive up from N.Wales was wet all the way to Newcastle 250 miles of heavy rain. Never mind, I thought the fish won't mind a bit of wet. So, fed and 'fine wined' at my brother's house in Newcastle and up at 5.00am. On the road to Scotland by 6. The lower Scottish landscape looks like great off-road running country, the Cheviot Hills were all snowed over looking like 'Iced buns' in the morning light. Made a mental note to see what events happen in this area, anyway enough about running.

Ashiestiel - River Tweed in summer conditions.

The fishing conditions were excellent, the river was running clear and not too deep considering the recent rainfall. Wild Salmon are fickle creatures, I am told you can fish a Scottish Salmon river for 10 years and never catch a fish. And that's not because they're not in the rivers, I saw at least 4 beauties jump clear out of the river, a stunning sight and no further than a few yards away. Some days they can be there but they're taking the p***! not your fly! I'm lucky though, I caught my first Salmon on the Tweed on my first day's Salmon fishing whilst learning to cast the fly properly, it was may be my 2nd or 3rd cast - easy this (I thought). To add to that, I caught another the very next day on a different stretch of the river. Since then nothing. Including yesterday. I had a great day though, and especially enjoyed lunch - my brother had packed a bottle of fizz and a bottle of Slow Gin to make some kind of strange shandy ( I forget the name ) The stuff washed down nice cheeses and his special hot Pork and Venison sausages - Just the job when you've been standing in a freezing Scottish River all morning. The 'little break' though, was the end section of my £600 Sage carbon fibre Salmon rod, It snapped for no reason during a cast and flew into the river like a spear! still no fish though! Not to worry - it can be repaired, it's just a question of how much dosh. So, a couple of days perusing another interest, and catching up with family. Total non-running, but somehow I think I'll run better for it next time out.