Sunday, December 16, 2012


The normally dry trails
My two favourite places in the world to live are Southern California and the South of France, both have up to 300 days of sunshine per year which is one of the main reasons for living there but they also share another similarity in that when it does rain, it rains with a vengence. Southern California's PCH has mudslides and floods whereas the Riviera has torrential rain with just about everything getting flooded, roads, rivers, houses, etc. The reaction in the US is to clean it up fast; I was once told that with 3 continous days of rain, the first day is, its good for the gardens......the second, it won't last much longer....and on the third day, everyone visits a therapist. In France, the first day they shrug and do nothing......and on the second and third day........they continue to shrug and do nothing.

      Today was the first sunny day in 3 days and after a brutal workout week with Paddy I thought it time to hit the trails for an easy 10k jog, just to chill out. It was a lovely day but within minutes I was met with trails that though normally dry, were now rivers! The hills were literally 'full' of water. It was a bit tricky running up and down streams and brooks but highly exhilerating.....and refreshing. These pictures are the actual trails which are normally bone dry! On the hilltops,the trails were much drier and the smell from the wet pine trees was intoxicating. What a great way to celebrate your birthday, yes folks I'm 58 today!
     Its been quite a year. Three big races including 2 ultra's as well as many 40k training runs. It was nice just to jog along like a normal person without caring how far or what time or speed. My body composition has changed dramatically ( now 9.9% body fat), as has my overall nutrition. My muscle mass has also increased to the point that my quads and general strength has enabled me to go further, faster. It still hurts but I can go longer before it starts to hurt and the improvement in my sodium/potassium pump gives a much faster recovery time between events.
    I'm still working on my Paddy/Crossfit regime's by incorporating more strength work with high intensity training and no doubt next year I will look at race distances to establish the most effective distance for me i.e. not neccessarily the most challenging but also the most fun....because if it's just a constant slog for 10-15 hours....what's the point? I love running through the mountains and forests and I don't mind suffering to reach my goal....but not for the whole *^/#"* day !
    On a more personal note I lost one of my best friends this year, Steve was 51 and an alchoholic.....but that's not how I remember him. He loved having fun and he loved to laugh.....and he was even happier if everyone around him was having a good time. I often wonder where all that positive energy went. Today I was running through the hills where I scattered his ashes and sometimes I find myself just laughing at his craziness.......he definitely is somehere, laughing at mine.  
      I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas....thanks for all your support and encouragement......I hope you too can find some stimulating fitness goals for the New Year, it's amazing what you can do if you commit yourself to something. Find a goal, make a plan and do it.....and when it comes to a sports event I'll let you into a little secret of how to succeed, which was shared confidentially to me, many years ago.................are you ready?............'It's all in the training.'....and it is. 'Bonne Sante' :)
The birthday boy


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