Monthly Archives: April 2014

A property owner (nearly) at last.

Its been a busy week for me this week hence one post and that being done on the 10:12 from Newcastle to Edinburgh on my return from a weekend visiting friends, more of which later.
I have been looking for property for a while now and will admit to getting a bit antsy as the weeks went by and I still did not have anyplace to move to in June when my lease finishes. I have been revisiting properties I discounted for one reason or another as very little was coming on the market. I revisited Octavia st a flat v sim to one I had let slip earlier and decidedx to offer on it. I made an offer which was accepted and hope to have the keys on 19th May! To say I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders is an understatement!
The remainder of the week has flown by with very little in the way of serious training being done, in my defence I am on holiday still!
Monday I managed to fit in a 5 mile trail run 48:06 and a 26 mile bike ride. Looking for some hills and working hard on them, in 1:57:23. The days activities finished with a yoga class which has restarted after a 2 week break.
Tuesday I managed a very short hill reps session 3.2 miles 35:03 and only 3 hill reps.
Wednesday was a bike ride along the coastal path and coast road with Muffie. A great day weather and ride wise, with a visit to a new cafe and a farm shop 21.8 miles in 3:42:28. Once again I finished the day off with a yoga session.
Thursday saw me on a run around the area of my new home 5 miles 48:18. Unfortunately Muffs mother had collapsed. I spent quite a bit of the day and night helping where I could and finally got home and packed for my trip to Sunderland.
Friday no training today an early start for my trip to Sunderland to see Keith and his wife Chris. Keith is an ex forces buddy of mine whom I got in touch with after about 30 years! Friday evening we went to a pub for a lovely meal and the remainder was spent drinking and reminiscing Chris wisely went to bed while we retold favourite tales and relived legendary drinking session…..different days!!
Saturday we visited a attraction called Eden Park an ex POW cap from WW2 excellent attraction! Sat evening Keith and I wen out to see a Glam rock band wee bit ropey but good fun!
Which brings me back to now and on my way home to see Muff, Ill bring the curtain down there!


Hardest hill climbs in Fife?


Monday 28th April, I have been on holiday for four weeks now during that time I have done a fair bit of traveling, albeit all in the UK and managed to keep my training ticking over.  I have done one race and climbed 3 munros, but every holiday has to end!

This week will see a marked increase in both running and biking training.  It is only 47 days to the Caen marathon and although I do not intend going for any sort of time I had best get some long runs in and some speed sessions just to give the legs a shake up.  Also looming on the horizon, 138 days, is the Mont Ventoux challenge hence my ride today up two of Fifes “best” climbs.


30.7 miles 2:25:56 2,450 ft of climbing up Purrin den and Craigmead from Falkland.  AHR 125 MAX 158 Av spd 12.5 mph Av Cad 61.

A great ride with the objective being to get as much hill time in as I could.


Home ownership, training and a reunion!

Monday 21st:A busy week one in which I finally bought a property. I was getting a bit antsy and had started revisiting properties I had seen before. I put an offer in on one of them which was accepted so fingers crossed I will pick the keys up on the 19th May!
Bike 26.8 miles 1:57:23 av spd 13.7 ahr 125 av cad 74. Nice easy ride easterly wind. Easy run 5.01 48:06 av pace 9:36 ahr 131 trail run. Finished the day off with a yoga session.

Tuesday 22nd:Hill reps 3.27 35:03 av pace 10:43 ahr 121 max 183 only 3 hill reps. Where does the day go??

Weds 23rd: A nice easy ride along the Fife Coastal Path with Muff to Elie a stop for some lunch then out to a farm shop and back to Leven. 21.83 miles 3:42:28. Easterly wind which held us up on way out but didn’t seem to help on way back! Once more finished the day with a yoga session

Thurs 24th:Muffs mum (Toni) collapsed at home she was disoriented for a day and required looking after. I tried to be as much help as I could. In between stints visiting I managed to get packed for the weekend and fit a run in I took a route via Toni’s house and dropped some stuff off to Muff then ran around the area of the flat I have bought. 5.00 48:18 av pace 9:39 ahr 127.

Fri 25th:Off to Sunderland today to visit an old friend, Keith and his wife Chris. I travelled by train and arrived in Newcastle just before lunch. I was to meet Keith at 3pm so took the chance to have a look around Newcastle city centre, before heading to Sunderland on the Metro. Keith picked me up and after a swift cuppa and a wash we headed out to a pub for tea. When we returned Chris made the very wise decision to head for bed and leave us to our reminiscing.

Sat 26th:Headed to an attraction called Eden camp which is an ex POW camp in Yorkshire. Great exhibits and a full day out. Once back in Sunderland Keith and I headed out to a local pub to see a Glam rock band! It meant another late night but was worth it!

Highland weekend

Friday 18th:  An early start today.  Drove up to Tulloch near Spean Bridge and met 3 friends from the Glenrothes Hillwalkers club.  We managed to deposit our bags in the hostel and drove down the road to a small hamlet called Fersit.

Fersit is the normal jump off point for two munros known as the Easains both mountains are 3600+ feet.  The forecast for the whole weekend was amazing and we set off under blue skies and no wind.  Having made a group decision to leave our crampons and ice axes in the car off we went.  Th lower slopes were steep but dry and good walking.  However we soon hit the snowline and thats when our difficulties began.  We were able to walk in the snow by kicking in and taking our time.  It was well worth it though as the views in all directions were absolutely amazing!


Avoiding the cornice you can see in the picture we made it to the summit and had some lunch whilst enjoying the jawdropping views.  We headed back down the hills towards the car and back to Tulloch hostel for a well deserved evening meal.

Sat 19th: The plan today was to tick off Carn Mor Dearg this is a munro which is behind Ben Nevis.  We walked in on the Tourist path, three of us today all eager to get off the path and head around the lochan and into Allt a’Mhuilinn and the CiC hut.  Today armed with crampons and ice axes we were better prepared and made much better time up the snow covered slope.  A tough slog with an occassional rest to watch other  walkers, boarders, skiers and climbers all out on another glorious day.  Once more we lunched at the cairn on top of the 4000ft mountain with a search and rescue chopper providing some speculation on its purpose.  Having lunched we decided rather than go around the Arete we would just head down the slopes and back to the car via a refreshing pint!


Sunday 20th: A swift breakfast, bags in the car and head to Glen Nevis for a wee run.  Unfortunately it was wee’er than planned as I felt my right knee begin to go on the rocky terrain.  I did manage to reach Steall falls which were in full flow.  So not a total waste of time.

All in all a great weekend  never managed to get ant MTB’ing done due to evening meal times but the main objective of the weekend was met the bagging of 3 munros!

Viewing, running and biking in Fife

Monday 14th:  Short easy run today which included a visit to the local council run pool and sports facility.  Having retired I can no longer use my (ex) employers gym!  I have looked at 3 local gyms and as usual its not a clear cut decision.  However I think I will opt for a privately run gym called The Priory.  I will think about it for a few more weeks and enrol for a trial period in May.  Lets get back to the run! 4.75 miles in 42:59 it was a great day to be out and the views across the Forth were amazing. Not warm enough for shorts and a tee but nearly. Yoga started back tonight and to say I was stiff is an understatement even with increased stretching before and after almost every session!

Tuesday 15th: Another bright sunny day today.  An earlyish start for me this morning as I am meeting Maureen from Glenrothes tri club for a cycle.  I have a viewing at 14:30 so slightly constrained but that shouldnt be a problem, as it turned out it was as I wasnt back till 13:50!  We headed east along the coast road and then inland as the traffic built up.  Maureen wanted to try out some new routes so I took her inland on quiet almost single track roads.  Fife is a land rich in agriculture and the fields were spread out below as we paralled the Silvery Tay.

We completed 43 miles in 3:41:14 an av of 11.7 on a hily route and into some winds!  No climbing data available.

It was then onto my viewing part of the Plan B from my last post.  A flat I had seen before but wanted to look at again.  Roll on tomorrow when I will find out about my bid on Christie Place.


Weds 16th:  Today Muff and I are going to be tourists and Tram spotters!  If you live in Scotland you must know about the debacle that is the Edinburgh Trams.  Now complete they are doing “live” tests on the trax, of the trams-or so we heard. So we donned our boots and pith helmets and went exploring.  Before we even entered the city evidence could be seen of the fabled transport system!  Indeed trams were travelling along Princess St generally unhindered and in pairs!!

We bought tickets for the open top bus tour and for the Camera Obscura on the Royal Mile.  The tour was a bit dry and the commentary was recorded and not given by a person however the Camera Obscura was a great place to visit.  If you stay in or near a city I would recommend having a tourist day so you can see yourselves “as ithers see ye”  Inbetween the bus tour and CO we managed to grab some food and visit the shops which left a considerably larger hole in my wallet than planned!!No training today but we did put in some miles walking around Edinburgh, which is built on 7 hills!

Thursday 17th: Plan B it is.  Heard today that I had not won the flat I bid for.  Could be a cloud with a silver lining as it did need a lot of work.  Plan B-Make an offer on a flat I have now seen 3 times!

I had planned on getting out on the bike today but have to stay in to take delivery of two courier parcels and one mail parcel. I also have to go to the mail depot and collect one which they tried to deliver yesterday.  The time wont be wasted as I need to get packed for a weekend of munro bashing, hopefully knock off 3 or 4, mountain biking and trail running.



Bid in and plan B

Thurs 10th:Got the results of the survey for damp in flat 2.2 k repairs reqd. Contacted lawyer and put bid in. Closing date weds, sitting with fingers crossed but looking at 2 I have seen previously as a back up plan getting twitchy now I want a house! Trg for today was a 7 mile run with an old friend. He has run in the past but put a few lbs on! We met at Beveridge park and ran along the coastal path. 11.16 miles 1:48:07 av pace 9:41. Great day to be out running. Wee T stop at Kinghorn. Evening out to the local Wetherspoons with Muff for the ale festival.
Fri 11th:Short easy recovery run today with a detour to have a nosey at a flat. 3 miles 28:58 av pace 9:38 ahr 141 which seems high for that run. Garmin FR 305 has been acting up. New bike mount for iPhone arrd today
Sat 12th:Bike ride along Coast road to BIsland then home over ATool road. 20.82 miles in 1:45:34 av 11.8 mph with Gordon Dixon from GTC. Put new case on the Ridley it’s bulky but does the job. Only downside I can’t use ant+ devices. Sat evening Carnegie theatre with Muff for That’s Fife.
Sun 13th: long lie then out on coastal path to meet up with Artist Peter Howson on his walk for autism. Saw him as he motored past! Wee snack in the Harbourmasters cafe then back to house. Last Trg session of the week was a tempo session. 4.25 miles in 38:13 av 8:59 tempo pace 7:12.
Spoke to Keith about my impending visit to Sunderland.
That’s week 2 of my pre retirement vacation over and it feels like I’m on a training camp!

Houses, utilities and training.

Monday 7th:viewed another flat.  V nice and in good order but the kitchen was tiny so thats a nono.  Put a note of interest in on a property and that will go to a closing date.  Got surveyors going in on Thursday to take a look at damp.  Called utility companies as the meters are pay as you go and I would want to pay by DD.

Got my train tickets for London to Pompey in June, ordered but cant book my bike on till 1st June!  No training today.

Tuesday 8th:started the day with a set of hill reps, ran down to Harbourmasters Brae and did 7 reps up it.  Schedule called for 5 but I felt good so did an extra 2.  Distance was 3.64 in 40:26 av pace of 11:05 with 456 feet of climb.

Second session of the day was a journey ride to Leven.  Normally 9 miles and along a flat road I took a convoluted route which ended up being 19.5 miles 1:17:04 15mph av with 881 feet of climb.  Finished the day off with a 5.8 mile walk along the beach at Leven.

Wednesday the 9th Spent some of the morning gardening not quite a first but not one of my normal activities either.  Of course when I eventually get my own house I will have some gardening to do…….even if I just slab the bugger OH and that is the royal I lolololol

Journey ride back to Kirkcaldy again by a convoluted route using quiet roads and trying to find as much hills as I could.  23.05 miles in 1:49:10 an av of 12.7 mph against a strong wind 1455 ft of climbing.