Sunday 26 February 2023

Serpent Trail - Part 2

 Today wasn't my best work.

The aim was to run the next 17 miles on the Serpent Trail, starting from where I left off last time and aiming to get to Petworth.


It was a cold spring day.  One with patches of sunshine which give you hope, which are then stolen away by gusts of icy wind and big grey clouds.  But based on last weeks run I was pretty sure the distance wouldn't be an issue and I was expecting a well marked route.


But this section was not well marked at all.  Markers were missing or pointing in odd directions and I kept missing turnings and having to go back on myself.  In one fantastic section I actually managed a 2 mile detour when I missed a turning.

Then there were the hills - 3 so steep there was no way I could run them.  Oh and did I mention the mud?


So not the best of runs.  There were some lovely bits, like running along the boundary wall of Petworth park out of the wind and in the sun, downhill.  Bliss.  And some of the wooded bits were lovely and will be even better in the summer.

But its hard to enjoy something that is hard as it is when you are cold, and you have wet muddy feet and you've just made it harder by adding a couple of miles that you didn't need!

However, I mixed the nutrition up by adding penut M&Ms and Haribo Tangfastic to the mix which went down well and I did make it to Petworth in the end.  2 more long runs should finish this trail.


You can read about what happened on part 3 here.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Introduction To Bookbinding - Week Two


As anyone who has been paying attention can see it has been more than a week since the first Intro to Bookbinding course, but I've been a little busy.  And that is the beauty of online courses, you can come to them as and when you have time.

This week I made time and I made 4 pamphlet books.


The first 2 are very simple.  Just a couple of A4 sheets cut down to make an A6 book and some lovely cumpled brown paper (part of some packaging from something that was posted to me) as a cover of sorts.  The first was the most basic, just 3 holes and then the second a little more complicated with 5 holes!  I think I like the 5 holes best.


Then using some of the first weeks folding technique, we attached our pamphlets to an accordian spine before trying 2 different types of cover.  A soft cover and a hard cover.


I love both of these and with a slightly thicker paper the soft cover would be amazing!  And I have an idea where I might use this for a personal project, so watch this space.


I found it best to watch the full video first so I know what is expected, then I can make sure my paper colours all work together, so I used a yellow accordian spine in the stripy soft cover book and a blue accordian spine in the stary hard cover book.


Loving that I'm getting a reminder of some stuff I already knew and learning new techniques to complement this.

I'm looking forward to week 3.  Hopefully it won't take quite so long to get there.

Sunday 19 February 2023

Serpent Trail - Part 1

Considering this is the start of the trail, the marker is pretty discreet

This morning I really started my Ultra training in earnest and did a 17 mile run, the longest I've run in several years.

As my Ultra is a trail race I need to train on trails, so I'm using this as an opportunity to run some of the trials in my local area that I've been wanting to, but didn't have the motivation to get organised.


So this morning I got 'im outdoors to give me a lift to Haslemere and starting from the top ran the first 17 miles of the Serpent Trail.  This 65 mile trail wiggles from Haslemere to Petersfield.  If I was to drive between the two it would be about 14 miles and take about 25 minutes.  But the trail is a 'route designed to highlight the outstanding landscape, wildlife and history of the greensand hills.'  Which based on this mornings run it does very well.

I've run parts of the Serpent Trail on my Slow Way adventures and am very familiar with the little serpent waymarkers which I see all over the place.  And now I understand why I see so many of them, as the route is very well marked so I only went wrong 3 times, twice where I couldn't see a waymarker and once where I didn't do as I was told.  I hardly had to look at the map at all.


I'm also taking the time to test my kit (I was out with a fully loaded pack today) and my nutrition.  I already know that I don't drink enough when running to get enough nutrition just from what I put in my water, so I've been experiement with eating jelly babies along side the Tailwind in my water.  It seemed to work well for me, but the thing I really struggled with is spending all morning eating sweets!  It's very rare that I would eat a packet of sweets in one sitting - I might have one or two as a treat, so to convince myself that it was ok and I should, was actually the hardest part of the run.

I've got lots of time so I'm going to experiment with other types of nutrition too.  Others have made suggestions which mean it doesn't always have to be sweet which sounds good.

The aim now is to run the rest of the Serpent Trail over the next 3 long runs, which should get me to the end.  Then I'll have to decide which local trail I want to run next.

How can my shoes be braking with less than 300 miles on the clock?  Not impressed!

You can read about what happened on part 2 here.

Sunday 5 February 2023

Training For An Ultra

This week marks the start of my ultra training.  Yes that's right I've signed up for an ultra marathon this summer!

Once I'd amazed myself by running and actually completing a marathon, I started to wonder if I could do an ultra too.  I tried to irgnore it, but the idea grew in my head until I found I'd signed up to run 50k this summer. 

Many people have asked why on earth I would want to do such a thing and I guess the answer is to see if I can.

Just like when I try knitting a jumper or some other thing, or try out a new crafting technique, it's normally as much to see if I can as anything else. 

I know the next 5 months are going to be hard.  I've done this before, but I know the training will be worth it to finish the race and know I can run 50k.  (I hope)

No sponsorship needed this time.  This one is just for me.

So if I am quiet on here, or I'm slow to responed when you message me, it might be because I'm knee deep in mud somewhere in the Hampshire countryside getting the miles in.