A Hobbit Adventure (Days 1 and 2)

Hi all, Samwise here (Not Dan as the blog post entry would have you believe) – while Dan (Frodo) is off galavanting around Middle-Earth, I wanted to provide a quick update from last weekend I’ve only just had chance to write up (sorry it’s a little late…)

I assume most of you are familiar with the story of the Lord of the Rings? If not, this whole adventure will make very little sense and will be full of references that may confuse and confound you.

Myths About Running Training

Knees

There are plenty of myths flying about all over the place when it comes to running; mainly vocalized by non-runners with various degrees of truth and hilarity to them. However, I also hear two very distinct, performance hindering myths from regular runners, and they both surround the subject of TRAINING as a runner.

  • MYTH #01 – “Runners don’t need to train legs because of all the running we do”
  • MYTH #02 – “Runners don’t need to train upper body because you don’t need that for running”

Hobbit Adventure??

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Week 1 and the UK section of my journey to Mordor!

Why am I doing this?

It’s a good question… Essentially, I am looking at running literally hundreds of miles, straight on from the Manchester Marathon, which other than a ferry into Holland, will all be on foot. [MORE DETAILS HERE]. Plus the Lord of the Rings theme is only going to serve to make this more uncomfortable. I appreciate people might think I’m being a bit weird.

Fundraising Has Begun!!

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Sure-footed as a mountain hobbit!

Sure-footed as a mountain hobbit!

Run Frodo, RUN!! … for real this time.”

 

This fundraising challenge has actually been around two years in the making in a way; following on from running to John O’Groats from Lands End in March, 2014. I remember being in a hotel in Wick on the penultimate day, when I got a message on social media from my friend Scott, showing me this thing you could do at the time on Google Maps where you plug in walking directions from the Shire to Mordor, and it would give you some smart-ass response along the lines of “use caution” as “one does not simply walk into Mordor“. Or something like that.

My “Impossible” Move

“What would you want to move to Buxton for??”

 

Border between Cheshire and Derbyshire

Border between Cheshire and Derbyshire

Errwood Reservior

Errwood Reservior

This is a question I’ve been asked quite a bit since I moved here four months ago, back in October. I think people mean well when they ask this, but there’s usually some genuine confusion attached due to the difficulty I’ve seemingly  placed upon myself that many would view as unnecessary, so I’ll do my best to try and explain…

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Geese

Geese

The Gritstone Grind, 2015

IMG_0455The Gritstone Trail is a national trail route that takes you from Kidsgrove in Staffordshire, to Disley in Cheshire; 35 miles of very green Peak District terrain and over 5,000 feet of elevation along the way.

Earlier this year, I discovered via the Welsh V3K and Snowdon Trail Marathon, that I am not quite the mountain goat I thought I might be… Running up a mountain is hard, running DOWN a mountain is crippling! It’s something I intend to work on, but mountains by nature are just that little bit more vertical than my body likes to work with.

Running Away From My Problems

How Running Becomes Therapy

How do you run so far?

Don’t you get bored?

 

Two questions I can safely say I have been asked a LOT. The first one is highly complex and has a very long, physiological answer. I suppose the real question then, and the answer to the second one in the process would be “Why do you run so far?” – So I’ll have a go at that one…

Trail Running – A Sport on the Rise!

PeakSkyrace_01

Me at the Peaks Skyrace, 2015 on the weekend

It was back in 2013 when I first started entering trail races. I decided that marathons were good fun (yes, you read that right), but I wanted to push myself with increasingly tougher terrains and route profiles.

Trail marathons I found were definitely my thing. I took to them straight away and noticed I was ‘reasonably’ good at them too.

All that summer, I found myself in the top 5 of events I entered, regardless of how little training I did. I never won any, but I had a couple of 2nd’s to my name and a 3rd place in one of the Hardmoors trail marathons. All evidence was pointing towards me being pretty big news…

Crisis of Confidence!

I’m pretty sure everybody has these days from time to time; when your brain inexplicably becomes your adversary and has you lose all confidence in all that you do.

Normally this happens when you’re tired for some reason. While I was on my own running the length of the UK, I would often wake up in the night with terrible anxiety about what I was trying to do. Then I would wake up in the morning and be 100% confident again. Strange.

I don’t know whether it is exclusively down to being tired, or possibly being subconsciously overwhelmed by your environment without realizing, and tiredness then brings that to the forefront.

John O’Groats to Lands End – Day 4 – Broken Bike

Where I left off

Day 4 route.

Day 4 route.

It had been an eventful previous evening, including a fall at high speed and an impromptu lesson in bike repair I didn’t know I needed. I’d been left with minor injuries, but also sadly, an unridable bike due to a split tyre.

I went to sleep that evening in a state of despair and confusion over what to do next. I had resolved to wake up early and find either a bike shop where I could purchase a new tyre, or at least a train station so I could get to a bike shop somewhere. The main problem was I didn’t know where either of these things were; plus I’d need to be on foot…