Steamy Day

I was due for my midweek run yesterday, but I got a call from some friends who were going to go ride on a steam train with their two boys — would I like to join them?

It turned out that the steam train was on the Avon Valley line, starting from Bitton, which is, handily, on the Bristol and Bath Railway cycle path. Trying not to think about how far along the path Bitton is — since I started getting on my bike again recently, I’ve probably not done more than five miles in the course of a single day — I got on my bike and set off.

I did pretty well on the way there, though Bitton was further along the 13-mile path than I remembered, definitely closer to Bath than Bristol. Then I had fun on trains. Here’s me taking a photo of little Zach taking a photo of the Polish steam engine that was running the show yesterday:

20120830 IMG 6378

We had lunch in a good old-fashioned compartment as we rode along the little railway line, then had a cup of tea at Bitton.

And then I rode back, which was less fun that the ride out. My knees, especially my right knee, clearly don’t like long cycle rides without much practice.

At least the last stretch of the path back to Bristol is gently downhill. Once back in town, I headed for the Workhouse Cafe and a melon and apple smoothie for recovery purposes 🙂

Overall, I did about 35km cycling yesterday, about 22 miles (I stopped the clock at the cafe, but I cycled home from there, too.) It was a lovely sunny day to be cycling down the path, with the added bonus for my poor knees that I didn’t have to go all the way to Bath, at least 😀

I’ll leave you with a picture of some of the “lineside equipment” at Bitton station…

Pollen Face

Mixing Jogging with Duty

I don’t usually mix jogging with anything else. I go out jogging, I come back home. This Sunday, though, I had a favour to do for a friend that dovetailed nicely with the jogging. So, I jogged out to Easton, fed my friend Emmeline’s cat, and jogged back again.

This was good motivation, got me a nice halfway break where I could pet a cat and fill up a water bottle, and took me around some bits of Bristol my jogging doesn’t normally go.

Here’s a few pictures from the jog. On the way out, I passed a huge group of cheery cyclists heading out down the A4, snapped the blue sky over the Suspension Bridge, and took care not to get run over by a steam train. And then, of course, there was Me Me, at the halfway point, who’s very affectionate, especially when you’ve got a tin of food in your hand…

In the end, it was a 9K jog. It would’ve been 10K, but I stopped in a supermarket near home on the way back, so I walked the last kilometre weighed down with shopping 🙂

IMG 7103
IMG 7104
IMG 7105
IMG 7106

Eight, ten… Thirteen?

I was only going to go out for a 10K last night, but it was a lovely evening, I was feeling fairly awake, and the towpath, though pretty muddy in places, gets even prettier past my normal turnoff.

I usually just use the towpath for a quick shady jog out and back a few kilometres, or to get to the far entrance to Leigh Woods for a circular route that comes back across the Suspension Bridge. But the towpath extends beyond there all the way to Pill, and gets increasingly countryside‑y as it goes along.

So, instead of turning around at the 5K point, I headed further out, almost to Pill, and hit the 7.5K mark before turning around. I did a nice, easy pace. It was warm, and this was the longest jog I was going to do since the Bath Half in March. Plus I stopped to take photos every now and again. Shame I didn’t take a real camera out with me, but I did my best with the camera on my old 3GS and Instagram…

I was further slowed by stepping out of the way for the occasional cycling groups and sometimes other joggers; the path between the end of Leigh Woods and Pill is very narrow indeed. All things considered, I’m happy enough with 1 hour 53 minutes for the 13+ kilometres I managed.

Here’s my snaps 🙂

IMG 7077

IMG 7078

IMG 7079

IMG 7080

IMG 7081

IMG 7082

Getting Longer

Carrying on with the training regime for the Bristol Half, I nipped out this morning for my first 10K jog for a while.

Apart from the humidity and the occasional overly-muddy section of towpath (yes, surprisingly, it’s been raining in England again recently…) it went well.

I was taking it easy. I stopped for a breather halfway up the hill, and to snap a couple of photos, including one of a bloody great yacht about to sail through Junction Lock at high tide, so I’m not too unhappy with an hour and a half.

I’ll leave you with a snap of Hotwells from my warm-up walk 🙂


Long Time No See

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I had a bit of a break after my walking holiday. I’ve only been for a few runs since, this little 5K, a 6‑and-a-half‑K, and, yesterday, an 8‑and-a-bit‑K. So at least my distance figures are heading in the right direction…

I have been keeping up the exercise momentum in general, though. Most days I’ve been trying to head out for an hour’s exercise at least, whether it’s just a long walk (mostly involving hills, this being Bristol) or getting out on my bike. The cycling’s a fairly recent thing — I was prodded back into it by my green, sustainable friend Emmeline — and it’s been fun to get back into.

Cycling’s a bit lower-impact, too, which has been handy over the last week, because I’ve done something to my left ankle that’s left it a bit hurty. Not too sure what, and it’s not that serious, but I’ve eased back on the jogging because of it, and at least the cycling gives me a decent non-pounding alternative… Seems to be on the mend now, albeit gradually.

But. Definitely time to gently pick up the jogging, especially the distance, because it’s only six weeks or so until the Bristol Half Marathon, and I want to be better-prepared for it than I was for Bath…

I’ll head out for a longer jog over the weekend, and we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully my ankle will stand up to it, and I’ll break through the 10K barrier, if only by a bit…

I’ll leave you with an iPhone snap I took at the halfway point of yesterday’s 8K, down near Sea Mills station.

From Sea Mills Bridge