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


I’ve not posted about running since the Bristol 10K, have I? That’s lax of me. Good news: it’s not because I’ve been that lazy about exercise, just about posting.

Last Sunday I went up Bridge Valley Road and around the Downs, which felt good.

Since then I haven’t run at all, but that’s because I dusted off my bike on Wednesday to go for a quick 11K down the Portway and back. I’ve not been on a bike since last year’s balloon fiesta, from what I remember. I really want to start riding some more, mostly for getting around town and doing stuff. Walking’s great, but for longer distances or quicker trips, a bike’s really convenient…

Anyway. Just checking in, really! More after my normal run on Sunday, probably…

Back On The Jog

Just back from a jog, for the first time since the Wednesday before last. Giving my hip a bit of a rest seems to have helped. Today I ran pretty much all the way around the entire green bit on the map — must make sure I include that last little triangle next time, just for completeness’ sake — for a total of 8.88km.

While bits of me still ache a little, I’m not feeling as bad as I felt last weekend. Cycling is clearly a good enough “rest” for when I’ve overdone the jogging or walking, which is good to know.

So, two weeks to go to the half marathon, and I can definitely run almost halfway 🙂 I think, assuming the weather is neither blazing hot sunshine or a complete downpour, that I should probably be able to get through 21K the Sunday after next, if I take it steady.

Which is a good opportunity to plug my JustGiving page again, where the donations to Cancer Research currently stand at £100, thanks to you, dear reader, and some of the lovely people on Twitter.

I think I can raid the generous pockets of people at work with an actual paper sponsor form as well, to help me get to my target of £250 (because my company will match donations up to £250, it seemed like a good target.)

I think I’ll go out for a couple of short runs in the next seven days, then give myself a complete week’s rest before the half marathon…

Cycling Up The Road

IMG_0735 2.JPGCycling up Bridge Valley Road, to be precise. Steep.

Although it’s clearly not all the same muscles that get used by cycling and running, at least the aerobic fitness from running is transferable. I could never have cycled up Bridge Valley Road this time last year. Today, on a nearly 9K-cycle ride that took me up and around the Downs, I managed it without stopping. Albeit slowly. Maybe I’ve learned to pace myself a bit, too…

It didn’t feel like as much exercise as running even 5K, but at least it was some exercise, and it doesn’t seem to be aggravating my hip.

I’m going to give myself a couple of days’ rest and probably try a little jog at the weekend, just see how things are feeling.

On Wheels

IMG_0678 2.JPGMy left hip’s been playing up a bit recently. It’s been quite achey the last couple of days, possibly because of the amount of walking I’ve done, heading to Ashton Court and back for various bits of the Balloon Fiesta.

So, I figure I need a bit of a time-out, especially as I don’t want to aggravate it too much before the half marathon, which is three weeks today.

But, I don’t want to cut out on exercising, so when my friend Dave returned the bike I’d lent him — to tide him over after his got nicked a couple of weeks ago — it seemed like a bit of a sign. I’ve not been out on my bike for ages, at least a year, and it had just been languishing in the back yard gathering dust. Dave returned it sparkling and shiny and, importantly, having tested the brakes for me 🙂

Today’s RunKeeper log, therefore, isn’t actually a running log, but a cycling log. I did 10K, but that included a few pauses here and there. Not least of which was the first, caused by Bristol’s maritime side — there’s not a lot you can do if they’re going to slide the road to one side to let a boat go first.

It also included a bit of walking here and there — I don’t know Ashton Court very well, for example, so I managed to end up on one track that was really only passable by mountain bike; the tyres on my hybrid were just slipping around. Plus I took a wrong turn every now and again. Still, it’s all good exercise.

And it doesn’t seem to have aggravated my hip like walking there yesterday did.

Don’t know if I’m going to keep cycling swapped for running until the half marathon, but it might be sensible. Whatever I do, I’m going to have a look through the nice book on stretching my dad bought for me and see what it says about hips, because it could just be that it needs a good bit of regular stretching…


Just another quick update: it’s still icy out there, but I’m keeping up the “doing some exercise” momentum. Just finished another 35 minutes on the exercise bike, this time distracted by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which seems suitably entertaining. And remarkably close to the original.

Anyway. It was dull enough to do, let alone talk about, so that’s my update 🙂


ChuckIt was hard enough walking to work today, so I haven’t been running. Nevertheless, I made sure to get some exercise. On top of walking a couple of miles to work and back through the snow, we had a snowball fight at work at lunchtime — well, in the park next to work, anyway. Must be good for a few calories.

But, not content with that, I figured I should do some more formal fitness today, to keep up some kind of routine. So I dragged the exercise bike in front of the telly and pedalled for 35 minutes — about the same time as it would have taken me to run 5K.

So, that’s about all I have to report. I guess the pavements are going to be a bit ropey for a couple of days, looking at the amount of snow there out there and the temperatures we’re expecting — down to ‑7ºC tonight, so this blog might be a bit minimal for a while!

Enjoy the snow, if you’ve got it!