23 February 2016

Sence Valley CaniX

The Sence Valley course is a fairly fast and furious course; lots of fairly wide hard packed/stoney paths, a couple more narrow muddy but unfortunately generally a fair few members of public who seem to think they dont need to keep their dogs under control (I've deleted a very waffly rant that this turned into lol. I dont care how friendly YOUR dog is, and if your dog isnt friendly it certainly shouldn't be off lead approaching everyone elses...see here I go again!!..).

When I got Blaze out to walk him before the race he didnt seem right on his front right leg, this meant some quick thinking on my part; I didnt want to run Pippa with that much hard ground for 2 days, yet I know D likes his space.

I decided to run D on Saturday, I muzzled him and necklined him to Kyra, ensuring we over took and got overtaken on Kyras side. We were near the end of the start list so we started near the back anyway. He put a lot of trust into me and soon relaxed nicely, happily passing other dogs. The only dog he didnt like was a reactive saluki, and we did move off the path out the way to let them pass.

Sunday was Pips turn; Team Little n Large. She had so much fun and put her heart and soul into that first uphill trying to race Kyra to the top. Kyra honoured Blaze by sploshing in every puddle but to be fair it was rather warm compared to what it has been. We had a lovely run next to the reactive saluki with all 3 running side by side. I love how bomb proof Pippa is. He was lovely and relaxed next to her.

21:23.48 for day one, and 21:00.9 for day 2, earning us 2nd place overall. I definitely missed my ginger pulling power - its quite clear who is the consistent puller out of Kyra and Blaze!! That said, it was great to be running my little beagle terriest again.

8 February 2016

Caythorpe Dash Half Marathon

I did this Half Marathon a couple years ago with Pippa and Blaze, and this year returned with Blaze and Kyra. I remember it being hilly and muddy, and I remember The Styles. Selectively I didnt remember quite how many, but I did remember getting quite grumpy as I ran my two on a split line which made getting them over the styles additionally tricky. I used separate lines this year!

I actually rather enjoyed this run. Its lovely for about 10 miles, and my two were storming round. We did the first 6 miles in 49:25 and 9 miles in 1:17. At around mile 10, theres a huge big muddy slippery hill thats impossible to actually run up, followed by NINE (yes, nine!!) stiles over the next 3 miles. Not only did I have 13kg of Blaze to lift over each style, I also had 24.5kg of husky as Kyra refused point blank to jump over any of these ones. To make matters worse, as soon as her paws hit the ground on the other side she wanted to get running again, so I generally clung on, hoping each style wasnt rotten, as I tried my best to get myself over in one piece (I think we need to go on a style hunt and do some training!). I did manage to fling myself in a bramble bush on one rather steep and muddy downhill section.

We finished 2:11:27 which wasnt too bad going considering the NINE styles, and the congested start. And after some of my other recent non dog runs, this actually didnt feel too hilly for me either.

1 February 2016


New Years Cannock CaniX 

The start of the year saw us see in the year with a 3 day CaniX event starting on New Years Day over at Cannock Chase. The New Years Day run was a run with a difference. They called it CaniX Extra and it featured 5 or so check points scattered about the regular course, and we had to stop and stamp our bibs at each check point. Although you could run the course as normal, following the course markers, you could also take-you-own-line between check-points, and they handed us each a map 10 minutes before the start. It actually turned out to be great fun. I got lost, fell over, missed a check point and had to turn back, but some how managed to win our category, albeit just.

Unfortunately, my van decided not to play so I ended up missing Saturdays race and taking a very long and slow journey home on the back of a flatbed. However, I returned for Sunday with Blaze and Kyra and despite falling over another two times, we managed to bag another win. Just a shame it didnt count in the placings as we'd missed Saturdays event. It was the muddiest and slippiest I've seen Cannock and Kyra definitely wasn't listening to "steady"!

Fidos Forest Frenzy - Thetford  

This was a new 5 and 10k event held by Kings Forest Canicross, and just an hour from home. We were entered into the 10k. Bizarrely it was a rather warm, especially considering just 7 days previously we were running in the snow and ice around High Lodge just up the road. The course was 2 loops of fairly wide track & mainly flat. Kyra got a bit warm, but she and Blaze flew round in an impressive 47 minutes, and we came 2nd. A new 10k canicross PB for me!

22 December 2015

Review: Pawsome Box

Kyra also got a Christmas box in the post.

Pawsome boxes are monthly boxes delivered to your door, each containing 5-6 products (toys, treats, accessories or hygiene products). Plans range from one month at £19.90 to 12 months for £15.90 per month.

This months box contained a generous 7 items; A snowflake ball on a rope, a Rudolf rope toy, a chocolate orange mini box, some nutri pockets, some bioance shampoo, a candy cane plush and some M&Ms kitchen christmas puddings.

Kyra couldnt believe her luck - toys and treats galore!

The toys and treats were a firm hit, and I'm loving the smell of the shampoo!

Review: Purrfect Box

Woody received her first item of mail in the post this week; her very own Purrfect Box to review.

As I've mentioned previously, purrfect boxes are cat boxes that you sign up to on a monthly basis. Each box contains 5-6 different products including treats, toys, accessories and hygiene products. You can select between kitten, adult and senior, and sign up between different length "plans" ranging from 1 month to 12 months. A single box will set you back £19.90, whereas a 12 month plan works out a little cheaper at £16.90 per month.

This months box certainly had a christmasy feel to it. It contained 7 items; a father christmas fishing rod, a Rudolf toy, a christmas stocking, 2 pouches of iams, some Kelp care, a Simons Cat bowl and some Trixie mini-nuggets.

Woody couldnt wait for me to take the photo before she got stuck in..

The stocking, and fishing rod were both firm hits

and the Kelp care got wolfed down on some food

CaniX Pembrey

Back over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of December we were over in Wales for the latest installment of the current season of CaniX events. This time, we returned once again to Pembrey Country Park; one of my favorite venues.

There was a slight course change to the usual december mass start, due to the addition of some hedging by the campsite/venue, but otherwise the course was the same as we've run many times before. The weather was unseasonably mild, although Saturday did see some rather blustery conditions.

Somehow we managed to win our category both days, albeit only just. Saturday in particular we spent most of the race in second place, just managing to pull ahead near the end coming in in 28:46.67. Sunday we managed to get into the lead earlier on. I felt like I put more effort in but we had a slightly slower time, 29:12.22.

7 December 2015

Trailscape East

On Saturday we took part in our second Trailscape event, this time down in Cuxton in Kent. Again, 3 distances were on offer; a full marathon (ish - 27.2 miles), a half (13.6) and a 10k. Unfortunately when I entered, the half was already full, and although I entered the 10k I was told they had run out of canicross places at the 10k distance. So after talking to the organizers, I ended up transferring to the marathon, but only running one lap. This did mean a slightly earlier start, but the course was less busy. The only downside was because the route had a section of there-and-back-shared track near the end this meant us passing the 10k runners who were just setting out head on; not ideal when the track was so narrow.

This course was much hillier, consisted of more forest trails, incorporated more styles and had a few fallen trees to hop over in places. We also ended up running through the middle of a shoot! We'd stumbled upon a convoy of land-rovers when crossing one of the forest roads, and evidently that was them arriving. Lots of shooting followed, then shouting, and then, as we descended a particularly steep downhill section we came across a gathering of men with shotguns and busy Labradors searching the surrounding shrub. It was a little unnerving I must say, although the men were perfectly friendly.

One thing I do like about Trailscape events is there little signs dotted around the course. In addition to their course markers and reassurance tape used to mark the course, they also have little motivational signs. On some of the particularly steep sections they had signs such as "what goes up.." and "touch for power". Its a welcome distraction from the pain of the hill, even if I was wishing the "touch for power' sign released a squirrel in the right direction. I did touch it just in case, but sadly it didnt.

It was one of the hardest half marathons I've done, but I am enjoying the longer distances and getting to explore different areas with all these off road trail adventures with these two.