Me vs Me

  • Posted by alex
  • 23 August 2012

Me versus darker mornings
Me versus my duvet
Me versus damp running shorts (forgot to put the dryer on)
Me versus the front door
Me versus the slanting rain
Me versus those mulchy leaves (the jogger's nemesis)
Me versus cowpats
Me versus that man on a bike
Me versus the ruts in the farm track
Me versus the barbed wire fence
Me versus the hill back into the village
Me versus my PB
Me versus all of you
And I'm home

By Dan Germain

Merino, Merino, Merino.

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 August 2012

We don't just love Merino because it's 100% natural. When it comes to running and riding, nothing beats Merino wool.

The secret behind our love affair isn't complicated at all, it's simply down to the amazing fabric.

Merino breathes and wicks away moisture because they are hydrophilic at one end and hydrophobic at the other; soaking up moisture like a sponge and releasing it away from the body.

Merino wool is naturally antibacterial and bacteria has a hard time sticking to it - so you can go a ride or two (or three) before you smell like it and your new favourite top needs to see a washing machine.

And unlike man-made fabrics, Merino will still regulate body temperature when it's wet - keeping you warm when it's cool and cool when it's warm. A bonus in the months when it can go from skin-tingling in the shade to beach weather over the crest of a hill.

Take a look at our Merino clothing for men and Merino clothing for women.

A new summit

  • Posted by ruben
  • 24 July 2012
The format is simple, you run to the top of Snowdon then straight back down to the finish. Since the first 86 competed at the inaugural race, the event has grown to over 600 runners today.

"Running takes you places." This is my first thought as I slap my hand down on the trig point on top of the tallest mountain in Wales and glance out at the stunning views below me. The sight of the guy I've been chasing turning to vanish down the other side leads to my second thought. "Just a shame I don't get longer to enjoy them."

I'm half way through my first 'official' mountain race. In a moment I will be hurtling down the same route I just climbed to finish the race with a knee-pounding, tooth-loosening descent back into the small town of Llanberis. 5 miles away as the crow flies, and a vertical kilometre below my feet.

If I wasn't staring at the ground ahead, focusing on my footing and trying to catch the guy in front, I'd be able to see miles in every direction, including the faint outline for Cardigan Island a hundred miles to the south marking home (and howies.)

The Snowdon Race has been held every year since 1976 and is part of the Skyrunner World Series. The format is simple, you run to the top of Snowdon then straight back down to the finish. Since the first 86 competed at the inaugural race, the event has grown to over 600 runners today.

Despite this surge in popularity, the course record was last broken in 1985 when K Stuart ran to the top and back in 1 hour 2 minutes and 29 seconds. This stat passes through my mind as I turn and start the descent with the clock already passing 1 hour 10.

Still, even though I hadn't given the race leaders anything to worry about as they flew down the mountain at speeds I could barely believe and even though I had walked a few hundred meters of the steepest part of the climb, I had already decided this wouldn't be my last mountain race.

The elation I felt on reaching the top of mountain, and the sense of accomplishment that began to sink in as I descended was something I haven't felt before in running.

Not the same as the emotions that wash through during a long run, but something different. A new summit.

This weekend I run the longest race I have ever entered.

The Endurancelife   #UTSW  100 miles clockwise round the Cornish coastal path from Porthleven to Watergate Bay in a 40 hour time limit.

I have run some tough Ultra marathons over the years. 125km over the Rockies in Canada at altitude was a challenge. A 1/2 Marathon in snowshoes at -42degrees where my eyeballs froze was also a test.

In preparation I have been running an Ultra of between 35 to 60 miles every month this year, but tomorrow will be the furthest I have tried to run and possibly the hardest I have tried to push myself.

Can I do it? I honestly don't know. I'd like to think that I have learnt to ignore the nagging inner voice that encourages you to quit, but I guess I won't know until I cross the finish line. The weather is going to be bad all weekend, but I like it like that.

There is a saying in ultra running.

"You live an entire lifetime in the course of a single race, all the joy, pain tedium and wonder etched into a single day. Step by step, mile by mile, we keep running through the darkness until we eventually come out the other side at dawn"

It's been quite a journey to get me to this point, and however the weekend goes, I know it will just be the start of the next journey.

I will try to get some pictures onto the howies instagram (@howiesclothing)

Torch run

  • Posted by aron
  • 25 May 2012

The Olympic torch will be making its way through our little town this Sunday.

So we did a new shop window display to help the runner along.

Bristol Sample Sale this weekend

  • Posted by ade
  • 16 April 2012

We are heading back to Bristol this weekend to do a howies sample sale at the bottom of Park street. We will be in here, number 30 on the right as you are heading uphill. It's only a 15 minute walk from Temple Meads rail station too.

The space is not as big as usual, so you won't be able to get your bike in.  And if Thursday is it's usual busy self, you may be in the queue for a bit. But we are around for 4 days, and not everything will be out on the first night.

As before there will be some amazing bargains,  last-in-the-box pieces from seasons past, unique samples of items that were never put in to production, prototype samples and maybe things that need a button or a stitch.

The sale will run:

Thursday 19th April: 4pm to 8pm

Friday 20th April: 10.00am to 6pm

Saturday 21st April: 10.00am to 6pm

Sunday 22nd April: 11.00am to 4pm

But remember, as always, stock is limited so if you want the first stuff out the box, be the early bird.

Oh and bring a bag to take your purchases home in.

Doubt Vesuvius

  • Posted by ade
  • 12 April 2012

 

This weekend we run the Endurancelife coastal series at Heddon Valley on Exmoor. Sofia in the 10km, Hazel in the 1/2 marathon (both first time) and Ruben, Chris and unfortunately myself in the Ultra.

My first and last Ultra was in February. The 35 miles took a few weeks preparation 7 hours and all my will power to finish, and they I could not walk for 2 days. Then we had the Restless ride to prepare for so I switched to the bike training three times a day. Then I went away for work and the running has been a few quick 5 milers here and there. And I meant to downgrade to the marathon, but missed the deadline.

On a scale if 1 to 5, the course is rated 5 (Extreme) and thus the last 14 days and the next 39 hours will be trying to keep a lid on the self doubt.

I have all my mental race props prepared. Innov-8 shoes, smartwool socks, howies shorts boxers baselayers and Brenin jacket, my Salomon s-lab pack, Nuun rehydration tablets, Camelbak bottle, Clif bars, shots and luna bars, iPhone with 1000 running tracks, swiss army knife, chewing gum, foil blanket, first aid kit, ankle brace, £20 note and a merino beanie.  They have got me through hell and high water.

But when the gun goes, it all going to be down to keeping a lid on the pain and the doubt. And the hardest bit will be the last 6 miles of the marathon to the finish line, where they send you out again on the 10km course to do the Ultra.

That doubting bit of my mind will be nagging me stop. "Why go further? You're tired, you've already run the next bit, the car's just there and you could get changed and be home to see the family sooner. You won't be able to walk tomorrow. You just did a marathon, that's good enough. Will you even make the next bit? Just say your ankle is playing up."

If I am in genuine hell, I will just stop there. I will need to be able to depress the clutch to get home.

But I hope that the legs hold, that the music has me singing along, and the last 10km pass to a joyous finish.

Watch our twitterfeed @howies and instagram @howiesclothing for the latest.

Getting out the door

  • Posted by howies
  • 12 April 2012

Exercise makes me happy. If I run a couple of times a week I think clearer, I sleep sounder, I eat better, I work more productively. I am happier. And yet, I can go for months without going for a single run. What's with that?

It took a chance meeting with Olympic athlete Steve Cram to tell me what the problem is. It's the front door. It's there, and its shut. He told me, "it doesn't matter if you're a professional athlete or training for your first fun run, the hardest part is motivating yourself to get going. If you can pull your trainers on and get out the door, everything else is easy."

The good news is he also told me how to open the door. Its a 2 step process:

1. Set yourself a goal.
Enter a run / bike ride / triathlon / adventure race / bog snorkel.
Nothing too hard, just something you couldn't do today.

2. Tell EVERYONE.
Parents, children, postman, neighbours, doctor, God, Twitter followers,
ticket collectors etc. There's no turning back now.

It works. For example, I haven't been swimming for 5 years. Then yesterday I entered a 1.5 mile swim to the Isle of Wight. I now have exactly 94 days until I walk down the shingle beach and into the waters of the Solent. So today I found my old trunks at the back of my drawer and tomorrow morning I'll be in the local swimming pool.

David came to howies to show us a website he built with a couple of friends to help people with the difficult Step 1.

You can guess what it does. It gets you out the door.

Words: David Wearn

www.findarace.com

Challenge yourself to something new and when you've found a race, let us know where you're racing on facebook, or tweet us with the hashtag #foundarace. You might even find a friend or two to get out the door with you.

Suggestions

  • Posted by alex
  • 5 April 2012

With 100% more weekend on offer as of now, we've been thinking of a few ways to spend the extra days while we're not at our desks.

After a quick poll in the office, these were the top suggestions. We'd like to hear yours.

Have a great weekend. Whatever you do, we hope you enjoy it.

1. Run in the woods

2. Fix up your bike

3. Get lost somewhere new

4. Read a book

5. Eat outside

6. Skinny dip

7. Go sledging (do not leave the country)

8. Make wild garlic soup

9. Take to the water

10. Make a paper hat for a fly*
(*sadly, this fly was dead when we found it...)

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