Wednesday, 23 February 2011

LMV Recce (part 2) - 23/02/2011

Good day today - off work, and out on the fells.

I met up with Owen Mills, who works in Atkins Leeds office and is planning a BG attempt this summer. We're going to do some recce for that at the weekend, but thought it'd be good to run here first...

We decided not to pound round the first few miles, so set off from the top car park onto Cow Ridge. My poor choice of paths at the top gave us half a mile of heather bashing, but we eventually got out onto the road, and up to Boiling Well to join the race route. This is about 4 miles and 1,250' of climbing into the race, we'd done only about 1.5 miles here, and probably about 870' of ascent. We saved about 2.5 miles and 380' of climbing.

From here, down Ashes Hollow past CP2 and up to Barrister's Plain was straightforward. The descent into  Callow Hollow is initially very steep and was slippery - I stayed on the dead bracken but Owen did a bit of sliding down the slick grass by the path. I find the drag up Callow Hollow quite hard work - the path isn't great and I think it must be steeper than it looks. Thanks to John's excellent lead from the previous recce I found the route up and over Minton Hill down to CP4 nicely and we were soon running down Minton Batch. This is nice - I'd not been on this bit of the Mynd for years...

The hard work starts at CP5, the junction of Minton and Windy Batches. You launch up a steepish ascent of Windy Batch, forking right into a side valley. The section up to the headwall of this was very steep and slick with rain: extremely hard going. We stopped and snapped a couple of pictures. At the top we went between the 395m knoll and Packetstone Hill. Working out a descent from here, I bet wrongly. In the race I'll follow the stream down initially before crossing the spur low down where there's a trod which lead across Callow Hollow in two short strides, on to the ascent of Callow.

Callow is another plod, but with a half decent track. The bottom section is very steep, then there's a slightly more gently graded section which leads to the top (CP6). The way on from here to Grindle is the main route decision on the race. We went for the most direct option, following the path steeply at first up to the flat area at 430m between Grindle and Nills. From here we headed down the stream to pick up the spur to the left. This is a good, quick descent.

At the bottom, going straight over Ashes Hollow leads into the valley between Yearlet and Ashlet. After the gorse we headed up past some hawthorn trees, but traversed too far right on the ascent (it's another killer, but the last big one), and ended up coming out 200m north of the top. Not a mistake to make on race day - that's cost 3 or 4 minutes. It's an easy and very fast descent to the Ashlet col to pick up the green path, which is again a fast way down. This only leaves the 40' pull out of Townbrook Valley and the run-out to the finish.

The GPS has our route as 9.0 miles and 3,530' of ascent. Adding on the distance and height saved by our shortcut at the start would give 11.5 miles and 3,910' of ascent. The official mileage is 11.5 miles and 4,500' - maybe my GPS (unusually) under-read on the ascent, or maybe the race info overstates the climbing. Who knows?

Our time, at a gentle recce type pace and with a couple of very short stops, was 2h:41. At that speed, race time should be about 3h:18, but I expect to be going faster... Based on the Canter race pace vs. recce speed I should be looking at around 2h:48.

Photos and map/profile to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday Night Run - 22/02/2011

Another Tuesday and another good run from Church Stretton. Not a classic tonight, but just what I needed after a ridiculously busy day. We went out along Madeira Walk and then round Novers Hill into Cwmdale, then we turned up the Batch.

I was just enjoying how comfy and grippy the xTalons were, and having a nice chat with Sandy, when I nearly missed the little bridge, tried to side-step onto it, lost my footing on the slippery wood and went for a burton. I bashed my right hip and knee (good grazes apparent later when I took my tights off), but got up pretty quickly and just kept running. I find this is the best way with knocks and bruises...

Anyway we cut up onto the ridge the LMV descends to Jonathan's Hollow, and then worked our way up in thick mist to the top of Haddon Hill.

The descent was via the Portway and straight down Mott's Road.

6.3 miles, 1,400' (according to the OS map, the GPS said about 1,800' but that seemed high to me) and 01:21.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Gym Nite - 21/02/2011

I took my stepson James up to the gym again tonight. We were a little pushed for time (he's off to a mate's place for a night chilling which probably means mostly xBox with a little bit of something he shouldn't be doing but that we all did when we were his age).

Anyway, we had a good session. I warmed up with five minutes of rowing, then went round most of the legwork weights machines (quads, hamstrings, adductor and abductor) on 3 sets of 20 reps at moderate load. I also used the back machine and for a change the triceps machine - jeez, that burns on the third set.

I warmed down for 20 minutes on the treadmill, running five minutes at 6mph and slope setting 10 (is that 10 degrees or 10%??) and then reducing the gradient and increasing the speed, finishing with 3 minutes at 8 mph on the level, then easing off gently for five minutes to warm down. I always get a real sweat on using the treadmill - am I working harder than out on the hill?

Total running (assuming the gradient readout is % rather than degrees): 2.0 miles and 270' of ascent in 20 minutes.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Stretton Long Run - 20/02/2011

Caer Caradoc from the track below Cwms Cottage

This is the first time I've been out and really felt like I was comfortably within myself but still running well all the way (I only walked the headwall up onto Ashlet, which is very steep).

I had a nice run round some of the Stretton Hills, keeping it fairly short due to the highish climbing total this week and the likely demands of next week (LMV recce and a BG Legs 3 and 4 recce). The weather was pleasant enough, overcast but not misty, wet, or cold. My route was from Church Stretton up to Cwms Cottage and then onto the col west of Willstone Hill.

Battle Stones, Willstone Hill
Caer Caradoc from Battle Stones
From the Battle Stones I returned to the col and took a traversing line to pt. 393 (labelled Hope Bowdler Hill on the OS Map), then beelined on very thin sheep tracks to the 426m summit, and down to the Gaer Stone.

Hazler Hill (with mast) and Ragleth Hill from above the Gaer Stone
I headed up the road and onto Ragleth Hill, traversing the ridge to the post, and then enjoying a real swooping descent (with just one slip despite very wet ground) down to the A49.

From Little Stretton I headed up Ashes Hollow and then into the valley between Ashlet and Yearlet. I took the right hand fork towards to top of the valley and had to hike the last 100m or so onto the ridge, but was soon running well again around the path which traverses the north face of Grindle. I swung round the top of Townbrook Hollow and down the path, which makes for a very quick descent at the moment if you can avoid the walkers and dogs!

A quick blast over the "little sod" and down the path into CMV, and then a jog down to the car near the Social Club finished off a good morning out.

Todays stats were 11.5 miles and 2,400' of ascent in 2 hours 23 minutes. The weekly total is 31.9 miles (-2.0) and 7,000' (+470'); the four weekly total moves to 119.4 miles (+11.3) and 26,000' (+2,250') as the taper week and Kinder Trial drop out.

I'm pretty please with how it's going so far this year. I won't be looking to measure any progress at the LMV, just to get round in reasonable shape. Of more concern is whether I'm yet fit enough to give a decent account of myself on Owen's BG recce next weekend.

The map and profile for today's effort are below.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Edale Recovery Run - 18/02/2011

Misty dark trig point on Mam Tor
Tonight I got out for a quick recovery run at Edale on the way back from a long day of consultation at Matlock.

It was quarter past five when I got going. The aim was to run up the bridleway to Mam Nick and then head round the latter stages of the Edale Skyline route, but I realised I'd blown this fairly early on as I saw how thick the cloud was near Mam Nick and realised that while I had the map with me, the compass was in the car...

I had a storming run up to Mam Nick noetheless, running all the way at a reasonable pace without feeling unduly knackered. I turned right onto Rushup Edge and ran up to Lord's Seat, and then continued on down towards the point where you turn to pick up the path towards Brown Knoll. It was getting pretty dark now and I got the headtorch out, but the mist was thick enough I needed to hold the torch low in my hand to get good contrast for running on the path.

I continued along the fence and wall as I didn't want to get lost without a handle on the plateau. When I got to the Chapel Gate track I turned north and followed this (skipping round the enormous puddles) until I reached the point where the southern of the two paths to Brown Knoll crosses. Without the benefit of a compass, I had a quick route rethink and decided that rather than dropping down to the valley, I'd backtrack to Mam Nick and then head on over Mam Tor to Hollins Cross.

This was all straightforward and done at a steady run, including the steps on the way up Mam Tor. The descent from Hollins Cross is obvious because there's a big round stone plinthy thing at the path junction. I took the hard left option, which is a nice (but rutted) bridleway leading down to Greenlands, where a little lane gives an easy route back to the Edale car park.

I wore the xTalon 212s again and was very impressed with the comfort levels, except perhaps that I could feel the studs under the ball of my right foot after a mile or so of the slabs on Mam Tor. I understand why the path has been hardened, but it's dreadful to run on now, quite unlike the lovely soft sand and peat of the rest of the route. Other than that I enjoyed this (mostly) night run - I find that running in the dark is a good way of making sure I don't go too fast on easy runs!

Todays stats were 7.3 miles, 1,620' of ascent, 1hr 44mins. The route and profile are below.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cannock Chase Pace - 17/02/2011

The Glacial Boulder near my second trig of the day
Angella Streluk [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I had to borrow a photo today - I was generally moving too fast to get the cameraphone out.

I had a meeting over near Milford today, and knew I'd be in work late tonight, so I pinched an hour in the middle of the day to get a training run in on the Chase, the first time I'd been out here since the Trig Points Race.

I ran from Milford Common and did a loop which was effectively the northern part of the race route, using Graham Gristwood's excellent map. I started fairly steady, but ran all of the ascent on the way up to the rifle range trig point. From there I put in a few 100-pace efforts which took me down into the head of Sherbrook Valley. I ran steadily up the west side of the valley to the glacial boulder trig, and then down and across the house fronts at Brocton back to Milford Common.

A nice pacy run on a warmish feeling afternoon (running helps - it was flippin cold standing around at the site meeting earlier on). 7.2 miles and 1,160' of ascent in an hour and ten minutes.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Club Run - 15/02/2011

Tonight's activity - including the three laps in CMV
After my struggle with shoes on Sunday I went to see Ian at Ultrasport on Monday afternoon, and came away with a pair of Inov-8 xTalon 212 fell shoes. Ian's fantastically knowledgable and I came away with a bargain pair of shoes and the benefit of 45 minutes coaching too. Tonight's run was my first chance to try them out an it proved to be a good test. There was a decent sized gaggle of folk (17 I think) despite the weather, which was pretty wet but clearing when we started.

We followed a route that aimed to keep us to the drier ridges, as a lot of the streams on the Mynd are so swollen that they are over the valley paths in places. So we headed up the Green Path onto Ashlet, although as soon as we were clear of the town we were up into thick cloud, which made following even this clear track quite tricky. By the time we stopped to check position and regroup it was very misty (perhaps around 10m visibility), so we decided to cut short and head over to descend Cow Ridge.

I took the descent steady at the start just to see how grippy the shoes are (new fell shoes always seem to take a couple of runs to suss out) and was pretty impressed even though the Talon studs are nothing like as aggressive as the Mudclaws. We regrouped again at the bottom and true to form, Rick mixed things up a bit, organising us into pairs and setting up some kind of strange counter-rotating non-relay thingy.

I paired up with Paul Flinn (I've run with him before, in the Time Trial). The course (anticlockwise) was along/up the path from CMV towards the Burway, veering off steeply down before the house to the valley bottom by the parking hut, and then hammering up the road to the bridge. I ran an anticlockwise leg (first hundred yards too fast) and then we switched back near the fingerpost and I went clockwise while Paul went anti clockwise. I found this second leg, with the steep uphill and gentle downs on the road and the Burway path, much easier than the anti-clockwise. I met Paul again just before the fingerpost and turned for the third and final leg. I had to push myself very hard, particularly on the last road bit, to maintain a good speed. I think we finished fourth of eight teams, but it matters not. Each leg was about 0.6 miles.

I'd put a real effort in and felt it as I forced myself to jog up to the Burway Road and then ran down the Rectory Wood and Field to the car park. We finished at 20:34, and jumped straight in the car so Paul could hop onto the 20:37 train. I went back to the car park for the crack, and then on to the Ragleth to talk about coaching and juniors with Rick.

I had yet another good night out, thanks to Rick's excellent activity after we'd had to cut the hill run short. I actually felt really good (the last three outs have been pretty poor, so I think I'm now finally recovered from the Canter and the Newport speed session). 5.9 miles and 1,800' of ascent.

Tonight's profile (GPS elevations)
PS: Just looked at the Shropshire Winter Series category results after four races. Missing the Cracker probably helped with this, but I'm really chuffed to see that I have a continuous improvement (68%, 70%, 74%) over the three races I've run and no-one else has managed this! I think I'll struggle to keep that up at LMV though!!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

LMV Recce (not) - 13/02/2011

Long Mynd Valleys - route map from Mercia FR Website
Today I was resurrected (see "Newport Running Club Killed Me") and joined Helen, Sandy, Noel and John from Newport for a recce of the Long Mynd Valleys route. Helen kindly drove us over to Church Stretton, where we met Paul Cadman, Polly Gibb, Mel Price and Adrian Donnelly.

I set off a minute or two before the main gaggle (Mel was late so Helen waited for her and they caught us up on top), and headed up the ridge and over into Jonathan's Hollow, keeping warm in the rain. The trod down into JH is much wider than it was a few months ago - must be all the recce runs! I waited at CP1 because I wanted to see the best route up to the Portway. Paul and Adrian led on up (stay left of the stream at first, and then head a bit left to the lip of Long Batch after a few hundred yards).

I struggled a bit on the Port Way going over to Boiling Well - must be all the fast running from the Canter and last Wednesday night... Coming down Ashes Hollow I followed Mel at the back of the group but then had a bit of a spill on slippery grass, landing on (and bashing) the outside of my left knee and my hip. I was up and running straight away and got up and over Barrister's Plain fine. Then the shoe horror started.

As soon as I went over in Ashes I knew I should have been wearing fell shoes, not my trail shoes. But my Mudclaws just aren't comfortable - I even had foot pain on the 5 mile Canter last weekend. I went down (gently) twice more on the way down from BP, and again on the way round into Callow Hollow. I was trailing along behind John at this point. He kindly waited at the start of the climb out of the Hollow, and we did the ascent easily enough, but as soon as the ground flattened I was struggling again. So rather than go down Minton Batch and leave myself with three big ascents (and more problematically three steep descents in the wrong shoes), I decided to cut and headed up towards the Portway.

I forced myself to keep running (very slowly and steadily) along the road, and up to Pole Bank. I met another local runner here and exchanged a few words before I turned right to go down to Boiling Well. By now I was running a bit more freely, and made a decent fist of the gentle climb over Long Synalds. I dropped down across the col at the top of Townbrook Hollow, then climbed comfortably up the side of Yearlet. I descended by the green path - this was slow going low down with all the wet ground - and jogged back round to the cafe.

I've got a sore hip and knee now, but an ice pack and the rugby helped. Here's my route map and profile...

Route run - race route to just short of the south western point
Profile - I left the LMV route after about 6.5 miles
Today's run was 11.5 miles and 2,840' in 2 hours 32 minutes. The week's total was 33.9 miles (up 11.8 miles on last week) and 6,530' (up 960') of climbing, and the four week rolling total was 108.1 miles and 23,750' (up 7.4 miles and 950').

I'll have to get out and do the last six miles in the week (maybe Thursday) so that I've done it all before I have another go at the whole thing with Owen Mills on Weds 23rd.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Newport Running Club Killed Me! - 09/02/2011

A route around some muddly lanes and fields
These people are sick. This is supposed to be their fell section run. The only thing we didn't run on was a fell, and it was all done at something around about what would probably be my 10k race pace if I ever did a 10k race. Mostly we ran on roads, ankle deep mud and cow shite. Also, I generally take run to mean anything between a jog and something a little bit faster than a jog (for short periods). These guys don't stop to look at the view. In fact, pretty much they don't stop.

They were very nice though. I followed some reflectivey clothing at a respectful distance around a load of fields between Lilleshall Hall and Sherrifhales on Wednesday night, finding it quite hard to keep up, but it was good for me and we had a good crack in the pub afterwards.

I think the shite was around mile five, and there was a long uphill drag on a gallop somewhere round mile six. I don't remember too much else, except being out of breath a lot and Sandy and Helen very patiently back marking with me. There's a map and a run profile below,and we ran 7.7 miles and did 630' of ascent in about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Looks better with an exaggerated vertical scale!

Long Run - 07/02/2011

Below Ragleth Hill

I managed to get a few hours to myself this afternoon and so I headed out to Church Stretton. It was very windy, and still blowing from the south, so I devised a route that would get me up on the hills running generally south to north and then return lower down and hopefully out of the worst of the wind.

I started from my usual parking spot on Watling Street and headed up towards Ragleth Hill. I didn't find the route we'd used a couple of weeks earlier on a Tuesday night, but did climb out of town on a pleasant route up a little valley and past Snatchfield Farm to reach the Ragdon Road by a small quarry. 200 yards south west is the path up to Ragleth Hill.

As I got up onto the ridge, the full force of the wind hit me for the first time. I really struggled to maintain any kind of momentum as I headed along the ridge into the wind, aiming for the post at the south west top. Coming back was much easier, though.

I crossed the main Longville Road and headed up towards the Gaerstone, climbing well and mostly out of the wind until I got to the ridge. From here I was pretty much blown up the ridge to the 426m summit of Hope Bowdler Hill. I continued over the col to Willstone Hill. Coming back I had to run hard on the level into the wind to make any progress.

From the col I dropped down to the little plantation at Cwms Cottage, then headed across the west shoulder of Caer Caradoc to pick up the Skyline route south of Little Caradoc, and run down to Comley Farm. Near the farm were the first snowdrops I've seen out this year, about a month later than usual.

Overexposed Comley snowdrops
I continued on over the Lawley - the strong wind helped me to run the upper part of the ascent. The weathervane on the summit was clattering about a bit! I ran on along the ridge to the north east - I haven't been along here for about ten years...

The Lawley from its long north east ridge
At the end of the ridge I turned almost back on myself and took the path which follows the bottom of the west face of the Lawley and Caer Caradoc back towards Church Stretton. I was quite tired on this section and had to have a brief walking break - I think the rapid climbing was catching up with me, and maybe Saturday's racing too. Anyway a drink and a couple of Jelly Babies fixed it, and I jogged back the rest of the way fairly comfortably. The path climbs a bit towards the south end of caradoc, but it's nice single track at that point and so it didn't seem an imposition...

A nice jog across the field and down Cwms Lane took me back to the car. Today's run was 14.0 miles and 2,980' of ascent. I felt ok considering the racing at the weekend and 3 hours and 2 minutes was a pretty reasonable time considering this was (mostly) done at an easy effort level.

Today's route - anti-clockwiseround both loops
Today's profile (with the DEM elevations)
The climb at the end is the traverse round Caer Caradoc - more ascent than it seems

Monday, 7 February 2011

Cardingmill Canter - 05/02/2010

Flat out sprint 200m from the finish
(Some real effort for once)
Photo courtesy John Richards (
The Cardingmill Canter (5.4 miles, 2,050') is the mother of all AS fell races, at least in Shropshire it is. There are less than 2.5 miles of rougly flat or sensibly graded downhill running. The rest is steep or very steep uphills, and there's a vertical (nearly descent) off the last hill. This means it's as much a test of will as it is of speed.

I had a recce last week (see notes here), and so I knew exactly what I was getting into. I ran 72:23 on the recce and so I was aiming for a sub 65 minute time. I reckon the best tactics for me right now are to go off fairly hard from the start and up the first hill (90% effort) and then to try to hold my place - this gives me more incentive to keep running: this was the plan for the Canter.

I didn't have a lot of time at the start after I'd jogged up from town (1.1 miles, 80') and registered, but was just about ready by the time Charlie was giving us the starter's instructions. It was really windy, coming from the south, so the first half of the route would be not too bad, but the rest was going to be pretty grim.

I started a little too far back but made up a few places on the road and the lower slopes of Calf Ridge before slotting in behind Rick Robson, who's usually a bit quicker than me. I got to the top of Calf Ridge in good shape but the first couple of hundred yards on the traverse round the lip of New Pool Hollow were a bit slow. I had a good run from the road crossing across Devil's Mouth and to the top of Burway Hill, only walking very briefly on the steep ascent round Devil's Mouth. I took the descent of Burway Hill fairly full on, passing a couple of people, but struggled to get any pace on the short section of path after the road, before dropping down into the bottom of Cardingmill Valley and crossing the stream.

Dropping down into Cardingmill Valley to cross the stream
Photo courtesy John Richards (
I was pretty out of breath and tired as I started up the track towards Stanyeld and Keith Richards and a couple of other runners came past me as I toiled up the path. I climbed the steep section quite well, catching the guy in front of me, and was able to run near the top, keeping Keith and his group within about 20 yards. You don't get much flat here and the wind was blowing me into the golf course fence, but I pushed on and started the next climb, which is nearly as steep, up to Bodbury Ring. At the top there's a turn to the right (north) and the wind pushed me along here really fast. The climb to Haddon Hill was an endless drag though, moving across the wind. I tried three times on the gentler final slope to get running but couldn't in the wind. Just beyond the top, the route dives down a very steep gully to join Mott's Road, losing 200m of altitude in only 250m horizontally. Usually you roll over the top and try to keep the brakes off, but the wind was blowing hard up the gully, and I had to run the first 20m or so of the descent hard to make any progress.

I took it steady down here, letting one guy fly past me, but was fresh enough when I hit Mott's Road to kick hard for home. It's about 800m to the finish from here on a stony track but I FLEW! I passed the guy who'd overtaken me in the gully quickly, and would have caught Gary G in front of me if I'd had another 200 yards at the end! I was trying as hard as the picture up top suggests! I was very glad to reach the finish though, and even two days later, critically assessing my performance, I think it was close to as fast as I could have gone in the conditions.

Race profile based on digital elevation model (DEM)
I finished in 61:13, way ahead of my 65 minute target despite the challenging conditions. And I was even more satisfied to see that I ran a 74% score, my best yet in a true fell race. This will give me a decent series score for the winter with 68% - 70% - 74% (Breiddens - Wrecker - Canter) for a 212% total. I won't score well in the LMV because no-one ever does (and the leaders will be faster than usual because it's an English Champs race), and I can't do the Wrekin Fell Race because it's on the same day as the Edale Skyline. I'm pleased I made the most of my last chance to get a decent score in the series.

I met up with Lightning and Methuselah again, and also was pleased to see Richard Sheppard, who finished not long behind me. The marshalls were amazing, particularly those who were exposed on the ridges - thanks to Dave Nicholls and all his team.

Yours Truly and Richard Sheppard at the finish
(Thanks to whoever it was that took the photo for me)
After the race and presentations I had a little jog up the ridge between Bodbury and Haddon, dropping down from Bodbury Ring through the golf course into Cwmdale and back to the car via Madeira Walk (2.1 miles, 590').

Today's total distance was 8.6 miles and the ascent was 2,720'.  The weekly totals were 22.1 miles and 5,570' of ascent (mileage down because the race meant I didn't get a long run in this week - but there will be two next week!!). The running four weekly total has mileage down 6 miles to 101.7 miles, but climbing up 610' to 22,800'.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chilterns Steady Run - 02/02/2011

Today's run was a nice steady five miler down in the Chiltern hills. It was nice to run with an old friend, and even better to find we were well matched for pace!

We started at Christmas Common and ran downhill through the woods towards Pishill, turning back just before we got there and climbing, fairly steeply at first, to return past some really lovely cottages.

5.1 miles, 620' of ascent, 54 minutes. It was an upside down run today - see profile below:

Club Run - 01/02/2011

Most of a Cardingmill Canter!
Tuesday night's club run was a fairly straightforward run around part of the Cardingmill Canter race route. The race is on Saturday, details are on the Mercia Fellrunners website.

Despite spending the day walking disused canals for work, I was in reasonable shape once I'd warmed up, and kept a good pace on the main ascents of Stanyeld, Bodbury Hill and Haddon Hill. On top we followed the track and road and then descended the first 500m down the Skyline route towards Lightspout Hollow. Joining the main hollow there was a lot of ice on the path, so Andy Davies suggested we go up a little used but clear trail onto the shoulder above Calf Ridge and descend the ridge itself. This was a nice way (up and) down. I made a decent effort of the last small climb out of Cardingmill Valley and over to the top of the rectory woods, and finished feeling like I'd done a few good efforts over the course of the run.

As ever, excellent company and a nice run out.

The GPS gives 6.4 miles and 1,810' of ascent (1,620' from the profile based on whatever DEM, digital elevation model, uses). The run profile is below. The red speed bits are where we stopped to regroup!