Wednesday, 28 April 2010

It's The Future!

No not Garlic Bread you Peter Kay fan's the future is the Bicycle! It's such a brilliant and under used invention. If just 10% of journeys were done by Bike instead of by car we would see a dramatic reduction in traffic. The Global Warming gang would love the reduction in harmful emissions. With the soaring cost of Petrol and motoring in general there could be some serious pounds to be saved. Least we forget the obesity epidemic in our children and the inactivity of our adults, the Bike is great exercise and places much less stress on your body than running.

It is one of those solutions that can really snowball. As more take up the Bike and ditch the Car the roads are less congested, safer and more pleasant for the cyclist and so more take it up and those already Cycling do so more often.

But alas this vision for the future will fall on deaf ears or more accurately on blind eyes. We as a country have become so used to the convience of the car that no matter how high the price of petrol rises our appetite for the car doesn't diminish. But at least I tried and it made a pleasant change of scene for my blog. Will write again soon Car lovers.

Monday, 26 April 2010


I have recently come down with a severe case of exercise obsession. I am starting to enjoy my running particuarly those round the bridle track. The commute to work is a grind, but I have had some pleasant rides in the sun on quiet country lanes.

But the obsession is not merely the undertaking of the exercise. I am now buying books and gear at a rate of knots. With the Honeymoon on the horizon though I think that will soon stop. But I have found something that is free and is providing me with hours of enjoyment, namely the podcasts.

I discovered Marathon Talk about 6 weeks ago and am now up to date and have really enjoyed all 15 episodes in the lead up to my Marathon. They have replaced the music on my Ipod and have made my runs much more enjoyable. No Ipod on the Bike, I am far too dangerous already so no need to further increase the risk.

But listening to Marathon Talk they then recommended Ironman Talk, and with me hoping to complete an Ironman in the next 2 or 3 years I thought I would give it a listen. The thing is Ironman Talk has been going a little bit longer than Marathon Talk. It started in 2006! So I have over 200 episodes to listen to, and at around an hour an episode that is going to take some time!

Now 27 episodes into Ironman Talk I found some useful and not so useful information to aid us in our LEJOG quest. My favorite and by far the least useful was the 5 tips on how to go to the toilet whilst on the bike. I can't speak for the others but I really don't think we need those kind of time saving tips. I will be looking for loos but I will settle for some dense foliage but cocking my leg on the bike I won't do! But don't let that put you off Ironman Talk it's a great listen with Bevan and John the two Kiwi's or Marathon Talk with Tom and Martin the Brit's.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

London Marathon & Week 1 Training

So now a full week after Brighton Marathon I am recovered bar the swelling on my right foot. Have managed 4 runs and 2 commutes to and from work. Totals are as follows:

Run -20 Miles Total (9.5 Miles longest run)
Bike - 31 Miles Total (8 Miles longest bike)
Swim - Zero not one length

Feeling good! The disappointment of the marathon has renewed my enthusiasm for training and so I have laid out my plans for success all the way to the Southend Half Marathon in June.

My most immediate target though is the BUPA 10K round the sights of London on the second Bank Holiday in May. Yes what an excellent way to spend a day off :-) Will be looking for a big PB hoping for sub 45min.

But enough of training, targets and tedious injuries this weekend was all about losing my spectating virginity. It was an experience, the atmosphere was incredible, and the sounds and colours of the marathon were something to behold. Was good to see Matty and Nick running well, along with a couple of celebs, I got a good look at Iwan Thomas. Big well done to Ross running a monster 3 hrs 7 mins at Stratford upon avon proving that London is not the only marathon this country organises. Also a big well done to Simone, so sorry we didn't get to see you.

The main conclusion from London though was that I am a runner and not a spectator I was itching to run the whole time and I'm too self conscious for the screaming and cheering. Unlike the brilliant nutty women on the wall at mile 6 they were machines!I relieved my pent up urge for a run on my return home and enjoyed a very pleasant 4 mile run in the evening sun.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Isn't' it funny how when you are in the best shape of your life and have just completed the biggest physical challenge you have yet to encounter that your body then decides to behave like that of a 90 year old man! I was almost bowled over by a fast moving 3 year old girl just after the race, I was weak and defenceless. I wasn't going to be chasing any would be mugger down on Sunday.

My physical shape has been gradually improving this week.I have been shuffling around the flat and office at snails pace, wincing with every step and using handrails where ever they have been available.

But now three days later I am moving much more freely and have just been for a nice gentle 2.5 Mile recovery run. Have been so restless the last three days and so was really pleased to get out. But I'm not all about the running, I intend to commute to the office on the bike tomorrow. It feels great to have my body back and I will be using it fully for the remainder of the week.

This Sunday however, after participating in 10 events in my first year as a runner I will be enjoying the London Marathon from the other side of the barrier and spectating at my first running race! A much more pleasant and painless experience I would imagine. I'll let you know.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mixed Weekend!

On the whole a very pleasant weekend. Started off with a gorgeous fry up Saturday morning with Amy,Cole & Lauren, followed by Football watching at Walkabout. Late Scholes winner cue wild scenes of celebration. Quick trip home on the train just in time to see Spurs take the lead against Chelsea. Final score 2-1 Spurs and the stage is set for a spectacular tour de force performance by yours truely in the Marathon and a great weekend is complete.

But as you can see from the title it was not all plain sailing! The marathon is where it comes unstuck. A lovely sunny day, an almost flawless journey to Brighton, with a little detour arriving at the race at 8:15 for a 9 O'clock start. Quick loo stop and then into my Pink start pen. Start was delayed by 10 mins but eventually got going, well the hooter went but no movement down at our end. Eventually got over the start line after about 5mins.

First mile was slow going with the crowds, went through the first mile in 8:45. But after that got into my rhythm and started to tick through the miles at 8:25 pace. Soon found out that my 'flat and fast' course as promised was infact really undulating. Was definately not needed to go with the ever increasing temperature!

Went through half way in 1:50:52 so 3:42 for the race lovely! Feeling fresh, saw Lauren for the first time and managed a smile and a wave. Sun is out, worst of the hills are over and everything is right with the world. Take a few jelly beans on board along with plenty of powerade and water. Go through 18 miles still on track for sub 3hrs 45mins. But then with the 19 mile marker in sight, my Quads burn, really burn! I'm not sure why, but I'll go with a lack of hill work and the long training runs being in short supply.

Just checked my training log. My five longest runs in 2010 were:

1) 20 Mile Training Run

2) 15 1/2 Mile Training Run

3) 15 Mile XC Race

4) Half Marathon Race

5) Half Marathon Race

Doesn't shout fully prepared! Won't make the same mistake next time. But O how i paid for my lack of quality preparation over those next 7 miles! Walking, running, shuffling my way round. 3 hours 45 Mins soon faded into the distance and sub 4hours became the goal. But even this proved unachievable and so I turned off my watch with a Km to go, no need to depress myself further!

Offical time was 4:02:26 not what I wanted but no more than my preparation deserved. Having slept on it last night, feel much better about the whole thing. The marathon really is a long way and I am so pleased I have completed one. Will come back stronger next time and 4 hours is going to be smashed!

Sorry my second blog couldn't be cheerier I will make sure my next blog is a happy one. But the weekend did end on a high note. Got home to find that Arsenal had thrown away a 2 goal lead and lost 3-2 to Wigan. So a perfect Football weekend was complete!

Friday, 16 April 2010

2 Days till Marathon Day!

Hi All. This is my first attempt at blogging so be gentle! These blogs will be about my exercise exploits and perhaps some every day stuff too.

Just a little background for those of you who don't know me. I decided that I was growing in all the wrong directions in April 2009 and wanted a physical challenge. I tried to apply for London Marathon 2010 but failed to even make it into the ballot. So decided Southend Half Marathon in six weeks was a sensible target. Went out on the 2nd May 2009 to get myself some gear and went for my first 3 mile run that day.

Didn't train sufficently, and only managed 5 miles as my longest run before the big day. The steaming hot weather and lack of training did for me, and so my sub 2hour target soon looked hugely ambitious. Managed to drag myself around in a lowly 2 Hours 17.

Now almost a year later, my body has changed as have my Half Marathon times. I have now run 5HM's, 2 10K's, 1 5K and a 15 Mile cross country race. My PB's are as follows:

HM - 1:39:32
10K - 47:15
5K - 22:07
15Miler - 2:18:55

But my most pressing target as the title suggests is the Brighton Marathon on 18th April 2010. Less than two days away! My preparation as always has been haphazard and I have followed my own plan (Do what you want when you want). Will definately be looking to train in a more structured way post Brighton.

My Targets for Brighton are as follows:

1) Finish the race.
2) Sub 4 Hours
3) Sub 3Hrs 45mins
4) Sub 3 Hrs 40mins
5) Try & Smile over the finish line.

Yes for those of you with supercomputers for brains you will have noticed I have three time related goals. I am not going to run the Brighton Marathon three times in succession. These are staggered goals. Sub 4hours will leave me feeling ok, sub 3hrs 45mins very pleased and sub 3hrs 40mins ecstatic.

So there you have it my first blog. Hope it proved factual, entertaining or inspiring. Regardless of what it left you feeling, I will be posting a post race report on Sunday :-) Wish me luck!