Friday, 10 June 2011

A change of focus

I think I can safely say I now have running marathons out of my system, I've done 3 & have no intention of running anymore. I may do the odd half or 10 miler, but not the full distance.

My finishers medals

I am now setting my sights on something that I much prefer & getting back on my bike. In July I shall be cycling from one end of Ireland to the other & then in 2012 I have some real challenges lined up!!

I now have a new blogsite at where you can read all about next years events

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Edinburgh Marathon update

Well I set out some 10 months ago to complete cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats & a chance conversation in a pub whilst training for this (late in the evening - use your imagination!) set me on a path that I thought I would never complete. I enrolled not in one, but three marathons & this Sunday saw me completing in my final one at Edinburgh. So after I cycled LEJOG I donned my running shoes!!

Edinburgh looked a nice route on paper. Starting up by the Castle & then descending to the coast, out to Gosford House & back to the finish at Mussleburgh. The first 3 miles were a gentle descent & with a few slight showers was a pleasant run. The last 6 miles were a complete contrast into a strong head wind. At one stage I was even struggling to walk against it!!

However my main reason for doing them, apart from personal achivement was to raise funds for charity & with your wonderful support I managed to raise in excess of £5,000 for COPS, MACS & RNLI........A hugh thank you

The three marathons were all very different. New York was hilly, London was hot & Edinburgh was windy, but I am pleased to say I got faster with each one. I think I would have broken the 6 hour barrier on Sunday, but sadly the last 6 miles put paid to that.

My marathon times

The night before, I like to be prepared

At the start with Marcella & Sandra

My finishers medal

Bye, Bye trainers, where are my cycling shoes!!

Monday, 25 April 2011

My balls!!

My only lasting ache from last weekend was the balls of both my feet. I did as I normally do & covered my feet in vaseline, which has always prevented blisters & my feet have never caused me concern until now. They have been getting better, but to rest them I was joined with some friends from the gym & Kelly from work & we cycled the Weald of Kent Ride. A lovely route through the winding countryside of Kent.

The weather was absolutely glourious as we set off on what would be 110k of very hilly roads. I'm still trying to break my new Brooks saddle in, which I am told can take up to 2000 miles, well I've now done about 110 miles on it & I now have 4 sore balls!!

Some serious steep hills, but good fun

I looked back through my garmin connect & the last long ride I did was back in September, so I should be happy with what we achieved yesterday. I am please to report that my legs were fine today & I even managed an hours spin class this morning.

20 miles into the ride with the worst hill behind us!!

Still the worst part of cycling putting the bloody bikes on & off the car!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

2 down 1 to go!!

The Virgin London Marathon was a great day, the crowds were incredible, the atmosphere was electric & the sun was shinning.

My 'lovely Ladies' & me at the start

I made my way to the start with the wonderful friends I've been running with & it's fair to say we were all a little worried. We got there with an hour to go & met another gang from the gym, they were all looking at sub 4 hours, so I didn't run with them!!

I also bumped into another mate of mine & we decided to run together. He has suffered, as I did with his calf & we parted company after about 2 miles.

A couple of old fat knackers at the start

The run it's self was hard, well it is 26.2 miles after all!! The sun was blazing & the heat was oppressive. It's typical I have trained in rain, snow & ice & the day we ran it was tropical. This did effect my performance, I was hoping to break the 6 hour barrier, but dispite drinking gallons of water I just kept cramping towards the end. The crowds along the Embankment & Bird Cage Walk were magnificent, they really gave me a boast & I was determined to run the last mile (I did!).

I would like to thank Debbie, Danielle, Graham, Anne, Delores, Kerry (sorry I didn't see you x), Sam & Dave for lining the route for us. I gave me a boost to see you.

I ran the first 18 miles & then between 18 & 20 was a combination of running & walking. I did keep trying the run, but just kept getting cramp in my calf, but I was determine to finish. My balls were killing me (the balls of my feet!!), but I just pressed on. I saw a couple of other friends running on route & having someone to talk to lifts the spirits for a while.

I was glad to finish & even managed a sprint to the end!!

One happy man to finish!!

After I crossed the line it was like my body shut down. My GPS had me walking at about 1mph & it took me over 30 mins to walk the half a mile to Charring Cross train station. I got the train to Blackheath & it took me 20 minutes to walk the length of the platform. Just remind me, I do this for pleasure??

In hindsight I enjoyed the day & would I do it again....TOO BLOODY RIGHT!! Only 5 weeks now until Edinburgh Marathon

I shaved over 40 mins off my PB!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

My final pre Marthon Run

Well this time next week, it should all be over. The endless miles I've pounded out on the streets & hours spent in the gym should hopefully make it all worthwhile as I 'fly round' (well I'm entitled to a little bit of journalistic license aren't I??).

On Saturday we went to Yorkshire to stay with my in-laws, but I needed to do one final run. As my reader will know I've been troubled with a knee injury, but decided that I would run, how I intend to run on the day, no big knee support & just relying on strapping.

I also decided that I would run by listening to my body & not as I have been by relying on my pulse monitor.

Near Carols parents is an old disused railway line, which being an old track must be flat...... you'd like to think so!!

The run its self was uneventful & to be brutally honest, was my best run since the Canterbury 10 miler back in February.

I can do no more preparation now, I wish in hindsight I had done more, but I suppose all the runners feel like this??

This week I am not even going to the gym, I am having a leg massage on Thursday from Cameron & then Friday going to register, get my race number & my timing chip……. Sunday will soon be here!!

I thought railway lines were flat??!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The final stretch

We it's now only 11 days away & to be honest I can't wait. I enjoy the physical effort of running & have done some well organised runs, however I am getting fed up with the endless hours spent on the road or at the gym.

My knee is an area of concern & I ran the Dartford 10 miler with my knee brace on. It looks worse than it is, but does prevent my knee doing any movement it shouldn't. As Dartford was a hilly route I wore it as a precaution. It's not the uphill that hurts, it's the downhill that kills me.

The Bionic Man!!

I'm off to Yorkshire this weekend & on Saturday I shall do my last run, which will be between 8 to 10 miles. I will take it carefully & then that's it all my running will be done until London. I will then have a week off before I continue to run for Edinburgh, which is 5 weeks later. That will be my last Marathon ever!!! I will do the occaision 10k, 10 miler or half marathons BUT NOTHING LONGER!!

The Dartford 10 miler was a challenging route & I wasn't on good form. I was actually 20 mins slower than the last 10 miler I did a month ago. However if I maintained the same speed I would break the 6 hour barrier for the marathon & I'm happy with that. To be brutally honest, I'm just happy finishing!!

The Dartford 10 miler

Saturday, 2 April 2011

My bloody knee

It's fair to say that the Hastings Half almost finished my running exploits. The 3 mile step descent has aggrivated an old knee injury & I saw the Surgeon & have to go under the knife again probably between London & Edinburgh marathons

I went with Wendy & Marcella to do a 20 mile run last weekend & was in so much pain that I stopped after 8 miles. I have not run since!! However I have used the cross trainer & also the spin bikes & this has seemed to stabalise my knee. I have also decided that after Edinburgh I will not do any more marathons. I too old, too fat & my knee just isn't up to it!!

The day I bugged out!!

Today I went back to my real passion & dusted down my bike & went with Sandra & did a 30 mile ride up & over Biggin Hill & it felt good to be back in the saddle again. I have not lost my endurance, but was markable slower on the bike, but I suppose it's probably getting on for 6 months since my last long ride

Our rather hilly route

I've now resigned myself to the fact that I will finish London & Edinburgh & I don't really care about the time. All I want to do is beat my New York time & I'm aiming for around 6 hours. Still not a bad feat for someone of 19 stones??

Looking ahead, I've just booked to cycle from Mallin to Mizen in July. For those of you unaware it's the Lands End to John O'Groats of Ireland. I do however have to break in my new saddle, which so far has been remarkably comfortable

My new Brooks saddle......rock hard leather!!

I am completing in the Darford 10 miler tomorrow & instead of worrying about a time, I am just going to enjoy myself & trot round at a nice gentle pace.... watch this space for pics tomorrow!