Monday, 29 June 2009

Wanna Be Starting Something

It's all over now.

The birthday frock has been put away for another year and the social diary is bereft of entries. I can now start running again.

Only 16 weeks to go until I'm dying in Beachy Head at the top of the cliff rather than the bottom.

I just got a bit of literature through including my race number - 384.

It's definitely not the course for my dream sub 3 hour mark. There will be a total ascent of 3500 feet with gates, stiles, bridges, cattle grids and several flights of steps.

Even one of the sets of toilets is at the top of 227 steps. 

So, I am really knuckling down. I have it all planned out and I will be spending July and August pushing myself to the limit.

I don't want to let you down now, do I?

The B&B is booked with my very top pals Kwasi and Claire driving the wife and I down and we will make a weekend of it, if I make it round, of course.

Even with all this prior knowledge, however, I can't wait to get started. I just need to go and find a farm at the top of a hill to train on. Not many of them near Central London.

Today I did the run home from work - 6 miles in 45 minutes. And it was hot and sticky.
Then I did my core exercises, good stretching and a 5 minute exercise bike cool down.

Feeling great.
Bring it on you mothers.
Oh, and rest in peace MJ (I'm willing to overlook the last 20 years)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

It's OK, it's fine. I'm fine. I've just been a little lax on the old running front.

But I had it planned. I knew it would happen.

The weekend before last I went to Madrid on a gentle stag do with 9 fella's.

I managed to do quite a lot of walking and was always the first to rise and grab a hearty (but not good for running) breakfast, but I also did a hell of a lot of drinking.

Sugary sangria and the omnipresent Magners made up the most part of my diet along with fatty meats and cheeses one can expect of Spanish tapas.

I foolishly went staright back to work on the Monday and my head didn't clear properly until Wednesday.

I tackled a four mile run and it was fine. I hadn't lost any speed and there were no problems.

On the Thursday I did another four and then on Saturday I went around the Wimbledon streets and up that bastard of a hill three times.

I must say that I hurt a bit after that and even now, four days later I still feel as though I have been punched in my thighs for about five hours.

Still I will tackle the hill another two times this evening and get back into the swing of things.

Monday marks the 17 week countdown where I will be on a strict training plan and no amount of sangria will tear me away from it.

I am really not in the habit of embarrassing myself in Eastbourne. Madrid yes, but not Eastbourne.

I will be runnning 5-6 times a week, doing a proper stretching routine, 2 core sessions and 3 weights sessions a week too. It will be hard but I am looking forward to it.

So I have the wedding this weekend, I will let loose and probably dance like a little monkey with issues.

Then the serious stuff starts.

make sure you kick me up the arse if I miss a day and give terrible excuses.

Now where's that red wine and brandy...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The self-doubt creeps in

I am off on a stag-do to Madrid on Friday for three days and while I am there I will probably down endless sangria while dancing like a wounded monkey.
I will also probably make a promise to go on a road trip across California or form a dance troupe and enter Britain's Got Talent.
I know, as everyone else does, that this will just be drunken talk and no-one will mention it again and we will get on with our lives.
What I have never done, whilst drunk, is promise to run a marathon. This is a decision always made in the clear light of sobriety.
So when the self-doubt creeps in I have nothing or no-one to blame.
"I was drunk", "I don't remember it."
I was perfectly sound of mind when I made that decision.
When a run goes bad, like last night on the way home from work, I really needed a crowd of people to cheer me on when I was close to giving up and hopping on a bus.
They weren't there.
I pushed myself to finish and did so in reasonably good time for the heat and the traffic - 6 miles in 48 minutes - but I thought, can I do 26.2 miles?
I know I can and I know I will but I think every runner goes through this at least once during their training.
The feeling soon goes but it is the equivalent of hitting the Wall, I suppose before the actual race.
Encouragment is still encouraged though, so if you have the time, feel free to post a comment and tell me that I can do it.
Then I can go and get drunk and agree to fly an albatross to Canada single handedly.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The suit issue - resolved.

Running home from work is a great idea. The money I am saving is phenomenal really.

Put it this way, when I worked in Croydon I was paying 170 quid per month for the pleasure of getting there and back each month.

If I run home every night from the office in Mayfair and catch a bus to Waterloo and walk the rest of the way each morning, then I could only spend 20 large per month.

That's a potential saving of 1800 pounds per year.

That's the cost of a duck house I have saved.

Obviously, it's not as black and white as that as I do not run home every night. The wife does allow me a life every now and then and I succumb to Transport for London's extortionate travelcards.

So that is one problem solved, but that creates a different problem - how to get home with my suit intact and my tuppaware lunch container and my book and iPod and keys and 2 phones?

The solution (and there is always a solution, don't you find?) is the Suitwalker.

This natty piece of equipment allows you to fold your suit in such a way that will not crease it and has space aplenty for my bits and bobs.

It is quite large and looks like a jetpack on your back but it more than does the job.

It does have space for your shoes should you require it but I just wear the trainers into work, leaving the shoes at work in a locked cupboard (you never know what people will steal these days).

It straps up around the waist and chest and there is very little movement as you run and it does not rub anywhere.

Only one downside and that it the lack of security, I came home once and the zips had been opened - nothing stolen - probably while I was waiting at a crossing. But a wee padlock will keep the buggers out.

It's only 70 pounds and with the money it enables you to save, I think you'll agree - it's a sound investment.

The run however wasn't so successful as I forgot to take water with me yet again and I got a double stitch - shoulder AND waist at the same time. Crippling.

I was glad to get home.

But at leas the suit's safe.