View From The Trail (Well, canal. And a road.)


In Which I Go For A Ride, And Someone’s Had Their Last Ride (As In, Dead.)

Last Monday it was a rest day from running so I went out for a bike ride instead. I planned my route out and figured it’d take about an hour, in the late afternoon. I mapped the route so that I’d go along and down the main road for a bit, before venturing off on the canal path for a few miles before attempting (and failing to conquer) a MASSIVE hill near home, before having a steady mile of flat roads and then home.

I planned it like this, a big circle around where I live, so that I could cut it short at anytime if I got right tired, or crashed or got bit by a walrus or anything. Be prepared and all that.

A little while after setting off I was on the canal path, and thinking to myself how nice it was that I’m seeing all this nature and getting exercise, which I wouldn’t even of considered a few months ago. I saw a Heron/Stork/Bird thing, which flew off before I got a picture. (I’m not bad at naming birds; Crow, Magpie, Penguin and such, and can also name Dog breeds: German Shepherd, Labrador, Pug, but when it’s Cats it’s pretty much just: Cat, Cat, Cat…)

Anyway, there were a few birds flapping about and probably a few fish swimming about, when I saw this in the canal:

Whoops!

Whoops!

I’m not an expert, but I don’t think that’s how you drive one of these…

After taking a picture and getting back on my bike, I followed the path around the route, passing plenty of joggers and cyclists coming the other way which made me worry that I was on a One Way canal path and I was going the wrong way, with all the proper-way people tutting as I passed. Soon enough I passed another bloke on a bike though, heading in the same direction, so I used him as a pacer for a bit (mainly so I could blame him when the canal police told us off.)

I came to where I come off the canal path and took this picture of the evening:

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Not even instagrammed! (well, OK, it is. Not the colours though!)

I walked my bike up through the woods and got onto the main road, where I then cycled towards Shipley. Halfway down the road I was passed a couple of ‘proper’ looking cyclists who both said Hello to me. (I replied with **PANT**COUGH**HI!**PANT**WHEEZE**) They both passed me easily enough but as the road started to go slightly downhill I decided to try keep pace. I managed it quite well too!

Getting to where I was about to turn off, we approached some temporary traffic lights and they both went towards the front of the traffic (as the lights were on red.) I followed. Reaching the lights, THEY BOTH JUST CARRIED ON THROUGH THE RED LIGHT! I was so shocked THAT I ALSO WENT THROUGH THE RED LIGHT! Luckily no one saw. I turned left at the next (green) set of traffic lights and tried to go up Carr Hill. It’s a beast. Seriously, cars struggle to get up it. I managed a few metres before I got off and pushed my bike, which was hard enough by itself! I (slowly) got to the top, got back on my bike, and peddled the steady mile or so home. All in all, I managed just over 10 1/2 miles in just over an hour.

Tuesday, myself and Sarah were both off work and it was quite a sunny day (not warm though) so we decided to go up to a place called Yeadon Tarn where theres a boating lake and… ducks and stuff. A lap of the Tarn is just under a mile. We walked halfway round, then got an ice cream. (Sunny = Ice Cream. Even if the weather is freezing. It was cold enough to have to buy a Hot Chocolate at the same time, but Sunny = Ice Cream.) We walked one lap, and then decided to walk it again, but without another Ice Cream.

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Half way round our second lap, Sarah said that she could see a box floating in the lake near the edge, so we had a nosey when we went passed. Turns out that it was one of those boxes THAT CONTAINS SOMEONES ASHES AFTER THEY’VE BEEN CREMATED! The date on it was 2011. Now, I don’t know if they’ve been floating there for two years or not, but surely one of the boating people would’ve gotten them out by now? Otherwise, someones been to the Tarn recently with the box of ashes and accidentally dropped them in the water THEN JUST LEFT THEM THERE. I have no idea.

How I Think It Happened

“I’ve always wanted to be buried at sea.”

“Really? Bit far, the sea side. How about that Tarn Lake thing?”

“That Tarn… Yeah, I suppose that’ll do. I’d have to be cremated I guess, to go in there.”

“I’m not touching your ashes.”

“…What?”

“I’m not touching your ashes. I’ll get em everywhere!”

“Just open the box and tip me in.”

“Could do I suppose. What if it’s windy?”

“Do it when it’s not.”

“It’s always windy this time of year.”

“Do it in the bloody summer!”

“Yeah, could do…”

The bloke dies in 2011. Eventually, the day comes. 2013. It’s been windy for two years, but she’s glad she’s waited for this day. The first sunny day of the year, though it’s cold. Sunny days mean Ice Cream however, so that’s the plan for afterwards. Probably a flake too. Reaching the waters edge she sheds a tear as she prepares to open the box. A slight breeze tickles the back of her neck.

“Sod this!” She says, and lobs the whole box in.

The End

Speaking of made up stuff, I wrote a short story and put it on that WattPad website. If you fancy a read, it’s here (opens new window):

‘Super Hero For Sale.”

(A shorter short story, would be a better name.)

Any comments are welcome!

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Ironman Radio: Homemade Video


In a post last week, I mentioned that Father In Law was going to be on the radio to talk about Ironman (competition, not the movie.)

The other day, he was on it. The link to it was put on the radios website, but the sound quality was poor, so I decided to do a bit of technical wizzardry and make the sound listenable. Then decided to take it a little bit further and make a video to go along with the sound.

(Also, does anyone know how to change the background so it’s not a baby? Thanks!)

Enjoy!

Mad Dog 10k Recap


In Which I Have A Great Race and a Great Weekend

Cast:
Sarah – The Wife
Rob – …..Rob
Claire – Mrs Rob
Ironman – Tony, Sarahs Dad
Susan – Sarahs Mum
Hannah – Sarahs Sister
Indy – Our Cat

The run was on Sunday 10th February, but as it was in Southport and we live in Bradford, decided to stay over night on Saturday the 9th so we didn’t have to travel early.

We met Rob and Claire in the train station on the Saturday morning where we needed to catch a train to Manchester, then onto Southport. Myself and Sarah got there about 15 minutes before the train left, Rob and Claire got there with about 10 minutes to spare. Claire went for a coffee but the girl in the coffee kiosk was VERY slow at making coffee, so me and Sarah ended up convincing the train driver not to set off yet, with Rob stood in sight of us and sight of Claire shouting in both directions, and Claire waiting on her coffee. All worked out fine though, and a few minutes later we were off.

An hour later we got to Manchester, changed trains and went onto Southport on a train that was about as old as the first ever train. Another hour passed and we arrived at Southport train station with a rough idea of which direction to head for the hotel. GPS on Robs phone came to the rescue and after a LONG walk on a COLD pier we got to the Premier Inn. Because we booked about two months in advance, our rooms were only £29 per night. Excellent.

A short while later, after two lovely bottles of non-alcoholic beer, we hit the amusements and played on 2p pusher machines, Rob won Claire a teddy (I wasted about £10 trying to get one for Sarah, no joy…) and we had a very nice meal in an all-you-can-eat world food buffet restaurant place. It was then an early night.

On the Sunday morning myself and Sarah went down to breakfast and met Rob and Claire, and I had some porridge, a slice of bacon, a bit of fruit and a yoghurt.

We then walked the mile and a bit walk along the seafront to where the race organisers had arranged for free buses to take all the runners and their supporters to the start of the run. We met up with Ironman, Susan and Hannah who had driven over that morning for Tony to take part in the race.

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Rob, Ironman, Me

There was a queue for the buses but within ten minutes or so we were on our way, and ten minutes after that we were at the start. You could get your race t-shirt either before or after the race and decided to get them before to save time afterwards. There were girls giving out pens and shower gel and energy lemonade so we got a bit of everything, along with our t-shirts. The race was delayed by half an hour, but the hall where the t-shirts were collected from was nice and warm. (Also, where a bloke was giving his two kids energy drinks. Bet they’re still awake now.)

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Brilliant T-Shirt!

The race is called Mad Dog as it was named after a member of Southport Hesketh Round Table, who died suddenly (Tony McWade, whose nickname was “Mad Dog”). This is only the third year it has been run, but both the previous races have been voted the best in the country and it’s easy to see why.

The start line was a few minutes around the corner so went to the toilet on the way (for the second time since arriving) and then lined up with everyone else. (Obviously, the music blarring out was ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’) Didn’t take too long before the race was under way, and Ironman shot off. Rob started a bit behind me but within a few seconds he pealed off too. I had Rob in my sights the whole way around, but never caught him. I got within about 50 metres at one point but no closer.

It was a very flat course, but due to the time of year, a very cold one. We ran down the seafront that we had walked up an hour earlier, then past a band of drummers and passed the staff of Chiquitos who were cheering from under their own tent. With my marathon plan in mind (run 5k then walk through each water station in the marathon) I decided to run 5k, then walk through the water  station. Reaching the 5k point, there was no water station, but it turned up at about 5.5k so I didn’t cry or anything.

I had a steady run back, but stopped at 7k and also 9k for a drink of water due to my head over-heating a bit. When I was having a drink at 7k, a lad ran passed me and slapped me on the back saying ‘Coming on mate, you’re almost there.’ But he said it really smuggly so when I ran by him after my drink at 9k I slapped him on his back and said ‘Come on mate, you’re almost there.’ Bit petty, but served him right.

As I mentioned earlier, I had sight of Rob for the whole way and so I saw him cross the line, and it helped me find everyone after I finished. On our race numbers there was a QR Barcode thing to scan, and it turns out I got a brand new PB of 56:50! That’s over three minutes knocked off my best time! VERY chuffed with that.

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Tired

With Ironman setting off ahead of Rob, Rob knew that he was close to Ironmans finishing time. I scanned Rob’s code first, and it came back as 55:32. (A new PB too!) I scanned Tony’s and his came back as… 55:15. Rob was gutted, 17 seconds away from beating the Ironman! (The trash talk started straight away, and didn’t stop for the rest of the day.)

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Fantastic Medal

The organisers were giving out medals, goody bags and fruit so I got one of each. (I had an apple.) I put on my medal and had a look through the fantastic goody bag.

It included:
Money off vouchers for the restaurants opposite our hotel.
A can of Mad Dog Energy Lemonade
A bottle of Recovery Gatorade
A pack of sweets (Lovehearts, fruit salad, blackjacks and more)
Some Rice Biscuits
Some shaving gel
Few other bits!

Brilliant!

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Great Goody Bag

Afterwards we waited less than five minutes and got the bus back, then everyone got in the car to the hotel but as there were 7 of us, me and Rob walked back and talked tactics.

After a shower, we all met in the hotel bar/restaurant and had some food and a few beers. (No beer for Rob, being too healthy.) Tony, Susan and Hannah drove back and the rest of us used our return tickets and went for the train. (After visiting a few clothes shops and stuff for Sarah and Claire.)

It was a fantastically well organised run and everything ran smoothly. The crowds were brilliant along the route, as were the entertainment. I didn’t even mention the female singer on the way back, or the Elvis on the way out!

Already looking forward to next years ‘Mad Dog 4: The Good, The Bad and The Pugly.’

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Indy ‘Mad Cat 10k’ finisher

Ironman Tony In The Local Fish Wrap


Our local paper has done an article about Father In Law, and apparently a radio station wants an interview too:

Ironman Tony Redmond has won an award for superhuman effort after the 50-year-old postman did the gruelling swim, bike and run competition for the first time last year.

The ardent Bradford City fan trains at Bingley Pool and is being presented with a “b active” award from Bradford Council for his constant success in pushing himself to the limit – and raising cash at the same time.

When he did his first Ironman challenge in Lanzarote last year, Mr Redmond, of Eccleshill, raised £1,400 for The Bradford City Burns Appeal.

He became keen on triathlons after hitting 40 and took part in the Ilkley triathlon in 2004 and 2005 with a young Jonny Brownlee, now the current World Triathlete Champion.

He said: “Lots of 50-year-olds may think it is time to put your feet up, but I think that is the time to push yourself even more.

“I love the challenge and it makes me feel good when I achieve my goal.

“It’s so important to keep fit and particularly when you get older.”

The Ironman race has a time limit of 17 hours, an average time of 12 hours and the current record time is 8.04.08.

It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and a 26.2-mile run to finish.

Only qualified triathletes take part in the world championship, having gone through a series of qualifying stages. The Lanzarote Ironman is one of those stages.

Mr Redmond said: “I had done some running and cycling, but wanted to take it to the next level so I joined swim triathlon training sessions at Bingley Pool.

“Swim coach Di Whittaker proved to be a great boost, building my endurance, improving my technique and passing on invaluable advice about competing.”

Coun Andrew Thornton, Executive Member for Environment and Sport, said: “Tony deserves a b-active award as he is a great example of someone who is really motivated and sets himself new challenges as he gets older.

“Keeping fit is important for keeping healthy and enhancing the quality of your life as well as helping you to live longer”

Mr Redmond and his brother-in-law Robert Thornton plan to do the Lanzarote Ironman again as well as the UK Ironman in Bolton in August.

The b-active awards are given out by the Council’s Sport and Leisure Service to people in recognition of their outstanding achievements in encouraging others to be more physically active.

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Sticking To The Plan!


Stats

Original Weight: (Jan 1st) 15st 7lbs / 217lbs / 98.4kg
Weigh-in (Feb 4th) 15st 0lbs / 210lbs / 95.3kg
Gain/Loss In Total: -7lbs / 3.18kgs

In Which I’m Doing It, I’m Actually Doing It!

Pleased with this weeks weigh-in as I’ve now lost a nice round 1/2 Stone since the start of 2013. It’s not too bad seeing as though I’ve only really exercised for two full weeks this year (the week just gone and the first week of the year.) My immediate goal is to get to just under 14st by my birthday (14th March) which is do-able healthily by dropping 3lbs a week. (Then probably put on another stone by the end of my birthday.)

Myself and Sarah have been mostly eating healthily at home (apart from a Chinese last Saturday) and I’ve cut down on beer (apart from with the Chinese last Saturday) and also I’m cooking my lunches at home to take to work, so that I’m not tempted by any of the fast food shops near by.

My favourite thing for lunch at the minute is Ricey Veggie Tuna Concoction (Trademark pending.)

It’s Rice, Veg and Tuna! (Does the name cover it enough?) Normally does enough for 3 servings.

Stuff You Need
It’s 200g of whatever rice you prefer (uncooked weight, but obviously cook it after weighing)
1 x Red Pepper
1 x Tin Tuna in Sunflower Oil
1/2 Red Onion
2 x Spring Onions
1 x Tomato (Deseeded, so you only use the fleshy bit)
1 x Tbsp Mayonaise
100g Frozen Peas (Defrosted under a warm tap)
Pinch Salt + Pepper + Garlic Granules (Or just chuck in some proper garlic if you can be bothered chopping it. I use Garlic Pepper.)
Dash of Lemon Juice + Vinegar

Is that everything? I think so…

Directions
Cook Rice.
Chop everything.
Rinse rice under cold tap til cold.
Mix everything in a bowl.
Seperate into 3 containers. (Or 4 if you aren’t as greedy as me.)
Take to work. Microwave til hot (or eat cold) Eat. Enjoy.

You can use anything you want in it, if you don’t like tuna just have a Ricey Veggie Concoction (No Trademark Pending, because that’s a stupid name for a meal.) Just make sure you have equal amounts of all the food going in (apart from the rice.)

The way I make it is around about 350-400 calories per serving. Not worked out fat or carbs or anything.

Day 7 of my 9 and a bit week Marathon training plan.

So anyway, today is Day 7 of my 9 and a bit week Marathon training plan and so far I’ve pretty much stuck to it perfectly. I say pretty much, because on Saturday after work we needed to go shopping so didn’t ride my bike home, but have re-scheduled that bike ride for this Friday after an hour in the gym, as have nothing else planned that day. Also, I’ll be nudging tonights run home to another easy day as I’m sore from the last few days of exercise, and the weather has taken a downwards turn again. Been blizzarding all day (not settled) and now it’s pouring down, but it’s COLD!

My millage is finally adding up to a half decent amount but still under 100 miles for the year, and about 60 miles short of my targeted miles. I figure that over the course of a year, this only adds on about 0.3 miles per day and know that in the summer I’ll be doing long-long bike rides of 30-50 miles (hopefully) so plenty of time to catch up!

My race number for the Mad Dog 10k on Sunday has arrived:

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Every race seems a bit more real when you get your number through! If anyone else is doing this race, keep an eye out and say Hello

Or shout: GETOUTOFMYWAYYOUSLOWGIT!

Whichever.