British 10k Recap – 14th July 2013 (And a recap of our London trip)


In Which I Get VERY Hot and VERY Sweaty

(This bit is about our trip down and what we did the day before the race. If you just want race stuff, scroll down. I don’t mind. *sigh*)

Saturday 13th July

The night before we’d dropped Indy off at Susan and Ironman Tonys house to cat sit for the weekend. Hannah has just got a kitten called Nahla, who decided to chase Indy around their house, growl at him and pretty much bully him a bit. Wouldn’t be so bad, but she’s 10 weeks old and he’s massive compared to her! They got on better by the end of the weekend though, so don’t be worrying or phoning the RSPCA or anything.

Our train left at 6:50am and at about 7:50am I went to the buffet car and got a drink and a bacon sandwich each for me and Sarah. (Because I’m a good husband.) It only took a little over three hours to get to London and it was bloody hot when we got there. Straight out of Kings Cross Station, down to the tube, bought tickets, onto the tube where is was STUPIDLY hot, off the tube, up the escalator, over the road, into the hotel, check in please! (Think I might begin a career as a travel writer.)

“Sorry Sir, you can’t check in for another three hours.”

Bugger.

We left our bags in a luggage room in the hotel and then made our way to Starbucks to come up with a plan. As the tube was so so sweaty, we went for a walk along the Thames to see what we could see. Over the river we could see the London Eye, but at £20 each decided not to have a go. We walked along to St. Pauls Cathedral and went for a nosy. There was a street sign (St. Pauls Walk, I think…) with a bloke posing on it, shouting to his wife.

“Use the viewfinder. Look through the viewfinder. USE THE VIEWFINDER!!”

Bet he doesn’t buy his wife a drink and a bacon sandwich.

We crossed the Millennium bridge to the south side of the river, and made our way under London Bridge (wasn’t falling down), passed the Belfast Battleship thing, passed a girl doing a sort of Kate Bush dance recital (looked like a mental) and up to Tower Bridge, which we walked across back to the north side of the river and had a shufty at the Tower of London.

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We were both very hot and a little bothered by the amount of people so decided to tube it back to the hotel instead of walking. Arrived back at the hotel just before checking in time, got our room key then went to our room where Sarah managed to pull the curtain off it’s rail.

After chilling out (literally, had the air-con as cold as it’d go) we set off again in the direction of Piccadilly Circus via the tube. (I love the tube, it’s brilliant. It’s like a puzzle and transport all in one, plus you get to go underground and get on fast trains and who doesn’t like that?!)

We wandered around for a bit taking in the sights then went to Pizza Express for some food. After some lovely pizza and ice cream we walked up to the Queens theater where we had tickets to see Les Miserables.  I had a beer, Sarah had a Pimms. At the interval, we both had another ice cream. Both really enjoyed the show, the actors must’ve been boiling because we were hot just sitting there watching. Afterwards Sarah bought the Les Mis CD and we made our way back to the hotel, and an earlyish night.

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Sunday 14th July

Got up and got my kit ready. I was a lot less nervous about this run than I normally am, which I put down to not thinking I’d be running a PB. What with 25’000 other runners and 30 degree heat, I wasn’t going to push it. I ate a flapjack whilst we walked to the tube. (Yay, tube!)

The race was starting quite near to where we went last night, so found our way there easily. We then followed the crowd to where the entrance to the run was advertised. After going through the baggage drop (didn’t have a bag, except Sar… I didn’t have a bag.) we made our way along The Mall which ended in Buckingham palace. (The road ended before the Palace. You don’t go through it. Probably get told off if you tried.)

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The crowd surged to the right, and so did we. (So does Prince Phillip) Made our way alongside the park and to the start of the race which was packed. We arranged a meet up point for afterwards, then Sarah went and sat in the park (for a nice relaxing hour or so) while I lined up. (For a nice hour or so of running and sweating.) Think I can see now who had the better idea.

Race time was scheduled to began at 9:35am but with the amount of people I didn’t expect to start til after 10. (10am, not 10 people.)

Up on a balcony was a bloke with a microphone that kept talking about stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention, I was more bothered about trying to find a place to stand in the line up that was out of the direct sunlight. He then introduced Katrina (from Katrina and the Waves, most famous for ‘Walking On Sunshine’ and ‘Love Shine A Light’ and… that’s it I think.) The music started, and Katrina started singing a song that I had never heard before, and judging by peoples reactions, NO ONE had ever heard before. I was texting Sarah while I was waiting and she text me saying she’s Googled the song from the title (Sun Street. Anyone?) and it was a Top 30 hit 30 years ago. I think it also explains why Katrina was met with utter utter silence, when halfway through the song she shouted ‘SING IT!’

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“Katrina, do you fancy doing a bit of a sing song to get the crowd going?”

“Yeah! I’ve got JUST the song!”

“I think I know the one you’re gonna say, with it being as warm as it is, and seeing everyone WALKING ON the street in the SUNSHINE…!”

“That’s the one! Say it with me!”

“Walki…”

“SUNSTREET!!!

Whispers to colleague “See if Banarama are available, will you?”

 

Katrina (and she waves)

Katrina (and she waves)

Anyway, after a while of waiting the run began (Katrina sang ‘Love Shines A Light’, and then ‘Walking On Sunshine.’ I think ALL her songs have either the word ‘sun’ or ‘shine’ in them. Not checked, so don’t go telling people that.)

The race was started in waves, to ease congestion on the route, and so I didn’t get going til about 10:20. Straight down Piccadilly and passed the Ritz we went, before turning right and then left a bit. The amount of people running meant that, no matter how well it was organised, there were places where the roads weren’t wide enough for all the runners so most people (including me) had to walk in quite a few places til it thinned out.

It was hot.

Luckily there were about 3 or 4 water stations on route so didn’t have to go long before getting a drink. I tried to keep my water rationed as much as I could, then pouring what was left in the bottle over my head before the next water station, where I got a full bottle. Seemed to work quite well, as I stayed hydrated throughout the race.

Loads of people were eager to run off and over take other runners, which I fully understand, but what I don’t understand is those runners that overtake you, get in front of you, then slow to a walk RIGHT IN FRONT OF WHERE YOU ARE RUNNING. If you’re going to walk, move to the side of the road, not to in front of me. I saw about five people get tripped due to over eagerness of over taking too. Serves them right, don’t force your way through the pack, wait for an opening. You aren’t an elite. (And… breathe…)

Saw St. Pauls Cathedral and Tower Bridge (shouldn’t’ve bothered walking on to see them yesterday) and then I was on my way back to where the run began (and where Sarah was sunning herself in the park.) The crowds on the route were fantastic, there was hardly any part of it that wasn’t lined with cheering families. (Not that people without a family aren’t allowed to cheer. I’m sure they cheer just as well. Again, not researched this.)

Another water station came into view, and I was sweating enough to fill every single empty water bottle that lined the streets of London. Again, I’d made sure I’d kept a bit of water in my bottle to pour over my head before taking a bottle. I looked to the water station and it was manned (boyed?) by Scouts and Cubs, all about 9-10 years old.

AHA! Said a voice in my head. (And not just because they’d be another 80’s band better than Katrina and the Waves.)

AHA! I wonder if I can get a few boys to soak my sweaty body with water! (NEVER thought I’d think or type that. I wonder if it’ll come up in the ‘What people searched for to find my blog’ thing at some point?)

Anyway, I reached for a bottle of water with my left hand, and as I stretched I put my right arm underneath the outstretched hand and threw all the water I had left over a child that had given up his Sunday morning to help out charities and thousands of runners, with no gain for himself.

He was drenched.

Straight away, the retaliation came. He threw water at me, as did the next waterboy, and the next. It was brilliant, and cooled me down fantastically. JUST what you need in 30 degree heat. (If you were a runner at the back of the race and the water station had run out of water when you got there, blame the Scouts.)

Tate Modern passed on the other side of the river, as did the London Eye, then we went passed Big Ben and the houses of Parliament. (Where, the next day, myself and Sarah walked by. There was a loud mouth American tour guide and Sarah said we should tag along. I said he might be crap, which was then verified by someone in his group pointing at the Houses of Parliament and saying ‘Is that where the Queen lives?’ The tour guide looked up, thought for a second, then said ‘Yeah, yeah it is.’ Idiot.)

I could hear the cheers of the announcers at the end of the run. I looked to my right, and could see where it finished. Once around this round-a-bout, passed Westminster Abbey and I was done. Except, no. Once passed Westminster Abbey, down a road and back up that road, THEN round the round-a-bout and finished.

01:07:28 – My second slowest 10k yet, but as I never tried to get going because of the crowds and the heat, that was fine with me.

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I got a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade and made my way to the baggage bays where the medals were. Sarah called me and said she was near the palace, so I told her to wait where she was and I’m make my way up. I picked up my medal and then jogged up the Mall to where she was watching the changing of the guards (or something.)

We then made our way back to where the run started and walked along the same route that I had run just over an hour before. We found a Burger King and I filled up on unhealthy post race food which tasted wonderful.

Afterwards we got back to the hotel where I showered and changed and Sarah had a nap. (Must’ve been hard work, sitting in a park.)

The afternoon was spent pretty much going around the touristy bits of London that we hadn’t seen yet, plus a beer for me and a Pimms for Sarah. She’d earned it.

Amazing People


In Which I Talk About A Couple Of People You Might Not Of Heard Of But Will Probably Tell People About

My marathon running training is going quite well, and to plan at the moment too. (Which is new!) I’ve done a couple of 5 mile runs home, which is roughly 2 miles of uphillness, followed by a nice stretch of 2 miles down hill, then a mile of steady uphillness to finish.

The first 2 miles has a couple of proper hills in which are good training (I keep hearing) but the best part is obviously the downhills. I when I get to this part I feel like holding my hands up in the air and going WHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE all the way down, but as it takes about 15-20 minutes I’m not sure that I could WHHHHHHEEEEEEEE for that long.

The first time I ran the 5 miler I did it in 55:45 and the second time I did it in 54:00. I’m running the same route home tonight, but it’s due to get up to 26 degrees (78F) and have forgotten my water bottle, so might cut it short to 3.5 miles then run to work in the morning to get the miles in.

My training plan for Monday is a steady 7.5 miles and have worked out a route along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to run where it’ll be flat all the way. Not going for hills because that runs about distance, not time, but Monday supposed to be even hotter than today so will have to get up early to go run. Feel free to join in!

Anyway, back to the title of the blog and to your lesson for today. That’s right, it’s not just entertainment here, it’s education too! (Edu-tainment!)

Madonna Buder

Have you heard of her? If so, you can go play outside for a bit while I talk to the class.

Madonna Buder is an athlete. A triathlete, even. Actually, she’s an Ironman triathlete athlete. She didn’t start training until she was 48 years old and since then has completed 45 seperate Ironman events, and over 300 triathlons.

Impressive already, but it gets better:

She’s the oldest person to complete an Ironman event (The event was Ironman Canada) and she finished in 16:32:00.

She was 82 years old.

Those aren’t the best things about Madonna Buder though. The 2nd best thing about her is that they have to keep creating a new age bracket for her as she keeps entering the Ironman events.

The best thing about Buder, however, is this:

She’s been, since the age of 23, a Nun. (Nicknamed, obviously, ‘The Iron Nun.’)

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Madonna Buder ‘The Iron Nun’

Cliff Young

In Australia, they used to have an Ultra Marathon which goes between Sydney and Melbourne. It was 544miles (875k) and was said to be one of the toughest in the world. Before the race was officially run for the first time, the fastest anyone had run between the two places was around 7 days.

Ultra Marathoners and elite runners, 20-30 years old, turned up and the day of the race, as did Cliff Young.

Cliff Young

Cliff Young

Cliff was a farmer. A 61 year old farmer. With arthritis in most of his leg joints. A 61 year old farmer who turned up to race the 544miles in boots and overalls instead of running shoes and shorts.

Obviously, the reporters descended on Cliff and asked him what the hell he was thinking. He told them that he lived on a farm and had 2’000 animals, sometimes he’d have to run after these animals for a couple of days, sometimes three days, before getting them all herded together, so the way he saw it it was only a few more days of doing the same.

The gun went off, the pack went off, and Cliff did a sort of shuffle-walk-stumble run thing. He was left well behind by everyone else.

After 17 hours of running, the Elites and Ultras bedded down for the night, the plan from the get-go being that you ran as far and as hard as you could for 17 hours, slept for 7, then repeated til the end.

When they woke up in the morning to start again, they were told that Cliff Young, in his boots and overalls, was a dozen or so miles in the lead.

He hadn’t slept, and hadn’t stopped.

Turns out that when Cliff said he chased sheep for 2-3 days, he meant continually, never stopping, never sleeping. For three days at a time.

He wasn’t caught for the rest of the race, finishing in a time of 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes, a full 10 hours in front of the closest Elite and close to two days ahead of the record for the fastest run between Sydney and Melbourne.

They presented him with a check for $10’000 for winning the race, and he was shocked because he didn’t know there was any prize money. He felt bad about keeping it saying ‘Everyone else worked just as hard as me’ and so divided the money equally between all the runners.

At age 63 he ran 150 miles within 24 hours.

At 76 year-old he attempted to run AROUND THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA but had to stop after 3’800 miles (6250k) as his only crew member (who was driving the route) passed out from illness. (That’s about the distance from one side of America to the other, and then halfway back again.)

At 79, he became the oldest man to finish a six-day Ultramarathon, and it was while he was dying of cancer.

Cliff died in 2003, at the age of 81. He never kept any of his prize money, and gave it all to charities or friends.

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On A Lighter Note

Sometimes you only hear of someone dying when the radio plays a few of their songs that you haven’t heard for a while. Yesterday, they played ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx in the morning. ‘Haven’t heard one of his songs in a while!’ I thought.

In the afternoon, they played ANOTHER of his songs. I got on to Twitter and looked to see if he had an account.

Richard Marx: Alive!

Richard Marx: Alive!

PHEW!

Happy First Birthday To My Blog!


In Which I Give You A Load Of Stats And Stuff

27th June 2012 – I posted my first ever blog post, about how I was trying to be a runner.

27th June 2013 – Still trying to be a runner.

Hello! How are you? Hope you’re well. I’m fine, thanks for asking! I’d go so far as saying I’m ‘Good’!

‘Very cheery’, you’d say back, ‘Have you won a free Twix?’

‘No!’ I’d reply. ‘It’s because it’s one year exactly since my first blog post!’

‘Wow!’ Would come your response. ‘I hope you have lots of stats ready!’

‘I do!’ I’d say.

How much do you now wish you lived at my house, when you see you’re missing out on brilliant conversations like this?!

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The first time I ever tried running, it was horrible. Really horrible. Couldn’t even do 1/4 of a mile without walking. I pushed and pushed though, and managed to get a mile done with a mixture of run/walk. After that, my legs were killing me. Did I give up? No! I carried on and on, and gave up a bit, then started again and carried on and on and on and on!

Since then I’ve run the following officially organised runs:

Run Stats

1 x 5k Run

1 x 8.8k Run (Sent wrong way)

5 x 10k Runs (Best time: 56.57)

1 x 1/2 Marathon (02.38)

1 x Full Marathon (04.55)

I’m signed up to the British 10k in July and also the Yorkshire Marathon in October.

I’ve collected 7 medals, 10 T-Shirts, One Water Bottle and One Towel.

As well as the above I’ve started riding a bike a few times a week to work and back, and have learned how to swim. (Not swim to work, not sure how that’d work or why you thought it to be honest…)

Blog Stats

As of yesterday, I reached 1’000 subscribers to my blog. (The DAY before my blog turned a year old! Good timing or what?!)

I’ve had over 15’000 views on the blog in the past 12 months. (Works out about 40 views a day, but  about 14’000 or so must be me.)

I’ve had visitors on my blog from 89 different countries. Google says that there are 194 countries in the world, so that’s almost half!

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One of my favourite stat things on WordPress is that it tells you when someone has found your blog through a search engine, and most of the time what they searched for. (A lot is ‘unknown search term’ and it’s unknown to me what that means.)

Search Stats

The number one search that brings people to my blog is ‘Guide Dog’ because I blogged quite a bit at the start about raising money for the guide dogs. There’s a lot of ‘hemingway run’ or ‘run hemingway’ or ‘hemingway run blog’ searches that get people to my page too, obviously people that know me or that have been on the site before. Another popular search that brings you here is ’50 fat diabetic ahead of you’ which is people searching for the image that I took from the internet and put on the Inspiration bit.

50-fat-diabetic-and-ahead-of-you-tshirt

Most search terms that come up I don’t look at anymore, because it’s obvious how they ended up here. Ones like:

‘Great North 10k Medal’

‘Blackpool Marathon’

‘Leeds 10k 2012 t-shirt’

I’m sure I’ve mentioned each of them quite a few times in various blog entries, especially Blackpool Marathon. (…did I tell you I ran a marathon..?)

Then there’s searches that people do that somehow lead them here, but I can understand why, when it’s those certain words in that certain order. Things like:

‘Bonfire the Manor Eccleshill’ I live near Eccleshill and have ran passed The Manor pub, and have also blogged about a Bonfire Night 5K.

‘Road running Etiquette UK’ I once did a blog entry about running etiquette, so guessing that’s why they got here.

‘Tattoo in Blackpool near the train station’ I’ve mentioned Tattoos, Blackpool, and Train Stations on various entries.

‘Wrestlemania 29 showing in Blackpool’ Bit obscure, but on the Blackpool Marathon blog I mentioned that I watched Wrestlemania afterwards.

Those searches, I can understand why they ended up here.

What I don’t understand is how searches like these ended up here:

‘Homemade radio’ As far as I know, I’ve never made a radio in my life.

‘Guy who got ticket for driving and consuming too many energy drinks’ No idea.

‘Sayings around waiting so long on the toilet’ I don’t even understand what they were asking.

And then there’s this:

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‘Great North Run Tit Flash’

Amazing.

 

EDIT: Thank you to everyone that takes the time to read my blog, and having done so doesn’t send me any abuse or anything, but instead leaves a nice comment, or follows my blog, or ‘likes’ the posts. You’re great. No YOU are. Oh, stop it, you!

What I Did This Week (By Marc, age 31 1/3)


In Which I Swim, Bike and Run (But Not On The Same Day)

Monday: 

Every Monday is swim day. I have a lesson at 7:15pm each week that lasts 45mins, and there’s about 10 of us. Is it wrong that I don’t know anyone’s names? I think it’s gone too far now to start asking what everyone’s called, seeing as though I’ve been having these lessons once a week since February…

I’m quite a strong swimmer when it comes to breaststroke now, and I need to get working on my distances. I think I can do about 100m without stopping but as the Triathlon I’m looking at in September is 400m swim, I could do with getting better. I keep meaning to go through the week for a swim but always find something else to be doing, like sleeping or looking at the cat.

On Monday the instructor (name…. no idea.) split us into 2 teams of 5, and gave us each a pool noodle. (Like a long float thing) He told us that we were going to race across the pool and back in a line. Everyone had to put the noodle under their arms. The person at the front was to do normal breaststroke, then the person behind held onto the front persons noodle, then the 3rd held onto 2nd and so on. People 2-5 had to just use their legs (as hands were full of noodles.) When getting to the other side, the person in front dropped to the back and held onto the noodle, then 2nd person was at the front and therefore used arms and legs to get everyone back.

That's not me in the picture

That’s not me in the picture

The aim was to go across the pool until everyone had had a go at the front, then seeing who finished first. I don’t know if you’ve seen the film ‘Human Centipede’, but that’s the general idea.

I was 3rd to start with, so we went across the pool, moved to 2nd, then came back, and I was the lead swimmer. I went across the pool powering my arms as hard and as fast as I could and was surprised at how easy it seemed to drag everyone across. As we reached the far side, I turned and noticed that instead of 4 people in a row behind me, there was just one. Someone had let go, and so we ended up losing due to going back for them and swimming it again.

It’s because of things like this that I don’t bother learning their names.

Tuesday: Decided on a Marathon plan at last! I downloaded an app called ‘My Asics.’ You go on their website (free to sign up) then put in your details such as what distance you want to complete, how fast you’ve finished a 10k and stuff, date of your run, how quick you want to finish, and it comes up with a full plan for you to follow, which you can then sync to the app. You choose whether you want to run 2/3/4 times a week, and if you want to take it easy/medium/hard and then it adjusts your predicted finishing time.

Mine originally said that if I follow the plan, 3 runs a week, I can expect to finish the Yorkshire Marathon in around 4:19.

I changed the details that I entered, lied a bit, and now it says 3:55. Figure that if I train for a sub 4 hour, then I should be able to finish under 4:30 easy enough! Also, when you put in your details of runs run it adjusts your finishing time up or down depending how you’ve done.

Wednesday: Today was Grandad-In-Law Normans 83rd birthday so used it as a rest day (and a beer day). He showed us his new road bike that he’d bought himself ready for Skipton Triathlon in September. Had an 83rd birthday and is entering a triathlon. What’s your excuse?

Thursday: What happened Thursday? I can’t remember. Oh wait, yeah! I biked to work and biked home. When I go home, because it’s all uphill, there’s one route that’s a bit of a hill, then flat, then a steady hill for about 3/4 of a mile, then flat to home. The other route is a bit of a hill, then a LOT of a hill but doesn’t go on too far, then flat. Today, I did the first route home and managed to get all the way up in a tougher gear than I’ve ever managed before. Very chuffed with that!

Friday: Biked to work again, and biked home too. This time I did the other route, and when I got to the big hill I passed the bit where I normally have to get off and do the push of shame, then somehow managed to get all the way up the hill! (Not in a tough gear or anything, but it’s still progress!) I’m glad I can feel myself getting stronger on the bike. If only I felt stronger running!

Saturday: Biked to work again, and decided that I need to up my miles a bit. I normally go in a straight line to work (roads permitting, I don’t ride through gardens) and decided that I’ll go a longer way around, and also because Sarah was picking me up after work because we were going shopping. If you look at the pic, I normally go from the green dot to the red dot (3.5mi) and this route was about 6.5mi.

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Sunday: Today I was walking to work, it’s 3.5mi and takes just under an hour. I left my bike at work last night, otherwise I’d’ve ridden (rode…?) down to work. I was sat on the sofa watching Sunday Brunch before setting off when the thought hit me: “I could RUN to work!” I asked Twitter for motivation, and it came from @beady_stace @10marathons @vanishedbob and @Hansplat so that was nice. They all told me to go and run to work (apart from @hansplat who said working on a Sunday was bad enough with out running, took that to mean motivation though) and @beady_stace said to reward myself with cake.

I had a nice steady run/walk down to work and ended up getting to work 15minutes earlier than normal, think I might make it a regular Sunday thing!

Seen quite a few blogs mentioning the York Marathon but not many saying they’re running the British 10k in London in July. Let me know if you are, I’ll keep an eye out for you!

Where have you BEEN?!


In Which I Finally Update My Blog! Huzzah!

Hello! Nice to see you again! It’s been too long. Not even sure the last time I did a proper blog post, so sorry if it’s upset you that there hasn’t been one to read. Hope you didn’t get TOO depressed.

So what have you been up to? Really? Ah, I see. With a duck?! Right…

I’ve only done one 10k race since last time, it was the Keighley 10k run on March 10th. I have had a birthday though, and so now I’m in the 31 – 40 age group (as I turned 31.) What else… I did a 17 mile bike ride the day before Keighley (not advised) and last week rode a PB distance of 24 miles! Swimming is going well, I can now manage 2 lengths.

Anyway! Back to Keighley!

Keighley 10k Recap, Or ‘What I Learned’

Things I know for next year:

1. If it’s cold when you leave the house, it’ll be cold when waiting for the race to start. Snowing, even. Don’t think to yourself ‘I’ll warm up on the run’ because you might have frozen your bits off before the run has even begun.

2. Keep your eye on the startline, because sometimes the start isn’t properly announced. Sometimes they just set off running, even while the warm up is still going. You turn around and notice that the race has started, but aren’t ready.

3. Don’t try and keep pace with an Ironman.

4. Read the entry page FULLY before committing to a run. You know you can finish a 10k run, and you know you’re fine on the roads, but if you miss the bit on the entry where it says MULTI TERRAIN you’ll probably get a shock. Especially if there’s A LOT of mud, and you’re wearing your WHITE running shoes. (Now a shade of brown.)

5. Study the route. (Then you might realise before race day that it’s MULTI TERRAIN) you also might realise that the course takes in a LOT of hills, plus a lot of alleyways and narrow passages that you might not be ready to tackle.

6. There’s no shame in moving to one side if the other choice is running through a thin path on a muddy field for about a kilometre. Just make sure your shoes are fastened properly, so you don’t almost lose one in the mud.

7. Keep your eye out for the marker signs. If the last one you saw was 5K, and you’ve run for another 15 mins or so, then don’t think to yourself how rubbish you’re running, instead think that you might’ve missed a marker.

8. If you’re addicted to times and PB’s and stuff, use your own tracker app or watch or something, don’t rely on timing chips because sometimes they have a problem and none of them record anyones time, so you have to go on gun time. If you use your own tracker app or watch or something, DON’T FORGET TO STOP IT AFTER YOU FINISH.

9. If you find yourself struggling on the run, talk to someone. Doesn’t matter who they are, if you’re a similar pace, talk. I talked to a nice woman for the last kilometre or so because my legs were killing me from the bike ride the day before, and before I knew it I was over the line.

10. For the race organisers: If you design a T-Shirt for a run, or for any event, give thought to which letters you highlight…

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I don’t think anyone was expecting a T-Shirt with K K K on the front in what can honestly be described as ‘Blood Red.’

My next run was supposed to be this Sunday, 24th March but due to snowy weather, it’s been postponed. It looks like my next official run will be the Blackpool Marathon on April 7th! EEK!

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

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.