Sarah’s Granddad Completes His First Ever Triathlon… At 83!

In Which You Are Impressed. Admit it.

Last Sunday was the day of Skipton Sprint Triathlon, 400m Swim, 20k Bike Ride and then a 5k Run.

Running the race were two of Sarah’s uncles, Nigel and John, and her Granddad Norman, who is 83 years old and decided that he fancied completing his first triathlon. At 83 years old. A triathlon. He’s 83.

I stole borrowed this from the Telegraph and Argus website:

“Spectators in Aireville Park were treated to an inspirational display of courage and determination as 400 athletes battled against blustery conditions to complete the Skipton 2 Late Summer Triathlon.

The event, held over the same course – 400 metres swim, 20 kilometres cycle and 5km run – as the popular Skipton Triathlon in April, attracted entrants of all ages.

The youngest was 15-year-old Zoe Kitching of Leeds, who completed the race in a time of 1hr 24min 24sec to win the female youth category.

 The oldest was 83-year-old Norman Redmond, also of Leeds, who clocked 3:10.40 as he finished his first-ever triathlon after spending many years watching his sons compete in the sport.”
It was a very cold and windy day on the day of the triathlon and we were all VERY impressed with Norman (at 83!) and very chuffed for him when he finished. If he can do something like that at 83, there’s no reason the rest of us can’t do something similar at our age! (Unless you’re like, 84 or something…)
Update for Marathon Training
Last week myself and Rob arranged to go on a bike ride from Bradford to Skipton and back, 19miles each way. We went the wrong way at Keighley and so ended up cycling back on ourselves for a few miles, then found the canal so followed that towards Skipton. Instead of 19miles, we rode 26miles to Skipton, where we stopped for some food and then due to Rob working nights, caught the train back towards Bradford. I then cycled home another 4 miles for a total of 30miles. (Missing the target by 8.) Going to try it again this week but with a better idea of direction. (Also, we almost missed Skipton completely but luckily when we pulled into the side of the road, another cyclist stopped to see if we had a puncture or anything and directed us the right way.)
On Thursday I arranged to meet my friend Clare early in the morning (Half 8! Ugh!) for a practice run as she’s just started doing the Bradford Park Run and wants to get her time below 40mins. (Her best time for the 5k was 42:06.) I ran a couple of miles before meeting up with her and then we ran along the canal and through a bit of woods, then finished up in Idle.
The 5k route took us just over 40mins, so looking good for her next Park Run. I had therest of the day off, and after calling in at the Supermarket and walking home it wasn’t even 10:30. I was amazed, I’d done my run for the day, gone shopping and now had a full day off to feel smug about exercising early. That might be the way forward, instead of getting up on a day off and watching TV til lunch, THEN going for a run, I’ll get up early and run before lunch! (We’ll see how well that goes…)

Marathon Looming… (As in getting nearer, not making rugs or anything…)

In Which I Zip Up My Man Suit

It turns out that the marathon is closer than I thought. It’s been slowly creeping up on me like a slowly, creepy, marathony bastard.

I thought I had about 9 weeks until the York Marathon on 20th October, but I don’t. It’s eight weeks on Sunday.

Adding in a week for tapering, that gives me seven weeks left of training.

Bearing in mind I haven’t been following my training plan that I was supposed to be following, I decided I needed to sort out my training and up my game.

Looking at my averages for each week, I’m nowhere near doing the distances I should be. I was talking to someone on Twitter and they said to aim for 50 miles a week! I’m lucky if I do 15!

Barney – Marathon Advice

THAT is why I’m zipping up my man suit and getting it sorted. Instead of running home from work twice a week (3.5miles each time) or cycling to work and back twice a week (3.5mile each way, same distance as running. Why wouldn’t it be? Weirdo) I’m setting myself TARGETS.

I tried following a training plan through MyAsics and while it gave me a good idea of what to aim for each week, I didn’t stick to it. I work different days and shifts each week so it can be hard to follow a plan that says ‘do this on this day and that on that day’. It lets you move run days around but only so much. That’s why I’ve decided to plan out my running schedule on a week to week basis.

“But Marc!” You scream (because you aren’t anywhere near me) “How will you stick to it?”

“Ha!” I loudly laugh, spinning as I do so as I don’t know in which direction you are, “I already AM sticking to it!”

I’ve changed my bike route to work so instead of 3.5miles it’s now 5miles. I’ve changed the cycle home to 10miles instead of 3.5miles.

Instead of running home twice a week (7miles total) I’m now running TO work and back once a week (7miles) , and then running home a 10k route on the other day. (6.2 miles, so a total of 13.2miles instead of 7.)

I’m also upping my millage one a day off too to get in a long run. Before I was doing 3-5mile runs (I once did an 8) where as now I’ll be doing at least 10mile runs once a week, upping the distance a bit each week towards the marathon.

Before – Average Run Miles a Week: 12-15, Average Bike Miles a Week: 14. Total = 26-29

Last Week – Average Run Miles: 25, Average Bike Miles: 32. Total = 57. DOUBLE what I’d normally do.

That’s without a longer run or a long bike ride. And you know what? I feel a LOT better for it. I’m still getting in a rest day or two each week and don’t feel burnt out or anything. I can feel the difference in my legs already.

After all, October 20th will arrive whether I’ve trained properly or not. I’ll finish the marathon, whether I’ve trained properly or not. The only differences that training will achieve are:

1. It’ll hurt a lot less than last time.

2. I’ll get round the course a lot quicker than last time.

That’s more than enough motivation for me.


Lanzarote Ironman 2013 (Spectator, obviously)

In Which I Forget To Mention Things, Or People, Or Stuff, Or Funny Happenings, Because It Was A Long Day!

Last year, Father-In-Law Tony and Uncle-In-Law Rob both entered the Lanzarote Ironman event.

Both Tony and Rob finished the Lanzarote Ironman event.

Afterwards, both Tony and Rob said they wouldn’t do another Ironman event.

Both Tony and Rob did the Lanzarote Ironman event again this year.

(Both Tony and Rob are signed up for the Bolton Ironman event in August, too)



We had an early flight out to Lanzarote with Jet2 on the Thursday morning. Check-In was quick, security was a breeze, and before too long it was time to board. The flight was meant to take 4 1/2 hours but took just under four. Who says budget airlines are rubbish?

By 2pm we had arrived at the hotel, checked-in, dumped our bags and were drinking in the hotels pool bar. Roughly 20 or so of us had flown out to cheer them both on in the Ironman and both seemed relaxed.

Before long evening had arrived and we all went out for an all-you-can-eat chinese buffet. (Table for 20?) Myself and Sarah were tired as had had a late night followed by a stupidly early morning and so went back to our room and did a search for cockroaches. (Last year when we went to Lanzarote, I’d gotten into bed on the first night and a cockroach ran across my chest, causing me to scream like a girl and jump out of bed. Not having THAT happen again!)

Checked everywhere, everywhere clear. Decided to get us a bottle of water each out of the fridge, and there was a cockroach INSIDE the fridge. It was so big that it could’ve opened the bottle of water and passed it to me. I went to reception to tell them about it and someone came round with a 2 foot can of spray. He killed the ‘roach, then left us the spray. I sprayed so much of it around that when I was going to sleep I got a headache and felt sick. Still, no more cockroaches were seen all holiday.


The Friday was spent relaxing and not really doing much apart from eating cheap food and drinking cheap beer. The best thing about being abroad in the heat (it was about 27 Celsius) is that they keep the beer glasses in the freezer so you get an ice-cold brew every time. The bar had been taken over by new people since our last visit, Mark (7 time Lanzarote Ironman finisher), Lauren and Grant. Not sure if Lauren or Grant had done any Ironman’s. (Ironmen?) (There’s a joke there about ‘Doing an Ironman’ but I’m rising above it.)


‘Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’

‘Late to bed, Early to rise, Makes Marc want to sit down and cry.’

We were up at 6am.

Myself and Sarah made our way up the apartment complex where Susan (Mother In Law), Tony and Rob were. They all looked nervous, as you’d expect. Not many words were spoken apart from ‘Good Luck’ and ‘See you on the beach’ before Tony and Rob made their way down to the start line.

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In case you don’t know, and were expecting this to be a review of Iron Man 3 or something, the Ironman events consist of:

2.4 Mile Swim + 112 Mile bike ride + 26.2 Mile marathon run, one after the other, with a 17 hour time limit.

Take a second to read that again.

Go on, I’ll wait here.

Done? Good.

The event starts at 7am and finishes at midnight. There are cut-offs too, for the ones at the back.

You have to have the swim done by 9.20 or are told to stop for the day. You have to have the bike finished by 18.30, or again, aren’t allowed to carry on. If you aren’t back from your run by midnight, you don’t get an official time. No pressure then.

We all made our way down to the beach at around 6.30 and got down the the sea shore, then edged our way across to where the Ironhopefuls would be getting in and out of the sea. It was warmish, but was raining on and off for a while. They do 2 x 1.2mile laps in the sea before running up the beach towards the bikes.

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This is the view from near where the bikes are. The yellow thing in the distance on the right is where the swim starts and finishes. So between swimming and biking, you have to run all this way too!

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All of a sudden, they’re off. The elites go in first, with about a 30second or so gap before the regular people go in. It takes ages for them all to get wet, as there were about 1800 people (guessing all with a screw or two loose.)

Watching the swim and trying to recognise who you’re there to cheer on is like trying to spot a needle in a hay stack. If the needle was made of hay. And the hay stack was about a mile square. And on the moon.

Pretty much everyone is wearing goggles, a black wet suit and an orange swim cap. They all look the same. You have no chance really of spotting anyone tha….

Oh there’s Rob. And Tony. Huh.

Turns out that even though they finished the first lap at the same time, they didn’t know the other one was that close!

We all cheered, not sure they heard us, then they both jumped in for lap 2. Both took just over 44 minutes for the first, so we guessed a little longer for the 2nd lap and positioned ourselves on the part of the beach where they’d be running up to Transition 1 (Where they get changed into bike gear.)

Rob was the first passed, with a 2nd lap time of 43:47 (quicker than his 1st!) and followed 3 minutes later by Tony. Both looked happy to be on dry land and vertical. They definitely heard us cheer this time. After they’d gone into T1 we ran across the beach, climbed a wall, and positioned ourselves next to Tony’s bike. Transition took him 11 minutes (a LOT quicker than last years transition of 18minutes)

He came around the corner from T1, got his stuff sorted with his bike, and then was off.

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We went for a full english.

The thing about Lanzarote Ironman bike course, is that it pretty much takes in the whole island, in one continuous lap, so the people you’re cheering on can be away for up to 7 or 8 hours, so you need to entertain yourself. We went to the Ironman shop and Sarah bought herself an Ironman T-Shirt. I didn’t want one myself, because when wearing it people would assume I’ve completed one and I haven’t.

We walked passed a shop that printed T-Shirts though, and they had one that said ‘IRONMAN LANZAROTE’ with little pictures of each discipline underneath and the respective distances. Entering the shop, I approached the woman there and asked if instead of ‘IRONMAN LANZAROTE’ could I have ‘IRONMAN IN TRAINING’? She said ‘Of course!’ I paid my money and was told it’d be ready later that day.

On our way back to the apartments we heard a siren going off and realised the leader was coming back from the bike course already. It wasn’t even 1pm. He finished the 112miles in little under 5 hours. Average speed of 22MPH. Bearing in mind there’s over 2500metres of climbing on the bike. We cheered him on, then crossed the road and cheered him when he came out of T2 and started on his run.

Later found out his name is Faris Al-Sultan and he completed the 26.2mile marathon run in 2:55. Sub 3hr marathon after 2.4mile swim and 112mile bike ride. Mental.

Faris Al-Sultan - Quick

Faris Al-Sultan – Quick

We made our way back to the pool bar at the apartments (via a frozen yoghurt shop) and watched Bradford City win at Wembley.

We knew that Rob would be back a bit quicker on the bike, so positioned ourselves at the bag changeover stand so would be able to have a quick word when he came in. There were a few other people waiting for their family members too, but got a good view. While we were waiting a bloke got his bag from near Robs and a woman (wife or girlfriend) started cheering him and talking in French. He smiled and laughed and waved, and then started to move off to the change tent.

His wife/girlfriend wasn’t happy.

She shouted something in French, (Guessing ‘where’s my kiss’) He stopped in his tracks, ran to the fence, kissed her and ran off again. We all cheered and clapped and she did a little curtsy. Bless ’em.

A short while later, another person ran for his bag and got cheered on by his wife or girlfriend. Think these were German. A smile, a laugh, a wave, followed by him starting off to the change tent.

A theme was emerging…

Something was shouted in German (Guessing ‘where’s my kiss’) So he stopped, turned, ran to the fence, kissed, ran off. We cheered again. No curtsy though. Moody.

Rob arrived off of his bike at around 15.30, having completed the bike course in 6:56. He looked quite fresh, and set off for his marathon.

Last year Tony came back from his bike an hour after Rob, so expected him around 16.30. Sarah said that it’d be quicker than that so we waited by the fence near his bag. Susan, Hannah and the other sat behind us in a bar that was right on the edge of the path. At around 16.00 Tony arrived, knocking a massive one and a 1/2 hours off of last years time so far.

“HE’S HERE!” Shouted my lovely wife. “HE’S HERE HE’S HERE!” Bit loud.

Everyone jumped up from the table and came to the fence to cheer him on. He looked quite fresh too, and before too long he’d got his bag and was running to Transition 2 to get changed.

Everyone was amazed at how quick he’d gotten around the course and everyone was buzzing.

The marathon course of Ironman Lanzarote consists of 3 out and back laps, the first is pretty much a 1/2 marathon, followed by 2 x laps of just over 10k. The marathon is a lot more spectator friendly as is goes from the start/finish line and back 3 times so you see the person you’re cheering on six times. Cheering on two people means that you don’t have to wait for long to see one or the other.

Myself and Sarah positioned ourselves on the other side of the road to the runners, where all the bars are, and had some food. Sarah had pizza and I had a steak. It was lovely. Before long most of the others had wandered down to where we were and we took over the roadside tables of two bars that were next door to each other, but open plan so our tables were together. Rob Novis and his wife Claire arrived too and got on the cocktails.

I had an app on my phone called ‘Irontrac’ which recorded all the split times on their run so we could have an informed guess as to how long it’d be before we saw them. When it was getting close to the time, we were positioning ourselves on the running side of the road ready to cheer and whoop. We saw Rob arrive and about ten minutes later he passed us again having completed half the marathon. Everyone cheered, I whooped.



I figured that Tony would be back from the first 1/2 of the marathon at around 18.30 so was surprised at around 17.50 when Hannah shouted that he was here. We all ran across the road, but it wasn’t him. At about 18.00 Hannah shouted again that he was here, so we all ran across the road, but it wasn’t him again. I checked the app, and he was still on for arriving about 18.30. Surprised again at about 18.10 when Norman (Tony’s Dad) shouted that he was here, so across the road we ran. Wasn’t him.

The staff in the bar must’ve thought it was some kind of drinking game, running across the road then not cheering anyone on, before running back and having a drink. Or that we were REALLY shit at doing a runner from the bar bill.

About 20 minutes later Tony came passed, so we all cheered (I whooped) and then cheered and whooped again as he ran off to batter the second half of the run. Because they were both on the first of 2 10k(ish) laps, we saw one or the other without too much time between. On Rob’s 2nd time back, he walked a bit and said he felt sick but seemed to push through it. The sight of a runner throwing up at the side of the road wouldn’t’ve helped, I guess.



We waited for Tony to come back from his 2nd lap (Cheer! Whoop!) and after he set off we settled up at the bar (Ah, I knew they’d chicken out of running away Alfonso!) then made our way to the finish line. We cheered on the people that were finishing the Ironman, and spurred on the ones who were starting out on another lap. If you want a big cheer for your Ironman finish, run with a child or your wife, as the crowd go mental for these. There was a tense moment when a bloke was on his way to finish decided to bow, and almost tripped himself up. Straightening himself the shock on his face was obvious, as was the relief when he put his hand on his heart.

Before long we saw Rob making his way to the finishers chute and he finished with a time of 13:25:35, beating last years time by around an hour and a half.

Keeping an eye on Irontrac we roughly guessed what time Tony would be back and wasn’t too far out when he got back from the end of the marathon. As he approached where we were cheering, he grabbed Norman’s hand (His Dad, aged 83) and along with Hannah they all ran across the finishing line together. Official finishing time was 14:52:13, beating the previous years time by almost TWO HOURS.

Before you say it’s mean making a man in his 80’s run down the line, Norman regularly walks 40+ miles a week and is in training for the Skipton Sprint Triathlon in September. On one of the mornings in Lanzarote he went for a 5k run followed by a 20k bike ride. (On another morning he fell off his bike because he was eyeing up the Senoritas.)


The people at the pool bar organised a BBQ on the sunday afternoon which we all took full advantage of. Plenty of drink and plenty of food. (Rob Novis had FOUR burgers in a bun at one point. The same Rob Novis that I ran the Blackpool Marathon with.) Towards early evening talk came around to, as it obviously would, Ironman Lanzarote 2014. Nigel said that he was giving it serious thought as he’s done a few short course tri’s, plus multiple 10ks and a half marathon. I said that I wouldn’t be fit enough for next year, but am giving serious thought about 2015. At one point Tony told Mark behind the bar (who’s best time for Lanzarote is 9:57!) that myself and Rob Novis were considering.

“Big Rob?” Asked Mark.

“Yeah,” Said Tony, “They both did a marathon in April.”

“Four burgers Rob did a marathon?!”

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We had another week in the sun following the event, going to the zoo and carrying on eating and drinking too much. I had a swimming lesson with Sarahs Grandad and Tony, so can do a bit of front crawl now with my head under water. Not got the breathing right yet though, so need to work on that. I’ve come home close to a STONE heavier than before we left, which means I need to get back on the training ASAP.

Sarah At The Zoo

Sarah At The Zoo

Four Burgers Rob

Four Burgers Rob

We didn’t land til about 1AM so couldn’t get Indy from the cattery until the next day (Monday). All that day and all Tuesday were spent sorting out clothes, food and stuff so were too tired to do any exercise. On the Wednesday, I was still off but Sarah was working and had every good intention of going to the gym or going swimming, when this happened:

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Both Tony and Rob have said they won’t be doing Ironman Lanzarote again.

(But they both said that last year too)

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:



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.”


“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!

Marc’s Marvelous Marathon Plan!


Original Weight: (Jan 1st) 15st 7lbs / 217lbs / 98.4kg
Weigh-in (Jan 29th) 15st 5lbs / 215lbs / 97.5kg
Gain/Loss In Total: -2lbs / 0.9kgs

In Which, With 9 Weeks To Go, I Sort Out A Training Plan

As you can see from my weigh in, I’ve put a few lbs back on! That’s in the wrong direction! Ah well, I was more than expecting it. I had an operation to take out a wisdom tooth on Friday and then had the following three days off of work not doing much apart from watching TV and feeling sorry for myself. Also, the Royal Rumble was on on Sunday night so watched that and drank too much beer which probably accounts for the weight gain by itself!

Back to it now though, and in a big way!

Finally (FINALLY!) I wrote up my training schedule for the Blackpool Marathon at the start of April. That’s right, the one just over 9 weeks away! I had a look at a few 12 week and 16 week training plans, and most of them build up to a long run a few weeks before the marathon of 20miles or so. As I’m planning on walking each water station (every mile-ish) I’m not that bothered about being able to run 26.2 miles in one go, I’ll save that for the October marathon where hopefully I’m not hindered by Snow/Flu/Operations.

People manage to finish marathons in well under 4 hours using the ‘walking through water stations’ method so I don’t see any reason why I can’t use it to finish in under 5 hours. That’s my target for Blackpool, with my ‘hope against hope’ target being under 4 1/2 hours. (I’m saving the Sub 4 hour run for October too!) The longest training run I’ll be doing will be 18 miles, and that’s gonna be a mixture of walking and running.

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Not sure how well it’ll turn out in pictures, but I wrote a key on the right of the first pic. So on Sun 3rd March where it says W2W, R-LRH, that means ‘Walk To Work’ and ‘Run Longer Route Home.’ Makes sense to me, but I came up with it all so good luck.

Also, finally found some hi-viz tape to put on my Rucksack for the run/bike home at night! (H for Hemingway!)

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Hope everyone else has had a good January and stuck to your resolutions (like I… err… didn’t.)

Next run is Mad Dog 10k in Southport on 10th February.

Day 4 of 365 – Lagging


Weigh-in (Jan 1st) 15st 7lbs / 217lbs / 98.4kg
Gain/Loss Total: ——–

Miles I Should’ve Done To Date: 22
Miles That I Have Done To Date: 5.27
Difference: -16.73

Ran: 1.4
Cycled: 0
Walked: 3.87
Swam: 0

In which I’m not where I hoped to be

Ah. As you can see, I’m on Day 4 and already close to 17 miles behind schedule. In my defense, however, I’ve been quite ill. Ill enough to be sent home from work early on the 2nd Jan. Slightly annoyed that the illness chose the start of my 2013 in 2013 challenge to show it’s sickly head, but what can you do about it? Nothing. Apart from keep coughing up mucus (lovely), sweating into the sheets all night (sorry wifey) and over-dosing on throat sweets.

But then on one of my posts, I got this comment:

I always run (or ride) through colds and flus unless it’s the second day (where even my hair hurts). I believe that getting my body temp and heart rate up really shortens duration and severity. I could be wrong but I’ve been doing it for years and am happy with the results. – bgddyjim

All day yesterday I was thinking about it, thinking about going for a run but still felt crappy. The more I thought on it, the more I wanted to go. At the moment Sarah is working split shifts most days (Cabin Crew in the Summer, Care Worker in the winter) and so I mentioned to her the comment on my blog and that I was thinking about going for a short run. It’d been almost a month since I last ran!

She said ‘If you do, why don’t you wait an hour til I go to work?’

‘I might fall down ill and die though,’ I said, ‘and won’t be able to get in touch with you!’

‘That’s true. How long will you be?’

Hang on.

That’s true? What a lovely thing to say to your new husband! In all honesty, it didn’t cross my mind at the time, only now when I’m recalling the conversation. I’ll tell her off when I get in. Might set the kitten on her toes. (He loves attacking toes!)

Anyway, off I set. Since moving I’ve not run once, and don’t know the area fantastically well, so decided to do a short loop that I figured would be about a mile, maybe a mile and a half. (Turned out to be 1.4!) I did a quick walk to the main road as a warm up, then I set off at a slow pace. The route goes slightly uphill, then curves to the left and goes down hill, then a short, sharp uphill to finish.

As I set off I felt fine. No trouble breathing, no aches or anything, so upped the pace a bit. I passed a Policeman who nodded and said ‘Good lad’ as I went by. This made me smile and going into the downhill, I went a little quicker still.

I thought I was holding about 10:30min per mile, so was chuffed when my sports tracker app read out a pace of 9:22min per mile! I actually finished the 1.4 miles with an overall pace of 9:14min per mile, so very happy with that.

It seemed to clear my man-flu for a while too, until I went to bed and it all started again. I felt ill still this morning, but not as bad as previous days, and so to keep my millage up I decided to walk to work. I actually got out of bed at 07:30am (unheard of for me, normally 08:30am!) Even had time for a coffee and a sit down stroking the cat before I set off.

3.8mile walk took just over an hour. Tonight after work, I’ll be running the same distance home, but it’s mostly uphill on the way back so I’m sure I’ll get a good work out from it!

On another note, I’ve started with healthy eating too. Instead of a dozen coffees through the day, I’m allowing myself one in the morning before work, and one before lunch at work. Green Tea (Apple and Pear flavour) is my tipple of choice now. Had an apple this morning for breakfast (instead of no breakfast, or McDonalds) and have made a healthy salad for my lunch.

Bring it on 2013!!

Last Day of 2013, or ‘Challenge Eve’

In which I look forward (?!) to the year ahead

Today is my last day of over eating and over drinking, of being lazy and not paying attention to what food I have, or of how much if it I eat. My last day of copious amounts of alcohol (it IS New Years Eve after all…) and tomorrow will see my last hangover for a long while.

Because tomorrow, January 1st 2013, is the first day if my year long challenge of running and/or biking a total distance of (at least) 2013 miles, raising (at least) £2013 for charity.

I’m also going to follow a 28 day nutrition plan and a 28 day fitness plan for all of January. Me and Sarah have been to Tesco today to stock up on healthy foods, and the fitness plan is less than ten minutes a day. Prawns for breakfast tomorrow! (Seriously.)

The main problem at the minute is that I’m quite ill. Had a rough head and sore throat for the past few days, so might not be getting the average miles in tomorrow (5.5miles a day for a year.) if not, when I’m better I can get riding on the Turbo Trainer that Ironman Tony has given me. (As soon as I set it up in the shed.)

Both Nigel and Duffy say they’re joining in on the challenge, so at least I’ll have some company. Also, there’s a few people on here too who day they’ll be joining in, so good luck to us all!

(Also, thanks to the nice reviews left on amazon for my blog. If anyone else wants to leave one, please do! Search amazon for ‘Hemingway run’ the ‘leave review.’ Don’t have to buy it to review!)

Wedding Day
On the 23rd December, myself and Sarah got married. It was a perfect day and it all went… Well… Perfect! We’re just about recovered, and I want to thank everyone that sent us nice messages, especially the ones on here who I’ve never even met!


‘Tis The Season To Be Lazy!

Tra-la-la-la-laaaaa, La-la-la-laaaaaa!

My last run, it turns out, was on the 4th of December. Over two weeks ago. Doesn’t really bode well for my 2013in2013 challenge, if I stay at that consistency! I do have an excuse, however, as we got the keys for our first house on the 7th December and only just moved in on the 17th, what with decorating/cleaning/buying housey things.

Also, we get married in four days (lucky, LUCKY Sarah!) so been quite stressed busy with wedding plans.

The main reasons though, are probably down to the weather and the time of year. Who want’s to go out for a run when Elf is on? (SANTA! OH MY GOD I KNOW HIM, I know him!) Would you rather go for a bike ride or see if Kevin’s parents leave him Home Alone yet again? (Seriously. call the social services.)

I’d much prefer to see the Muppets singing ‘When the cold wind blows right through you / chills you to the bone’ then actually be outside with a cold wind blowing right through me and chilling me to the bone!

I’m a member of a gym near work, but haven’t been for months on end. Turns out there’s a gym near our new house (behind a pub… dangerously tempting…) which opens 7am-9pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends so I could get in there on the (exciting) treadmill a few days a week and they also have a swimming pool, so could give that a go.

Also, it’s just under 2 weeks til the 2013in2013 challenge and my friend Duffy (not the singer) has also taken up the challenge, so will have a bit of moral support! If anyone wants to help, please can you click on my amazon blog button thing on the right of the page and leave a review of my blog? You don’t have to sign up to the Kindle blog to review it, but all money raised from it goes to charity towards my £2013 target.

Big BIG thanks to the reviewers that have already reviewed after they viewed.

Happy Christmas!

An Entry About Not Starting, But Motivating

In Which I Get Letters After My Name

Last week I was entered into the Stadium Striders 10k Trail Run in Brighouse, and here’s my recap:

I didn’t go.

I was a DNS.

That’s right, for the first time EVER since I started running (June this year) I missed a race that I’d entered. I hope that the start didn’t get delayed while they waited for me to turn up. My phone was off so I don’t know how many hundreds of times they tried to call, and I must’ve missed them knocking on my door. I bet the whole day was a let down because I didn’t show.

I had good reason though, for the few days leading up to the run my legs were aching, and didn’t want to try run my first ever trail run with sore legs. I thought that I’d regret not going and that I’d be full of remorse, but I guess the little voice in my head knew it was for the best because it didn’t say anything. Instead, me and Sarah had a lie-in and watched Sunday Brunch (Madness were supposed to be on, but they weren’t. I think they must have been too upset about me not showing up for my run.)

On the plus side though, having missed a race seems to have motivated me on a bit more than I was previously motivated. I went out of the bike on Tuesday and rode the 5k route that I ran last week in 20:20, and then the day after I rode the same route again in 17:39. I keep reading about running and cycling and the thing I read the most is “It’s time in the saddle, not speed or distance that makes you better.” I think tomorrow I might just sit stationary on the bike for an hour or so and see how much better I get.

Also, back to motivation, I’m going to start running in the mornings instead of evenings. That way, I figure, I can run from home towards work (bit of a detour to make it into a 5k run) and finish at my gym which is pretty much next door to work. I can then shower and change before starting my day. If I feel up to it, I could maybe do a bit of weights too. Maybe.

My next scheduled run is the Gunpowder Plod on 5th November in York, and there’s no way I’m missing that’n!