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.”
SkiptonTriathlon0758web
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…)
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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!

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:

photo (1)

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.

Marc’s Marvelous Marathon Plan!


Stats

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


STATS:

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!!

‘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!