In case you don’t know, now I can’t blame you if you don’t but hopefully by the end of November then any real men, or blokes that you live with, work, study with should have hassled you or should have taken part. Movember is where men shave off any facial hair they may have and over the month grow a moustache.

What for I hear you ask? Well its all quite simple. It’s to promote men’s health. Not just getting men of the sofa and doing some exercise, no that would be silly. It’s to fight one of Men’s biggest killers. Prostate Cancer. A cancer which men shy from along with other silent killers. The true fact is that all the cancers that can kill men can be caught and treated early on. All it takes is for the man to go to the doctors or learn to check himself. Movember encourages men to grow the upper lip hair to raise funds in order to spread awareness.

So please if it is something that you would like to do, then please join my team, or pop along and donate. I have now shaved my beard and will be quickly growing my tache to show my support.

Take a Walk in Jam

Today I woke another year older, and wiser one may think. For some reason 30 has a stigma attached to it and I’m not about to ignore the stereotypes that come with this milestone.

I woke early, annoying I know but lets face it it’s a sign of old age. For months now I have been going to bed early and waking early. It was more annoying this morning as I had been out for drinks last night with a good friend and work colleagues and got tipsy. Not drunk but enough to be unsteady on my feet. I wanted to have a lie in but this old age has bought about the waking up rule. No matter the time you went to sleep, or condition your body will wake up at dawn. Oh to be a teenager and have slept in until twelve. Party because I feel I will need that sleep that my body has neglected to give me. My best mate has organised a day of drinking starting at 3. I think I will be spent by 6. The last time he did this was for my 28th, and we started at noon, and I ended up asleep in Retro bar all be it at 2am which is a very respectable innings, but by 7pm I was a mess I can’t even remember his girlfriend joining us for a couple of hours before she had to go to work.

But anyway back to the first few hours of being 30. I awoke, and had breakfast, cleaned my teeth and got dressed. Is it me or as you get older things taste different. The toothpaste tasted more like the paste the dentist uses to polish your teeth. Anyway as I was eating my Bran Flakes, thinking I have done quite well to avoid an early mid-life crisis, and the big dreaded 30 has not affected me in the same way as some other people and let’s be honest the sneaky age has plenty of ammunition to stir emotional feelings and self loathing in me as I have no partner, mortgage, Job, career…. Do I need to go on? Anyway I was thinking about this and thought that my solution to the 30 conflict was to take up running. Admittedly I did do this last year before my 29th but there is nothing like early planning (it comes with age). No the true state of affairs is that running has become my life and with me entering every half marathon under the sun and about to tackle my first full marathon I feel that rather than sitting in a corner of a darkened room rocking back and forth I have decided to push all my anxieties into the pavement.

Anyway I was thinking these thoughts, and was about to look at where my waist band was in proportion to my chest, as that is a true measure of age. I am still lucky that my trousers are still positioned at a suitable height. With this relief I went back to munching my Bran Flakes looking out of MY living room window watching the world go past. When some woman walking what is scientifically known as a dog, but looks more like a tumbled dried rat looked in to MY window and gave me a strange look. My first thought was “Go and walk your dog in Jam”

“Go and walk your dog in jam” What was that about. Surly that is not a sign of old age. Thats a sign of something else surly. Rather than growing old quietly am I going to be an eccentric pensioner. With comments like that I would very much look forward to a life of maddening behaviour.

Anyway I am now sat on bed waiting for the family for a birthday meal in Manchester and then out drinking for plenty of drink. But being 30 that means half a bitter, or maybe a vodka and bitter lemon. But now I have reached this old age I can now wear my bow tie and smoke a pipe. Plus I will be of good age to pull off my moustache which is just as well as I’m taking part in Movember.

So please raise a glass, and…. And…. I’ve forgotten…. Is that a sign of getting old?

Couldn’t Wait

From the last post I said I would not be writing till after Conwy, or maybe a little before but I thought I had to share this with you.

I have made a decision, and that decision is to run the 26.2 miles around Manchester. Yes that’s right after a year in the running game and with two 10K’s to my name and one half I have decided to take part in the run of a life time. For some people the distance is nothing, for others it is unthinkable and for me I have not yet made my mind up.

By the time I get to the start line in Stretford in April I would have course ran several more 10K’s and at least two if not three  half marathons but still the distance is twice what I’m use too. It is all well and good saying a year ago 5K was a big achievement and a long run where today a short run consists of 10K running 26.2 miles is a very very long run and the final weight that tipped the scale of decision came from Mens Running. They are giving five people who have entered a spring marathon a chance to win a training program and fitness test and goodies. All you have to do in return is blog and be around for interviews so they can chart your process in the magazine.

Now I know what some of you are thinking… Thats not a good reason to burn yourself out and take on this herculean task just because a magazine is going to give you a free health check and cater a training and food plan aimed at you with some free kit if your luckily enough to win. Well you’re right but as I said it is the straw that broke the camels back. I have been thinking of doing this for some time. In fact the moment I heard that Manchester was bringing back this gruelling running challenge I wanted in as it was the next step the next challenge, to be honest I have done a half got the T-shirt and I hope I will be able to do another one as I have booked two so the only challenge left in the running season as a next step is the full monty and if there is a chance of getting some extra prizes then why should I let the opportunity pass me by. Plus what better environment than my own city to run in. I always said I would never do London as I felt there were better courses out and Manchester seems to be one of them.

So with this knowledge I decided to sign myself up for the 29th April. I some what feel deflated at the thought of it. Not sure if it is the thought of the distance or the months of training I have ahead. But hey I have done the 3 peaks, rode to Blackpool from Manchester (60 Miles) with no training and ran a very respectable time in the Great North with only 6 weeks of training due to injury. But this is no walk in the park and I know that which is why I am probably not feeling all to elated about it.

So with 6 months to go I better start getting my head down and hitting those roads to add some very tough mileage in. At least I’m at a head start as I am already doing 10 miles on a run so only have 16 miles to build upon.

Wish me luck, or call me insane at the moment both will go unnoticed as I don’t think it has sunk in what I have signed up for.

Just a Short Update

Well as you know I will be running the Conwy half, but I have now also entered the Liverpool Half. I am also thinking of doing the Blackpool Half the week before and at some point next week I may final make my mind up about entering the Manchester Marathon.

This week I should be running a lot, partly because I won’t have anytime next week due to work, but also because I have this week off but for some reason my hamstring is still a little sore. I am not sure why! it could do with the other long run I did last Sunday but the week I spent in Newcastle working I was able to go running twice and it felt fine. However the run I did the other day was hard work, and even now my leg still aches. So it looks like a week of rest for me.

At the end of this week my 30th birthday will happen, and everyone is on at me asking what is happening. If truth is to be known I am not fussed, in fact I would be quite happy if it just flys by unnoticed. A little because it’s the 30th (and all you have to do it read past blogs on how I feel), but more to do with the fact that those who I want to spend it with are not about. They are either working, moving house or at their Grandma’s 80th. All good excuses and I can not begrudge them for those reasons. However it means my birthday will be a dull one.

Oh well, of to plan some day trips out as I can’t run, but I can still walk so lets see what open countryside I can explore.

See you on the other side of 30, and probably after my Conwy race if I get race fit in time.

Conwy Here we Come!!!

Well I am now addicted. I knew I was after the Manchester 10K, but after doing the Great North Run and the Great Yorkshire I love running and entering competitions. The truth is I have not yet found my distance. A lot of runners talk about their distance, the length in which they are comfortable at or most enjoy. For me I thought the 10K was the one that I could complete without feeling shattered but after the Newcastle race I felt like I could do yet another half marathon.

This was concluded to be the case as the Sheffield race was fun and I enjoyed it but I didn’t feel like I had ran, it was all over to quick and even my runs in the evening consists of a 6 mile as a short quick run. For this reason I have been trying to find another half before the year is out to see if I really am a half marathon runner, or whether I should stick to the shorter distances and just get good at them. So with this I searched the internet high and low for a race that was either near any of my friends or one I could travel to quite easily.

So on the 20th November at 12:00 I will be crossing the start line with 499 other people crossing a bridge in Wales next to one of my favourite castles to then head along the coast to run up and around one of my favourite hills. The Castle is Conwy and the Hill is the Great Orme.

The information on the website does not draw a picture of how hilly the climbs will be, so to be safe I am going to work on endurance and stamina training, as well as hill sprints. I know I can run 13.1 miles. I often once a week now put in ten miles with little effort so the distance is not the issue, it will be the conditions and the terrain.

So with little than 8 weeks to go I better start training. Think I will start with a nice 10 miler tomorrow.

Sheffield 10K

Well I got a new PB for a 10K.

The run was easy, it was a good one, nice and relaxed. I was near the start line but even with that there was still a bottle neck but the pack opened up very soon after 1K and after the 2K mark I was running a nice 7.30/Mile. My average pace was 7.12/mile. After the bottle neck I was sailing home, and by half way I felt good and knew I could keep the pace up.

I didn’t know what I was setting out to achieve that day. By that I mean did I wish to just get through it, beat a PB or  treat it as a training session, I was not really sure so with several tracks on my phone and the entire album of ‘Two Many DJ’s Soul Wax’ I ran like the wind, and had the room to do it.

The only part of the course that killed me was the end, and the final 800 meters up hill back to the finish line. When I say up hill I mean a steep one. The true issue was there was a good 400-500 meters to go down first, where I reached a 5min/mile which for some strange reason I tried to keep on the way up. This almost killed me (my heart rate monitor was in a fit at 198) and I slowed right down to cross the finish, but with a new PB of 45 minutes 20 seconds. Seven minutes faster than Manchester and 2 minutes faster than my old PB around the block. Off course I also cam 443rd out of 5000 + people.

The Whole day was a big success and I will be entering next year. My parents came to support me and they cheered me to the finish line. It was a small event, but still a jolly good one and well worth the crowded two carriage train at 8.00 on a Sunday morning.

I have said this before and I will say it again, why oh why didn’t i take this running lark up a lot earlier.


The Best Birthday Present to Give Myself!

So, it my Birthday coming up and I have found the best present to give myself. It contains the two hobbies/places that are extremely dear to my heart. I am of course talking about running and Snowdonia. However It will have to wait until my 31st as I don’t think I will be fit enough to complete the 26.2 Miles around the first mountain I climbed, that of Snowdon.

I know I am not fit enough to run 26.2 miles in two weeks, as I have only trained for a half and have had some weeks off from long distance running, no the real reason is I know the course and it is filled with large hills, both going up and down. There is barely a flat section of the course.

So next year I will be entering the Snowdon Marathon, so on with lots of hill sprints and training to run up long steep roads. – Do take a look at the site and the course, its a tough run, I think

30 ins’t That Old Is It?

This is part one of two blogs. In simple terms I am 30 in 3 weeks, and yes I am not looking forward to it. At the moment I wish to run away to Snowdon and go walking to celebrate in solitude but know I’ll end up getting pissed with my mates enjoying every minute well apart from those minutes that follow the next day.

However this post comes about due to a conversation about music and my favourite Beatles song. To give the discourse some context I am working with a young persons theatre group where as well as young actors there are a gathering of wana be technicians aged 15. This is not why I feel old, it is what was said that aged me so quickly in the room. I reported that I was rather fond of ‘Number 9’ on the ‘White Album’ which I then later said you couldn’t get for love or money and my brother had to import it. One of the youths in a ‘off the cuff’ way butted in with ‘Why didn’t you just download it?’

Why? Why! because back when I was his age the internet was still dial-up. He looked puzzled. Do I need to say anymore? Some one half my age is living light years ahead of the way I grew up at his age, and that is scary stuff.

Over the next week, I’m going to think about how my life at 15 is different from those growing up now and write about it. Sure when I grew up I had VHS, which my Mother and Father never had but already this kid has had DVD and Bluray (two very quick advancing technologies)grown up with 100 television channels, at least I grew up with four, only one more than my parents. And the real difference is I know about the past and the way people use to live, young people today can’t imagine or comprehend life on dial up, a computer game in 2D, research from a book or CD-Rom or having to remember your mates number as the only phones were connected at the way.

So stand by for a long list and very good long rant.

A Week today, and 27 days.

Well next week, I will be lining up on the streets of Sheffield ready to run my 2nd 10K race. In the small amounts of training I have done and let’s be honest I ran a half marathon in September a simple 10K is nothing and my training has reflected this. Rather than doing distance I have concentrated on speed work doing short 5K runs and as a result beat my PB for my 5K around my block.

I’m looking forward to the race, and have already included it in next years running diary. Other events include the Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool, Great North Run half Marathons, the Thunder Run and the Manchester and Sheffield 10K. I am still thinking about entering the Manchester Marathon but am not sure if I am quite ready for it yet.

In other news I am still in the middle of a busy work schedule, I’m off to Barrow on Tuesday then back up the M1/A1 to Newcastle for a show, then after that I am resting and taking time off. Partly because in 27 days I will be turning 30 and to be honest I don’t care. I am not sure what I want to do. To be honest I want to go away to Wales and walk Snowdon again and be my self. Is this  good??? or should I be with my friends??

Oh well some time running the streets will help me think about it.

See you soon.