Leaving Party

I have already touched on this briefly, but as I look at pictures on Pinterest I find myself thinking that I need to go to Wales again.

We all know I love the place. But how cool would a weekend away in a cottage with just the couple of best mates that I have. Drinking, walking and talking. Exploring all the North West Castles for one last time.

At the moment it is a dream and will stay as such as they will all have excuses as to why they couldn’t possibly attend. Some with good reason others because they can’t take time out.

While I’m missing people now (not seen some for months)… I think it is good practice for when I do leave. After all I won’t be seeing these people for a year and who knows I might not even chat or talk to them again. For me this trip is a big deal… bigger than getting married, having a child. I want my friends to be there for me. This is only going to happen the once and while I am doing this for myself, I still need the comfort of my mates.

But it would be nice to have one last good bye…just in case I didn’t see them again. But maybe that’s just me… Maybe I know I won’t be seeing these people again. They may well be under the impression that in a years time we will be drinking again in the local (not that we have local). However anything can happen in a year.

It would be good to do a proper leaving party… and maybe my friends have it under control but I do fear that I may end up exiting quietly only to log on to Facebook in NZ to find messages of ‘Have you gone? We didn’t get to say goodbye’

The real question is should I bother to organise my own party. I suggested this to a friend, who said ‘You can’t do that!’ a couple of weeks later he sent a text asking what I wanted to do? To me that was as good as organising it…

If I am honest, then I don’t want a fuss. I want those who are close to me, and spend as much time as possible with them… Doing the things we have done together like drinking, walking, camping, cycling all just for one last time. If we really get to it, then there is only a handful of people I would like to attend, and I can count them off on one hand.

Off course I wouldn’t object to a big piss up as well, in a bar with everyone who I know.

Just When you Start to Doubt

Well a couple of blogs ago I mentioned that I was turning my efforts to the 10K as my training for the Marathon has fallen behind schedule a little.

Even with this knowledge I still need to get my long runs in, if I am to even complete the course. My little mind had decided that the dream of getting a sub 3.30 or 3.45 was out of the question and I should just concentrate on finishing and invest my time and efforts into my 10K training to get a new PB and hopefully a sub 40.

However today on my long run of over 21 miles, and I will be the first to hold my hand up and say from mile 18/19 I was wanting to quit. I found that I had run a very fast good run. If I was to run as fast as that on the day it would see me come in at 3:40:22. So basically my mind is now back on the idea of trying to get a sub 3:45.

I have excuses why today was a little hard. Not enough sleep this week. Not enough carb loading. Too much booze in the week. Way to many chocolates and not a good pre race meal. All of these can be changed and with a month to go what better place than to start now.

I also quite enjoyed the run, and I’m sure that having a crowd of people cheering me on will also make me forgot about any pain that my quads are complaining about.

Right now for food and sleep.

My special place.

Really short one.

But for some reason and I am not sure why, I dreamt about death last night and what I would do if I died.

While the jury is still out on burial I know that I would like a bench to be placed on top of Snowdon. A nice circular one with a tree planted in the middle and if I did go down the route of cremation than I would have my ashes scattered over Snowdon and Cadir Idris.

I think this also cam about as a friend sent me a link on twitter ‘a song for @lddex’ The song was “Rambler” by The Houghton Weavers.

I like it, as the song is me…. and the line ‘But sooner than part from the mountains, I think I would rather be dead’ is true.

So let’s make this a legal document. When i do pass, I would like some sort of bench or tree to be planted on my favourite mountain looking over the place where i feel happiest.

the Song, Sung by a different group.

Not sure what to pack

Having never been travelling before, and lets give you the truth… The first time I went camping was only a couple of years ago and that was carrying a load of extras in the boot of the car. The one time I did hike with a pack, the trip was only two days so the load was not a great deal.

I never did the gap year thing, I have never really thought off staying in a hostel and roughing it around a foreign country was my thing and until July I won’t really know. But come July I will be in New Zealand and will be driving around in my camper exploring the place and forgetting my troubles and doing some long hard thinking of where I’m at.

Running was supposed to kick the break down of having a mid-life crisis into touch but it seems that after three years running alone will not help and travelling to another country away from friends and family will help me put my life and future into perspective.

But here’s the million dollar question! what do I pack? Well I know clothes will be on the list, but how much and what type. Should I take my computer as after all I have a working holiday visa and will settle in a town for a number of months and the jobs I would hope to do over their kind of rely on me having the use the programs on my hard drive. Manly CAD packages for theatre lighting design.

Do I take my Garmin, my trainers, walking boots, books. Do I just buy an Ipad. How many coats, shoes, mugs, sleeping bags, towels. The list is endless. So please any travellers or backpackers let us know your thoughts. The trip I will be embarking on is a working holiday for a year. two months in a camper van. Then I will be going back to the areas I like and then I would settle down in a city for the remainder of my stay working in the local theatres or what ever work I can get.

So what do I need to pack?

Any Ideas?

Change of Plan

It’s always good to have a plan B. Lets face it what kind of General would you be if you didn’t have a ‘Plan B’ even shouting the orders to ‘retreat’ is a kind of Plan B.

I once read a book. I have since read several others, but none of the others offer the information to explain the subject of this blog. Sure I could try to use the plot of Jurassic Park except they were not clever enough to have a Plan B as they thought everything would be okay and that was like me on my first Marathon. Hang on, wait a minute… I have just referenced another book to explain my point.

The point is, that in the book I was reading all about Marathons the runner talked about some advice he got from a coach. That tiny bit of advice as seen the way I train and think about races completely change. Within the advice the coach offered, she said always have three times in your head.

Simple really. It explains where I have gone wrong. My first Marathon was like many other people’s. I dreamed of getting around the course within the golden four hours. I didn’t even think about any other times and so when my Garmin read 3:30 at 18 miles I knew I had blown it and with it my sense of caring. I was now just going to finish. At the Manchester 10K when I wanted to break my PB, and saw with a Kilometre to go that this was not going to happen I just slowed down to my Sunday run pace. Time only mattered if it was better than the last.

However when I ran my latest half. I had three times. Sub 1:30, Sub 1:35 and 1:40. The latter I knew I could achieve. When I saw I was not going to do a Sub 1:30 my determination and energy went in to obtaining the 1:35, which as we know paid off. Without these three times in my head I think I may have just slowed and crossed in rather disappointing but still respectful 1:45.

So what has this got to do with my ‘Plan B’ well my marathon , which I have coming up has three times. To break the four-hour time, followed by 3:45 or really trying my luck 3:30. However my training has been a little lax, and my long runs have only been lengthy in terms of the time between me getting my trainers on and running. Not to beat my self up, I would like to say I have done two long runs of 20 miles, and one of 16. But that is not enough and with todays run of a little sneaky speedy 10K and speed session I decided that I should concentrate my efforts on chasing a new 10K PB of sub 40 or a sub 35 and just be happy to complete the marathon course. As long as I come in within 4:15 it will be a new PB and I should be happy with that.

I said to my friend after Snowdon that I would never doing the distance again, but with me going to New Zealand and Manchester being my first, I just had to race it again and while I enjoying running long, I must admit that I think my distance wis the half. I enjoy the way it is long but also fast. 26.2 miles just seems nothing more that a long time on your feet which you have to pace correctly.

So with only five weeks to go, I think I will start on my 10K training and sneak in some long runs just so I can complete the last Marathon I will possibly run in the UK.

Just the Packing

Big news, I am one step closer.

I have my bag. All £150.00 of empty bag ready to be filled with clothes, shoes, books and what ever else a traveller may need.

That is all I have left to do. That and sell my stuff.

It is now 89 days until I fly and really can not wait. I am still shitting it but really can not wait. All that is left is to pack then I am on my way. I am questioning whether I should organise my leaving party or leave it to chance that my good friends will have this under control at the danger of not having a send off.

Oh well off to look at pictures and find more NZ subjects to follow on Twitter.

Sorry Sir

No this is not about school or being told off. No, hang on it is about being told off. I have for over a year been seeing a physio and very good he is too. The exercises he’s given me I try to do but my job often gets in the way and being a runner then running over physio will come first.

If I do have a spare 30 minutes then running 4 miles is more important to me than spending time working on my core or doing the strengthening exercises he has shown me.  The trouble is over the past month I have been really busy. Not like the usual busy of not being bothered to get out of bed or leave the house but really non stop working busy. So busy in fact that I have had very little time for running and the time I have had I did not feel up to it.

The issue is that come Friday I have another appointment and I am as stiff as a plank of wood. He already complains about the long distances I do as apparently it is bad for you. Well if loosing over 3 stone in weight and feeling good and beating PB’s upon PB’s and having a good night sleep is bad for you then I have been reading the wrong information.

The trouble is my time is so short at the moment that I have not been doing any real cool downs and I am now paying the price. My legs, while they don’t ache are tight and I can feel this as I run and today I even tried to stretch some important bits but failed as I realised I would be spending a good fifteen minutes on each calve muscle just to levitate some of the tightness, I would have to spend a lot longer to really give it a good stretch.

So the end result is Dom is going to shake his head and tell me that this is what long distance running does. What really annoys me is that I started the year and have improved in my flexibility so much I have almost been able to touch my toes but judging my hamstring stretch today all that work has been run out of my legs so to speak.

So with the thought of Friday looming and the facing Dom and one of his lectures about why running is bad for you… I need to spend an evening with my stick and foam roller to iron out all those knots. I don’t know why I bother as I am only going to go to the gym tomorrow for some hill and speed work on the treadmill which will end up undoing all my good work.