A love affair

Many will know, and a lot more won’t that I love the idea of traveling around in a VW camper. So when I finally grew a pair and booked my holiday or as the locals call it ‘an over sea’s experience’ the idea of seeing the islands from a camper van was an opportunity not to be missed.

So came the day when I had to pick the van up and being that I was going to spend two months with it most of the time it being my only companion the nice people at the depot let me choose which van I wanted. My eyes fell on Ricky Marlin, a bright orange and yellow beast, with a giant Marlin leaping from the water. I said ‘Awesome’ like the locals. I looked around to make sure there were no others, the old crone looked cool but Ricky was at the front bathing in the Auckland sunshine raring to go where as the old crone hid in the deep depth of the depot. And so the sweet love affair began.

At first I didn’t get on with him. My left foot was constantly trying to find the non existent clutch and my left hand kept on reaching for the gear lever to change the gears. But Ricky had all of this under control and all I had to do was control the ‘gas’ and the brakes. Ricky was an automatic and theres an art to driving them, esp when you need it to be a low gear. Ricky also kept it secret on how to change radio stations, until the 3rd week which was a pain, as once out of Auckland it was the sound of static or rumble of Ricky’s stomach. But once he revealed the button to search the local stations I was singing along to Bruno Mars, Queen, Black Eyed Peas, Katie Perry and Moorehouse (NZ pop band). I quickly fell in love with ‘Classic Hits – the best of the 80s 90s and now’ the only issue was the frequency would change from area to area often having their own news and presenters but still the same top class tunes.

Sure it was cold in the evening, but Ricky had a little gap for my power adapter to connect my heater and during the day in the baking heat of Northland Ricky pumped the air conditioning on. The only downside was Ricky was a drinker, a terrible drinker. He would demand fuel every couple of days and occasional would hit the hard black stuff. But he never complained and got tired as we drove 400km in one go. Sure he slowed down on the hills and I had to will him up, then encourage him to take it easy on the other side as we basically free rolled down the snaking road to level ground.

After two months I’ve become quite attached to Ricky, Ive learnt to handle his poor steering, and got use to getting him going in the morning. I’ve learnt to run him in gently to ease him into top speed, I’ve got use to the time it takes for the condensation to go and the way the wipers work. In return he has got me from A to B and now back to A. His kept me dry, warm and entertained. We’ve had adventures on some of the toughest and highest roads in NZ and not once has he let me down.

After 8298km or 5156 miles. (Thats the equivalent to driving the length of Britain 8 times or driving two thirds of the coast line or exploring NZ)it’s time to give him up and make my own way in the world.

Goodbye Ricky. I hope your new companions treat you with respect. Beep your horn when your passing through my neighbourhood.

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A letter

To Thomas,

I know you enjoy it and you read all the mags and articles on that world wide web thingy. I even know you have that race coming up and that you are determined to break some PB in a couple of months time. But I do beg you to listen to me.

I enjoyed the two weeks off that I had and really enjoyed taking it easy but you must remember I am not a car. I can’t be started up and driven long distances, I need to warm up and get back in the game.

After this week, and I will be the first to admit the mileage is very little and the work load has been on the small scale but I am feeling it. Feeling so much that come Sunday I may refuse to play ball at the start line and if I do play along I may throw in the towel in the last 400 meters.

So if you don’t want a DNF on you record then may I suggest you spend the next two days giving me a rest. Giving me some TLC. It’s all well and good running long and hard and doing hills and speed work but like you I need time to recover and the harder you train the longer I need.

Off course you are able to help in this matter. Some more protein, seeds, nuts, fruit. Less bad fat and chocolate. Plenty of stretching after the runs. At least half an hour. You use to be so good at your warm downs now you seem to think a poxey five minutes with the foam roller will suffice. Well have I got news for you… It won’t.

Like a car I need the correct fuel and maintenance. If you spend time looking after me I will perform and keep on performing for many years to come. I’ve shown my worth in the past… Looking how your PB’s keep being smashed. Look how far I have carried you. The speed I have travelled.

So please take note. I’m tired, and I really don’t want us to fall out over this as I know how happy you get when pounding the streets. But you won’t be happy when I can’t carry you forward and get an injury.

I hear from Left and Right Foot that you treated them to some new socks and trainers. They pass on their gratitude. Now if you can only show me the same respect and give me some rest. The miles I am use too. The new training scheme of hills and speed is something I need to get use to, and this needs time. Heart and Lung do their best, but over the years I’ve adapted to long distance and need time to adjust. And I’m not just talking about in training. Recovery is when I grow and repair myself and at the moment you are refusing to give me that time.

So I beg of you Thomas. Please surrender the trainers until Sunday and allow me and your body to recover.

Thank you for your time

Your’s

Legs.

 

 

The Long and Short Of It

I fell into running a couple of years ago and always had a goal to increase my distance. Two marathons down and a third in training I am loosing perspective on the running game. Not fallen out or even become disillusioned just we don’t seem to be getting on.

When I went to increase my runs from the 5 or 6 kilometre mark to that of 10K and then to ten miles when I was in training for the Great North I was enjoying myself. Even only a couple of months ago I would joke that a 10K would be something I would nip out to do before breakfast. Truth known I rarely run before breakfast.

I enjoyed the long runs and found it a pleasure that the 6 miles that I had trained to run was something that was really quite painless and getting past ten miles was now the target. This has gone on and on and as I try to train for my third marathon I really can’t be bothered.

I will wake and think ‘Nah forget it’. The trouble is while I’m out running I enjoy it. But I only enjoy it if its short. Well, I say short, I’m talking under ten miles. This is off course an issue with  Marathon training as I need to be pushing another eight or ten miles on top of the ones I am still enjoying. I think the trouble was the weather as I as many other runners ran for the gym rather than quite literally hit the icy pavements.

It was while I was in the gym I decided that long running on a machine was dull and therefore I should give the old interval HIIT sessions ago. A month on and I am enjoying these workouts more, far more. I prefer running fast and short than slow and long.

So what is to be done. Friends have suggested to take time off, which can’t happen as I don’t have the time what with the marathon being in 3 months.

I’m hoping some new routes and some runs with people will ignite the flame that I held for long distance running.

I certainly hope it will do the trick, otherwise I will be hitting that wall very hard.

Finishing it all. And one last call for sponsorship!

Well those who follow me on twitter will have noticed there has been some radio silence. That is because I have retired from tweeting. I have reached my 10,oooth tweet in just over two years and I thought it was time to hang up my status updates.

We all know that give it two weeks I will be back on as all it will take is some idiot of a shop keeper or some girls on a bus talking absolute rubbish to get my blood to boil and vent all over cyber space.

Anyway enough about this, now it’s time to get to the hard stuff. My running is going, and I am very pleased with the progress. I have now run 10 miles so only really need to get it up to 11 miles and just work on my inner strength and stamina, and I think I will be ready. However what won’t be ready is my sponsorship. It is coming along, but really slow. People who have said they will donate have so far neglected the several ways that they can choose to part with their funds. To be honest I don’t blame them but I am now wondering why some people have thousands listed on their Just Giving Page from complete strangers and I have nothing. Well that’s not true I do have funds but nowhere near enough.

So if you are reading this and wish to help the Cancer Charity that I support. There is a page dedicated to it, then please do click on the link right below.

I hope you are able to help me, and the Christies even if it’s just pound donated by the new text message system that Vodafone have set up.(full details on the link)

Oh well I will leave it to you, but I pledged I would raise £600.00 and I somehow thought I would struggle with the run, but at the moment it seems the other way around.

See you all soon.

http://www.justgiving.com/thomas-Scott1

My Longest Run!!!

Today I was going to go running along the canal to my friend’s house who lives out in Oldham. I decided that after yet another fast run the other day to cool it off, as he would have had to been pedalling so slow on his bike he might have fallen off as I wanted to use this long run as training ground to pace myself especially as I now have my trendy new Garmin which enables me to monitor my speed.

My mates in the pub the other night laughed when I spoke about not being able to run slow, there were cries of  ‘God yeah I have that issue running to fast’. Being drinkers I forgave their ignorance as they didn’t really get the idea of pace (both with running and drinking), especially when one said I could run 26.2 miles easily. I’m sure with training and after a couple of halfs (not pints but runs) I will be ready to take on the mother of all runs but for now I am quite content with running my first half and entering a couple of 10K’s each year. However after today’s triumph run I do feel that maybe next year I could enter a full-blown marathon and jog to the finish feeling good, all well be it not in a respectable time but after today’s result of 1hr 20min for ten miles maybe doing it in under 4 hours could be achievable.

A lot of runners like me who take running up to get fit, and see it as a hobby a bit like hiking or mountain  biking often dream to run a 6 or 7 minute mile and keep it up for 5 or 10K. The trouble is I can do this and have always been able to do it. My trouble is slowing down. I have read and been told to pace myself and I should be aiming for a 8-9 minute mile. The trouble is I can’t do it. Not sure why, I feel that I may be walking to fast or taking gentle strides rather than beating the road at any real speed.

But today I decided that the 15 mile run to my mates was too much, and if I wanted to give up, it was unfair on him who had cycled all the way to Manchester, to only have to cycle back to his house on the todd. So I decided I would go it alone around the streets of Manchester, and by god it was good. I started off with a pace of 6 minutes, this slowed to my usual 10K race pace of 7.20 eventually by the 3rd mile I had got it down to 7.60/8.05 but this seemed to make my legs tired almost ache as if they were asking to go faster, I was not striding as much, but this is how I continued until I felt my right foot getting numb and having a sense of pins and needles. With this I strode forward and increased my pace to 6 mins but this was also down hill. I then got back into a gentle pace, as I reached the 8 mile mark, and thought I would call it a day but felt good. My legs were working, my arms were enabling my body to function and pull myself forward and so I ran onto my 5K training route to get to ten miles.

And now I am home. On my travels my watch was a complete star, I do feel that it is helping me to train and pace myself correctly. While it may not feel like you’re running fast, your watch is showing that you are in fact covering a lot of ground.

On my way around I was stopped my a homeless guy who saw my Christie T-shirt with the Great North Run logo and told me what a fantastic job I was doing. He then began trying to give me his spare change. This made me stride forward as I am doing it for myself, but also doing it for others and if some one who has nothing apart from the clothes on his back wished to donate to my cause then it makes any injury or pain I may feel after training worth it, and hopefully will encourage others to donate. Running started of as a way to get fit, and lose the weight. But it has now become my life. I feel fit, free, de-stressed and good about myself. Running is my life and if I can use my past time that I enjoy to help others then why not? And This is why I run races for causes. It makes me happy and raises a little bit of money for people who need it the most.

I’m now back home after icing my foot and doing a good 15 minutes of cooling down, probably not enough I know as I can now feel my calves slowly tighten. But tomorrow is a rest day, and all day monday will be until the evening where a bit of hill sprints are in order to get my fitness and cardio up. I might just go and visit the gym to do some cross training to completely rest my calves from powering me to run.

Well I’m now off to go and eat lots of protein and fill up on my carbohydrate stores and hope that I have over done it.