My End of Year Review

Yes it’s not only Charlie Brooker who can do one, except I would imagine, in fact I know that his is funnier but then he’s looking back at events where this blog is looking back at me.

If truth be known I got up to March waiting a little synopsis of my life month by month when I realised that I have not done anything and certainly nothing to entertain readers. I was writing about my year and even I got bored writing it. However being that Word-press keep all posts you are more than welcome to trawl through the archives and read about my exciting life, but if like me you get bored doing that then you could just read this re-cap in bullet form.

  • Attended a theatre wedding, there a hoot, really nice in the hills of Buxton, small wedding.
  • Went on my first holiday for ten years and turned off all communication to the outside world. Loved every minute of it
  • Found out two of best mates are getting married
  • Attended a weekend wedding of two of my best mates, good weekend
  • Found out my bestest best mate is going to have a baby.
  • had my 30th
  • Got injured and acted like a berk cause I thought I would miss the Manchester 10K
  • Ran the Manchester 10K, and got addicted to running. Ran the Conwy Half, The Great North and the Great Yorkshire, also entered the Manchester Marathon for 2010
  • Lost a shite load of weight
  • Did the 3 peaks
  • Had another holiday just time in Brecon Beacons
  • Had to call out the Breakdown/Recovery people, a day after the policy became active due to friend who locked keys in-car
  • Walked a lot
  • Ran even more
  • Cycled a lot to work with working on MIF
  • bought a suit
  • Visited Barrow
  • Worked in Newcastle
  • Lived/Stayed in London
  • Celebrated my Ma and Pa’s wedding anniversary. It was a big one, can’t remember how long
  • Tired and stressed my self out doing 7 shows over five weeks
  • Had my 30th (Have I said that)
  • Stared building Concord
  • Visited a castles
  • To this date I have burnt 110828 Calories and have walked, cycled, ran 1449km when I have remembered to turn my app on
  • I have gained 7 more followers on here. Welcome
  • I have tweeted over 3ooo tweets
  • I have met 2 special people in my left and said goodbye to them.
  • I got a tax rebate
  • I spent a day in cinema on my own
  • I have moaned about lots of stuff

So there you have it, my year in a nut shell. Don’t forget if you do wish to read the past entries of blogs then please do so. Some are interesting. But I got bored looking back at 2011 and seeing that apart from running nothing really happened. Oh well on to 2012.

Have a good New Year.

Tyne Bridge, Red Arrows and a Cup of Tea

Yes the Tyne Bridge and the Red Arrows. They were the best bits. Apart from getting a sub 2 hour for my first ever half. The atmosphere was pretty much dead. Not that I have a great deal of running experience but Manchester 10K was buzzing all the way around. Newcastle is off course a lot bigger and therefore people lining the streets or having music at every point is hard to do and because of this there was a sheer lack of drive to encourage you forward.

Now I love Newcastle, and it contains one my favorite bridges and we crossed it within the first two miles, the Red Arrows for the first time started the race with a fly over followed by their tradition fly over at South Shields and of course the Tyne Bridge where they did the missing man formation in tribute to the pilot who tragically lost his life back in August.

So the day started at 5am and eating my breakfast. My very kind best mate has agreed to drive me up as a couple of months ago I was unsure if my foot would be fit enough to carry out the miles I was asking of it and as a consequence the hotels were all booked up and those that had rooms were charging an arm and leg for them and I needed both my legs to run. So with that alternative means of transport was needed. The plan was to drive up and drop me in Newcastle for about 9 as the race started at 10:40 and the pens closed at 10:30. This would give me enough time to find the porter-loos and spend 30 minutes queuing and then spend a good amount of time soaking up the atmosphere and warming up. He would then drive to South Sheilds. It turns out that he arrived at the finish line five minutes before I crossed it apparently it took him nearly 3 hours to travel the 13.1 miles from the City to the coast.

As I entered my pen and began warming up, listening to the music travelling down the central motorway with the annoying local DJ informing us of the weather conditions and the special people who were running, small tears came to my eyes. I never ever thought I would be running a half marathon and never thought I would be taking part in the biggest. I started to think of the money I had raised and the messages of support from my friends. This time last year I was out of breath and curled up in a heap after running for two minutes and now I was limbering up and stretching my calves ready to embark on a distance that for many isn’t even thinkable.

I was slowly getting worried, as I had never ran 13.1 miles before, and my longest distance had been 11.5 and that hurt, at ten miles my legs were like jelly. But the pistol sounded for the women’s race and shortly after those iconic planes though over with a large applause and cheering that started the main event and thoughts of not crossing the line flew away like Arrows above me.

I was off, I had set my watch and it found it’s satellites, I went to start it and found it had gone to sleep desperately I tried to wake it up wishing it would quickly latch back on to the GPS signal it had found minutes before hand, by the time my left foot had crossed the start line my Garmin was ready for use and I pressed the start button. I was now running at 7 minute a mile far to quick, I also now needed another pee. Of course the great thing about men is we can do it anywhere, and within minutes the field of male runners were heading to the bushes and trees myself included.

Off we went, 55,000 of us for the ones at the back of the pack it would be 40 minutes till they crossed the start line. As I climbed the first hill I quickly descended into one of the tunnels where ‘Oggi Oggi Oggi‘ was sung. The crowd at later stages would also chant this but there would be no retort of ‘Oi Oi Oi’ as there was no point in wasting breath.

At the 2 mile stage I was running on one of my favourite bridge’s as the red arrows flew over. I was comfortable and had settled into a comfortable 8:45 pace. Which was just as well as the next 10 miles had several gentle climbs. By the half way mark I was feeling good and was on course to get my sub 2 hour.

There was music and bands in some places, and water and powerade in all the correct places. at 8 miles I started to slow down, but then the Bupa Boost came, loud music and lot of support allowed me to strive forward for half a mile my pace increased. While the atmosphere was not as intense as Manchester 10K the locals came out in force with sweets, water and oranges to show their support. My name was called out a couple of times by strangers willing me on.

By the time we got to the 10 mile point I knew I was almost home and dry. Well not that dry as the heavens started to open which was a welcome rest bite from the sun and helped me to battle on up the last hill to the roundabout before the coast. As I reached the top and I saw the sea on the horizon and it was a steep hill down and a sharp corner to the left to reach the 12th mile marker. This was the longest mile in the world, but I sped up and sprinted to the finish as the rain battled on down and echoes of cheering surrounding the coast road, I held my head high and crossed the line in 1 hour 51 minute and 25 seconds.

My legs felt like they would drop off, and the only fix was to head to the charity village to claim my free cup of tea and get a wonderful photo for their website. The day ended with a fantastic display from the Red Arrows and a pleasant car trip home. The question of would I do it again, never even crossed my mind as half way round I had already planed on entering for 2012. I enjoy long distance running and am now hooked on the running bug more than ever, I am in search of all kind of half marathons and hopeful this time next year I may talk about going the whole 26.2 miles. As for my sponsorship that has been the hardest part, and I still have a way to go until I have met my pledge but my Just Giving page is still open for any one who wishes to contribute.

I’m now resting for a week, until I go for a quick run before my 10K race on 9th October and then I might enter the Birmingham Half on the 23rd October. Running is addictive and the weight loss, competition, feeling good about yourself is all side lined by the fact that running rules and is fun.

I like it, and I loved this run.


A day to go!

Tomorrow is the day and I am bricking it. It is the largest half marathon in the world and my first. My fund-raising has been going steady so excuse the plug for a call for more donations in this blog to enable me to reach my target.

My mate is picking me up and driving me up to Newcastle tomorrow, this my tire me out, but its the cheapest option.

So today I will be resting and eating lots of nuts and carbs with a good healthy dose of protein.

So here’s to a rest day and lots of eating. Oh and here is the link for sponsorship.



Friends can Help you Train!!!

Its true, and I will be able to prove it, in fact I already kind of have. When I did Manchester 10K I went training with my friends who to be fair were also running in the race but were not as eager as I was, by this I think the full bug had not bitten them. They helped me to pace myself and to carry on striding forward.

Now for the next race which is if you’re new to the blog is the wonderful Great North Run all 13.1 miles of it treading the roads of Newcastle and Gateshead hopefully my training will be using the same bunch of friends. They know there limits and I need to do some short runs and limit the bigger runs to once a week. By using my friends who are not in training they are more likely to put a halt on the proceedings as they have no goal apart from to enjoy themselves, which in turn will cause me to call it a day as long as we have done at least 5K.

So I get to do lots of short runs with my friends who I love. But what about the bigger runs. Apart from going down to the gym with a couple of albums on my Ipod to run away the time I need another plan, another friend, a friend with a bike and a canal not that he owns the canal, but has access to one. A friend who lives a long way away. Well lucky old me, I have a friend who lives 16 miles away, and there is a route along a canal to his house from mine, he also has a bike. The plan is he rides behind me, shouting words of encouragement, and I run. The long run completed, I achieve my target, my mate gets to ride his bike, and we all go to the pub. Well not me as I am in training.

Last night was supposed to be a rest night, but the urge was too strong and I went out for a run. With my GPS system, but I only looked at it to keep track of my time. I ran 8K, and did it more or less in my usual 4.30 per K mark. the run felt good, and it felt smooth. I had to pause at 8, as my legs were feeling it, which is why I’m defiantly having a rest day tonight. I won’t! I know I won’t I will be down the gym doing some treadmill stuff, or cross training.

But there we have it, with little less than 8 weeks to go, I have to get up to 13.1 miles. This is where friends come in useful. They all enjoy a run, and they can keep me going, those who don’t like to run more than 5K can ride with me, and hopefully within 4 weeks I will be up to 10 miles. I’m not following any precise plan, just taking a mix, of doing runs and slowly building up my distance. The only true advice I’m taking on board, is doing plenty of short runs and only doing one or two long runs a week. I’m not bothered about time on this race, as it will be the first marathon I’ve run, but I would love to do it in the 2 hour mark. 1hr 40 would be fantastic.

But at the end of the day we will see. At the moment the raising money is the hard part. But that is another post for another time.

Good bit of news.

Well I have being banging letters on my keyboard for some days now, and never getting any further to spell checking the blog before I decide I shouldn’t really post this for the world to see. Some of those post that are still tucked away in the drafts section of WordPress include blogs about what fantastic mates I have, and in particular my two best mates this blog will come to the surface one day as they great.. The other post that is still in the early workings of trying to learn to surf on the net is about the fact were in June and it’s not long till I reach the 30 mark, which for some reason I am dreading. It is really just a blog about self loathing and hating my self. But lets put all those asides and celebrate the news that came through in an email.

No I have not got a National Trust job, or a date, or suddenly been offered several hundred lighting designs that may make me consider staying in this game. The news came from The Christie’s. Now for those who don’t know the The Christie’s is my charity, well not mine, but the one I choose to support, and I have good reason to do so. I’m not going to go into those reasons but I feel we need to say no more on the subject. The Christie’s is a cancer hospital in the NorthWest, but it also extends its treatment and research nationwide and is at the forefront of treatment, both for suffers and family and friends.

Now I was a little concerned after the 10K that I would have to change the blog, after all it had started life out as a journal to document the highs and lows of a fat unfit man training for the Manchester run, now it has evolved into something else, but it has kept that rigid back bone of explaining the runs and injures I have done. After the Manchester run I got quite excited and wanted to enter more, so the Sheffield 10K was signed up for, but still I wanted to run a half Marathon, so how about the most famous one of the lot, the Great North Run in Newcastle. I clicked the link and saw it was charity places only. Christie’s had some slots left so I quickly applied and filled out why I should run for them. Nothing for weeks, but then today I get an email saying I will be running in the Great North Run for Team Christie.

I’m so excited and happy, it means I can train and have a new goal to work towards, and with it being a couple of weeks before the 10K, it just makes me confident that I can beat my PB for 10K.

So stay tuned as this blog once again as a purpose, and a mission, all I need to do, is fully rest the foot, as after the 10K I am still tempted by the running and after 3K my foot is yelling to stop. All the websites and professionals say 3 weeks to rest and I’ve been giving it about one and half. But for the course of June I will be keeping Cardio up, and applying Ice to the foot, even when it doesn’t hurt as you never know it may still be swollen under the skin, and then in July and August it is time to build up to running 13 miles, and getting a team together to help me raise over £600.00. I hope I can achieve this as I do not want to let the side down, and hopefully next year I will running the streets of London with a painful expression worn on my face as I tread over Tower Bridge, or I may even be wearing that expression as I stumble over one of my favourite bridges on the Tyne.

But for now here is to running, and here is to me running my first half Marathon.

Stay tuned….