Thursday, 26 April 2012

Busy Month - pre- marathon

26/04/2012 - It's been a busy month (a wedding, buying a new car, selling my old car and a unintentional bank robbery, and it's really impacted on my training so I'm even more unprepared for the marathon than I had wished to be. Coupled with an injury to the right foot done in Karate I'm in agony by the time I'm into double figure running. Still I intend to give it a shot even if I have to bail out half way through.

OK so what's gone on then. Well first was the wedding. My nephew was getting married in Scotland at the start of the month so I took a couple of days off work and my family and I flew up there. We were booked into a lovely hotel and our room, a split level affair overlooking the bay, was very comfortable.

The room balcony - Crack open the Champagne

Tired from the journey we chilled, did a little exploring, and chatted to some of our extended family who had arrived on the same day. So a nice meal in the restaurant that evening and it was an early night for us all. After a very comfy nights sleep we had breakfast and explored the local area - lovely and quiet. I then popped of to the gym and did a quick 30 minutes on the tread mill and had a go on the machines my wife and daughter went for a swim. Then in a repeat of the previous day it was a meal and an early night as the next day was wedding day.

So the next day all dressed up we head off to the wedding. Not much to say other than it was lovely and we enjoyed ourselves, me snapping away with the camera while my wife looked on embarrassed. We drank and had fun well into the night until we staggered off to bed knackered.

So the wedding was nice and having flew home my thoughts turned back to the MK marathon. So I went out and did an 18 mile run - not good. By mile 15 the foot was agony every time I landed on it and for the last 3 mile I was running in a sort of hobbled gait. Also I was getting seriously fed up with long runs and being out for hours on end. I was starting to not enjoy my running which is an issue.

Anyway to cheer myself up a bit I'd been discussing buying a new car and the time had come to start putting things into effect. I was in no rush so I organised the finance and set about searching for my perfect car. OK my perfect car would be an Aston Martin DB9 but you know what I mean. Anyway I had decided on a Ford Mondeo. Then after a day in London having fun with the cars at Car Giant I changed my mind and decided I preferred the Vauxhall Insignia. I had hired one while up in Scotland for the wedding so I knew what they were like to drive. I did not buy there though so came home and went on the Internet and lo and behold there's the perfect car only 2 miles down the road. So a quick call, a visit, the negotiation, the gathering of funds and the car is now mine.

Half leather seat - lovely
Then on the same day I manage to sell my old car - a double whammy.

So what's this about a bank robbery? I hear you ask. Well I popped into a small local bank to arrange a large withdrawal of cash for the car purchase. Only gave them a last name with she used over the phone to arrange with a large branch. Popped into the larger branch and went up to the young lady at the desk. "I've arranged to collect a cash withdrawal." I said and she asked for my debit card and wondered off. She came back with an envelop of cash with my name on it - only it wasn't because they'd got it wrong. We had a laugh about that and she got me to pop my pin into one of those little pin checker things and said yes that's fine and gave me the money. I left and it was some time later I realised that I had not seen her - or anyone - put anything into a computer. No I was not paying that much attention but something just felt wrong. It felt like I'd walked in and asked for money and they'd just gave me it.

I checked my transaction online and sure enough there was no record of the transaction being done - hmmm. I spoke to my wife who said give it 24 hours to see if it comes through. I decided to do that and if it didn't to call the bank - no way I wanted to appear on Crimewatch. The afternoon of following day before I have a chance to call the bank my phone rings and it's the manager of the bank "doing a survey" lol. It was so obvious what she needed to know and indeed we got onto what sort of transaction I'd done, what time and how much etc. Once completed I had a laugh and funnily enough a little later the money exited from my account.

So interesting few days and now it's the marathon this weekend - I'll report back on how it went.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Longest run so far

04/04/2012 - It's been a little over three weeks since my my completion of the Silverstone Half marathon and the running's been going as well I could expect. I've been gradually upping the mileage with my last run being a 15 mile jaunt. My plan is to do a couple of shorter runs and an 18 mile run this week; next week same thing but up the long run to 20 miles. Then I think I can fit in one more long run before I have to start tapering so if I'm very lucky I may get to 22 miles - maybe. I'm a bit worried as the 15 miler seemed damn hard to me. Thing now is to remain healthy - no injuries or picking up coughs and colds.

Taking no chances.
So it's all sort of going OK, I'm still well behind where I wanted to be by now but what can you do? I have been trying out a new run/walk strategy for the marathon as I can't see me running the whole thing with my current level of fitness. It seems to be working OK so far - fingers crossed. I've also been doing some additional fight training on a Tuesday evening, this time with my daughter coming along and giving it a go. Pretty good, hard training sessions.

Fight Club

Anyway having completed my longest run ever, the 15 miles, I decided to do the thing I've seen other runners like Eddie Izzard and John Bishop do on the telly - take an ice bath. Now here's the thing, I watched Eddie and his 43 marathons in 51 days and John Bishop do his 5 days of hell but I've decided next year for sporting relief someone needs to do something like 50 ice baths in 50 days - that would be a real challenge. Sod me I'd have rather gone out and done another 15 miles.

Not my feet.

There I am watching my feet turn blue as the agonizingly cold water performs the same trick David Copperfield did with that Jumbo jet and makes my genitals disappear. Except of course this time it's not an optical illusion, it's all actually gone; in 5 agonizing minutes I've reversed 35 years of adulthood and several years of puberty and have returned, at least physically, to a pre-pubescent state. By now I'm shaking uncontrollably as the cold eeks it's way into my body. Sipping a coffee does not help. How long am I supposed to stay in this hell? 20 minutes, 30, more? Damned if I can remember but after 5 minutes I've had enough. Thankfully everything seems to have returned to it's normal state, though my manhood (little Stu) is now treating me with some suspicion. I'm pretty sure I'll not be repeating that experiment again.

I decided I needed to get some tights for those times when it's too hot for my bagging leggings and too cold for shorts. I tried to decide which ones I wanted. I could get a cheap pair for about £12 or a nice set of compression ones for around £21. I asked my wife who responded with, "Get the good ones but don't wear them in daylight." Well they arrived promptly and as an unexpected bonus came paired with a free very large Sporting Direct mug. Perfect as I'd smashed my "big" mug at work a little while ago. So it was time to try them on.

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance
Now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive.
Well my wife insisted on taking a photo, though she wanted top off but since she's always told me no I chose to do the same. Next I must admit that my wife an I can be a little evil at times and I want you to picture the scene. I've popped on the tights and my wife calls my teenage daughter out of her bedroom. She walks out to find me standing in the hall way wiggling my arse in her direction and saying repeatedly "It feels like I'm wearing nothing at all." Cue a scream and her rapid retreat back into her bedroom and that's the last we see of her for a while. OK so it's going to cost us in councilors in the future but we do it for her own good; by that I mean it makes us laugh.

EDIT: Just been out for a run in them and I must say I love them. So very comfortable. Even though I wore a pair of shorts over the top it still felt, apart from the lack of genital flappage, like I was running commando. For the first mile I kept checking that I was not on display to the world. Excellent. nike-pro-combat-core-tights

To show I can be a good parent here's a picture she painted of out cat Cleo who died not so long ago. She presented it to our neighbour who also loved Cleo and misses her.