Sunday 24 April 2011

The route - A bird's eye-view

Just a quick post to show you the route that I took home. This is the map that I had with me (thanks to the wonders of the iPhone and Google Maps!), and apart from one or two last minute changes (read: "going the wrong way...") is pretty much spot on with how I got home. As you can see, it's not by any means the most direct route! But it does avoid having to run down the M1...

 End of the marathon in St. James' Park to join the Greenwich Meridian Trail.
Basically follows the A10, gradually becoming less and less busy until I made it out of central London. Met up with Dave and Pete at Mile End, Forest Rise, and another place that I can't remember...

 The Greenwich Meridian Trail through London, up over the M25 to Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey to Stansted Abbets

Stansted Abbets to Standon

Standon to Wyddial

Wyddial to Royston

Royston to Orwell

Orwell to Hardwick

Hardwick to the Guided Busway (via Bar Hill)

Home straight - Guided Busway into St. Ives

Thursday 21 April 2011

15 minutes of fame

Well cor blimey luv a duck guvnor! Yesterday was quite an interesting day as you may have noticed. I was woken up at about 5:30 am by a very excited Jen (I have no idea how long she had been up for!) to tell me my story had been picked up by the Daily Mirror. I think that I may have been more excited a few hours later, and it occurs to me I have been up before 6 every day since I got back! Oh well, who needs sleep eh?

Things kind of continued in this vein for the rest of the day. Texts to tell me I had been talked about on BBC breakfast by Bill and Sian, a phone call from a very excited mother to tell me I had been one of the stories on Head-to-Headlines on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show (winning Johnny a slam dunk against Moira no less!), messages from friends in London to tell me I was in the Metro, and a quick search to also find stories in the Sun and the Daily Star (alongside Susan Boyle no less... ahem). By the evening, the story had been picked up by Fox News (making me a corporate sellout as my friend Alex pointed out) and Eurosport, as well as being discussed in various forums and blogs (my favourite one assigning me the honorary title of the Emperor of the Land of Baddassery - I'm keeping that one!). And that's not counting the local coverage, including a video in the Cambridge News (starring my beautiful fiancee Jen), and articles in the Cambridge News and Hunts Post.

I've been frankly staggered by all of this. I'm not under any delusion that running home after a marathon is a "normal" thing to do, but I honestly didn't think that it was that impressive. Especially since I have been trying to get people interested in it for the past few months and, other than the local press who have been fantastic, people just didn't seem interested. I suspect that maybe people thought it was all talk - clearly they don't know me!

Depending on where you read about things, I have noticed that the numbers are different. Just to be entirely transparent, I have just clarified a few things below. Hope this clears a few things up!

  • The official marathon time was 3:47:45. At the time of the interviews, the official chip times hadn't been published so I had to rely on the time shown by my Garmin. Since I didn't stop the watch when I went through the line (still had a way to go...), I only got a glance that it was about 3:45, which is where this time came from. I'm sure you can forgive me a couple of minutes!
  • The total distance covered was actually about 120 miles, not 125. Not sure where that number came from (and thus the magical "99 miles home"), but again I hope that you will forgive me for a few miles.
  • When I planned things I used Google Earth to measure the distance, which came to 112 miles. Obviously this was never going to be exactly accurate. The extra 8 miles are a combination of taking wrong turns and back-tracking, and also I was never going to take the exact route as measured so weaving around had an effect (for instance, the marathon was actually 26.58 miles from start to finish for me due to weaving around the racing line).
  • The total time, from the gun going at the London marathon to crossing the finish at St. Ives, was pretty much 29 hours dead (give or take a couple of minutes). This averages as 14.5 mins/mile, but actually this isn't accurate. After finishing the marathon, it took longer than I expected to get going through London again, due to having to collect everybody I was meeting, change my running gear, restock, etc, then actually negotiating the foot traffic around the finishing line was a nightmare! We probably lost at least an hour here. Also, the checkpoints ended up taking longer than anticipated, due to having to change socks more often than anticipated (due to dew... heh), blogging, finding it difficult to force food down my throat, chatting, doing bits to the camera, etc. So I probably lost about 20 - 30 minutes at each checkpoint, and since there were about 12 this was a pretty significant chunk of time. Don't forget, this wasn't a race! When I was actually moving, I was generally going at about 11.5 mins/mile, and only really walked the hills. I'll be interested to see what happens in my first real ultra-marathon, but I think I can probably get a good time. Now I know I can do the distance, I can concentrate on an actual time for my next attempt.
But anyway, again, this wasn't a race. It was something to get show that I could do it, and not let epilepsy get in the way. And the main point has always been to get as much coverage as possible for the Epilepsy Society, which is exactly what has happened. And that is, in the quite literal sense, awesome. It's getting people to talk about something that generally doesn't get mentioned enough. Would you know what to do if somebody had an epileptic fit? No? Exactly. It's been incredibly humbling to have been contacted directly by other sufferers, and I'm very proud that what I have done has resonated with people in such a way. As one amazing young girl told me, "I may have epilepsy, but epilepsy does not have me", which is a lot more inspirational than any little run I could ever think of.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

120 miles in 29 hours... Phew!

Okay, so in case you hadn't already heard, I have survived my run! I had meant to update the blog yesterday, but unfortunately the lack of sleep finally caught up with me...

I met up with Team Awesome in the car park of Tescos in Bar Hill, ready for the final 9 mile stretch of my journey. I changed back into my marathon running clothes (running number and all). The final section to St. Ives involved running on some relatively busy roads, and I wasn't sure how I would be feeling at this stage, so Dan's job was to make sure that I didn't veer off into oncoming traffic. As it happens, I was feeling pretty good, so instead we just used the time to chat and catch up.

This section was probably the worst of all, because I knew how close we were. Unfortunately my hip started to act up which made these few miles quite grueling. I suspect that people were, in a weird way, glad to see that this was having some effect on my body - Dan's comment was "you are human after all"!

Our conversation turned into a scene from Rocky, with Dan shouting inspirational comments at me ("You're a wrecking ball!"). We took a wrong turn, so ended up joining the guided bus way at Swavesey instead of Longstanton. As it happens this was probably for the best; I know that route like the back of my hand, so unfortunately I know exactly how far there is to go. It seemed at this point that we weren't moving any closer, and Dan's shouts of "nearly there" were ringing a little hollow, so I just put my head down and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other.

We made it to St. Ives town center, and I spied everybody waving at me from near the Oliver Cromwell statue. I ran past some bemused looking market traders towards the finishing line that had been set up for me (purple for the Epilepsy Society, natch!). A sudden burst of adrenalin hit me, and I sprinted through the line, much to the surprise of everybody there!

I was greeted by David Hodge (the St. Ives town mayor), the members of my crew, some friends from work, lots of well-wishers, Nick Addy from the Epilepsy Society (last seen dressed as a giant seahorse at the charity cheering post at the London Marathon), and a number of photographers. It was a fantastic feeling to be cheered on through the line! I did feel bad that I was so late, but nobody seemed to mind!

I ran through the line at about 2.45pm - 29 hours after setting off on the London marathon the day before! I still need to get the final numbers from the GPS devices that I used, but the grand total was about 120 miles. Also, I now have my official time for the marathon, which was 3:47:45. Not bad, and far enough away from the Good For Age time of 3:10:00 (which would have given me guaranteed entry next year) that I don't feel like if I had gone a little faster I could have made it...

After everything had calmed down, the cracks started to show. The weirdest thing was that I started to shiver a lot, which was probably due to a massive come-down off of the sugar and adrenalin high that I had been on! Also, everything was seizing up very quickly, and the ache in my hip was still bad. Jen drove me home and threw me straight into an ice batch, I got some warm clothes on, and Dan and Zoe turned up with KFC - perfect for replenishing protein! I was finding it very difficult to keep awake, and dozed for a couple of hours on the sofa.

Chelsea stopped by in the evening (after a long day at work I might add) to perform some emergency physio to make sure things were okay. Obviously everything was pretty tight, and my right shin and left hip were particularly so. After poking my sore bits for a while (I am assured this was for my own good :p ), I was helped upstairs and put to bed.

I woke up this morning at 5am feeling nice and refreshed. I felt good, but wasn't sure if this was like the feeling you get after a heavy night's drinking, where you feel great until you stand up... But get up I did, and... nothing. Things felt good. I still have an ache in my hip, but other than that I don't feel any worse than after any other run! Jen was particularly surprised to see my come down the stairs on my own. I'm not going to get ahead of myself though, and I know that things could change over the next couple of days, but with such amazing care what could go wrong!

This morning has been a bit crazy, and my phone has been going non-stop since 7.30 am. So far today, I have had a live interview on BBC radio, an interview with the Hunts Post, been on the front page of the Cambridge News, had a photo shoot for a media company who supply stories to national newspapers (so keep your eyes open tomorrow!), and I am currently waiting to hear from ITV about an interview with them! Hopefully this will all help to bring in some more donations for the Epilepsy Society, and in fact has already attracted a couple of people I see!

Once again, the reaction from people has been incredible. Currently, we have raised over £3,000 online, plus Jen, Dan, Zoe and Pete probably collected over £200 yesterday. If we add in the Gift Aid, I think that we should be sending about £4,000 to the charity - twice as much as I set out to raise! Amazing, and it's all thanks to the generosity of you all, so thankyou once again.

So many people have been involved in this run, and I want to thank everybody that has helped out, everybody that has sponsored me, and everybody that has been so supportive throughout. I promise I will shut up about it after this! In particular, I want to thank; Jen, my lovely fiancee, who has had to put up with me all these years, and was even forced to give a few interviews!; Dave, Pete, Jen and Dan who stayed up as long as I did and followed me through the night to support me; Zoe for looking after Max overnight; Chelsea (and everybody at Cambridge Sports Physio and Back Care) for keeping my legs in check so that I can carry on doing stupid things like this; my mum and dad for being there to support me at the marathon and for raising me to be so stubborn (I blame my dad in particular); all of my friends and family who supported me over night (although I am only just getting around to all of the texts and emails - 128 emails!); Deb for lending us his flat in London the night before the marathon (saved travelling in from ST. Ives Sunday morning!); Vivienne at TriSports Plus who sponsored me for the event with some of the equipment that I used; everybody at the Epilepsy Society, who work so hard for people with epilepsy; and of course everybody that has helped by donating towards the charity.

I am now finally sitting with me feet up, watching TV and trying to catch up with everything. I burnt over 15,000 calories yesterday, so I have a lot to catch up on! Luckily I have plenty of sweets and biscuits to help! I have the week off with nothing much to do, except for eat, watch TV, spend some quality time together with Jen (including landscaping the garden - which kind of makes me wish I wasn't able to walk...), and play on my computer. It's going to be a very lazy week!

So what's next? Well, I don't think that I'll be doing anything like this any time soon, as much to give you guys a rest as me! Once I have the all clear from Chelsea, I'll be back to running and cycling stupid amounts (although maybe not quite so stupid), so that isn't going to change. I have a couple of ideas of ways to top this, but it's probably best to keep them under wraps for the time being! I have a few races later this year, including two 10 Ks, three marathons, two half marathons, and potentially a couple of triathlons.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog, and I hope that it's been interesting. I will probably keep using this blog to keep track of my running, but won't be updating quite so often. But please do check back to see if I am doing any other stupid things any time soon!

All that remains is for me to say thankyou once again. It makes me so proud to have such fantastic friends and family, and the generosity of people has been unbelievable. I hope that I can do more in the future to help the Epilepsy Society. But for now, it's time to put my feet up and get down to a real marathon - watching season 1 of The Sopranos!

Very finally, here are a couple of things that have cropped up in the media, and I will pop a few more photos up when I get them:

Monday 18 April 2011

The final countdown!

Just leaving Bar Hill - this is it! The last stretch to St Ives. Going to be a couple of hours late, but sure you can forgive me! It's been epic...

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

So close...

Just got into Hardwick and I'm definitely feeling it. Just restocking before heading to Bar Hill, then it's off on the final stretch!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Mountains out of mole hills

Just on my way to Hardwick, so getting very close now. Annoyingly my knee has started to play up a bit, which isn't helped by the hills on this portion of the route...

They're not really that big, but it this stage they look massive!

Just one marathon left!

I've made it to Royston, so getting close now. The dew last night has led to wet feet and some pretty bad blisters. There's also a fair bit of chaffage going on. But I've patched myself upas best I can and I'm off again. I'll probably be about an hour late which is a shame but I will make it!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!


The sun is up I'm just making my way to Royston. Font want to be late! Apparently the location tracker is playing up, but I can assure you I'm still going!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Mmm... Pizza!

I suspect that most people will be asleep now but we're still going! The last section was pretty tough, but locating an open public convenience was a big bonus!

Arrived to the find the guys had had a pizza delivered, so stuffed my face and drank some pepsi, which should hopefully wake me up!

The next section is about 10 miles, then it should be a bit shorter from there. It's going well, but I'm definitely starting to feel it!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Sunday 17 April 2011

So long M25!

Okay. I'm out. Made it over the M25.

Could have gone better. I'm running faster than I anticipated, but navigating proved an issue. It got dark before I made it to Waltham Abbey so had a little unexpected night running. But I'm all kitted out for the night time now, and I know the route from here so should make up some time.

But again I'm feeling good, perhaps better than I should given what I've put my poor legs through already, but now comes the fun part! But Team Awesome are looking on damn fine form!

See you soon!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Team Liability is dead. Long live Team Awesome

In a lovely surprise, Jen and Dan turned up at the last meeting point within the M25. Jen's first comment was that I wasn't nearly out of breath enough, and Dan told me I had to slow down as my 9 minute a mile pace is making him look bad...

So Dave has headed off and Pete has joined the car. They'll be heading to the various villages on my route to wait for me to head past. I've warned the local police so that they don't get attested for soliciting!

I'm definitely out of London now (you can just about make out central London in this photo), and the marathon already feels a distant memory. Very strange...

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Team Liability do it again

Just caught up with Pete and Dave, who had pepsi and pasta waiting for me. Yum!

Pete is doing anything to get a good shot! Maybe I look better from above... We can only hope!

40 miles down now (I refuse to focus on how many are left!) and I'm on my way to the next waypoint, which should be a bit closer. I was running ahead of time, but unfortunately orientation has slowed me down a bit! Any - onwards!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Woo trees!

Yay! I've now made it out of central London, and I am now surrounded by greenery!

36.66 miles on the clock now, and getting closer to my meeting point. Feeling good, and still got s pretty good pace going. Once I get out of London, I'll move to a walk/run pacing. But for now - onwards!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Mile end

Well it's going well. Going at a nice relaxing 9 mins 30 a mile - almost beat the boys here on the tube! Another 6 miles to go until we meet again! Just stocking up on jelly beams and I'll be off again!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Finished! Well, kind of...

Right. Step one complete. Finished the marathon in about 3:45. Probably should have actually looked qt my watch when I finished but hey ho! My racing number is 43884 if you want to check what my actual time was, but I'll post it when I know.

Team Liabilty failed to live up to their name, and in fact turned up with nourishment and juice! So having a bit of a breather, a stretch, a sandwich and a mars bar, then I'll probably have a bit of a baby-wipe shower, and get ready for the next stage!

But I'm feeling happy. Legs are a bit tired, bit hardly surprising. It'll be a LOT more chilled out from here though, and I won't have to weave in and out of people. All in all a good start to the day though!

See you soon!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

On your marks, get set, ...

I'm currently standing at the start, with about 15 minutes to go until go time! I feel surprisingly calm... It should be a nice race, and the weather is pretty much perfect (cool, dry and cloudy). I should be able to deal with any weather, but hopefully it will just stay like this! Lots of people here, and just started chatting to Melissa a fellow Epilepsy Society runner!

Now getting ready to go. 5 minutes! Woo!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

It begins...

Right then, here we go! I slept very well last night (surprisingly!) and woke up feeling nice and refreshed. Had a shower, ate LOTS of porridge (stodge!), performed various pre-running preparations which you don't want to hear about, and got ready to head out of the door with the rest of team awesome!

Pete is documenting things for me, so we had a little interview on the way to the station, Then jumped on the tube on our way to Greenwich. Things were going well until Team Liability (as they have insisted on being called) split up trying to get out of Greenwich DLR station. But it looks as if Dave has been located, and we're ready to rock!

I'm feeling pretty good at the moment, I've eaten plenty and I am a little bit high off of carb drinks! This sugar crash is going to suck tomorrow...

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Saturday 16 April 2011

Night night world

Off to bed now - the last time for a while! It's been a surprisingly busy day today considering I haven't done anything really... I'll be up in about 7 hours, ready for the run of my life! See you then.

Oh and here are my lovely London crew (Dave is on the left, Pete on the right) sporting their incredibly sexy Epilepsy Society t shirts.

Night night!

Currently running 112 miles to raise money for the Epilepsy Society ( Please donate at the top of the page!

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

Well, here we go then. I can't believe it's finally here, but tomorrow is indeed the day of the London Marathon. This time tomorrow I will just be getting towards the finishing line - only to run straight past the line and onto the real run; 86 miles back to St. Ives.

I have spent the last couple of days checking and rechecking my equipment, and packing everything that I will need just in case. As you can see, we have (hopefully!) preempted most possibilities. I had to stop myself repacking my bags for the third time this morning, and just hope that I haven't forgotten anything!

This morning was spent doing a few final checks with my lovely support crew. Here they are enjoying the lovely lunch we prepared for them in the sun! I have a fair bit of support (some of whom aren't in this photo - sorry you missed lunch!). They are (from left to right):

Dan: Rescue Coordinator
Dan is my best friend and is also a crazy nutjob. Where it not for a dodgy ankle you can bet he would be coming with me! His job is to come and find my body should anything go wrong!

Zoe: Dogsitter
Zoe gets the enviable job of looking after Max while mummy is out making sure daddy doesn't do anything stupid...

Max: Official Mascot
He basically hangs around being cute. Just like me! He's the dog by the way, not the other hairy one. That's...

Herbs: Cheerleader
Herbs will be leading the cheers when I make it back into St. Ives on Monday. I expect pom poms!

Jen: Support Crew Coordinator
My long suffering fiancée Jen will be in charge of this motley crew, and will be doing most of the driving overnight. She'll also be making sure I don't do anything stupid; mainly because she loves me, but also because she wants me to landscape the garden next week!

Chelsea: Official Physiotherapist
Chelsea is my own personal physio, and will be putting me back together again when this is all over! This seems to mainly involve sticking electrified needles into me...

Not shown here are my London crew, who will be supporting me at the marathon itself and helping me to get out of the M25 in one piece:

Pete: Official Biographer
Peter will be following me with a camera for most of the route. Of course he will be relying on public transport. I'll be interested to see who gets there first! The video may well be released posthumously...

Dave: Official Doctor
Dave is a real doctor (not a phake one like me) and will be following me through the London leg (along with Pete) with Mr. Men plasters in case I make a booboo.

With bags all packed, I headed out the door. As you can see, I got a fond farewell from Max! And because he looks so goshdarn cute in his Epilepsy Society shirt, here's another one.

This is the first blog from my trip. I'm currently on the train heading into London. I hope the return journey is as easy... I'll be blogging a fair bit over the next couple of days to keep everybody up to date on how I'm getting on. The little map down to the right of the blog should show you where I currently am, so you can see how I'm getting on.

Please leave comments, I'm sure they will help me tomorrow on the lonely trip through the night! And there's still plenty of time to sponsor me. All proceeds will be going to the Epilepsy Society - a fantastic cause and a wonderful group of people!

All that remains is for me to say goodbye, and I'll see you all on the other side!

Monday 11 April 2011

Worst Taper Ever! 04.04.11 - 10.04.11

Wow. This time in a week, I will (hopefully) just be going through Barhill, with only a few hours left to go before the finish of my challenge in St. Ives. I'm tired just thinking about it! This week has been the second week of my taper and, whilst it has been a lot more chilled than most weeks (I got to sleep in until 8am on Sunday! That's practically the middle of the day?!), I have by no means been slack.

It's been surprisingly Christmassy recently, with a pantomime last week starring our good friend Jeff Knott doing his best impression of David Bowie in Labyrinth ("Ding Dong!"), and my work's Christmas do on Wednesday. The lab that I work in have a tradition of holding a Secret Santa in about March/April every year. Usually, receiving presents is a wonderful time of mystery and fun. Not here. The idea is to buy presents that are mean, or in some way take the mick. Queue many jokes about legs falling off and dog ownership being like having a baby (including the rather harsh copy of the DVD "All Dogs Go To Heaven"... Thanks guys!). After the fun and revelry, I ended up cycling home - a much better prospect than shelling out for a taxi. I don't really drink at the moment, so there was no issue with staying sober, and I can't say I would relish the thought of cycling back down the bus way at 1 in the morning in the pitch black along the 1.5 foot wide track while unable to walk in a straight line... It was actually a very pleasant trip back, but I wasn't exactly feeling the most awake the following day. Still, at least I didn;t have the hangover from hell to contend with like everybody else!

Running wise, I've kept it fairly light this week. A couple of little 8 milers have been really nice. I have just thrown on a pair of shorts and a vest and headed out the door into the beautiful sunshine, heading around the river and the meadows of St. Ives. No bags. No heart rate monitor. No watch. Just out to run, going at whatever pace I feel like doing. Both times I ran with someone which is quite a change - once with my friend Dan (who will be on my support crew next week), and once meeting up with another St. Ives runner and chatting to him about University and the like. It's days like those when I realise why I love running so much! I also ran home from work one day, just to get one last longer run in before the race.

Then on Saturday, I decided to take my bike and cycle the remaining section between Royston and St. Ives, to fully cement the route into my brain. As you may have seen from my previous post, it was going very well - fantastic weather, nice clear routes, a bike that had two pedals... Unfortunately one of those points soon changed. I felt my left pedal become loose, so stopped to check what the problem was. The bolt holding the pedal to the crank had come loose. It was literally hanging on by a thread. I had to stop every few minutes to retighten the bolt, and was willing the thing to hold together. Unfortunately I was also out of range for phoning for any help, and was still miles away from home. Eventually the thread sheared completely and I was left with a somewhat useless machine. Luckily, I was wearing my old running shoes, but unfortunately was wearing my cycling clothes (including padded shorts) - not really designed for long distance running, and particularly not great for avoiding chaffing. Oh well. So I set off running (at a pretty good pace of 10/11 mins/mile), with a combination of pushing and carrying the bike. I got a few odd looks from people as I shot past with a bike on my back! I finally got through to Jen, and was able to secure a rescue from Bar Hill, which was the main place that I wanted to get to anyway (it should be relatively simple from there). So my 25 mile cycle ride turned into a 7 mile cycle + 13 mile run + 5 mile drive. Oh well, it's all good training!

So now we play the waiting game... We are shopping tonight for the last few supplies, and everything is planned so we should be all set to go. I suspect that things will go pretty smoothly, and most of the organisation and supplies will be unneeded, but I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. I'm off to the London Marathon Expo on Wednesday to pick up my running number and the like (very annoying that they don't just send it out to you, especially as I already have to be in London the day before it opens for a conference...). Then I will be heading down on Saturday evening and staying at a friend's flat (kindly donated by Deb) with my friend Pete who will be my support for the London leg of the day.

I will start blogging things from Saturday night, and try and keep you updated on how things are looking in preparation. I probably won't blog during the marathon itself as I am after a sub 4 hour time, but will start to blog as soon as I get going after the finishing line. I'll try to get plenty of photos in as well to show how things are going and what the route looks like. Some of it is very pretty, and I'm really looking forward to it! It should be a fantastic day. Please forward the link to the blog to anybody else that you think may be interested in hearing how an idiot copes with running for 30 hours straight...

Hopefully see you this time next week!

Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Ran 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Ran 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 2.5 miles (Work to Park and Ride)
Ran 8.5 miles

Cycled 7 miles
Ran 13 miles

Ran 8.5 miles

Running 49 miles
Cycling 69 miles

Saturday 9 April 2011

Blogging on the GMT

Just decided to head out on the last part of next week's route to get it straight in my head. Can't see my mad map reading skillz being particularly good by hour 25... Just thought I'd write a quick post to test blogging on the move.

If you hadn't noticed, it's a gorgeous day! I'm about a third of the way back, almost at Hardwick. It's not really designed for bikes through the fields around here, but I just hit a nice straight road so about to burn on through. Once I hit Barhill, it should be perfect for bombing along! Of course I don't want to get myself too used to moving at such speeds, I may be crawling by this point next week!

Anyway, must run! Well, cycle for now. Enjoy the weather everybody!

Sunday 3 April 2011

Lazy Sunday afternoon, got no time to worry! 28.03.11 - 03.04.11

Well, it's been a very different week this week. I've been forcing myself to stick to the taper as I can see myself doing something stupid right before the race, and there is too much riding on it now to risk failing. Run, walk, or crawl; I'm making it across that line!

So what have I done this week? Not a whole lot really. A couple of days cycling and a couple of days running. That's it. I feel incredibly lazy! The big difference is that the weekend has been taken up with actually having a life, so for the first time in a long time I haven't spent 10 hours training! I even managed to stay in bed until 8am (practically the afternoon!), and spent Sunday afternoon dozing on the sofa at Jen's parents. Quite a difference!

Oddly, my best workout this week arose at my friend Dave's stag party. Dave is one of my best friends, and is the guy solely responsible for getting me into playing drums (blame him, mum). I have incredibly fond memories of playing in our first band; The Geek Storytellers. Luckily, no recordings have survived to contradict those memories! It was great to catch up with him and his family, and his and his lovely wife-to-be Ros' friends are a fantastic group. We spent the day in a very manly way, throwing small cars around a track in Birmingham.

I'd forgotten how much fun Go Karting was, and I'm glad that my renowned non-competitiveness prevented me from taking it too seriously... Ahem. Quite how you can end up as bruised and battered as I have woken up this morning, from an activity involving sitting still moving only your feet and hands, I have no idea! Still; second place baby! Woo! Although it was at the cost of running the stag off the track... Sorry Dave!

Two more weeks to go, and my mission now is to not break myself before the race! It'll be another couple of chilled weeks, which may just drive me crazy. But this week has been fantastic as on Wednesday I hit my target of £2000! This has been thanks to the amazing generosity of everybody that has supported me, so thank you once again! But rather than rest on my laurels, I have upped the target, and the donations are still flooding in. The more the merrier! My task for the next few weeks is to try and get a bit of national publicity for the Epilepsy Society. If anybody knows someone in media that might be interested, please give me a bell!

Finally I just want to give a shout out to Helen Zaltzman, Olly Mann and Martin The Soundman from the podcast AnswerMeThis. With the amount of running and cycling I am doing at the moment, I would go a little crazy listening to music all day. So instead I tend to listen to podcasts, and preferably funny ones that can keep my mind occupied while pounding the pavements. AnswerMeThis is one of my favourites, and has Helen and Olly answering questions sent in by listeners. In a similar way to QI, the answers are often not what you expect (Paul Robinson has a wooden leg?!!)! As I now seem to have made my way through almost the entire podcast directory, I'm running out of things to listen to on the day of the run. But Helen and Olly were kind enough to donate the first 80 episodes of their podcast (which I can thoroughly recommend you purchase from here) to help me on my travels! I'm looking forward to 30 hours of non-stop mind-blowing revelations that may shake the world as I know it.

Cycling 2.5 miles
Cycling 16.5 miles


Cycling 2.5 miles
Cycling 16.5 miles

Running 2.5 miles
Running 2.5 miles

Running 2.5 miles
Running 16.5 miles

Go Karting (that counts, right?!)

Does sleeping count?

Running 24 miles
Cycling 39 miles
Sleeping a lot