So, the training for the Nottingham Half Marathon went something like this:

Time to event: 6 months plus

  • Discuss idea with Mrs A and convince her it’s a great idea.
  • Create training plan

Time to event: 3 months

  • Congratulate Mrs A on her continued steady 3-4 times a week runs.
  • Accept that original plan has been totally ignored.
  • Create new training plan based around new, shorter time to event.
Time to event: 1 month

  • Congratulate Mrs A on her continued steady 3-4 times a week runs.
  • Accept that revised plan has been totally ignored.
  • Decide to do one 10 mile run and, if that goes well, stop worrying about not having done any training. At all.
Time to event: 1 week

  • Congratulate Mrs A on her continued steady 3-4 times a week runs.
  • Accept that 10 mile run hasn’t happened.
  • Think about carb-loading plan
  • Find trainers.
Time to event: 2 days

  • Go out on a works night out for a couple of colleagues who are leaving.
  • Get involved in numerous drinking games.
  • Roll home at 1:30am in the morning.
Time to event: 1 day

  • Deal with monstrous hangover.
And so, on the day of the event I stood on the startline with my beautiful wife. She was well prepared but nervous. I was horribly unprepared, untrained, non-carb-loaded, dehydrated but unrealistically optimistic. 
A few miles, a few hours and a few painful joints later a cheerful kid in combat fatigues standing just behind the finish line gave Mrs A and myself one of these each:
We also got a customary post-race bag of tat, but I ate the only things worth taking a photo of.
Was it worth the pain on the day? Absolutely.
Will we be doing it again any time soon? Not a chance.

No Snickering Please.

This weekend I am running again. It’s the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham (surprisingly enough) and I am massively ill-prepared.

When I ran the marathon I was very focussed indeed. I had a plan. I stuck to the plan come what may and the resulting statistics were something that I was quite proud of:

  • Miles: 480
  • Hours: 87
  • Calories: 58,000

This time around, although I had a jolly good plan, I exhibited all the self discipline of a labrador left in charge of a plate of sausages. Consequently the figures look a little* less confidence-inspiring:

  • Miles: 28
  • Hours: 5
  • Calories: 3,700

Add to this I have a very busy week this week, culminating with a leaving do for a couple of colleagues on Friday that will doubtless involve a sherbet or two and just possibly we are witnessing the genesis of a disaster.

But with all the misplaced confidence of a flamboyantly handlebar-moustachioed World War 1 General I am looking forward to standing on the start line on Sunday. I’m sure it’ll all be fine.


* – a lot.

Blood, Sweat and (nearly) Tears

Here it is. The distillation of 6 months of commitment through all the training. Of nearly 6 hours of focus on the day, refusing to give up. Of quite a lot of running.

On 17th April 2011 I ran what may well be the only marathon I ever run. I was amazed, amused and humbled by the people who I passed and who passed me.

  • The guy dressed up as a second world war fighter pilot (complete with pipe).
  • The two guys carrying a full size surfboard.
  • The 2 girls who span hulahoops for the entire distance (at a pace that I struggled to stay with).
  • The several Army and Firefighter guys in full kit
  • The guy in full Bomb Disposal kit (the real deal, complete with bombproof armour and helmet).
I salute you all. You all have a grit and determination that is just astonishing.
But as for my little adventure, well there were a few high points. Stopping on the course just before the finish line to see The Boy Wonder in the crowd, running back to give him a hug and seeing how excited he was is something I will never forget. 
So for now, I have my feet up, a bag of frozen peas strategically placed to reduce the pain and I’m looking forward to joining  FMA on holiday next week. No more running.
For now.

Your Mileage May Vary.

I am still running.

The distances are getting smaller as the taper begins, but it seems that the citizens of Leicester have heard that I am almost done now and have made a concerted effort to get out and interact with me as I complete my training. Although the mileages are considerably less than a few weeks ago, the comedy per mile ratio seems to be increasing exponentially.

First off last week was an elderly Chinese guy with an unfeasibly heavy looking load of shopping, heading in the same direction as me. I ran past him fairly early in my route, which was a straight run to a point and back. He gave me a gap-toothed smile as I went past and then had the bad grace to be far closer behind me when I turned around than he had any right to be. He still had the same smile, but I think I probably looked a good deal grumpier.

I think he secretly had a moped in the shopping bags. It’s the only reasonable explanation, other than me being dog-slow.

Also featuring last week was a lady out running with her dog. If you imagine Margot from The Good Life in Nike trainers and a bodywarmer you’ll be about right. The dog in question was a small terrier type affair on a retractable lead, so the situation had trouble written all over it. As we ran towards each other I tried to give them some space (mainly in an effort to avoid having to run with a dog attached to my trouser leg again).

Unfortunately, as we approached each other the dog spotted something of interest on my side of the path and made a beeline for it. The lead at this point was still set at about 2m radius. I was watching the 4-legged boobytrap like a hawk, trying to pick my line to avoid disaster when I heard Margot start to issue commands in her plummy, clipped, middle class voice;

“You’re on the wrong side. For goodness sake get on the correct side. You’ll trip us both over, you silly boy.”

As we continued towards each other I thought to myself that rather than having a conversation with the dog, maybe a shorter lead or some shorter instructions (“heel” for example) might be more expedient. I looked up at her and realised:

She was talking to me.

As we passed, I was laughing uncontrollably. I don’t think it helped the situation much, but some things are just too funny to keep a straight face, even when you’re knackered.

I suspect that I’ll have a few weeks off after 17th April, but then I’ll be running again. The laughter is just too much to give up.


Got ma lip busted fightin’, now there’s blood on my top.

No, not me.

I refer of course to the wonderfully talented Plan B. I’m going out running in a short while (not just in daylight, but in actual sunshine!) and ‘Always Stay Too Long’ (the song from which the lyrics in the title are lifted) is my favourite track to run to, by an 8 minute mile.

It’s been a long winter of runs. The ever increasing distance needed to stick to the training schedule is starting to get tedious. When you have been running for 3 hours even being shouted at by hookers is a welcome distraction (although I could have managed without seeing a fat man in just his pants watching television thankyouverymuch).

Yes, both of these things actually happened to me. On one run.

I’m hoping that now the nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting warmer I can summon up a little more enthusiasm for the training, find some of the spark that has gotten me this far. I know that come April 17th it will all be worthwhile, but right now a bit less time plodding along the mean streets of LE and a bit more time sitting on my arse with a glass of vino and the right company is a very appealing concept.

Despite the best efforts of Plan B, prostitutes and portly persons, my resolve is waning.


Edit:- This was due to be fired into the ether at 5.20pm and I was intending to be running by 6.30ish. Cue one stressy phonecall and voila! Post left hanging and I’m running in darkness at 7.30. Joy.