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The price of free(dom) events

The thing about running more is I have more headspace to mull things over and to draft things in my head... So, as people know I do a fair amount behind the scenes for a number of charities, not just the heart ones most people associate me with – and this isn’t a humble brag.  When Jiminy Cricket says she’s a charity widow its only half in jest. 
Anyway, one of the things that always gets on my wick and therefore I will get off my chest is the concept of a “free event”.There is quite simply no such thing in charity world, probably in no world, but I’ll stick to the charity world for a reason. 
At its easiest a free event costs look like this:
1)Time to take the call/email about the offer of tickets etc. 2)Time to check that this is legitimate, that it meets the charities aims and objectives, that it’s something you want to be associated with and to agree how its going to be advertised. 3)Time to confirm all this with the organisers. 4)Time to set up how you’re going to advertise things. 5)Ti…

Plodding with purpose

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May...

Hot May...

Bloody hot May...

I warn people about the headwind on the Prom during the Liverpool Half Marathon and Marathon... now I have to warn them about when its not there, four miles of baking heat watching the end point apparently not getting closer... But the half was done, 10 min slower than target, but as I may have mentioned it was hot.   That was the middle run of the weekend - with the 5k on the Saturday and the mile straight after the half - all in costume, with Jiminy in matching pairs - Harry & Meghan and then Cap to my Hulk...





As ever the medals were awesome... and the beer was free:-)




The rest of the month has been interesting too...

A good solid run at the Walton Park 5 miles - I had a plan and I stuck to it, plodding out the KMs one at a time until the number reached 8 and then got the decent medal, with integrated bottle opener, and towel..

Then in change of pace a trip to the Peak, taking Jiminy to my favourite hills for the first time, to take part in an…

Marx has a saying about clubs

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We live in a very strange and petty world at times.

With my mojo on a sabbatical, and Jiminy Cricket's neck and back still suffering from whiplash we've not been running as much as normal.  Throw in the charity stuff I've been up to and that thing called life we've not been as active in a running club as we like to be (we've both previously volunteered to support club runs etc).

I'm not sure if its been our absence, but it hasn't made the heart grow fonder.  All I want from a running club is fun, and the rules to be followed consistently (and linked to that there being some rules).

I'm a simple soul; and I've run too many clubs, been a trustee of too many things, organised too much and sat in too many damn committees to know that everything runs swimmingly all the time.  The hardest thing is sometimes to walk away from something that has gone a little bit rancid.

Which is where my old club has made things easy... It is not wrong to ask how an offer …

It's Grim up North (West) - please share...

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This is an article written by the four North-West England Adult Congenital Heart Patient Reps...

Please share so people know what's been going on, and where to go if their in our area and haven't had an appointment for a while...

[This was written for a national charity, and they've given us permission to share it ahead of publication]

The closed facebook group for the adult patients in the NW is

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MACHnetwork/

The Helpline Number is 0161 276 7959 (please leave a message with a number for a return call).



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Being a patient rep often sounds like a fun job, you get to spend more time with the clinical teams that support and look after us, help improve services and generally make sure that the patient voice is heard.For us in the North West that’s been done through the patient reps who were chosen by the regional focus group; principally Anna Burns and Paul Willgoss. We’ve worked closely with the regional congenital heart charity (the Chi…

Stepping out - A question of algorithms

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I have two devices and three algorithms that count my daily steps...

(The fitbit died)...

An Apple Watch...

The iPhone health app...

The Fitbit app on the phone...

Never do the three agree.

I can understand the watch being different from the other two, I don't normally leave it on the desk when I get a coffee, I rarely wander off leaving it on the side.

The other two are using the same hardware - the phone, with its accelerometer and inbuilt gizmos...

How much of a difference?  Well, I've had an interesting day at work, where I've been shackled to the desk, have been feeling rough and headachy - so a good wish test, no runs or gym sessions...

The watch - 8315
Health App - 7713
Fitbit - 7106

That's 10% difference between the two on the same hardware.

The next question is should I be bothered?  The scientist in me is, I want to unpick what the difference is and why it's so stark on the same hardware.  But there is a bigger question, how accurate are step trackers any…

Getting Chilly, Going Large

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As regular readers may have noticed I often follow my own advice and take things easy, slowly build up my distance and speed and generally just add 10% a week to my mileage...

Those of you not choking on your cornflakes may not realise that this is cobblers... Upon occasion, especially on a run where I know the time cut offs are generous, I will take a punt and start the exercise regime for a year with something fun...

So, Jiminy Cricket and I headed north, to the wilds of Lancashire for the Fylde Coast Runners Central Lancs New Year Half Marathon - my simple target get around and have some fun while I did... And to try and make sure Jiminy wasn't sat around in basecamp (the local primary school) for too long while I trundled along.

Unlike most runs I do, this was on open roads so there were cars on the roads with the runners - which wasn't the problem I feared as the run was on quiet lanes, and most runners were sensible and tucked in when cars went past.  Did mean that the …

Running Review 2017

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Its been a year... a complete desertion of the mojo, a niggling hip injury and a tad of achilles tendonitis has meant that the training has gone for a long walk... even that didn't run away, just gently sauntered into the sunset...

However, I am and will always be a medal whore, so whilst I've not run consistently I have got my sorry arse out of bed for runs and events.  The inaugural Wirral trail half marathon started the year, a gentle cold slog along the Wirral Way, flat with squelchy bits... The glory of the MadDog 10k - with its awesome goody bag - containing a bag, well rucksack.  The National Trust run around around the grounds and deserted airfield near a Tudor mansion - Speke Hall.  The horror of the BTR half marathon... BTR Half, guess what, still no explanation... let alone an apology!

The double header of the Spring 5 & 10K in Sefton Park showed how cock-ups should be dealt with - a shortage of t-shirts meant that names were taken and a little while later a ver…