Monday, 25 August 2014

I am (not) Iron Man

I was called Iron Man by someone this weekend, mainly for the heart thing... To repeat something I've said before I've no intention of trying to do an Iron Man Tri - I may be mad, but... just but...

However, despite not being a dead ringer for Robert Downey Jr, not bring the correct personality type (as mentioned in an ACHA blog)  nor having a multi-billion budget, let alone a Pepper Potts to organise my life I would occasionally like a systems check from a Jarvis...

So, Jarvis - systems check

Yes Sir, top to bottom or bottom to top?

Let's start at the bottom...

Feet, within acceptable tolerances.

Ankles, left strong.  Right, residual weakness, may I suggest that you maintain the strapping


Recommendation noted - and accepted.

Calves - less strong than earlier in the year, Sir

That'll be two months off Jarvis...

Yes Sir, just ensuring you are factoring this into your calculations Sir.

Thank you Jarvis

Knees, surprisingly good for a man of your age and recreational activities. Thighs, similar to calves. Hip, slight tendonitis on the right.

An old injury, more like a friend these days, continue...

Core strength, within acceptable tolerances, but at the lower end - recommend restarting core strengthening activities

Agreed - Gym activities restart after GNR/Hadrian's wall...

Upper body strength, good - as evidenced by your holding some climbs you'd not have done recently

After a raise Jarvis?

More preparing you for the less good news, Sir. 
Ehh?

Well Sir, you could do with losing a bit of weight...

Agreed

Really Sir?
Jarvis, I've been doing endurance events, and been injured... If I didn't need to lose weight I'd be surprised.

There are times Sir where your logic is impeccable

Jarvis....

Your other issues Sir, well they are beyond my capabilities.

Thank you Jarvis - the cardiology check-up is October and the diabetes one should be November.

Very well Sir... Sir, what is your plan for the GNR?

Steady and controlled Jarvis.  I had hoped to be able translate the endurance work down with speed, but that hasn't happened. The plan will be to do it marathon style - 900m running, 100m walking and just tick them off..

And then the walk Sir, that walk which my databanks suggest most people do in seven days, and you are planning to do in four...

Jarvis, you're my butler, not my mother... For information, the only day that poses a significant challenge is Once Brewed to Carlisle... 27 miles. And as I'm staying in a bed, rather than camping, I have the luxury of arriving late and sleeping in comfort.

Comfort, Sir?

Relative comfort Jarvis.

Agreed Sir... Anything else Sir?

No Jarvis... I think that will do...   

So, systems check over - the climbing is going well, the running is getting there.  The injuries are clearing up and most importantly the passion is returning (not sure are auto-butler would pick that up).
TTFN

Paul

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Back to where it began... and a bit of a forward look

In less than a month I'll be going back to where it all started... Both the running and the long distance walking.

The Great North Run is one of those starting points that I would recommend to anyone, and yes one year they tried to suggest I shouldn't do it because of my heart condition, but they backed down when I reminded them I'd done it seven times...

Hadrian's Wall was first walked before it was a national trail, back in the days when the only stamps you were likely to get were from angry farmers as you cut through their fields.

Both, conveniently, are located in Newcastle (at least the start of the walk).

So, 13.1 miles to run

Followed by 84 miles of National Trail... in 4 days...

That'll be 21 miles, 22 miles, 27 miles and then with a nice almost symmetry 14 miles.

I'm sure I'll find the extra 3 miles to make it to the 100 miles. A ton in 5 days...

As the gang who walked it with me a few years back will know Hadrian's Wall isn't exactly flat.  But its not utterly brutal either. I just hope that the weather is a bit better...

Why repeat stuff? Even making it quicker doesn't change the fact that I've been there and done that... Well partly because its been such a good year (injuries excepted) and I want to celebrate it by doing something I know I'm going to enjoy.  There's also something important about doing things at least twice, to find out what's changed and whether the bits you enjoyed last time are still the best bits.

It's also an indulgence, a week off work to do something I love with no pressure.  This isn't a challenge in the sense that there'll be people waiting on my arrival at the end of each day, there'll be no medal for the full madness (the GNR had better give me one though!). I may buy the t-shirt though...

Oh, and this isn't a closing the circle of life thing - I'm carrying on afterwards... I have the glimmerings of two or three things for next year...

I've an anniversary in November that I intend to celebrate with some madness. Forty years since my surgery.  Which would suggest that 40 miles needs to be done, in one go... and maybe something climbing related...

For those who were expecting something about GUCHs showing off our scars, be patient...

TTFN

Paul


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Toughhearts 2014: A fixed point in space and time


That moves every two years…

The Eurohearts conferences exist in the hearts and souls of those who have been there, they occupy that special place between family and lovers and resonate with the hopes and fears of all of us.

Toughhearts 2014 in Baar, Switzerland was the latest of these fixed points, a week long opportunity to be amongst people who share something that normally makes us different, our heart conditions and the rest of the issues that these things bring.  We go from being unusual to being common, and that is a good thing every once in a while.

Toughheart 2014 was as innovative a conference as I can remember – a constantly updated website, a conference cocktail (one of many alcohol free ones designed especially for the hearty bar), a conference song and opportunities to discuss the tough things in our lives with some of those who have to tell us the tough things – the cardiologists themselves.

We got to tour Edwards’ Life Science’s heart valve plant, seeing the intricate care that is taken to hand sew the components together, hand sewn as no machine can sew the intricate 3-D shape as well. We visited Hell – or at least the caves leading to hell…

We did the politics we needed to, and chose the next venue for the conference… and the conference after that, and after that and after that…

The conferences are places where every emotion I heightened, the positives are euphoric and any downs are crashing – my advice to any who attend is that they spend some time readjusting after the conference, because from the Technicolor world the real world can seem very drab and black and white.

Every conference is tinged with the tragedies that are part of our lives, the friends who have died and those who aren’t as fit and strong as they once were. The conferences don’t shy away from these toughest of issues, but recognise them in our own way… The Greatest Football match in the world, which has now had its first proper injury, is where we remember and celebrate – and it was one of my greatest honours to lead the silent remembrance and the clapped celebration – and we play, for no greater reason than because we can.

The gala dinner is where we get to don our finery, talk in quiet corners, dance and thank the organisers – gifts from Europe and beyond were showered on the sexy, successful Swiss but most especially our gratitude and love. We wouldn’t have been there without them.

So it is back to the grey world of being normal, remembering that even with a toughheart it is possible to love and be loved.  And there is no greater point in space and time than that…

TTFN

Paul

Saturday, 26 July 2014

A thank you letter....


To my Delightful Dane,

I’ll be writing another blog about the big stuff, the important stuff and the impressive stuff but this is a blog to thank you for giving me a little thing back… My desire to run, and run well.

I’ve never had anyone say they were starstruck to meet me, or that that they weren’t sure what to say. I hope that I lived up to your expectations because at the end of the day I’m just a middle aged man who runs around a bit.

You reminded me that to run is both fun, and for us GUCHs, a privilege. Your courage in accepting that bet from your dad to run a 10km made me smile and warmed my soul and I remembered the “running bets” I’ve had with myself and others; can I do a marathon, can I run a 10k then a half marathon without walking, can I complete an Ultra-marathon.

Thank you for inspiring me, again, to deal with my busted ankle and get back out there.  You will let me know when your 10k is and that day I will be running as close to the time as possible a 10k.  You more than likely will be faster than me, you are a LOT younger than me, but as I said it doesn’t matter if we come first, last or anonymously in the middle of the pack we run for the love.

By now you’re probably in floods of tears, so thank you for the too. But use the energy wisely my young runner you have miles to go before night falls.

Your fellow countrywomen with their mad rollerblading and cycling exploits have helped as well, but there is a bond between runners, a bond of sharing that others don’t always get – a bit like the bond between GUCHs, so run on; create your own legends and when you need a lift to pull on the trainers and hit the road I hope that someone like you comes along and reminds you as you reminded me…

Thank you from the bottom of my crazy heart

We will run together

Paul

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Niggles and Motivation...

I have a niggle, shouldn't be a surprise, and its a return of an old friend - the puffy foot. 

In the words of my GP, "you've got chronic soft tissue damage - what do you expect, how many times have you twisted it?"

So when I've hammered it, it puffs up... Not a lot I can do about it, if it gets too bad then I'll pop to the doctors and get tablets that are banned in horse racing and normally induce a whole cascade of rumours - water tablets are well known to my dicky ticker community, and normally for heart failure.  So the rumours do circulate.  Trust me, everything is working as it should...

So, a week of recovery (that was in the plan from the start), just walking and pottering about to keep things active. 

I don't often blog about work, because quite frankly one bloke sitting at a desk drafting stuff isn't that exciting.  However, this week Civil Service Live came to town and I ended speaking at it twice.  It is very easy to be very cynical about events like Civil Service Live and most of that cynicism is true, they do feel like "bread and circuses", but they do give us mere underlings a chance to mix, chat and share.  And yes, I do have to write, as the Vice Chair of the Civil Service Disability Network, to raise some significant issues about disabled access, and yes I have another issue to raise behind closed doors, but the positives still hopefully outweigh the negatives.  One of those is just reminding yourself of how many ways the civil service helps people, genuinely gets out there and does its best.  We're not all Sir Humphreys and we're sure as hell not all jobsworths - we do all want better IT though;-)

"My" sessions where taking part on a panel discussion on what makes a great team and to provide an inspirational 10 minutes on development, my development journey and how to look at things a little differently.

Neither were, or should've been, easy.  It is so easy to talk about the negatives of team working, everyone can define what a great team isn't... So having the chance to give a diversity laden view of the world, getting across those simple things that often get forgotten - management is about teaching people what to do, and how to do it properly, leadership is that bit extra - the bit that gets teams not just meeting but exceeding their targets.  My real world examples seemed to welcomed - at least my the little queue of people who wanted to thank me for being honest, or for saying something that touched on an issue in the office. 

The inspirational 10 minutes is always going to be a potential nightmare for a disabled leader... Am I considered inspirational just because I've done what I've done because of the dicky ticker, if so then I object.  Is it because I can put something into context against a backdrop of a running schedule that some much faster runners find impressive - then I can live with that. 

Being motivational isn't easy when your motivation is low isn't good, and doing it two weeks after another knock back on a promotion opportunity (with the attendant system issues and "interesting" approach to feedback) makes for a reflective look at things,  Which was good in some ways, it forced me to remember I'm a most unusual scientific civil servant - I've proven myself in front of Advisory Committees, learned and delivered a role in HR, battered a research budget into shape, and now get to try and make Knowledge Management and Futures thinking stick.  Not a bad mix, and yes the lack of promotion when I've got the ticks in the boxes of management, project delivery, finance, combined with a splash of comms and a bedrock of science in a number of discrete discipline hurts, and will always hurts.  There's no dodging that, and all I can do is review my skills and working out what's missing or not as fresh as should be and try and plug that gap... Not much of a salve, but I know my moods and I know I will come out of this dip sooner rather later and if in this black dog of a mood I can give someone pause for thought about what their next career move should be (sideways rather than straight up) and apparently gave someone their mojo back then I'm not bad at being inspirational...   
In running terms I've done what I set out to do in my head back on New Years Eve - run London, and run London well.  A PB is always welcome, a 12 min PB is extraordinary on a hot day.  Liverpool was always going to be the follow up, the return to running in my home city - and my second fastest marathon, despite the heat, despite the injuries, in spite of the course.  And then the Intro to Ultra - 30 miles of hills in the Peak District - I'd hoped for an hour faster than last year, smashing over 2 off was utterly stunning.

So, a treat as well as a rest.  My poor Garmin 310XT is battered, chipped and not always the correct tool for the job - its just not rufty tufty enough for some of situations I take it into - so a Garmin Fenix has come home from the sales, more than I'd normally spend on a treat, but combines most of the features I could ever want (and effectively means I have a smartwatch with a 6 week battery that I can take and use as a GPS for c50 hours... beat that!).

Back to the gym tomorrow - my next race is the Great North Run - so my hope is to shed some of the bulk from carboloading 3 times in 10 weeks and to try and convert some of my undoubted endurance into something resembling speed...

Nine weeks to Newcastle. Let the fun begin:-)

TTFN

Paul 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Friendliest Runner, Kestrals, Frilly Knickers and Mitch Benn

I tried a new memory technique for recalling my runs for this my one and only Ultra I've gone back and done more than once...

The list in my head trots out as:

Friendliest Runner
Kestrel
Frilly Knickers
They're Lost - I'm not last
Mitch Benn
Wrong way up Win Hill
Jane's Mate
Magnum
Cement
Cup of Tea
Success I - not lost
Wedding - man in chef's hat
Stepping Stones party
Success II - not jumping a wall
Friendly faces
Success III - The right path
Success IV - The right bridge
Frilly Knickers
Cows - potentially viscous
Success V - not lost II
Victory - 2h faster than last year...

Well, that's exhausted me and I've not added the detail...

I was determined to go out slow and stay steady, the weather was a lot gentler than last year (16C instead of nudging 30) and I've done a hell of a lot of running between then and now (by the Garmin 1400km / 870 miles) so all was looking good.  Mentally I was in the right place for a PB, and physically I was ready...

 Slow up the first hill, walking up with one of 100 mile veterans, jog down and around... Cut through a woodland and step to the side to allow a horse rider emblazoned with learner signs, she thanked me and called me the Friendliest Runner of the bunch  - I don't know what I'd done to warrant such an accolade but it made me smile...

Moving up the hill to the ridge a Kestrel hovered overhead, another smile...

The hard paths over to Burbage are marked, mainly for the 12.12 race on the Sunday, the usual arrows and tape augmented by a pair of red, frilly knickers - I could conjure a back story... but again I smiled.

Checkpoint One, Jane's other half and mate cheering me on. Top up the water have a natter - I assume I'm last, as does the checkpoint...

Stanage Edge is busy, climbers are lizard like in their love of the sun, so I trundle along, high speed hopstoch...

Checkpoint Three is where the 60 mile people come back on our course, and watching some of them glide over ankle breaking terrain is a joy to behold...

And then I'm overtaken by a pair on the 30 miler... They'd followed the wrong arrow and for a couple of miles its just nice not to be last...

Then Win Hill... Last year it hurt, this year it still hurt... However, it had an unexpected bonus - a comedian who I like a lot - Mitch Benn walking down, as I struggled up - an exchange of pleasantries, confirm the date of the next book launch - and smiling at the vagaries of life I continued up to the checkpoint in the top - where the marshal informed me it was a "cheeky little hill"...

Pootling down Win Hill there was a chap I recognised from the start line going up the way I'd come down - he'd managed to miss the checkpoint... So I was back to not being last - more of a confusion than a smile...

 Jane's Iain was in Hope, with some friends, including one who offered me beer - tempting, but the lure of an magnum ice-cream and chocolate was far stronger.

Trot through Hope, up and around the cement works, and drop in Bradwell for the checkpoint and a cup of tea :-) This is the bit I'd recced as its where the ignominy of getting lost in the estate had happened.., The Recce worked - no problems - straight to the path and up to the edge...

It was a bit humid, and part of me was hoping for a thunder clap and a short sharp downpour as I trotted, held gates for the 60 miles, and dropped down, and then started back up.  A mild disbelief that I was on the right path took me a few minutes of confirmation - yes I confirmed that I knew I was right...

Through the top of Shatton there was a wedding in the barn, and through the slats, I saw a man in a chef's hat at one of the tables - again a back story could be constructed, but I just smiled, and unlike last year didn't need to stand in the ford to cool my feet down.

Speed walking along the Derwent, a path I know and love, you pass the stepping stones, where there was a party, swimming costumes and drinks in an attendance.

Through Hathersage, and up the hill - more 60 milers go past, all smiling and being friendly - there is something about ultras that brings out the sheer happiness of running...

I get the path right, and unlike last year there was no need to jump over the wall... More friendly faces as Iain and pals were at a pub on the way up to Carl Wark...

More friendly faces pass on the path around to Carl Wark, people I'd met last year who remembered me... the real joy of having found the right path to what some people think is an Iron Age fort...

Dib in to the checkpoint and work my way down to the bridge - no diversions, straight down...

Work my way up the broken path almost to Burbage again, cut back to the woods and follow the path down... The knickers are still there... the back story goes unformed.

Down to the Limb Valley, past cows (we'd been warned that they'd been a trampling recently), me going the muddy way and two of the 60 milers jumping the barbed wire fence.

The last couple of KM, don't blow it now... keep left, don't take the nice proper looking path with a bridge, head up the grotty path...

And then not lost, no nav problems worthy of the name, achy but not in pieces I finish.  10:58:29 is good, I'm happy, I'm smiling...

I only cramped once in the night, and the dreaded DOMS from sitting at my desk tomorrow are yet to come... The main things that hurt at the moment are the insect bites...

So, 31 miles, 5250ft of ascent, over two hours faster than last year... this smile may take a while to go....

TTFN

Paul

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Six month report... Not doing too bad...

The marathon part of my year is almost up, my two fastest marathons in the bag, a second fastest half marathon, some sexy running bling and the usual collections of aches and pains.

I know myself moderately well, which means I know my tolerance of "doing the same thing threshold" is beginning to reach its limits with running.  I know, shocking, I can get bored of running. It's also been a long slog, from the 31st December I've pushed myself fairly hard - my Garmin (which only gets worn when I'm doing something "proper") reports over 700 km since then - not bad for someone whose first "challenge year" was to do 1000km...

My Fitbit, picking up the days I go off stomping along the canal to get to town as well as the running is floating at over 2500km.

This time last year I was facing an Ultra marathon injured and with a lousy training record, this year I'm facing the same Ultra with a shedload more training, and a specific recce day and some terrain training under my belt - do I want a PB - yes I do.  It's slightly off putting to know that if I don't navigate incorrectly I'll probably take an hour off without trying, but as ever for next week I have my three targets  1) Enjoy the journey 2) don't go off course and get the PB and 3) if its as hot as last year - survive!

I also had a multi-day ultra to look forward to, this year I don't - I'm off to the Swiss Tough Hearts conference, http://toughhearts.ch/

Which will be as tough as a multi-day ultra for a couple of reasons, seeing my international GUCH friends is fantastic, I spend so much of my time doing stuff in the UK (the day job - I do have one, I volunteer for charities, my charity stuff and the runs all eat into my time), that I'm bloody useless at going to see my friends.  And yet they're still my friends.

However, we're a group with an unusually high mortality rate (good god I can be a cold heart scientific bastard) - my friends die, all too often and all too young.  I mourn in my way, and these conferences are a chance for us to celebrate their lives in so many ways.

Which brings me back to running, I've raised over a grand this year through my various runs - which goes to help make the world a better place for the youngsters born today with a dicky-ticker.  If only one kid has half the hassle I've had growing up then its all been worth it.

So what's next; intro to ultra next weekend, then a summer of walking - using the base of fitness I've got to go out and enjoy some serious walking.  My new tarp & bivvy set, as well as the tent, will be put to good use.   I've week off after the GNR and the plan is either something long Scotland or Hadrian's Wall (well it's close!).  I've some hills I want to bag and some fun I want to have.  I also have a long standing itch I need to scratch at the climbing wall...  

Does that mean I'm hanging up my running shoes?  No, but the intensity has gone from my training - I pushed myself to a target I've had for six years, and I got it.  The London Marathon is done, and was worth the wait.  My job now is to find the next thing that grabs my attention in the same way...

TTFN

Paul

Monday, 26 May 2014

And the band(s) played on...

It was a bad start... My Garmin was still in walk mode, rather than run mode...

It was a bad (for me) weather day... The scheduled rain didn't turn up until after I'd finished, and it was warm and sunny... Though unlike London there was a breeze, a nice gentle one blowing us along the promenade...

I had no expectations of a time, I had no desire to break myself and in many ways had put this is in the "long training run" box for the Ultra next month.  I'd said to a mate that given the hills I'd treat it like a fell run on tarmac and that approach worked.  If it was hill and I was going slowly I walked up it.  Around that I tried to keep my 900m run / 100m walk approach going.

The course... ahh the course...

Through a World Heritage site, around the Cavern Quarter, past the cultural quarter as we worked our way up towards the Football Stadiums, around Goodison through the park and then up to Anfield - the locals were out in force, I was offered a smoke at one corner and an orange segment at the other - one I accepted and one I declined.

Across the park again, down and then the Powerbar hill with a steel drum band - the bloke in the Powerbar top kindly offered to run with me, I politely declined, I walked hands pushing thighs as if I was going up Mam Tor on a good day.  Then there was the view back across the Liver Building, the city centre and on to the North Wales hills.  The long run down hill came next, I pegged my fastest KM as the walk breaks disappeared in a smiling couple of miles of fun.

Through the city centre, and the slightly unnerving bit of running with cars on either side, and then up through China town, then along towards the hill of hell - Parliament Street is a sod.  So hands on thighs I worked my way up, remembering all the times I've tried to run up it and burned myself up.  Princes Road, Princes Park, the loops of Sefton Park, with its tree lined high humidity were my lowest hour. I walked more than I ran, and it helped... A final hill, I have no idea where that one came from, all I know it was somewhere around IM Marsh & Sudley house, before dropping down to Otterspool park.  The band there had an amp stack that looked like something from Spinal Tap and belted out the numbers.

The Prom is just under 5 miles from the finish and is flat and monotonous.  The views of the Mersey are ones I know a bit too well for that motivation,  however the need to avoid the cyclists who decided that bells were not required and weaving between runners was a source of adrenaline. 

At 26 miles almost exactly a few drops of rain hit my head.

So, 26.2 - the bands were playing (or had tracks playing through their systems) as I went through, all the water stations had water, the gels were vile (honestly they were rank, I'm so glad I took my own) but were available.

A couple of friends were on the course, Manuela around the parks and I'm not sure how Christine got from one bit to another but she did, and her help with my "sprint" finish was great. The post-crossing line organisation was brilliant; medal, snacks, technical t-shirts, beer token... and then out to the concert.


Serious Bling:-)

The results were up on my facebook page before I had time to text them to the gang, and most of the photos up today.  5:44:13 - 10 min outside my PB but my second fastest marathon:-)

I'm impressed.  And as ever need to thank the marshals and volunteers - you were unfailingly nice, patient with me not being able to explain why I wanted water rather than go-go juice, and the ST John's for the supply of Vaseline when one of my nip guards came off.

The Rock and Roll team have worked hard to make the run up the Marathon as much fun as possible (their runs with burgers have been great).  The best indicator of that, my only decision about which run to do next year? The full or the half....

TTFN

Paul

Monday, 19 May 2014

The determination returns...

I've said before that I'm crap at being ill...

But I'm recovering...

And that solid core of who and what I am is still there.  Reinforced by what I helped happen at the weekend.  The CHF team worked hard over the last 8 months to get the programme set up and ready to roll, sweet talking & strong arming companies to get the maximum bang for every penny that is raised for us.  The volunteers, that small army of people who cheerfully and freely give their time, are heroes one and all - the nurses who were there all weekend, both in case of problems (they've never been needed for anything cardiac) and also just to chat to parents & kids, the people who manned the stands, the bouncy castle and face painted for hours on the Quayside. 

The parents and kids were there to enjoy themselves, and from what I saw and heard they did - these weekends are about creating a bit of space so families can be families, and chat to families who get the issues they all face.

Me? I go and be me... That included getting the trainers on and going for jog.  The first in 10 days.  And it was, as it should've been... Fine. Not fast, I went out at marathon pace.  Nothing twinged too much, it was warm (it was London, even running early meant it was warm) and it felt good to get back out there.

The news on Friday was that I wasn't going to be part of the Trail Team 2014 - Six out of 100 are odds that even I can't beat on this occasion;-) The six chosen are some of the luckiest people I know, based on the training day I went to in London they are going to be inspired beyond all reckoning and also have the opportunity to inspire us, and anyone else thinking of going out and having fun as only as trail runners can.

So, I'm back... And I'm beginning to feel like doing mad things.  This weekend is the Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon, my hopes of building on London were just hopes.  I'm now going out to enjoy it, plod my way around and hope that some of the parents and kids are watching on social media and realise that when I've a stupid grin on my face at 20 miles when almost all around me are in bits it is in large part due to them.

After that, I've three days in the Peak - a couple of recces for the Peak Ultra in June and something fun for me... A jog around Kinder (as in the plateau) sounds about right at the moment. I just need to work on something for the second half of the year... time to get the books out...

So thanks to all at the weekend... the CHF top is being worn, the grin and determination is there, and I will finish (not least because there's beer at the end!).

Guess its time to start carboloading :-)

TTFN

Paul   

Sunday, 11 May 2014

This is not a missed run, this is a prolonged rest period...

I'm not good when I'm ill... I hate having a cold, I detest taking more lotions and potions than I have to do to keep the systems working.

However, the cold I predicted before the run in to London has finally landed with avengeance, at the same time as I've been dealing with hayfever.  One masked the other and the 10k on Thursday was probably more of a warning sign than I picked up on.

So, sudefed & lemsip capsules and more calories than you can imagine have been thrown down my neck - yesterday was awful, today just bad.  Tomorrow is back to work, so of course I'll be better by 10am...

It was meant to be a 13 miler this weekend, so I'm switching to positive mental imaging... and hoping that'll get me around Liverpool.

I did a 26.2 mile training run with a few (36,000) of my friends and took a stunning 12 min off my PB in London.  Since then I've run well within myself, walked a few miles with a few thousand feet of ascent, been injured, recovered got a cold.... Compared with many of my friends I should just shut the feck up and get on with it. Which is sort of where I'm going with this.  

I'm not as race sharp as I was going into London, but my legs also aren't as tired.  Liverpool was always my bonus marathon, and the one I was planning to enjoy.  Which sounds odd, but I know I can beat the sweeper van walking (PB walked marathon 7:05 - yes the 5 is annoying), and will just take it easy.  There's a bottle of cobra beer at the end of the Rock & Roll, so the effort will be rewarded.

So, time to wipe my nose (again), and start planning for next week - Children's Heart Week... My teddy (Perkins the Penguin) will be joining me at work, I'll be joining in some of the cyber insanity and then at the end of the week I'll be back on water, charging around a dock on a dragon boat... See I may be miserable when I'm ill, but I'm still looking forward to stuff...

TTFN

Paul