Showing posts from 2009

Paul Willgoss MBE

Not a lot more to add to the title... apart from a HUGE grin, and an even bigger thank you to the people who nominated me for this honour.

I'm hoping those 3 little letters will help with the awareness raising element of what I do, and work have helped in putting together a press release and getting it out today, so hopefully they'll be something to kick off 2010 with:-)



Running Review of the year

This misses out the pounding around the streets of Bootle, the Wirral Way, the Liverpool Loop Line and anywhere work sent me!
Liverpool Half Marathon, 1st time I followed a "running training plan" - new PB 2:40:-)
Great Manchester Run-10k
1st 5miles run without walking breaks
Great North Run-I still have the suntan!!!!
Liverpool 10k
1st time I've done Marathon distance - 6:59:-D
Liverpool Santa Dash
1st time I'verun 10miles without walking breaks:-)All of which had support and help from many a foolish soul, some helping banish some demons, others on the technical side of running, more on the getting me to places (and back) and some for just pointing out when and where runs are!Tomorrow will be my review of my eating year, after I've burned some of it off with a nice 10 miler, the conditions under foot have not been up for running the last week. So I've walked c5km each day (in Xmas day) to keep my feet in;-)



Walking Review of the Year - all year, not just the challenge

The walks this year, and the luck souls who've been out with me:-)
Mam Tor and the Great Ridge - Gilly
Jubilee Trail - 13.1 miles around London- Charlie
Chester Awareness Walks - GUCHs from far and wide!
Stanage Edge & Pole - Elizabeth and Gilly
3/4 of the Edale Round - Solo
Hathersage to Chatsworth - Gilly
Yorkshire 3 Peaks - Chris with support from Tim
GWC Silkin Way & Brewood - The GUCH Walking Club
GWC Thames Path -
- Horseshoe - Solo
Ambleside and Hawkshead - Solo
Kentmere Round - Chris
High Street and Kidsty Pike - Chris and Tim
Snowdon - The Work Gang
GWC - Chatsworth & Hathersage - The GUCH Walking Club
Mam Tor and the Great Ridge - TimThe running review will be up in the next couple of days, then the awareness raising review and then the forward look!



10 Miles run:-D No breaks:-) Arctic conditions!!! Oh and Xmas food that was edible!

Well, the 50o-odd km seems to be doing some good - always (with a couple of 5km's and 1 5miler as the exceptions) I've had to run/walk any distance... However, today I did 10miles, no stopping no walking breaks:-)

Now, at times I was jogging slower than I can walk, but given the conditions underfoot...... I'm more than happy!

It did snow for good lengths, and wasn't an easy task... However, it felt damn fine!

Speaking of fine I've had that rarest of things a Xmas meal with very, very good food - duck terrine, followed by a genuinely rare steak and excellent cheese!

While running today I tried to answer a question posed by a mate of mine - what's the difference between running, walking and climbing as sports... I'm hoping he was being literal, cos my brains is off on a metaphysical bent... of which more during the week!



Overhalfway... Now the hard work begins!!!! And thinking about the "legacy thing"

A decent 5 mile run at lunchtime, didn't feel like I was pushing it and only walked 450min in the total (I do include 2 pigs of hills in the route)... the result - my 5th fastest 5miler ever, at 62min and 55s...

And so the halfway mark was passed, and the stupid grin on my face through my meeting this afternoon at very least put others at some uneasiness:-)

So half down, with over 200 days to go... Almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule - not it gets hard, I need to duplicate my best ever half-marathon training and keep going after it to take it up to the full marathon distance - those 3 weeks are going to be needed to cover the inevitable injuries, colds and "I can't be bothered" weeks.

It also means that I can start thinking about what next - and how to pass this year on - does anyone want to pick up the baton and do a challenge next year? What should I do?

Oh well, 6 and a half months to work that out!



More dark days...

Another GUCH I know through the European Conferences died this weekend. The shared experiences at these conferences make you care for people you may only meet a couple of times in your life. That she was married to another GUCH just makes the pain worse, that you know that a fellow GUCH is hurting in a way you can't help with, and given the distaance can only send email hugs.

These conferences are great you do end up knowing that you're not alone, knowing that there are others that have been through the same and want to put something back - through their involvement in thier National organisations - is a great motivator to keep doing what you can to help all GUCHs and all of those affected by CHD. But there are times when sticking your head in the sand seems like a better option.

Tempting though that is, I won't, I can't.

Only yesterday I "found" a GUCH online who'd never met/spoken to one before - They now know GUCH PA exists and that a lot of people wi…

When the nose is blocked, then walk

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

The plan was to go and do a decent 10km run, with a warm up and cool down... The sneezing fit and blockednose saw the end to that!

Anyway, application of food and coffee meant that by mid-afternoon I felt up to a bit of a wander, just a gentle 12km, up to Antony Gormley's "The Other Place", with my big camera:-)

All being well tomorrow is a short trip to the Peak District, with a friend whose never been before!

The World Record and World Cup are going to a recount - but nationwide awareness of CHD has begu

Well, 3 days after the run and there's a recount - 240 santas between Las Vegas and Liverpool... Who will win? How many santas are out there... - 240 santas in 7000! Too Close to call!!!

However, in other more exciting news the co-operative bank runs a competition for "Fundraiser of the Year", which one of the GUCHs I know decided I should be put in for. Now I didn't win, but they did like the tale told so much that they decided to include me in their "Its your community" magazine.
The other two winners are the sorts of people I find inspirational so even to be on the same page as them is, for me, a huge acheivement.

The next big target is the 500km mark, which will be soon... The marathon training starts shortly and things are looking good for an entertaining new year!



Busy Busy Busy... and awaiting to hear if I'm a world Champion....

Hi all,

apologies this is the first blog in the best part of a fortnight.... Work has been work-like and interfered with my social life... Not something that happens too often, but when it does it does and I try and make the best of it - so a gentle 5miler around Cardiff

Add in the 5km around the local park, and the just under 5km santa dash today ( and a good solid week, which is where I wanted to be with 167 days until the Edinburgh Marathon

The plan for the rest of December is to start building up the distance, slowly and steadily, so that I can start taking on longer and longer runs...

However, that's tomorrow and today is all about looking like this:



The GUCH Walking Club's Annual Peak District Trip

Its not often I'll positively recommend a company but the placed the GUCH Walking Club stayed this weekend was so good I'll make an exception!

Centrally located, very nicely equipped, warm (almost too warm for some GUCHs!) and not outrageously priced.

Anyway on to the walking - this was the end of my 2 weeks recovery from my marathon distance exploits - so the last 2 weeks have been 2 night time 5kms and a 5 mile stroll.

The Peak District is where the GWC started, and going back is always an absolute joy - getting there with one a day early also means that as well as a long walk to a couple of my favourite walking shops (14km) I could tailor a walk just for them... ok, slightly extended by the stepping stones over the Derwent being underwater, but still tailored to their wants.

Then it was off to another GWC favourite - Chatsworth House - a good solid 7km around the woods (no cabinet ministers this year t…

sometimes its all about confidence...

A better week - I'm now 38... and got 3 decent runs in - 3 runs that I was able to smile through and enjoy...

The first 5 km, was in the dark - work got in the way of a lunchtime jog, so around the the local part did I take my partner in crime - nice and gentle, avoiding the pot holes and dog mess by the force (or the smell!).

The second was a case of "charge the bl**dy GPS watch if you want to know how fast you've been" - the route is 5 miles, and on Thursday it was a very very wet 5 miles - probably took just over an hour.

Friday was Xmas shopping - almost all done:-)

Saturday was the dreaded day itself, and with an eye to what I did today (actually with no eye to it at all) I had a fry up, burritos and then sausage and mash - well its your birthday only once a year!

So an evening at the Liverpool Catholic Cathedral - don't worry, no sudden conversion! Carmen Barina... No, I had no idea whatever until a more classically minded friend said it was the full version of …

A 37 years and 51 weeks blog - AKA why am I doing this?

Or so I've been told...

The running is slowly, and hopefully surely, picking up - to test (probably to destruction) my base fitness next weekend I'll be walking 40km - the walk I did a little while ago, so flat and fast, but this time turning around at one end and coming back.

Just to add to the commitment levels needed to do this, it'll be the day after my 38th birthday. So limited alcohol (1 pint and a short) and healthy eating on my birthday - oh well I'll make up for it before hand.

I was always told by my Mother that I had surgery on my birthday (not quite true, but close enough!) so its a time I always sit back and reflect on things...

Doubly so this year as it would seem that this challenge, and the awareness raising, isn't being loved by all. Recently its been suggested that I'm doing this for publicity for me, and that hurts. It also prompts me to sit in the gym, and wonder if its true...

I don't think it is, if it was the people who've commented…

Why I do the events I do

I was asked an interesting question by a mate at work today... Why do I pick the events I do?

It comes down to 2 or 3 things...

First will I enjoy them - yes despite all at pain, injuries, time and cost (of which more later) I do this for enjoyment and to keep myself fit and sane

Classic examples - Santa Dash, local 5 and 10 k

Second are those which are a "challenge", where its not just turn up and run but I have to plan for the training and build up to

Classic Examples - Great North Run, Liverpool, long distance walks

New example - Edinburgh Marathon, other Marathons...

Third are the ones that capture my imagination... No rhyme or reason, they just gel with my mojo...

like this one - the idea of walking all night to do a marathon, no running allowed, just makes me smile.

I've also asked how I'm paying for all of my events - simply I'm paying for them, and my equipment (other than a couple of logo'd running vests) all of my travel a…

The die is cast... well the money spent, and the training plan half worked out!

And so the fates have decided...

My first marathon will be next spring, and will be in 215 days, 23rd May in Edinburgh.

Part of me is happy, part of me is going "OH MY GOD AM I REALLY THAT MAD"!!! To which the answer is yes, I probably am.

30weeks is a long time, and should be enough for me to lift my game again to take it from doing half marathons to doing full ones. Oddly, I'm more worried about managing the type II diabetes than the heart... Mainly cos I can feel and even on occasion hear my heart and know when to slow down, the diabetes is invidious, I can't feel my blood glucose being too high if I over correct.

So wish my diabetic nurse well, she's going to earn her crust in a couple of weeks:-)



A rather large hill:-)

Snowdon, a hill I've done before... But only once and the next 6 times I've been rained, snowed and clouded off! However, yesterday was near perfect conditions for a jolly little romp up the Pyg track and down the Miner's track.

With the carpark being full if was an extra couple of kilometers from the the cars to the top and most importantly more ascent!!!

Up and down is just under 7hours isn't bad, though my legs were complaining all the way up that they had done a lot the last couple of weeks, and wouldn't move out of second gear until on the flat coming back along the Causeway.
Throw in a 6km gentle stroll this morning and I've hit the 30% mark - 300km. My legs are feeling this months efforts (a halfmarathon, a 10km and training in between) so another gentle week coming up - all day climbing tomorrow, swimming on Wednesday and then off to Cambridge to map out and plan the GUCH PA awareness event for next February.



It's not all about running... seriously

Well, the rest week begins!!!!

It was the GUCH Annual conference this weekend, a chance to catch up with old friends and tell tall tales. To meet the people who inspire me to try new things, to keep doing what I do... If I ever do one of these drunk I may even name names...

However, for now, just enjoy the fun!



Time for a break, after saturday anyway


5km jogged yesterday (well 1 run, 1 walked, 1 run, 1 walked and a run to the finish) and a 8km walk today to stretch the bits out have proven that my gentle accumulation of injuries has reached the point where I need a small break before my next event...

Given my next event is 1000m up and down in 12km to get up Snowdon and is the weekend after this definitely time for an easy week.

So a gentle, traditional, 5km at the GUCH PA annual conference and then a week with my feet up - I'll climb my usual amount to keep myself loose but no running and no walking until after Snowdon.

Lets hope best part of 10 days off helps the slight pull in the left hamstring and the aching right ankle!



A decent 10 km:-)


A nice cool run, bit humid under the trees, but 1 and a half loops of Sefton Park with 3000 others on a sunday morning was a damn good way to spend the day, despite the thumping headache (not alcohol induced, as normal I've not imbibed for the week before a run).

The course is fairly gentle, though enough hills to make it interesting.

And a bunch of surprised runners looked at me strangely as I went through the 1km point and bought up the 250km with a little cheer to myself.

Photos should be out this week, and I'll put one up when they are - hopefully I'll look a lot better.

3 days off now, Florence via Ryanair



ps teh route and my run can be seen here :

Quarter Almost Up :-)

A good speed walk for 5 km to loosen the legs out, but not tire them out... Takes me to 249 km, quarter distance in 3 months so on target despite the colds, back ache, dodgy ankles and so on!

Tomorrow is the Liverpool 10km, which I'm hoping will be more my normal weather conditions than the GNR was, I have a range of windproof tops that will keep me relatively dry while not overheating!

Time ways I'll be happy with anything under 75min, which will bring me in before the backmarker (its a speedy race rather than a fun run, need to be finished in 90min max!).

Apart from that I've found a marathon book that seems to cater for the slower runner - most are for sub5hours speedie with a just get round programme tagged on the end if you're lucky.

I've also got the news that I'm not in the London Marathon, which is a bit of a bugger as that's the one everyone knows and would give me a 10hour window to do it in, the smaller runs have less time to finish in... Hey ho, I…

A tense couple of days...

Well, I never thought I'd be tense waiting for a magazine!

However, this is one of two magazines - if I get one I'll be in the London Marathon, if I get the other I won't...

Running a marathon is one of those things that nags at me, I can walk the distance easily (normally with some sodding great hills in the way) can I pick the legs up and get around in some semblance of order...

So now its the wait for the magazine... If its a no, then I'll find another marathon, next spring... Longer, further and a damn sight slower than most, but its an itch I need to scratch.

For those wondering what I look like at the end of a half, a very hot half,

Apart from that, just resting for the Liverpool 10k on Sunday:-)



Not a bad little stroll... where did the canal go...

Having vetoed a run on a dodgy ankle I decided to do something I've not done before, walk down the Leeds - Liverpool canal from Bootle to Liverpool.

The ankle was suitable strapped and stuck in a reasonably supportative boot and wandered down the towpath, which was great fun especially when I found things like the house below:

I also managed to loose the canal at one point - it seemed to go under a housing estate - though there was a set of locks down to a spur that I'll have to explore another day...

So 8km to the total, ankle holding up, not a bad day!



Ruddy Typical

Well the week off has been had (off = 1 swimming lesson and 1 hard climbing session) so I should be up and raring to go for a decent 5 miler as prep for the Liverpool 10k next Sunday.

However, for no apparent reason my right ankle feels like its been stomped on... My right ankle is the dodgy one from a trip a couple of years ago when leading the GUCH Walking Club along Hadrian's Wall - the best advice I can give is if you heavily twist an ankle walking another 70miles is not the best thing you can do...

Ho Hum, so I thinking it'll be a power walk today, and a hard 5k mid week - which is way behind what I should be doing to get ready for a 10k, and indeed the 3km a day that I need to do for this little bit of madness...

Add to the mix I'm peeling from the GNR run next weekend, and I'm not the happiest bunny in the hutch. However, we'll see how the ankle is later and see if I feel its worth taking a risk on it.

Oh, if anyone is interested in the route I'm doing its …

The much delayed Great North Run Blog!!!!

The much delayed Great North Run Blog!!!! Sorry all, the laptop has been playing up hence the lack of a post - that and scurrying around the country for meetings for my paid employment. The Great North Run is great - the sight of the Red Arrows swooping over your head at both the beginning and at the end is magic, the locals handing out sweets, biscuits and drinks out of their own pockets is just so nice and most of all the 53,999 other runners are a humbling group of people to run with. If you only want to do 1 half-marathon, if you're not bothered in the time you do it, and you can get in then this is the half-marathon for you. Its not a PB course, its got too many long nasty hills and far too many people for that. And that's fine this is a run you do for your enjoyment(!) and to do it. You do need a sense of humour, being overtaken by a giraffe/a push-me-pull-me get up, or even a quarter sized angel of the north can have an impact on your ego (the giraffe probably do…

Apparently I have good legs!!!!

Well, monies paid 1st lesson completed without too much drama.

One of the instructors did ask if I was trying to steal all of the water in the pool after one pretty spectacular splutterfest... However managed to keep my head above water for significant periods... And apparently I have good legs... when I remember to relax (which is a weird way of putting it, but I get what she meant).

So, now its rest and relax and pack and prep for Sunday... And for Mon and Tuesday when work dictates I'm in London, the ralgex will be minuted...

So I'd like to say I was having poached salmon on wholemeal pasta, but its not - Pie and chips:-)



Dark Days, a dodgy knee, the youngsters doing it for themselves and the next couple of runs!

Sorry for the gap between the blog posts...

Be warned, this is one of those honest blogs I promised...

Sometimes you get hit by news that throws you sideways, another GUCH I was close to died last weekend and it hurts.

Three in a summer is not good, and there's no words I can say that describe that combination or sorrow and rage that I can't say what I should've said over the years and I wasn't a better friend. I hope all three of them would at this point have looked at me and told me to grow up stop being stupid, and to get on with it... Actually I'm fairly certain that 2 of them would and one would've just smiled and sighed at me!

But life goes on, however painful their absences are, however much I'm going to miss the sage counsel, love of life and photography tutorials and all I hope is that some of what I do in my various roles would meet their approval.

So to the running, or lack of it... I've no idea what I've done to my knee, bit its hurt like he…

Its coming together...

I hope...

A good solid 5km at lunchtime, nice and easy at 39min, but that included a lot of chat and more than a bit of walking. Which is probably how I'll be doing the GNR, nice and steady with lumps of running - not pretty but quietly effective.

Also as if the 1000km isn't enough I've decided to finally bite the bullet and learn how to swim... Like many a kid with a dicky ticker swimming was a pain as a kid, the pools were always cold and with doctors orders to stay warm I think I got my 5m badge.

I can do a length, on front or back, but that it... So to the local pool I will go in 2 and a bit weeks. Oh, and apparently I need some tightish swimming shorts, the instructor told me that "Board Shorts" weren't suitable, I had to ask what they were... Ho Hum, walking is much easier...



Well that's a first....

As I've moaned about before this "seasons" training plan has not been as structured or an injury free as I would like or indeed want if my Great North Run time is to be anything like what I would like it to be...

However, sometimes things goes well and it gives me hope... Well, an outside chance. Yesterday was a walk run along the length of the WirralPeninsula, that's the bit that sticks out between Wales and Liverpool. The track is one of the Beeching lines, now converted into a Sustran's cycle track with a bridalway along the side.

Sustran's are a great charity, committed to making the countryside (and the cities) accessible to those on bikes, unfortunately that means the paths are hard and in the case of the Wirral Way are hardcore with a loose gravel top surface... Great fun to run on... NOT!

Anyway, I walked 10km along the route mainly to make sure that the slight strains ane pulls from the previous week had worked themselves out, but also just because I …

Grand days out in the lakes

Well,the book said 10km, 750m ascent and 5 and a half hours... The GPS and my feet said 13km, c1000m ascent and 7 and a bit hours... Hmm, I'm going with my feet! In all honesty the ascent was probably in the middle... So I'll say 850m, based on my get more than anything scientific.

Its the end of a heavy week, 40km ran (not much run to be honest) or walked which given I fitted in 2 lots of climbing, a 40hour week at work and a few hours on the charity side of my life isn't too shabby and explains why I'm zonked out:-)

The walk was a lesser known Lakeland classic, up from Haweswater, via Eagle and Heron Crag up the interesting rocky path with hands on in a couple of places, before the broad open vistas of High Street came under foot. Then it was a case of lunch a stroll along the tops and then dropping down Kidsty Pike to retrace our steps.

For one of my mates its was his first Lakeland walk, and as he was flicking through the book looking for the next one I think he en…

To the lakes!

Well, not a lot of it has been run, but by the time I'm off the hills on Saturday there should be the best part of 40km done in a week... so that just leaves speed to get right, in 3 weeks or so!

The rest of the week has been a tad busy to, work is work and has to be done to pay the bills. But start throwing in 2 climbing sessions, outline planning a GUCH PA event, booking a holiday for October and organising my travel for september - currently 1st weekend London, 2nd London, 3rd Newcastle (followed by London for work), then I might have a weekend at home- SHOCK!!!

Anyway enough of my moaning - I have tents and socks to pack



Blurgh... Nasty Run...

There are days when it all works, and days like today when it doesn't...

Ok it was hot and humid, my least favourite of conditions, but the body decided it wasn't willing at all and let me run a couple of K and then walk the rest of the 10km, as a walk it was fine (with the getting to the track and back it came out at 17km).

10 miles in a days not shabby, but any thoughts of a PB at the Great North Run are rapidly going out the window, and keeping it under 3 hours is the revised target (early this year I set my pb at Liverpool of 2:41), which is just a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, day off exercise tomorrow (despite not being able to run today I have walked 35km the last 3 days) as i need a rest. Runs on Tuesday and Thursday and then a trip to the Lakes at the weekend - taking a mate on his first Lakeland hike a gentle 9 miles up and along High Street:-)



10% up!!! Bad news, good news...

Well, I'm past the 100km mark... Which feels damn good!

The last week has been about making sure the back is fine and recovering from the plinth exploits and not rushing straight back into a heavy training program and doing myself a mischief.

All of which is laudable, but don't have drag! So yesterday I walked to the climbing wall and back, which was a nice 10km, laden with climbing gear and today I went out to test how resistant my new water resistant walking trousers (8km), so 18km in 2 days, not fast but at what a friend calls a purposeful pace (11min km's).

Anyway apart from the exercise, its been a fun week - for the first time ever I'm front page news!!! I've also been in the local evening paper twice and work are running my exploits in the in-house magazine. And I've had the first touch of fame, when someone asked if I was the bloke off the paper.... So seems its working:-)

Its also been a week of mixed emotions, Peter a GUCH from Denmark who I knew throu…

It's all just got rather real...

Some things are nice surprises... like getting an extra afternoon with your girlfriend. Other's are more of a slap around the face with a wet kipper...

The Great North Run information pack, race number and chip have arrived - I'm number 9722, in a fetching green. So now every mile I do is focused on getting my ever growing backside around 13.1 miles as quickly as possible.

My target is something c2:45... That's 4 minutes slower than my PB but with 50,000 people running even I get caught up in traffic. Getting close to that is going to take a lot of effort over the next couple of weeks, even though my quality runs have been on target for that sort of time the lack of long runs due to the cold and the back is going to be hard graft for the next 5 weeks!

Ho Hum, off to Birmingham tomorrow for the Heart Care Partnership trustees meeting and AGM - the HCP is the patient wing of the British Cardiac Society, and occasionally the medics get me, or other GUCHs and even kids, tellin…

1st "milestone" reached

Well, its was a blast. From being taken up in the cherry picker to the texts (rude and amusing) from my friends to the interest from others and the fact that some awareness raising is happening - the Liverpool Echo has run one story and might be doing a follow up today and one of the running magazines is interested.

However this is only the start, I've done another kilometre on the plinth - trust me that 1150m that should get bonus points as it's quite a small space to pace and up and down!

I also prattled on for the best part of an hour about why I'm doing this year and what I'm raising awareness of... and making the point that I'm specifically raising awareness of the need to allow us with heart defects to partake in school sports.

If you want to hear my witterings the full hour is here: http://www.oneandot…

Getting there...

The back is easing - best part of a week off and rather than rush it back I took it for a gentle stroll this evening - 5 miles in an hour and a half. No bad reactions, so all good for starting to move a bit faster next week... As long as it stays comfy on the trains trip to London then it'll be back to a normal training pattern :-)

My mate who had the transplant is doing well - early days but is awake, hungry, moving a little and complaining about the things he should be... lack of food, needing a shave etc!

At various points in the year I'm hoping to get the CHD community to act as one to make people realise what we go through, and why awareness is important - so if you want to please leave a comment here:



of back ache and friends

I sometimes wish i wasn't so sensible, the vague plan was to get up to about 10% in time for the plinth, which would've meant doing a decent length run today. However, my little 5km on Thursday has jarred my back... Hopefully nothing major, just enough to make thumping my size 11's down less than comfortable.

Bugger... Oh well, I'll finish off the heart today or tomorrow and dig out my neoprene lumber support out for the office... That'll scare people, me in neoprene in the office:-)

Oh well, has given me the chance to catch up with a decent space opera - think the written version of Star Trek, and have a relaxing day after a friends birthday celebrations yesterday.

The friend, and most of the gang out were GUCHs and we all were a little on tenterhooks as one of the nicest people we know had a transplant on Friday. His wife, one of the other nicest people I know has been keeping us up to date on his progress and so far its been fine - even if he seems to have missed…

Cold and Wet - Fantastic

I can safely say it wasn't too warm today, most of the other people doing the circuit at the local "fitness trail" were wrapped up as if it was winter... so I was getting funny looks for my shorts and t-shirt!!!

I've read that marathon runners use 80% of the energy they use to pump heat out of their bodies, and on days like this I can see where this number comes from. With the coolness out there, I took a longer warm up just to make sure that my bits and bobs weren't going to snap under sudden acceleration (I say sudden, think oil tanker moving off!).

A good solid run, 5 km jogged before I needed a walk break - and that was mainly a confidence thing - 500m walked and then 2.5km to the end...

One of my target times is the 60min 5miles, and after the 5km and 500m walk I had 18 minutes to do it in... at 7km I had 6min... Well I have to confess to a small dose of machoism and I did try and run it down, 60min and 43s... Still I'm chuffed I could run a sub-7min km at…

wet gentle walks with more psychologists than you can shake a stick at...

But they'll probably intrepret that as something related to male fascination to their tackle...

Only joking, I have an elcetic group of friends and friends of friends... 3 Biologists and 3 clinical psychologists go for a walk may be sound like the start of a long, and probably not particularly funny joke but was the start of a pleasent walk over a gentle hill, an ancient priory and part of the Cumbria Coastal Path. is the link - ignore the height gain, garmin always has it far higher than it actually was at c250m.

Miles added, fun had and a nice meal to finish...



Summer Runnin...

I hate the summer... Its official I'm a cold weather runner and a warm weather walker, even waiting until this evening when it was cooler was hot and hard work.

But another 4km to the good, and I'm going to need to start putting in more of these smash and grab runs as my time gets eaten up by work, my charity commitments and the faint traces of a social life I manage to fit in.

Anyway, grumbles over for tomorrow is another day and I'm walking on Sunday:-)



And just what sort of blog is this becoming???

Well, the idea of running or walking at the weekend went out the window as my head beat out an early iron maiden track, without the guitars... or the vocals...

However, today dawned a little better and the paracetamol and codeine killed anything that was remaining, and left a pleasent hum:-)

Which kept me going through a fun climbing session, by fun I'm talking forearms pumped, cuts to my shin where I came off and hammered it into the underprow of a volume and nailing a 4c I'd not managed before.

So the running thing gets picked up hopefully tomorrow evening, or Thursday lunchtime. This week is a pig in terms of work, long days and travel to London on Friday for meetings and then a Children's Heart Federation trustees meeting on Saturday. So I'm hoping for easy travels so I can bag a decent run on Sunday.

Designs for my plinth-wear are going well...




The good news is thanks to a fellow GUCH with more IT savvy than me there's a count down timer and a distance complete monitor on the blog...

The bad news is I'm on the 2nd day of a thumping headache, no not Swine (or any other type!) of flu... I just get thumping headaches, in clusters from time to time... Sometime I prefer getting 1 solid, vomit inducing, migraine to a couple of days of this.

In terms of activities, we'll have to see how I feel tomorrow, worst case I'll go for a 5km walk to get my lungs and legs moving and see if that helps, next up I'll pop to the gym for a 5km run on a nice bouncy treadmill and if all is well I'll go for something more substantial.



Hmm, maths a bit more difficult today

Somedays running just doesn't work... and when you're lunchtime running partners legs seize up it probably a good thing to slow it down and shorten the route. So instead of the planned 5km it was 4km... But its been a fairly active week - 2 bouts of climbing and 24km since sunday...

Tomorrow is more climbing, indoors this time, but the longer walls... Normally we climb the 5-6 m walls the big ones are 12 metres, which means more tea breaks to stretch out the aching muscles.

Saturday I start prepping my costume for the Plinth, think bright red and broken hearted



and away we plod

Nice gentle 5km at lunchtime today, nothing special, nothing too painful (though my running partner may disagree;-)) is the standard work 5km, nice gradual slope up, and then flat and down to a pig of a hump back bridge...

Climbing tomorrow to work the kinks out, and then an evening meeting of a sub-group of the ECHG... Don't know who they are? We're to be found here



Coming second... again...

Ho Hum...

Well results of the interview are out, passed the board (for those not used to civil service jargon that means I'm good enough to do the job) but came second.

All of which is fine, apart from this is the 5th time I've been beaten into 2nd place... Ho Hum, I'll just have to keep the pencil sharp as all I can do is keep going, though it is rather tiring...

Anyway, unfortunately climbing is 1/3 strength, 1/3 technique and 1/3 in your head... so with my head not in the right place not a great day at the climbing wall...

It's probably worth explaining a bit about climbing and its mysterious ways. I mostly top rope, so the rope is already threaded through a mallion at the top of the wall, you tie yourself in, grab a friend to belay you and start climbing...

The knot is a figure of 8 knot - as seen here

Routes indoors are usually colour coded, so you can rainbow (use any hold you can get to) or follow one of the coloured …

That's Better:-) 20 down 980 to go!

Ah, the joys of actually getting some significant miles under my feet:-)

The 10km jog is around a local park, Walton Hall, where they've very kindly laid out a 2.5km track, so 4 times around was the target and it was done...

Unlike other half marathons I've trained for I'm trying a slightly different technique.. Previously I've concentrated on short bursts (1.2km) of jogging and then 300m (recovery walk) and just repeated that for as long as the race is...

This time I'm going to see if the steady eddy approach works better, so jogged out 4km, walked for about 800m then another 3.2km jog, walk break and then a jog to the end. Just over the 8km jogged, which is the 2nd furthest I've ever run in a 10km so I'm happy.

The warm up walk out should be standard for everyone, but for me is vital as it takes a while for my systems to warm up. Similarly, cooling down and stretching out is important. And it also adds a good 5km to the total:-)

This week should be more norm…

UGH, rest days

Well its been a week, 3 climbing sessions, 1st jog of the new campaign and an interview. The results of the interview will be out next week (HR people apparently get annual leave too, never did when I was in HR...).

However, it does mean the week has been an interesting mix of endorphins and adrenaline and so when I do get a day off (catch up with the washing, do some food shopping have lunch with a friend) I'm wiped out. Ok, this wasn't helped by the local Orange Order badn marching past at just before 7am, but a long soak and an early night beckon I think.



More climbing....

Hmmm, 5 days into a walking/running challenge and I've run once and climbed 3 times... Well that's the way the cookie crumbles at times:-)

A days climbing is a good workout, its not all arms, as most of the power moves should through the legs. What is needed is a reasonable sense of balance and someone you trust at the other end of the rope... Otherwise you can end up as I did... This is what happens when your foot rolls on debris as you abseil off!

Big walk/run on Sunday, tomorrow is my day of rest:-)



More climbing, and work and interview prep

Another cross training day, falling off stuff I should be able to climb if not with ease and grace then with grunt and perspiration.

The normal plan will be to run Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays, with climbing on Mon and Wed leaving me Friday and Saturday to do domestics and also to let any pains and strains to subside.

Well week 1 and its having to be altered, tomorrow I've the "pleasure" of a promotion interview... Oh Joy! Now the there is a temptation to go for a 5 mile run in the morning but common sense prevails and I'll be rehearsing my presentation and making sure I know what I was talking about in the application form.

Also means I'm out for a curry tomorrow night, so much for the healthy living!



5km down 995 to go...

Well, I can still run... Not fast, but I knocked off a 5km in a lunchtime which means I've officially started.

It was hot, humid and a bit sticky out there. But apparently you get used to that in time, lets hope so cos I don't sweat pretty!


Day 1 - no walking:-)

As planned, Day 1 was a cross training day...

Which for me is a good hour and a half climbing at my local climbing wall, which in this heat doubles as a sauna... Which doesn't help with trying to hold on fairly small holds (chalk rubs off!)

Tomorrow the running starts, nice gentle 5km which I'm slotting into my lunch break before a meeting of our board level diversity steering group. Just hope I've time for a shower!



And so it begins


1000km in 365 days

Sounds simple, its only 3km a day.... Yup, only...

My rules:

Walking to the shops won't count, this is walks and runs that I consider training for something or doing something.

So over the course of the year you'll share my training runs (all weathers, I don't stop apart from the heat), my walks (often with the GUCH Walking Club) and events (and I will let you know which ones so you can come and join me).

As crosstraining I'll be climbing (ropes, harnesses, scary rock faces) and doing some gym work which I'll let you know about as well.

Joining me:

I don't mind if its for a metre, 100 metres or further, what's important is that people join in and realise that all GUCHs and youngsters with CoHD can do some form of exercise.

First target:

My first event is the hour I've got on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of the Gormley installation - its 5-6am on a Sunday morning so I'm not expecting anyone to get up and cheer me as I …
Three Days to go:-)
Welcome one and all!

This is hopefully the start of a year where you get an insight into life as an adult with congenital heart disease, also known as a GUCH. I'll also get a bit fitter, see some new sights and hopefully make some new friends!

More details will follow