Showing posts from January, 2010

A tale of 2 runs and the start of the February Awareness raising

Well I'm happy!

15km in 2:03 all run, no walking breaks... and in a time that's close to what last year I was ecstatic with just before the Liverpool Half Marathon. Good solid time, and I did in the end enjoy it:-D There is something about a cold crisp morning with just a hint of frost on the ground that makes these runs special - OK I could do without the boxer dog taking a running jump at my gonads, but apart from that most enjoyable.

Today was a grumble run, couldn't get going probably only ran half of it but I still managed the whole 10km, didn't do it fast, in fact I can almost walk it as fast! However, the legs don't hurt are just tired, so I'll look at my post run diet again to make sure I'm getting the glycogen back into my system.

The February awareness for Congenital Heart Disease is always a fun time of year, the official European Heart Week is in May, but February has the direct links to Valentine's Day and International Congenital Heart Defe…

The "Oh Bugger" moment

A good day - climbed well, and at my limit and beyond (as my bruised arm shows)... and the Children's Heart Federation will be getting some awareness raising and cash through the Build a Bear Workshops - which even I have to admit are sometimes cute...

There comes a time in every runners training plan, well OK this runners training plan, when you look at the plan and the nice numbers leap out at you...

10km Sat

15km Sun

25 Km - 15 miles in 2 days, ideally at more than a shuffle... And with the rest of a busy life to manage around the miles too... Which is why although the plan reads as above the reality now needs to be:

15km Sat - down the local sustrans track

10km Sun - possibly in the gym

So, an early night, kits laid out for the morning, alarm set... Oh Bugger



Exercise and the average GUCH... well I think I'm average!

A good trip to London - yesterday was the Government Science and Engineering Annual Conference, couple of meetings today and managed to fit a 5 mile walk in this morning.

Now, as you can see from my rolling total 5miles running equals 5 miles walked. But on my marathon training plan its 5 miles to be run... So why the switch, mainly cos the hotel was noisy so running on a few hours sleep didn't feel right, and that's the balancing act I do (and I think plenty of GUCHs do) I could've gone for a run but know it wouldn't have been worth the tiredness and posssible grumpiness throughout the day. The other trick I do is sometimes drop from miles to km, knocking over a third off the distance but still getting out there and doing something.

And on those few days where I feel totally crap (fortunately very few and much more likely to be due to a cold or a tad too much alcohol the night before) I will defer a run or a walk - but its a decision based on the balancing act I try …

10km run:-) And I may be considered a pervert...

Its raining today, and a little cool... Perfect running weather for me!

4 laps of the 2.5km track at the local rec centre, no walking:-) and none needed, and for the first time in one of my longer runs I genuinely felt comfortable all the way around. Which is great!!! 76:34 isn't a bit a bad time for, in fact its only 2 min slower than my Liverpool 10km time in Oct, and that was run where I had little energy at the end.

Throw in 2.5 km each way to get there as warm up and cool down and almost a perfect set... Apart from the lass who may think I'm a pervert... She jogged around with me for about a KM and nattering away was asking what I was doing and if I could give her any advice... So I ran through the normal, trainers that fit and work with your pronation, don't run in towelling sweat suits... all of which went down well until I suggest a sports bra is a good idea... She was a buxom lass, and i think she thought this was specific rather than general advice... and said I …

I'm back!!! Trucks, climbing wall bruises and crispy duck!

I'm back!!!

The cold has finally been defeated, I'm no longer an advert for sugar free hall's and kleenex! Which means I'm back into the routine...

Thursday was a reasonable 1st half 5km, that was 17min... Then a truck mounted the pavement to park up, I discover I can sprint... Then I get stopped for directions... then one shoe lace comes undone... then the other... 2nd half 23min:-(

Yesterday was an afternoons worth of climbing, got to the top of the 14m wall - which was a first:-) Fell off a lot of top end (for me) climbs, and bounced into the holds a couple of times - so bruises on my head, elbows, knees and calf!

Today, nice gentle 5km, but the knock on the calf was a worry, so a good gentle warm up, followed by stretching, followed by a 5km with a gradually increasing speed walk for the 1st 3km... No negative reaction from the calf, it feels how it did before, so all systems go for a nice gentle 10km tomorrow.

The only problem, the large Chinese banquet I'm off to…

The missing post - My Congenital Heart Defect...

Hmmmm, sorry all, seems some of you wanted some more info about me and my heart condition...

So here we go - according to my surgical notes:

FallotsTetralogy - basic version here -

Then cos I have to be awkward -

infundibular and valvular stenosis
a Patent FormenOvale

and as found out at my last cathether my aorta is looping the wrong way over...

So there we go!

Now as I say on my facebook page - donate! -



Blurgh... Lets hope its a 24h bug...

I'm grumpy when ill... and an intolerant sod at the best of times... However, common sense prevails and running a 10km would have been unpleasant and quite probably dragged this on for longer than it needs to be.

So John Lewis' chilli crepe as a treat lunch, lots of Cafe Nero coffee (they have sugar free caramel syrup - YESSSSS!!!!!!) and a pie for tea. Hardly the healthy combination of lean protein, complex carbs and interesting veg - but once in a while won't hurt and comfort eating is officially good for you.

The walk yesterday was fine, it was the route I ran as a double so I knew I could do the marathon distance. Nice and gentle walk, one of the group had slipped on the ice so plenty of rest stops and they waited for a pick up at about 10 miles. Dusk was falling in West Kirby as we finished, but no rain gentle winds and generally a good winter walk.



New Route Madness! And interview given!

Our favourite route setter at my climbing wall - - has been busy, many many new routes, full of tricky balance shifts, hamstring stretching high steps and hideous sloping holds!!!

Now its entirely possible that the incessant boredom of having run in the gym for almost 2 weeks (OK its better than breaking a leg) for what comes to about 45km and an awful lot of sweat (see blogs further back in time) means that any variation is going to get me giddy with joy!

My active week is settling down, Monday is climbing, Tuesday shorter run, Wednesday climb, Thursday medium run, Friday day off (:-)) Saturday short run or cross training (this Saturday is a nice gentle 12mile walk) and Sunday is the long run.

So yesterday was climbing, and the interview with TGO magazine about the GUCH Walking Club, we're going be the walking group of the month for April (which means we'll be out in March). One of the "problems" for me giving interviews is I've been tra…

600km done! Yes!!!! And the list of magazines interested grows!

Well, I still hate the gym but when its quiet, and the fans are on and the window open its not too bad... My kit needs a boil wash, but that's nothing new!

Its also been a busy week on the awareness front, and yet again I'm glad I've an understanding employer, their help with getting a press release together (teaching me a few tricks as they went), and circulating it. My boss is also laid back with me taking desk time to answer press enquiries and give interviews. Two walking magazines are interested, one on the fitness side and one about the GUCH Walking Club ( and also the organisers of one of my runs are keen to put me in their newsletter...

As things get firmed up I'll let you know where they turn up and post copies on here...

So 400km of the original challenge to go, when I get there I will have a think about what to do next



A promised post on walking, climbing and running

I promised a while back to answer a question about the difference between walking, climbing and running...

So here we go:

Walking, in a group, is about companionship, shared sense of what's around the next corner, how hard is the next hill... and have we burned enough calories to justify the cream cakes?

Walking on your own, or at least my own, is about the challenge to navigate, pace yourself and make sure you get where you planned to be as well as deciding if you've burned enough calories to justify the cream cake?

Climbing, has to be about trust and learning to accept failure... You need to trust your belayer (the person at the other end of the rope), and you will need them at some point. When you climb at or to your limit you will fall off... However, fear if nothing else will mean you've normally burned enough calories for a cream cake!

Running, is normally a solitary affair, you against the clock learning to pace yourself when you're tired, often confused and your l…


Arrrgghhh... not running outside for a while i think, so I should just get on with it...

Its a small works gym, and at only £13 a month I can't really complain, but when having run/walked 5miles I'm capable of wringing sweat out of my running vest its probably a bit too warm...

Also because its the new year there's hosts of people in who are lost and afraid of the big scary machines, and also have bought into the TV ads which show beautiful people gently perspiring and chatting in the gym... Then they look a bit disappointed when they see me hulking along, grunting as I go...

Oh well, 5 miles done with a km warm up... Not fast at 66min, but the mantra for this type of running (well my mantra) is do the distance and the speed will come!



and so it begins... with nice bits of awareness raising started

The snow has begun to freeze, making conditions underfoot more than a little slippy... so no run outdoors today... However, we do have a gym, and as much as i dislike indoors running 5km was needed and 5km was done (6km inc the warm up).

The awareness raising comes from 2 walking magazines wanting to know more about me in one case and the GUCH Walking Club in the other... Both will get told about congenital heart disease and what can be done, what adaptions need to be made to make exercise accessible and that we exist!

Not a bad start to 20 weeks of running!



And now the hard work begins...

I'm back from my usual New Year trip to mates, been fed well, had stories read to me by small children, and this year drank a little too much champers... I can't think why!

I've also managed to put in a fair amount of walking, most of it just solid plodding, but yesterday was great fun up to Ambleside for a walk to Grasmere and then back - just 8 and a bit miles, but a lot of them were in full crampons as I managed to do a fairly spectacular prat fall after about a mile!

This week the marathon training program starts 20 weeks of 3 or 4 runs a week, while trying to stay injury free, do the day job and the roles I have in CHF and GUCH... Could be interesting!

It also means that if I follow the plan to the km the 1000km should be up before the target date, which may well mean I need to add some extra distance to the challenge, but we'll see about that in a couple of months! At the moment I'm 3 weeks ahead of schedule, which is a good place to be:-)

Thank you all for your…