Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lessons learned

So, I didn´t do the marathon in the end. As per my previous blog, I did the half-marathon in Alicante and absolutely knackered my self. Then I went out training and in a fit of stupidity, decided to go barefoot for about 40 minutes. One hairline crack of my metatarsal later and there was no running for six weeks.

When will I learn? I am not a superman, or at least not yet, and I have to take it easy and build things up slowly. I was angry during the half marathon because I really struggled from about 7k onwards, but that was only because I went out way too fast, not because my training hadn´t been good. I calculated that I would have broken 1:30 if I´d maintained the same pace as I made during the first 5k. That´s just ridiculous and it´s all my fault (I have to say, it felt bloody good though during the first 7k, when I was leaving people trailing in a wake of Standing-dust).

So, what now? My impatience has cost me my goal for this year, although it has maybe shown me that my goal wasn´t all it was cracked up to be. It leaves me with a burning question:

What is so special about the marathon?

It feels like everyone who is anyone has done a marathon these days. People from all walks of life manage to get through 26.2 miles without what appears to be too much difficulty. Some of them also dress up in stupid costumes. However, I do realise that there is a big difference between trotting through 26.2 miles and running the same distance to the best of your ability. But, that´s not the point. The point is that the marathon was something to measure myself by, to run that distance at a sustained pace which tested both my mental and physical capabilities to keep going. It was something that was hard. And at the moment I, clearly, am not.

So I´m now left without a goal, and just some vague plans. Do I go for Santa Pola again and try to get yet another PB? Do I try the HM in Aspe on Dec 23rd as it´s bound to be a pretty route? Do I aim for the Madrid rock n´roll marathon in April or the Rome marathon in March? Or do I go for the Valencia mountain marathon in April?

Or do I go for the Valencia mountain marathon in April?
Or do I go for the Valencia mountain marathon in April?
Or do I go for the Valencia mountain marathon in April?
Or do I go for the Valencia mountain marathon in April?

Don´t rush Mart...you can´t run that fast yet.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Alicante Half Marathon

 This was the third Alicante HM and had a much improved route this year, going through the centre of town and out past my house, returning to town via the cost and then doing a zig-zagging route through the centre. I didn´t think it was that hilly when I studied the route but I had my mind changed for me by the end. I found this one tougher than Alcoy which, for those that don´t know, is built on the side of a mountain and has considerably more metres of elevation.

I won´t go into my prep, suffice to say that after almost arriving at the start line I realised I´d forgotten my chip. One frantic taxi ride later, followed by an inadequate warm-up and we were off. I´d decided I wasn´t going to look at my Garmin during this race and try to run on feel. Consequently I set off stupidly fast, regularly clocking kilometres around the 4-4:20 mark. I felt bloody good though so thought I´d be ok. Then we hit the first hill. I didn´t push too much on the hill and let those I´d stormed past earlier take me over, thinking that I´d recuperate and come back later. However, it didn´t happen and I realised my legs were drained. From that moment on, I was getting overtaken regularly. I´d also decided not take gels but I did put together a honey and lemon drink to sip from on the route. This meant I was more or less running on my own reserves  but this was what I´d planned all along. So...from kilometre 8 to kilometre 21 my legs felt heavy and every stride was laborous, but my mind was strong and I was really pleased with my attitude. On some of the later hills I passed plenty of walkers and started to hold my own a bit more to stop people over-taking.

Finally, after a 3 kilometre climb to the finish I arrived in 1:46:46. I think if the course had been flat I would have hit 1:40 with no problem but you can´t be displeased with a PB. All in all, this was a tough old bird.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time to back yourself

It´s getting to the business end of the experiment and I should be happy. After the most horrible summer of stress I can remember, which involved a series of bad lifestyle choices, which then culminated in one great one, I got myself back on track.

After not running throughout July and August I suddenly found myself 12 weeks away from a marathon with clogged lungs, blood sugar levels rising and falling like a rollercoaster, and little training in my legs. A summer in which I desperately tried to work out why I didn´t like my life had ended with a huge self-kick up the backside and a new found self-identity that demanded I put things right.

So...fags in the bin, sugar in the bin and running shoes back on. If I was going to get ready for the marathon I needed to change my running style and do something drastic to my endurance. So I thought the best thing would be to quit sugar. I´d heard plenty about the wall and how it comes on runners when their bodies need to change from sugar-burning to fat-burning during a race (I know I´m simplifying things here) so, no more bread, pasta, soft drinks, cakes, sweets, chocolates, potatoes and loads and loads of protein, nuts and veg with a little fruit here and there. I´ve not foresaken sugar completely. I´ll still have some honey in my green tea and in my yoghurt but that´s about it.

As for the running, it´s been a struggle. To take such a long break and then try to immediately put the miles back in my legs is just not practical. My feet and calves have really suffered. However, in the last week or so, with 6 weeks to the marathon, I´m noticing signs of improvement. I did a 2hr LSR on Sunday and I was ok to run again by Tuesday. There is hope.

Or at least there would be if it wasn´t for my childlike fantasy world in which I run races for guts and glory. Instead of concentrating on my training, I´ve entered a half-marathon this weekend. I promised myself I wasn´t going to but it´s in Alicante, my local town, and the route is such an improvement on last year I just couldn´t help myself. I´ll be running past my house and my office and am obviously going to win. At least that´s what my fantasies tell me. I realise this has a chance of knackering me to the extent that I´m not ready for the marathon but I just couldn´t help it. I´m impatient and what to check out where I´m at. How will my diet, my aerobic training and my new-found self-resilience serve me?

My six-year-old daughter said it best. ´Papi, run as fast as you can right from the start and keep going all the way round as fast as you can, and that way you win´? Child geniuses do exist you know.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mixed emotions

Today was the 6 something K race at El Campello. As I thought it was on sand I was going to run barefoot but upon arrival they informed me that it was 50/50 sand and asphalt. Because of this I decided to choose the trainers - big mistake! The other mistake I made was to tie my chip around my wrist.

Sand drains your legs more than anything I´ve ever run on, including steep hills. I had set off quite fast but the first 1.5k was along the beach and it didn´t take long for the strength to turn my legs to nothing. I got overtaken by a few people along this stretch as I gamely battled on to keep my rhythm, but it was hard. I realise now it would have been easier without the trainers but that´s a lesson for another day. Then finally we moved onto the road to come back towards the start. By this point I was already quite tired and I got overtaken by more people. The sun was also beating down and I was feeling very dehydrated.

Eventually I got to the end of the first 3k lap but there was no water station in a race this short. Luckily my wife was there and she handed me a drink with a wry smile on her face. This must have been because I was sweating like I was in a shower and my face was redder than a lobster´s. Then it was back to the sand. Mentally I was doing fine and I just concentrated on keeping my pace as best I could while finding the best line on the beach to run along to ease the pressure on my legs. I kept going and was still getting overtaken now and again (a consequence of sprinting ahead of better runners than myself at the start) but I was ok. Then finally, I got back into the home stretch along the road neck and neck with another guy.

I noticed that he was trying to gently edge ahead of me by slightly increasing the pace but I kept with him. Then I tried to do the same and he kept with me. Suddenly realising I was in a battle, I remembered a cross-country race at school where I let someone go at the end when I had plenty left in the tank, and our team lost by one point. It was a funny thing to remember but it spurred me on. Then, with about 400m to go I kicked and pulled away from him. To my eternal satisfaction he couldn´t keep up. I crossed the line in about 28:30 which was pretty good for me considering the terrain.

But...because I wore the chip on my wrist it didn´t register when I crossed the line, so that guy got the podium finish for our category.

How do I feel about that? I had to remind myself why I go running as it isn´t for recognition. But...well, you know. Overall though, I´m really pleased as I felt I showed really good mental strength and that´s the best thing I can take forward from this.

Footnote - my kids also entered their first race!!! They both got medals as well for doing about 200m and they are made-up. So am I. They looked so happy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A first for my kids!

Just a quick note. I do have a race tomorrow, of 6k on the beach at El Campello. If anyone is there I´m wearing dorsal number 77. If you can´t find me I´ll be on the podium at the prize-giving around 11am (ahem).

I´m choosing this one over a 10k trail race because my kids will get the opportunity to race as well. My 4 year-old will do a 200m run and my 6 year old will compete in a 500m run. Note to kids - it´s not the winning etc...

I´m sure I´ll scream myself hoarse. Watch this space!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

At least my legs aren´t jelly

So...they cancelled the race. The whole point of my training for the last 8 weeks comes to nothing. I even pulled out of a dinner last night (no big loss on my part though) and tried in vain to get some sleep, ending up with about 4 hours, before I got up at 5:30am, filled up with a huge breakfast and set off for an hour´s drive to the start line.

I don´t think it´s justifiable just putting a notice on the website. There was only 31 of us registered and we had all submitted our email addresses when we put our names down. How difficult or time-consuming is it to notify us by email? Not very, is the answer. The other argument is how difficult is it to check the website. But no, I think the onus is on the organisers to do their best to inform everyone, especially when they live an hour´s drive away from the starting line.

Anyway, at least my legs aren´t jelly. As I was joining the motorway to drive back I saw a Mediterranean storm starting up over the mountain. I thought it would have been quite cool to run in that, apart from the danger of being struck by lightening, or running down steep, slippery slopes in old trainers. But still, imagine the thrill. Then I thought, at least I´m not knackered and wondering if I´m losing the will to live which is what almost certainly would have gone through my mind at some point.

The next thing on my list of goals is the Valencia marathon in November. I´m still not sure why I want to do a marathon though. Maybe someone will tell me one day.

I don´t want to write anymore. I´m furious.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Is that what I think it is?

Ok, let´s start this final Blog before my race with a question. How many of you, while out running, have accidently stumbled across a nudist beach? It happened during my LSR on Sunday morning. It was also exclusively a gentlemen´s club of which they were all fully stand-up members. An interesting find all round, but I feel I may change the time of my run next time I go out that way.

Anyway, it served to teach me one thing and it´s this. How I do in my race on Sunday doesn´t really matter. What matters is that I´m going to race, I´m fit, I´m living healthy, I have no stress and I´m running and running and running. In other words, I´m not doing bad things to myself. This is not to say that bathing nude in an exclusive gentlemen´s club is doing a bad thing. Each to their own. All I´m saying is it reminded me a little of my Jimmy Page personality and the living free/not giving a toss mentality or the one I´m trying to keep under control. I´m glad and more than a little relieved I´m keeping it under control so if I ever do decide to try nude-bathing I know it will be a fully-informed choice.

So...the race is on Sunday. I´m ready. My LSR, apart from the interesting views, went really well. I was out for 3 hours, part-walking, part-running and I covered 14 miles. My mentality is also ready to be on my feet for that length of time. I´m still having fantasies about winning but I think that´s ok too. I like them and they beat fantasies about headlining at Glastonbury, simply because I think it´s slightly more realistic (but not by much).

Another thing I did was a full range of cardiac tests. Everything is fine just like I knew it would be. Like I said, I´m ready. My next blog will be a race report of the Pedreguer Mountain Half-Marathon. I love the way it sounds simply because 18 months ago this wouldn´t have been possible in my wildest dreams.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Doubts creeping in...

It´s been a strange couple of weeks since I last blogged. I´ve done quite a bit of training over this time, including a great 2 hour LSR that took in two pretty good hills (one pictured below) and a beach run. The weather has also started to turn and, as is typical for Alicante, the season of Spring lasted about 2 weeks before it started to get seriously hot. Hot weather is good for running as it develops your mental strength and makes you draw on reserves of will when your mouth starts to feel like a desert and your legs start to feel like jelly.

However, I´ve also been to A&E. On one of my Saturday runs I was just starting to head up my second steep hill when I suddenly had the sensation of all my breath being knocked out of me. It passed almost instantly but then repeated again a couple of seconds later. I stopped running and walked home. The next day, on a doctor friend´s orders, I went to A&E where they did a load of tests, resulting in an all-clear. However, just to make sure I´m having a full range of proper cardiac tests on the 22nd. Paranoia is an expensive business.

Why do these doubts creep in? I used to suffer from anxiety a lot more when I was younger and I thought I´d beaten this kind of thing. Maybe it´s the race coming up, which normally sets me off with the symptoms of a cold. Now it´s setting me off with fears of something far more serious. My bloody subconscious gets right on my wick.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Up and down the ´Candela´

Something good happened on my training run yesterday. I went up the ´Candela´, the rather large hill next to my house which is a lovely little trail run and which commands great views of both Alicante city and the sea. The ascent went well because I warmed-up properly and managed, more or less, to keep within my target HR. Then, on the descent, I saw what looked like the fittest runner in Alicante sprinting up the ascent on the other side. As he passed me he gave me a big thumbs-up and a smile. Now I believe that this is the norm in the UK, or at least fairly common for runners to acknowledge each other, but in Spain it´s rare. This made me realise two things. First, I´m doing the right thing by running and not sitting on my backside and second, I´m not going to win my mountain HM.

These two things may seem obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense. However, at the age of 40 I´m supposed to be able to work all these things out for myself, so any help from outside sources is very welcome. The problem are fantasies. We all dream of glory so I don´t see anything absurd in imagining myself running faster than anyone else over longer distances, then lifting a trophy with a coy smile and an inner sense of supreme smugness. However, it does mean that I get disappointed with myself when I realise, or believe, that I´m running slowly. It doesn´t matter whether I´ve trained to run well or not, I still get disappointed. In the past this has demotivated me to the extent I´ve gone back to unhealthy habits. But then I realise that we´ll all a community and one that I´m very happy to be a member of.

In total I ran about 7.5k yesterday but in 5 weeks I have to run 20k. So I´m a bit behind my target and the training programme is going to be tight, as long as I keep myself healthy and injury-free. I know I´ve banged on about Maffetone in previous posts, but I´m  now also advocating the 15-minute warm-up and cool-down. If I´d ran yesterday´s session without them in the past, and subsequently not stretched, I´d be a mess this morning. But now, I hardly feel tight at all. Maffetone doesn´t endorse any stretching because he believes the warm-up and cool-down does the job and stretching can be damaging to the muscles. I reckon he´s on to something.

I´m also continuing to eat well. Yesterday was beef stew with veg (9 of them in all) which made for a great recovery meal. My kids also ate it, which made me happy. Then this morning, eggs and asparagus on rye bread and green tea for breakfast. Most people think they can´t do without their crap breakfasts but I have to say, you do get used to, and dare I say it, start to enjoy eating good stuff. It´s just a case of getting into the routine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

HRM´s, eating and that marathon death.

I´ve done my second day running in a row today and it feels great. I took the HRM again and, again, was very disciplined. It was a simple jog over 30 mins with a good warm-up and good cool-down. But even after only starting yesterday, I was able to jog the whole time today. I did say the benefits come quickly.

You can see both runs here and here. You can see the improvement on the second of them, although I´m hardly threatening to make a late entry into the olympic team. It doesn´t matter though because I know that by the time June 3rd comes around I´ll be struggling to even make a HR of 135 by running flat-out. The running is going well.

And so is the eating! Why is it that when I quit smoking my diet changes for the better? I have this strange urge to eat healthy stuff, whereas when I´m smoking I have a strange urge to eat rubbish. I´m not complaining though as I suppose it´s good for me, although the wife did complain about the salad tonight. She should remember that I´m on a mission, then maybe she´d choose her words more carefully. Honestly, does she think I run for myself?

Finally I have to say a word about the lady that died in the London Marathon. Like any death of a young person it´s tragic but when it´s from doing something you do yourself you have to think about it. Does it affect me to the extent I´m nervous about going out and running? I don´t think so as you have more chance of dying from a lightening strike or being attacked by dogs (apparently). One US study said that over 11 marathons they studied there was one death for every 259,000 runners. That´s incredible odds. So...get yourself checked out by all means, and also mourn the tragic death of someone who went too young, but don´t get hung up about running. A lot of her friends have been commenting upon how healthy she was - that remains to be seen. What I do know is that sitting on the couch is far worse for you in the long run, as is not living your life to the full like it appears that young lady did. RIP.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

8WOS - Lucky day

The best thing about this week´s blog, the great thing about it, the amazing thing about it, is that I have some running to report - and all went well. Considering there are 6 weeks to go before I launch myself over a HM´s worth of mountains this has to be a good thing.

It´s been hard mentally over the last few weeks, especially since I fell so low in my first week, but I finally put my foot down with myself and went running even if it wasn´t far and it wasn´t fast. I was considering leaving the HR monitor at home and just enjoying myself without being too disciplined but I decided in the end that this way would only lead to rack and ruin i.e. injury. So...with my HRM on I studiously did my 10 minute walking warm-up then found myself running and stopping, then running and stopping, because my HR kept creeping up over 135 (my limit for developing aerobic function). It was impossible to run for more than a few seconds at a time. However this didn´t matter to me. You see, I´ve been here before I know what it´s like when you lose your aerobic fitness - it´s like this. However, what I also know is that it comes back pretty quickly and I would expect, within two weeks or so, to be able to do at least 10-15k without getting near my HR limit.

I also had the scare of my life this week. This blog is supposed to be reporting on my training for the mountain HM in Pedreguer on 3rd June. The only slight catch, that I found out this week, is that this race doesn´t actually exist. I´m not sure how this happened. I overheard someone talking about the race when I was at my last one and I asked them to confirm it. As they were one of the organisers of said race, I presumed the info was solid. Apparently not. Luckily I found another mountain HM, on the same day, about 100k to the north of where I presumed my fantasy race was taking place. So not only do I still have a race, but I get to take the family away for the weekend. How lucky is that? Here´s hoping it´s a sign of things to come.

The profile of the race is here. As you can see, I wasn´t joking when I said there were mountains involved. I may have been joking when I said it was a HM though - it´s only 20K. Perhaps I´ll go for a jog around the village afterwards.

Just to end, I´d like to say a big congratulations to everyone who did the London Marathon today. It looked like a great event. And a big well done to everyone off the Runners Forum. You did us all proud.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

8 weeks of something - back into the fray

Well...I finally got back out there. After messing up my guts and my head I finally went out for a run with my mate. I was visiting him on holiday and only see him about once a year so, it was something else to see that he had also now quit smoking and was also into running. Anyway, we went on a nice gentle run up around a park near his house in Oviedo (the bit of Spain that looks like Wales) and it gave me immense pleasure to watch his face turn red while he tried to suck air in from the next valley across. Don´t get me wrong, I don´t like to see people struggle, but it was nice to know I hadn´t lost as much fitness as I thought. I found the whole thing quite easy.

I also imparted my considerable knowledge on warming up and cooling down with the indulgent air of someone who is bored with the whole subject, then I woke up the next morning with my hamstring laughing at me. I was injured. So I did what every pro does in these situations and drank and smoked my way through the rest of the week. Not the best reaction to adversity and definitely not the way to go with my mountain HM in 6 weeks. Why does he do it to himself you may ask? Why, when he has obviously got a good fitness base, enjoys running and is not afraid of challenging himself, does he fall apart at the first sign of a problem? Well the answer is easy - I´m a perfectionist. The problem with this label is that most people think it defines someone who does something to perfection. In my case it actually means someone who wants perfection. Therefore I get very affected by things not being perfect and run away (ha ha) at the first sign of a problem.

But this time...I don´t know. Something is chipping away at my soul. Instead of collapsing into an alcholic, tobacco-fuelled haze I entered a race. This gave me the motivation to chuck the fags away and get running again. I only managed 1k before my leg felt so bad I had to stop but at least I ran and it felt, at least aerobically-wise, very good. I even took a cold water bath to try to help the injury but I mainly just ended up swearing a lot. In the end my hamstring wouldn´t let me race but it didn´t matter - it was the preparation that mattered.

I forced myself back into it and back out there. I prefer it, I really do. So, I´m going to get some ice on my leg and keep my plans going. There´s a mountain to climb in 6 weeks time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

8 weeks of something - part 2

I´m a useless, imbecilic, lanky streak of piss. That´s the result of week 1 of the 8-week challenge.

So what happened? I decided to take Phil Maffetone´s 2 week test to see if I had carbohydrate intolerance. It seemed like a good idea as I feel I´ve single handedly kept the sugar industry going through my eating habits the last two years. Refined carbs are a food of choice and/or luxury for some. For me, they´re 5-a-day and no mistake. Chocolate, coca-cola, muffins. cheesecake and a million other tempting, gorgeous things besides, all created for my own personal gratification. However I knew they weren´t doing me any good so in the end I reluctantly decided they had to go, at least for a while.

What has this got to do with running? Well apparently the well-informed and regarded Dr Maffetone says that our body will start to feel great and will also begin to burn fat for energy, an essential requisite for any self-respecting distance runner. How could I refuse? I started on Saturday, the same day I quit smoking again.

By Sunday evening I had a fever and my stomach was doing an Olympic gymnastics audition. Later, while vomiting, I thought to myself how unlucky I had been to catch such a virulent bug at the same time as undertaking such courageous endeavours. At least, I thought philosophically, I wasn´t hungry, so no need to worry about menu-planning. But this bug turned out to not be like others I´ve had in the past. The fever eventually subsided but the stomach pyrotechnics didn´t. I sought help from my forum friends, some of whom assured me I would feel bad and it would pass. But this bad?

However, I still felt positive. I wasn´t tired, even though I was ill, and I felt sharp, even though I was distracted by my belly-flips. However, even the hardiest soul, which I cannot claim to be, would get down in the end. On Wednesday evening I let some carbs back in and lo and behold, within a few hours, I started to feel much better. This was both a relief and a shocking revelation. A relief because I now believe it was the carb withdrawal that caused what it did, so I knew how to fix it. And a shocking revelation because I now believe it was the carb withdrawal that caused what it did, and I don´t know how to fix it.

All of us have heard about the withdrawal symptoms from drugs like heroin. Was I experiencing similar? Could sugar be that powerful? Some people think it can be but the worst thing is that if it is, I don´t know how long these symptoms would have lasted. If I´d gone an extra day, would it have all evened out and I´d now be a fat-burning juggernaut ready to roll over the highest hill? I´m not sure. I haven´t got the guts to find out because they´re still recovering from the shock.

So...let´s forget the diet for now and just try to eat sensibly. At least I haven´t gone back to anything really bad yet. I´m on holiday in Asturias and there are mountains all around me. Tomorrow, I´m off up one of them to find out about myself. I hope I look better than my insides feel.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

8 weeks of something

I watched a film about the life of Bruce Lee the other night. I love this man. Aside from the fact he could kick anyone´s butt in a fight, he did it with style, panache, verve, grace and a whole host of other ´float like a butterfly´ type adjectives that leave me gobsmacked everytime I watch him. He lived for his art and through that developed an adonis-like body through his training and healthy eating. He inspires me to better myself, to reach out and challenge myself. He is, in a word, ´the man´.

Later that night I listened to Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page, one of my all-time favourite guitar heroes is also ´the man´. A very different sort of man. He can weave a magic out of a block of wood with six taut strings plugged into the wall that I can only dream of. He also inspires me to better myself, to reach out and challenge myself. However, he just trained his brain to move his fingers, no mean feat, but I´m sure there were too many bacon & egg sarnies thrown in, along with god knows what other substances you can´t get a receipt for when you buy them.

One of them died young. Guess which one didn´t?

So here I am, still choosing my role models at the beginning of my 4th century on this frankly bizarre planet and wondering where I´m going now. I´d love to be both of those chaps at once but I´m sure that´s impossible. I´ve never imagined myself playing ´Since You´ve been Loving Me´on my guitar while planting a pinpoint perfect roundhouse kick on the back of Messr Plant´s head. However, I have imagined myself swinging said kick in a street fight, or playing said piece to thousands of screaming fans. But there´s no time for both so now I´ve decided to make a choice.

I don´t know what it was that made me put one foot in front of the other last March. But finally, after years of thinking runners needed to be locked up, something clicked and it made sense. An incredibly exciting journey followed inolving training, injury, HR monitors, Garmins and whatever other paraphrenalia I could get my hands on. I raced and did 3 half-marathons, each one faster than the previous. I finally had an identity and could leave behind my multiple-role model personality disorder.

Then...disaster struck. I let stress get the better of me and went back to smoking. Jimmy Page had returned along with playing the blues. Unhealthy eating followed shortly afterwards and I felt my body tumbling once again into the abyss. Bugger.

But now, a few short weeks later, I realise there is another addiction in my life. One foot in front of the other is calling me. I went to race last week in the mountains and quickly realised what I´d done to myself. I hurt, I panicked, I nearly cried. But...I put one foot in front of the other and finished flying like a bird. Or maybe like Bruce Lee.

So, although I hurt it´s now become clear what I need to do. I´m going extreme.

In 8 weeks time, on June 3rd, there is half-marathon across the mountains of Pedreguer in Alicante, Spain. I will be there and I will fly. It will be the toughest thing I´ve ever done.

I am going to change my diet and stop the fags from this Saturday. No more tobacco, and no more sugar. I am giving up treats. I am even giving up my cup of tea. I want to see how far I can fly. And all this while in the middle of a hectic family life involving two small children and a full-on job.

Running...God´s gift to man and I´ve never even been sure I believed in Him. If you can find time to join me I´ll be getting a lot of my chest. But it won´t be for long - just 8 weeks in which I have no idea what will happen. Feel free to encourage me all you like.