Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wittering on Wednesday - "Tour De France Cycle Race Triaixe France" by Tom Curtis

It is the middle of the week already and time for a speedy witter session. Unlike the pro-cyclists who practice drafting all the time, as a commuter I am pretty alien to such things. Last night on the commute home into a head wind I had the opportunity. A stocky guy came past me powering along, and having watched a bit of the Giro d'Italia last week I caught the idea to see how a draft would feel like. So I turned on a little extra leg and moved into his wake.

Now there are several things to consider in doing this I realised as I felt the different a draft makes - not least of which was that he wasn't expecting to be drafted (unlike the chaps in a Grand Tour). So it dawned on me if he arbitrarily thought "Hey nice view over there, I'll stop for a look", I might have parked my bike accidentally in his. Still all was fine, I got my draft up until the bumpy part of the trail... no, no, no, I could keep up over the bumps... the issue was my bike lock... it rattled like fury and told him with out a doubt where I was! In disgust he hit the pedals hard and was gone, d'oh! Moral of this random tale is not to tail randomly, and if you do do it quietly (or better perhaps ask?!). Note: a quick scan of a certain search engine result list suggests as much of a benefit as 10-40%, interesting, hmmm, might move my bike locks.

In other cycling news, the family are collectively commuting now, one offspring per parent powered bicycle. For our youngest it has been his first experience of riding on mummy's bike (we have a cross-bar carrier for toddlers fitted), and he absolutely loves it - beaming all the way. Our eldest thinks that it is fantastic that we were all on bikes going off on 'trips' together, she was telling anyone who would listen all about it for a good few days. From the grins all round it was well worth sorting both our bikes out, and it will be further worth the fuel saving!

In still other news, check out this page for the lowdown on optimism "What is Your Definition of Optimism?" from the Michael J. Fox Foundation blog. From the list of tips on how to be more optimist I noted just how many sporting (running mostly) blogs in the blogosphere use "The power of positive thinking" approach. I am off to look for a glass so I can see if it's half-empty or half-full ;-)

Sunny, high cloud, moderate breeze, with one random five minute shower!

PS. I feel the need to point out my offspring were not with me commuting when I tried my cycle drafting experiment :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

A cautionary tale - a story of a brave life choice

There are many positives to take from sport, and much to be lauded about the benefits of elite athletes and sports people as role models. The other day I read an article about the experiences of an elite level triathlete, Hollie Avil, and her decision to 'retire' from her sport. There is nothing odd on the face of it that an athlete retires, there can be many reasons for it, the elements that stand out as 'headlines' here are... her age (22 years old), her successes (former European and World junior triathlon champion; one time Olympian in Beijing; World ITU podium successes), and her potential (harder to put a metric on but prior form could only hint at possibilities)...

So what then is the reason for the retirement of a bright prospect in British triathlon? Well it makes for a painful read (please read the full article, a link reference is below), she came to the very evolved and mature decision primarily because of an eating disorder. The development of which she directly attributes to her sporting career. Having suffered across three periods of her relative short career she determined that, and I borrow from the article she wrote herself...
"I don’t want to risk my health again, not just my mental health, but my physical health.
I want to be happy."
Many people outside of elite sport turn to training and sport as part of a personal strategy to control weight and feel good (I use it along those lines myself). There is are innumerable links between issues of self-image and sports, to hear such an honest and eloquent description of the feelings of a 'top-level' athlete succumbing to the worst of these issues is so sad. That the coaches, mentors, fellow competitors and so forth seemed to contribute to issues for an individual is, from the outside, worrying. That an elite level athlete in the public eye had the presence of character to recognise what was happening them in a specific environment and walk away, is commendable, brave, refreshing, and one can only hope a cautionary tale that will inform other future athletes and sports directors.

The balance between a healthy mind and a healthy body can be for many difficult to achieve, there are indeed global industries built upon selling 'systems' to help individuals, but the key is to listen to yourself watch your own behavioural responses and understand when things need to change or re-balance. As a reader of Hollie's story I can only wish that the balance she strikes going forward serves her well and that her experiences will help inform many about the penetration of eating disorders through so many aspects of our culture.

The original article I discuss above:- From the Daily Telegraph [dated - Thursday 24 May 2012] Written by Hollie Avil.
"London 2012 Olympics: triathlete Hollie Avil reveals why she has decided to bring an end to her promising career"

Other sources:- 
Telegraph Olympic athlete profile
Hollie Avil's website

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feel fantastic Friday

There we are I finally plotted my monthly weight chart to include this year so far (my Weight page), and it looks good. I am pleased that the drop down to around 14 stone has stuck. There were a few years of oscillating around 15 stone that whilst much better than my start point was not especially where I wanted or needed to get to. Truth be told I would like to oscillate more around the low 13 stone mark and that is now a major target for this year taking in aspects of what worked well towards the end of last year.

Taken from my weight page

In other news... sometime soon I really must, must, must make myself make major modifying (momentarily mostly maybe) manipulating, manufacturing musings / missives, managing multi-word menageries moving away from alliterative blog post titles ;-)  [a more contrived sentence you will not see on the Internet today (outside a tabloid news site)].

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Whoa! Why weight watch Wednesday

Pardon the over the top alliteration, I got a bit carried away there but you'll see why below. I found some pictures of me from just before or around the turn of the century (I am that old to be able to say that). I looked at my heaviest in both of these and sadly I found several other examples.

On holiday looking happy, but really my waistline was anything but happy

Possibly the worst looking photo of me I found to date
It is when I see these that I absolutely remember why I started to get on the move. Pictures are really worth a thousand words so there isn't a great deal I need say, except I am so proud of the fact that I saw the problem and took on the challenge of solving it.
For comparison - Me shortly before last years Cardiff Half Marathon

Monday, May 21, 2012

Follow on from Friday


"Footsteps" by Arvind Balaraman fact quite apart from being faster at forty (Fridays ramble [see below]) I remembered that I have another quietly held ambition... which I will (in rubbish blogger quasi-alliteration) call "fabulous at fifty"... here my ambition is to be as toned and as apparently healthy as Sting at 50. I know, it's a left field type thing, and perhaps even a tiny reflection of the increased aspirations of men to look like role-models (cover-models, etc.).

I suppose what I am rambling about, and kind of mulling over, here is that in recent times (and especially after the kids arrived) I am more and more determined to lead as healthy and active a life as I can. Sadly it took those very 'heavy' days in my twenties before all this began to be realised. It is maddening that some of the legacies of those days will forever haunt me, but I strive to ensure that I will never go there again - and moreover that my kids will learn the lesson from daddy and will be encouraged to lead their lives with movement in mind.

Speaking of movement - I have begun a new phase - twice over the weekend I did an hour of yogalates. Flexibility and tone is the new goal before serious half-marathon training for the autumn race(s). I am leaving no stone unturned in making sure I go sub-2hrs for the half this year.

Sunny, warm, gentle breeze, hazy cloud (almost summery).

PS. anyone know how easy / difficult it is to get into the Berlin Marathon in any given year?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Faster at forty challenge

I have had a challenge in mind for some time now and that is to be fitter / faster at forty than I was at thirty. This isn't a comparison between super heavy me and now. No, it is a comparison with how fit I was aged 30 (a good few pounds into my weight loss and exercise journey) and how I am when I am 40 (in a couple of years time). This will involve beating as many marks set in my 30th year as I can in my 40th.

It sounds simple, it sounds for me do'able, though the marks I set at 40 will be a fair bit tougher to beat when I'm 50 simply from the point of view of my being a late starter fitness wise. Still I might take that challenge on too, why not?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wittering on Wednesday - thread catch up

Jillian Micheals podcast - I am still 'with the program' so to speak, and still downloading the podcast. It has a sister video (YouTube) cast but that doesn't fit well with my time. I shove it in my ears while going about things and listen to all things motivation, health and fitness - with a hefty chunk of nuttiness, life musing, and random stuff thrown in. Am I still going to recommend it? Well yes, it is good radio. It is loaded with feminine outlook and why not (?), but hey the advice woven through it is worth the investment all by itself (it's not as if the very feminine view of life is not worthy all of itself). I think you will probably understand what I am trying to carefully express there, either that or I just dug a good sized male faux pas hole that I should leap into now?!?!

The material is good, it is researched (though sometimes I wonder who writes the material they discuss - strange 'science' out there in the health industry realm), it is good humoured, heartfelt stuff, and hey I like it... even if middle aged, vaguely sporty, European dudes was not their intended target market ;-)

The 366 Random Acts of Kindness guy - is still going strong and moreover still blogging strong (more power to him). It is beginning to boggle me just how he will keep coming up with things to do, he has passed the third of the way there and is going strong. The acts are deceptively simple - for example in one act he sought to research and track down a guy handling out laminated signs to the homeless so that he too could share in the same acts of kindness. I still maintain it is simple genius.

The Ultimate Olympian challenge guy from way back did not appear to pick up the baton again, I keep looking and hoping but it seems the blog is gathering electronic tumble weeds. The challenge he set himself was superb - to try all of the designated Olympic sports in within the four year cycle between the Athens and Beijing games. It was certainly a herculean task for charity and I had thought was going well, whatever the reasons he gave up I wish him all the best.

Note of blogs - Blogs of note I have noticed don't include many sports / health blogs in the blogs of note 'hall of fame' on blogger. It generally is the simple genii blogs or the aesthetically sweet blogs that make it, but I would argue that there are some genius and artistic sporting and heath blogs out there. Okay so perhaps they don't want to be seen to endorse a particular thread of health practice / therapy, but there are plenty of very good looking running sites out there for example. The blog "I'd rather be eating" is brilliant not only for editorial but for the quality of the images and blog organisation. Don't worry I am not making a strange pitch for my back of a postcard blog here, I am just saying they could cast the net a little more widely at some well presented sporting blogs, much followed blogs like "Miss Zippy" et al.

Here I step off the soapbox lest my wittering be mistaken for ranting.  I am off to clean up and update some pages gathering their own tumble-weeds round my blog ;-)

Blue skies, light showers, brisk breeze.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Motivation Monday - Twitter - uses and abuses: a motivational tool?

There are a great many things written about social media, its positives, its negatives, its intrusions and so forth. However, I have found in two walks of my life that pitched right Twitter at least can be used as a tool for motivation. That's right 'used' for 'motivation', I did put those words together. It is true to say that things can take over your time or your life if they become too important to you, and this is something oft thrown at many social media outlets. I 'use' twitter to get me fired up, I follow people (mostly sports people) that inspire or fire me into doing more.
I think you might know where I borrowed this image from -

"Easy follow a couple of TV health and fitness gurus" - well not quite, they are useful to follow but often they are busy promoting themselves and their TV / business products along with the wisdom - all fine if you don't mind skipping 60% of their output. I've found it more useful to follow sports people involved in what they do, and enjoy seeing how they get up to speed before and during events. Now this is only a window on activities, they aren't going to tweet their training programs for all to see!

Collage / 'rogues' gallery call it what you will of some of the sporting folk I follow on Twitter
- the likes of Lance Armstrong, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Hunter, Amy Williams,
Drew Ginn... and these aren't even half of my Twitter inspiration feed ;-)

The part that is perhaps most useful in following a sporting hero is that you often get the sense of how they fit life around sport and how passionate they are about what they are doing. By following you get an impression of a real person with the same real motivations and motivational issues anyone might face in taking on challenge. It is in some senses akin to reading a biography that gets you fired up, only in real time at 144 characters a time. There is something by the way more deeply satisfying about immersing in an amazing biography for inspiration.

So I try (though I admit I sometimes fail) to keep my twitter account sensible, to follow positive sports people, to delete feeds that annoy, and to use the media as something to motivate me. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you too. I use it as a newspaper... only with a bunch of good news rather than actual newspapers energy sapping snipping, harping and representations (though you do occasionally get a bit of that in Twitter too).

Oh, almost forgot, the other area I 'use' twitter for is work, I use it to keep in touch with the latest happenings and goings on in my work world. Following trade magazines and journal, superstars in the field, news outlets and so forth.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Personal lessons from training and running

There are about a million and ten things in life that are apt to sink your best efforts it is knowledge and wisdom to turn your back on them. With time (call it experience) it gets easier to discount the distractions and work with the attractions of a challenge and goal. I don't intend to be 'age'ist' but this for me has become easier with age. For example, I know that training plans are often designed for the ideal - that being the person who could really build their time around a training plan - and that I will have to accommodate and adapt most plans to fit my life. In the beginning this would drive me crazy with thoughts akin to "I didn't do all the sessions I'll be rubbish", now I am far more mellow about how I can swerve the distractions of not following a prescribed plan.

Browsers can on occasion get congested with open running searches
These days I work with hybrid plans, built from two or three (or more) sources that assemble into something that works for me. I don't always get it right (recent injuries testament to that) but I do keep moving in the right direction. In the beginning I wouldn't take advice all that much to heart, now with experience (age) I eat up advice hungrily and at times can't get enough! I read so many running blogs talking about marathons in the build up to my first to give myself as much of a heads up as possible. A younger me would have looked up a training plan, followed it until my legs fell off and not given a great deal of thought to learning from the tales off the efforts of others. I would, if you like, try to write 'the book' along the way rather than read it before setting out.
Image: photostock /
Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.netDoing running homework is a must for me

From what I have written above you might think "okay, reckless kid that grew up", well no I have always been fairly cautious in my approach to a lot of things. I believe that, where as I would have followed one script and bailed if it looked like the wrong one, I have simply developed ways and means of mixing / adapting scripts together to get the result. I would not have knowingly slowed to walk several times in the marathon had I not through an acquired knowledge understood the intrinsic lesson of a lot of running blogs, books, articles - "keep the final goal in mind but however you get there enjoy it!". Above all else the journey is what may well lead me to the start line of another marathon - older, more experienced, more prepared (mental and physically) for sure - more aware, more evolved, keener for the joy of a journey seen to completion for definite.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

New vibes - Wittering on Wednesday

New challenges - This week sees the need to find new challenges, so what to do?

I have decided to try and 'ace' the Cardiff Half marathon, but I had signed up to that immediately after the last one and I am left hankering after something else...

What else? another marathon? Hmmm, I think I am entertaining thoughts of another one, and have some initial thoughts of a special one for my fortieth year - but that's 18months away! (honest)

D'oh! I am drawn towards triathlon, but the swim element would need some serious input. I don't feel I could just throw myself into training for one without a lot of very fundamental work. So I'll stick with running or rowing based challenges for anow.

Banking drafts - I have been banking post drafts for future 'publication', with a week off work next week I reckon I'll have a few more in the bank shortly :-)

To be fair I spent so much time mucking with one draft that when I 'publish' this it is going to be a little... brief...

Speaking of - banking, I still need to send a huge set of "thank yous" to all those who supported my marathon run with monetary donations. Though it is not too late to give via just giving - see my "first marathon page" (which yes I need to update).

Grey skies, light breeze, feels like showers though none have appeared yet.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My Milton Keynes marathon [3] - the aftermath

The final part of my re-living my marathon experiences - part 3 - the aftermath....

So, I finished, I was wildly pleased and so happy to have fulfilled the goal injury free. As soon as I'd finished I headed up into the stands to meet up with my wife and kids, and take advantage of the sports massage being offered by the Cancer Research UK stand (as I had run for them it was a very, very welcome 'thank you')**.  During the massage the taping on my calf was discussed at some length and I was told that actually my calf were surprisingly supple (!). That I had essentially marched miles 24 and 25 with as long and efficient pain free stride as I could had seemingly done a job of keeping my legs happy for that last phase where I ran well again.

After the race all the worries and niggles seemed worth it they had seen me prepare well and run sensibly in the face of the injury issues. I remember hearing somewhere that marathons are as mentally tough as they are physically, and I suppose that was true. Certainly all the mental effort put in adds to the immense high after the finish line.

Marathon running thoughts cartoon - bloggers own artwork (ahem, yeah I'll own up - I drew this nonsense)
and bloggers own thoughts from various parts of the route

Immediately afterwards we headed off to my sister's place for a very welcome hot shower (which reminds me, I think I owe her a fortune in fuel costs for how long I was in there!), a chance to get my now dirty taping off, and a warm bowl of soup (wow, that tasted amazin'). All the way home the feeling I got from completing kept flooding my brain, if there is only one thing I could bottle from the whole experience that feeling would be it. I run because I enjoy it, I row because I enjoy it and I keep on the move for moments like that one. I experienced a similar feeling in rowing a few years ago, it is simply the huge release of utter joy and inner exultation of a huge task successfully brought to completion.

Emotion aside (getting carried away there), I had had the foresight to book the Monday after the race as a days leave which gave me the opportunity to go get a fix up appointment with my physio and thank him hugely for everything that he had done in the month or so coming into the race. We sat and re-lived the race for quite some time before I got another restorative rub down. At this point I was walking okay, a little slow to get going, but nice and free moving. Stairs were a nuisance but nothing too troublesome. The aches were simply aches and not pains, and the memory of what I had done seemed to totally negate the effects for several days.

I got back on the cross-trainer last week to 'spin' my legs and help recover. Since that first one I have done two more determined to make this fitness / endurance stick. I did though eat a little too much over the last week as a pat on the back, over the weekend I reached the point where the extra food was making me feel awful. I remembered again why it is that I set out to lose weight.... too much food can begin to feel like poison - I could feel my system saying "thanks for the lovely food but for goodness sake that's enough already!!!".

So now back to healthy balanced eating and training. My new goal is a big PR from this autumns Cardiff Half marathon, and to get back into some serious rowing. The marathon distance? Ah, well... we'll just have to see ;-)

** the massage was provided by Carmel of The Sports Therapy Room and a mighty fine job she did too. Her advice was only surpassed by the quality of her work, my legs felt so much better for treatment - I am not sure how the recovery would have gone with out it.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

My Milton Keynes marathon [2] - my race in review

The second part of three sections, a beginning, a middle, and an end - in other words the the final run up, the race, and the aftermath... the race itself... I said my so longs and left the comfort of the stadium to head out to the start just outside on the main road. I was assaulted by the weather and then greeted by the warmth of the runners huddle in the start area. So off came the charity clothing (which I put onto a growing pile on the crowd control barrier), on went the Cancer Research UK charity plastic running poncho, and into my allotted start group I plunged. I originally stated on my entry form 4 to 4:15 for a projected finish, and so was in the green start group - I still had no idea if this was the right place to be after the injury hit preparations.

I had consumed my pre-race jelly beans and water and was all set. With watch primed I wondered what what come of the race. The run went and the elite runners left us for their swifter effort, the next group moved up, and soon we were called forward to cross the start line... here begun my first ever marathon run...

Mile 1 - with the physio's advice in my ear I stepped out as if I was to run all day. Running felt comfortable, I was fairly oblivious to the weather already more tuned into what my calf might be doing and how my legs were feeling. At the end of the first mile I was imagining my legs were on the cross-trainer and spinning they way they would if I was doing a crazy long session.

All stills from a video that was posted on the
Milton Keynes Citizen website
(I'm in the blue Cancer Research UK rain poncho)
Miles 2 and 3 - I was focusing on just rolling along and being within a comfortable zone. The route began to twist in through estates and parks, and at fairly regular intervals pass under road underpasses. These underpasses were great because the harboured the noisy cheering squads of kind souls who had braved the weather to come see the mad runners.

Miles 4, 5, 6 and 7  - These were it turned out the 'good' miles I really found a rhythm and was moving well (a little too well). I worked through my first pack of jelly beans, took on water and found a couple of likely looking runners to follow as pacers. I wasn't overtaking any more people than were overtaking me so I felt I wasn't going to crazy. It still felt very much like I was running within myself, even though I noticed my pace was looking a tad too healthy. My watch only shows the average pace per mile for the whole run (or lap if I was pressing the button), so I should have realised that the lowering of my average masked quite an increase in pace in these miles.

Mile 8, 9, 10 - I was still feeling good and trying to consolidated, but slowing down a fraction as I finally recognised my pace had peaked.

Mile 11 and 12 - there was a little slow down as the realisation dawned on me that I had yet to reach halfway and it was beginning to hurt.

Mile 13 - at this point I was pleased to get to half way and was a little surprised at my time, 2hr 3mins - too quick as it turned out!

Mile 14 and 15 - I worked on taking it down to take it home at 'jogging' pace. Through these miles I was so happy to start counting down the miles.

Mile 16, 17 and 18 - could really feel a fade and tiredness coming on... you can see for yourself below how the fade went...

My mile split times - printed out stuffed in my pocket and shown to anyone who was interested ;-)

Mile 19 - just after the Mile 18 marker at a drink station my slow down turned into a walk and a chat with a fellow runner.  During our chat two timed pace runners went by, both the 4:15 and the 4:30... I resolved not to let the 4:45 get by me. During this phase the rain had eased so I gave up my poncho - whoops!! - as soon as I had gone another half mile the skies opened again!

Mile 20 and 21 - back into running. I started to imagine how it would feel to cross the line, picturing myself finishing and conjuring up the emotions that might bring.

Mile 22 - mixed run / walking

Mile 23 and 24 - Power walking - I essentially opted to stride out these two miles, to stretch my legs (especially my calfs), and let them recover for a final push. I was basically marching, remembering my child hood as the son of an army nurse and how strong and tall parading soldiers present themselves. Funny what imagery can do for form and motivation.

Mile 25 - Toilet break and then the final push.

Mile 26 - Some semblance of running form returned with the adrenaline of nearing the end.

Finish - As I crossed the line I simply leaped in the air and yelled "Yesss!" at the top of my lungs. I felt a little childish but it was simply an expression of my deep joy and relief at achieving a massive challenge. I was so relieved to see my family, and happy that my sister had come down to see me finish too.
Crossing the line - I'm the tiny guy in green (honest)
Happy boy!! Clutching my finishers medal
Grateful to receive a massage from the stand
run by one of the charities I ran for
My time? Well in the end it was 4hr 43min 52sec, an obvious personal best as it was my first marathon. Not as fast as I could have gone with either better pacing or less injury hit training, but a time I am mightily proud of. At this moment I doubt I will ever run another marathon, but 'never say never again' as the phrase goes...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

My Milton Keynes marathon [1] - the final run up

Without any tease intended I thought I would break my marathon attempt into three sections, a beginning, a middle, and an end over three parts. So the beginning - the final run up to the start line... 

...after the last minute 5k treadmill test I rested and did my absolute best to eat normally. I had only just realised (okay, read online) that carb loading didn't mean eating vast amounts of carb rich foods, but means that the balance of your normal calorie intake should shift to include a greater percentage of carbs relative to protein and fats.

Other preparation was advanced, my race kit bag was packed at the beginning of the week because I was concerned that it might all turn into a bit of a rush after the 5k test. Truth be told I was nervous and the packing was an early manifestation of the worry I felt about running further than I ever have in my life. I had no feeling of where my fitness was even even with all the diligent cross-training sessions. Still, with a decision made I went about organising as much as I could and double / triple checked everything. The nerves growing all the time, as was noticed by my very patient wife.

Saturday saw another trip to the physio for race day strapping, this time applied with spray glue as an extra  measure! It was a very reassuring session as I also got some sage advice for race day, (1) run as if I expected to run all day (i.e. within myself to ensure completion and hopefully an injury free run), and (2) to keep cardiovascular effort within myself so that at no point I got so out of breath that I would struggle later on. Great words that I took to heart.

The fabulously crafted red map pin on this borrowed GoogleMap
the location of Milton Keynes in the U.K.
- taken from a Google Map search
From there we travelled on to Milton Keynes and found our hotel for the night. I had pre-booked the hotel weeks and weeks ago on a no-refund basis in part to ensure that I had still another reason not to back out... really it meant we were going there for a weekend break running or no running. We organised ourselves then headed out to the restaurant that I had already found on the web - part of a chain so that I knew exactly what to expect and thus what to order to set me up for the following morning.

The meal was great, they I wasn't really 'in the room' my head was at this point permanently elsewhere - somewhere across town where ever that start line was. Thankfully my wife understood this face well from our rowing days, both of us react in similar ways to an impending race. Which probably says we should get hold of a sports psychology book and read the chapter on 'quelling pre-race nerves' !! Afterwards we had to go on a safety pin hunt... this was the only thing I had overlooked in my long pre-race packing. In the end we found some in the First Aid Kit in the car (to be returned immediately after the race).

Back at the hotel I tried out my kit and my charity start area clothes, and looked nervously to see if the forecast storm had changed its mind (at this point already there were stiff winds, lashing rain and huge storm clouds overhead). We settled for the night, and to ignore the kids (sorry, kids) I put in some head phones to help chill me enough to sleep.

A similar Gruffalo lunchbox to the one that I received
as a kind gift from my wife and kids :-)
 - Image borrowed from the
Morning arrived, I had slept well (amazing), and we set about breakfast. I opened my Gruffalo lunchbox with it's pre-cooked toast, peanut butter, plastic knife and small thermos flask of apple juice and eat my regular pre-run fill. Looking out of the window my weather fears were realised, the foul weather was truly set in. I opted for long sleeved technical top (a favourite from rowing head races), my Lycra / cotton rowing shorts, and green running vest - figuring I was going to get wet whatever I wore while running so to go with functional and moderately thermal. Into the car we bundled and soon we were in the pre-race car park looking at the weather raging.

Me in my charity jacket, jumper and trousers
- there is running kit under there somewhere!
Happily the race was based around the Milton Keynes Dons football (aka. soccer) stadium so shelter wasn't far away. We got ourselves inside and got me ready to go run....

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Wittering on Wednesday

My web discovery of the week was which takes a piece of text or website and spins it into an awesome and very clever pictogram. Below is one generated from this very blog:-

Many minutes (or perhaps hours) of task avoiding fun with Wordle
There are plenty of things I could witter about from twitter, Olympic news, running articles, etc. but to be honest I am not feeling the out and out wittering love just now as I am still fatigued from the weekend. I have started my race report from my first ever marathon and will put it up as soon as I sort a couple of images. So essentially in summary little 'wittering on Wednesday' today, strong chances of wittering in coming posts :-D

Very overcast, light breeze, relatively mild.