Sunday, 31 October 2010

As I was going to Derby - Trad

Yes, it was a trip into Derby today from Markeaton to follow the Bonnie Prince Charlie Way into the city... only it's not that easy as ALL the signs are missing. Ring a bell with Nottingham? Anyway, we are going to mark out the route from Ashbourne and make it so that maps will not be necessary... famous last words eh? But we are signing ALL of this one.

Fitness First is now qualified as our finish point and the run in from Markeaton into the city is really lovely and such a change from the peaks of yesterday's tandem ride. (Yes my backside is still killing me!)

The different aspects of the race are coming together nicely and hopefully you are getting a clearer picture of what we are trying to create here. If you are local maybe you might have some input... let us know.

More tomorrow...

Simply The Best - Tina Turner

I vowed I would never use that song as it sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it - about 10 years ago my sister Helen and myself were on a girly 1-week holiday in Cyprus when the group we had latched onto took us into an old people's convention where they were having a karaoke night and, you guessed it, we were dragged on stage to sing and groove along to it... my sister took on the task with grace and style, I was simply mortified!

ANYWAY, it fits the bill perfectly... ULTRArace.Peaks, the title speaks for itself, but this is going to be one of our classics I can feel it. Rory and I had been sat at home studying the length and breadth of the UK on OS Maps for the best part of a day when Rory had one of his moments of pure genius - the Peak District via the High Peaks and Tissington Trails and then the Bonnie Prince Charles Way finishing at our local and very friendly Fitness First.

Our tandem was simply awesome, beautiful views, fantastic weather - we were like a couple of over-excited school kids by the end of the day:-)) You are in for a TREAT with this one (oh, and did I mention the overall elevation profile is downhill all the way)... details will be on our website in a couple of weeks' time.

Hope you all had a great weekend... Oh, and a big congrats to Libby O'Duffy for coming 9th in her race category at Snowdonia in 3:53 - awesome run with no training!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Power - Snap

Well what can I say about today's factfinding mission on the trail out in the Derbyshire Peaks apart from IT'S F***ING AMAZING! We cycled the first 20 miles of the 40 miler today on a fabulous Tandem. An off-roader and a bit of a first for me as it's quite an usual pursuit. Jenny had been on one before and I made sure of course that I got the business end with the brakes, gears and slightly easier ride if I am honest as the person on the back gets all the gears but has no idea of how much the front person is doing.

We hit 25mph on some of the inclined planes and the route is just fantastic with views to die for... no doubt my poor butt is going to ache like hell tomorrow but who cares as this was just one of those days...

More tomorrow and from our next race recce...

Friday, 29 October 2010

Mungo Jerry - Pushbike Song

Rory says:- I am really looking forward to getting out on the trail tomorrow on a Tandem Bike! I did a lot of cycling towards the end of last year and enjoyed it immensely... hopefully with another pair of legs to help us along (Jen's) we will be able to get some good speed up on the hills on our new ULTRArace.Peak event course.

We will be walking the inclined planes at Middleton Top  as they are just too darn steep but the miles of long down hills will be a pure joy to cycle I hope...

I am thinking about running part of this bugger of a course on Sunday but will see what's left of my backside tomorrow. It's Friday night now and I'm knackered after a long old week in the PT saddle. It's still only a week after the Beachy Head so no wonder it's still taking it toll.

Anyway... tomorrow is another day... tring tring!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Hot Hot Hot - Arrow

Jen says... this week I feel ULTRArace has jumped leaps and bounds. Race entries are flooding in now, with our Entry King, Andy Chapman, submitting 6 race entries today - and he's in good shape for competing for the title with his new speed spurt - keep it up Andy!

Our ULTRAstore is already in need of replenishing... and we haven't even gone live yet! I get a real kick out of helping people get their equipment just right, and using our years of trying and testing things out to make other people's lives so much more comfortable. I am still getting to grips with having to take money from our lovely customers for the kit but we unfortunately have to make a living out of this too... if I win the lottery I'll offer everyone some freebies :-)

Hills yesterday weren't a barrel of laughs, especially after some pretty full-on intervals on Monday amongst other training - on the seventh one I nearly blew! Still, I pulled my finger out and finished the set of 10 so hopefully all is on track for a decent time at my track marathon next weekend. Fingers crossed.

A massive good luck to Maria Zubizarreta who is running at the Dublin Cross-Country Championships in Ireland whilst I am chasing 100+ laps of a track. I'm sure your run will be more painful but at least it will be much shorter lived!

On and on - The Answer

To be honest the last seven days have been a race planner's nightmare as we have been getting the last of our races in the 9bar UK ULTRArace Championship in place for next August... this was made almost impossible following our incredible Beachy Head Marathon experience of last weekend, how can you live up to that eh? Well you can't really and The Birmingham ULTRA we had planned didn't quite match up to the attractions of the South Downs and the Seven Sisters, if you know what I mean.

So we scrapped it...

Back to the drawing board and five other courses researched and carefully measured, I was nowhere nearer. These only scored a lowly 5/10 on the Salter Quality Race-O-Meter... until yesterday when I hit all the buttons and a 10/10 with a 40'ish mile ULTRArace.Peak from Cromford, along the Tisssington Trail through an amazing railway into Ashbourne along the Bonnie Prince Charlie Way into Derby, itself. We went and looked at the highlights of the course... it's brilliant.

It's still in planning and please don't ask for anymore details! They will be here and on as soon as we have them.

All I can give you is that it's 39.7 miles with 934metres ascent and 974 metres descent for you to have a go at. I have run part of this in the White Peak Marathon the other way but this way the climbs are really cruel and downhills will be real quads killers. The views are stunning and we are Tandem Cycling the route on Sunday... now there's a first.

More tomorrow and I hope you enjoy Our Newsletter coming out to you tonight...

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Magic - Pilot

It's been a long day training folk today... really specialist stuff with two amazing athletes both desperately wanting to succeed in their ULTRA-running careers. Their diversity of characters was just personally fascinating for me and that is the part of the day that I must say I enjoyed the most. They were both just ACE...

Delivering teaching is most rewarding... especially when it's your specialist subject. Each if these guys went away a good inch taller... that's what confidence does and it's infectious.

Sadly it meant that I didn't get my own run in today but I am back on them there hills tomorrow.... OMG... as I have only just got over the last ones.

Bring it on?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Morcheeba - Slow Down

Rory says:- It was slow down and slow ahead in the ULTRArace office today. The weeks travels have taken us to Yorkshire, Wales and the South-East... it's been one heck of a journey. Seventy six miles of racing and about ten times the distance in the car take their toll and it's no wonder we are both knackered today.

However, there's no peace for the wicked and the week has more MdeS hopefuls to train and the monthly newsletter to write.

AND we are looking at running oop north on another fact finding mission for a summer ULTRArace next, we'll make the best of today and get back on the case tomorrow...

Bring it on...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

We are the Champions - Queen

Jen says... What a fantastic day! I don't think I have ever enjoyed a marathon so much - Beachy Head ROCKS! Thanks to Linda for the place... today it was time to slow down a little, make sure Rory got his course PB - sub-5hrs - and enjoy the ride. And boy what a ride it was - perfect weather and just the best route ever. It all went really well, no issues with time at any point around the route as we got some time in the bag early on and kept pushing. We ended up doing 4:43 - easy-peasy - 4:30 next year!!

It's the first time I have had FUN doing a marathon, perhaps ever... I learnt a very big lesson today - I thought a marathon wasn't worth doing and wouldn't be enjoyable unless it culminated in a PB. I was very wrong - slowing down not only stopped those niggling injuries rearing their ugly head and therefore gave me a huge boost in confidence, but also meant I could have fun, chat to others running around and lap up the stunning scenery. Rory would have got his course PB without me there, but I think we both enjoyed the experience more running it together. So if you're feeling a bit negative about your running, try running with a companion around a marathon course - it gives you just as much pleasure as running it for yourself...

Oh, and of course a huge CONGRATS to Rory on yet another PB this year...

Show me the way - Peter Frampton

Rory says:- Well what a day out... and my uprated performances keep on coming... this time with a sub 5 at The Beachy Head Marathon. It was my eighth outing on the course and I beat me Pb by 16 minutes to clock in a 4:43:57. It was also really good as Jenny ran with me all the way and really encouraged me to keep on running up the massive hills along the course.

The marathon is simply awesome... extremely well organised being in it's 30th year and has a course full of drama and an entry list that fills in a couple of minutes every year. I just love it...

Being just a week after the 50 mile RRR my legs were a little tired but the head was in good shape thinking that in a way it was just a half this week. I'm still not quite sure what is making the difference with the running but I am drawing on Jenny's speed and the determination of my clients and it's going to stay that way!

More tomorrow...

Friday, 22 October 2010

Turn back time - Cher

My watch started to go backwards yesterday... just every now and again. Twenty seconds sometimes then one backwards... it was really weird. It did make me think though, especially as I am starting to run at some of my old paces. I would of course relish the opportunity of doing lots of the events and feats again as they have been such a big part of my life...

Tomorrow's Beachy Head Marathon is one such case as it's fifteen years since I first went up that massive hill at the start and got blown down the Birling Gap towards the end of the run. Happy day's eh?

A 4am start will soon put us right and hopefully we will have a great day out on the Seven Sisters...

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

We are Family - Sister Sledge

I am a very proud Personal Trainer today as the Family I am training have collectively lost 9lbs in their  first week. This is an amazing achievement and I feel very lucky indeed to be taken into their family unit to work with them on reaching their goal. They are really easy to coach as they are such lovely people and really wanting to make a change to their lives. My daily update is something that I look forward to as it gives me an insight into what has happened with them that day.

It's a mini soap opera and this one is going to have a fantastic happy ending, I can feel it.

Families are normally a place where there's tension and conflict between it's members... it's wonderful to see them working together on this. It has a Dunkirk or Marathon des Sables feeling to it. One of those times where you will look back and cherish the time and remember the effort that had to be put in.

I am sure that many families could undertake this challenge and please contact me if you want to change your families life... or will do the trick...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

On the Beach - Chris Rea

With the weekend's Beachy Head Marathon draws near it's useful that my legs have just started to come back to normal, just in time I hasten to add. I am looking forward to getting back out in my trainers and the fresh air of Eastbourne will be a great way of finishing off the week.

So far we have built The Cardiff ULTRA start, route and finish... and it's a real stunner and I can't wait to see people enjoy our latest creation.

Tomorrow will have a light training run and a few light weights to get me going again... now all this travelling is killing me so it's an early night I think.... must be the Cardiff sea air... more tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cerys Matthews - Ar Lan Y Mor

And don't ask me what she sings as my Welsh is non-existent apart from the usual ARAF (Slow) and Bws (Bus)... as yes, Jenny and I hit Wales big time again today. Our trip to Brecknock (Brecon) was a wonderful journey thru the valleys which found us as the start of the Taff Trail at the local Theatr (Theatre). National Cycle Route 8 will provide 50 miles of fun for the Cardiff ULTRA route.

We did the first 15 miles or so on and off road passing over and running along many reservoirs and valleys along the way. The route is stunning and there is a seven mile uphill stretch from early on off road that will get everyone's heart rate going full tilt, we hope.

Our fasct finding journey continues in Merthyr Tydfil tomorrow and Cardiff's all go on getting this event up and running asap. Get your entries in as it's going to be ace...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Radioactive - Kings of Leon

My legs feel like they are radioactive. They are absolutely buggered, especially my quads which are just not playing ball. Bending down is a very knock- kneed affair and it was only later tonight that I could move around with some kind of grace. Most of my movement has been accompanied by a huge tennis grunt or a bugger/fu(k.

Hopefully they will return to the tops of my legs tomorrow and I will be out on the Cardiff ULTRA course having a look at 50 miles of Welsh Hills and Countryside.

Beachy Head beckons at the weekend and I have never run under 5 hours... who knows eh?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Beat the Clock - Sparks

It was a real day to remember yesterday as I did 9:52:27 finally beating the 10 hour mark at Rowbotham's Round Rotherham 50 miler. I did a very frustrating 10.03.31 back in 1996, some 14 years ago when I was a lot younger and at my prime but yesterday's PB brought has brought it home to me that I am running with renewed vigour.

With a posse of Mike Blamires (the most energy giving chap you could ever wish to be with) and PT Clients, Wendy Goldthorp and Chris Whistler, we set off into the gloom of Rotherham's industrial estates. The event is quite unremarkable in a way and yet it has a real romance to it that I find totally alluring. My seventh circumnavigation was a clearly planned running and a 5mph run was the order of the day.

We set off too quickly, but it didn't matter and we used the time to get some miles in the bank before the latter miles really, really hurt. The rain that seems to be ordered for the day duly turned u and hit hard just before the half way. Eventually I ran out of gas at 35 and was on my own to walk a couple of hills before getting a second wind to drive thru all the pain barriers to catch Chris and Wendy again with 5 to go.

Getting back with them helped and our sub 10 target was all we could think of. That 9:52 was just pure magic... I am SO pleased, especially at 48.

The moment of the day was a chap with a 'Hardmoors' Vest on and all he said was 'You've run  a very good pace today, well done'. That's all a Coleman needs you see.

More tomorrow as my quads are killing!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Subhumans - Motorway

It felt subhuman as we took ages to get back from Devon today. The beach at Saunton Sands was an amazing place to be last night and I took a midnight stroll along the beach to take stock and think about life. I think it was a result of reliving my last 17 years in a pre-dinner talk to the Devon Association of Primary Headteachers.

It's all goes a bit weird when I relive it you see... anyway... I am over it now and I have already climbed a few mountains today and am thinking about the 50 mile Round Rotherham tomorrow... I hope that I can run all 50 miles of it and get the time I am looking for.

We'll see eh? I do know that I wont be heading off down the beach tonight as it's early to bed and 100 miles to the nearest...

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Talk Talk - Talk Talk

A most interesting day where I was able to tell my story to the Devon Association of Primary their annual conference in one of my old haunts, Saunton Sands. I spent many a summer down here and many an hour in a pub enjoying far to many beers in the past, so it was quite a turn-a-round to lecture folk on fitness and improving their ways of life. Staying at the Saunton Sands Hotel all those years ago was a much different experience... how life changes in 20 years eh? My life values are TOTALLY different...

The 'teachers were most receptive and I really enjoyed the fitness tests we did in the afternoon where many of them shared their life histories and where some shared their dreams with me. I really hope they reach their goals...

Being able to then speak to them about my journey, was a real privilege and gave me the opportunity to learn about my public speaking delivery technique and hone it for my next engagement.

I must say I really enjoy it! I hope they did too... more tomorrow.

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 - Pink Floyd

I think it’s going to be a very interesting day today as I will be speaking at a Head Teachers’ Conference in Devon. Interesting in the way that I will be talking to them about what inspires and motivates them in their roles as inspirational motivators. I will be using my own story of being unfit and then really fit and I will hopefully communicate with them about how they can change or maintain their own lives in the very tough world of education... it's so grown up eh?
Me teaching teachers! I never thought I would be doing that...
My own experience of Head Teachers (or Masters back in the 70’s and 80’s) was with the typical frightening autocrat courtesy of Messer’s Rudge and Pratt and I was duly scared of them… I am not sure if either of them would appreciate my after-dinner patter… I mean, did we have motivational speakers in 1980? Did we need motivating? They just did what they thought fit... and I did what I was told. Life was so simple them.
I hope times have changed and my audience are far less intimidating… more later…

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters

Jen says... well I managed only 25 miles on Day 2 before I couldn't breathe:-( I have had a cold for about a week now (it came on properly the day before Survival Of The Fittest last weekend) and it came into its own. I felt like I was having an asthma attack with a loud whooping cough I could have woken the next village with! TYPICAL! All I was worrying about was how on earth my legs would cope with it, and they were the one thing that stood up to the task really well. So much in fact that I felt the urge to hop back on the treadmill for an hour the next day. Not an ounce of stiffness, so I guess good and bad came out of the weekend.

I'm obviously pleased that I can't feel the 75 miles in my legs (and am more confident about Round Rotherham this weekend now), but am gutted I didn't complete the double as it was my first back-to-back test.

On the plus side, my right foot (the 'tea' foot) stood up much better - no blisters to speak of, although have a nice callus forming on my little toe. I won't post any pics as my left foot is very manky indeed - I am about to pull one of the toenails off as it is now blue. I was checking out my feet this morning and 3 of my toenails on my left foot are black (with one of these and another about to fall off), whilst 2 are black on my right foot. So although the toe blistering is much better, I am still not getting any closer to improving the black toenails... hmmmm... any suggestions?!

Hills tomorrow, then rest for Saturday's 50... oh, must just say a big CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Stu (Les Croupiers) for getting a marathon PB in Chicago this Sunday (2:33)... VERY well deserved - nice one:-)

Rory chose the title tonight as it was taking me longer to find a tune than write the blog:-)))

Bad Manners - Lip up Fatty

What has happened to modern day standards eh? I have really started to notice recently how many people walk along and yawn... wide open mouthed without even covering their mouths. It's happening EVERYWHERE!

It must be a consequence of the mobile phone where we exist in our own personal bubble and think that no-one else can see us. That's the only answer that makes seems to make sense. But there are other things that worry me too...

As you know, I went to Liverpool on the train recently and a woman opposite me unpacked a complete continental breakfast including bio-yogurt topping for her muesli cereal in a bowl to which she added her milk. Following this, she brushed her hair and did her make-up ready for the day. Can anyone tell me which year this became the norm for behaviour in public? It can't be healthy can it?

Is it that I am just getting old and am starting to become that grumpy old man I said I wouldn't ever be - or do I just find other people bloody annoying sometimes!

Hmmm... I will think on about my own behaviour perhaps but in the meantime watch out for 'The Yawners' they are EVERYWHERE...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Ultravox - Love's Great Adventure (our favourite band of course).

With the weekend's Great Adventure fixed clearly in the rearview mirror it was back to the normal weekly adventure of training people to reach their goals and point people down the right Marathon des Sables equipment and training avenue... yes it was business as usual...

I did get an hour in myself and did training with some free-weights and resistance machines as well as a tempo 30 minutes run to keep the legs fresh and going in the right direction for Saturday's 50 miler.

I must say that October is whizzing by and the late summer sun is a big reward at the moment for the dark mornings and the nights drawing in... it will be at least March now until we turn the corner and head back into the heat that my body needs to keep it running smoothly.

Brrrrr... it's getting Wintery... and that's nearly as bad as rain in my book... more tomorrow...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Substitute - Clout

Rory says:- It's been a long weekend of running mostly along the A49 from Preston to Dorrington near Church Stretton. We all enjoyed our time on the road and I even did 10 miles myself in the latter stages enjoying my time with Torkel Skogman who had flown in from Sweden just to get some 9bar JOGLE Ultra practice in.

Boy can he run too... I was at my marathon pace to keep up with him and he had already clocked up 80 miles. I was only too glad I hadn't run those with him too. Nice run though and a good tempo run for my Rotherham preparations.

I must say I felt great at being back on the road and I especially loved the idea of us running this under the radar of public normality.

What do I mean?

Well for instance, we stopped in a hotel in Chester last night full of boozed up party revellers whose only remit was to get hammered last night... we were early to bed and early up into a very peaceful City Centre and ran out in the dark without fuss or noise or having to have had 10 pints to make up think we enjoyed ourselves... they were only getting up probably as we were well past 20 miles...

Out on the road, no-one will have known what we were doing except that we were out running...

ULTRA running will hopefully gain in popularity (and maybe we will be partly responsible for that)...

Now there's a thought?

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Waiting Room - Genesis

Rory says:- Actually there wasn't a great deal of waiting today as without Jenny helping out at the runners' checkpoints like she did earlier on in the year, there wasn't much time to rest or catch up with my work as I had planned to do. I did have words with Miss Salter after a couple of miles as the Red Mist had partially descended and the sweat was starting to flow. However, she did manage to get into the easy Ultra-Rhythm that I hoped she would discover for the rest of the day and ran an easy 48 miles. Everyone today ran just fine and easy, even David Miles who had come back on an insane and perverse 9bar JOGLE Ultra refresher course! And boy did he enjoy it! The top-up will hopefully get him back into ULTRA-running top gear.

Me, well I did get a kip in mid-afternoon post Flapjack and Pot Noodle frenzy and will have to run a few miles tomorrow in a bid to control my waistline...

Ah well, it's another 47 miles tomorrow and that should sort out any questions as to whether multiday Ultras or in fact the 9bar JOGLE Ultra is there for the taking.

The 5am get up and start at 6am will be the hardest part of the day, that and getting around Shrewsbury, I predict. They were shit with the maps today!

More tomorrow...

Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi

Jen says... Well Day One is complete unscathed, I suspect Day Two could be slightly more tricky. I excelled in poor map reading today on a route which a dog could probably navigate. It proved to be only a minor detour thanks to Rory's on the ball route adjustment. I bet he was cursing spending all that time printing off his brilliant maps - sorry Rorz!

I am not really suffering anything major other than my left ankle which was operated on last year started aching during the last 5 miles - I think it was due to the camber. It's pretty achy tonight so hope it doesn't hinder me tomorrow.

Rorz has been BRILLIANT today - always there waiting for us at checkpoints, smiley, encouraging and caring. THANK YOU:-))

I was running with Torkel Skogman who has come over from Sweden for the event. We set off steady and gradually got quicker during the day - by the last couple of miles I was reigning him in - certainly bodes well for his JOGLE next year. It's been a fascinating day hearing all about his life back in Stockholm.

We finished in 8:55:43 and the total distance ended up being 48.53 miles. A great day all round - if tomorrow goes as smoothly I will be VERY happy indeed. Now X-Factor is calling...

I can hear your heartbeat - Chris Rea

Jen says... Well we're nearly at David Miles' house where the weekend begins. I felt guilty enough about Rory doing all the checkpoints as it was, but after I was considerably waylaid at the hairdressers (people were beginning to mistake me for Worzel Gummidge), I got home to find the food shopping done, sandwiches made and a hot bubble bath and coffee waiting. Isn't he a saint?!

It made me think - our first outing was doing the first JOGLE Tester last year. How time flies when you're having fun:-)

So this weekend, I feel quite humbled by Rory's post and I am still not sure how to play it. His advice makes perfect sense, particularly in light of my injuries this year, but I know how frustrated I get running v slowly. My current line of thought is run at 70%HRM, which is way slower than I would naturally run at and faster than Rory would recommend, so a compromise, and just not even look at speed (but reckon should work out about 6mph). Then maybe pick it up or slow it down on Sunday depending on how my legs are feeling. Any thoughts?!

I'm also gonna give our minute portable solar charger a go this weekend to keep my iPhone and GPS fully charged. It looks perfect for the MdS so I'll let you know how it fairs.

On a final note, a massive thanks to Rory for putting up with my stubborn defiance for his very sensible advice. I feel a whole lot more confident about having a bash at this knowing he's going to be there looking after us all... 

Friday, 8 October 2010

On the road again - Canned Heat

We hit the road again tonight with our travel up to Preston for one of our JOGLE/M2M tester runs over the weekend. Tomorrow's 46.9 miles from Preston to Tarporley and Sunday's 46.6 miles from Tarporley to Church Stretton will soon sort out where people are right now in their training and what they need to do to get them in the right place both mentally and physically for their events next year.

Each day is 600 metres up and 500 metres down so it's quite hilly too.
On my part, I will watch on with interest to see how Jenny copes with the distance over both days. We already know she is an amazing athlete capable of running 40 miles in 5hrs 19mins on the track on a single day's run but how will the two consecutive days go for her. With my coaching head on I would prefer her to run very steadily for both days and remain uninjured and have a good 20 hours of running in her legs over the weekend for her big run next year. We both have such strong opinions so it will be most interesting to see how she gets on this space. Remember she is very determined and has only 'Full Steam Ahead' on her personal internal speed setting and this is further than she has ever covered over two days.

This is a hard one to call and outside my thoughts on ULTRA-running, but who am I to say as I am now following her train at speed regime and am reaping the rewards... Hey, if I am wrong, I will hold my hands up! Who knows!

That's the beauty of this sport and working with athletes who are far more talented than yourself you see.

Maybe - It's easy to limit yourself in such a situation and then impose those limits onto someone else. So I am going to be observe her approach to the weekend and learn...

It's going to be fascinating... and also a good chance to meet Torkel Skogman from Sweden who has come over to run and see our old JOGLE mate, David Miles who is coming out for a trip down the A49 memory lane tomorrow.

More later... and good luck Jenny...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Get Ready - The Temptations

Jen says... well today was my last run before the Big Weekend. I have to say I am more than a little nervous about it as I have never run this distance before on consecutive days, nowhere near in fact. Still, as the saying goes, if it doesn't break you it makes you stronger...

Thanks to our good friend and 2010 JOGLE Finisher David Miles, we will be sleeping somewhere warm and cosy rather than on the floor of the transit tomorrow evening:-) Thanks Dave!

Now all I have to get through is a DAY OFF. Yuk. Can't remember the last time I indulged in one of those, although I suspect another will follow the weekend;-)

Meanwhile at ULTRArace, Rory, myself and a third co-conspirator are cooking up a very exciting new event for 22-24 July next year - put it in your diaries - more to follow...

Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

Rory says:- I am speaking more and more to people about how they go about changing their lives and behavioural habits... and it's an absolutely fascinating process to witness and be part of. As an outsider it's most humbling to be taken into people's hearts and minds and learn the real them, the real personal one, warts and all.

The best part is when you see folk leave this 'person' or 'state' behind and set off on a journey of discovery where they can find the real person they really WANT to be.

I remember back to 1994 when I undertook the same leap of faith... I had looked at the clip of Metallica playing Nothing Else Matters at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, a special moment in time for me... a moment where life changed, a moment where life began and a moment where the old Me was left behind... dead and buried. A frightening and yet exhilarating moment where I saved myself. Ok it took me two years to get out of the shit but I did in January '94 and I am still here, strong and so alive!

If I could bottle it, I would give it to everyone that came to me wanting to change as it would be an easy fix for them.

If you are reading and looking for that fix, contact me as I would love to be part of your journey...

More tomorrow... and strange fact is that I sang with Metallica in 1991 at the NEC...funny how they play a part in my salvation eh?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk

Jen says... hmmm, this hills lark is finally becoming a weekly occurrence which feels good, if not a little bit painful. 10 hills today - most impressed with Rory and Lou (Brockman) as it's the first time they've done it and they also did 10 - did it a couple of weeks ago and blew at 6!

Now it's over, it feels good, although I doubt it will be of much help this weekend. Rory and I went out for the biggest, best, fastest, strongest curry this evening, so I will be needing that double 47 to remove half of the calories I have just consumed;-))

Now off for a well-earned rest... zzzzz....

Running up that Hill - Kate Bush

Rory says - I can't say that I have ever set out to run 40 minutes or so up and down a hill but did so today as part of my new heart rate training along with Coach Salter and MdeS 2011 sign up, Lou Brockman.

I have run up Toton Hill hundreds of times and driven it a hundred more but today's session showed me just how ill this hill can make you feel in a very short period of time. Not knowing how many times you are going up the hill doesn't help but the thought of being overtaken is worse and that's what drove me on over the last few of the 10 run-ups that we did. After two I was f***ed  I can tell you... but I wasn't going to let on to the girls!

 It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be actually and I have to admit that I am hard to train and am really and much more comfortable 'telling' than being 'told' what to do!

 So, thoughts are that...
·         This is working
·         I must stick at it
·         Running harder will pay off. 

Easy when you say it quickly... thank God there are no more hills till next week!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Muse - The Resistance

Rory says - The resistance barometer has gone up, way up this week... back on the mill today I turned up the wick towards the end of my power hour and enjoyed the ride. It's funny how you can suddenly see the light and make things happen if you remove the boundaries that limit your performances.

For anyone trying to make those changes please consider what you can change to make you refix your horizon and let me know if you are/are not making headway on your training. I am really interested in hearing how your training works for you - email .

Anyway off my soapbox and I have my 12 week macrocycle planned up to the Luton Marathon (what a drab target eh?) which includes the Enigma Track Marathon and my favourite Round Rotherham 50 miler. Who knows from there but October is already blasting away...

Watch this space for updates...

Living for the Weekend - Hard Fi

Jen says... this is a pick of me running up and down the steps of the Cardiff Millennium Stadium at the weekend - I did enjoy it honest...

My feet seem to be gradually improving with the new treatment - probably need a few more days before the full effects... they should be royally put to the test this weekend - a double 47-miler training weekend for my M2M attempt next year. Yeouch! I am finally listening to the expert and doing some training at 70% HRM which is KILLING me! Still, did 10 miles yesterday and an hour today and my legs feel fresher than ever - think the calf guards are helping too.

Quick one today as we haven't finished before 9/10pm in some time so I'm determined to watch some League of Gentlemen or 24 this evening:-))

One final note, does anyone know of anybody/company that could build an all-singing and dancing human hamster wheel???!!! More to follow on this one...;-)

Monday, 4 October 2010

Taio Cruz - Dynamite

It felt like dynamite yesterday as I got the biggest perverbial boot up the backside I have had in some time and it took me ages to get off to sleep following yesterday's Mablethorpe Marathon. And on a sunny day here in the East Midlands it was easy to go out and stretch the old legs in the warm early autumn sunshine.

The best part was 'conkering' with Pearl... this is an age old tradition of mine that all of my children have enjoyed or is that endured and we collected no-end off one of the biggest Horse Chestnuts in Breaston, only to go and plant them our flower tubs hoping for some germination before next spring.

Somehow the thought of planting mental seeds and aligning life and training to the propagation seems quite apt right now. I am back jogging tomorrow and starting the process of focussing on Rotherham... now there's a thought and more tomorrow...

I am off to fill in my 12 week macrocycle!

Celebrate - Madonna

Jen says... didn't he do WELL?!! I knew he could do it, but on the back of an 80-miler weekend I was somewhat nervous about how Rory's legs would bare up. I should have known better - think I have competition for the Round Rotherham now...;-)

3:41:06, 77th overall, 28th in category... and it was nearly 20 mins quicker than his last. Simply awesome...

I have managed 3 runs on the trot which is a miracle for me over the past 5 months so I also have something to celebrate! Only 3rd yesterday, an event which I should have won really but stupidly decided a 5km the day before wouldn't have any impact... I'll never learn!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Emma's Imagination - Focus

What a truly remarkable day and one I will remember for some time I am sure for a number of reasons. Now for those of you that know me, you will know just how much I detest running in the rain. So how on earth did I ever get to the Mablethorpe Marathon this morning, considering the last 24hrs of torrential rain. It would have been far too easy to stay in bed orto have turned round when I had a flat tyre on the way but somehow I was driven on against all the odds to get my sorry butt to the start line. (BTW - I even forgot my race number and only lined up with a couple of minutes in hand) Everything pointed at this being a 5hr nightmare for yours truly.

But right from the start, it just went like a dream... it's probably the best, most awful marathon I have ever done. Best because of my 3hrs 41mins 04seconds time and worst because of the rain (obviously) and a very ordinary marathon along deserted country roads that just went on and on in the middle of nowhere. Not that I am moaning, it just wasn't the most inspirational of Marathons. But who cares, it's my quickest marathon for 11 years and 15th fastest ever. I am so pleased. And at 6.30pm I am still wearing my Booster Socks... they were ace!

It's an amzing feeling, especially as I nearlt didn't do it. What today has taught me is that even after 660 marathons, it's all down to training (thanks to Coach Salter) and mental approach to taking oneself to the limits of human endurance. I certainly learned a lot today and can improve on where I am right now, I'm sure of that.

And if you have preconceptions about something, dismiss them as you never know what might just go your way... its a remarkableday for me today.

Watch this space... I am going to try even harder, so bring it on...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Open Your Mind - Illuminati Symbolism

Well, I have to face the facts - Compression Socks WORK... whether it's physical or a psychological thing, who cares as my legs were hurty little devils after yesterday's Power Hour and after the previous couple of days 'Hours', they weren't.

That's enough research for me... and tomorrow I will run my 661st marathon at Mablethrope, to give the Booster Socks a 42195 metre road-test.

Actually, it's been a test for me today as Jenny is away competing in Cardiff at 'The Survival of the Fittest' and I have used today as a rest and an opportunity to catch up and Carboload. I feel like a total lazy lump! My experience tells me that by 8 miles tomorrow, I will be feeling a lot better and warmed up, although I hope the torrential rain forecast is more than a slight turnoff I can tell you.

Having never been to Mablethorpe I hope I am in for a nice surprise and will Race Report here tomorrow. Picture says it all eh?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Freestylers - Weekend Song

Jen says... well it's the end of the week and it ends with an MdS focus - Rory and I have posted our entry forms and our good friend Lou Brockman has just got through the waiting list and had her place confirmed - fantastic! We have another great tent lined up this year and am really looking forward to it (although I distinctly remember saying, on DAY 1 this year no less, that I would never do it again)!! Hmmm, why is it you never remember the painful bits....

Still, on the foot front the tea seems to be working so I am now soaking both in tea and taping the left foot only for training/races... should be a good test this weekend as I'm doing Survival of the Fittest and so will be fully immersed in water on the way around... and no I'm not talking about the horrendous forecast for the weekend but about the distinctly wet obstacles en route...

Have a great weekend everyone - back on Monday, hopefully with my feet intact, or at worse still attached...

Rain - The Cult

Rory says:- On a day of torrential rain up here in the East Midlands, there was a wonderful ray of sunshine thus morning when my old pal Andy McMenemy called. In a week where I have been speaking and challenging others about their commitment and desire to fulfill their dreams and ambitions, it was good to get some encouragement of my own as well in being given a nudge myself on what I am doing and where I am going next.

That's the beauty of knowing someone like Andy... A real energy giver, not taker. He did make me think though and rather than sit back and wait for Sunday's Mablethorpe Marathon to happen, I thought it was time to get another hour in on the mill and take a challenge to a challenge. It did hurt and it was real hard but as Mr. M so rightly says 'Great achievements only come from dedication to task and pure hard work withenthusiasm', just my motto.

There's a lot to live up to here, so I am going to take time out to put this in place and make it real.

Thanks Andy -