Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Let's Go - The Cars

Makes you wonder eh? Fancy people wanting to open shops on Christmas Day... whatever next?

Let's hope the Christmas Day Trading Act 2004 will hold this notion at bay for as long as possible and keep it as a 'special day'.

As far as I can see by the huge amount of sales this year we don't need added time to shop as there simply isn't enough cash to go round. I remember as a lad in Stratford-upon-Avon that Wednesday was half-day closing day... apparently Tesco's best sales day is now Sunday... and can you imagine them closing early one day a week? Hmm...

Let's hope that we can keep some of our traditions in 2012...

Saturday, 24 December 2011

TV is King - The Tubes

There was a time when TV was great and best of all there was the ground-breaking and totally awesome 'The Sweeney'. An education for a young man of 14 I can tell you and even now it's still showing on ITV4, it's plain brilliant.

Regan and especially Carter were huge heroes on mine, and it's was a breaking ground for many a young actor including Karl Howman or 'Jacko' as he became in the 80's sitcom, Brushstrokes'... as in today's programme.

Makes you wonder what will stand the test of time for today's programmes as Christmas looks rather bleak on the old box this year for new shows, apart from the very funny 'Outnumbered' perhaps in an otherwise dire schedule.

The only bright spot is that the hours of viewing will be topped up by The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and the odd Good life and Porridge, which makes me think that the 'Golden Age of TV was probably 1975... as it was for music imo.

1975 Christmas number 1 was Bohemian Rhapsody... see what I mean!

Anyway, let's hope we can keep the rest of Christmas as traditional as possible eh? and we hope you have a very enjoyable one...

Merry Christmas from Rory and Jen...

Friday, 23 December 2011

Get Ready - New Order

My word Christmas has come round quickly this year... and it's always surprising that although we know when it is each year it has arrived at 100 miles an hour... There has to be an easier way to get ready for the festive period, or is that the fun part?

Cardiff was chocka earlier today and full of party groups out presumably on their last day of work before the break, they certainly looked happier than most of the shoppers I saw. They looked rather strained IMO.

Anyway, it's finally stopped raining and there's no chance of a White Christmas in these parts but I am looking forward to the break as we haven't stopped during the past few months and it will be good to get some local running in, especially on the hills.

Are you running over Christmas?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Change - The Lightning Seeds

I was thinking today of all the best presents that we had when we were kids and there really were some big highlights at Christmas which included Subbuteo and Scalextric... Toys of the Gods IMO which gave hours and hours of fun, unlike the modern toys that are now available at miserable toy outlets such as Toys R Us or should I say Toys ain't Us, more We R Rubbish. What a terrible shopping experience!

Nothing will ever compare with 'The Midland Educational' shop of Stratford-upon-Avon's High Street or a trip to Hamleys when we were little back in the 60's. The magic has simply... gone, as has Santa. Pearl at 6 already knows that it's all lies and wants to know the truth! Maybe there's another 12 months in it but it's doubtful... and it's a bit sad really.

Wii and DS will never take the place of old style Lego or Airfix and let's pray that you will always be able to get hold of a Spitfire Mk1 1/72 kit as every boy needs to have had a go at one, it's part of growing up.

Maybe, I will get one myself this year to relive my youth... well here's hoping anyway as I did put it on my list and I have been a good boy!

What's Santa bringing you?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Name of the Game - Abba

We have seen a Morgan, Keaton, Mason and believe me not, even a d'Artagnan (no doubt spelt Dartagnan) today in my 'Terrible Names for Children Part II Blog'. What is it with people and these AWFUL names for kids? It makes me cringe! My extensive research shows that the 'chavier' it gets, the names get worse!

Taylor and Harrison as you know are pet hates for any child and their middle initials of ADH and D seems to be a natural progression for these poor kids.

I am not sure where these names even came from, perhaps they are Brittany and Ryan mutations? I wish they would go away, along with the Madisons and Paris' of this world. It's time to have tighter government control on having stupid names for kids and make sure that names are spelt correctly and are only chosen from an approved list with the obvious exceptions.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Day Tripper - The Beatles

No wonder the nation is in crisis, especially at the Passports Office as I saw the worst case of their personnel usage by them having an employee pointing people to the next available position at Bristol Airport today. I mean are people THAT STUPID?

Even the Post Office have worked out the 'Cashier Number 1 Please' or 2 or 3 etc... I think they ought to get someone in to sort them out...

As do easyJet with their 'Speedy Boarding' ... which was far from 'Speedy' and gave the people who paid (we didn't but claimed for Speedy on Salter's dodgy feet) for the privilege a massive 30 seconds start up the steps onto the plane... talk about a dismal experience.

Let's hope that some Christmas cheer shines thru the gloom of December... and hopefully someone will give me my own Room 101 for Christmas where these as well as good old Lenny and Dawn will become no more...

Here's hoping...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Conquer the World - Energy

Conquer the World and that's just what Jenny did today on a very cold track in Barcelona. The 206km target set prior to the event would put her 4th in the GB rankings to go to Poland in next year's World Championship Event and subject to confirmation she passed that by a staggering 500 metres... phew!

The Spanish actually did an amazing job of staging every type of running event possible during the day using different lanes of the track. Our 437.70 metre lane made for some interesting if not complicated correlations as to how far to go and on how many laps had been completed. My biggest fear of the night was for a Spanish power cut and data loss... but it didn't and the people were so supportive. I would imagine most runners are still buzzing from the amount of Rola Cola they have consumed over the past 24hrs. Boy did they drink gallons of that.

It was nice for me to run with the leaders for my 97 laps to get yet another marathon clocked up and I must say I was most glad to stop at that stage... little did I know how many more miles I would cover to make sure Jenny was, fed, watered, humoured, pushed, kicked and clapped to an amazing run, proving that she is in fact a 'World Class Athlete'..

Right now?... she's a World Class Sleeper and I am looking into buying some jockey wheels so that I can get her mobilised for the trip home.

12 hour Champion and 24hr Runner-up... my word the Girl did well and I am most proud.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Roundabout - YES

I said I wouldn't do a track marathon again this year or more like EVER but tomorrow's 24hr Track Race in Barcelona gets me doing just that, what was I thinking and how did I get conned into this one? Anyway it will be a lot easier for me jogging away 42.2km in 4 to 5 hrs than Jenny's task of 209km+ to get a qualifying place in next year's World Championships. Yikes!

And warm it's not and actually it's a bit brrrreezzzyy to say the least in the quietest city in Europe... if we think the shops are quiet in the UK, they are incredibly dead here.

The other thing I have noticed is that I am very TALL here! The locals are quite a lot smaller than me... it's more like Lilliput than Catalunya or is it my heels.... Anyway...

How we both fair from tomorrow midday to midday Sunday, well no-one can guess as we have done bugger-all training but then again that might be a bonus as we are both totally chilled as far as a Salter can get before a race. She'll be going for it for sure anyway and I will encourage her as much as her backside can take the pounding of my size 11 to get her over the 210km she needs.

It would finish off a great year for her... and her Coach :-)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Who are you? - The Who

I am pretty much on the pulse when it comes to Music and Entertainment but I am surprised that some of the so called entertainers we are being exposed to this Christmas leave me very cold and also are really quite useless.

The first case is Michael Buble or Michael Bubble as I call him... he is just so cheesy and who can say that they actually likes this guy?

And my second exhibit is Justin Bieber, who looks about 12 years old and hopefully has a career that finishes the day he starts shaving... Simon Cowell must have bought all of his records personally to get him this far.

The problem is that whilst we are being exposed to new artists like T-Pain singing 5 o'clock with Lily Allen (possibly the worst song I have ever heard), Bubble and Bebo will continue to rule the airwaves.

Are Coldplay the best we can offer in return?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Haircut 100 - Fantastic Day

I thought the 'Combover' hairstyle was long gone but I saw umpteen today at Hopwood Services on the M42 when a wrinkly bus turned in and a grey tidal wave of men busily coiffuring their locks in the strong winds with combs, pulled up.

Some of them were not really worth having as they contained just a few strands of hair that I think Robert Robinson would have approved of.

Thank heavens Bobby Charlton finally saw the light and went for the clippered look, I know 'cos I met him and I am going to keep my hairdresser (Jenny) with the clippers firmly set on number 1. It's certainly not for me...

Do you know anyone that has their armpit hair scraped up & over? Bet you do...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Cold - The Pines

Thank heavens for Lemsip I say... as the colds and coughs seem to be coming to the ULTRArace Team, (more Jenny really as I am a lot, lot tougher of course!!!), it's been time to reach out for the all remedy cold answer.

I reckon you could do major operations and cure many other common complaints using these bad boys, and yes I know they only have paracetamol and some flavouring in them but somehow, they seem to work and make the world a better place.

Anyone else got any good cold and cough remedies?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Plastic Age - Buggles

When did the plastic things on the Supermarket conveyor belt become the from? And why on earth do we need them? It's a bit like those adverts on petrol pump nozzles telling us there's a 'meal deal' on Coke, Crisps and a High Fat Sandwich at your local petrol station...

It's so funny how things become the norm and I can remember going to Chicago in 1999 and going into Starbucks for the first time being stuck on what the hell to order as all I wanted was a coffee... not a frappacheeserbollockacanainabrownwhite16ozmediumlargetogodrinkinaddyourownmilkandwaitforsomeonetopaywithableedingcardtypeway!!!

Breathes in... We are making life far too hard... a simple coffee or a tea like it used to be and shops that sold one type of thing was a lot simpler and kept the economy going. At this rate there will only be the dreaded 'T' shop left and we will then have to put all our worldly goods between plastic dividers and we will all be on Tescoffee for ther rest of our days...

More tomorrow... I'm off to down the corner shop...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Tiger Feet - Mud

Not so Tiger Feet and more Mud actually as we went out on the new 'Canton Canter' fact finding mission today. I can't say that I was too enthused at the start of the run but we were quickly running alongside The Millennium Stadium and out through the docks passing The Welsh Assembly buildings. The new developments along Cardiff Bay are simply stunning and make a great impression on me early on in the run.

From there past the lovely Penarth, with some of the best and worst houses in Wales and it was uphill for AGES until we hit more hills and MUD, quagmires of the darn stuff and then more hills until we found a newly marked footpath which was also on our OS map but blocked off by the M4! We did a 180 here and found our way round to connect again with the planned Taff Trail route back to Pembroke Road and a warm bath.

It's a tough run... in fact, a very tough run and maybe I have to consider people's ability before taking my clients out on it.

More tomorrow from Yaaarrrrrrkkkkkkkksshire. Yes I get around you know...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cuddly Toy - Roachford

I saw the 2012 London Olympic Games Mascots today in town and ended up asking how many 'Wenlocks' had been sold in good old John Lewis ... after looking on their computer, the assistant said 21... to which I am amazed as it's a bit rubbish really. The other one is called Mandeville, if you were wondering...

Looking at it, it's hardly a World Cup Willie from 1966 or a cuddly Russian Winter Olympics 2014 Mascot, Cheburashka. Un-endearing is how I would describe it and possibly only Lord Seb thinks it's a good idea... let's hope I don't get one for Christmas as I can't possibly ever get to an age where they are worth a fortune on Ebay in the future...

Although having only sold 21... it might already be worth a bomb...hmm, I am off to John Lewis to get me a bargain.

Bet you want one now?

More tomorrow...

Friday, 2 December 2011

Quiet Life - Japan

Ahhh.... and RELAX... yes it's all over and we are now firmly based in central Cardiff, in lovely Wales... 'Land of my Fathers'. Well Granddad anyway although he was from nearby Barry. I must say that it's been a lot of hard work but we are finally all straight and ready for action... in good old ARAF!

I'm not too sure if you will ever see me in the Scarlet shirt or singing a 'bad hand at scrabble' at the Millennium Stadium against the not so 'Mighty Whites'... but for the time being ULTRArace is as Welsh as Jenny... how much more Welsh can you get eh?

So the next few weeks including the Christmas period will be a good time to get to really know my new neighbourhood and possibly progress off the TOM TOM to go from LL to GH (that's an A to Z, Welsh joke) and find some new and challenging long distance routes to run and train on.

Dyddia Da...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Computer World - Kraftwerk

In this digital age of ours I must say that I am looking forward to getting back online with Virgin down in Wales as we have really struggled with the Old BT Network up here in Derbyshire. Talk about S L O W... last night even Sir Alan Sugar was interrupted so much it took three re-loads of the I-player for him to say '
Y....ou are f...i re...d!' It's really annoying...

It's bloody annoying actually as we are meant to have a 10mb download speed and it never really gets out of first gear and peaks at 4000 revs. How can BT offer a 40MB service?...hmm don't think I  will be going for that baby. Sir Michael up at the Hall who has a better speed than us on BT kicked that idea into touch straight away.

No, we are heading for Richard Branston and his super highway with limitless MB's without nasty emails at the end of the month (please) saying that we have once again gone over our limit.

It's all been a bit cheeky really...

How on earth is the 4G network ever going to work around the country, if we can't even receive a call in our own home in the middle of the UK?... Come on you communications companies, pull your finger out! If it can be done in Cardiff, it can be done anywhere or perhaps Wales is the new centre of the universe... if it is, then we are heading to the right place...


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Drive - The Cars

We have been putting more miles in on the motorway than in training over the last couple of weeks... A daily running and gym routine for both Jenny and myself is totally out of the window right now. Although the sheer amount of physical activity and amount of pure hard work is keeping us in shape and one marathon a week is keeping the wolf from the door for me right now.

Fitting exercise around a busy life-event, such as moving, can be a real nightmare. I am thinking of it as a really positive break in my training and a useful rest.

At the end of this week, when we are finally in Cardiff, I can get back to some proper training again as everything we own is now a fresh shade of Magnolia!!!

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

DIY - Peter Gabriel

No wonder DIY shops are going out of business and it does make me wonder how IKEA ever manage to keep going as I am flabbergasted at the amount of different jobs I have had to do/fix/make and ok yes Screw together in the last couple of weeks. You need a Quantum Physics degree to get some of the jobs done... that and lots of physical AND emotional endurance... Took me 4 hrs to put a curtain pole up in a bay window last night and I know what I am doing!!!

Yes, moving must be a real bugger if you are no good with a brush and a screwdriver. And we are a mile from being anything like a Kevin McCloud, Grand Design job... as we are keeping it really simple. The only hard factor really is the 167 mile trip with a trailer which has seen Miss Salter behind the wheel with Yorkie Bar in hand... well for a split second anyway.

One more good trip and we're done... yes it's only one more battle with a few curtain poles, a couple of light fittings and a washing machine to go before I have the December ULTRArace Newsletter to get underway. My how we live, 'spose I had better DIY that too!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Move it - Cliff Richard

Useful Map...
Well I reckon we are half way there to being moved. And right now and it feels like we have one foot still left in England and one firmly planted in Wales, it's a 167 mile step forwards! A couple more trips and we'll be there are hopefully by the end of the month we will finally be in settled in ARAF.

It will also mean that we can get back to training and planning our 2012 season... running right now is limited to just marathons and not much in between... I am really looking forward to some peace and quiet, especially with Christmas coming up.

Another bash up the M5 awaits tomorrow... nice... is anyone else moving right now?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

School - Supertramp

I had my annual email today from my old school friend Jeanette Davey today as it's time for our school reunion... made even more poignant as it's our 50th birthdays this year. It's a frightening thought as it's 38 years since I left Broad Street School and it's some time since I saw my old school friends. I'm really looking forward to seeing them once again...

It seems like yesterday and I have great memories of being there and really loved my old school days. I wonder what my daughter Pearl (6) would make of my primary school of the 60's. Hers is very different and they have some innovative methods of teaching pupils with differing educational needs - we were more of the one size fits all brigade.

Makes you wonder if her generation will be better prepared for adult-hood eh? We'll know in 40+ years...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Paint it Black - The Rolling Stones

Well it's been a very busy few days getting our Cardiff base ready for our move their at the end of the month and I can tell you that I never want to see a tin of Magnolia paint EVER AGAIN! Who on earth invented the stuff? There must be stockpiles of it in giant magnolia banks around the UK to meet the demand from builders and homeowners who are 'doing up' their properties.

Along the way, we have found the most confusing DIY shop... in the world in the shape of B&Q, Hadfield Road, Cardiff which seems to have little concept of having similar items such as paint, all down one aisle rather than littered around the store. It's like that in ALL of it's sections. I need one of their people to guide me round whenever we go in there.

Thank heavens the painting is complete now... my hands are as rough as sandpaper!

Let's hope, with a couple more trips, we will hopefully be installed in ARAF and things can get back to abnormal...

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

Time for action now after the big 700 up and I am back on the case with my power-hours on the treadmill. It's sweat and tears without the blood (hopefully) as I get myself back into shape after so many recent events. If you are in a similar place where you have peaked for races, you'll know where I am right now.

Getting your butt moving and re-energised is certainly not an easy prospect especially in the dark winter months... hopefully the hibernation will be a good one and I will emerge as that fit 50 year old I have set as my goal for the 2012 season.

Anyway... nose to the grindstone tomorrow and another step small step for Rorykind.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Radio GaGa - Queen

Well I hit the heady heights of BBC Radio Derby again today talking to Aleena Naylor about my specialist subject... Marathon running. No surprise there but it was a really refreshing interview for me as the presenter was more than interested in my story as she is also going thru a similar process herself.

Funny how something really matters to someone as soon as it's relevant and personal to them as well as you...

Maybe I will get Aleena to come and take part in one of our races one day or even just come along to experience the buzz of the finish line so that she can continue with her rise to fitness.

Who knows, anything is possible...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pretty Vacant - The Pistols

It's funny how new companies starting up and try and break the rules that the established companies have previously been following. Take Ben n Jerry's Ice Cream as an example... in 1977 it set up it was a simple approach to Ice Cream and even took on and won a famous court battle with Häagen-Dazs before seeing the $'s and selling out to Unilever in 2000. What a shame for such a dynamic brand...

Well now it seems that easyJet are now going to charge for seat allocations and are looking to get more upmarket people to pay more for their seats, hence moving out of the ecomony airline sector. I wonder if Stelios would have done that in the early days of his business... it's not so easyJet now, more like pricyJet!

We'll see Johnny Rotten advertising butter next on TV...

Money talks it seems...

Monday, 14 November 2011

Clocks - Coldplay

When will the people who are in charge of whatever goes on in our world get things sorted out. It was nearly dark just after three in Long Eaton today. I was on my way to get Pearl just as the gates opened from Long Eaton School letting out their mass of children, a great many whom were cycling home in...
  • Dark Blue Uniform
  • Without Helmets
  • Without Lights.
It was pure chaos... the children were simply out of control and an accident waiting to happen. What the chuff is their school thinking about...

I did call them and point the fact out but the Deputy Head, Mr Hunt, has yet to contact me back. I'm not being a busy body but there has already been a fatality near their school crossing in recent years. Please don't tell me it's the school's fault. It is... if they insist on the above to cycle to school at least the little monkeys I saw free-styling down the street will live to see another day.

Oh... and sort out the daylight saving once and for all.

More from my soap-box tomorrow. Hopefully Mr Hunt will have his cyclists sorted out by then eh?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Stadium Archadium - Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Poor old Seb's been at it again and Olympic chiefs have apologised after the historic military ship HMS Belfast was airbrushed out of an official poster for the London 2012 Festival. Andy Smith, chief executive of the UK National Defence Association, said it had been "extraordinarily insensitive" particularly in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday. Oh er! They are on a hiding to nothing... again.

The image of the warship, now based near Tower Bridge, was removed by designers from an aerial photograph of the River Thames because it clashed with some words on the advert.

It's a shame as HMS Belfast is one of my favourite London Sights and well worth a visit. How on earth they lived and fought aboard it, I will never be able to comprehend... fancy airbrushing it out...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Running all over the World - Status Quo

As I reach the 700 marathon target on Saturday (bit of a hurty knee, if I am being honest), it gets you looking back at some of the highlights of my 17 years of running. MdeS is obviously up there along with the gruelling 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race... as is my 3:24:21 Pb on my 15th marathon at the long lost Borders Marathon in Suffolk.

For me it's been the amazing people and now 'forever friends' that I have met along the way.

If you know me well and read this, you know who you are... 21,000 miles done so far and plenty more in the tank.

From here, well... I am trying to get to1000... that would be a brilliant life time target to achieve. Let's hope my hurty knee gets better eh?

Monday, 7 November 2011

News of the World - Queen

Here is the News...

It's official, a 90 minute run burns 800 - 1200 calories, it must be it's on MSN. Apparently it's good for fitness, weight-loss and toning. That's the level of the news today... As we await Michael Jackson's Doctors fate and wonder how the residents of Scarborough will get Gary Barlow back for criticising Scarborough, is this the best the press has to offer?

Yes, it's a dark Monday in November... and that means that there is bugger all going on... and we are all looking forward just over six weeks to the dreaded 'C' word.

My word it's a bit depressing...

Let's hope that there is something to cheer us up with later in the week, it's all bad news right now.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

United - Judas Priest

Well, I went to 'The Theatre of Dreams' yesterday aka 'Old Trafford' with son Sam. It really is an experience and also one hell of a long day out for just 90 mins of Premier League football. There must be something in it though as we were one of over 75,000 people there to see United beat Sunderland 1-0.

The mass feeling in the crowd is just fascinating and the people at the ground are just a complete spectrum of all shapes, sizes and creeds. For instance we had Lovejoy just in front of us and as we left we saw fans who are simply barking insane, talk about bizarre.

People watchers, I think that this is the place for you... it's probably better then the game!

Ah, the game... It was brillaint to watch especially as Ferguson celebrated 25 years as a manager. As you would expect, Rooney was simply awesome, head and shoulders above the other 21 players... no wonder he is so well paid.

To think these boys are finished at 33, if your name is Rio Ferdinand (not very good, yesterday), makes your mind boggle. At 49, I am still marathon running and didn't start until I was 31... wouldn't have done too many too many marathons if I'd stopped then eh?

Thank heavens for ULTRAs.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd

I was in London yesterday on some ULTRArace sponsorship meetings in and near the city. My word it's getting even busier in the smoke... also it's getting a whole new landscape of architecture. It's amazing that when I was a lad the silly old yanks bought The Old London Bridge thinking it was Tower Bridge and we thought of that and possibly St Paul's Cathedral as the Icons of the city.

Canary Wharf, Guerkin, London Eye, Strata Tower and now The Walkie Talkie (Shard Tower) are the new landmarks that we are now thinking of as we enter the Capital...

Oh how times are changing!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Steam - Peter Gabriel

Got the steam up today back on a 'Power-Hour' on the treadmill in the gym and feel brilliant for the opportunity to get proper sweated up running at a good tempo. It must be as a result of a good few days rest and watching some great athletes over the weekend on our 'JOGLE Ultra' Tester weekend.

It's a good omen for me as right now I'm in the middle of my marathon number crunching period where training is not really too much of an option between 26.2+ milers. The Rutland Marathon and Druids Challenge Triple Ultra cannot happen soon enough so my training can come back on-line and I can get really fit for 2012.

A really want a good MdeS and possible GUCR145 as well so I need to get my skates on later this month... Do you?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

SHoka'd by the Power - Kylie Minogue

Ha! I love them! It's like running with springs attached to your feet...What a great invention... a couple of comments - the heel tabs are far too high so they have already been lopped off, and sizing is unfortunately like every other female trainer on the market - FAR TOO NARROW. Still, I'm in 7.5 (a size bigger than my other trainers) and they are just about ok. I tried on the 8 in the shop but it was just longer with no extra width. Why are women's shoes always so narrow?

I had a lovely chat with Katherine on the way - she is ace and I think she'll do well in JOGLE. She has the right strategy and a great mental attitude. She is also wearing Hokas (we looked like the tweeny twins), but the mens' version. Wise move as they are wider - think I would have done the same if they had had my size!

So, the verdict so far is they are great. I don't think I would do all my running in them because they are so spongy I think they would probably aggravate my achilles, but for an addition to the collection they are fabulous, just a tad pricey atm even with my generous discount from Derby Runner.

I'm now in the car helping Rory and escaping the cold (it's bitter out there!)... Rory thinks I'll hop out again for another 10 miler but I'm thinking I quite like it in the warm :-)

The Lamb lies down on Broadway - Genesis

Six of our JOGLERs are with us this weekend to have a go at two days of the JOGLE Ultra course in preparation for next year's event. Katherine, Phil, Tom, Tim, Sean and Ian are running a couple of back-to-back 47 milers as a bootcamp weekend.

Jenny is out there too, wearing her (S)Hoka shoes, along with Katherine to road test 'em for the next newsletter (you can guess what I think already!).

The lambs have already fallen into the 'too fast' approach and it's a good job that David Miles, our JOGLE Ultra Veteran is here to help...

More later...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison

What's the world coming to when they are letting women box at the Olympics, Seb Coe, what are you thinking. Now, I'm not adverse to a bit of Women's Mud Wrestling or Beach Volleyball but Boxing? Sorry, I prefer my women without boxing gloves and gum shields thanks. And yes, I know women are equal to men and they can do whatever men can do they want but per-lease, this is getting ridiculous...

More ridiculous is that they are being asked to Box in skirts! Whoever came up with that one? Apparently it's to make them look more feminine when they fight... Maybe the men should wear them too... I reckon Audley Harrison has for years. Maybe my mate, Andy Chapman, should follow suit with his boxing bout in February.

C'mon mate, Man-up, get your skirt on! Go with your handbag...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Sound of Bread - Bread

Have you ever tried giving up your daily slice of yummy bread? I have now for about 10 days (it might be longer but I have lost count and lost the will to live) and I must admit to really missing my doorstep sized butties.

It's all part of yet another personality test, I am sure... it's me versus my resolve, just as it was with cigarettes, alcohol and even dare I say, Walkers Salt & Vinegar Crisps (the hardest of the lot to do, I add).

How long it will last, who knows... some of my abstentions are nearly 18 years old, so watch this space. All I do know is that I feel a lot less bloaty without all that supermarket loaf rising agent in me. The only 'good' bread is Sir Michael's Own. We'll see how good I am resisting that one very soon no doubt.

What do you like far too much, that you don't allow yourself to have?

More tomorrow...

Monday, 24 October 2011

Let's get ready to rumble - PJ and Duncan

The trouble with marathon number bashing is that it doesn't do your training any good. Even though I am really pleased with my recent times and am enthused about getting meaner and faster over 26.2 or 26.2+ miles - there is only SO much you can recover until your next big run.

In my case... Thursday this week and a 25 people only race in Staffordshire courtesy of David Bayley.

It will be later in the year when I get time to re-appraise my training and get myself back into shape for a good go at 2012.

I'm looking forward to it as well, and that's what really counts... bring it on!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Close to the Edge - Yes

It was yesterday as we ran right long the edge of Beachy Head in the marathon. I must say that I really enjoyed the day out and only 7 days after the RRR50 I still managed my best time on this course by 8 minutes clocking a 4:35:40. Nowhere near Slaterchops 3:54 but a very good for me at this stage of my season as that's 28 marathons this year.

Even better than the running was the stopover at JOGLE chef Ann White's house, with post race jacuzzi, I hasten to add. Never have the legs and stomach felt so good after a race.

More hill training for me and I can get a lot nearer that 4hr mark next year on this one I believe.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sleepwalk - ULTRAvox

If you can't sleep, you can get loads done... well that's what I found out on a night of insomnia brought on trying to sleep next to Jenny doing her Sally Gunnell hurdling impersonations. Talk about legs going everywhere. And you know what it's like - once you are awake, there's nothing you can do about it.

Also at 3am there's not much to distract you, apart from old re-runs of The Professionals and Nightcops - it seems that insomniacs are obsessed by the Police? They can't be interested in much as nothing else is on...

By 11am, I had done my day... finished my accounts and had even started helping with the VAT, that I had promised to do. Tonight, I'm going hurdling... and Jen's getting up at 3am... well I can dream. The Queen of the Morning was meant to be up at 7am on a hill session... Even I knew that wouldn't happen!

More tomorrow from our Beachy Head Marathon prep!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Let there be love - Simple Minds

Pearl came out with a blinder last night playing an on-line spelling game. When asked to spell Bridge she put Brij. Not a simple mistake but a well considered attempt using her phonetically focused mind. It did get me thinking that we spend an awful amount of time wondering how to spell words and get caught out more than often with some of the nastier words we choose you say rather than use.

The i before e, except after c is in fact wrong as there are more words with them arranged e before I than there are following the rule.

So I reckon Pearl (6) has a good point... who cares how it's written as long as it makes sense. I got phonetically (nearly got it) and focused (put 2 s's) wrong but you still would have understood what I had written. Maybe it's time to edit our language... maybe time to get the Cissors out and make some cut-backs.

Wot do u think?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Kick - INXS

Just shows you how things during a 50 miler can go from bad, to worse, to great all in the space of 10 hours or so. Yes, I am referring to the Rollercoaster ride of Rowbotham's Round Rotherham 50 miler.

I woke at 4am feeling decidedly duff and to be honest would have gone back to bed but when you tell folk that you are going to do a race and you a bit under the spot-light, well you just have to get on and do it. I felt a lot worse at 35 miles and had a few minutes out to cool down in a park.

Talk about relief... and it did me wonders. I had to overtake lots of people I had already passed and ran all the way to the finish. So not a bad one really and I re-learned to not listen to my negative thoughts and thanks to my walkman for keeping me going. Tunes always help I've found.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Roundabout - YES

It's been very exciting today, and you might remember that Jenny and I went and ran the 48 mile Round the Rock ULTRA on Jersey earlier this year. Well we liked the whole race that much that we are making it part of the UK ULTRArace Championship next year. Don't get me wrong, it's not our race and we are not organising it - we just loved the race and it's a great way of supporting the race and it's organisers by encouraging runners from the mainland to go and take part.

It's an ace race...

As is RRR50 where I am tomorrow... if you are running please say hello. Hopefully my legs are up to 50 miles out in the sun!

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton

Keppel's Column
Well it's 50 miles really that I am thinking about on Saturday at Rowbotham's Round Rotherham. Been there done it and got the T-Shirt loads of times but it really matters every year this one. It's always a great indication of my fitness especially as I head into my winter training.

Last year's 9.52 will be a bit of a bugger to emulate but try I will to get somewhere near that sort of time. I ran with Chris Whistler in 2010 and with his post M2M ULTRA legs feeling tired, we should be a good match for getting round, especially as I know the route. There will be no passengers running ahead in the last mile for glory this year...oh no!

Oh and no lost leaders whinging when they have gone the wrong way after just a couple of miles... As ever, we'll see but I am looking forward to a good day out with my mate!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Let you fingers do the walking - Neil Young

We got our Yellow Pages today thru our letter box today. And it's just over A5 in size... another sign of modern day cut backs I'm sure. Now I worked on yellow pages back in the 80's as one of my first ever jobs (£1.75 per hour, I hasten to add), and Yellow Pages was a huge operation back then. It really was the source of all company information and EVERYBODY who was ANYBODY had a listing... I drew the adverts that went from Skip-hire adverts to Loft converters... in a studio with six people used Cowgum to stick down the text. By the end of the day, we were all high as a kite. Heady days!

Thirty years on and our Yellow Pages went straight in the bin and if I want to know where to get my loft converted or hire a skip, I will let my fingers do the 'tapping' and search the interweb to find a local service that we might need.

Only upside is that it's easier to tear in half nowadays...

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Knowledge - Operation Ivy

Just how much information are we mean't to know nowadays and how much do we have to 'Google' is a coversation that Jenny and I had today (oh how we live it up!). But it's so true... discuss anything and if you need the info all you do is get out your iPhone and 'Google' away. For instance I already know that Mt Everest is 8850m high but if you didn't believe me or wanted to check me out you could 'Google' Mt Everest and Wiki would give you that info - thing is why bother to learn in the first place.

The Times crossword is a lot easier when you can 'look up' the answers rather than know an obscure play or song. I mean what's wrong with not knowing but knowing where to look?'

Now when I was a lad, we had Log tables for doing our maths homework and wrote with fountain pens and used a library for researching subjects, which we then set to memory. Maybe education back then was more of a memory test and mental knowledge was power. Nowadays it's how you we get, share and store the info that is power and hence the root to success. The internet age has moneytised information and we are slaves to our extended gigabyte brains.

Where will it all end... oh hold on I'll 'Google' it...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Perfect Day - Varoius Artists

Jenny and Charlie Sharpe
More like a very long day really - but a very rewarding one for Jenny and myself at ULTRArace. It all went very much to plan and the whole day was most enjoyable to organise. The Nottingham ULTRA was awesome... good job we had our friends Andy, Katie, Rachel and Killers to give us great support at the checkpoints as well as some awesome cakes which went down very well indeed with the runners.

We were so lucky with the day and there's something special about Castle Road and the finish of this event... it's just electric at the finish line and there's a great buzz from the people watching too.

Everyone was in awe of Charlie Sharpe's amazing 3hrs and 43mins winning time... puts us all to shame... and he's only 22! And we were in awe too of Steve Smith and Trinity Booth who have run so well during our first ULTRArace Championship... enjoy it guys. You deserve it!

Now if the 194 photos have loaded, I am finally off to bed!

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Working Hour - Tears for Fears

Hemlock Stone 1910 (not ten past 7)...
More like the working 10 hours today as we put down the rest of the arrows and tape for The Nottingham ULTRA... did it rain? Of course it bloody well did... luckily the Duracell Bunny Girl ran a lot of the first part of the course and did the Papplewick section of the route in terrible running conditions. It was tough for me too trying to keep the Chevy's windows from steaming up! Talk about hard work.

The rest of the course wasn't hard work, it was just real fun to run on and as I said earlier in the week, I am gutted that I will never run this race for real as the course is just brilliant imo.

Let's see if the 150 runners think so tomorrow... more then.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Pull up to the Bumper - Grace Jones

We've been out marking The Nottingham ULTRA course today and have been wondering at times whether the people in the cars behind us are wanting to be part of our conversations. I say that because at times various drivers were just a paper's thickness behind us!

Now this might be that I am driving just within the speed limit or that I am just becoming an OAD (old aged driver)... but it's plain daft how some of the driver's we saw were going about their business. As runners, we rely on how people drive and it's totally out of our control... and that's always been a worry to me.

I think I have 8 of my 9 lives left after a narrow miss in Stratford-upon-Avon, many years ago?

Luckily, I am still not part of the 'Hi-VIZ Groovy Gang... let's hope it stays that way.

More tomorrow, from a forecasted wet day in Nottingham...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Whistler - Jethro Tull

Papplewick Pumping Station
We've been out on the Nottingham ULTRA course today spraying arrows out on the road to make sure that all you runners manage to follow the route from Blidworth to Nottingham Castle. We did a good third of the course today taking in some stunning scenery and great trail around the Burnt Stump and Papplewick area.
The route really is stunning and one I am itching to have ago at in the next couple of days. I will never be in the race itself... it can't be but it's one that really captures my imagination.

If the weather is good, it will be even better at the weekend for the 150 or so runners.

Can't tell you how much I am looking forward to the RRR50 and a day out with Mr Whistler & Co... happy days.

More tomorrow

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Enter Sandman - Metallica

We've been in Sandstorms today sadly in Morocco but up in Filey in Yarrrrkshire. Talk about dry landscape, the soils just being washed away. This place needs rain, lots of it too... maybe they can have whats in store for our Nottingham ULTRA runners at the weekend as the weather is not looking brilliant right now for Sunday.

Better news is that I can finally feel my quads following the Mablethorpe Marathon on Sunday and a few jogs will get me sorted for RRR50 in ten days time.

We are back tomorrow and route marking for the next few days... can't be bad eh?

More tomorrow...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Big Country - Big Country

My word a couple of years go by quick... and we are planning some JOGLE tester days again.

A couple of 46 milers should sort out the class of 2012. It was amazing how much this weekend helped our original JOGLE runners and how much it helped Jenny in her GWR preparations.

I will be giving some of it a go as I start to go back into some heavy training for my own 2012 events I have planned.

As for today, legs have been very hurty after yesterday's marathon and I lost a lot of skin off my bum in the gym doing sit-ups, so can't sit down too well atm!

More tomorrow...