Monday, 28 February 2011

Dizzy - Tommy Roe

I don't know what my Welsh Granddad would have thought about me running round (and round and round round and round and round .etc for another 99.4 times) his home town in Jenner Park, Barry but I know what I think! It was a bloody hard day out... yes the laps are soul destroying and somewhat lonley compounded by having just 22 runners.

A shame really as it's the oldest running race in the UK and there were some great performances there yesterday with two world records and a certain J A Salter winning the Welsh Ultra Running Championship, even beating the blokes... a right Paula eh?

Anyway... back to the laps and I was really pleased with my 3:44:25 for the 26.2 miles that I did. It was actually my 21st best marathon ever so that can't be bad. I was thru 10 in 1:18 so I can do a sub 3:30 again in my lifetime and want to have a go at this before I am 50.

I think I will have to join my local running club to do so though! Watch out Long Eaton...

More later...

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur brown

My daughter, Pearl is 6 on Tuesday and on the way to Cardiff today, evergreen Tony Blackburn was on Radio 2 doing 'Pick of the Pops' from 1968... when I too was 6. Jenny didn't know what to make of some of the songs I am sure, especially 'The Legend of Xanadu' by Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch...pure class and with whip crack no less!

I did try and explain but she also hadn't heard of Tiger Feet by Mud from '74, so I stopped trying...

Talking Tiger Feet, I'm going to need them tomorrow round the Track in Barry. I have dipped out doing the 26.2 rather than the 40 mile option but it will hopefully keep me around the same pace as the pack...well hopefully eh?

It will be a good test of my fitness and a great day out I'm sure...more tomorrow as I am off to get my stick-on side burns and back comb my hair! Now where's that whip?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Depeche Mode - ULTRA

My daughter Hannah reminded me of this one earlier today and it got me thinking about Dave Gahan who is the same age as me... looking back at the Videos he was just so clean cut and all the members of DM were all so terribly pretty as I remember...

From there, seeing him go thru a number of overdoses and self mutilations always made me feel really sad for him.

They did make great music though and they had and still have a massive global following.

I wonder if that will happen for son George with his band Toxic Federation... if anyone knows Joe Elliot or Mutt Lange btw please let me know as these boys rock! Note to son... don't do Speedballs!

More tomorrow from Carbo-loading land...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Wall - Pink Floyd

We've had a great day out on Hadrian's Wall today looking at the possibility of an off road marathon on the one of the UK's most prestigious trails... it's early days as yet with our planning and add a date of Sunday August 7th to our diary... you heard it first here!

As you can see from the picture on Flickr, the wall was just stunning in the spring sunshine and the trail is just awesome... a real runner's dream.

We went to the aptly name Wall and on thru Housesteads and onto Cawfields, which would make a great start.

We'll keep you posted on this one and fingers crossed eh?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Planet Earth - Duran Duran

Do you ever go clubbing these days?... We were talking about our 'Clubbing Days' earlier today. Mine were at a time when dry ice wasn't needed as most people smoked... also your clothes smelt terrible when you woke up the next day...

There certainly weren't 'E's back then or shots, just pints of lager to get you dancing to the latest 'New Romantic' offering... Hey those were the days...

I wonder what happens now... looking on, people get far more trollied than we ever did and it now costs a small mortgage to 'have a good night out' when it used to cost 'a fiver and still have change left over' to get pretty hammered and make a fool of yourself.

My how times change... You dancin'?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Life of Mine - Toxic Federation

I did a V02 Max 'Cooper Test' on myself today and went thru the pain barrier to predict a 3hrs 20mins marathon... yes, it hurt but it was very interesting to see where my own performance is right now before running a track marathon at the Barry 40 at the weekend.

From here till then it's resting and carbo-loading so that I can have a go at a over 40 personal best. We'll see eh?

It will be nice to have a sort of rest before then as the weekends London ULTRA has left me somewhat fatigued. So it's an early finish (2113hrs) finish in the ULTRArace office tonight and time to hang up the laptop before 2200hrs for once.

More later...

Monday, 21 February 2011

Fade to Grey - Visage

During my Power Hour on the treadmill today, I suddenly became very aware the everyone in my ield of view was wearing Grey Tracky bottoms... Whoever designed these has no idea of a) fashionable b) sizing c) wicking ability.

They are simply AWFUL imo... does anyone know when they arrived on our shores or where they came from... as I want to send them back. Don't give me the comfort, warm and cosy cheap line about them as none of this is relative to just how much I loathe the very sight of their baggy, grey appearance.

Ron Hill Tracksters are a light year more preferable and even they are old man trousers. Even I am too young for those bad boys!

Designers... have a rethink... Grey tracky bottoms are off to Room 101 and I am off to bed!

More tomorrow...

Simply the Best - Tina Turner

I don't know if we will ever be able to match this weekend's '9bar London ULTRA'... it was simply AWESOME! From the moment we opened our EXPO on Saturday, it was just the most refreshing and uplifting experiences that we had in our ULTRAraces.

If you were there, you'll know what I mean, if you weren't then you should have been...

Was it hard, well by jingo it was but then nothing comes easy does it and was it all worth it? Well yes it was as the finish line once again proved to be THE place to be on a Sunday in Wembley!

The next race is in Grantham in two weeks and if you are looking at entering the Cardiff ULTRA or ULTRArace 100, then get your entry in as we are nearly full.

More tomorrow post sleep! If I can...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Down in the Tubestation (at Midnight) - The Jam

There’s something immensely satisfying by running late at night, even more so when you are running the streets of London on the weekend of the London ULTRA. Streatham, Wandsworth and Wimbledon all took on a new slant tonight and in contrast to the hustle and bustle of a normal day tonight it was ‘Silent running - Full Ahead’. I loved it!
The cold night meant that Jenny and I got some steam up and quickly counted off the miles to well past CP1. The LU map did come in handy in one place and can even be read under street light so I am well pleased along with the one mile lap at the start of the race around Streatham.
Tomorrow’s expo will keep us amused and its luxury at The Quality Hotel tonight for a well-earned rest of the night break…
See you later perhaps?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The White Album - The Beatles

I have a notion that white cars are coming back into fashion... I am seeing them EVERYWHERE... not just your white van but lots of performance cars it seems. Audi's especially and top end models, when will we stop being fashion victims to really daft ideas. I had a white Astra back in 1990 and it was only ever clean the moment I washed it... a moment later it was just dirty from the windows down and the rear of it was permanently a browny-grey!

We did have a time mid-nineties where we all had green cars, (I had a beautiful 'Boston Green BMW') but they were deemed hard to sell and a bit unlucky so then everything went silver then metallic grey. And it worked perfectly!

So why WHITE?

We'll be back in Orange and Canary Yellow soon, can't we just jump this step into Blanc!

More tomorrow and I will be testing my theory by counting cars on the M1...

Legs - ZZ Top

Just how far are one pair of legs meant to go?

Mine have done over 20,000 miles in marathons alone and over double that in training at least, or even more... If I was a car I would heading for a major service! Especially being a classic1962 model...

It's a bloody long way when you think about it and I am really lucky that I don't have any problems with my old trotters. A lifetime guarantee wouldn't have been much help eh? (They only last 100,000 miles on a car it seems anyway).

I would love to know just how far I've would be most interesting.

How far will they go? Well, we'll just have see. Hopefully into a marathon sunset and past my 1000 marathon target... good 'Headstone Epitaph Stuff'.

Hmmm... How far do YOU go?

Anyway, got to run and more later... there's a few miles to add...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Shakespeare's Sister - The Smiths

I was running in the centre of Derby, with one of my clients today, and it came to me that I actually feel very comfortable running, living and working in this part of the world. It's weird thought that out of all of the amazing places I have been in the world and even though I lived in the beautiful historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon, it's Derby and Derbyshire that satisfy my needs.

Eventually the coast might draw me to it's bosom, although I am not looking to be more of an Eastbourne, Veteran Beachy Head Marathon Runner rather than a Retirement Home Internee. Until then I am a Derbyshire Lad... not born or bred but more out of comfort.

Yes, Derbyshire is comfortable...

The next few weeks will see Jenny and myself being out in it more and more and I will speak more of our travels around the County...

Do you like where you live? Why? or more perhaps Why Not?

Monday, 14 February 2011

London Calling - The Clash

Well this is going to be a busy old week in the ULTRArace office as we head towards The London ULTRA on Sunday, the third round of the 9bar UK ULTRArace Championship.

And getting the best part of 300 people to the start-line takes has taken some doing... We are always trying to make ULTRArace a very personal company so there's lots of information to share and a million combinations of people's arrangements to confirm and put into place. It's like a first day at school and wedding all in one to arrange!

I am looking forward to us greeting the runners from the top of our Chevrolet Captiva AKA Patrick Bauer style at Streatham Common and then watching them all cross the line in Wembley... let's hope it's not as cold as last year.

Wembley awaits...

And we can't wait either...

More tomorrow...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rain - The Cult

The horizontal rain that hit Cardiff today certainly curtailed any notion of getting back out onto the Cardiff ULTRA course. Even the beauty of the Taff Trail couldn't tempt either of us out to run. It wasn't until late afternoon that I finally ventured out for a quick 10km.

Sorry, I hear you say, a quick 10km? What the hell is going on?

Well it's all part of my new regime into getting ultrafit for the 2011 Marathon des Sables which is just 8 weeks away... today!

My feedback so far is, that it's working well and the weekly hill climbs and added distance runs are making a huge difference. It will be interesting to see what happens this week on the lead up to The London ULTRA as time is limited and there's the Barry 40 two weeks today.

More tomorrow from London...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

David Tagg - Viaduct

We had a great day out on 'The Cardiff ULTRA' today in the glorious Welsh sunshine of a February Day. I must say that the 26 miles (the latter part of the course) from Merthyr Tydfil down to Cardiff was just an awesome experience to say the least.

You might remember that just before Christmas I ran the course in the ice and snow and struggled on my journey along the Taff Trail... this time I felt strong and powerful for the whole run and really enjoyed the whole experience. I think the added Protein and Ark-1 that I have been using this week has helped no-end, and I'm sure the added hill training and power hours in the gym have also made a huge difference.

I am feeling great about running right now.

Our weekend in ARAF will continue tomorrow with another trip out onto the trail no doubt so more tomorrow...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Telephone Line - The Electric Light Orchestra

We had our Telephone Directory today... whatever happened to that. It's titchy! Half the size it used to be with only BT customers in it.
My how things change!

Now when I was a lad with the phone box across the road (Telephone Number Welford 361, btw) there used to be paving size slabs of directories bolted into the kiosk next to the magical 'A' and 'B' buttons that took and refunded the money. See picture...

Anyway, the directory was really important even when I was in my early 20's, especially when I drew the when I got my listing for Mr R.J.Coleman for 38 Joseph Way, my I thought I had finally arrived.

How things change eh?

Nowadays, all we want our privacy and our home numbers just aren't listed. I for one am quite happy not to be listed even though we are all over the web... why is that?

Actually I am going to ring my old number just to see who owns it and if they are as proud as I was of it... I do laugh as it was one number away from the local Chinese and we got so cheesed off with wrong numbers we used to take the orders! Ha ha.

With our now on-line, it's been a good day and we are out on The Cardiff ULTRA course tomorrow...

Happy days... now where's that phone? It used to have a dial that span round now maybe iPhone can do an app for that...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Friends - The Rembrandts

It's amazing how things just become Iconic. They rise from Nowhere, become a phenomenon and then disappear leaving a legacy a permanent mark on our modern day culture. Take Friends for instance... 10 seasons of 236 programmes...where the last show was watched by 52.5 million American viewers, making it the fourth most-watched series finale in television history... just how many times has this series already been shown?

It doesnt matter though as it's a brilliant collaboration of the two sexes with three character types we can all associate ourselves and our loved ones with. With Phoebe's wackiness, Monica's organisation and Rachel's looks you have the perfect date... I always wanted to be just like Chandler as he is the funny one but I think I am more Ross sometimes which doesn't help. I am never a Joey!

I did like 'The British Friends', 'Cold Feet' but it was never such a hit even though it had similar programme attributes.

What we do have running all day on TV and abroad (we saw it in Australia) is 'Top Gear' which is brilliant IMO... How many more series of the Three Amigos will be interesting to see as it's getting too formulaic BUT it's good boys stuff and aimed right at my age bracket... I just loved the James May Spitfire programme too.

Anyway, I am off to ask Jen, 'How you doing'...

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The way we were - Barbra Streisand

I watched the film 'Working Girl' tonight... and boy things were different back in 1988... all that HAIR! OMG held in place by a mountain of hair lacquer, no wonder the ozone layer has disappeared. Everything in that movie was just so chunky. Dos based computer screen with just text, giant TV's and shoulder pads that you would need to turn sideways to get though a door. What were we thinking? What happened to her Melanie Griffith's face?

The last 20+ years have been a complete revolution... as back then I didn't even have a mobile phone. No-one did... well no-one I knew and when I did get one a couple of years later it was bolted in the car and didn't work very well. My iPhone for instance is a million light-years from where we were back then.

In less than a lifetime... gosh it's worrying.

As I wonder where it's all going, as 'Working Girl' wouldn't get made today, it's too cheesey and any modern day film now reflects our modern day life and that need for fast action, fast moving viewing to stimulate our already over-stimulated brains.

I for one am far to guilty of this and will of course be adding this Bookface and Twitty as soon as I stop blogging... We just need to know what we are all doing it seems!

Whatever's next, I wonder and what good will it bring... hmm...

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

More than a Feeling - Boston

Well it happened today on a treadmill of all places... yes I went back in a time warp to how it used to feel back in 1998 when I was at the top of my training. It was a trance moment... just magical really where time and energy was just endless. Gosh I like my man made drugs!

It's sometimes hard to remember just how fit I used to be... really fit... in fact really, really fit. '50 miles... not a problem, when? now? Oh... when are we leaving? Now...? Great!' used to be my thinking.

Ten miles on Sunday in two hours where I have run a 3:41 marathon on the same trail was somewhat unnerving. Today, back to normal, well whatever that is I suppose. Maybe it was just seeing some Crocuses out today and leafy Daffodils sticking out of the ground that have my spring sap rising. Summer's on it's way!

Now where's that treadmill as I need another good run!

More tomorrow...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Age of Innocence - The Smashing Pumpkins

Firstly thanks so much for the Birthday wishes yesterday and I had a lovely day with Jenny out on the High Peak Trail in Derbyshire... a great way to spend Birthday #49...

I can't remember birthday #5 but I did hear one child at Pearl's school today who is, shout for 'Fu*ks Sake' as one of his friends didn't comply to his fighting him to the ground, I was shocked...

Now I'm no saint and never was BUT where do kids get it from nowadays? It's a disgrace...

When I was 5 back in 1967, I hadn't heard such language OR saw that type of behaviour. It just didn't exist in that society. What sort of example is modern day life to the very young of today. Is TV that bigger corruption or is it the likes of Jeremy Kylesque Shows, that are making bad behaviour visible and approved for all to hear.

Yes, I know I am sounding my 49 years today... BUT who is going to stop the rot and make a stand on Graffiti, Urban Decay, Drugs Alcohol and Cannabis misuse as well as Anti-Social Behaviour... Society needs cleaning up, big time. Right now, before it gets any worse...

We'd all be better running then we would all learn self discipline and respect for others... maybe the Government should try and encourage it???

Sort it Cameron.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Too much information - Duran Duran

Don't get me wrong, as I love BBC sport BUT why do we need all these so called 'experts' to comment on the game. All of this endless analysis and figures by retired players gets on my nerves. We never needed this in the old days with David Coleman and Barry Davies... Now we can't even get thru the first half of the rugby without Jonathan Davies or Jerry Guscott chipping their two peneth in.

Save the licence fee and get some commentators that can do their jobs properly. Don't even get me started on the Athletics and all the extras that get shipped in for that. The 2012 Olympics will be a nightmare... Mark my words.

More later...

Friday, 4 February 2011

Song for Guy - Elton John

I am not surprised that good old Elton has given the Lip-Synchers a bit of a bashing today. Folk who are seen to be leaders in their fields of expertise should be able to turn on the tap and make things happen when required.

In short there is substitute for talent and hard work... Son George knows that with his band... there's no room for faking it there!

Take my world of fitness... It's always surprising when products and medical procedures are said to make you thinner... when in reality diet and exercise counts for all. Especially this week as I am going to try a Gluten Free week to see what difference it makes to how I feel in my training. No bread, pasta etc... hmm we'll see eh?

Pilgrims Challenge on Sunday for my birthday and a family day tomorrow to celebrate... nice...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sailing - Rod Stewart

Note to self...


What were we thinking... it was just a shocking experience... especially with ' We are going to sink Girl' as a companion. Her Meerkat stance at every large wave and crash was very amusing but it was a shame to see her so worried. As it was worrying I can tell you when the crew surrounded a loose lifeboat to secure  it back to its fittings!

Right now as we approach Birkenhead I am wondering if our brand new Chevrolet is still on the roof, where we left it. Hmm, yes it was mildly worrying to leave it there... I hope they strapped it to the floor?

Anyway...With it being impossible to do anything except feel sick for the last few hours, I must say I am looking forward to a good sleep tonight back at ULTRArace HQ and hopefully my sea legs won't be tested as much in September when we return with the Sleeper Bus on M2M Ultra.

Now where's 'We are going to sink Girl' gone as I have to tell her to take her life jacket off... Leo and Kate eat your heart out!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Ferry Cross the Mersey - Gerry and the Pacemakers

We are extremely happy today as we have taken delivery of a Chevrolet Captiva courtesy of our great friend Stanley Edgar of SERE Motors in Belfast. It looks B R I L L I A N T even on a rainy day in February and will bring colour and another level of brand awareness and quality to our events.

The 4.30am start, trip to East Midlands Airport and ridiculous security systems were no worries to us today or the hair-raising landing into a very strong cross wind as we were on Mission Captiva!

The 9bar and ULTRArace logos look superb... let's hope the 8hr ferry to Liverpool will be better tomorrow eh?

Who cares though as we will be going home in style... More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

We are the Champions - Queen

Well I thought it was time to get a shot of the '9bar UK ULTRArace Championship T-Shirt' in the blog and I thought Jenny would be a better model than I would! Seeing the T-Shirt has made me realise just how much work we have put in during the last 12 months to make it all happen and I have a bit of a proud feeling today.

That and the warmer weather has definitely got me going again today as yesterday's sub zero start never really got me off the blocks and my Power Hour on the Treadmill certainly lacked Power!

So it's time to consider some last minute training for the weekend and the second day of The Pilgrim Challenge... should be a good day out and it's time I did a long run to refocus...

Belfast beckons tomorrow... more then...