Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Mistaken Identity - Kim Carnes

Who invented the Company Lanyard and Identity Card that I see office people wearing? Most often I see them nowhere near their place of work and worn over some very tired looking ties, blue shirts and very shiny trousers. I mean, why would you need a company pass to get into a building where some poor folk have worked for most of their professional careers. Unhappily if the mugshots on their cards are anything to go by!

You would think that after a just a few weeks of work, the security people who work there might just recognise them. It's Hi-Viz all gone wrong....

The whole world's just crazy, our Business Bank Manager phoned me today and called me by my first name, I also greeted her by using her first name, there was voice recognition between us, however I had to qualify my home address before she could give me some information that I needed. She only knows that information because I told her where I live, when I filled my forms in. Imagine next time you are talking to anyone on the phone and you stop them mid-sentence for their address details before you carry on with your conversation and ask them a question that they told you the answer for... it's nuts.

But then it's all Nuts, (oh no not NUTS) but I can inform you that this blog hasn't been prepared in a factory that processes nuts or nut products and a pass is not needed at our front door to access all areas of our house or the need for a Hi-Viz jacket to get around it....

It's normal here and it's simple - and that's how we like it...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Talk that Talk - Rihanna

It's been a great few days of training with my extra special clients, crowned today with one of my star pupils coming to Cardiff - Anthony Taylor. In 12 months, he's gone form being a 3:45 marathon man to a prospective 2:45 guy and has done everything in his power to ease his path to that sub 3 hour dream.

Getting 10kgs off for a starter has got him light. The hard gym sessions have made him strong and the Hill session we did today, will increase his speed and endurance. I am really pleased with his progress.

It just shows you what can be done with hard work and following a balanced training plan... he's got a fast half planned next weekend and the Boston Marathon in April. I'll keep you posted and well done Tony... most proud.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

On the Run - Pink Floyd

I've had a couple of good days of running with one of this years JOGLERS, we'll call her MCL for short, (as she's a bit shy) and it's been good for both of us especially for her of course but also for me as I have a shocking cold right now and the couple of long runs that I have clocked in with her have helped me no-end in getting my mileage up and my mind off my streaming nostrils!!!

It's amazing how this JOGLE Ultra focusses the mind... running 60+ miles for 16 days HAS to be taken seriously. As I will with my cold as I have a well earned day off now and an easy week leading up to the Barry 40 will help my chances no end.

More tomorrow... now where's my Lemsip?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Dive - Steven Curtis Chapman

Poor old Tom Daly, what was he thinking about making that crazy beach dance video... He'll live to regret that one I am sure and a 7th in the Olympic Test Event must be a reflection of his current state of mind and level of commitment to the sport, that has given him his fame and fortune.

There will be a lot of this at the Olympics this year and I feel sorry for him, and Jess Ennis etc. as they have been built up by the same media that will condemn them if or when it all goes Pete Tong, as it did for Tom this week...

Let's hope he can regain his focus and remember his father's training to get him back on the straight and narrow... oh and stop making adverts and stupid movies.

More tomorrow...

Dancing in the Streets - Martha and the Vandellas

We had a great time yesterday meeting a very unusual JOGLER, Ben Hammond. Not only is he going to cover the classic 850+ miles distance, he's going to DANCE it!!! Now that's what I call a challenge and do you know what? He's going to be just fine, as he's a really great guy with a fantastic attitude that will get him the marathon a day he needs to do for the 50 days of dancing that he has planned.

His reason for coming to see us, was to find the best way of preparing for his challenge.

Obviously I showed him some of my best moves and that's helped him no-end as well as giving him some running to do too of course. Here's his website and please take a look at this unique challenge.

More tomoz...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Heat is On - Kenny Loggins

Not only for us but for lots of our ULTRA-running friends and contacts it seems right now... As the 27th Marathon des Sables rumbles towards us like a slow moving juggernaut of an event, Jenny and I are attacking the training schedule in very different ways.

I think Jenny would just like to live at Merthyr Mawr in her own bespoke Sand Castle! I reckon she has worn a trench tearing round the dunes with her pack on, huffing and puffing her way thru the very deep sand along the shore. I've been a couple of times but I am also clocking in the marathons and power-hours in the gym which is so hot, it is doubling up as heat-chamber work too - boy do I sweat.

It's funny how ULTRA-running is putting that huge amount of pressure on people to perform and how a very simple act of running for a long distance is pushing people well beyond their limits  of human endurance. This week alone we are seeing, entry level runners, MdeS wannabes and yet another JOGLER 2012 coming to stay for two days so that she can run a couple of 60 milers back-to-back... it's jolly busy.

Let's hope that the 'Joy of running' is kept foresmost in our minds and we can enjoy our running experiences rather than be a slave to it...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Relax - Frankie goes to Hollywood

Well what a few days we've had at ULTRArace - who says that excitement coupled with good hard work and very little sleep isn't fun? Our Tribesports London ULTRA, provided us with just that... It had a couple of very late night route marking exercises that the SAS would have been proud of, including an total eclipse of the moon when Jenny went over a six foot high set of railings out of one park and a few moments where we wondered about our sanity as we must have been the ONLY people daft enough to be out running around the capital's countryside in the early hours.

The biggest highlight being that we saw 12 foxes during our night out, (or maybe the same fox 12 times?) right up close on most occasions...

Oh, the race, well it was most enjoyable on a lovely spring day in London. The new start and finish worked well for us and the runners' I think and we can now fine tune it for next year and make things even better...

Happy Days... and more tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Armed and Ready - MSG

Time for action on the eve of the Tribesports London ULTRA... well it was last night anyway when we route marked throughout the night. The biggest casualty was my poor old eardrums as the Lovely Jenny went into whinge mode after just a few (6) hours of running.

We've worked out that she's a speed merchant and wants to get to the end asap and I am just an ULTRA-runner who just likes being out there clocking up the miles regardless of how long it takes... in this case far too many hours, stickering and marking the course.

We finally got back to base at 6.30am this morning and I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Adventure' of the night and felt special that we were the only people probably in the UK doing what we did last night. All I can say is for Jenny, she was glad to get back.

Perhaps, route marking is a solo job from now on... or we need to use the Tandem or a Taxi...

It will be a lot easier for you tomorrow and see you nice and early.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Weapon of Choice - Fat Boy Slim

I was really amused on Costco in Cardiff today when I saw an instore demonstrator with quite a beer belly and chunky bum wobbling on a core exercise machine, like a jelly on a plate. I heard him say 'all you need to do love is 10 minutes a day on yur and you'll soon be toned up'... Hmm... He wasn't the best advert IMO and her £249 could be far better spent on dietary advice and a few running sessions with yours truly. Well it made me giggle anyway...

To keep me in shape tomorrow I am running and marking the Tribesports London Ultra tomorrow with Jenny so I think I will give the above core machine a miss for another time. If he's still there in a week or so, he'll be lovely and toned, no doubt!

More tomorrow from the course...

Who are you? - The Who

Couple of things today which got me thinking and hot under the collar... I wonder if you know who the guy is in the picture, as I didn't after watching a very 'tanned' interview on TV. His name is Alex Reid and to find out, I had to 'Google' - 'Man married to Katie Price' as that's his claim to having Celebrity Status it seems, and is listed on Wiki as an ex-cage fighter. A whole career from an 11 month marriage to Jordan, amazing! Makes me wonder why we let these people into our lives as they offer us nothing...

Just like UK MAIL, whose inability to deliver three parcels to one address in one go was only matched by their Telephone Help Desk who was SO off-hand and monosyllabic in her first replies were surpassed to my 'So two parcels are on the Van and one is in Chelmsford' by simply remarking', 'It's not hard is it',  I put my phone down in disgust.

Maybe we could put ex-cage fighter Alex to go and do some Customer Care practise at UK MAIL - a good solution all round - no gloves allowed of course...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Help! - The Beatles

Well it's been aaages since I've blogged and I have been promptly reminded it's about time I started writing again. I'm currently a bit like a rabbit in headlights having been sponsored by Eurosport for the MdS this year. There I was thinking I would leave the 2012 MdS and I get a 'phone call offering me a place - well it would be rude not to! The thing is, I quite like running in races as an unknown with no expectations on you. I'm a bit too familiar out there already and this will probably increase the pressure tenfold - my 2 teammates are men that have both finished in the top 10 - yikes!

On the plus side it has certainly helped focus my training with plenty of trips to the dunes and a pretty comfortable 30 miler today I am feeling pretty strong. Largely I believe thanks to Rory's efforts with some leg weights sessions recently (thanks Rorz).

So my dilemma is Barry 40 - to race or not to race that is the question! If any of you have any opinions I would love to hear them - it's on March 4th (MdS starts on April 6th). It's a fabulous event but I just don't want to reck my chances in Morocco again this year (I did a 100km the weekend before last year and paid the consequences from about 4 miles into day 1)!!

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying your training, particularly now the temperatures have eased a little bit (fingers crossed for the weekend and our London ULTRAracers). If any of you have any recent achievements (PBs, placings, or just runs that have gone well) then I'd love to hear them - I find it really motivating!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Fame - The Kids from Fame

As another on another once bright star signs out at the relatively young age of 48, one wonders what Whitney Houston's adviser's were doing during the past five years of her life to protect her from a death at the hands of a massive Crack Cocaine habit.

There are just too many Jacksons, Hutchences, Winehouses it seems and there are a few more casualties to come perhaps... George Michael beware!

Maybe Fame isn't what its cracked up to be eh? It's a cruel game that is sought by so many young folk but trouble is, when they get it, it proves too hard to handle... let's hope Whitney's death is a wake up call for someone today to clean up and keep living as Whitney had it all!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Kesha - Blow

It's a blessing that I am now in the Eye of the Beanz Hurricane Storm... my word I am glad as I have been spending some hours today accompanying Ian J Berry on another 60 mile JOGLE Ultra tester. He did loads better on this run and his ankles are in fine shape tonight mainly due to his use of Stability Training Shoes.... Lesson learned I believe. And well done to him.

Another 60 miles tomorrow will test this further and hopefully see him start the JOGLE Ultra in the best shape possible both mentally and physically.

More tomorrow... let's hope it doesn't snow too much eh?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wind and Wuthering - Genesis

Now if you are reading this and are saying that you don't let out the occasional 'niffer' or two, I don't believe you. One thing I do know is that you can't be any more windy than I am on my Baked Bean diet right now.

It's not the best of times to have excess gas as it's cold when you are driving with the windows down and in company I have to wait for cars to pass as it's VERY embarrassing especially with the quantity of Heinz based earthquakes that I just can't seem to hold onto anymore.

I think the cabbage diet is definitely out of the question!!! I remember the effects on my first Mother-in-Law with that one...

Thing is that the BB diet is actually doing me the world of good and so if you know of any cure, apart from eating pure Charcoal or Sound Proof Air Tight Pants please let me know...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Push it - Salt-n-Peppa

It's been time to turn up the gas today in 'ULTRArace World'... the 'Impending Marathon des Sables Fever' has now bitten us both quite hard - Jenny is more 'Acute' than just her normal 'Cute' whilst I am trying to recapture my youth and make myself 37 again.

Weights and Treadmills are the antedote to this epidemic I believe and so a couple of treadmill hours and a beasting with some weights got us underway on the road to recovery...

Tomorrow sees some more sand dunes for her highness and a couple more 'Power Hours' on the treadmill followed by some swimming perhaps as I have to do a poncy Ironman before I'm 51.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 6 February 2012

Happy Birthday - Stevie Wonder

Well old age has finally crept up on me and I am now firmly thru the 50 barrier hoping that I am yet to still reach half way on this journey we call life. I must say that the weekend's marathon and party have left me totally wiped out and a couple of hours deep sleep is all I could muster this afternoon...

Maybe I should ask Nurse Jenny if I could sleep outside on an afternoon when the weather gets a bit warmer!

For someone who doesn't like a lit of fuss, crowds or partys, I have reconsidered my opinions and it's been a great few days of warmth and friendship from my nearest and dearest. The family reunion on Saturday was a real delight for all concerned...

Jenny's been a diamond thru out and thanks and love go to her for making it such a happy transition into Fiftyness xxx

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Telephone Line - Electric Light Orchestra

It's been just one of those days... dropped my iPhone and been pipped to a couple of car-parking spaces by some pretty aggressive Pensioners and raced by women collecting children from school around the  ridiculous road system at The Cardiff Bay... The only saving grace was from my old adversary - Orange UK.

Since moving our mobile account over to a business account from a personal account... hasn't been easy... it was less easy when they said my phone wasn't insured. Fortunately for 'Geordie Steve' after getting my first barrel funnily enough 'Found' that the phone WAS covered... but would cost £50 for admin... until getting the second barrel when it became the old £15 that I was expecting.

How nice, I thought... and happily rung off, victorious.

Even nicer when he phoned me 10 minutes later and said that because of their poor service, it was going to be totally FREE. Good old Orange! That's what I say and wouldn't it be nice if more companies did the same eh? Bit of 'Geordie Steve' at Vodafone would sharpen them boys up a bit for one...

More tomorrow after 6pm when I will be hammering my new iPhone...