Tuesday, 30 November 2010
On Friday night my abdomen area started hurting.. this persisted all weekend and was both uncomfortable and painful.. I wasn't taking food and barely any water either.. when i did, it was painful after a while as food was digested.. So Sunday night i went to A&E at the Whittington Hosp.
They took me in and was concerned about this and i also had a low heart rate: 36 at one point. So they did lots of tests and after giving me morphine, kept me in overnight.
Monday was the same and i tried to eat but the pain returned after a while.. when all the tested had completed and the doctors were happy it was nothing serious i was allowed to go home. Unfortunately they could not tell me what the problem was - it could be food poisoning or a pulled muscle..??
Anyway as i write i am still weak as i am not eating much - just two slices of bread today but at least the pain has not returned yet,, so maybe i am starting to get better... Hope so, i have booked a trip to Scotland next week..lol..
Ok, thanks again for you wishes - that's how things stand now..
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Bath sits right by Bristol on the map but has more history and in my opinion - more picturesque. It was an early start out from Earls Court and on the mini bus to the destination. There was only a few of us on this trip but a perfect number really. We arrived and met another member and after having some lunch we started our walk.
The city has a lot to offer in the way of stone architecture and every street corner there seemed to be another photo opportunity.
Famous sites include the weir (above), the Abbey, the Roman Baths, the Circus and not forgetting the Royal Crescent. We were not blessed with perfect weather but that's not a bad thing and you are constantly being tested as far as the light goes.. I've processed some pictures and uploaded them to my Facebook group.. you can click on the following image and it will take you there,,
Bath is really worth a visit whether you are travelling to the UK or already live here.. it's a beautiful place with some welcoming people. We were even given a free walking tour of the inner city.. these tours start daily from the Bath Abbey,.,, enjoy.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Expo was nice and not really different than any other so I sat down and had my pasta as you do and joined in the fun.. after a while thought - better be off and get a proper dinner! So I walked back - a longer route taking in Lansdowne Road and its impressive stadium.. took in a bit of Dublin and ate pasta like tomorrow didn't exsist! In the evening I did yet more walking as I wanted to take my camera out and view this place - I must admit I was worried I might tire my legs out! In all I reckon I walked about 15km (8 miles or so) by the time I went back to the hotel to rest...
I got nothing more than broken sleep that night - again I got up worried this might effect my performance. As if that was not enough the temperature outside was about 3-4C! Brrrr! I had my usual breakfast and prep before leaving the hotel very wrapped up and insulated.
As you can see by the above image I wore my beanie the whole race - I also wore gloves for most of it only taking them off (just before this shot) at about mile 23. It was very cold and I didn't take any clothing off till my body had adjusted to the temperature.. Even then I kept on an old T Shirt to keep in a bit of warmth as i walked up to the start line,.
The race itself: The gun went off just after the hour of 9am (slightly late) and we all rushed off.. around 13,000 people with a goal in their mind. I was ahead of the 3:15 pacemakers and that was the plan I intended to keep.
The Plan: To run a marathon in under 3:15 (3 hours 15 mins) you have to run each KM in under 4.40. (4 minutes 40 seconds) So my plan was to run each KM at about 4.30 and after getting into my groove I resisted the feeling to dart off and kept to my plan..
1 00:04:27 1.00 04:27
2 00:04:16 1.00 04:16
3 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
4 00:04:28 1.00 04:28
5 00:04:25 1.00 04:25
6 00:04:21 1.00 04:21
7 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
8 00:04:23 1.00 04:23
9 00:04:28 1.00 04:28
10 00:04:25 1.00 04:25
My official time at 10km = 44:42
11 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
12 00:04:19 1.00 04:19
13 00:04:17 1.00 04:17
14 00:04:15 1.00 04:15
Now there are 42 Kilometres in a marathon but I find easier to adjust my pace rather than going by miles... which there are 26.2. The first section - although cold - was my favourite and went through Phoenix Park where we saw some deer on the frosty grass.
At around 15km we hit our first hill so I slowed my pace and took long breathes as I plodded up it - it was fairly steep but pretty short.
15 00:04:36 1.00 04:36
The next few Km I really got into my stride - I knew there would be one section this would happen and as it was around this stage I just went with it.
16 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
17 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
18 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
19 00:04:26 1.00 04:26
After my faster section I was approaching the halfway marker - I responsibly took myself down a peg or too and starter to slow down. There were a few slower hilly sections at this point too - nothing serious but enough to tire you if you didn't respect them.
20 00:04:36 1.00 04:36
21 00:04:27 1.00 04:27
At 21km you are helfway.. my official time at this point 01:34:06 - 2 minutes under my schedule! I was happy but knew the second half would be tough.. (my PB for a half marathon is 1:29:54)
The aim for the next few Km was to keep my pace under 4.40 and as close to 4.30 as possible to give myself more breathing space...
22 00:04:35 1.00 04:35
23 00:04:35 1.00 04:35
24 00:04:34 1.00 04:34
25 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
26 00:04:36 1.00 04:36
27 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
28 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
29 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
job done! But at 30km (around 18 miles) my left knee started to hurt - I thought oh know - its London all over again!.. but kept pressing on as my nutrition felt good at this point and i wasn't tired at all. Official time at this point 02:15:08.
30 00:04:40 1.00 04:40
31 00:04:40 1.00 04:40
32 00:04:50 1.00 04:50
33 00:04:47 1.00 04:47
34 00:04:50 1.00 04:50
35 00:04:45 1.00 04:45
As you can see my times started to fall behind here and although the knee pain had gone my left ankle now started to grumble... ugh! My pace started to slow and I kept looking at my watch - everytime I saw it go over 5 minutes I had to shout at myself thinking how annoying it would be if i let myself down after all this way.
36 00:04:52 1.00 04:52
37 00:04:48 1.00 04:48
38 00:04:54 1.00 04:54
39 00:04:55 1.00 04:55
With the end in sight all pains went away but exhaustion started to kick in.. Physically I was done for but I kept saying - only 2 miles to go - you can do it.. just 2 miles miles... I was able to JUST keep the pace over 5 minutes but I was in auto pilot - I could here people shouting my name (from my shirt) but I couldn't respond any more. Everything was concentrated on keeping my legs going.. At so many stages I thought I'd miss out but the 3:15 pace man had not passed me yet... YET!
40 00:04:59 1.00 04:59
41 00:04:51 1.00 04:51
42 00:04:53 1.00 04:53
The final Km was painful.. we rounded Trinity College and the 3:15 paceman caught me - HELP!.. That was it - I found something from somewhere as he shouted LET'S GO to everyone around him - and off I went! LOL.. I picked everything up and flew to the line picking my pace right up to 4.29 for that final sprint... YES!!! Under 3:15!! Quite emotional I can tell you.x
43 00:02:36 0.58 04:29
POST: Have a plan - stick to it... If you know know what you are capable of then don't let yourself down by wimping out.. Stick to the plan - pleasure will overcome the pain in the end.
Course: The Dublin Marathon has a great course with a few hills with quite a few long a lonely (no support) sections - but coming back into the city centre and seeing the crowds 3 or 4 deep is very impressive... a great time of year to run a marathon too.. we were lucky with the weather however. Thanks to everyone for their support - i'm over the moon to get this time which for me gives me 'best for age' entry into a few marathons including London.
Garmin report: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/54519216
Video : http://mysports.tv/events/DM10/redirect.asp?r=545 (look for 545)
Charity : http://www.justgiving.com/mds2011
Overall place : 859
Cat. Plce : 88
Runners : 13,200
10km : 00:44:42
Half marathon : 01:34:06
30km : 02:15:08
Gun time : 03:14:45
Chip time : 03:14:29
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Well it's a bit of a shock but I have won another competition - the above image beat off some excellent photos to be placed numero uno! I'm really pleased. The whole thing was run by Thames 21 which is an environmental charity which work on London's waterways. A set of finalists was chosen for their 2011 calendar (including mine) and from that Thames Water chose the winner last night in Bromley -by-Bow.
all finalists are on display at The Millers House Cafe, Three Mills Lane, E3 3DU ~ http://www.housemill.org.uk until the end of October, so if you are in the area - why not pop in and have a look.
I was a blushing winner and almost smiled.. lol.. Still I'm really happy this particular shot won as it has always been one of my favourites. If you are interested in obtaining a copy please follow this link to Getty Images where it is for sale:
Thanks again for your support.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
So Kevin & I decided to take a ride from Bristol to Southampton.. I routed the trip and avoided most of the main roads.. We added in Cheddar Gorge and the New Forest for fun as they were close by. The weather looked grime, a massive front coming in from the Atlantic - thanking my American friends for that!..lol.. however, the train took us through the wet weather and at Bristol the sun came out on wet roads and it was dry the whole day - we even got a sun tan - ha!
It wasn't long before we got to Cheddar - its a beautiful place surrounded by steep cliffs casting dark shadows on everything below.. this is a tick in UK hill climbing although I must admit I was expecting more. It starts fairly well and then keeps flattening out on occasion.. there are 2-3 steep sections but not lasting enough to tire you. The main thing in this hill is its length.. even at the top the road doesn't flatten out - it just keep on going up.. we reckon about 4 miles or so from bottom to peak? not sure on that though. You can see the elevation etc on my Gamin route details.
Going up I stopped twice to take photos and fell off my bike trying to mount again - difficult when going up a hill!.. haha (idiot),, At the top Kevin went into the back of me and fell off also!.. he got some cuts and bruises for his troubles but nothing serious. We hacked on and all seemed well.
Warminster was our slight detour - there had to be one!.. Instead of taking an early left and going alongside the A36 we went straight down the A350.. this road is hill city!... up one down it then up another! after about 7-8 big hills we were knackered and stopped to take on fluid and food.
Once we stopped I realised our mistake and we back tracked to the B3089 to cut back eastwards across the country - this mistake cost us 5 miles extra... but the hills was the worse part.
This road was much nicer - yes it had a few hills but not like the 350. Anyway - before long we dropped down into the New Forest, it was not necessary to go this was but we thought it would be nice to ride through it.. and it was! a beautiful place indeed.. a hill to get up to it and another down and out... lots of ponies running wild too and great looking landscape.
Finally we arrived in Southampton... tired but feeling good after 106 miles of cycling.. a great day and an awesome ride.. would i do it again? Hell yes!
Saturday, 4 September 2010
As you know i am collecting donations for the Meningitis Trust (MT) - however I am also trying to promote awareness of the disease. Spotting signs and symptoms are so important as this can attack quickly with devastating effects.
When I heard the the MT had bought out the APP I was only to happy to review it... so above is my short video review.
If you have an Iphone - here is the APP download... (it's totally free)
If you do not have an IPhone - please read the Signs and Symptoms page on the MT website.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Weight: 100g in packet.
Moving on I thought I'd try some pasta.. this recipe was harder to knock up though as it required milk.. (take powered milk?...hmmm)
Batchelors Pasta'n'Sauce - Mild Cheese & Broccoli
300ml milk & 100ml water... recipe asks for butter (15g) which i didn't use... Boil the liquid - add the packet, mix up and then continue to simmer for 5-10 mins.. it took about 10 ALL ROUND to cook this.. annd mighty tasty it was too.. not very salty though - which is to my taste - but we are doing this in the desert and salt is important.. as i have said.
Looks nice eh?... well ok - ish :) ... here's the run down:
Weight: 123g in packet.
nice for a change but not that high in calories - I also don't feel as full after eating it compared to the chili con carni OR the super noodles...
2 snacks on offer:
Olvaltine Buscuits : small packet of 5 buscuits
weight: 37.5 grammes
milky taste - certainly fill you up but make you very thirsty!... hmm.. maybe not take these!
Beef Jerky :
now I could not eat a whole pack of this stuff but its ok as a snack as you are going along... I tried the Wild West All Natural Beef Jerky which tastes like dried up pieces of meat you would usually through away.! However.... PER 100 grammes... there are 300 Calories, 41.5 % protein!! 24% Carb & 5% Fat... very salty too! great :)
...ok, I need a beer now.. more to come on this!
Monday, 9 August 2010
Batchelors Beanfeast Mexican Chilli.. the whole packet weights 120g and serves 2 people.. Recipe is very easy - put 575ml of water in can and mix in the packet... Yes, I used the lot.. However, I only mixed in 500ml of water.. The burner was great and the mix quickly came to the boil and got thicker and thicker... when it was spitting I took it off the heat and let it rest while I cooked the noodles..
I used a titanium t-cup to heat 125ml of water for the noodles...
Sainsbury's Instant Noodles: I used half of the 85g packet. However, I added the noodles BEFORE the water was boiling and a few uncooked noodles were found when eating.. take note ;)
As soon as the noodles were done I mixed them with the chilli.. they didn't absorb all the water but then I may not of divided the packet in a true half?? Yawn...... let's eat.....
Basically the whole meal took about 12 minutes to prep and cook - very easy too.. The food tasted great! Apart from some uncooked noodles.. my fault there. There was enough food to fill me up but if I was hungrier I think I could have eaten the whole pack of noodles too... ;)
Calories: Noodles = 309 (half pack) Chilli = 378 (whole pack)
Total = 687 Calories (if whole pack noodles = 1000 Cal)
protein= 7.5(n) + 30(c) = 37.5 grammes
fat=11.4(n) + 6.6(c) = 16 grammes
carb= 43.8(n) + 25(c) = 68.8 grammes
Chilli contains lots of fibre too and both are rich in salt - which is good.
Verdict.. Weighting in at 205g for both packs, these two mix up and very filling but also tasty dish.. Bonus point for the protein and fibre too.. Happy about this combo!
Sunday, 8 August 2010
So this is very important testing.. food :) Basically in the desert I am required to carry ALL my provisions with me.. excluding water and tent. Obviously this includes food and lots here has to be taken into consideration. Calorie intake must be as high as possible - but the weight is a factor too... taste very important... so these three things I will be testing out before throwing myself into the unknown.. this will be a little more known then.
Basically it goes like this - I have bought the above foods and will test them for taste first.. I'll post a blog about my results for this and then when I am happy with flavours etc - I want to try a few days living off these products to see how i fair with nutritional value... that's the plan anyway!
The food I have bought is all dried and needs to be reconstituting with water and or milk.. some of these may turn out to be impractical to make in the desert. I won't know until i have tried them.. Snacks as well and really important so I'll be testing a few of those too. Any heated food will be heated as it will in the race - using a butane gas stove...
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Rob last till just before Mitcham about 5 miles in.. at just 9km I had my first toilet stop at Mitcham Common.. at this point the clock said 56 minutes. We were running nice and slowly - it was warm but hadn't heated up too much yet. At Carshalton Adam left me and he ran all the way back to Clapham - good man! So this was my first stage on my own but i managed to keep my speed down. At Woodmansterne I nearly took a wrong turn but checked my map and tracked back about 500m... at this point about 18.32km (about 11 miles) the clock said 1.52 hours... downhill section now! Through a few up and downhills I came to Fannys Farm Shop where Amy was waiting for me.. Great to see her and chat about things from there the weather was really starting to get hot!.. we quickly drank all the water and refilled at a car wash in Nutfield - for free :) cheapest water here!
These roads seemed to go on for ages and we walked a few times so i could get some energy back - plus there was no point on over doing it. James met us in the Outwood area and then there was three!
Before long Amy left us.. If i remember rightly that was at Smallfield.. she had done a great job! At this point around 40km (24.8 miles) and 4 hours in.. me and James took a wrong turn which cost 1 mile but that didn't bother so much... the heat was getting to us though - I had another stop for a Calippo ice pole which did the trick.. Water consumed to this point about 3 litres. It was great to see the Turners Hill sign.. it really did mean progress for me.. lots of walking and running and huge ammount of effort were helping.. James was great - taking photos and enjoying the barriers we were crossing.. Full Marathon and then not long after - my first 50K! We checked at this point 47.23 km and 5hrs 15mins.. Turners Hill here we come!
At Turners Hill I had my first long rest - James left me at this point so i took the opportunity of resting for about 1 hour (and i had a beer lol) .. 51.66KM (32 miles) and 5.49 hours! Phew! I must admit even with the weather the first part was fairly easy for me and a great feeling sitting on the grass chatting to James and his friends... However, I had to press on...
I was now on my own till the end! and that was another 22 miles away.. two nice long downhill stretches took me into the next section toward Ardingly & Haywards Heath - then quickly into the open country and hot sun.. the road was hard to run on most of this section.. no path. I had to keep stopping even from walking and get out the way of traffic.. this was annoying but you have to play safe and keep crossing the road to stay visible to cars and lorries. Ardingly came and went - a lovely village - as too was Lindfield which was full of thatched cottages.. almost every town I went through I bought a litre more of water and filled up my bottles.
At 61.3km (38 miles) I was really slowing down - I really started to think I might not make it.. I had a quick read of comments on Twitter and Facebook - this cheered me up and onwards I plodded.. 6.54 hours at this stage.
Haywards Heath took ages to appear.. it seemed that 3 miles felt like 10 at this point!! more water! legs felt tired and painful - nipples hurt like mad! lol.. and just always felt thirsty.. at HH it was 7.44hours and 66.36 KM. There is a long grinding hill into HH which I walked up all the way but it was tough - very tough. Out of town I had my sights set on Ditchling which was my ultimate checkpoint and goal before Brighton. It was SO HOT.. I cannot tell you how I felt .. jelly babies were going down well and water too - something was missing though.. I needed a break.. And I took 30 minutes in a garden centre just before Ditchling.. 73.47 km (46 miles) and 8.45 hours.. I had a banana bar which tasted as dry as eating sand and a Yazoo choc shake which went down very well.. I ate half the bar and sat in the shade hyping my self up for the last 9 miles.. Mentally I had to overcome some big obstacles at this stage. However, arriving in Ditchling was an amazing moment!
Ditchling in famous for one thing - the Ditchling Beacon.. on the cycle ride its everyones goal to ride up it.. I walked and I am proud of that ;) ... You rise up 814 feet and its the third highest point on the South Downs.. the view from the top is just amazing.
Of coarse - when you are at the top its a downhill section to Brighton... well.. it is on a bike! when you are running it doesn't feel downhill at all on a lot of parts so the walking began again but I could see Brighton in the distance and this spurred me on. at this point the time said 9hours and the distance - 79.33km - which is just under 50 miles..
Some sections to the main Brighton road were quite steep and lovely to run down - but when I reached the road I was as good as there and walking got the better of me most of the way on the outskirts my watch said 10.10 hours and 83.25km.. I needed a break so found a petrol station and fuelled up again drinking more water and Lucozade Sport... rested here for about 15 minutes. by the time I reached the end my Garmin had died - its last reading: 10.45 hours and 54.17 miles..... in kilometers - 87.18....
As you can see by the next picture I got very dirty just running along roads - my lower back suffered a red raw mark from rubbing on my rucksack - my legs were achy all over - I wasn't hungry.. just needed water... I walked straight to the train station - total mileage aprox - 55.5 and around 11 hours to complete.. I learned a lot but it was so worth it.
I want to thanks everyone for your kind texts, tweets & comments during the day.. and especially Amy, Adam, James and Rob for the support runs ,, amazing all of you. :)
Monday, 21 June 2010
Details in TEXT:
Start at: Clapham Common Southern end.
1. Head southwest on Nightingale Walk toward Clapham Common West Side - 443 ft
2. Slight left at Clapham Common West Side - 69 ft
3. Turn right at Nightingale Ln/B237 Continue to follow Nightingale Ln - 0.7 mi
4. Continue onto Bellevue Rd/B229 Continue to follow B229 Go through 1 roundabout - 0.7 mi
5. Slight right at Burntwood Ln/B229 Go through 1 roundabout - 0.5 mi
6. Turn left at Garratt Ln/A217 Continue to follow A217 Go through 2 roundabouts - 2.3 mi
7. Slight right at London Rd/A217 Go through 1 roundabout - 0.3 mi
8. Slight left to stay on London Rd/A217 Continue to follow A217 - 0.1 mi
9. Slight left at Holborn Way/A217 - 171 ft
10. Continue onto Upper Green W/A236 Continue to follow A236 Go through 1 roundabout - 0.6 mi
11. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Carshalton Rd/A237 Continue to follow A237 - 1.3 mi
12. Turn right at Hackbridge Rd/B277 Continue to follow B277 - 1.2 mi
13. Turn right at Pound St/A232 - 0.3 mi
14. Continue onto Park Hill/B278 Continue to follow B278 - 2.1 mi
15. Turn right at Croydon Ln/A2022 - 151 ft
16. Turn left at Carshalton Rd/B278 - 0.7 mi
17. Turn left at Rectory Ln/B278 Continue to follow B278 - 0.8 mi
18. Turn left at Chipstead Valley Rd/B2032 - 427 ft
19. Turn right at How Ln - 1.0 mi
20. Continue onto High Rd - 1.5 mi
21. Turn left at Markedge Ln - 1.2 mi
22. Turn right at Gatton Bottom - 0.2 mi
23. Turn left at Rocky Ln - 0.2 mi
24. Turn left to stay on Rocky Ln - 0.8 mi
25. Turn left at London Rd S/A23 - 187 ft
26. Turn right at New Battlebridge Ln - 0.1 mi
27. Continue onto Ormside Way - 92 ft
28. Turn left at New Battlebridge Ln - 203 ft
29. Continue onto Battlebridge Ln - 0.3 mi
30. Turn right at Nutfield Rd - 0.6 mi
31. Slight left at Nutfield Marsh Rd - 1.1 mi
32. Continue onto Church Hill - 0.2 mi
33. Continue onto Cooper's Hill Rd - 1.9 mi
34. Slight left to stay on Cooper's Hill Rd - 0.3 mi
35. Continue onto Prince Of Wales Rd - 0.8 mi
36. Continue onto Dayseys Hill - 0.4 mi
37. Slight right at Rookery Hill - 0.9 mi
38. Continue onto Chapel Rd - 0.6 mi
39. Continue onto Redehall Rd - 1.4 mi
40. Turn left at Effingham Rd/B2037 - 1.1 mi
41. Turn right at W Park Rd/B2028 Continue to follow B2028 Go through 1 roundabout - 11.2 mi
42. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto W Common/B2112 Continue to follow B2112 - 0.8 mi
43. Slight left at Hazelgrove Rd/B2112 Continue to follow B2112 Go through 3 roundabouts - 5.7 mi
44. Slight left at Beacon Rd - 1.5 mi
45. Continue onto Ditchling Rd - 2.6 mi
46. Turn left at Coldean Ln - 1.2 mi
47. Slight left to stay on Coldean Ln - 174 ft
48. Turn right at Lewes Rd/A270 - 2.4 mi
49. Slight left to stay on Lewes Rd/A270 - 171 ft
50. Continue straight onto Richmond Pl/A23 Continue to follow A23 - 0.6 mi
51. Turn left at Steine St - 489 ft
52. Turn left at Marine Parade - 0.2 mi
Arrive at: Marine Parade/A259
View Larger Map
Monday, 7 June 2010
I saw the event on a Channel 4 TV program - i was instantly hooked and even while i watched it, I was online getting information.. the rest is history and here we are now...
I'm not only doing this for myself, I thought i'd raqise money for charity along the way.. The Meningitis Trust ( http://www.meningitis-trust.org/ ) improves the lives of people affected by meningitis. They are the only provider of professional meningitis support and aftercare services in the UK, helping thousands of people every year. After a work friend's 2 year old died of meningitis it was my impulse to collect for this.
My donation page can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/mds2011
The race itself is 150 miles or so across the Sahara Desert in Morocco .. it is over 6 days, this is tough enough but they also ask you to carry ALL your own provisions - the only thing they supply is Water and a Tent... everything else - you carry.
So i have been running lots as you can imagine - plus testing equipment and clothing too.. this year i press on with these things and start adding food to my tests and heat training also... its not scientific and its not too pleasant at times but its working so far and I and slowly feeling ready for the task... more to follow. :)
Monday, 17 May 2010
So that's the recipe for today..
I'm sorry not to have blogged for a while - I've been a bit slack and I'll sort that out.. however, there is plenty to say so I might split this post into 2..
I'll leave the running for the next post but in brief I have now fully recovered from the London Marathon and am already looking forward to my next race. I've also started using compression socks which seem to help - however, more about them in this other post later in the week.!!
This weekend was fun from beginning to end and was always going to be tiring.. on Saturday I ran 17.5 miles and then had to go see my parents in the afternoon / evening as it was their wedding anniversary.. a lovely time we had too.
Sunday was a very early start.. I was due to wake at 2.30am but someone revving up their motorbike woke me at 2am... so up i got... Richmond Park was the target and to get there by 5.10 - sunrise time.
Now from my flat it usually takes 2 hours at this time of the morning but i had an absolute nightmare with the buses and I did not arrive till 05.30..!! GUTTED! .. so i missed the best part of the sunrise and dawn before that but i still managed to get some ok shots..
The above shot was one of my first.. you can see there was a lovely misty fog coming up off the stream.. perfect really.. even more annoying i was late. :( Still - you have to make the best of a bad thing sometimes and I walked around for some time shooting various nature themes and landscapes. Later in the morning I came across some Canadian Geese and their gosling's.. i used a Nutragrain Bar to tempt them close and got some fun shots up close..
Richmond Park is most certainly one of my favourite places in London to spend time with the camera.. with all the deer and other wildlife it's always a joy.. You can see the rest of my photos on Facebook .
These photos are all un-edited, in time I'll choose my favourites and edit a few for Flickr... lookout for another blog later in the week about running.. hope you try and enjoy the smoothie!!
Monday, 26 April 2010
On the day I felt fine - body felt in excellent shape and although a bit stuffed up first thing, my cold wasn't an issue.. great news!! We go to Greenwich in plenty on time but had to wait nearly an hour for the toilet.. As relaxed as i was I didn't worry too much however only left myself 5 minutes to get to my starting point..
I went into my starting pen (3) but the field was already moving up to the start line - result: I was back with slower runners when the gun went and took about 2 minutes to cross the start line.. when i had I was constricted by other peoples pace and had to zig-zag by them ..This meant my first Km was 5.07 and the second 4.43.. much slower than my 4.30 time I had wanted to do.. I had two choices - stick with it until you gained pace or speed up and catch you time... Now i'm no good at running negative splits so I decided to catch my time up by running faster.. So the next few kilometers went like this:
before long i had caught my pace up but used an awful lot of energy... Everything seemed to be going well so I kept my pace at about 4.30 (as planned) until the half way stage - Tower Bridge.. My official splits show this:
I weather was great - a cloudy sky and hardly any wind - however it did pick up a little on Canary Wharf - but I'd expect that because of the high rise buildings... What i did not expect was breathing problems.. I think this started at the 30km mark going under the skyscrapers on the Wharf. Thinking about it this was probably my cold not coping with the huge breaths i was taking.. one way or the other it slowed me down - I wanted to stop but thought dropping my pace was a better thing to do with such a long way to go... Slowing down worked however, my pace times dropped from 4.40 per km to well over 5 minutes... my dream time of 3:15 at the finish was slipping away and there was nothing I could do about it... I felt upset but plodded on thinking a good time could still be achieved. I didn't expect the next bombshell either..
As I came off Canary Wharf on a small downhill section I felt my achilles strain under pressure.. this was not good - and this now made me panic a little putting fear in my mind that i wouldn't even complete the course. My breathing got worse at this point and there was nothing I could do but walk.. So walk I did, for about a minute when I had got my breath back. My heal was throbing and my pace was slow due to my breathing - I felt uncomfortable but the crowd seeing this were shouting my name and giving me loads of encouragement.. amazing! After 33 and 34 KM marks I picked up a bit but as soon as i did my breathing got worse and I had to walk again!! This was not in the script but was really necessary... running again I went by my charity support group - The Meningitis Trust at about mile 23 - they were SO LOUD! Excellent - I picked up the pace again but breathing once more got the better of me - Blackfriars Underpass approached and I knew my friends were waiting on the other side.. So I walked again for about a minute to get my breath back and to run in front of my mates - lol.. well, you have to eh?!
Out of the underpass I looked to the left to see my friends and low and behold they were not there! I was really upset at this point - but I tried to focus as there were only 2 miles left until the end. (Later I found out they were shouting their heads off on the other side of the road ) I really did have to dig deep at this point - my earlier push to catch my time up was a really stupid thing to do - however, no complaining now - what's the time? I looked at my watch.. I worked out I could still get under 3hours 30 mins if I kept going at my current pace.. But my heal was killing me now - its severity made me walk again on the Embankment - once more peoples encouragement made me run again and although in pain managed to pick up the pace... Birdcage Walk was my last slow low when I walked for about half a minute before throwing myself into a final push under the 800m sign and round the top - past Buckingham Palace - under the 385 yards to go marker and into the Mall.. I was in real pain and probably looked bad but again my charity girls from the stand lept up to give my the biggest cheer I have ever witnessed.. with a smile and a wave and picked up again to the finish line with a tear in my eye.
My official times for the second part of the race looked like this:
In summery - I need more discipline if I can expect to get better, and I know i can. However, I'm really pleased with my time - it is after all a personal best. I have found out I can dig deep when it counts - and listen to my body enough to know when to slow down.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
* For the two days before don't eat out - you are risking an upset stomach or worse - cook for yourself.
* Expo - every big marathon has an Expo one or two days before the event. Go to this early as possible just in case you have to re-visit.
* Read the race day instructions! And then - read them again! These notes may not all seem important but it is worth knowing everything.
* Day before event - a TOTAL rest day. Make sure you have everything you need around you - ie food, Expo done etc so you don't have to leave your house.
* Carb Loading - don't over eat!! Eat your normal amount of food - but rich in Low GI Carbohydrates.
* Stick to tried and tested things - ie, clothing and food.
* Check you travel plans! Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the event, the larger the event - the more people will be travelling to it.
* Friends - ask them where they are going to be watching and give them an idea when you will pass.
* Extra items; Make sure you have everything with you including stuff to change into after race - make sure everything fits into your race bag.
* Number & Tag; its much easier to attach your race number and timing tag before you leave home! (always use 4 safety pins on your number)
* Race items - ie gels, sunglasses, watch etc.. check this all through, is the watch charged? Make sure everything is there and you have enough of it.
* Clothing - seems obvious but make sure your race day kit is clean and in good condition to go!
* Breakfast; eat your usual breakfast, the one you have been used to eating in training - try not to break the habit.. if it worked then, it will work on race day (remember don't eat less than 2 hours before the race.)
* Drink - up to 30 minutes before the race! TRY not to drink sugary liquids before the race unless this works for you.. too much sugar and you could be running for the toilet - not the gun.
* Stretching - not a great idea before the race. Instead go for a light jog or action stretches, like jumps instead.
* Bin liners.. take a bin liner with you - cut a hole in the top - if its cold or raining you can keep warm in this after you drop you race bag off.
* Toilet; don't be afraid or worried about using the toilet more than once or twice before the race - this is very normal and advisable.
* After; If you are meeting your friends after, make sure you give them an exact location on where you will be.. on large races you may have trouble using your mobile.
* Just before the gun; it is quite normal to feel heavy and tired before the start - don't let this bother you - remember your training and everything will be forgotten when you start to move.
* Pens; Make sure you are in the correct timing pen at the start for your finish time - this is important to you as it is other runners.
* Water Stations; If you intend to take water move toward the left of right near the station before you arrive at it.. If you don't intend to take any water - move away from the area - this is where a lot of accidents happen.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Ok, this is probably going to look awful but what the heck - I'm up for a laugh. So a few people have been asking me about smoothie's so i thought I'd give you a private lesson ;)
Just watch the video and I will explain how its done but here is the recipe briefly:
Put in a liquidiser 1 chopped banana followed by 3 tablespoons of rolled oats & nut mix or musili - then one large tablespoon of natural yoghurt - then fill to the 500ml mark with any fruit juice - i used apple!.. blend and drink!
If you made this and liked it - please donate to my charity - The Meningitis Trust at the following link: http://www.justgiving.com/mds2011
Thanks for watching - please forward to anyone you think might be interested.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Most 'first time' marathon runners will get advice like stuff as much pasta as you can in the night before the race.. this is not entirely true so be careful of exactly how much you eat - ie, don't over eat! Firstly, there are 2 main methods of CL:
1) the last two days before race day have a high intake of LOW GI foods
2) 5,4 & 3 days before eat only protein rich foods, cutting out carbohydrates and ruducing fat to almost zero. Then 2 & 1 days before race day, eat LOW GI Carb foods in your diet.
Here's a good question - why do we carb load? Muscles store glycogen and use this up over extreme lenghtes of exercise..ie marathon running. when glycogen runs out, we hit what is known as the wall - after than our body starts to burn the next best thing - fat, when this happens you really are in trouble and that is why its important to top up glycogen while you race - ie, Gels.
The second question you might ask; what is LOW GI? Well GI stands for Glycemic Index, and all carbohydrates have a GI.. they are all measured on a scale from 0-100, however, we usually rate them as LOW, MED and HIGH GI.. Got it? So LOW GI foods (like pasta) give your muscles glycogen to store for use later - whereas HIGH GI (like jelly babies) gives you glycogen to burn straight away... link at bottom of page.
That should have covered what carb loading is all about.. there are lists of LOW GI foods on many websites, again, I have a link to one of them at the bottom of this piece. Basically CL goes hand in hand with Tapering (which i covered in my last blog).. So I have some tips that work for me which maybe you want to consider:
1) Don't over eat - eat the same as usual - however, make sure you are getting plenty of LOW GI foods.
2) Avoid protein the day before it does little anyway.
3) Avoid HI GI foods except on the day of the race.
4) Stick to what you know works - don't try new ideas - this will help mentally as well as physically.
5) The day before race day is a TOTAL REST DAY.. make sure you don't have to leave the house.. rest means rest - food should be all bought and ready to eat etc so you don't need to do much - just relax.
6) Avoid eating and drinking things that make you hyper - ie, coffee and chocolate etc.. this only makes you want to do something other than rest!
I'll list my food intake down on my 'day before' day... This might be useful to someone but not only that it keeps me occupied whilst the day passes.
Glycemic Index: http://www.glycemicindex.com/
GI List: http://www.the-gi-diet.org/glycemicindexchart/
Race Gels: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/reviews/nutrition/energy-gels/24.html
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Before a big race you need your muscles and body to be it tip top shape- its a fact they need proper time to repair because of all the training. So here's me, 2 weeks before the London Marathon and starting to do just that.. here's a little insight.
Up till last week I've been running approximately 50 miles a week in total. Tapering is exactly what is says - you taper down from these miles to virtually nothing.. So this week the plan will be to cover around 25-30 miles. And the final week only about 15 miles probably made up of 3 * 5 mile runs.. none of these will be at 'fast' pace, just a slow easy run. The Marathon is on Sunday 25th and so, Friday and Saturday I will not be running - Friday I'll prepare myself so that Saturday I don't need to leave the house - just be lazy basically.. LOL.. easy??
Tapering allows your body to rest after all the training you have put in - rest for the muscles to repair and any small aches and pains to mend so you are fit and healthy by race day.. Of cou8rse, you have to keep the body motivated and that's why you continue running - if only a small percentage of before.
To non-runners this might seem like bliss and a great idea - however, when you go running as much as 50 miles a week - you need time to fit it all in.. Suddenly this time is free again when you are tapering.. this bothers a few runners and therefore they break the rules and go out for a jog.. this is not a good idea - personally I'll either go to the gym and do some work on my upper body or go for a walk instead as you feel you have achieved something.. :)
In the last few days before race day, tapering goes hand in hand with something called Carb Loading.. you may have heard of this already - however, I will be covering this in a separate blog on another day.. till then - happy running :)
Friday, 9 April 2010
I'd like to take a view on this but remove if I can the thoughts from this program and take my own personal view on this hugely popular event..
Every year they tell us it is over subscribed by 3 or 4 times... that's approximately 120,000 people trying to get in and only 30,000 actually do.. The cheapest entry is a ballot place - which this year would have cost £32.00. We know that LM is also a charity giving to local schemes up and down the country although this is never made very clear to us. We also know for a fact that charities pay LM £300 - yes.. three hundred pounds for every gold bold place they hand out...
Now - admittedly the LM has to make money to pay for staff, race costs, advertising, and blahdy blah... BUT they must make a lot!.. I mean - WHY charge charities at all?? please someone answer me this very simple question... as here is my addition to that last statement - it cost £32 for a ballot place... thirty two pounds... charge everyone the same!? Charities too if you have to - but £300?? come on?
In the pre race magazine we have also been told that future ballot places will also get phased out... only people that tried for ballot in 2009 AND 2010 are able to apply. So what will happen then? I'm annoyed to think that in this day and age we can still not put on a large event without stinging a charity.... think about it for a minute - what would YOU do?.. Let me give you a push, I'm thinking - those in rightfully are people that are good for age and elite.. the rest - give ALL the places to charity.. yes ALL of them.. and then get the charities to find runners.. charge the charities the entrance fee (£32) and they can ask the runner for this... now... the good part.. the charity will no longer need to ask you to raise £1500 or so.. and the good thing is every charity would get in on the act now.. that seems fair to me..Plus - why not have more runners?? Is that asking too much?
I'm sure (putting the program aside) that the LM earns plenty of money through sponsorship deals, £32 *30,000 = just short of £1m, and also the aid it is given by helpers who don't get paid (ie water station staff).
That to me is logic - that to me is a charitable change.. it might take programs like Dispatches the fear to do this but should it...?
On a footnote the program does include an interview with the London 10k organiser.. I again find this race very over priced at £29.50 - and I have to say very un-organised. The BUPA London 10k is about £25 too - and this begs the question are these events themselves getting over priced and forgetting what the real aim is - to keep fit and have fun.
Dispatches web page:
London Marathon press release:
Friday, 2 April 2010
after running - my video diary
I needed to test equipment to use on the Sahara run and make some notes about running with a heavy load.. In the desert my pack will start off anything between 12-15 kg - so it's important to test these things now rather than later.
1) Pack felt heavy at first but got used to this very quickly. Happy that back felt fine and shoulders too..
2) Although shoulders felt good - the straps on the OMM Backpack tended to cut in a little.. this could get painful with use in hot conditions.
3) Turning round while running - do this very slowly or when you turn back to face forward, the pack can roll round and knock you off balance.
4) Breathing: straps NEED to be pretty tight and therefore restrict breathing.. this needs to be done in long slow breaths rather than short little ones.
That was the OMM Backpack and next time i'll test the Raidlight one to see how that fairs.. The other thing to remember is that the weight will be better distributed throughout the pack - for testing I put two dumbbells in a towel which tended to stay at the bottom of the pack in one area... Maybe I will have to try out better weight distribution too.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
(contains offence language)
Went for a run today.. that was 21.5 miles and I thought after.. let's do this Ice Bath thing.. it's suppose to be good for you, so why not... well.. as you can see I was in a lot of pain! However, even though I only lasted 2 minutes, I did feel better for it.. When I got out of the bath I felt my legs warm up very quickly - the blood was being pumped in so fast.. amazing! I think I will probably do it again but try and stay in a little longer - I got out because my toes felt extremely painful.. they actually felt like someone was cutting them off!! lol! Well, you get the picture, if not, watch the video.. warning - there is some swearing in the video!
The run rounds off another long week of runs - this time totalling 52 miles.. I've spaced them nicely and not run too hard and that's why I feel good now.. next week more of the same and soon I will start to 'taper' before the London Marathon.
As I write the total on my charity page is now £1,170 so I am very pleased with the donations I am getting.. At the moment I am running a bet with EVERYONE for £50.. basically it goes like this - you pay £5 into my charity then let me know what time (down to the second) my official London Marathon time will be... you could win £50.. maybe give it a go? I'm hoping to arrive between 3.30 and maybe 3.20 if i can... up to you.. page is here: http://www.justgiving.com/mds2011
Sunday, 28 February 2010
I'm not sure exactly what this is down to but i'm glad that it has come to light.. It means my goal of the MdS seems so much nearer - just add the heat and weight (on my back) as extra factors - but I am sure I'm nearly there now. I'd like to moderate my training through summer, regulating it from say 35 miles up to 60 miles per week.. but not always the same mileage.. terrain must change often too - like trail or mountain running for instance.
I'm planning on running the marathon distance maybe twice before the actual London Marathon in late April - this will prepare me even more for the distance. I'm happy to have passed the 50 mile mark - its a milestone if you will pardon the pun. ;)
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Originally uploaded by Ray Wise
Without an infrared camera or film for my old 35mm its near impossible to make an image which resembles one. However, using an infrared effect in Photoshop helps... This is an example. Taken in New Zealand on the South Island its a basic shot of an old abandoned boat. The image was first edited using Tonal Contrast to bring out the details and then the Infrared mask was applied. This difference between it and using black and white (desaturation) techniques are quite astounding - bare in mind this doesn't work with all scenes and should be taken lightly. Lastly I applied some contrast and sharpening.
Tools used are all from Color Efex Pro 3 by Nik Software - details here: http://www.niksoftware.com/colorefexpro/en/entry.php
Sunday, 7 February 2010
You can see lots of light from behind the tree but the tree itself and other details are too dark - ie sheep and wall. Now, if you wanted silhouettes you could increase the contrast and be done with it but I'm going to attempt to show you how I bring these shadows up a little.
On the next screenshot I am changing the colour scale in Colour Balance - you can use Auto Colour but this doesn't always give the result you are looking for.. Remember this is NOT the same for every photo and you have to use your eye to gauge when it is at its best.
Shadow/Highlight is next - again this can be easily overdone so be careful.. my settings below should be ok for most processing however, watch out for added gainyness or halos.. Halos form between highlight and shadow - if it is pushed too much a white glow will occur around a dark object which looks surreal and unpleasant.
So without pushing the shot too much I still need more exposure on the dark objects - even after the above trick. Below I am going to create a new layer. Layers are found in the windows list but are usually out already on the right hand side of the screen. Right click and duplicate layer. You will be asked what to call the layer - I have left it as is.. "Background Copy"
Once you chave named your new layer it will appear in the layers box above the 'original image'. Make sure the top (copy) layer is selected.
Next I went to Exposure and made the exposure +1.00... Click on ok and you see a big change straight away - however the lighter areas will lose their colour somewhat.
Getting the colour back could not be easier.. Select the Eraser tool and set it up as you see below.. Opacity about 28% and Flow about 31%... You can now erase the areas you lost the colour on.. and the layer underneath (original) will come through.. I erased the sky and the grass areas.
Afterwards right click on the layer and Flatten Image.
The only thing missing next was a little colour in the tree.. again a little trick for getting this back is a follows: Make a new layer with nothing on it - select this layer.. and then select the gradient tool. I selected the already made grey to clear brush and changed the grey to yellow.. I then dragged the mouse from the top middle of the image to the bottom middle..
If you have done this correctly the gradient will be on the top layer (new layer) and the original image underneath still intact. Looking like below...
As you can see that look is unatural - but if you go to layers again and change the style from Normal to Soft Light, it will only appear on the dark area.. (the tree)
Finally I'm happy with the shot - sometimes at this point you can add some sharpening but I don't feel it's necessary here. Below is a split with the Edited version on the left and the original on the right:
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
New trainer time for me - Asics Kayano 16 - which is a step up from the 15 I was wearing.. these are a bit lighter and have more shock absorption in the heal.. which you can really feel if you walk in them - however, this is not entirely comfortable.. These are out and out road running shoes - built for the over pronator, which is me :)
Trainers need to be replaced anything from 300-400 miles - or if the drastically start to wear - however this might mean a wrong fit. Trainers need to be worn in - that means no more than 30 minutes running per day in them for the first 2 weeks. This will mould them into your foot better and reduce the risk of heal blisters. This is a pain for me as I'd increased my runs to at least 7-8 miles at a time - about 50-60 minutes.. So I've had to cut this down - however on Sunday when I ran 13 miles I took my new shoes in a rucksack and changed into them 30 minutes from the end :))
It's a good thing to slow down for a couple of weeks anyway and give my muscles a rest to recouperate. Next race for me is the Fleet Half Marathon in March so i have plenty of time for these to bed in before then,.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
I belong to a Photo Meetup group, as you may know. They had a winter themed competition and my above image came in first place.! I'm stunned and happy at the same time as we have a lot of very talented photographers in the group... The other good news is that my shot is that it will be on show, with some other images from the group at Putney Library from 14 Feb - 6 Mar. the address is 5/7 Disraeli Road, London, SW15 2DR > more details are here.
Details about the shot. I have to say it's not one of my favourites but from a shoot I did in Jan 2009 at Richmond Park in Surrey (not far from Putney). The temperature was about -6C and everything was covered in frost - including me by the end of the morning. More examples from that and other days to Richmond Park can be seen at my Flickr Account.
If you live in or around London and are interested in joining the group, here is the Photography Meetup website:
Friday, 29 January 2010
Your chauffeur awaits m'lady
Originally uploaded by Ray Wise
Last summer I went with my sister and family to Hever Castle in Kent.. there was a wedding on there and I was lucky with this shot when the Rolls Royce arrived it parked plumb in front of me. Luckily there was nobody around to erase from the shot and I got a clean image.. The castle frankly dominates the shot for me and the car just an interesting feature. I used a sepia tone to bring out the contrast better however, the colour version works well too.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
My favourite of the bunch was It's Complicated - a romantic comedy with a twist - or two... or three. Meryl Streep stars along side some great acting from co star Alec Balwin. Steve Martin also plays an important role however, i did find his work a little dull and doesn't really add to the comedy value.
The Informant was a great suprise - starring Matt Damon this is a true story about a business man who turns informer on his company.. Damon plays a great part and really shows us his true acting colours which is nice to see... I hear also he is making another Bourne film - could this be a step in the wrong direction? We'll have to wait and see..
The other two are fairly run of the mill action thrillers which are a good ride but nothing much to write home about.. Watching out for Fish Tank and 44 Inch Chest - two British films which are receiving some great reviews - hope to bring you these real soon...x