Saturday, 25 October 2014

DNS - Did not Start

Beachy Head Marathon
My first DNS. Very simple: fell of bike, hurt my shoulder, hip, leg. Have cold, even walking gets me out of breath. So 26 October I may try a little run.
It was Beachy Head marathon. Looked forward to it, as I would be catching up with loads of people I hadn't seen for a while.
Sometimes you need to be smart and not do what you really want to do. Choosing the most difficult choice, is probably the best choice. So that is what I did.
Well so much for that. No more events this year.

MdS
Early October I went to the MdS Expo. Which is a good event, specially for first time MdS participants. If you do sign up for the MdS it's recommend to go there swell.
This time as part of my preparation I will be doing heat chamber as well. As this come highly recommended.
Looking forward to next year MdS. It's the 30th edition and according to the grapevine it is going to be special. Well it's special anyway. One of the most beautiful places on earth.

CrossFit
In July I started doing CrossFit at http://www.crossfit2012.co.uk in Kingston. Quite convenient, as it's right behind us in the university.
It's a very intense but very addictive activity. Met great people there and will have to start pumping up my volume of participation a bit. So far been able to do 6 per month. Should be going up to 8.

Cycling
Great to be cycling to work again. 44k per day. This week been a bit less, as the bike is in the bike hospital for a make-over. Needed new wheels and some other components. Which is not surprising as it has a lot of miles and years behind it. But I decided it was better and cheaper to get it sorted than to buy a new bike. Why spend 4 times as much?

Till end November
Very little running.
Higher volume CrossFit.
Higher volume of cycling.

That is it for today.

Live happy.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Almost 2 months - clearly not a writer

I'm not sure if I should blog loads or blog just now and then. Clearly even without decision it is now and then without a regularity about it.

September, I went to Romania, Bran. For the Transylvania Trail Transylvania Trail Info. Flew out to Bucharest where we saw the Ceausescu now Parliament Palace. Big, very big, makes most buildings look very little. You get a tour which shows about 5% of the building. Including a room that is like a 100m wide.

Stayed one night in Bucharest, to discover the city. It is proper 2nd world country. But the people are fantastic and they clearly want to build up their country. They are very proud and hard working.

Took the train to Brasov, which is about 3 hours north, to then take a taxi 30k south to Bran. Bran's claim to fame it is has the Castle of Vlad the Impaler, made world famous by the Bram Stoker book, Dracula.
Bran Castle, situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Bra┼čov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia

We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

We walked around in Bran for a day, which is a stretch, but if you go up into the mountains then it's time well spend. 

On Friday the 106k starts which this year (first time) was won by 3 ladies including Jo Meek. To give you a bit of a feel of the route check this Route Profile.

The race is extremely techncial, goes up to 2500m twice for the 106k and 50k. There is also a 35k. Proper mountains and an woods. Which are the natural habitat to bears and wolves and goats. In a lot of cases you have to climb, there is no running, it's climbing up and down.

Another DNF, but out a day in that environment, not that worried. Met great people Carina Ilie and George Baceanu who got us back to the road to get back by car. Bjorn Wikstrom and Per Sjogren. The 3 of us, DNFed together. So the 5 of us walked 2 hours to get back to the road. Not a bad walk, and 2 hours pass by quickly if you are with like minded people.

I can recommend the event, but it's a lot of technical climbing going up a lot, so think about the distance.

Then end of September I did the Singelloop in Utrecht where I grew up with Kim my youngest A 10km event. Her first event and we finished 1:09. Which is very good, as it was warm and we went out a  bit to fast. Really enjoyed doing an event with one of my daughters and we'll be back next year.

Now end of October the last event is coming up, Beachy Head Marathon on 25 October. Which I am told is hard, lot of hills. So that sounds good to me. Hope the weather holds (that is no rain).

I'll be meeting new and old friends at the Beachy Head event, starting Friday evening in an Italian. Not sure if that is carb loading or coincidence.

Then a month of running, only cycling and CrossFit. Then back in December to start training for the Marathon des Sables 2015.

That is it for now, but thought I quickly let you know a status.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

T184 - a learning

T184 - Thames Path from Thames Barrier in London to the source of the Thames. 184 miles / 294 km. 80 hours to finish. With cut-off times.
70 (out of 108 registered) started Friday 10:30
I stayed in the Antigallican the night before, which despite it's looks and area, is a very comfortable and clean hotel. Recommend if you ever need a night in Woolwhich.
Dinner in the Great Harry Wetherspoons with a number of other participants. Not met any of them, but again as in every running (specially ultra) event, great folks.

I also signed up to be measured by the Kent university. So in the morning saliva, urine and blood was taken of us. Shame the word will never see the result.

The run through London was interesting. Rob Jones was there to cheer me on. Thanks Rob really cheered me up. And later in the night he was trying to guide me through Walton. Well done again, because water is water at night, and Thames Path, alternative Thames Path pointing into what seem random directions doesn't help.

Thanks to Rob, Simon, Zoe, Kim, Wayde and Karen to be there.

Met great people, new people. Spend a good few hours with James Penson, as always we diverted around but got to the point in Teddington where we crossed the Thames to the South Bank and Karen was at Kingston Bridge.

I met a lady who knows explosives. Where else will you meet a woman that knows explosives?

Coming past my house may not have been the best, it plays with your head at about 50k in.

I made it to Walton through the dark and pulled out. My girlfriend, Karen had to come to the rescue after I called her after 23:00 to pick me up. Guess I slipped somewhat deeper in her debt.

My feet were shattered. Nerve pain, gout pain, blister pain, numbness pain.

Was it worthwhile. Yes. Do I want to do it again. 95% yes.

Is it hard, it's very hard. Is all I can say.

Not much more I can say. En route to the next adventure.

Well done to Shane to create a beast.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

A catch up in so many ways

I noticed my last blog was 31 May 2014. The day before 70.3 IM Rapperswil-Jona. That means I am well over 2 months behind.
So a little catch up:

10 May 2014 - Transvulcania - DNF at 26KM - CP3
Great place, Wayde did  a fantastic job getting a great villa. Meeting new people. Wayde, Elliott, Alex and Simon finished. Rob and I did not. But such is life. Great event, held on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.
It starts at 0600 at sea level at the lighthouse. A bit of a manic, chaotic start, but that is part of it. It goes up for the first 6km. Then it keeps on going up. For some reason with every step I felt the energy zapped from my legs. Like a little alien was shooting at my legs with a Zapper Gun from the planet Zap.
As it became harder and hard and I realised that with the best will in the world I couldn't make the CP3 cut-off, I just started to enjoy the scenery. And the scenery is almost second to none. Maybe not, but it is stunning.
Something very funny happened, I ran (matter of speech) past two people speaking Dutch and I responded to them in Dutch. How motivating is it if totally unknown people compliment and say well done, we couldn't do it. Still for me not enough, but it's one of the reasons for doing what I do.
The support and aid stations for the part I did are great, keeping in mind that you are out in the mountains where it is quiet.
So I DNF'ed at 26k but had a great day. Back to the villa, change. Meet up with Zoe, Alex, Rob, Veronique. And cheering on Alex, Simon, Eliot and Wayde.
All-in-all a great weekend out with great friends.

01 June 2014 - Rapperswil-Jona IM70.3 
Typical Swiss. Well organised. I had been swimming in the Zurich City Hallenbad 50m pool, but as my shoulder was still painful from the dislocation last year, I was a bit worried. The swim however was good, better than expected. Not my fastest, but very happy. The water was cold, about 14 C.
The bike ride is 2*45k laps covering a few hills. One short, steep and nasty. But once you are up, all the way down is downhill back to Rapperswil.
The run, as usual was painful due to my non-existing Mortons-Neuroma.
But I finished, and was glad I did another triathlon.
Around that time my colleague Carrie was doing here first triathlon in Blenheim Palace. She had been very serious at training. She did very well.
What I learned is that unless I can fix the the issue with my left foot of pain from running after cycling I will not be able to do a full Ironman.
I can cycle the 180k or run the 42.2k (or more for both) but not one followed by the other. So my quest to a solution continues.

Due to my father passing away this year some changes applied and I didn't do the 10K with Kim in Haastrecht. But we are doing the Singelloop in Utrecht on 28 September which is also a 10k.

Since the end of July I am back in London from Switzerland. Will miss Zurich a lot. What a fantastic place. So outdoors and so urban. Will have to find a reason to go back for Caliente (Latin Festival), Zurich Parade and Bohemia. Bohemia became my local establishment as it was 5 min away. Great place, wonderful staff.
Am working in the glorious City of London again. At least cycling is going up. 2 times this week 88km. It was only 10k on a daily basis in Zurich.

What is next:
03 August 2014 -Richmond Park Half Marathon
I believe this is a about a 5K loop. Not sure, but that would mean 4 laps. OMG - my goldfish mind needs to kick in. Hey a tree, hey a tree, hey a deer. But I will use it for the upcoming T184 (on which more later) using a 10kg weighted vest and my poles.
It's a training event rather than a PB/PR event. But it's Richmond Park so a home run.

22-25 August T184
T184 is 184 miles, 294 km in 80 hours. From the Thames Barrier to the Thames Source. Not sure what the training is for that, but it's going to be fun. Will I finish. I don't know. People finish it as part of the LDWA, but not in 80 hours. So far nobody I know is doing it so I will meet loads of new people. More on this after the event. But looking forward to it.

05-06 September - Transylvania - Lost Worlds Racing
I can choose 106k or 50ish. Or 2*50ish to do the 106k. As this is about a week after T184, not sure what to expect.

28 September - Singelloop Utrecht 10k
This is my home town, will run this with my daughter Kim and the only goal is to do it under 1 hour. Will meet up with an old school friend Eva who is doing this as well. So looking forward to this.


So much for now, will promise to try to keep this up better.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Another blog, another day.

I wish I was a bit more like my friend Derek Stewart Derek's blog who is diligent in writing a blog every week. I wish I wasn't like him, because otherwise I had to live in Scotland, which is pretty, but not really sunny. But you can't have it all, nice people, crap weather. What's more important?

Today I cycled my 30k to Rapperswil-Jona over the hills (far away Teletubbies come to play) to rack my bike. So far, a whole day without rain. So far I actually know two other people, colleagues, who are participating as well. So that's interesting. Not sure why but it is.

It is the 70.3 (that is the distance in miles) Ironman (so it's half distance) Rapperswil-Jona. Been a while since I had an open water swim. Which is 1.2m/1.9k, but that should work as I did the distance (nearly) in the pool.

My wrist is also healed, almost. It's the wrist of the hand I use to catch my self when I fall of my bike or fall running, or fall in general. You should think that at my ripe old age of 28 I should know better.

Both a new 70.3 mug, I like mugs, they are good for coffee and tea. Not sure if my lovely fiancee agrees as I'm sure she believes I have enough running mugs.

I will now shut up as I've been told by my medicine man that my triathlon rant needs to be over. Got to love these people. Which I do. :-)

So, this week, I signed up and paid the downpayment to MdS 2015, 30th anniversary. Seems I know for sure at least 3 people already who are going. So that's something to look forward to.

This year, besides the not to mention event in Switzerland on 01 June, I have last weekend of August the T184. Flat, Thames Path from Thames Barrier to Thames Source. In 80 hours.

Then in September, Transylvania, Romania 50 or 100k at Dracula Castle. And in September I am doing the 10k with my youngest daughter Kim in Utrecht. Which is the one I look forward to most.

And maybe, but only maybe, the Polar Marathon in Greenland.

Then for 2015, I should be sensible and not really sign up any further events.

This week I bought a weighted running vest, 10kg. Felt good, going up a hill, makes you slower with 10 extra kg, but you never know what it's good for. It didn't feel awkward, just heavy. So will keep you up to date on that.

In June of to Cape Verde, 2nd time. Great place. However getting to the village maybe a bit harder, it's a 25k run rather than a 5k. But the island of Boa Vista is fabulous.

For the rest not much more to say. Weather seems to be on the up in Zurich, as we always need to mention the weather at least once.

For now, live free and enjoy.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

A week of mixed emotions

I went to the Schultess Klinik in Zurich. The medical team there looks after the Swiss Olympic team. Dr. Mirela Borovac was my doctor. She looked at my foot, pulled my toes and did all sorts of stuff with my foot. Basically nothing wrong, just very sensitive. I am a forefoot striker, and full force goes onto my toes and ball. So it is just tenderness and sensitive. Maybe insoles, maybe not.

So Transvulcania here we come. Ok, very little training so I scheduled a few runs up the Uetliberg. A well, life is never easy.

Saturday morning 26 April at 03:30 my phone rang. That is never a good time to receive a phone call. And it was not. It was my girlfriend telling me my father had just died. He was nearly 84 and you could see it wasn't good. But he had a good life, 3 lovely grandchildren. And if I say so, I quite like how and who I am. So he must have something to do with that. As some or a lot of you may know, I am adopted. So it is not genetic. It is up bringing. And as every or at least most teenagers you don't agree with your parents. So did I, not agree. Some people may say I am still like that.

So based on when the funeral,is, the end of next week, I will most likely still be in Transvulcania. And I will ist likely run. I remember him being very proud when I finished the MdS. So I guess this will be for him. 

Not much more, but hopefully get some distance in before Transvulcania. As due to doctors orders I have not ran for week and a half.

So much for now. Be good.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Injured

This week the doctor told me I cannot do:
Running, Weights if it puts weighted pressure on my right foot, anything else that puts pressure on my right foot.
I can swim and do weights sitting. I may cycle if there is no pain.
Ok, cool. Not. In 4 weeks I have Transvulcania in La Palma.

So what do I have. Well, I have uric acid levels that are seen in people with gout, but also are seen in people without gout. So that's like Schrodingers cat.
I do not have hallux rigidus which is a form of arthritis. So I guess that is good.

Next week I'm seeing a sports doctor who is one of the doctors of the Swiss (and others) Olympic team. So I'm sure she'll fix my foot and I'll be twice as fast.

The doctor in Switzerland is funny. The waiting room reminds me of an old fashioned doctors waiting room. There are magazines on the table. Clearly the Health & Safety Demons from the UK have not made it here yet. Also Swiss clock work. If your appointment is at 1530, then you will be helped at 1615. Seems good enough to me. So stop complaining about the NHS y'all.

So I'm doing weights and swim. And I will go cycling about 50k (if not getting lost) on Saturday. Because then I can eat an easter egg. O no, come to think of it I cannot. I can however not eat lot's of other stuff.
  • Limit meat, poultry and fish
  • Cut back on fat. 
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Limit or avoid foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. 
  • Choose complex carbohydrates.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. 
So I better be good, otherwise my foot will keep on hurting. It could be I need an insole. That's pretty funny, for somebody who runs on minimalist shoes. Sorts of defeats the object.

Maybe the shoes that died in the Barcelona marathon, were dead before the marathon. Using them I assume didn't help.

But I think, you can't be a runner if you don't have an injury (or 2).

But so much about me. 2014 MdS is over and one. Bring on registration for 2015. And there is an undisputed British King of the MdS. Danny Kendall. Normally I wouldn't be that excited about the British, but in this case I happily make an exception.

I also, totally different subject, am meeting a large telco in the UK. They will sort out my email problem. It's so special, that nobody really knows how/what. But the support I am getting is second to none. What does that mean actually? Seriously, respect for the support team.

So I understand Easter is coming.  I looked it up, as I'm a bit confused about what happened on what day. But I got it.
Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ and held (in the Western Church) between 21 March and 25 April, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.
Which seems a bit funny, that it is the oldest. As I assume the gentleman had to be born first, then die, the resurrect. But I'm no expert.

Where the Easter bunny, chocolate eggs and searching for eggs comes from is not entirely clear to me. But again I'm no expert.

Well looking forward to the 50k cycle ride on Saturday and the pizza (I hope) afterwards. 

I noticed there are many people who finished the London Marathon, and there are many people who want to run it. Please people, a marathon is still a long distance. Watching it on tv and seeing people walk at Canary wharf 3 hours or so in, makes me wonder. I'm sure I'm not supposed to say this. But if you can't really run a marathon, and I am not talking about getting injured during, then should you be taking up a place?

But it's fun to see all these happy people. It was interesting as I was following or stalking people with finish times from about 2:57 to 5:01. But all of them, well done.

So far, I'm done, sleep now, off to London tomorrow.

Have fun and be careful out there.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The battles we fight and the choices we make

I follow a lot of my friends' blogs and routes to success. We all fight our own battles. One of my friends, a high performing Ironman athlete from Ireland battled with injury. He did very well in the APAC championships this weekend. For sure I noticed he beat his swim times for as longs as I've been following him. He ran a 3:11 marathon. Which is fast by any account. So well done Martin.

My Scottish friend Derek is training for his 83k highlands events. Which I am sure he will finish as he's hard as nails. He's also a very sensible man who balances work, family and training. And sometimes it's not easy. But I like his blogs and they remind me of .... good things, I guess.

Of course I fight battles. Just not sure which one at the moment. I think today I had a battle. I went for a run, 7k and it took me about 48 minutes. I was fighting my positive split battle in Barcelona. And the battle of old shoes. Which was purely me. But without the battles, life wouldn't be so exciting.

Based on the above and everything else we make choices. Choices are good, as they are ours. It's a shame that people believe they are forced to make choices by others. I do not believe that, I believe we are all responsible for the choices we make. How do I determine what choice? The hardest choice is the best choice. It may not be easy, but in the long run it'll be the best choice.

Ok so much for the philosophical part of this blog. Today I was watching the Kingston Whole Foods Breakfast run. Amazing to see the different people, levels and personalities. But all love the fact to be cheered on. The fast ones who over take 8 mile runners while they are finishing 16 miles. They may not look like they do, but they do. The slow ones, who are nearly at the end, and the 16 mile runners who are over 90 minutes into 8 miles. I enjoyed cheering them on. When walking into town i saw 3:45 on the finish but it was still going, so somebody must have been out there. The last few weeks an article did the rounds on Facebook. It started of being not very nice to the person on the track but it ended with : You Fucking Rock. That's what I was thinking about all the age groups coming past me this morning.

What I would like to happen is that parents, teachers, officials make it easier to be active specially for kids. These days it's choked with Health & Safety rules. And this should start with parents, if they want their kids to be active, and not complain if something happens (not that anybody wants anything to happen) or worse go into legal battle, sports would be easier.

I've started swimming again, done 2200 meters this week in 2 sessions. A mix of breast stroke and front crawl. As I am trialling my shoulder. It's a fab pool in Zurich the City Hallenbad and it's 50 meters.
More swimming next week, trying to reduce the running and increase the gym and swim for a week.

Last but not least I would like to draw attention to http://juliabuckley.co.uk/fat-burn-revolution/
a book written by a friend on how to lose weight, tone up and feel great. It's available from stores and e-books. It's worth a buy and a read and a use.

So much for now. Legs need some rest. Chocolate, Coconut cake in the oven


Sunday, 2 March 2014

The road to Transvulcania

Transvulcania is a sky running event ( http://www.skyrunning.com). It is held on the island of La Palma which is one of the Spanish Canary Islands. It's not easy to get there. My journey will be LHR-MAD-LPA-SPC. For normal people this is London Heathrow to Madrid onwards to Gran Canaria, where I will staying night (making the best of the Canaries) and then on to La Palma. Really, it's only a 4 hour flight in principle, if you would take a vacation flight. But it's an adventure by itself.

I'll be going with Wayde, Zoe, Rob and Simon. Wayde arranged a rented villa, at least I hope so as I've cancelled my hotel. However, I've got a car so can sleep in that if need be.

It is going to be one of the 3 major events I will be doing this year. But the other two, will stay under wraps until this one is done.

The road leads via the Hampton Court Half Marathon, which was about 1k short due to a mistake. But shit happens so we don't bother about that. It was a nice event basically on my doorstep. Might do it again next year, but I've got this rule about repeating events. But I've broken that rule before as rules are there to be broken as everybody knows.

The next event is 16 March the Barcelona Marathon. That will be fun, I hope. Flying out Friday, back Sunday. Training seems to be going well, but my pledge of average 7.5k per day running has not been met. It went well until I went to India and got ill the week after. But it's picking up and so far spring seems to be on its way. So I should catch up.

Looking forward to the Cape Verde trip in June. Back to Sal Rei doing some desert type running. Better prepared this time. Meaning, something but not sure.

So from now on I'm going to try to keep up the blog on a weekly basis and bore and irritate you with my nonsense.

One event to look out for is the Haastrecht (http://haastrechtloop.blogspot.co.uk) which I will do with Kim, my youngest daughter. Going for the full 10K monty.

O yeah, a post of mine wouldn't be mine without a rant. Could parents and adults on bikes please cycle on the road. Even if they are with their kids. It's just so much nicer for pedestrians if they don't use the pavement. And Yes I'm a cyclist and Yes I love cycling, and NO I don't cycle on the pavement.


That's it for now. Have fun and find a rule to break.