Friday 28 September 2012

01 October MdS Part 4 - The Charity Chapter

This episode will be about charities and my opinion. I'm not in favor and I'm not against them. But like with anything I don't want it shoved through my throat.

I believe or think that most of us do this for us. I do it for me. However, if /when I can help a good cause with it, why the hell not. I think most of us will support a good cause. I have seen CLIC Sargent from MJG and Laura is supporting the British Heart Foundation.

I'm also pretty selfish, I don't really donate to other charities, as I have my own. However, I will of course support friends/colleagues when asked.

Two very memorable supporting activities I did this year:
1) Andy Large (and I) were doing a 60 mile bike ride Tour de Tendring. Andy did this to support the charity of his son's friends father for soldiers coming back wounded from Afghanistan. What was so memorable: Andy falling down on the grass out of breath when we finished and showing his emotion. Pretty cool being part of it. Not just donating, but being there with him.

2) Stuart Smith running 100 miles from BT HQ in Central London to the BT R&D facility in Adastral Park Martlesham (Ipswhich). I picked Stuart up in Adastral, dropped him off at the BT HQ around 2200 so he could start his run. Again, not only donating, to his Red Nose charity, but supporting just that little more.

I am supporting which is a small charity for Melanoma. The gentleman who runs the charity, Harry Townsend, has also done the MdS a number of years ago.

He founded the charity as his wife died of Melanoma. I'm supporting his charity as my girlfriends brother died of Melanoma. Melanoma is a skincancer and the most common cause is sun. Well guess where we get lots of that?  In the Sahara. So nicely combined as a charity event in the sun to support a charity that as they say fights "The Darker Side of the Sun".

What I am looking for in events is that it is still a race and not hyped by charity. Don't get me wrong, it's never bad to support a good cause, but running should be about running and not about charities.

I saw a really interesting run in London, but reading further not only did I have to pay an entrance fee, I also had to pledge £750 towards the organisers chosen charity. Personally I feel that's wrong, anybody who wants to do this, good on them.

I already see people being disappointed not making the London Marathon and I bet you most of them will now look to charity places. So I question, why are charities able to reserve places in certain runs? What happens with those places if they don't get the takers? Personally, I couldn't care less about the London Marathon, I just feel it's a shame so many people miss out participating in it.

Also people, think about which fundraising company you use. I've moved to BT's as they don't charge, so all money goes to the charity. Again, I am not judging the ones that charge as they are very transparent about it, but it means less of your hard earned cash goes to your cause.

And of course, it starts today:

I will be back with more soon.


Wednesday 19 September 2012

19 Sep 2012 Marathon des Sables Part 3.

As the title says it is now 19 September and just under 200 days to go before we fly out. I have now been back from vacation at work for 2 weeks nearly. This week I had a bit of a lapse in energy. On Monday I went out for a ruby in Brick Lane (that's an Indian meal for people). I wasn't home late but getting up on Tuesday was nearly impossible.

Last evening (18 September) I did some weights downstairs in our little weight gym. and finally today I cycled again to work and that has brought back some energy. Tomorrow I'm flying out to be in the Netherlands and hopefully can hit the gym there a bit with my oldest daughter.Which should bring the mojo back.

I will admit I don't look forward to Fall/Autumn/Winter. It's not my favorite time of year. But it will bring the dark, and I like the dark. Dark is good. It brings the best out in people.

So I've been slacking on:
Gym., Pilates, Swimming, Cycling.

I've been: running and a bit of weights.

So next week is to look for my mojo and week after it better be back.

However, I've been spending time on getting my list together on items I need to take. I've received the backpag and the two camelbak bottles. So I would think I am working towards getting there. I think my main challenge is, the sleeping bag. I looked at the PHD a number of times and they look very very attractive. But there is something holding me back.

One of the nicest things of this going to a sand pit is the people I'm meeting in Richmond Park at Roehampton Gate. Well meet them there as that is where we agree to meet. These are not just random meetings in a park.

I've created a little bit of a plan (more a desire) to do before I die (or go to a desert).
1) Some 5-7 laps in Richmond Park at midnight.
2) Run from Kingston u. Thames to Reading.
I am going public with this, because I now have to do it, otherwise I am letting people (and myself down). It's a bit of a strange way of how my mind operates. But it's done that for years, so I assume it's normal for me.

I feel very comfortable and confident about the upcoming event. But I will not underestimate it.

One of my inspirations is a man I met Good Friday on the beach in the Netherlands. Joop Keizer, 71 years young and still running. He used to be good, very good. I can only dream of being that good. But also, Joop is a great person. Typical person from Amsterdam.

So for now, this is enough, but I thought I put some thoughts on paper (well a screen) for future generations.


Saturday 1 September 2012

01 Sep 2012 Marathon des Sables A week into the journey.

So I guess about 30 weeks to go. I am in Turkey since Thursday and have been swimming, running and to the gym. In between I am in 37 degrees heat tanning and eating. Two barefoot (really bare) runs on the beach. 16k for one and an hour for the other.
Learning: if you wanna toughen your feet, run without shoes. Forget creams and stuff.

I also joined the Pilates class and the lovely East European teacher could well write a book called 50 Shades of Pilates.

My laps in the sea for swimming are either 200 or 400 meters, so 3 or 4 laps is my swimming done and the rest of sea entry is for play.

Getting back to the running on the beach. Seriously I would advice all to do this, as I think that our feet need to be tougher than our legs. Feet will do the work. But heho (is that a word?) up to you guys.

I have been really good on the food, lots of veg, salad and fish. To be fair the hotel is pretty good and very big. And for the single people under us some very pretty women here. Men as well I guess.

I actually decided not to do an update every week. That would be 30 more and probably get boring.

The gym in this hotel is very very good. Big room for cardio with the latest life fitness kit and big room for waits with pretty new hammer strength. Yes I know same company.

So far my training is going to plan. Remember I don't have a plan.

But learning's for this week:
Go to this hotel and get a week of heat training in. No I don't get paid for saying this.
Run barefoot to toughen your feet.

So till next time.