Saturday 24 November 2012

Part 12 - Excited - a brief update.

This week I am quite excited. Why is that you could ask yourself? If you were interested in asking yourself.

I've done my 9th Park Run. The 9th one was in Bushy Park where I did my first one as well. That means I am one Park Run run away from 10. Today's run was good but not great.
Great because I didn't go off like there is no tomorrow to collapse half way through.
Ok because I should have gone a bit faster on the first 2k to make the PB.
So the average between great and OK makes good. In my book that is.

I dropped a mail to Park Run for both Bushy and Richmond Park that I am happy to volunteer every now and then. Always fun to give something back.

As of this week I am the UK and The Netherlands Ambassador for Lost Worlds Racing ( My first activity is to increase the brand awareness of Lost Worlds Racing. We are a company that organises races in or very near World or National Heritage sites. So they are not  your run of the mill locations. Obviously all of you are interested in this, so feel free to question me about it.

Tomorrow there will be no Richmond MdS run for me. I'll do a run going to the Running Show in Sandown Park. Which I am sure will be quite good as usual. To snoop around (is that a word/activity)?

Training this week has been good. A couple of runs. Even a cycle ride and two flat tires on two different bikes. Not happy but such is life.

The race season is over for the year. Will keep on training hard till 24 December. Than have a few days off to get back into it on the 29th of December.

Hopefully I will be able to do a good couple of runs in the hills behind Marbella at the end of the year. Burn some calories before taking them in, in the nice food and drink places of gorgeous Marbella.

There isn't much more to report, I could bore you with what weight I lifted or what runs I did, but I will not. Most of you do the same, so what use is it to tell you I ran x KM in Y minutes which equals a pace of min/km or min/miles. I could do this by sharing all my Garmin workouts.

As part of the MdS, I have ordered a little Greek, Dutch and British flag which need to be sewed on my backpack. To represent the 3 countries that I am linked to.

So much for now. Have fun and be safe.


Friday 16 November 2012

Part 11 - Where are we today

Today 16 November 2012, physically I am in the Netherlands. Mentally I am somewhere over the rainbow. This morning I did a very gentle 5.49km run with my youngest daughter Kim. I would place a picture, but teenagers don't like their pictures except on Facebook.

Clearly that is a short run and it wasn't fast. But you know, it was a great run. For her and for me. Tomorrow I will do another gentle maybe at best 8-10km run. Then I will go with my son Ezra (again no pictures, FB only) to his football match. Where I am proud is he is 15 and a bit and plays in a team the A1 (which is a dutch grading). What the proud part is, is that the age to get into this team is 18. So he's clearly a good player. I guess, sort of. But proud anyway. So in January we go to an information day of the Dutch Royal Marine Corps. As you all know the Marines were invented by the Dutch. So would be great if he could join them.

In September when was in the Netherlands, I joined my oldest daughter, Naomi (no pix not even FB), to her gym. Which was pretty good. Doesn't mean we do the same things, just going to the gym, doing fitness with your kids is quite fun.

In the week after the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes I ran most days or went to the gym for strength training everyday. The weekend, I did the Parkrun 5k, added 7k did this with a friend, Helen. She is one fast runner. She's going to make me run faster, so pretty good training there.

You would ask, what this all got to do with training for the MdS? Well training for the MdS is not just running long, far, fast, consecutive days. It's getting mentally in the right frame of mind.

Where I am slacking (is that a word?) is pilates. I should do more and I do less. I need to get in the right frame of mind. I want to, but for some reason it ain't working out.

So I am clearly not all the way in. However, I know that if I would get a call tomorrow that the MdS is moved forward to next week, I am ready. Well ok, need to get a sleeping bag quickly and some food but that's it.

What also is important that the people I have met so far who will be there in the desert, are really great. Funny how we all seem to compliment each other.

As of today I am talking with Lost Worlds Racing ( to become their UK/NL Ambassador/Representative. Slowly slowly, but would be great fun.

Again, it's getting in the right frame of mind, and I feel big changes coming up. And I love big changes. I love change. Change is good. It's not the strong that survive. It's the adaptable. Or something like that.

I came over by boat, the Stenaline nightboat. I can recommend. You drive on it, around 2200 hours, about 1 hour 15 minutes before departure. Throw your stuff in your cabin. Go downstairs, get some wine, log on and play around. Than at 2300 go to sleep and you wake up in the Netherlands. Easy like Sunday morning. However, on Sunday morning I'll drive back to France to get the Calais crossing. Never done that, so that's a little change.

Next weekend, 24 November (yes nearly over) back for a run and The Running Show in Sandown Park.

As you  may have noticed, I started playing around with my own website. Very cool, but not sure if I'm creative enough. I like tinkering with it. But again, all sorts of change.

Well so far that's it for today. Will be back soon for more. Look out for the New Years Marbella edition.

Monday 5 November 2012

Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Part 2

Decided I should write a bit more about the race itself and something, let's say funny, that happened around 00:15 Sunday morning.

So I set my alarm and went to sleep Saturday around 21:00. Suddenly my alarm goes off. I don't look at the time, but decide I go downstairs in the hotel I am staying in. More about that hotel later. I look around for finding coffee. There are 4 people sitting at a table playing cards, so I walk up to them asking where to get coffee. They look at me like I am totally weird (how can they) and they ask me why I ask them. I thought they were staff playing cards to stay awake, clearly not. So the night porter comes over and I ask him for coffee. Which he sells to me.

Day 1 Saturday - register at the expo. Well organised, pick up the free t-shirt. Graham and I gone through the expo shop part twice just to have a look and buy some stuff.

The start is at Promenade des Anglais, right in front of my hotel. Well to be fair, 200 m or so to the left.

So I go back upstairs and drink my coffee, eat some yogurt ready to dress. Finally I look at the time and see it's 00:15, which clearly is about 5-6 hours before I have to wake up. So actually I can go back to bed. Pretty cool, but why I didn't notice I still don't know.

So back to bed, and finally the real alarm goes. Clearly the previous one wasn't real alarm. So again, go down get coffee. More yogurt an a banana. Had a large 4 cheeses pizza the evening before (well actually half a pizza) at Francis Cresci La Pizza in Nice. Worthwhile going there. Busy place. Groups of 7 or more keep on coming in. Had a lovely starter (but forgot what) and some chocolate stuff. So not very hungry.

Meet up at 07:00 to drop the bag. Large trucks ready so we can hand it all in, no waiting time. Walk to the start area, nicely split form elite down to 04:30+.
Once it starts it flows through very quickly and they have pacers for 03:00-onwards. Drinks and food every 5km. Only thing can say here is, the Coca Cola should be flat. No further comments. Chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, dried fruit. Water, energy drinks and so Coca Cola.

One long relatively steep hill at km 28. Mentally too many people told me to walk it, so I did. Don't think I needed to.

Arrival in Cannes - lots of people. Great atmosphere. Lot's of people across the course as well. When arrive in Cannes, you queue. Not as organised as in the UK, but much faster. Pick up the medal, the finisher gift, a small backpack. Than a plastic bag so you can stock up on drinks and fruit. To than walk through to the trucks to pick up your drop bag.

Normally you would take the train, where your bib number would be your ticket but SNCF (Societe National Chemin de Fer - French Railways) decided to do work on the track between Nice and Cannes. So busses arranged. Only thing to say there, they could have been a bit closer. 

The course it self is seafront, past famous places like: Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, starting on the boulevard in Nice ending on La Croissette in Cannes.

I am very tempted to sign up again next year.

Marathon des Alpes-Martimes Report

As preparation for the MdS and because I never did one I participated in the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes on 4 November 2012 from Nice to Cannes. A very worthwhile event. I would recommend this event to anybody. Very well organised. Normally great weather. Except this weekend. Saturday 03 November the weather was ok, on Monday 05 November, looking outside, the sun is back. On Sunday 04 November it poured. However lucky me, and my friend Graham who was here as well, we were finished before the great pour-down at around 1400.

This was done with my friend Graham Kehily who is training for his first Ironman next year.

It was my first Marathon, one, where I stop at 42 km and 195. Not one where I continue or have stopped earlier. So a new experience. Below split times. Just under 12000 started, just over 6400 finished within the 6 hours cut off. Which interestingly makes is higher fall out than the MdS.

Dossard n° 11433
Arrivé(e) 3800 out of 6440
1464 sur dans la catégorie V1- which I guess is my age group.
10Km : 00:55:42
21Km : 01:54:21
30Km : 02:47:17
42Km.195m : 04:09:27

I set up my watch for following Alex's advice, but I started slower than I maybe should have. I learned a lot, still my left leg is my weak side, and my left feet though much better is still not perfect. The pain is there but not very obvious. But that'll be fixed before April next year.

My 10k was slower than my fastest, my half marathon was 5 minutes faster than my fastest but should have been 10 minutes faster.

I needed to stop just once to often for a stretch.

But I enjoyed the weekend out, it was great. Great company, nice food, good drinks (diet coke and Orangina).
Overall I am happy but not ecstatic with my result. But a not so great run is better than no run at all. Sometime later today I will post the Garmin extract so you all can delve into statistics.

So far this report. Now up to 50K in February 2013.

See some of you 06 November or on Sunday 12 November.