Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Marathon is Open.....

No, not that silly bloody London effort. I'm talking about the proper one in October. Abingdon Marathon. 
I've given up trying to get into the London Marathon. After 5 rejection letters they can stick it. Yes, I could run for a charity, but who the hell is going to sponsor me to do something I enjoy? And how the hell am I supposed to raise the amounts they want? No chance. London can eff off as far as I'm concerned. 

The main reason I want to do Abingdon Marathon is I remember my dad doing it years ago, back when there used to be a half marathon too. And I want to feel like I have actually achieved something before my 40th birthday at the end of the year. 
Half marathons are not really much of a challenge now, I suppose getting a faster time would be a challenge, but I mean they're not a challenge so much as I could just put my shoes on now and skip off out for a steady sub 2 hour half without a great deal of training or prep. Only on Sunday gone for example, after only a couple of short (but fairly quick) runs into work during the week, I was able to go out and run 10 miles without much sweat being broken, and if I didn't have to get back, I would have kept going. 
Marathon it is then. 
Only trouble is, as always, bloody skint. And race entry for this year is £40. I'm hoping there will still be spots available come the 10th, otherwise I will just have to put my name down on the reserve list and hope someone pulls out. 
This happened last year, but as had done virtually no training and it was fairly late notice I had to refuse. 
This year WILL be different however. I AM going to train for it, whether I get a spot or not. At least I know I will be ready if I get the reserve spot again, and who knows, I might even post a respectable time. 
First things first though, I need new shoes! Pops to the rescue here. He has offered to fetch me a new pair to help me get this done!
I've been using Saucony Kinvara's for the past couple of years as I've been trying to sort my gait out and run more naturally. Kinvara's seemed the ideal bet because of the smaller heel-toe drop of 4mm, as opposed to most other shoes that have a 12mm drop. The Kinvara's force you to run more on your midfoot rather than you landing on your heel (which is the main cause of shin splints btw) and "rocking" you into your stride. Only trouble with this is there's not a great deal of cushioning on the Kinvara's so your do take a bit of a hiding, especially if like me, pretty much all your running is done on roads and footpaths. 
For this reason, I'm being a bit of a tart as usual, I'm plumping for a BRAND NEW shoe from Saucony- the ISO Zealot. 
It's the same drop level and fit as the Kinvara, except it has the new ISO-fit system, but also has a lot more cushioning around the midfoot area, where I need it. 
Unfortunately for some ridiculous reason only known to the bods at Saucony, they are only offering 1 colour scheme, for men anyway, in the UK, while the UK women, and men everywhere else in the world get 2 versions. Needless to say I prefer the version that I can't get, as well as one of the women's versions!
I have been advised against getting the women's shoe as it is likely to be too narrow. Bah!
So, I'm stuck with this version:
It's not so bad, similar to my Kinvara 3's in a way but I much prefer this version:
which is the unavailable men's shoe, and this little beauty which is the more vibrant version of the women's Zealot:

And who knows, if the men's version is too wide for my gert hoofs, i'ma get myself a girlie shoe and be bloody happy about it too!

I will come back and let you know what they're like and whether I have delicate little lady paws instead of hairy stinking manly plates. 


Edit: If you want more info on the ISO Zealot's and indeed Saucony in general, go here:
The Zealot's are not on the UK website yet, hence the American website. 

The shop mine are coming from is Fit2Run just outside Abingdon. They are always very helpful, and usually if you're not an arse, will knock a few £ off the asking price. 
The website is a bit weird at the mo, I'm guessing it's being updated and stuff but if you want it -


(Sorry I can't link at the mo, am doing this on my phone and the works computer won't play nicely!)

Friday, 23 January 2015

Try, try and try again.

Ok so my jogging, logging and blogging effort failed again as it usually does but it was nice to be able to say one night to another dad whilst picking up our kids from Cubs "I've run every day this year". The following day, my legs told me to eff off. I don't blame them really, they were getting a bit sore, but mostly from impact shock rather than muscular hurty's, which is sort of good. 

I didn't completely stop exercising, just jogs n logs. Carried on cycling to and from work as well as going back to TKD and more TT matches. 
Come to think of it, there is possibly only 1 day so far when I haven't done any form proper exercise. Yes, TT is proper exercise! Unfortunately there is no section on the running free website for ping pong and martial arts, and the ride into work isn't really worth logging. 

Still, there are plenty of Janathoners still going, and the very best of jolly luck to them all. 

I have run again since the early morning failing, and I will get back on it as I train for Abingdon Marathon. I will also try and review that Wahoo HRM thingy too. It's quite a funky little gadget, it's just a shame there is no website for a more in-depth geek out. 


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Those familiar aches are back

Had a TT match last night, first one since December 9th in fact, and this one was a damn sight tougher than the last one. 
We played against Drayton B, the only team so far this season to have beaten us, which was the first match of the season. 
It was quite a late one too! 
Started off badly losing the first 2 (out of 10) games of the night, before John pulled one back. Drayton then edged the gap to 2 again before yours truly played a ropey 4-setter to close it to 3-2 at the halfway point. It was 9:45 by this point and getting on. 
John was up next and duly won, but he dragged that out too for a good 25 mins. That made it 3-3. Jim then had play their "worst" player, again it want to 5, but jim lost that too. Needless to say jim wasn't a happy chappy - it was his first duck of the season. 4-3 Drayton. 
John was up for his last game against their best player next, and as he has done a few times already this season, made them look like complete beginners. He won 3-1 to put us level again! Awesome night for john again. 
My turn next against their captain in the last singles game of the night. 
I had beaten him already this season but I didn't deserve to, he should have thrashed me but for some reason just switched off. Anyway, I knew he was a good player having played him quite a few times over the years. I had only beaten him a couple of times. 
I never expected to win 11-2, 11-5 11-2!!
So, we were in the lead going in to the doubles, win this and we would win the match!
Started brilliantly with us winning the first end 11-2, Drayton took a tight 2nd and 3rd end before we managed to pull the 4th. So it was all down to a 5th end, again. Richard decided to adjust his game a touch and just thrash everything off his backhand, and there was not a damn thing we could do about it. Bugger. 
So we had to settle for another draw. We have now won 3, drawn 4 and lost just the 1. We are in 3rd place in Div 2 only 4 points behind Drayton B in 2nd, but crucially we have 2 games in hand over them, and 1 over the team in 4th and 2 points behind us. 
Keep the heads lads. We can do it this year. 

That's enough to TT jabber for the mo, next match isn't till next Thursday so there is a while to wait for that. 

As for my Janathon effort today, it was a killer. Not because of the route, but because I was effing knackered. Aching like a bastard from the match, half a bottle of wine, and less than 4 hours sleep do not mix with running. Done the shorter route again anyways just cos. 
Slowly again though. 5.44km in 31 dead. 
Hopefully will be suitably recovered by tomo evening to put in a touch extra distance, poss 10k instead. We shall see. Plus I have new running stuff to wear. Yaaaaay. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Normalness Returns

Xmas is now well and truly done with at last, decs and lights have been put away, trees have been re-planted, re-boxed or just binned and as with the start of every new year, there are loads of people buying cheap running clobber and getting out on the pavements/trails for the first time in years, including the Wife type. Good luck to you all I say, please stick at it, you will love it eventually. 
I enjoyed this Xmas, mainly because it was the first one I've had where I've been off work on both Xmas eve and Xmas Day since probably before we had the boys. Also it was the first one ever we've had where it was just the 4 of us, at home, all of Xmas day with no visiting members of family, which was splendid. 
But my favourite bit - outside on Xmas eve at 5:30 in the evening looking up at the sky looking for "Santa". 

I knew it was the ISS, wifey new it was the ISS, but the kids didn't. They ARE convinced it was Santa, and seeing their faces and hearing the utter conviction in their voices that it was actually Santa was just magic, and I'm not ashamed to admit that for a little while, I hoped it was too. That would be awesome wouldn't it?
So for now the kids still believe in the big fella, and that can't be a bad thing. I hope it lasts for another few years yet. 

Had a boring sort of recovery run into work this morning, just the short 5.4k plod. Probs be doing the same tomo morning as I have a TT match tonigh - 1st of the new year and against the only team to have beaten us so far this season. I'll let you know more in tomorrow's blog. 
Cheers for the noo. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

39 years & 1 week

Yep, 1 week into my 39th year of existence outside of the womb. Don't feel any different to last year really, except possibly less grumpy which is always nice. 
Quite a pleasant day really, nice sort-of lie in. I say sort of as we were woken by the cat yaffing up on the window sill - at least it wasn't the bed this time - before Number 2 Orc child came in at 6:20. Not particularly unbroken sleep but wifey woman got up and done whatev's before I eventually crawled out around 9:40!! So much for the early morning Janathon effort. Still nice though. 

Wifey toddled off to church to leave me at home with the Orcs playing various electronic wizardry, 1 on a Kindle Fire, t'other on the Xbox. I sodded off into the kitchen to do the washing up before getting outside and disposing of a previous Xmas tree. 
This was the one we got for 2013 Xmas btw. We bought a real one in a pot with roots and all that gumf in the hope that we could keep it outside all year round, but alas it died. Don't really know why, and we weren't sure it was dead until all the needles had turned brown. 
So it was time for it to go in the brown bin. 
We bought another real one for 2014 Xmas, which is now outside, but we don't know if it will last. Still cheaper than buying a good fake tree though. 

Wife returned from church only to go back out a short while later taking the Orcs with her to grab a spot of shopping leaving me alone to enjoy the p & q while downloading the demo for Destiny. 😁

Once they had returned I was able get the Janathon effort in. Because I had been watching the Edinburgh Tattoo on the tele, I decided I HAD to have the Cold Stream Guards album on my iPhone to listen to, so loaded it up and buggered off out.
It was a nice foggy 10k up to RAL - turned round at 5k - and the music was lovely. Was planning on sticking to the same pace for the whole run but as I turned to head back, 633 Squadron came on in my ears and I defy ANYONE to not run faster when they hear that, followed by Ride of the Valkyries, well, same pace run can bugger right off. 
Whole run in the end was 50 mins and some seconds with the 1st half done in around 27 mins. 
Nice to get the first double figure run in. Will poss do 1 more in the first full week before upping the distance on all runs. 

Busy day, for a change!

Yeah I know, disgusting innit?
At work all day on a Saturday actually doing WORK! Wasn't too keen on the idea myself but it needed doing, just struggled to find the motivation to do it, before realising I would probably get the sack if I didn't do it. Motivation enough even for an idle feck like myself. Still, got it done eventually, I just hope my boss thinks it's good enough. 
But then that brings up another question doesn't it. If he thinks it is good enough, will he get me to do more of them? I bloody well hope not, sort of. 

And so to Janathon 3. 
Slightly longer route home than the last 2 efforts, and I mean slightly 6.28km and in 37 odd mins. Very slow considering I've done the same route in 26 mins a while back. Still, that's what this is for, getting the legs back. 
Hopefully do 10k for day 4. We shall see. 
See y'all. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Free stuff!

Ha ha ha, got you.

I meant free stuff that I have already got, not junk I'm giving away, but seeing as you're here, read on. 

Back in November I was having a moan at Facebook when I saw the competition entry thing for the weekly giveaway in Men's Running. It said "Last chance to enter!" So I did. Didn't have to do much, just provide my name and email address, I then promptly forgot about it. 
Imagine my unbridled joy when I got the "Congrats, you're a winner!" email. 
YAAAAAY I shouteth. 
After a couple of weeks and some impatient emailing, I got my shiny prize box. YAAAAAY I shouteth again. 
In my shiny box was the Nathan running torch I mentioned in my earlier post, a box of quite yummy breakfast bars, a set of insoles which I have to my dad as I didn't need them, a set of 3 funky little clip-on safety lights - also Nathan, an odd, and rather shit drinking bottle which looked like some form of Penis enlargement device. I shaln't be using this for either drinking from or any form of genital manipulation. 
But little star piece of geekery in the box was the Wahoo Tickr Run. It's got all sorts of gyroscopic devilry inside the little bestie along with HRM doodads. 
I shall blather about it more when given it a proper thrashing. 
Meantime, Janathon 2015 day 2 wasn't what I wanted it to be. Got out of bed late and had to take the short 5.4k route into work. 27 odd mins though so a touch quicker than day 1. 
Still going though, not broken yet. 

See y'all soonish. 

The Janathon Return....

Howdy folks, how's y'all?
Been a while innit. I'm back now though, but probs not for very long. Just until my knees collapse or some such. 

I'm still cycling, running and Table Tennising, but since last you read my twaddle I've started Taekwondoing too. It made sense really, done it years ago but not for long, my 2 boys started back in 2013 (or poss earlier) and really enjoy it, I was offered membership at a massively discounted rate so had to take it. Been doing it since the start of 2014 and am 3 grades in with 7 to go to hit that black belt target. 
Any road, more on that later, this shit's all about the run. 
It wasn't very exciting. It was just my standard bimble home-work route. It was dark, wet and windy, but I was teched up with a Wahoo Tickr HRM thing, head torch and my new shiny Nathan Zephyr Fire 100 running torch - 

so I was quite well kitted up, also being a bit wussy and wearing several layers, I was a bit too warm tbh. Glad it was only a tickle over 5k otherwise I may have boiled myself. 
But that was that, the 1st of hopefully, if I'm sensible!, 31 daily runs. 5.4km nice and slow in just about half an hour. 
Sadly most of my runs will be in the dark so not likely to see much to report. Hoping to hear Owls at some point though, that'd be top. 
Cheers folks.