Showing posts from 2006


Unbelievably, I completed the Great North Run! Not only that, but in roughly the same time that it took me to do it nearly 5 years ago. And with less training! Officially, my time was : 2 hours 17 minutes 7 seconds. The time on my watch was 2 hours 15 minutes 40+ seconds, but thats because I didn't see why I should time myself having a pee at the 5 mile mark! When the positions were first posted, I was in at a respectable 20,532, and then they changed the website and I could only get my position within the 'Others' category that I was a part of: 14,749. Not bad. I'm happy :-) Will have to do a lot better next year, though!! Big thanks to my cousin Damo, who did all the driving for the weekend, and was there at the end of the race to greet me. He is considering running himself next year since it took him the same time that I ran the course for him to use the metro system to get to the end! Despite the personal good news though, my thoughts and wishes

Miracle Complete!

Three days to go before the run and yesterday I finally managed to book a hotel ... in Carlisle! There was hotel in Gateshead, Newcastle, the Bowes Incline Hotel, that was advertised at £80 per night on , but when they tried to book it for me, the hotel wouldn't accept the booking unless I paid an extra £25 per night! Thieving bastards! The girl at tried her best to negotiate for me, but the hotel wouldn't budge. They were apparently about to put the prices up because of the Great North Run ... blatant profiteering from a charity event. Its disgusting. As I needed a room, I asked about taking just one night. Nope, I had to book both nights, and as the girl at laterooms pointed out, the hotel has nothing in their details about minimum stay restrictions so they should not be doing that. Needless to say I sent the hotel a rather stroppy email - which I am sure will go straight into the trash - and ended up finding an available hotel in Carli

Where Did My Life Go?

I am shattered. Totally and utterly shattered. The saying goes, "Women! You can't live with them and you can't live without them." I think this needs updating to reference work instead, cos I've managed perfectly fine without the former so far; though that could be down to not having the time to think, let alone think about someone else. For the past couple of months, I have been working on an application - after having 4 days 'training' - which was due to go live yesterday. For the past 4 to 5 weeks, I have been working 12 to 15 hours a day, and the last 4 weekends, in an effort to make up for my lack of and windows active directory knowledge and experience, in order to meet the deadline. I missed it. I didn't think I would as everything worked well on deployment to test, but deployment to production at the customer site was a totally different affair. Finally got it to work about 40 minutes ago - at least, I hope I got it

Taking the Good with the Bad

On Friday nights, at 10pm, LBC 97.3 have an interesting show on called The Phsychic Show. Often, they seem to have visitors that come in to talk about something with a psychic link which really ends up being someone's spiritual interpretation of common sense. So it can be quite entertaining. However, last Friday, they had an interesting speaker talk about Cosmic Ordering. I've heard this phrase before and admittedly thought it was about the cosmic order of things. Turns out, its actually about placing orders with the universe, like you might with a mail order catalogue - sorry about the analogy, but its the best I can come up with! I have to confess that I started to get pulled in by it the more stories I heard. Basically, it goes on the premise that if you expect bad things, then bad things will happen, and if you expect good things, then good things will happen. So, if you ask the universe for something but don't expect to get it, then you won't because you d

Training Update

I think the 2 hour feeding rule before training is a myth! I ate last night about 6.45pm - just a salad with sour cream and chives from Sainsburys - and started running about 10pm (distracted watching a poignant episode of Spooks), but the whole time feeling like I had eaten less than an hour before, so once again, I was belching and farting my way round Watford! Still, I managed to knock a minute off last Thursday's time - not sure how though cos I hurt like hell by the time I had reached 4 miles.

Forgot to Mention!

The whole purpose of this blog is to keep you up-to-date with training for the Great North Run! Last night, I managed an 8.2 mile run in 1:22 - not particularly speedy, and it hurt by the end, but if I can keep this up for the next few weeks, then 13 miles should come easier ... I hope!


After looking at the definition for paranoia, maybe people are right...

How can I be paranoid if I'm right?

I have come to the conclusion that I am cursed! My closest friends think that I am paranoid , until I reel off the list of things that go wrong - and its always on expensive items, stuff that's more than about £100. At the beginning of the year, there was the brand new washer dryer I bought, which didn't even make it through its first 'wash me before use' cycle before failing, which meant registering it and calling an engineer on the very first day of having it. Two engineers and two weeks later, things were finally fixed and I didn't have to use Mum's Laundry Service any more. Since then, I have been avoiding expensive stuff, until a few weeks ago when I bought a Panasonic EX75 DVD/HDD Recorder . I figured that, since it was Panasonic, then it should be okay buying it from ASDA . Wrong! The next day the EPG fell over (black screen with flashes of green and not responding to the remote) and I had to take it back. Got my money back rather than having to

Pushing It

My first blog entry using my new SPV M3100! Okay, not directly online but that's more to do with Costa Coffee not having a wireless access point, as the phone itself is more than capable! I managed another run on Tuesday that took me on a slightly extended route to my normal one. Unfortunately, it worked out that it wasn't extended by very far at 5.85 miles! I've been meaning to run in the mornings before work, but late nights working, or unable to sleep because of storms, have meant that getting up at 5.30am is totally impossible ... for me, at least. So, the plan tonight is to work until 8, head home for 9, stretch while I watch Extras, and hopefully take the run up to 7 or 8 miles. My boss is concerned that I'm going to do myself an injury as I still have the pain at the top of my right leg, but I think that if I stretch properly - and make sure I massage my legs afterwards - then it shouldn't be an issue ... in theory! In the meantime, I need a brain

Red Bull, Coffee and Chocolate

Bad news with the training. A few weeks ago, I almost hit the nine mile mark, but seem to have damaged myself in the process, which means I haven't run since! I'm not sure exactly what I've done, but its a problem where the top of my thigh joins my hip, at the front. I'm guessing its a tendons/ligaments thing as I notice the pain mainly when I stand and straighten my right leg after being prone for a while. Once I get going, I'm fine, but for the first minute I tend to favour it. That said, I did manage a run on Saturday night, and again this morning (something of a miracle in itself considering it takes 4 alarms to make me stir, let alone wake up!), but both were very hard to do. With all the late nights and weekends I have been spending at work the past few weeks, often past midnight, I haven't been able to do any training anyway, regardless of the injury. Which could explain why the last two runs were so hard - I'm totally knackered!! Eight weeks

Thank You

Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone that has sponsored me so far. I have reached £150 through the sponsorship site and roughly £80 in verbal pledges, so we are slowly edging towards the £500 mark I hope to raise. Please feel free to send the link to the sponsorship page to people you know!

Further and Further...

It was hard work last night, but I did manage to extend my running distance, even if I didn't improve on my time. According to the Google Maps Pedometer , I managed a total of 8.9 miles - that's taking a shorter, 4.45 mile route and running it twice, the second time in reverse. Lap 1: 0:40:04 Lap 2: 0:42:21 ---------------------------- Total time: 1:22:25 On that basis, if I was to continue for the full half-marathon length of 13.1 miles (around the same as running my new route 3 times), and take into account the slower time for the second circuit, I should complete the course in around 2:08:40, so there is hope for me yet to get in under 2 hours!! I just wish my knees weren't so sore.

Training Latest

Woohoo! Doubled the run length today in 1:11:27! Unfortunately, according to Google maps , the route is only 3.8 miles, which means I only managed 7.6 miles :-( Mind you, the Google maps was very useful in helping me find a new route of over 4 miles - will have to use it again for a long-distance weekend run!!

Come Back, Paul McKenna!

Okay, I'm having something of a motivation issue regarding the running! The week before last, I managed to get up to 6 miles again in 1 hour 2 minutes, but then this past week I have done nothing due to working ridiculous hours in order to try an meet a September deadline - not enough time for what I need to do. I was hoping to go out at the weekend and do an extra long run, but then A&J asked if I wanted to go to St Albans with them on Saturday: since I hadn't seen them for so long, I opted for this! We had a little wander through the park where I took a load of pics , and took a look round the market, before heading down to No.18, an excellent little snack bar down past the Peahen, on the right-hand side. I highly recommend paying a visit and sampling their paninis - certainly the best I've had to date: I've also been told that their milkshakes are something special, too. It could do with smartening up a bit, but I guess things are tight since they have only

Starting Again

Training for the Great North Run has been completely pants for the past couple of months. If its not working late, then its doing favours for people, updating the salsa website or, best of all, socialising, getting in the way of dragging my sweaty trainers out of the airing cupboard. In all fairness though, much of this is avoidance tactics - I've never really been one for expending large amounts of energy unecessarily! However, if anything can give a person focus and motivation, it's the realisation that people believe in you and expect you to achieve something. In my case, this came in the form of a £20 donation from one of the girls I used to work with. This is the biggest donation yet and something that I am more than grateful for, considering how tight money can be for students. The donation site now shows £55 in donations and £10 in pledges ... just £435 short of my target!!! According to the registration form I signed, I must raise a minimum of £350 but, like

On Schedule

Training seems to be going ok so far. The now regular swimming on Wednesday followed by a flatulence-driven jog home, salsa class on Thursday with a very quiet club - so quiet that Stanners showed the few of us left how to dance Bachata, which came in handy for First Friday the following night! Then Saturday a non-stop 4 mile run that took 38 minutes...and with very little wind! Back to work today and it was very quiet. The customer's new boys were both out so there was just two of us in the office; still ended up working nearly 10 hours though. Running and swimming again tonight but it was quite hard this time and I have figured out that it is the swimming that is building the wind up inside me, so running home tonight was painful. For some reason, I couldn't release any wind this time and by the time I got to the Dome roundabout I was the human equivalent of the Puffer Fish...I think that's as much imagery as you need for tonight!


In my push to train for the Great North Run - and my compulsiveness for sticking to a routine - I included a swim as part of my training last night. Only 1500m, so shorter than normal, but the running more than made up for it. 15 minutes to run to the pool, 45 minutes swimming and 35 minutes running home again. The slightly longer time can be put down to taking a longer route than last week so that I could get above the 4 mile mark, though I will need to check it in the car... Running to the pool made swimming very tough at first, as I found it very difficult to breathe when I started swimming. It wasn't until about the 30th length that my breathing improved, though my stroke was still crap! Similarly, running from the pool was hard at first as a different set of muscles had to get used to being used, but once they realised they didn't have a choice, I was soon jogging along quite happily. I think I am going to have to change my diet though. Soon after I started the ret

Not Far Enough

Well, swimming is out as the pool is closed due to unforeseen circumstances so I took the opportunity to drive the route I ran yesterday. According to the odometer, it was only 3.8 miles so, for argument's sake, I think I'll round it down to 3.75 miles - better to round down than up! So, based on the above being achieved in 45 minutes it seems that I am running at an average speed of, funny enough, 5 miles and hour! At this rate, I should be able to complete the GNR in roughly 2 hours 37 minutes...not good enough! Somehow, I need to get better than 6.5 miles per hour if I am to complete the course in 2 hours...faster than that if I take into account the time it gets to actually reach the start line after the run has started. Hopefully, I should be able to get to this point by the end of May...

Training Starts

As much as I love the internet for making life easier, I have also learned to hate it for the same reason! It has become so much easier to tie yourself into things; just fill a form online and voilá, you've tied yourself into a three year finance deal or committed yourself to something that you wouldn't normally do, you just like the idea of. For me, this is the Great North Run . Okay, I've run it once before, and every year since then it has been a case of "I'll do it next year. Oh, did I miss the ballot?! Never mind!". Not this time, though! A month ago, I picked a charity and requested a place. A week later and I have a welcome pack in my panic-stricken mitts wondering how on earth I am going to raise my target amount of £500 ! Three weeks later and I finally convince myself that I should start training in April so that I have six months to get into shape...last night was my first run. Surprisingly, for someone who hasn't run for a few years