#Janathon Day 9- A Day of Rest (Nearly)

Nothing too exciting to report here. Monday is a scheduled day of rest in my training plan, but in keeping with #janathon I did the #fitteam12 Leg Challenge and also #plankaday for 1m 30s.

Tomorrow sees a return to swimming and also a return to the local running club.

Sorry for the worlds most boring blog post!


Janathon Day 2 & Outlaw Training Plan (Week 5)

Janathon Day 2

Firstly, what an evil/lovely* bunch you lot are. Here I am asking not be led any further into more challenges and you lot can’t help yourselves, can you? Overnight, yesterdays comments filled with other various challenges, and I’ve been tweeted a few others on Twitter. So thanks for that.

#Jantastic – I did it last year, and it went well. However since taking up triathlon I’ve got out of the habit of listening to MarathonTalk – something I need to try and rectify this year. So much so the next thing for me to do is remove all the old podcasts and start listening to this weeks episode. Oh, and thats because I’ve just signed-up for Jantastic.

#PlankADay – Well, more to come about this one.

So today saw no running or cycling. Instead me and @RoxWheeler (Her blog at: trainersintherox) did the #fitteam12 leg challenge (Level 1 I’ll have you know). As all great athletes do, @StuartAmoryPT in the video made it look easy. After just getting started I could feel the burn in my legs. Still, happy to say we managed to complete it all.

We then also did the #plankaday – I managed 56 seconds. Really wish I’d known I was so close to 60 seconds as I could have made it.

I think @roxwheeler misunderstood when I suggested we did it. After going to get my phone for a stop watch I caught her saying she was ready.


But seriously – thats it. No more challenges for me. I’ll continue with #plankaday but it will fit in alongside the #fitteam12 schedule.

Outlaw Training

For those that are new to my blog, I entered Outlaw Triathlon at the start of December. Its an iron distance triathlon taking place on the 1st July, and this blog had changed into a weekly planning and review thing – this method seemed to work quite successfully for Edinburgh Marathon last year. And so here is my (usual) weekly post reviewing training before and the up-coming schedule.

Weeks 3 and 4 In Review

So with Christmas coming along, normally what happens is my regular training plummets to zero activity. At best I get out for 1 run, and then not much else. Carbo-loading increases dramatically too at this time. I’m quite happy to say that this year was slightly different. The Outlaw training plan prescribes 8 sessions per week (2xSwim, 3xBike, 3xRun) and for the 2 weeks over Christmas I managed to only miss 2 session per week. A second positive is that the second week had much more time based training that was planned, so the missed sessions don’t feel quite so bad.

Week 5 Planning

This week sees a return to normality, which some additional cross training sessions thrown in (as part of the challenges described in Janathon Day 1 post yesterday). The overview for the coming week is:


The Orange Str entries are for #fitteam12 and 100 push-up and 200 sit-up challenges and the #plankaday.

Only other session of any particular note is the run of the 7th which is the 1st Saturday of Month 5k – a local race that I did for the 1st time last month. I’ll be hoping to beat my time from last month, but without doing a specific speed work it might need to come down to running in more appropriate shoes to gain some time!

#Janathon 2012–Day 1

Firstly, a happy new year to everyone.

Secondly, a warning. Twitter is dangerous. Especially so if you have a personality like mine which is easily led. Yesterday, whilst killing sometime before heading to a New Years Eve party (and a very good party is was, thank you @Kerrie1984), I spotted a hashtag of #fitteam12 in my timeline. This was shortly followed by this video:

FitTeam12 January Challenge

Needless to say I’m now signed up – so no alcohol in January for me, and I’ll be doing squats and lunges 4 times a week for the foreseeable future.

Then throughout today my timeline started to fill with people tweeting about #janathon. It sat on my easily led mind for a few hours, and then when watching Eastenders I decided I’d sign up, but maybe focus more on cross-training than running. I downloaded ‘Drop and Give Me 20’ app for Android, and did the ‘tests’ for the 100 push-up challenge (25 in total), and the test for the 200 sit-up challenge (30 in total). Don’t hold your breath though for me completing these challenge, I think its my 7th attempt at the 100 push-up challenge.

I dug out the laptop and started to sign-up to Janathon. @roxwheeler asked what I was up to, and after explaining I asked if she fancied giving it ago. Next thing I know we’ve donned our running trainers, run to the UK’s 1st roundabout and spent an hour setting up a blog for @roxwheeler. (NB. Running an hour after having a full-on Sunday roast isn’t the greatest idea by the way – and due to this it turned into a run-walk, with the emphasis very much on the walk).

So, there you have it. Please can no-one post any more challenges on Twitter. Mind you, think I need to sign up to as many as possible, especially with @roxwheeler baking up some cupcakes.


Race 12 of 12–Buntingford Year End 10

And so we have it. The day I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now. The last and final race of the year, and ultimately this challenge.

This race always sees a slight change in preparation from the usual running races. Changing to turkey and Brussel sprouts for nutrition (from the usual pasta), and using Quality Street and After Eights for carbo-loading rather than… well I’m not sure. Add into the mix plenty of alcohol its fair to say Christmas was rather enjoyable. This race however wasn’t.

Having been in Ironman base training for the past few weeks (and a couple of weeks rest before then), 10 miles would be the longest distance I’d run for a good couple of months. I set off for the 1st 2 miles trying to replicate the form I was showing in October, which went fine. Mile 3 though and the inevitable stitch and sore legs came. These stayed with me for a good 4 miles before strangely I came back to something resembling life for the final 3 miles of the course.


I remember doing this race in 2009, my first ever race in Hertfordshire. Now having grown up in Hertfordshire (and not having been a runner in that time) I was under the impression that Hertfordshire was flat. This course back in 2009 made me realise that it well and truly wasn’t. I must have removed some of these hills from memory as I’m sure there were more of them this year, despite it being on the same course.


Another fantastic race in Buntingford, and ultimately after a bath, sandwich and cup of tea it was a very enjoyable experience. I’ll be back next year for certain, maybe eating slightly less chocolate and drinking less alcohol. Well, maybe…

Isabel Hospice


This saw the 12th and final race this year for Isabel Hospice. Its been a truly remarkable and enjoyable journey. For full details please see here. If you’d like to make a donation, please see here. Thank you.

Race 11 of 12–Stevenage Half Marathon

Its taken a while to get round to writing this blog post – basically a fairly hectic couple of weeks in work! But still, better late than never I guess.

Arriving at Ridlins Athletics track for the 11th as part of the challenge (and actually my 5th race in 6 weeks!) I once again didn’t really know how to approach the race. Both me and my mate were eyeing up a sub 1hr 40m performance. After standing around in the cold debating whether we should just become summer only runners we eventually built up the bravery to get changed and then joined the queue for the baggage tent. In this queue I spotted @Soggous looking very professional and warming up on the track. Unfortunately by the time the queue had gone down I’d lost sight of her and thus another tweet-up went passing by.

Moving to the start line we wondered past the 2:30 marker sign, past the 2:00 hour sign and then suddenly found ourselves about 2 runners from the front. A great starting position, but unfortunately it might I spent the 1st 7 miles of the race just being overtaken by people – very uninspiring! Coupling this with an empty feeling in my legs and some calf pains at about 2.5 miles I was very tempted just to drop out after the 1st lap.

Then something changed at Mile 8 and things just seemed to come together. A shout out from a member of my tri club, who was spectating, at about this time also helped to spur me on. Fairly gutted to cross the line in 1hr 42m 8s, but another PB – just wished I sneaked in 9 seconds earlier!

Another thing to point out is I think mile 6 of this race signified 1000 running miles for the year. Another goal ticked off the list. Unfortunately with this being my last half marathon this year I does mean a sub 1hr 40m time will have to wait. I can’t be too disappointed though – I was only dreaming of going sub 1hr 45m this year – something which I never thought would actually happen, let alone twice in a matter of weeks.


Isabel Hospice

Once again this was race 11 of 12 from this years challenge to raise money for Isabel Hospice. If you would like to donate please visit my JustGiving site. Many thanks.

Race 10 of 12 – Great South Run

Another Sunday, another race. Or at least thats how it felt! After travelling down to Southampton on the Saturday and enjoying a nice little shopping trip, it was an early start for the short drive to Portsmouth.

Thinking we’d left too early, suddenly we hit the traffic and it took us close to an hour to get to the sea front for the main car park. Jumping out of the car, and joining a relatively short queue for the toilet in the car park, the guy on the PA announced that he didn’t understand why we were queuing as the other toilets were empty. We headed over that way to find out that he probably couldn’t see the massive queue round the corner for them. That ate up all the preparation time and we decided to dump the bags in the car rather than search for the baggage area.

With all these delays, it resulted in me missing my allocated start pen of ‘Orange’ and so I sneaked into the ‘White’ wave. The 1st 2 miles were incredibly slow, due to the sheer numbers of runners on fairly narrow streets. On more than 1 occasion we were reduced to walking pace. Things spread out a little after the early miles and I managed to get my pace on track, but ultimately couldn’t grab back the earlier lost time.

Watching the highlights show yesterday I realised how little of the scenery I took in. I think this was mainly due to clock watching too much and also being wary not to clip peoples feet as the course was incredibly busy.

Still, as per all the Bupa Great Run events this year a pretty good atmosphere out on the course. Finishing with a new PB of 1hr 18m 59s it sets something of a target for Buntingford Year End 10 miler – the final race of the 12 in 12 series for me.


The nightmare of this race though was trying to leave the Sea front car park afterwards. After sitting in the car and not moving for an hour we decided to get out and grab some chips and a coffee. Eventually we managed to get out the car park at about 3.30pm, some 3 hours after finishing the race. Of course once we got out the car park, we just ended up joining the queues in Portsmouth.

Unfortunately due to the travel problems, I suspect I’ll not be returning in a hurry to this Bupa Event.

Isabel Hospice

As with all the other races I’ve done this year, this one was run to raise money for Isabel Hospice. If you would like to donate, please visit my JustGiving site.

Race 9 of 12–Cardiff Half Marathon 2011

Where to begin? Not really too sure. I could start with tired legs from Liverpool Marathon the week before. I could also start with a secret hope for running sub 1hr 45m for a half marathon at some point this year – something that changed from a hope to a possibility after the Great North Run some 4 weeks back (completed in 1hr 47m). I could also start with food and drink with some very good friends parents just outside Cardiff on Saturday night.

So turning up just in time to make the start but not actually make it to my pen the race got under way. Meanwhile Rox and Mel were enjoying the atmosphere along with the other runners.


Upon starting I decided I’d just go for it and try and get that elusive sub 1hr 45m half marathon. The first mile though had other ideas as I struggled to find any room at all. I couldn’t even weave in amongst people. It eventually spread out a little in mile 2, but needing sub 8 minute miles for 13 miles, and the first being around 8m 30s didn’t bode well.

Then at mile 3, with the temperatures rising, my legs just turned empty. I had no idea why, and then I remembered the little matter of the marathon the week before. I decided to run sub 8 miles for next the 3 miles and then at half way I’d just back off and enjoy the scenery. By mile 7 I was just talking myself into running the next mile at sub 8 minute pace, and this continued for the next 6 miles.

At mile 9 I worked out I had 30 minutes to do the last 4 miles and I’d actually be getting a sub 1hr 40m. Motoring for the next half mile just to turn a corner and see a great big climb, hope along with pace vanished.


Crossing the line in 1hr 42m 54s I completed an unofficial aim for this season. And even came away knowing that with a flatter course and a faster start, a sub 1hr 40m might be on the cards.