Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: running dad (page 1 of 3)

Defeating the Quadzilla

I beat the Quadzilla, of course by beat I mean limped over the finish line battered and bruised, but victorious nonetheless. I even finished the final of the 4 marathons with my fastest 2km of the 4 days, amazing how you can find that extra burst when you know the end is in sight. Sitting here just over 2 weeks since finishing it all feels a little surreal really, the 4 medals sat next to me the only real evidence of what I did. My legs are pretty much back to normal now after feeling like blocks of lead for at least 10 days but I do still feel a bit achy when I get back from my morning runs.

It won’t surprise you that finishing the quadzilla was tough, getting up for 4 days straight to run another 7 laps of a lake in Milton Keynes hurts both mentally and physically. It was also almost as tiring making sure I managed my recovery well with nutrition, stretching and rest. Surprising how hard it is to force down carbs and protein straight after a marathon, but knowing if you don’t it’ll make a big difference to how you recover. The race route isn’t going to win any prizes for it’s scenery with the A5 whizzing past one end but it was actually ok and finding someone each day running at the roughly the same pace to chat to for a few laps certainly helped. Incidentally you make think I’m crazy but one guy I chatted to had run 58 marathons LAST YEAR. That’s a whole other level of crazy.

Continue reading

Why I’m running the Quadzilla

My mother in law passed away almost a year ago having fought ovarian cancer for 4 years and this challenge is for her. By coincidence I started running regularly just under 4 years ago in an effort to lose some weight and get fit after having serious back problems from sitting in an office all day. I can remember her concern every time she came to visit me that ‘I was getting too thin’ and that I needed to be careful, she never did quite understand why I ran but that didn’t stop her coming along to races and cheering me on. It is for her that I’m taking on this challenge, the Quadzilla, 4 marathons on 4 consecutive days. In the space of 4 days I’m going to double the amount of marathons I’ve done and find out what it’s like to run a marathon with the DOMS from 3 marathons. I’m also hoping to try and raise some money for 2 great causes.

Maureen was an amazing woman, mother, daughter, wife and nanna whose passing has left a very big hole in the lives of her family and friends. In the last few weeks and months when things got tough the support her and Nick received from her Macmillan nurse made such a difference. Care that the NHS simply can’t provide but that helps people in the darkest times navigate their way through and help them make decisions. That’s why I’ve chosen to support Macmillan with this challenge and hopefully raise some money in Maureen’s memory to help other people in the same situation.

Continue reading

Fool on the run – show time

As  you sit and read this I will be out there *points at the countryside* attempting to run 100km along the beautiful Ridgeway as I take part in the Race to the Stones. As I write this the day before I have to say I’m a little nervous, despite my bravado saying that it’s not that far it really is. It’s also going to be hot, humid and there is a distinct possibility of a thunderstorm, perfect timing of course to be running along a ridge that is the high point for miles around.

But I’m doing it to raise money for 2 very good causes and I hope that will be enough motivation and inspiration to keep going through the tough times. When I looked just now my fundraising stood at £546 including gift aid and I’d like to say thank you to all of you who have donated, I truly appreciate it. If you’ve haven’t donated yet and would like to there is of course still time, you can find my fundraising page here. The work that Tommy’s and Save the Children do can make a real difference to children’s and parents lives and are causes that I hold very dear to my heart.

Whatever happens tomorrow I shall wear my Save the Children vest with pride and fingers crossed I shall still be smiling when I cross the finishing line in Avebury 100km later. I’ll most likely be sending the occasional tweet or Instagram photo of the race during the inevitable times I’m walking up hills or taking a breather. So do follow me in both places if you’re interested in seeing how I get on, you can find a link to my Twitter profile over there on the right. If you can spare a tweet of encouragement during the day that would also be most welcome.

Thank you,

Fool on the run

Final training run selfie

 

Announcing – fool on the run

This post is a big deal for me, something I’ve been planning for a while and finally can share with you. Please, please, please read it, it means a lot to me and no it’s not an April fool but I did think it was an apt day to be publishing it!

Regular readers may have noticed a certain tone in some my posts over the past few months, where I’ve been trying to reconcile some of the things going on in my life and the choices we make when it comes to work and family. Through all of it there has been this feeling building that I need to do something good and give back a little. Our life might not be perfect but it is safe and secure, we have a good education system (even with Gove) and access to free health care. So if I can sacrifice a little to help those less fortunate, then it’s something I should be willing to do.

I have to run how far?!

I have to run how far?!

But choosing both the cause and challenge is something I’ve been struggling with. I don’t really get involved in charity activities, there are so many good causes but I needed to find something to connect to if I’m going to do more than just give the occasional donation here and  there.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few months, taking time to read about the work charities do and find the ones that I can relate to. I want to support a cause that I can personally relate to because only then I think I can take on a big challenge with the motivation and passion needed.

Which leads me onto my big announcement; this fool is going to be really testing out his running legs and taking on a huge challenge. On July 19th I shall be running (and most likely a little walking) the Race to the Stones, 100km or 62 miles along the Ridgeway non stop. The race starts in Chinnor, Oxfordshire and finishes at the beautiful Avebury stone circle which is conveniently just a few miles from here. It follows the ancient path of the Ridgeway, a path that people have used for 1000’s of years and crosses some truly stunning countryside.

This is going to be a massive challenge there is no doubt of that but I’ve chosen to do it to support 2 charities that are very important to me personally and they are Tommy’s and Save the Children. With my goal being to raise £1,000 to to be split equally between the 2 causes. I’ll be telling you more in posts to come about why I’ve chosen to support these 2 charities and what they mean to me. I’ll also be writing about the training for it over on my running blog Lycra and Lunchboxes if you’re interested in hearing how that’s going.

For now I’ll leave you with a short video about the race, thanks for reading and I hope you’ll support me with your donations, your messages and maybe even cheering me on during the race! If you happen to want to give a donation already you can do so here.

Carphone Warehouse Race to the Stones from Threshold Sports on Vimeo.

 

The Running dad is on the move!

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but the time has finally come for the running dad to move to pastures new. I love writing about being a dad that runs, but have found myself hesitating from writing some of the posts I wanted. I thought they would be too technical or specific to running rather than about a dad that runs.

So I’ve taken all the posts on running that I’ve written on here and transported them over to their own shiny new blog. Which is called *drum roll* Lycra and Lunchboxes. A name that I have to say I am particular proud of 🙂

Although I’d forgotten the pain you go through setting up a new blog, choosing a theme and getting it just how you want it. I’ve tried to go for quite a different look to here though and something which fits better with me as a runner.

You can find the blog by simply clicking on the screenshot of it below. I’d be honoured if some of you would consider becoming readers over there as well as here. It won’t be just gear talk and training plans, in fact it’ll probably not be much of that but rather stories about the races I’m doing and the adventures I’m having.

Lycra and lunchboxes screen print

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be

I don’t want to be angry.

I don’t want to resent spending time with you, I shouldn’t feel like playing with you is wasted time, that there is something better to do.

But it’s hard, full days at work then often meetings in the evening. Trying to provide for my family so they don’t have to worry about food on the table. Making sure I ‘grow’ and ‘work on my development areas’ so that at the next appraisal I get a pay rise, any pay rise.

Fitting in the ‘me time’ when only the birds are awake, dragging myself out of bed to get my much needed fix of running. But even this time isn’t sacred, a downward spiral of who can get up the earliest where soon I might as well not go to bed.

I shouldn’t get annoyed at you for this but I do just like when you grab my leg and start whining to be picked up when I’m trying to write a blog. I shouldn’t, but I do and I hate myself for it.

One cheeky smile or seeing you ride around the house on your trucker and the guilt hits me. This shouldn’t be about me.

But sometimes it feels like it needs to be.

I don’t want to be angry.

Rinse and repeat

I’ve reached the point in my training which I knew would come eventually, where the getting up at 5.40am starts to become dull, where it takes me twice as long to tie my laces in the morning than normal and where the thought of just rolling over and snoozing becomes oh so tempting.

I like to call this the hill of doom

I like to call this the hill of doom

My work schedule hasn’t helped things, I’m currently doing a coverage for a colleague in the US, but from here which means lots of late night meetings. Hardly conducive to being  bright and fresh in the morning is it? But it’s also just the repetition, 560 miles run this year now and that takes its toll. There are only so many different routes you can take from home, especially when you run with a dog. You become blasé about the beautiful scenery and sunrises and it becomes just another run.

This isn’t me and isn’t why I run. I run because I love it, I love being outdoors on the trails, being part of the scenery. I don’t want it to become a chore or something I ‘have’ to do. But that morning slot is my main opportunity to run so I can’t go out at a different time and of course Bracken still needs his exercise.

So what to do? Well they say a change is as good as a holiday so I’m doing a couple of new things with my training. First I’m adding in some speed work to my runs, either short sections on my normal run where I up the pace, or stopping and doing a 4 or 5 sprints up a section of the trail. It adds a new element and challenge to break the plod, avoid every run being the same. It of course also has benefits to my training and helps build some extra speed into my legs.

Second I’m increasing the cycling, which may sound an odd way to improve your  running but there is some logic. I need to do a good amount of cycling anyway given that there is 70 miles of cycling in the race, but by increasing the amount I do it gives me the cardio workout and means I can do an easy run in the morning and not feel guilty. I’m also trying to do some days where I do a bike and a run, straight after each other where possible. Perfect training for that transition in the race and a great new challenge to keep me sharp.

The race is less than 3 months away now and despite my bravado is starting to get a bit real, I can feel the nerves building and the doubts as to whether I can do it. I re-watch the race video every so often and get that goose bump feeling at the thought that it’ll be me stood next to the North Sea on 14th September waiting to cross Scotland in a day. Scary stuff, but also a great motivator.

But if all that fails you just have to remind yourself as you lie under your warm duvet that you never regret a run.

Not a bad place to run I guess

Not a bad place to run I guess

Older posts