Mission Statement

Welcome my little blog, my name is Martin Hookway and this blog is a way for me to log my personal thoughts & views as I am attempting to complete personal & physical challenges each year with other like minded people.

The next Challenge's:

LONDON MARATHON (21st April 2013)

#PROJECT100in24 (27th to 28th July)

I will be running as usual with GPS with Runkeeper & tweeting as I run on @TEAMB_O_B as long as I have phone coverage so all your support will be gratefully received.

I am currently funraising for Rainbow Trust so please dig deep if you can to help this amazing charity.

Rainbow Trust is a Children’s Charity that provides emotional and practical support to
families when their child has a life threatening or terminal illness; immediate
help is available for families 24 hours a day. Support is offered from diagnosis
through treatment and, should a family become bereaved, we continue to support
them for as long as they need us. They help family members cope with the present
and prepare them for the future.
So please dig deep & help this great charity, just think £10 is a meal at KFC so by donating £10 you will not only be helping yourself but you'll also be helping others ;o)

Cheers for taking the time to read my blog, its greatly apreciated, fingers crossed it will bring a smile to your face. My challenges never quite go to plan... ENJOY.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

I refuse to use the "i" word: 7 Sleeps Until VLM

This post is based over the last few weeks, I've never had enough dribble to post & have been in a bit of a grump so just made notes. Everyone wishes for a perfect training plan into any big race especially when committing to raise money for a charity  no one wants to get injured, sometimes even Super Hero's find it hard, never mind a skinny kid who's only been running 2 years.

It all started with a trip to the Chiropractor, things have not been right with my lower legs for a while now & really wanted to get this sorted. I explained to my Chiropractor that I've not been able to follow a full week of training because of the niggles. Jwalla did her usual & abused my legs like they were a lump of playdough, apparently I have some Super Human pain barrier in my lower legs. Very apt as I hope to be able to run the London Marathon dressed as MEGA MARTIN!

At this point VLM seemed miles away, 5 weeks is in fact a long time... But do you know that feeling when you realize VLM is 3 & a bit not 5 weeks?!?! YEAH THAT!

I started to panic, I'd not ran a full week of planned training all year, I have constantly had these "niggles" & I'd not even tried on my MEGA MARTIN suit!.

I was on strict instructions not to run for at least a week & not to "race" until VLM. I had a race number for Lincoln10K but I made the decision to just run it with a friend @Rustyw5 if the "niggles" go down in time, I refuse to use the "i" word . My Tibia & Achilles are in bits, shin splints is a huge possibility too, oh & ive started to get throbbing in the soles of my feet, so I can't rush this. I know I can run VLM in my head but I have to think of the bigger picture, VLM was a training run for Edinburgh then I was onto the main challenge of the 24hr race & the 100 milestone. VLM is now turning into a bigger challenge than I'd thought it would be, although I've never ran in a Marathon Race I have ran the marathon distance a few times, I've even ran in a 50 mile race so in my head this should not be a worry but with all the niggles I'm carrying I really have to be careful & maybe even think about dropping out of the TR24 in July, but  never say never, where would the fun be if life was easy ;o)

By the time Lincoln 10k came the rest had done me good. Charlies Angles have Charlie, Batman has Alfred & 007 has Q, MEGA MARTIN on the other hand has a Auntie Eileen, Auntie Eileen is a whiz with a sewing machine & after a few alterations to the costume to stop chafe & camels toe, I was away.

After a chat with Tux-Man (aka @Rustyw5) we agreed to take it easy but after fighting to get out of the crowds we agreed to up the pace & see what we could do in the costumes. I find it really hard not to go in to race mode when at the start line but did hold back a bit. I soon got very hot & I started to dehydrate just before half way, the crowds were great & I was having lots of fun but desperately needed water. @Rustyw5  ran very well & we ran together through the busy streets up to the water stations at 6K where I had to slow down to tip water down my back to help me cool down, Russ was running really string & I could not catch him back up. Overall it was a great day & I think we came in 1st & 3rd Fancy dress in 44mins chip time & 45min Clock. I had slight aches but nothing to worry about. I did need to get more air holes in the suit & certainly needed to slow down for VLM though.

The next dat I went for a recovery run, I ran at 8min/mi but sadly I got pins & needles in heel. My worries had come true, Plantia fascistis! I wont lie to you I'm not happy at ALL, first Shin Splints the Achillies tightness NOW P' CHUFFIN F!  I went to my local running store (meters to miles) for a gait analysis & a great chat with Julian the owner & ex international runner. Julian filled me with confidence & gave me some great advice about running barefoot & how to safely make the transition. I ran on the treadmill but ran like a pissed up tramp. My form was all over the place! Its been that long since I've ran on one a treadmill I seem to have forgotten how to run on treadmills. This cemented the fact that I need to work back to basics, core, flexibility, form & style.

So i basically did too much too soon whilst working towards running barefoot / minimal.

To be honest I only have to run down the garden with nothing on the feet & I automatically run "correctly", I say correctly but maybe I should say naturally? So I do naturally run barefoot on my toes, the way we are apparently supposed to run, my problem is I still over stride & over pronate. This is how my body has learnt to run & I know if i change too much too soon it will no longer be natural to my body & do think unnatural form will continue to cause injury, so is "natural" form different for each person? Or do I just have to re teach my body?

So here is what I've come up with...

Heavy shoes make me heel strike.

I will continue to run in them but will no longer heel strike & will slowly work on my stride & posture/strength while running,

I will however be ending most of my runs with a cool down running in my new minimal Brooks Pure Connects or bare feet (where not in a local area when standing on needles or broken glass is inevitable).

Basically I have the head of an ultra runner but the legs of a newbie again. The ironic thing is that I now have to run the London Marathon on these "newbie" legs before I can go back to basics again.

I think that sums me up this year Ha Ha.

But i'm going to enjoy VLM, not many people get the chance to run this great event so I'm going to have fun all the way around. I was told last week that the marathon is already in my legs. I dont need to train any more. The important thing I need to do now is to get over the niggles & get to the start fit! So I need to rest properly, today is 1 week until VLM, yes 1 week, 7 sleeps, then I need to get suited and prepare to high5 250,000 people that will be lining the streets of London. Oooooooh YEAH!!!!


As you all know I'm running VLM for the terminally ill children that Rainbow Trust care for, I am still about £600 off of my required target & £1000 off of the full target I hoped to raise so please if you can dig deep and sponsor me for running the London Marathon, MEGA MARTIN will always be in your debt if you do & you never know when your cat will next get stuck up a tree. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

*#%£@ : Insert own swear word then think positive

5 weeks to VLM, 10 week to Edinburgh Marathon & 19 weeks until I attempt to run 100 miles over 24 hours in the THUNDER RUN 24 aaaaaand I'm still struggling to run due to changing my running style! Hence the title of this post.

Don't get me wrong, if I had kept heel striking I'd be in a bigger mess. Changing my running style has also made me faster, I changed to a more mid foot/toe strike & I've got new PB's in both 5K (19:24) & 10K (41:21). Not only have I got faster I was feeling stronger, in my last post I was getting ready for the Grindleford Gallop, a 21 mile trail race over 3500ft of hills & fields with an Ultra feel to it. I ran this race in a conservative manor as I never wanted to get injured this close to VLM, the weather was not brilliant so the views were not to be seen but it was lots of fun, 3 climbs, lots of mud & a really fun down hill made it a really entertaining race, mix into that a healthy dollop of good Twitter friends & you get a very good day. The torrential rain & snow held off & my legs played ball, I felt strong right up to mile 16 then when we were crossing the Chatsworth estate I pulled up with cramp in my thighs & calf's.  I reverted to walking for a bit & once I walked it off I started running again, sadly I had to revert back to heel striking as my new style was causing the cramp & this felt odd, it felt clumsy & hard work. The last climb was a killer, I walked the most of it drinking a cup of tea I picked up from the last control point, (see I told you it had a great Ultra feel to it) I was cold to the bone on that climb but the tea helped & so did your support. Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that when running long races like this I have my phone read out all your tweets. A couple of you took massive advantage of this & quite literally had me laughing out loud at your tweets of support. The last down hill was a tad technical on tired legs, so I turned the tweets off as I needed to concentrate, I ran the top with @Rustyw5, who by this point had ran the furthest he has ever ran & was not thanking me for it at all. It was a hard end to the race but LOTS OF FUN, even if it felt like a lottery on whether or not my legs would cramp up again leaving me in a messy heap rolling down the trail.
I'm the ninja on the left, @Dunsrunner is on my right. Photo courtesy of @Mikew30 & his backwards running 
All in all a great event & I recovered fast, I did a couple of fast training runs the following week & my lower legs started to ache, to top it all off I came down with a bit of cold, head aches, sore throat & feeling sick so I held off running for the rest of the week as I had Gainsborough 10K coming up, Gainsborough was to be my last PB attempt before I slowed down & upped the miles for TR24 training. I decided not to run in that weekends Parkrun but went to support The Wife & Lucy, Lucy is 8 years old & has come on leaps & bounds since re finding her interest in running, she's joined the school athletics club & the schools "run walk club" at dinner time (thats Lunch time for my Southern followers). She set off near the back running with Sue & I met them on the turn around about 1mi in, I ended up running with them from this point as I could not resist. Lucy was running really strong, smiling & chatting away to me, I love running with my family, it really does put a smile on my face. With about 800 meters to go Lucy was pulling away from Sue so I took her barcode & we picked up pace, there is no better feeling than seeing your Daughter get her "race face" on, seeing her grit her teeth, open her stride & hunt down the grown woman in front. Hahaha she nailed a massive sprint finish to overtake her finishing in 32:17, another PB! The marshals at Scunthorpe were fantastic again, praising her throughout & shaking her hand at the end, this really makes running that bit more special & adds to the magic for her. Lucy asked if she could save her PB sweet money this week to buy a pink runners water bottle, this brought a massive smile to my face and put the icing on the great start to a weekend. I cant emphasize how much I love running with my family, this Parkrun had set me up for my own PB attempt on Sunday. I still felt "icky" in the morning but thinking back to Lucy wishing me good luck for my PB really helped me suck it up, Gainsborough went a dream, unlike last year the rain held off & I headed out fast & strong, I felt sick a few times but I kept grinding through the gears on this fast course & managed to get my PB by over 3mins. Ian Man, @Mikew30, Sarah, Ian Man all got PB's & @Joel_L80 ran his 1st ever 10K. Happy Days!!! As Lucy gets a trip to the sweet shop on PB days, I get to open my bottle of special JD. I spent the rest of the evening sat on the sofa toasting all the other PB's my Twitter friends had destroyed over the weekend. Social Networking at its BEST ;o)

PB celebrations
I took Monday off as a rest day & dosed myself up on Flu tablets, the JD had cleared my throat & the sickness had about gone. Tuesday I felt great so went out on a 4mi training run. I again felt strong & picked up pace, all went well until for the 1st 2 miles then my shins got instantly tight, by mile 3 I had to stop dead, I was limping badly but the more I walked the tightness (throbbing) went down. I was not happy as my Runkeeper had paused itself at mile 2 to top it all off. I eventually got back to running but had to heel strike again. as running on my toes was causing my shins to tighten. Once home I jumped straight into a good old ice bath before going back to work & although a tad aching the pain had gone. I've not ran since but have been icing, stretching & massaging the tissues around my shins (where it hurts) with a tennis ball, I can foam roller without pain but when I got to the point by my shins with the ball it certainly comes keen. Day by day the aching goes down & I'm getting more & confident that I can run again soon.

I now need to take the positives out of this, I've coming up to the end of my 2nd year of being a runner & I've already ran a 50mile Ultra, I've ran around Great Britain, raised lots of money for charity, I'm about to run in the London Marathon & I've already PB'ed my 5K, 10K & HM times this year & its only March. Those of you that read my blog often will know I'm constantly telling you this, I'm not boasting, I'm writing it to tell myself. I put far too much pressure on myself but when I write on this blog it takes me away from that, I tend to look back in 3rd person mode, I then can put everything into perspective. At the end of the day I put my body though a lot, then I decided to teach it how to run differently, again while doing too much, running too hard, running too fast, all too soon. For now I'll forget about the training plan I have on my fridge & maybe start up a Runstreak, my friends on twitter have been great at supporting & giving advice, one thing I have noticed is that the ones doing Runstreaks tend to avoid injury more. I may not stick to this Runstreak as I do like cycling & have promised myself to start swimming, but the moral of this is to cross train more & listen to my body. I have had some great advice from @Mineamie who has also battled with the same problems when she changed her bike for a pair of running shoes. She called it her KitKat Leg, I've been calling mine something a little *#%£@ stronger as it has been making me very angry but maybe I need to stop being angry & look more positive again. Taking you back to the title of this post:;

*#%£@ : Insert own swear word then think positive

Maybe I should change it to "Insert your own positive thoughts", I'm confident I can drag myself around the busy streets of the London Marathon, after all I'll be running suited & booted as my Super Hero alter ego MEGA MARTIN & running it for the kids at Rainbow Trust. As for the TR24? Well that's a different kettle of fish, I do need time on my feet in training but I once read that running 100 miles is 10% physical & 90% mental so I should be ok.... ;o)

Thanks again for ready my blog, I don't pretend to be a writer, I just throw down whats in my head & then click Spell Check (if I remember), at the end of the day this blog is more like a diary & can get a tad messy, sooooo THANK YOU!!! If you are feeling generous PLEASE click on the link for Rainbow Trust & donate a pound or two towards the poor kids I'm doing this for. You guys have already donated over £600 so please keep up the great work in spreading the word, spreading the love & showing the support.


Friday, 8 March 2013

More Ramblings on the build up to VLM & TR24 (The Grindleford Gallop)

A few weeks back I set out to "learn to run again". If you have not read my previous post I was basically putting my legs through too much shock & awe to even try running a Half Marathon never mind 100 miles on them, soooo I had to change my style. Yes changing from running off of my heal to running more mid foot / toes felt strange at first but strangely I got faster, (yawn, yawn, bare with my it gets a bit more interesting honest, just think about the prospects of the finger jamming) I started to up the miles & although I started to ache in places I would not normally ache the transition went quite smoothly. Well when I say smoothly... Erm it did until last Friday! The aches were coming from my shins, they then turned into throbbing in my whole lower leg, BOTH legs. Saturday morning was an uncomfortable walk down stairs but I maned up as it was the 1st Scunthorpe Parkrun & my youngest daughters 1st ever Parkrun / 5K. I suppose it was less "manning up" & more putting my proud Dad face on over the fact that my 8 year old daughter had asked me if she could run. So as a family I, The Wife & Daughter#4 headed to Scunny. The Wife & D#4 planned to run together & I planned to run by myself to test the legs, once finished I would run back to run the final stages with them. I headed out with stiff legs but it became apparent that faster I ran the better they felt, so after running cautiously for few mins I widened my stride & opened the valves. A very pleasing, un painful sub 20 gave me plenty of time to run back & run the last mile with D#4 who said her mum was slowing her down (that's my girl). I cant express how proud I was proud to see The Wife running again & to see Daughter#4 run her 1st ever Parkrun in 37:36 with a sprint finish. *Puts on proud dad face*

I finished the day with a steady 12 miles run over the moors then was up early on Sunday for climb up Mam Tor & a steady but hilly 9 miles along the snow capped ridge with @Rustyw5. A very steep 500ft climb followed by stunning views, tired legs, great company & no throbbing, Happy days. This is what running is all about.

Yeah that little dot is me struggling to make the climb

Russ running along the top

What goes up must come down! LOTS OF FUN!
All went well until Wednesday when the throbbing came back on a steady 10 mile canal run, on the return leg I had a light bulb moment & picked up the pace. Magic! The faster I went the pain dispersed. I nailed the final 4.5miles in 5k pace then BOOM!!! I cramped up in my right calf, dam it was the size of a cuffin golf ball, a golf ball that took 3 days of foam rollering & a shed load of Tiger Balm to get rid of it. Oh & apparently the smell of Tiger Balm is not an aphrodisiac & compression socks do not "bring sexy back". So not only did I repulse my wife, I was in pain with my calf & my shins again. It hurt when I walked never mind ran so the following Saturday was spent cheering on The Wife & Daughter#4 from the sidelines at Parkrun. Another Proud Dad moment put my pain to the back of my mind as she set her 1st 5K PB with a 35:14 even after falling over. As promised we called into the old fashioned sweet shop for PB sweets (50p worth for every run & £1 worth for a PB).

As I'm writing this post I am still to attempt to run again due to the pain, I've not been my usual cheery self & have been worried sick that I had officially picked up my 1st running injury. This would put a stop to not only Saturdays Grindleford Gallop but to the London Marathon & even Project100in24, The Thunder Run 24. I needed a confirmation on this either way so booked an appointment with my chiropractor Jwalla. I lay on the torture bed & she reset my ankles, hips, pelvis & back, then went to work on my shins. I say shins but as it turns out my fears were not correct, the pain was from my lower leg deep muscle fibers & tendons, I say pain but after you've had "the stick" (a posh rolling pin) rolled up & down already painful shins & a finger jammed that deep into your lower leg it touches your soul & gives that a deep tissue massage, you can't call throbbing legs that hurt when you walk painful.

Oh so you think you can handle childbirth now do you? Said The Wife after I told her my ordeal.
I'll tell you what I told her... Sod Off! You experienced child birth then went back & had a total of 4 children, I don't want to go through THAT again any time soon! ;o)

So after a mad 30mins on the torture bed I felt like a new man, I was not injured, I may still be feeling the niggles but my pain had gone, my mood had lifted & had been given the go ahead to race the Grindleford Gallop on Saturday. The GG is a 21 mile race with a 2500ft (ish) worth of hills, although this is a small distance for an ultra it's got all the characteristics of one. It has Cake stops & you are advised (now mandatory) to bring a compass, water proofs, a change of cloths, a whistle & a pack up!

I'm also going out on a whim to say that I will do more than the 21miles due to getting lost!
I also seriously don't think I have knocked out enough training hours in to comfortably run a flat 21ish miles never mind a very hilly one,
I should have ran 50 miles last week but only managed 10.

With all this in mind & the sudden change in weather causing race weather warnings to be sent out by the race officials (welcome back winter) for this weekend... Also bare in mind that the hills are going to be nuts, the weather may cause zero viability & I've not trained enough, it's safe to say that this should be "fun".

Seriously will this be fun? Hell YES it will, I'd be lying if I said I was not nervous but I am looking forward to this, I've lost count at the amount of Twitter friends that are running or coming to support this race. Twitter is currently alive with chatter of race gear, cake & where the nearest post race pub is. This is what running is all about to me, meeting inspirational people, making new friends, visiting stunning places & pushing my body to do things that are just out of my comfort zone. BRING IT ONNNNNN!

Please don't forget to sponsor me if you can, its for a great cause, but if you cant sponsor me please be kind & tell all your friends about this slightly crazy Yorkshireman & his challenges to raise money for the kids at Rainbow Trust.

Thank guys, you lot continue to to amaze me with your support. Keep up the great work.


Ice, Ice, baby... 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

3 Marathons & a Silly 24 hour Race. Oh & an Injury Scare

So I raced my first race of the year, old niggles continued & new ones arouse, my visit to the Physio angered me, I mean what does he know, right ;o)? I was in a bad place, but lets start with the good.

My 1st Race of the year, The Ferriby 10. In fact my 1st ever 10 mile race. Travelling down with local friends  @Rustyw5, Ian, Ian & Bret then meeting up with Sally & Steve, Twitter friends @mikew30 & his fiance Sarah made it a great start to the race year. The Race itself was a fun affair with rolling hills, blustery winds & my race plan worked a treat. Running on my toes up hill (See THE BAD) & widening my stride downhill saw me constantly overtaking the other runners. Sadly all this was to no avail as on mile 8 I hit a massive wall, with No Energy & TOTALLY Out of Breath my lack of training had taken its toll. I limped towards the finish slowly being overtaken by all the guys I'd only recently "left for dead" on the downhills. The last climb was a killer, I felt like walking but I was caught up by an elderly gent who looked more like Tom Hanks in Castaway. "COME ON YOU CAN DO IT" he croaked at me, all the time catching me up! "COME ON LETS DO IT" he picked up his pace & tapped me on the back! BLOODY HELL!!! I gritted my teeth & "Sprinted" (the word Sprinted is used in its slowest form) up the last couple of meters up the hill, unknown to me the old guy had slowed back down but I'd already forgot about him as once I overtook a bloke who'd been cat & mousing with me over the 2nd half of the race, I'd engaged in a new race, I could have cried when he too found a sprint finish & kept by my side. Check the video below (1;57mins in. I'm in the red top, he's the one in the black top pushing me into the mud at the side of the road).... Oh & the "ROAR" out of shot is also me as I let out the last bit of energy I had to challenge him on the line. The ROAR was EPIC, you should have seen the *cheerleaders flock around me as I *gracefully flew over the line with this *powerful roar!

*St Johns

Anyway 1:57 min in, watch for me top of screen & the cheating black top loser ;o)

I finished in 1:14:22 by the way if anyone is interested & @Rustyw5 finished only 45 seconds behind me! Mike paced Sarah in with a fantastic time too, both Russ & Sarah have only just started running BTW. I felt good, recovered fast & my niggles were minor (sore) as I'd taped up well to minimise the damage.


Rewind back to my last post, the niggles were still there so just before the Ferriby 10 I visited the physio, after a gait assessment (ran on a treadmill for you none runners) I was told what I already knew, I ran with a heel strike & over pronated (ran funny). This was causing stress on my achillies & the pain in my shin (my legs hurt, ok I'll stop you knew that right?), the answer was orthotics (special shoes, sorry). This I never wanted so after a chat with fellow Twitter friends who also run &/or run funny, I attempted to correct this myself before returning back for my 2nd appointment at the physio. So I starting to run on my toes instead of smashing my heel into the pavement each stride. The day after Ferriby my ankle & calves started hurting due to my body now using muscles to run that it normally would not use, I went back & told my Physio I never wanted special shoes so he kindly gave me info on how to correct it myself & I was on my way.

Did I feel like an "Ultra Runner"? No,
Did I feel confident about the London Marathon? No,
Did I feel confident about running int the Thunder Run 24 Hour Race? HELL NO!
Dam I struggled to imagine running for 24 hours never mind running 100 miles in that 24 hours!!!
So I booked an appointment with my Chiropractor to "Press the Reset Buttons" put me back together & more importantly ask if my challenges were now realistic.


See what I did there? I gave myself a motivational sandwich, The bitter taste of  bad news made more palatable by the couple of slabs of good news encasing it. Anyway, today I dragged myself to Bawtry Chiropractic & told them my story of destruction & demise, explaining I'd started training again for 3 marathons & a silly 24hr race but sadly was learning to run again from the beginning, I explained I was currently struggling to run 6 miles without cramping up or walking like "I'd ran a marathon" the next day. I was laid on the torturer slab & went through the dance of "Does this hurt? As my muscles are "manipulated" to their extreme & I grinded a couple of millimeters of my teeth enamel away." A sensation very similar to the Foam Roller after race day but with more pain, I say pain but its a nice pain, a pain that you know is making you better. To cut a long story short I need to keep doing heel lift exercisers to learn my feet to stop over pronating even when I run on my toes, I need to slowly build up my miles again so the 43 miles week I should be running this week will be a lot less than that. I need to put the TR24 to the back of my mind & concentrate on running VLM first, then Edinburgh, THEN the TR24. The Yorkshire Marathon will end this years challenge but at the moment that's top secret stuff & I will have to kill you if I told you so don't ask.

Am I an Ultra Runner? Well I'm still believe I'm mentally an Ultra Runner but need to work on being physically upto running another ultra.

Am I injured? NOOOOOOOO! I just need to accept I'm learning to run again, I've put my body through a lot over the last year & need to let it heal, I ran my 1st race 18th May 2011, I did very little again until Feb 2012 when running took over, fast forward a year to today & my a body has found its own way of running. I dragged it around the country & through its 1st Ultra with my head held high, sadly its the "wrong" way of running if I want to continue to run faster, further & stronger. I am very proud of what I have achieved to date but now its time to start from the beginning & build this sorry excuse of a runner back into an Ultra Runner & of course raise some cash for the kids at Rainbow Trust along the way.... Oh & have fun, I will continue to run as long as my body lets me & more importantly as long as I'm having fun while running.

Training has started. BRING ON LONDON!!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

2013 a new year brings new challenges

Firstly can I apologise for my lack of recent blog posts, to tell you the truth not much has happened & as the majority of you follow me on Twitter, Runkeeper &/or Daily Mile you pretty much know everything I do anyway, if sometimes maybe too much. I do use Twitter far too much, but who can blame me when you fantastic lot are on there supporting my every move. So let me start this off by thanking you all for the support, laughs & jokes you've given to me over the last year. You guys have been bloody brilliant. Anyway, now the gushy crap is out of the way let's get down to business, 2013's Challenges! What are they?

So kicking 2013 off we have VLM, yep I'm running:
The London Marathon, 26.2 miles, 21st Apr 2013... Oh & I'm running it in fancy dress as everyone's favourite Super Hero.... MEGA MARTIN!

Iron Man Who? Move over its Mega Martin Time ;o)

26.2 miles in a suit that's weakness is not Kryptonite but in fact rain, something our country is well know for. To be honest I'm buggered any way as if it's a hot day I'll bake under all my foam muscles (sorry ladies thats right, the above muscles are not mine). All is good though because it's all for charity, all proceeds raised from VLM will go to the terminally ill children of Rainbow Trust so please dig deep & sponsor me via the link on right of this page or why not make it a bit more exciting & guess what time I will finish the Marathon in, whoever guesses correctly will win a Cash prize. (£3 per guess, £2.50 goes to charity & 50p goes into the Winning Pot. The more people guess the more you win) Guess by going HERE & placing your bet.

Then after a bit of "rest" I will run:
The Edinburgh Marathon, 26.2 miles, 26th May 2013, as... Errr just me (so far)

I cant wait to get back up to Edinburgh, twice I've been there to run, once we passed through the ghostly city center in the middle of the night during RelayGB & the 2nd was when we ran 12 Hours around & around & around Arthurs Seat. It will be nice to be able to actually see this city in all its glory. This will also be a great run to help me get training miles up for the TR24 challenge in July & a great chance to meet up with some of you guys, I know of a few of you running this & VLM so if you fancy a beer or two after just give me a shout.

Then it's THE BIG ONE!

On the 27th July I will set off racing in the ADIDAS THUNDER RUN 24, The TR24 a 24hr endurance race around Catton Park in Derbyshire. I will run as many miles around the 10k trail course as I can in the 24hrs allotted from the 27th to the 28th of July. I ran 50 miles in my 1st Ultra Marathon last October so the next challenge has to be the 100 right? HELL YEAH IT DOES! So here starts #Project100in24 & here's where you come in, fancy joining me on this challenge? No I'm not asking you to run with me but I do need a support crew, *Que advertising voice* Are you a crazy individual that just likes helping others? Then just read on. Obviously a background in nutrition, running, psychology, physio &/or massage would be brilliant but to be honest if you can tell the time, have a friendly smile & can point me in the right direction that would be bloody brilliant! All I'm asking is for a couple of hours (more the merrier) of your time, hopefully we can get a support team together to cover the full 24hrs. We will have a large Outwell 9 man tent with 3 bedroom Pods & a large living space, fully working kitchen, music, I'll even throw in a couple of beers for you. Look, it's turning into more of a party as we speak. If this interests you just give us a shout & let me know what hours you can do.

Are you already running TR24 as part of a team? Why not join me in my humble abode of a party tent? Share my tent with me, I'll not be there so you'll also act as a guards when not running. I have pods you can sleep in when not running (or guarding) & apparently Solo Runners (Me) get priority camping spots, this means that my tent is closer to the track than the teams tents..... Or so I'm lead to believe, I don't think there is a club shop or swimming pool near by but every little helps. All I ask is you help me along the way, tell me if I'm on pace every lap to beat my challenge, give me the kick up the ar$e when needed & dry my eyes when I'm an emotional mess through lack of sleep & will to live.

Then to end it all off:

(^extra sound effects added to show my excitement^)

On the 20th of October, exactly 1 year after I ran my 1st Ultra Marathon I will run a marathon in Gods own County (No offence meant to my none Yorkshire friends, I'm sure home county is lovely too.) Yes, 26.2 miles around the stunning county of Yorkshire, to be precise it its around the beautiful city of York. This will be my 3rd Marathon of the year & I will be joined by one of my closest mates & best man to my wedding, Russ Walker. Russ only started running late into last year & has already shown promise in long distance running by knocking out 2 races last year, 2 Half Marathon Races may I add, this however will be Russ's 1st attempt at a marathon & will also be running it for Rainbow Trust as part of TeamBOB, you can sponsor him using the same links on the right if this screen. Closer to the time we'll revival more about this challenge & introduce Russ better but until then can we all give him a HUGE welcome to the team & check out his Twitter page @Rustyw5.

Each challenge will in time get its own post with more details but for now that's my drive & aim for 2013, there will be other mini (or not so mini) challenges, races, runs & rides in the pipeline but the 3 Marathons & #Project100in24 is where my head is at right now. My lower legs are still causing me problems, I rested during December as I promised to let them heal but in last week popped out a few miles just so as I could break the 1000 miles ran in a year marker then a couple of weeks ago I ran Hull Parkrun in the attempt to beat my 5k PB. Beat it I certainly did, 19:23 was the time putting me in 6th place in the day. Chuffed to bits was an under statement, I finished strong & recovered fast, I then went out the following day on my 1st long run Sunday of the year with Russ, this was a brilliant 17 mile trail run over moors, making it the furthest Russ had ever ran. We both finished with only stiff knees, a great result to say Russ was victim to the invisible sniper in the trees, his foot vanished into a peat bog and stopped dead as the rest if his body (arms up high Platoon stylee) flew forward through the air landing him face first in the dirt. I so wish we had it on camera! Sadly we never and sadly I'd not got away as Scott free as I'd hoped. Monday was a rest day & as the day went on my lower legs showed the signs of Decembers injury, a pain in my right shin & the backs of both ankles were a tad soar. I have ran a couple of times since but the pain/numbness keeps coming back so I've booked a physio session to get it looked at, fingers crossed it sorts it's self out soon as I need to be training for London right now.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings, dam you've done well to get this far *Applauds*
Please come back soon, in fact why don't you click that Subscribe button? (Its on the right & down a bit.) That way you get a shiny new email every time I post some stuff in here.

Until next time, laters....

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Unexpected Milestone

So I lay here in bed (27.11.12), residing to the fact that I am injured while tweeting my apologies for not being able to make the Painbarrier Team Event I was supposed to be running in on the weekend. I was feeling pretty crap about this (I say was as things soon changed, plz read on)... The Pain Barrier was to be the fun run to finish off my year & I was really looking forward to it... BUT I raced in my last HM on Sunday & pulled my Hamstring. I had planned to tame my running over Christmas so I could spend all my spare time with my family & to allow my body to fully repair but now this is a MUST!

As I'm on Twitter wallowing in self pity a few friends cheer me up by commenting on my achievements this year, thanking them I open my Runkeeper App & looked back at my previous runs to put it all into perspective. In my head it feels like I have been a runner for EVER! In reality I see I have only been running for 18 months.

I ran for the 1st time since leaving school on 27th April 2011, I was cycling as a hobby but was loosing confidence on the bike due to a few near misses, these brought up old fears from when I was hit by THAT car in 2010. Soooo I put on an old pair of Reebok gym shoes & I went for a very painful run, I ended up running 5 miles due to bad planning, I hurt from start to finish, my lungs felt like they were going to burst & my legs were screaming obscenities at me for the whole 50 mins it took me to drag myself around the streets. I bitted a bobbed from then on but only ran to keep up my fitness (or what fitness I had left, I was turning lazy again). It was not until May 18th 2011 that my running mate Ian talked me into coming to a race, the Askern 10K. I was petrified on the night, all I saw was seasoned athletes but I before I knew it I was huddled in with a few hundred runners & the klaxon went off. I ran this in 49:04 & it all fell into place, I LOVED IT! I still used my bike but running had become a passion now & I loved adrenalin I got from racing.

Fast forward 18 months & you get to here, 19 official UK Road Races (plus countless more races & runs) including a chance to run for BrooksUK (a running shoe company for you none runners), I also not only ran around our stunning country with some truly inspiring friends as part of RelayGB but, along the way we fund raised for BraintumorUK & we may even have set a World Record while doing so (still awaiting confirmation), I've ran my 1st Fell Race in the form of the "Hardest Event on the UK Fell Calender" (apparently) The Red Bull Steeple Chase, I've ran around Arthur's Seat (again & again & again...) for 12hrs with some new found Scottish friends (just to say we have done it, no other reason) & not forgetting highlight of the year in my first official Ultra Marathon, The Round Rotherham 50, a 50 miles trail ultra marathon.

I have acquired a few shiny medals along the way as well as a load of T-shirts & mementos inc socks & a Thermos flask (Sorry Russ, I promise you'll get a medal next year) but none are as prized as my Round Rotherham felt badge & my RelayGB bling.

The moral of this quick post is to drag my head out of my arse & stop feeling sorry for myself. I've achieved far more that I ever thought I would on that painful run back in April 2011. I have "The Bug" for sure, why else would I be already planning for next years challenge to be on foot again.

Its already taken over the fridge
In 2013 I have 50 miles to beat & I hope to beat it in style. I have a place at the London Marathon (April) who I am running for the children's charity Rainbow Trust & currently have over £400 of the hoped £2000 I hope to raise for them. I also have a place at the Edinburgh Marathon (May), then I am running in the Adidas Thunder Run 24 (July), a 24hr race around & around a 10K course (you see, the Arther's Seat Challenge never put me off). During the TR24 I hope to be able to run 100 miles. This is PROJECT100in24, but 1st I need to rest up, enjoy Christmas (& when I say enjoy, I mean REALLY ENJOY Christmas) "hic" then in January I will start building the miles back up before the BIG training kicks in in February.

Thank you all for your support guys, you have been amazing. Over the 18 months I have met some truly inspirational friends & would like to thank you all, you all know who you are so I'm not going to embarrass you, but thank you LOTS.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

VLM 2013 TweetUp

Just a quick post as a lot of you are lucky enough to have a place for VLM 2013. I mentioned a Tweetup over the weekend of VLM & have already lost track of everyone who is running or coming down to support so am posting this to so we all can see who is running & what wave (when we know), who is supporting (& where they plan to be) & obviously who fancies meeting up prior to the run or after for a well deserved beer. Just post your comment below this post & lets get the VLM train rolling!