Tuesday, 23 September 2014

After the Thunder Run 2014

27/07/2014 - Now - Well the race complete and if you've read the post about it you know I learnt a lot, a lot about how not to do it. So I've determined to do a proper job of it next year and so I decided that I would have another crack at an Ultra, but I'll get onto that later.

Since the TR24 I've not booked any other races for this as I've been too busy with other things, mainly moving my daughter up to Birmingham for her first year in Uni. Before that though I did manage to pop over to Lake Garda for a weeks break with the family - lovely as always. The weather was not as hot as last time but still hot enough for some lovely swimming in the lake. I was also that "weird guy" at the hotel as when I was not swimming in Lake Garda I was doing lengths of the pool for hour long stretches. It was not a massive pool so I was a bit like a hamster in a wheel.
Straight on the Prosecco
While there we discovered a lovely new Champagne drink - Ferrari, bloody lovely stuff. We liked so much we even bought a couple of bottles back, sadly they did not last long. Got to find a UK supplier.



Anyway after a relaxing break it was back to old Blighty and back on the bike, out for runs and a bit of open water swimming (not that I'd not been swimming in Italy). We've been having some cracking weather for old Blighty so the lake I've been swimming in (http://www.boxendpark.com/watersports/open-water-swimming.php) has been lovely and warm. The bikes been my main "thing" this summer as I expect to be running more in the winter months due to the weather. This has proven to be the case as it's got colder and wetter but I did manage to get out recently and cycle to Cambridge. Not expecting to get to Cambridge but I got a bit carried away in the sun but 60 miles later I'm enjoying a beer and sporting a big grin.

Back home and back on the bike.
Oh I nearly forgot, while I visited Malcesine I popped into my favorite bike clothing shop at the base of a mountain (Monte Baldo) and bought a couple of new tops. Now I know Italian cyclists are tiny but still it feel wrong buying "large" tops but that's what I went for. Taking the tops to the shop owner and asking if I could try them on he took them from my hands, looked at me, looked at the labels, looked at me, looked at the labels, shrugged and replied with a shrug of the shoulders "Well you can try." Well they were a bit.... aero.... but in no way was I going to exit the changing room and swap them for the XL. Firstly because.... well... just because, and lastly I did not want to give the shopkeeper the pleasure. Anyway I was going to be losing some weight wasn't I, that's what I'd said to myself, after the holiday of course, at least before Christmas, certainly in time for next seasons races!


Super Aero !!
So I've been doing a fair bit of cycling, some running - keeping running on the low as I've picked up a bit of Plantar Fasciitis - and a weekly lake swim. I really need to start beefing up the running now though as I've booked myself on the Manchester Marathon and the Blenheim triathlon already, especially if I'm going to do a proper attempt at an ultra than I achieved this year. It's 100k on nothing! (by nothing I mean something less than 100k). I've got a big old plastic boot thing I wear to bed which is supposed to help it heal but at the moment the only thing it seems good for is accidentally kicking my wife awake in the early hours. Still she got her own back by dropping my "garden" shoes in the bin while I was distracted. These I've had for years, sure they had no laces, sure she "claimed" they were "dangerous", sure I used them up ladders etc but I loved those shoes. I will point out that the number of accidents caused directly by the wearing of those shoes, excluding people tripping over them, was barely into double figures. In retaliation I have taken to wearing her flip flops.
Looking good in my new flip flops.
With two races booked the TR24 emailed to advise the date they were opening up for booking at 12 in the morning. On the day I sat up watching the clock sitting at the laptop and as soon as it clicked into 00 I hit the refresh button. Then spent a massively frustrating hour trying to book myself into the race as a soloist. The site was overwhelmed and just not working. Towards the end of the hour I'd got as far as the payment screen to be met with a screen that actually gave no method of payment. By 1am and needing to be up at 6 am for work I admitted defeat and went to bed. I set my alarm a little early for 05:30 and struggled to sleep. Beep! Arse 05:30 and I felt crap. Got up and logged back onto the laptop and the TR24 website to be told that all places had been taken. So after four years of attendance I was not going to be doing the TR24 next year and if that's the standard of the booking system I'll not be doing it again, life's too short. So I bought myself a consolation 2014 TR24 buff as a reminder of the good times.



So no TR24 but a desire to have a better crack at this ultra running lark I looked for an alternative. In the end I opted for a new 24 hour race much closer to home, the Spitfire Scramble (http://www.spitfirescramble.co.uk/). So I booked myself in as a soloist and it'll be fun being part of a race at the beginning of it's hopefully long and successful life. 

Oh and I got stitched up for this ice bucket challenge ...... here's where a devious character comes in useful. My neighbours granddaughter and a member of my family both nominated me, both got suitably soaked and waited for my response. My neighbours granddaughter in particular was out to get me back for a previous misdemeanor on my part. Here's my ice bucket challenge.


video



Monday, 28 July 2014

The Adidas TR24 Thunder Run 2014

26/07/2014 - 27/07/2014 - I list the Adidas Thunder run as one of the permanent races in my yearly calender so was frustrated that I could not get a team in this year due to the race filling up within a day. Not wanting to risk missing it I decided to go solo instead so duly booked my place. So here I was on the Friday before the race camping in the soloists camping section of the campsite at Catton Park.

Settled in.
Arriving shortly after me was a friend I'd previously ran in a team with who was also running solo. As you can see from the size of his tent compared to mine, his is on the right, he came a lot more prepared than me. This was typified by the fact that I turned up with all of my food having been brought from a garage on the way and was mainly microwavable food. In fact he was prepared much more physically as well as I'd not done too much running since the London Marathon. Anyway making the best of things I cracked a beer and hoped that the weather would cool down a bit for the race as it was very hot. A couple of beers later and having beautifully cooked my microwave cottage pie into a hot soup I decided that I'd need an early night.

Surprised how well I slept and although I was awoken at 5 am by a wood pigeon making a racket but I dozed off again and did not rise until 07:30. Decided not to fry up any of the microwave food I'd brought so went and had a bacon roll and a coffee at the food court. It was early but it was already getting very warm in the sun. As is the way of these things time marched on quickly and within seemingly no time I'd put my kit on and was at the start line awaiting the start.

We were off and immediately showed the other proper ultrarunners my novice credentials by running off with the team runners. The atmosphere and seeing a couple of friends on the way got the better of me and my plans to take it very easy was forgotten. About half way through the first lap and my second stupid mistake made itself apparent. After the rains of last years TR24 I'd bought myself a pair of trail shoes to use should similar rains occur again, stupidly I'd decide to that the first time I'd wear them was the first lap to see how they'd be. Well they were not good. I could feel hot spots on outside of the ball of the foot on both feet so cursing myself for being such an idiot determined to swap them with my trusty Lunar glides as soon I this lap was done. Ignoring the issue I carried on having fun. At the finish of the lap I ran into the solo area and to my tent and pulled off my trail shoes and could feel large blisters had already formed. "Sod it" I thought, put on my newest Lunarglides and headed out for my second lap.

Out on the course.

Second lap was much like my first really good fun and going way too fast in the heat considering how many hours I hoped to be running. Lap done and feeling good I headed in to take a short break and to take a look at the feet. Oh dear. Huge blisters. Fortunately my friends wife Lisa, who was there as his backup crew, came to my rescue. Blisters popped and Compeed plasters applied (brilliant things) I grabbed a drink and a bag of crisps and headed out.

Just one of my blisters.
Lap three and I was still feeling great if rather hot, the sun had been beating down and according to my car had hit 30 degrees C. Then as if someone had flicked a switch, about half way round the lap I suddenly felt terrible. I struggled round and crossed the line and got back to the tent where I sat down for a minute feeling dizzy and with a banging headache. I stood up to make cup of tea and started to shiver uncontrollably. I was freezing so grabbed a warm hoodie and made that tea. That calmed things down a bit so deciding I might have a touch of heatstroke and dehydration I went over to the concession stalls and got a large fruit smoothie and an ice lolly. Followed that up with a can of coke and a bottle of an electrolyte drink. I then retired to the tent and still shivering wrapped myself up in my sleeping bag. It took about half an hour to stop moving from shivering cold to unbearably hot and to feel well enough to leave the tent.

My left knee was giving me jip so I strapped it up and headed out. Fourth lap felt really good, I guess all the fluids I'd taken after lap 3 had done their job and like an idiot I took that as permission to run for fun again. Lap four done I topped up my drink bottles and met with Pete, my mate in the tent next door, and we decided to do a lap together so we went straight out for lap 5. Pete set a good pace and I had to work to keep up. Once I hit the 26.2 marathon distance I got Pete to take a picture for me.

26.2 miles completed.
Fifth lap complete and back in the tent was hit by another round violent shivering -  I suspect a combination of heat, dehydration and a lack of food had worked against me. Same procedure as last time, fruit smoothie and as many fluids as I could. I was struggling to eat anything. Even crisps were proving tough to eat, everything was tasteless and dry and had to be eaten with a drink to stop it catching in my throat. Managed to get a bag of crisps and a few chicken strips before heading into the tent wrapping up in the sleeping bag and feeling appalling. Went through the process of shivering cold followed by sweating heat. Some time later Suddenly I realised I felt, apart from my feet, sort of OK, and exited the tent. Standing outside in the dark I thought "well I better get going then" and head torch on set off for lap 6.

Lap 6 felt pretty good, running smoothly, the left knee had settled so I was hoping I'd manage the ten laps I had arbitrarily set myself as a goal. I felt so good at the end of lap 6 I refilled my bottles and headed out onto lap 7. I was feeling pretty confident that I would be hitting my target of ten laps and throughout lap seven, even though I was going slowly, I felt OK....ish, sure the last 5k was hard but that lap 8 was a shoe in.

Finishing the lap I was tired and went over to the concession shops to find them closed - damn no fruit smoothie. Back at the tent I had a cup of tea and tried to eat. Unable to eat I drunk as much water as I could I started to get cold and the violent shivering started again. I wrapped up in a jumper, coat and leggings but still could not get warm. So knowing I had time in the bag I decide to get back into the sleeping bag and get my head down. I woke up a while later and could hardly move my legs. I'd fallen prey to yet another rookie mistake - stopping. I contemplated another lap, could I do it, sure it would be a stagger round but just maybe. But then I a bit of sanity crept in and as I had no support crew I'd be driving myself home after the race and could not afford to end up in the back of an ambulance on a drip. A young chap in the tent next to me had had to drop out at lap 6 with dehydration and heatstroke so it seems a lot of people were suffering.

So a little down I decided to call it a day. It took a while for me to stop feeling like I'd failed and start thinking that I'd completed 70 kilometers (43.4 miles), something I'd have thought impossible a couple of years ago. I also knew that I'd learnt so much that if I ever did an ultra run again I'd be much better prepared and better able to implement the race. So I decided to treat this race as a successful learning exercise.

One last thing - the support runners get from the spectators, soloists in particular, is simply amazing. One group of spectators were making a list of all of the soloists numbers and their names so that they could encourage you by name as you went past - brilliant. Kids were spraying runners with water pistols, great fun for the kids and lovely for the overheating runners. Support for soloists from the other runners was so good that on lap 7 I put a coat on so that my "solo" sign was covered because my throat was so dry I did not want to say thanks to the shear number of people clapping me on the back and encouraging me on. Thank you everyone who encouraged me and called me an inspiration for making me feel special inside even if I felt like crap outside. See you all next year when maybe I'll live up to the praise I was getting as I did feel  bit of a fraud. Having said that the course is a tough one, there's not a single flat piece of earth on the entire run, it's all hill, cambers, roots and tree stumps, all rather technical.

My 70k Medal
Oh and my mate Pete completed 10 laps and only stopped because of blisters - next year Pete I'll hit the 100 club :).


Monday, 9 June 2014

Blenheim Triathlon 2014

08/06/2014 - So it was time for my first triathlon of the year, the Blenheim Palace Triathlon. My wife and I had travelled up on the Friday so that we could spend a couple of days at the Palace. We had a friend who was competing on Saturday and my wife wanted to take time to look around the Palace.

We had a lovely drive over and got settled into the Premier Inn at Bichester, 12 miles from Blenheim. As always with Premier Inn the hotel was nice and room clean and amenable but the Brewers Fare bar and restaurant was to prove a disappointment. Looks lovely but they forgot our order and a very simple couple of dishes took 1 hour and 20 minutes to actually make it to our table. To their credit they did at least refund the food cost and give us a free drink. So apart from breakfasts which were nice we never ate there again.

Saturday morning and we set off to Blenheim. It's beautiful round that way but we could not see a lot of it as the weather was appalling. Rain was hammering down and I felt for the people who would be already doing their triathlons. We got to Blenheim Palace, got parked and had trudged through the mud into the grounds.

Heavy weather
We had a look round to get a feel of the set-up for my triathlon the next day and waited for our friend, Helena, to arrive who was doing hers that morning. She arrived and after greeting us she set off to transition and down to the water for the swim start. Literally as her group stepped onto the pontoon to get into the water the sun came out and the sky cleared and for the rest of the weekend it was hot and sunny. Anyway I enjoyed watching the racing, cheered on Helena and had a great time while my wife disappeared into the Palace not to be seen for several hours.

Moving on to Sunday and I was up early, way too early but I was excited. My first triathlon of the year and my first ever open water one. It was the swim that was making me the most nervous and looking at the lake the day before the distance looked formidable. But I'd swum much further in training so I should be prepared. It was a beautiful day and the issue today would be the heat not the rain. We got everything out of the car, I popped the front wheel on the bike and we set off. A good friend of mine, Gareth, was already there so we met up for a post race chat. Easy since we were also going out in the same group - wave 8.  We're an odd couple what with me being a short arse and him being an actual giant - see below.


Just prior to meeting up I'd set off into transition to drop off the bike and the kit I'd need and I took my time in transition to check over the bike. Good job to as I'd nowhere near tightened the front wheel enough and would have looked a bit daft wheeling off into the race with no front wheel. So finished my business and out of transition, chatting completed, toilet attended to we set off for the swim start. I was very glad to have Gareth there as he'd done this one before which in my book made him an old hand at this stuff and since he was not panicking I chose not to. I'd set myself a small but essential list of things not to do in the swim, drown or shit myself, I was hoping for a 100% hit rate but would settle for 50/50. Good news was the water was a bath tub 18.2 degrees C, oh yes, and the lake looked bloody lovely. So after a bit of moral boosting pre-swim briefing and a reminder to have fun we were off into the water.

I'm there somewhere.
After 5 swimming out to the start I positioned myself at the back and waited. We were in the water for about 5 minutes when the start horn went off. I swam about 10 feet stopped, took off my goggles, adjusted them, swam about 10 feet, took of my goggles and adjusted them, swam about 10 feet took off my goggles and adjusted them. By now I'm firmly at the back and kicking myself for being a plonker. So head down I start swimming. I found a nice rhythm and before long I found myself in amongst the pack and for now both afloat and shit free.


Not entirely sure what to do I was weaving myself through and eventually thought, sod this, and swam out to the side and had a clear swim though it did mean I had to swim a little further. Quicker than I'd thought I passed the big floaty thing (buoy) that the super sprint peeps would turn off at, brilliant, head down keep going. Then up ahead loomed the big floaty thing (buoy) we had to turn at. Here again I took a wide berth swam round and headed for the exit pontoon. Getting there I climbed out, well was hauled out by the guy standing there and some nice helper unzipped my wetsuit for me - really good that. It's a 0.37 mile run up to the first transition and it's a damn steep climb too in a wetsuit. I was not sure how to play it so I held back a bit worried that I might knacker my legs before I even got on the bike. A few hundred yards up and Gareth passed me, I was a little surprised that I had got past him in the swim but he was making up for that.

I'm actually only a foot behind, he's sooo tall.
I dripped into T1 and faffed about at the bike and generally taking way too much time, approximately 2 minutes longer than Gareth to get out on the bike. But then again he did not have a cool Italian cycling top to put on - something he took the piss out of my for doing since it was just about the hottest day of the year. So I eventually left transition and tried to make up for lost time on the bike. The little Carrera doing a splendid job of getting me round.

Love my little bike
I was loving the riding and was really going for it on the flats and the down hills. Once again though I felt that it's the up hill bits that are letting me down. I need to really work out how to do them properly. I suspect it's my stubbornness that's the issue here though. There were people getting off and pushing their bikes up a particularly difficult spot yet there was I out of my saddle flatly refusing to drop into the smaller gear cog choosing to remain in the hero spectrum of gear cog selection - twat.


That being said I loved the bike section but all too soon it was over and I was back into transition, bike racked, nice Italian jersey off and heading out for the run. For some reason I ran the first lap as a bit of a stroll. I think I was perhaps enjoying it all a bit too much and forgetting to run, which it fine and I was really enjoying it.

"We can dance if we want to....."
So second lap I kicked on a bit, running like I should have run the first lap and it was at this point I decided I really, really should grab some water.


Well that went well as I very nearly choked myself by chucking down my throat and spent the next minute coughing up my guts. Near certain death avoided I finished my second lap and headed for the finish.

That is the "F Bot" my version of the Mo Farah "Mo Bot", though now I can see it's backwards so lost some of the effect.
Up the finish straight I see Gareth shouting me on from the sides so run past for a high five before doing a stupid dash for the line.

Boobs out for the lads!

"Run Forest run!" - obligatory.
So across the line and grabbed my medal, a bottle of water, a can of free energy drink but turned down a beer - it was alcohol free. Well there was Champagne to be had and my wife went and bought a bottle which we enjoyed a little later. Well I must say I absolutely loved it, no not the Champagne, well yes they Champagne but I meant the race. I grinned the entire way round. Deffo do this one again and it's given me the drive to do the Standard or "Olympic" length triathlon, maybe later in the year.

He's even taller than me when I'm on the top of the podium ffs!

I love my Carrera




Saturday, 26 April 2014

A whirlwind intro from then till now and the Virgin London Marathon

26/04/14 - Ok so I've not posted a lot, well nothing really, since 2012 but I've had a bit of a busy time ... and I've been a tad lazy. So what's happened since the 2012 Olympics and now I don't hear you ask.

Well in 2013 I lost my job, which was a pain, but I get a really decent pay off which helped. As I'd not had any time off up to being let go, they gave me plenty of notice, my wife and I decided to sod off to Lake Garda for a week once I was a free man. So with time on my side and money in the bank we did exactly that.

Chilling on the shores of Lake Garda
Lake Garda is fantastic, sooo beautiful, sooo hot and clean and since I'm partial to a Prosecco just lovely. Even the burger vans were the best burger vans in the world. Sit eating your burger next to Lake Garda while sipping a cold Prosecco - nice. Though we only burger van'ed it one night, we're not riff-raff.

Janet enjoying the wine - See we do eat at restaurants to.
So we were having fun but in the back of my head was the worry of being jobless, I'd evening started signing on which was a singularly odd experience. Then as I exited the lake after a swim Daniel Craig style my wife informed me that my phone had rang. I rang the number back to find I was being offered a new job. Offer accepted I celebrated with a few glasses of the mighty Prosecco.

A little squiffy.
So with new job in the bag we decided to pop off to New York for a week. Not right then and there of course but some time after we'd got home. Oh and we loved Lake Garda so much we're going back there this year.

Having had a couple of months off work in the most glorious weather, cycling everyday, I eventually started the new job but it was not long before I'd booked holiday and we set off for New York.

The view from our bedroom.
New York was just brilliant! Love every day. We started every morning with a breakfast at a proper American diner then packed as much in each day as we could. We went to all the major sites, watched Spiderman on Broadway and even caught the Halloween parade - which was brilliant to. We'll definitely be going back. Oh and in around all that I ran the Adidas Thunder Run in the most appalling weather, celebrated my daughters 18th birthday and the fact that she got an offer from Oxford University, got a new personal best on the triathlon, got a new bike, leant to play the Ukulele (badly) and got into the 2014 London Marathon.

My daughter wondering how I can be quite so bad.
So we get to the Virgin London Marathon. Once the initial excitement of getting in came the panic of how the hell I was going to do it both logistically and physically. I knew from experience that I'm crap at keeping to any sort of training plan so who knows what sort of state I'd be in fitness wise come the race.


Training went sort of OK though I knew I'd not done enough for a decent time but I was confident I'd get round. Managed to get a hotel booked not too far away from the start, my daughter was away in Greece which meant my wife was happy to come along. We'd also buggered off to the Lake District for the week leading up to the London Marathon - well how often do you get to go away without the kids. So fully refreshed we headed off to London on the Saturday before the race to get booked into the hotel and registered. Like a kid in a sweet shop I was sucked into the Adidas stall at the Marathon Expo and bought entirely new running kit for the race - excluding shoes ( I'm not completely mad). I also bought what must have been the most expensive lube in the world, £12.99 for the stuff. What a mug!

Kit tart!
Once we got checked in to the hotel, the luxurious City Airport Travelodge, we got settled in the room. I may have been using the term luxurious a little loosely, it was at least clean and the staff were great. Anyway since buying completely new kit the day before a marathon is almost certainly genius I had another genius idea to eat at the hotel - to be honest we could not be asked to go anywhere. Oh well, it was hot and tasty enough so job done. It was sitting in the rather sparse room that a email came through with a deal for a week in the hotel we stayed in when in Lake Garda. My wife picked up the phone and ten minutes later we were booked - a summer break back to the gorgeous Italian lake.

Come the morning I got up, got showered applied the gold enriched, I imagine, lube to various bits I thought might rub, popped on my race gear and got ready to leave. My wife promised to be somewhere round the Isle of Dogs cheering me on or relaxing in a coffee shop, she could not be certain of which. So I set off early, I thought, with the plan to grab a bite to eat on the journey. Well that never happened. I got into the crowds and by the time I got to the start I just had time to offload my bag at the bag drop and go for to the toilet before heading off to the start. Time moves so quickly when you're nervous and before I knew it someone shouted "we're going!" and we were off. I'd put in a really slow time in my guestimate of my finish time which put my quite a way back as I did not want to get in anyones way, but that meant I was weaving round a lot people for the first half of the marathon. I've never run such a packed race. The cheering as I passed the start line was amazing and put a massive smile on my face.

Surrounded by ladies - I'm the Benny Hill of runners

Little did I know then that for the whole 26.2 miles that would not stop - the whole way the crowds made me feel special, that day at that time I was made to feel a star.

video


By mile 15 I was starting to get a pain in my right hip, I'd never had pain there before so I suspect it was all the weaving I'd been doing. By mile 18 it was getting rather painful and getting me a bit down when suddenly I heard my name being screamed. Looking to my right I saw my wife waving and yelling. I ran over and got a smashing hug and a kiss which really boosted me. I even got a few sweets off a chap standing next to her.

Mile 18 - sweets!
Newly invigorated I set off and tried to ignore the pain in the hip by concentrating on the cheering crowds. This is the thing about the London Marathon the crowds and the atmosphere you really have to experience to believe. Nearly a million people lining the route, cheering, joking, encouraging, handing out sweets drinks and generally bringing party time to the race. The noise was incredible both from the crowds and the entertainment that also lined the route, bands, drummers, DJ's etc all adding to the occasion. Oh and a quick word for the volunteers, as with London 2012 Olympics they were special. If you only ever do one marathon it has to be London. Anyway by mile 23 I was in agony.

Feeling it now!
The pain in the hip had got so bad I felt I had to stop and walk a bit to give it a rest but as soon as I stopped it sort of seized up. I began to walk, well stumble, and fortunately after a while the pain started to easy and I got began to jog a bit. The last 3 miles were hell, those last 3 miles seemed to take longer than the 23 miles I ran to get there. Even surrounded by thousands of people all cheering I felt rather lonely but then another runner stopped put a hand on my shoulder and said "You're doing brilliant, not far now mate and you'll be done." and then he was gone. That really picked me up and I mixed walking with a slow shuffling jog and somehow kept going and suddenly there was the finish line. Sod this, I thought, and started to run, well jog, as I was determined not to be walking across the finish line. I got across in 5 hours 16 minutes which at first I was a bit down about as the hip had cost me dear but I very quickly bucked up as I'd had an amazing experience and run a marathon for gawd sake :).

My medal.
Medal was then duly collected, as was the worst goodie bag in the world, and I headed off to find my wife in among the thousands of runners and their families. Fortunately we'd agreed a place to meet and though it took a while to stumble through the crowds we found each other. Finding a spot of grass we sat down for a drink and a little contemplation.

Looking smug.
We decided to grab something to eat before heading home and found a lovely Strada restaurant and settled in for, in my case, a shed load of food. Oh and a beer. We even got a free shot of something rather nice and alcoholic as I'd done the marathon.

Massive Beer - though it does make me look tiny.
So I staggered to the train station for the train home suitably buzzing and a little proud of myself. When I got home our neighbours had put up balloons and a sign congratulating me which was brilliant and their granddaughter had made me the most fantastic card. She was so inspired that she had not stopped running and when I saw her the next day proceeded to run round the block to show me.


I took a couple of days off to recover but the weather was so nice that on day two I got on my bike and went for a lovely 15 mile ride which eased the legs a lot.

One last thing. I ran the London Marathon for a simply awesome charity Scotties Little Soldiers and with the help of all my sponsors and the company I now work for who gave me a cheque for £250 I managed to raise £650 which exceeded what I'd hoped to raise so I was very pleased. I hope you take the time to look at their site and what they are doing for the children of the fallen and perhaps stick a bit onto my total. https://www.justgiving.com/Stuart-FielderVLM/

What's next? Well I have the Blenheim Triathlon in June and the Adidas TR24 Thunder Run in July which I'll be running as a soloist for the first time - gulp. So maybe I'll update this again ;).