Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The last hurdle

Nearly a year after starting my blog, I've reach the final hurdle of my aptly titled "Running for Macmillan" blog  having completed all the runs that I'd set out to do, I was planning to close my Virgin Money Giving websire  just before Christmas

I'd stupidly tried to encourage people to sponsor me by saying I'd wear my teams (West Bromwich Albions) Arch rivals (Wolverhampton Wanderers) shirt. this did encourage people to  sponsor me. Wearing the Wolves shirt was bad enough, But AGAIN stupidly I thought that if I set another goal then i'd get more sponsor!
This time I put my legs on the line, offering to get them WAXED!!!

I contacted Joanne Peate at the Graduate Academy hair and beauty salon at Walsall College who organised for me to get my legs done!

So on the 15th Feb during my lunch break My better half & I went to the college to get the deed done!  I've skydived  but I was more nervous about this than about jumping out at 13,000 ft.
Luckily Rebecca Robinson and Michelle Duckhouse were there to look after me & administer the pain! Which they really enjoyed!

I think they enjoyed a man feeling what women go through for the sake of beauty.

The first few strips made me yelp! what was painful was when they pulled the strips and there was still hairs attached  to my legs that really hurt!!

But 30 mins later I had silky legs, but only up to the knee, from the knee up i still look like chewbacca! because there was NO WAY they were going higher!!

Oh the things you do for charity.

the only good thing that came from the leg wax was that I raised another £50 for Macmillan.

So my total (23/2/12) is £635.20 not too bad for a fat ginger bloke running a bit!!

Even though I'm nearly finished "Running for Macmillan" I don't think I'll finish this blog. Maybe I'll find a new charity to run for, but I'll still put my ramblings on her maybe to keep my mind clear or maybe to show people that I'm just a tad mad.

Well Goals achieved.................Now for the next challenge!!!!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

When One Mile feels like forever!

Sunday 4th September saw me take part in the wolverhamptonhalfmarathon  This is the second time I've taken part in this event. (Last year being my first Half Marathon)

Last year I'd trained well for this event & felt confident (but nervous) This year however my training had taken a major hammering over thelast couple of months. I wasn't able to run much. My IT injury resulting from a month of doing exercise everyday during  Junethaon to the Black Country Half Marathon. (Luckily I manged to get treatment  @ optimal-performance which helped massivly)

This meant that I only managed to get about 4 weeks of training under my belt. Which after a month of inactivity, put me on the bottom rung of the running ladder, even finding a couple of miles a real struggle.

I just had to start again and try & build it all back up again! 3 miles turned to 6 then I maanged to do 10 the week before HM.

My Pre-Race run Endomondo Running Workout: was out running 9.48 miles in 1h:36m:53s using Endomondo.

Then came the night before the run I was well prepped & ready to go. Jelly beans/Babies at the ready! I set my phone & went to bed!
As  the race had a 9:15 am start time, I'd set the alarm for 5:45 (This is a time I'm not used to nor do I want to know) But as all best laid plans! guess who's alarm didn't go off... SO AN HOUR LATER THAN I WANTED, I was tucking into breakfast!

I tend to try & stick to the same breakfast bagel, peanut butter & a poached egg.

So already an hour behind on my schedule & looking out the window my worst fears were being realised IT WAS HAMMERING IT DOWN. As Peter Kaye says "That fine rain that soaks you through"

The one thing I did do was manage to get out on time! Even though I knew I would be there in plenty of time! I was really nervous!

Getting to West Park where the race was to start. I couldn't see any directions for the start the only people I could see were the morning P***Heads. (Who I assume weren't there to run but to enjoy the flavours of 12% white cider) This creating even more nerves with in me as  we were 30 minutes from the race, this increased my nerves 5 fold, taking a chance I set off ( now if you've read previous posts I'm not the best with directions guessing or following) However on this instance  I guessed right & arrived at the start. Saying a quick hello to friends who were doing the 19k Cycle, I got on the phone to my mate Greg who was also running.
Time seemed to be speeding up far to quickly to the start. I was just getting myself ready I had jelly beans/Babies, Gels Lucazade sport drink/ Sweets (I had too many sweets & tryed to give them to some kids, which sounded very wrong "Do you want some sweets?" Anyway I got rid of the extra sweets)
The race was supposed to start at 9:15 but i think they started a couple of minutes early as we were off & I just wasn't ready! By this time I'd lost one of my gel sachets My music was was on mix of dance tracks & Chris Moyles Podcasts. My Endomondo App was running I didn't run my adidas micoach as i didn't want to use the battery of my samsung galaxys2 (These Smartphones have the worst batteries ever)

It was a mad dash as everyone vied for position, My head wasn't in the game, My pace was too fast, I hadn't turned to GPS on phone. I dropped another gel sachet, my water carrier was rubbing I could moan all day about what was going wrong!!  AND THIS IS IN THE FIRST 5 MINUTES!!!! I knew I had to start thinking positive or this would be the shortest or longest HM of my life.

I just made my mind reset & think about  running style & the music. which helped when several fast  songs kicked in this managed to get my race back on line. I managed to run without stopping for about 7 miles then I just went. Trying to push just wasn't happening, so I walked for a minute, then back to the slog, trying to chew the jelly beans was a struggle i couldn't seem to swallow them down. 8 miles in & Chris Brown - beautiful people started up (Now I dont condone what hes done but this is a great track) I was feeling the most positive of the race, my pace was good & my stride felt the best that it had! This lasted about a mile when I hit the BIG WALL, I went a bit emotional, it came from knowwhere again, I just had to walk for a couple minutes.
smiling or a grimace
Seeing the Mile 9 sign put some more energy into the boiler. Whilst i was running I came across someone who i was chatting with prior to the race, we spent the next couple of miles chatting and keeping each other going. (Well for me it helped)

I came past the Claregate pub which was crowded with well wishers & a water station, with a group of Macmillan supports encouraging me on.

The Mile 12 sign was such a welcome sight! I was spent!!! but needed to keep going, I needed to finish this run!! OH HOW I NEEDED TO FINISH! I just so wanted to stop & walk.  But knew if I did then that would be another 5 minutes added to my time. I knew i was close to last years time.

Coming up to West Park I knew where the finish line was, unlike last year  (I started to kick to early and nearly had to drag myself across the line) This year it was just one foor in fron of the other. As I rounded the corner to the finish line my family was there cheering me on! It was so lovely to see & even more to see that finish line.

Endomondo Running Workout: was out running 5.18 miles in 2h:10m:44s using Endomondo.
Endomondo Running Workout: was out running 13.10 miles in 2h:10m:25s using Endomondo.

Finally crossing the line  in 2:10:25  which though slower than last years  02:09:34
(just under a minute slower) but after my last HM of nearly 2:30 & with the injury I was happy to finish, & without an injury. (If only I hadn't of stopped that last section I  would  of beaten  my best time. GUTTED) My friend Greg finished in a great time of 2:04:36 . My fellow runner Harish Patel finished in 2:11:38.

think this picture says it all...

After a few minutes of stretching & lots of cuddles from my little girl I made my way back to my car for a Goodness shakes which a little sweet, was refreshing! Having another shake later seem to help. Only my thighs ached in the following days.

Wolves Half Marathon completed, I also passed the £500 mark on my virginmoneygiving for Macmillan nurses.

Now only the Pattingham Bells Run in October to complete my races! Well i think so. Friends are trying to get me to run the Bupa Birmingham Half in October, but i'm not too sure yet! I'm waiting to see if my names comes up in the London Marathon Ballot. Then thats another big decision!!!!

Finished & with my medal!

Photos used without permission but with great thanks & appreciation from Brain Smith Mike Hall  racephotos

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Its been a few weeks since my last blog & run but tonight saw me get back on the horse. The reason for not running was to try & give my body some time to recover. Juneathon & the Black Country Half Marathon had taken a massive toll on me. My IT band was ****** I've run with shin splints & all the aches & pains that come with running but nothing has stopped me like the pain I felt with every stride during the HM. 

I have to say that half of me has enjoyed not running the other half hasn't enjoyed piling on the timber!
At least after the BC Half Marathon I was going to have a break, till September 4th when I return to the Wolves Half Marathon.

I been really nervous about running so think that has been some reason why its taken me so long to get back to running. As having an injury really knocked my confidence, as I was think that as soon as i would start I'm going to get injured. (The passion for running was evaporating very quickly)

One of my main reasons to get back running is that I'm getting closer to my Sponsor target. For those who have been popping in to check this blog out. I've been running 10k & Half Marathon's for Macmillan nurses.

It's been a bit of a struggle to get sponsors but after the BCHM the monies started coming  in, especially when i offered to wear a WOLVES shirt for the day (being a West Brom fan) this was harder to do than the HM with a knackered IT BAND. but thanks to my boss (Who's a wolves fan) pushed me over so as you can see i had to endure  a day of emotional pain.

This will not be the only pain i endure as @ £300 i said that I would get my leg
s waxed & how they all seemed to rally around with the money to put me past THAT target.(One colleague donated £50 to the cause) Once I've sorted someone to come do it, then the pictures will be online.
Tuesday (2nd August) I had set my mind to run come hail or high water! I was going out.Not far from me is a nature reserve which i decided would be my destination . . I've just received my new phone Samsung Galaxy S2 & loving it! so with adidas micoach & endomondo apps running I set off with the ministryofsound running-trax-3 pumping through my headphones.

 Now I bet you all think that that I just smashed back into. NO my back felt like I'd been slammed by Hulk Hogan. It was really painful every stride hurt. But after about 20 minutes in the pain subsided & I enjoyed the run! It was a warm evening but I wasn't really tired during the run! I just wasn't motivated as I should have been & had a few walking sections but enjoyed the run along the canal path. I was surprised when I finally hit a main road as i realised where I was. (I knew how far I'd traveled as the MICOACH updated me every half mile to what I'd travelled)

feeling very pleased with myself more so that I had passed out after 5 minutes. heading  back along the path I even got to enjoy the view of the farmers fields. But did get a little concerned when  I stumbled on a herd of cows , which were only separated by a small fence! & one of the girls looked in a mood!

Home in 1h:16m:26s & 6 miles done very slow but my leg hadn't given me pain (So I'll have to wait & see)


Miles: 6:09
Time: 1h:16m:26s
Belly wobble: far too many
Playing with new toys BIG SMILEY FACE

The Lone Runner has got back on the horse & has hit the trail!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Broken but not beaten

I sit writing this, with my daughter having a tea party(I've had several cups) in her fort (2 chairs with a blanket over the top) My legs & back ache,  beating myself up a little over Saturdays  Black Country Half Marathon.

The start point
Having looked forward to this for months & after the Lichfield Half Marathon time on 2:12. I was looking forward to beating that time & maybe the 2:09 in last year’s Wolves Half.

However coming off juneathon (Running & blogging for the 30 days of June)  I was nervous about this run, as I have some on-going injuries that I've been carrying for a few weeks The main one being my  Iliotibial band I've had to deal with shin splints & muscle injuries that I’ve pushed through on but this is something else. It started at the Aldridge 10k on the last mile. & then a couple weeks ago on a 9 mile run. The pain just started & I couldn't run.

However I was up for it, getting up early having my breakie, sorting all my things out. With the staggered start, I wasn't running till 11am, the better half & my little one dropped me off at about 10:20 with loads of time to stretch & get ready. (They were going to meet me in Brum at the finish) Chatting with a couple of people having a bit of banter before we set off eased me even more..

The start was fine I eased into my pace with no tension or aggravation. The weather was warm but I’ve run in warm temps so this didn't faze me at all.. The guy in front had set a nice steady pace so used him as my pace man!

I didn't see many mile markers, which was more of a help as if I don’t know how far I gone then I don’t know how far is left. There were a couple in spray paint but not for every mile. The main markers were at mile 3, 6, 9 & 12 where there were barges moored up offering energy drinks (A welcome treat) or water. 

Mile 4 saw the 360yard run through a nearly pitch black tunnel, with the only light coming from torches, Not the safest of sections but the.

I hadn’t been troubled by my knee, but that was still to come. Running on the towpaths was fine; however at between miles 5-6 we had to cross the bridge so as soon as my leg started to go up the incline I had a massive pain go through my knee. My I.T. Band went bang.  (Something like ripping a tooth out) It did make me go sick with pain.

I decided to walk a little to try & ease the pain, which helped somewhat, but the real damage my mentally as I just let all the negativity in and just felt battered. I was feeling the heat the tiredness. I’d taken my SIS gel & sweets but the fatigue I was feeling was hard to get through. Once I’d stopped it becomes a start stop run till the end.

Mile 7 ½ - 9 was just so, running for a few minutes then a 30 second walk then running again. I changed from the podcasts to music to see if this would improve my motivation and get me back up & running.

Sometimes the mental fatigue is worse than physical, if my knee wasn’t hurting so much then my pace would have been there, but every step was hard.  


From mile 9 till 12 I passed people then they passed me then I passed them. There was some good banter between us all. That seemed to keep us all going! Even the sight of someone walking towards us with a winners medal did not detour us, i t actually spurred me on. The two RAF girls who I’d been chatting to earlier come past keeping a steady pace. They surged on, whilst I plodded.

Smiles because I can see my girls cheering me on
As I neared the bridge the marshal was holding a sign 12.5 miles ……..”YES only a little while further to go” I pushed on. My spirit felt revived in the distance I could hear a crowd, cheers sounded along the canal, then in the distance I  could see a large crowd gathered shouting encouragement to the runners , think about my partner & daughter waiting for me, gave me  a massive lump in my throat. It took a lot of energy not to let the emotion out. (There were lots of people there) but as I came closer to the crowd I noticed the better half & my daughter waving cheering me on this nearly made me go again. (You can see from joy of seeing them in the picture) Getting a high five from my daughter I finally crossed the finish line in a time of 2:27:18. Race results 
some of the runners who kept me going
Santa who my little one was excited to see
RAF girls who passed me by
Nowhere near what I wanted but with the factors against me, not as bad as it could be, I did think that this would end with me Tweeting “BLACK COUNTRY HALF MARATHON DNF” However that wasn’t to be so my third half marathon has been completed. I will now sit back & hang-up up my runners for a few weeks, Give my knees time to heel. The Wolves Half is September 4th so we’ll see what happens then.

Battered but it's all over!
Many thanks to all the people who tweeted & FB's me well wishes! Just remember that I'm raising money for Macmillan nurses! So giz a quid!
Virgin Money Giving | Fundraising | Ian Maullin's fundraising page

Some great pics from Brian Smith photography & chrisyoungphotos, I have not had permission to use the photos but if you enjoy them then please make a purchase.

The Route of Pain (Endomondo)

Thursday, 30 June 2011


Finally the last blog of  JUNEATHON
Today has felt like this song the final countdown! I thought that I'd never be able to complete 30 days of activities. Now I love my running but everyday!! This was more a challenge for for me not to slack off but to complete the task in hand..
Tonight's I was going to just go for another bike ride as I've done the last week. But having picked up the Little one from Pre-School we went for a walk, her sitting in her pushchair enjoying the view & directing me which way to go. Both of us singing Nursery rhymes and having a giggle. So it has been nice to finish this event with my Daughter, she doesn't know about Juneathon,  she just knows that Daddy runs.

I have to say that the last couple of weeks have been hard & alot of the love has been stripped from me for Juneathon. Mostly because of the injuries I've picked up. I.T. Band & my Achilles in the last week.

I have enjoyed Juneathon not necessarily the running or biking but the fact that I've managed to to do something everyday. If the table below is anything to go by, (See below) I was no where near the top but 47th out of over 200 I'm a happy boy!

The figures from are a nice breakdown to see how the month went.

30 activities | 16.8 hrs

6.9 hrs <
6.1 hrs <
2.0 hrs <
1.8 hrs <
30 activities | 107.9 miles

> 63.03mi
> 37.78mi
> 7.13mi
> 0.00mi

But the injuries & the fact that, that I haven't been able to fully prepare for the Half Marathon on 2nd July. All my preparations to do loads of interval training has just gone out the window. So we will see on the 2nd how much it has effected me.

I just have to say a Big thank you to everyone on twitter & facebook who have bantered / encouraged me through out these 30 days (Though it has felt longer)

WOW one day to rest then back on it.. But JULY I will take this & rest.

Tonight's walk & Nursery Rhyme singsong:
Time  45m:29s
Distance 1.83 miles


DAY 30 of Juneathon .........DONE 
Bless you, you have been fun & a  pain in the arse rolled into one!!


Year: Sport:

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Legs of an old cart hoss*

*Midlands slang for horse
Before any race i usually try & get myself ready by giving myself a few days rest pre-race to  make sure i get enough sleep, & be fully ready to go!  The last couple of weeks have been manic at work & also with #Juneathon, I was battered, Though i was looking forward to the Aldridge 10k & wanted to beat last years time!  

So falling asleep on the sofa & having a couple of hours sleep isn't the best. Then to wake up & see black clouds & the heavens open is a real downer. But I was still going to run. So with the family in toe we got there about 20 minutes before the start then with the arrival of  the mother-in law & nephew put a smile on a rather wet face.
Music & Endomondo App was ready with the sound of the Klaxon I turned to see the family waving me off.

Even though it was raining the first couple of km seemed to go OK, i could feel my legs ache but the music was working & I didn't feel to bad. Between  mile 4-5 the road incline increased dramatically. Last year they beat me but this year i didn't stop running. But it took all my effort to do this i was physically beat. I couldn't even eat a sweet to give me some energy.

Then trying to drink some water from the water station was comical. As it was raining my family were going to go back to the in laws, then comeback for the end. But unknown to me they had stopped around and were there cheering me on. This had a bit of a win / lose effect on me. Win as it was lovely to see them cheer me on.. Lose as it gave me a massive emotional punch in the gut. Trying to stay focused i willed myself on. Katy B tracks came on which helped to push me on. Also the wolves fan in front helped as being a West Brom fan i needed to beat him, Childish Yes, but a lovely bit of motivation.

The last few km  were difficult  as I was getting a pain in my knee that I've never had before. (Writing this hours later my knee is still sore & hope that this isn't a new ailment) it wasn't a step climb but a constant climb. It must of seemed strange to the other runners, me saying "Strong" "Keep running" just trying to keep my tired body going. At 9km i was getting tired then got hit by a massive stitch which just took it out of me. Even with such a short distance to go, I had to walk... taking some deep breaths I got my self back running looking at my watch i could see that i was close to my PB, so even in pain. I kept running.

The last 400 yard's of the run takes you across the cricket pitch. I had to keep pushing myself along. Whilst looking for my family.
As i rounded the last corner i saw them running over to my daughter i picked her up & carried her with me to cross the finish line together.
One second there was a moment of adulation in completing the race & having my daughter with me to do it.....the next........ I blew my ring...I've ran hard before but never to the point of being sick. I didn't feel ashamed of what happened just had too explain to my daughter that "Daddy had to spit some water."

I will need to look at my time as my watch shows 55:41which is from when i crossed the start & finish line & the endomondo app time which is longer as i had to shut it off  after I'd finished being sick. Then there was the offical time of 56:21  (But I'm not sure if this was from the siren or from when i crossed the line) 
Then it was back to the in laws house for a change of clothes & a much needed cup of tea.

Aldridge 10k race & Juneathon Day 12: DONE!!

Endomondo Running Workout: "was out running 6.05 miles in 56m:52s using Endomondo."


Monday, 30 May 2011


I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs. Jesse Owens
They say running is 90% mental & 10% physical I truly believe this!! as I’ve been able to run non-stop for 13.1 miles during this years  Lichfield half marathon  when there are times when running for 20 minutes feels like climbing Everest  last week was a case in point.  On a recent run having finished work I was  feeling  confident about going  out. Then within 10 minutes of being out I hit a wall, I just felt completely battered maybe I wasn’t listening to the right music (I was listening to an the 10 O’clock podcast) this usually keeps me on tack. But I couldn’t get into it. I manged to run for about 10 mins before my first stop then it was walk run walk run. I think I walked more than I ran (Or felt that way) finally completing 5.26miles in 59 minutes.

Take last Sunday (22nd May) I was a little tired as I started, then a wave of determination & excitement took over after 3 miles I decided to change my original route going in a direction that I’d not been before & also wasn’t sure of where it would lead. It was  sunny afternoon and I felt OK.   
I love my Sunday runs! Time with the family then a couple of hours to myself running.  I never know where I’m going to run I’ll spend ages deliberating which route to take as I get very bored and can’t run the same place time & time again! 

I finally made my mind up which run I was going to take ( I was still deciding whilst starting the run)  but 3 miles in I came to a cross roads and decided that I didn’t fancy the way I was going & headed off in the opposite way! Heading through park land enjoying the views whilst listening to the football commentary (Last game of the season, my teams local rivals were fighting to survive in the premiership) As I ran along the track, I could see the road following at the bottom so as I reached the edge I rejoined the road. Thinking that I’d just be able to cut back to where I knew, I kept plodding on enjoying the emotions of the games as each goal scored resulted in the switching of teams in the relegation zone! High drama indeed. (If you like football) arriving at the top of the hill I saw no road to take me where I wanted to go! I had to keep on going! (I’m too stubborn to go back)
As you can see from the GPS tracking I mile 4-5 was OK then I came to a T-junction with only one choice GO RIGHT!
Endomondo Running Workout: "was out running 11.84 miles in 2h:12m:24s using Endomondo."
As  the photo’s show the road went on & on & on!  I had no idea where I was, just hoping that everything would come right!!  Another day & I think I would be panicking more but I was feeling strong & the Blues (Birmingham city) had been relegated so was quiet please eventually I saw a sign post that gave me some clue of where I was.  (Just after mile 7)

Bugger I wasn’t as close to home as I’d hope but what else can you do? But at least I knew where i was, be it miles 5 miles fro home!! Had I been running in the pouring rain or had my mood not been so positive we would be talking about completely different run! (We maybe an SOS to the other half to pick me up) But the weather & landscape was beautiful. Plus I’d hit my stride & just kept one foot in front of the other.

I've said before I do live by some beautiful countryside & think these pictures prove this!

IS IT ME! Or do other runners get tired and demotivated the closer they are to home. With the last two miles left I became a mental struggle to keep going
Finally I arrived home tired with a bright red tinge to my face! And calves screaming at the bad man who made them work!!