Posts Tagged ‘Great North Run’

6 days to go

September 14, 2009

Monday September 14th
6 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £205 (Thank you Adam and Ellie and Emma!)
Distance run today: 9.6km.  I am once again struck by how much smaller my world is than I realised (on a purely geographical scale of course).  I went for a run tonight, and ran well beyond my normal sphere of existence down here:  Out to New Maldon, back through Berrylands to the A3, over to Tolworth tower and back home again.  Surely that had to be at least half the distance?  But no, ‘twas only 6 miles.  Less than two thirds of a mile short of half the distance, but still, not quite there.

Those of you who regularly read this blog will have already noticed that I’ve lost the taste for writing about the days on which I do nothing.  I’ve either:

a)         got a legitimate excuse, very few of which have been of any interest to you guys, or

b)       I haven’t, in which case the blanket of shame lies heavy enough round my shoulders as it is; I don’t need to suffer further by soaking it in the pathetic excuses I would be forced to come up with, day after day.

So today, as I did go for a run, I am telling you about it. Tomorrow I won’t, so I won’t.  We’ll see about Wednesday…

But yeah, my run was fine, there’s plenty more where that came from.  But I am a little worried that my right foot is hurting.  Nothing serious, just a kind of impact something or other.  I’ll get myself some decent socks on Friday, when I’m back up in York.  I’m sure they’ll be fine.  Bring it on Tyneside, let’s see what you’ve got. 

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None.  I’ll explain later.


!!Emergency Announcement!!

September 11, 2009

-NEWS FLASH-  It’s just struck that me that in less than 10 days time I will be running 13 miles. Through Newcastle.  That’s a little over 20kms.  Now you’ll excuse me while I go clean myself up.   Good night. -NEWS FLASH-

13 days to go

September 8, 2009

Monday September 7th
13 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £185 (Thank you Granny!)
Distance run today: 7km.  I hate not having the little magical box that is the Garmin Forerunner I’d borrowed when I first began training.  Knowing exactly how far I’d run at any given point was brilliant, and meant I could avoid the crushing disappointment I experienced tonight when I worked out how far I’d actually gone (once I’d arrived back and cooled down enough to touch my laptop without running the risk of fatal electrocution).  I was hoping it would be somewhere around the 9k mark, but my overly optimistic sense of exhaustion had decided to call it a night rather earlier than expected, and the new route I’d taken meant that I had no previous evenings against which to compare.

Still, at least there was once again plenty more in the tank.  I know you’re probably wondering why I don’t run until I puke at this late stage, surely every extra mile covered can only be advantageous?  That’s probably true, but to be honest I think I’m pretty much ready for the big day now, and am itching to have a crack at the course itself.  There’s something exciting about the fact that it will be the farthest I’ve ever run, and by a considerable distance.  I know I’ll be able to cover it; the question now is how fast.  Anything under 2 hours and I’ll be happy.  Anything under 3 and I’ll be able to sleep on Sunday.

This is, basically, the last push now.  I might fit in a couple of outings next week, but I’m heading back up North a week on Wednesday, and once I’m back in Yorkshire I’ll pretty much stop running and start carbo-loading:  I can’t wait.  It’ll have been worth doing the training just for the 4 day’s home cooking.

14 days to go

September 8, 2009

Sunday September 6th
14 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £85
Distance run today: 42km.  Okay, it was never going to happen today.  At least I had a healthy breakfast at the hotel and then didn’t get a Dominos once I was back, which under the circumstances was an act of will power equivalent to a full marathon.  And that’s my final answer.

15 days to go

September 8, 2009

Saturday September 5th
15 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £85
Distance run today: 0km.  I was supposed to be playing tennis this morning, but Mark (who to be fair to him was only ever 50% sure he was going to be able to make it) had to pull out because he was out with Pearl.  It seemed reasonable, as they were going their separate ways in the evening.  Mark was joining the convoy heading up to Towcester, one of a group of us invited to our friends Sam and Libby’s wedding.

The Boys at the Wedding

The Boys at the Wedding

I won’t go into huge amounts of detail, because this is a blog about fitness and the lack of it – suffice to say it was a brilliant evening, filled with lots of alcohol, dancing and general good cheer.  Just what everyone needed I think, and after an evening like that I don’t doubt that the Langridges will spend a long and happy life together (cos obviously that’s all it takes…).

The Girls at the Wedding

The Girls at the Wedding

Oh, and we all ate quite a lot of cheese.  I love cheese.  There’s nothing better than cheese before, during and after alcohol, and when you don’t allow yourself to eat it very often, it’s all the better.  I mean, there was even a house made out of cheese.  I’m not sure whether it had any significance, but I hope it did.

The House of Cheese

The House of Cheese

Otherwise it was just a little bit random!

16 days to go

September 8, 2009

Friday September 4th
16 Days until The Great North Run
Total Raised: £85
Distance run today: 0km.  I know it’s not right, but I’ve pretty much written off Fridays as an evening for exercise.  I’ve come to terms with that, and I hope that, someday, you will too.

25 days to go

August 26, 2009

Wednesday August 26th
25 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £75
Distance run today: 11km.  I told you today would be different!  I’ve suddenly realised that actually, 25 days isn’t a very long time.  I’m really not going out running as often as I should be (I’m guessing as a reader of this you’ve probably known that for quite a long time), so that’s something that I’ll be desperately trying to sort out over the next 3(!) weeks.  I took advantage of a free evening tonight to take my running stuff into work, change there and run home again.  Technically, it’s only a mile from door to door and as, although I would dearly love it to be, that’s really not far enough to be of any value whatsoever, I decided to run home via the far side of the river. 

So, duly kitted out in a raggedy old t-shirt, I headed out the door and into the rain.  Okay, maybe not rain.  Drizzle would probably be more accurate.  You know, that typically English greyness that has, over the years, driven our entire nation to drink.  After all, nothing beats a country pub in the rain.  Except maybe one in the sun, obviously…  anyway, enough talk of pubs.  I’m making myself miserable! 

2 miles after leaving the office, I reached Hampton Court bridge.  A hop and a skip later and I was heading along the riverside path, passed the sign letting me know it was a mere 3.5 miles to Kingston Bridge.  What really felt like no time later I was crossing back into Kingston and heading down the home side of the river, facing the usual internal struggle.  I know I could run further.  I know I probably should run further.  I also know full well that I’m not going to.  I have my route planned out in my head and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to stick to it.  It’s a matter of idle principle.  Or principally a matter of idleness. 

Still, 11km with a lot more in the tank is an encouraging sign at this point.  What I find frustrating is not the distance I can run, but the speed at which I can run it.  Based on today’s effort, I’m looking at a finishing time of around about 2 hours.  I’m hoping that, on the day, the sheer number of people and accompanying rush of adrenaline will put a spring in my step that a grey Wednesday evening just can’t. 

Touch of Madness
Progress today:  None.  I’ve actually had a damn busy day today, which I always prefer to a quiet one; even if that does give me time for ToM.  For someone who is so capable of enjoying doing nothing, I do like to be kept busy!

26 days to go

August 26, 2009

Tuesday August 25th
26 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £
Distance run today:  0km.  But I did play squash tonight, so the lack of running was, in my own head at least, justifiable.  Unfortunately, the game wasn’t quite as rigorous as I was hoping so it shouldn’t really have replaced 8 miles of running.  Still, by the time I got home it was almost 9, and with the sun goes down my willpower.  So here I am, once again feeling slightly disappointed with my own lack of achievement, but determined that tomorrow will be better. 

Dammit, tomorrow will be better.

Touch of Madness
Progress today:  Got another response.  Haven’t had a chance to get back to the guy yet, but I’ll do that tomorrow. 

As you can see, things always seem to end up waiting until tomorrow.  And without sounding like a fortune cookie, isn’t it crazy the way tomorrow becomes yesterday in a little over 24 hrs?  No wonder I never get anything done. 

27 days to go

August 25, 2009

Monday August 24th
27 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £75
Distance run today:  0km.  I don’t really have much of an excuse today.  I went to Sainsbury’s after work, bought a lot of fresh vegetables and as soon as I got back I began to prepare and cook it.  Inexplicably, bearing in mind that all I was doing was chopping some shallots, peppers and tomatoes and sticking them in the oven for a couple of hours, it seemed to dominate  most of my evening!  Still, it’s done now, which means I have nice and healthy food to look forward to for the rest of the week.  And that’s how I’ve justified my total lack of exercise tonight.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: I got a couple of replies to the emails I sent out last week.  It’s not much, but they’re actual, real strangers showing genuine interest in getting involved in the next stage.  Even writing that is exciting.

28 days to go

August 25, 2009

Sunday August 23rd
28 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £75
Distance run today: 0km.  And when I say 0, I mean o.  Normally, even on a 0km day I’ve walked a good couple of miles to and from work.  Today, gloriously, I just about shuffled the 5 minutes to the shops and back – other than that  I was pretty much horizontal all day.  Managed to watch Match of the Day, the Grand Prix, World Championship Athletics, the Ashes and then Match of the Day 2.  Oh, and sure enough, as predicted there was a Dominos involved.  Basically, it was the perfect and much-needed counterbalance to yesterday’s hyperactivity, and a great end to a great weekend.  Does it really have to be Monday tomorrow? 

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None.  There was never going to be.

29 days to go

August 25, 2009

Saturday August 22nd
29 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £75 (Thank you Julia!)
Distance run today: 10.5km – Okay, well before we go any further I’ll just explain why 16k looks more like 10.5k.  My alarm went off at 7:30 this morning, and having decided last night that I would need to leave at 8 in order to be ready for the race start, I instantly decided not to bother and reset my alarm for 8:30.  It felt good.  Nonetheless, I was still out of the door by 9, rucksack strapped to my back and iPod firmly planted in my ears.  Once again the weather was on my side and I enjoyed a glorious run through the park.  I would have made it on time as well, had it not been for the detour I took looking for a non-existent shortcut to the squash court.  I think it added about a mile onto the journey – fortunately Richmond Park is such a great place to be in the mornings that it really wasn’t a problem.  Didn’t embarrass myself on the squash court and, excitingly, I got to wear my new squash shoes for the first time.  I’d never have bought the, but I’m damn glad that someone else did!  The Viper 400sCheck ‘em out.  Snazzy as, eh?  I’ll gauge public reaction when I wear them against a stranger for the first time on Tuesday.

Popped back to Doug’s house afterwards to pick up a bike that he’s very kindly lent me and ended up staying for my first cooked breakfast since I was last back up in Yorkshire.  It was beyond incredible – eating healthy food really does make you appreciate the odd fry up all the more!  Jumped on the bike during the Ashes lunch break and made my way back through the park at a rather more exhilarating pace than I’d managed on the outwards leg.  Arrived home at about 1ish, and immediately put my feet up for the rest of the afternoon. 

A friend of mine, Kelly, celebrated her 21st earlier on this week, and I was meeting her and some of her friends in town at 8 for dinner and on.  Dress issues pushed that back until 9, and I had just left the flat at about 8:40 when I got another message.  Apparently the dress issues were ‘ongoing’, and I should await further instruction.  I paused, but then carried on anyway.  I figured I’d be able to find someone around to spend an hour or so with, and sure enough Lucy came up trumps, out as she was on one of her many annual all-dayers.  A couple of pints and a Sambuca later and I was moving on to Ha Ha and the best and only steak I’ve had in a long time (Rump, medium rare.  It tastes better and you know what?  I don’t mind the chewin’).  After a quick drink at the bar afterwards it was onto Eivissa and far too much time spent ‘dominating’ the podium…  not my word, and although I’m not entirely sure how it was meant, I’m going to take it as a compliment! Dominating the podium  It’s been a long time since I laid down some moves and, judging by Saturday’s performance, it’ll be a long time yet before I do so…  still, I enjoyed myself, and when I woke up on someone else’s floor still wearing my shoes at 6:30 this morning, it was with a relatively clear conscience and little fear of spine-tingling flash-backs that I skipped the 2 minutes back home and into my only-too-welcome bed.  I can’t be sure, but I’m fairly sure tomorrow (today) will not be the most productive.  4 weeks tomorrow.  The last break.  I may as well enjoy it; is this a Dominos I see before me..?

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None.  Obviously.

30 days to go

August 25, 2009

Friday August 21st
30 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £
Distance run today:  0km.  I was thinking of going out for a run today, after work, but you know what? I’m not going to bother. I’ve arranged to play squash tomorrow morning and the plan is to run to Richmond Park to the start of our weekly 5k race (Emma can’t make it tomorrow), run the race and then carry on over to the Bank of England Club to play squash.  That’s about 9 miles all told, without the squash and return journey (although I won’t be running that), and all in all I think I’m going to need every kcal of energy I can save up.  Starting now.  So I’m going to put my feet up, listen to the cricket on the radio and get a good night’s sleep.  I can’t wait.  Come on England!

Touch of Madness
Progress today: Finally… I sent emails out to the most suitable half dozen submissions we’ve had so far.  I’ve got numbers ready, and I’ll be following up the emails with phone calls next week.  Over the next month or so we’ll be preparing the ToM website for its development stage – ‘Touch of Madness: Chrysalis’ if you like.  And I hope you do like, because I just thought of that but think we might run with it… maybe Metamorphosis. Something like that.  I’ll float it at the next Director’s meeting!

31 days to go

August 25, 2009

Thursday August 20th
31 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £65 (Thank you Tim!)
Distance run today:  0km.  It’s a Thursday, and as you know, I work Thursdays.  I think this may be about as interesting as it’s going to get on a Thursday from now, until the last week at least.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None

32 days to go

August 25, 2009

Wednesday August 19th
32 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £50
Distance run today:  0km.  Look, I ran almost 11 miles yesterday, in the blazing heat; I’m alright with not having got off my ass today.  I hope you are too.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None

33 days to go

August 19, 2009

Tuesday August 18th
33 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £50!
Distance run today: 17.5km.  Now, before we get too excited about this, I would like to point out that ‘Distance run today’ uses ‘run’ in the loosest possible sense of the word.  Truth be told it would be more accurate to say ‘Distance covered today’.  Still, 11 miles is 11 miles, it’s only 2 miles short of the final target and I’m still in one piece.  My feel hurt a little bit, but nothing too dramatic, and I fall asleep tonight more confident than ever that I will at least be able to finish the race on the 20th….  right, since writing that last sentence I have noticed an email from the race organisers sitting in my inbox.  I’ve opened it up and read it, and they have claimed, no, stated, the following:

One month before the race you should be able to run 8 miles comfortably in a training session as part of your structured training plan.

I’m comforting myself with the fact that ‘comfortably’ is a relative term.  Compared to this time last year, I can certainly run 8 miles comfortably!  Anyway, what do they know?!  Head down, carry on, worry about it not working on the day, if at all.  Everything is going to be fine…

As I mentioned yesterday, I had booked today off in order to catch up on some sleep, go for a proper run and get Touch of Madness moving.  I knew last night it would be unlikely that I would tick all three of those boxes and, sure enough, I slept late and spent the rest of the day gearing up to go for a run and then actually going for that run.  Oh, and I did some washing and tidied my room.  Basically, I once again managed to put of the life-changing actions in order to do the slightly easier and more instantly gratifying things.  Since I was a child I’ve been told that ‘delayed gratification is the sign of an adult’.  I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone to find out that I am pretty far from being a fully paid up member of adulthood.  I don’t mind delayed gratification, as long as I can enjoy it right now. 

I’m determined to hit the gym tomorrow.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None. I am pretty embarrassed about how slowly this is going.  Let’s just say that I’m giving you all time to catch your breath before things get really wild.  Start breathing deeply, it’s gonna happen any day soon.

34 days to go

August 18, 2009

Monday August 17th
34 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £50!
Distance run today: 0km.  I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe it was Monday already.  So desperate was I for some sort of lie-in in fact that I quickly booked tomorrow off, with the intention of getting some good sleep, some proper exercise and some Touch of Madness work done. We’ll see how that pans out.  I’ll certainly be ticking two of the three boxes, we’ll just have to wait and see which ones! 

It’s now less than 5 weeks to go until the big day.  In fact, 5 weeks from now, it’ll all be over, and I’ll be back in Westow wondering when the strength is going to return to my legs.  I’ve been advised to wind down the running in the final week, and so yesterday basically represented the ‘one month to go’ marker.  In this final month I am going to go all out.  Eating well, exercising hard and now, for the first time in a  long time, trying to go the gym regularly.  It’s an experiment conducted on behalf of men everywhere.  How much good can one hardcore month actually do?  Is it going to be enough to make a real difference, or is it going to be a case of too little too late?  Only time, and this blog, will tell!

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None

35 days to go

August 18, 2009

Sunday August 16th
35 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £50!
Distance run today: 9.1km.  Finally.  Almost half the total distance I’m going to have to run.  I’ve been strangely fearful of this particular milestone, nervous that I’d struggle to even complete such a meagre achievement.  However, with Mizuno branded wings beneath my feet and a heavy-ass rucksack on my back (albeit with a squash racquet strapped ninja-style to the side, instantly to hand should I encounter bandits in the ancient woodland of Richmond Park) I headed out, blinking, into the sunlight this morning.  About 55 minutes later I panted my way into the grounds of the squash court, and onto a 90 min squash lesson.  A very productive and highly enjoyable morning in fact, and it only got better from there.  I headed back to my uncle’s incredible house and spent a fantastic family afternoon in the sun, with a truly epic barbecue thrown in to boot.  Eventually staggered in through my front door, laden down with new clothes, at about 7.  On a side note, those new clothes did include the most insane pair of squash shoes you’ve ever seen.  I’m looking forward to giving them a proper run around.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None

36 days to go

August 17, 2009

Saturday August 15th
36 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £50! (Thank you Jane! :-))
Distance run today: 0km. Okay, look, you knew it was coming.  I’d always planned on not doing any exercise this weekend.  I decided I would get some tiresome tasks out of the way and headed into Kingston this afternoon.  Visited the Vodafone store to try to fix the fact that my phone switches itself off at random.  Seriously.  Just whenever it feels like it, off it turns.  In the store I met with total disinterest (sorry, not due an upgrade for another 2 months.  We can send it away but it’ll be two weeks and we don’t have any courtesy phones in.  Bye.).  Then onto the Apple store to try to fix the fact that the main button doesn’t work on my iPod (“which button sir?  This one?”  “Yes, that’s right that one.  The big one.  The only one.” ) and the fact that it will only charge standing upright (“are you sure?  I’ve never heard of that happening before…”).  Eventually had to book an appointment for next Saturday.  Last stop in Kingston was Sportsworld to buy some cheap squash and tennis shoes (“what does a squash and tennis shoe look like?”  “They’re different things…” “They are?”  “Yes.  You know, a squash shoe.  Flat, non-marking sole.  Not too much ankle support.”  “Like this one?” ” What, these Adidas Shelltops?  No, not like those. Bye.”).  Fled to Teddington and the fantastic running haven that is Sweatshop.  20  minutes later I was heading out the door with a shiny new pair of trainers, fresh confidence about the state of my feet and fresh plans for the weekend. 

I did have a night of debauchery (2 parties, the second with no specific end point) followed by a day idle recovery planned.  It was never certain I was even going to see the light of day tomorrow.  So how exactly is it that, at midnight on Saturday night, I have just set my alarm for 8:00(am!), so that I have time to shower before running to The Bank of England Sports Club on the other side of Richmond Park in order to play squash at 10:00?  As I ran up and down the store, I actually begin to feel like going for a run.  I seized the moment, as one should always seize rare moments of uncharasteric willingness to undertake unpleasant tasks.  (If you feel like dusting, dust.  You won’t feel like it for much longer, but it’ll still need doing).  On the spot I arranged a game of squash for 10:00 in Putney so that I couldn’t wriggle out of it and here I am.  Ready for bed.  Still, I had a great night celebrating Lori’s birthday, enjoyed a few drinks, witnessed the definition of scum on the night bus on the way home and am feeling good about the whole thing.

Touch of Madness
Progress today: None

37 days to go

August 14, 2009

Friday August 14th
37 Days until The Great North Run

Total Raised: £40!
Distance run today: 0km.  Okay, I’m going to put my hands up for this one.  Today I, Charles Hogge, do stand up and admit that I simply couldn’t be bothered to go for a run.  It’s Friday, it’s been a long week, and I just fancied crashing.  I’ve got home between 22:30 and 00:00 this week, and as I’m out tomorrow night, first at my friend Lori’s birthday in Richmond and then on to the Livewire wrap party, I thought I’d take the night off.  In fact, at the time of writing this, I’ve already slipped into something a little more comfortable and have nothing more strenuous ahead of me than the trip from this seat to that bed, albeit with the odd loo break.  Having said that,  whilst preparing for said adventure I was overcome with what I can only assume was a spontaneous and entirely subconscious act of pennace. Stuck my feet up on the sofa, assumed the position, and busted out a quick 40 press ups.  And just in case you were wondering, that’s a lot for me.  In fact, it takes the total I’ve managed so far this month up to 40. 

And so it’s no real surprise that, with my arms hanging limply by my side like a couple of socks in the rain, I’m typing this with a chopstick held between my teeth.   Who volunteers to help me with my socks in the morning?

Touch of Madness
Progress today: Some.  Not a lot, but some.  But nothing worth reporting just yet.