Thursday, September 29, 2011



The RunLiverpool Marathon is little more than a week away and my body's just about holding together. Here's a rundown of my laughingly titled preparations (although from some of the stuff I've read by/about the organisers, I have the comfort of knowing I'm not the worst-prepared person for this event).

The watch:

As a little motivational treat, I got myself a new sports watch: the Timex Ironman, named after those nutcase triathlons where people swim the channel, cycle from Calais to Vladivostock, then flap their arms and fly to the moon (or something).

The watch looks chunky and purposeful, just like an Ironman competitor. It also boasts water resistance up to a depth of 100 metres, unlike most Ironman competitors (to the best of my knowledge).

I can't help feeling that, if, at any stage during a triathlon, I find myself to be 100 metres underwater, the state of my watch will be the least of my worries.


Without wishing to tempt fate, I've always been pretty lucky with injuries, needing none of the keyhole surgery, bone-pinning or skin grafts which have been the lot of many friends.

Unfortunately, I collected a pretty meaty whack on the ankle playing football in the summer. This resulted in several minutes boo-hoo-hooing on the floor, a huge, swollen cankle and a couple of weeks' hobbling and wobbling.

This, of course, right at the time when I wanted to start training properly. Consequently, I've had to squeeze the training into a shorter period than I would've liked, including, as soon as I was walking properly...

Running camp in the Peak District with Glyn:

His idea, by the way. Summary: take a map.

Not that the camp site was on a slope or anything

Warm-up races:

The Kenilworth Half Marathon went splendidly for about four miles, then I realised I'd gone off a wee bit too fast and spent the remainder of the race watching a procession of other runners go past like a particularly horrible clothes rail.

Streatham Common XC was very hilly and challenging but went really well, until right at the end when I bounded past the guy in front of me, then turned in entirely the wrong direction and ended up finishing about ten yards behind him. I should perhaps have saved my heroic burst until the finishing line was in sight.

The Coventry Half Marathon is this weekend, in the midst of an unseasonable heatwave.

Black September:

For the second year running (ha!) I haven't touched any alcohol since the start of September. My resolve not to hit the bar until the afternoon of October 9th should make me the life and soul of the party at my cousin Alison's wedding (October 8th).


Friday, September 23, 2011


Beauty is truth

Joe and I were discussing bad science. His particular goat was getting got by the received wisdom that we should all drink two litres of water per day.

"It's different strokes for different folks, isn't it," I mused. "For example, Princess Diana apparently used to cry five litres of water out of her body every single day."

Joe was delighted by this hastily invented fact. I would call it a falsehood, but I can't say for sure that it isn't true.

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Monday, September 05, 2011


"Ooh la la la la"

Et maintenant, je vous présente a rather outstanding highlight of the final day's action at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.


1. Marlon Devonish (Team GB's third leg runner) is from Coventry and was part of the winning British quartet at the Athens Olympics...

2. ...Since which time, the British have been pretty wretched at getting the baton round.

3. America, despite their wealth of talent, have a pretty impressive record of cocking up in the relay likewise.

4. Harry AA (GB's fourth leg runner) irritates me. The only thing bigger than his shoulders is his mouth.

5. Jamaica, who managed to get their baton round without bashing into any of their opponents, set a new world record.

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