Come in Number 12,778

Please sponsor me!

Just over a month to go and on my return from a so-so run along some quite windy Hastings and Bexhill promenades (and the cycle path that links them up over Galley Hill and Glyne Gap) I found a big envelope waiting for me.  The envelope that reminds me properly what I’m setting myself up for.  The envelope containing my race number and all other information for the Great North Run.  As in previous years, and despite my knowledge that this will be a much slower run this year, I’ve been allocated a number in the ‘Orange Zone’ (albeit towards the rear of that area) which is the first of the four coloured starting zones (behind the elite runners – yes, Mo Farah is given a head start!).

So how have things been since my last, rather downbeat entry in this blog?  Whilst I can hardly say that I’ve been setting the world alight and am suddenly back on 2006 form (far from it) I’m feeling a lot more confident again than I was then and think that with a good few week training ahead I should be able to finish OK.

As I suggested I was going to in my last entry here, I started out by getting back on the bike a bit and had a great 20 mile blast around Battle and Bexhill and home last Sunday.  It was just what I needed to get the lungs opened up and get the legs moving after the previous leaden couple of weeks.  I followed that the next day with an easy cycle ride to Bexhill station, a steady 3 mile run around Lewes Priory (one of my regular routes) and the 6 miles ride back again (at a good pace) from Bexhill to home.

Tuesday I had a day off work as I was heading into London in the afternoon to watch Surrey vs Somerset in the cricket twenty twenty cup quarter finals at the Oval.  The result was rather disappointing, however before getting on the train I managed to complete a good 10.2 miles along the seafront from the Hastings branch of Argos (an inspiring place to start) to the De La Warr pavilion in Bexhill, and back again.  It was slow and tough going but I made it.  I had to stop to replenish my water bottle a couple of times along the way which I thought a bit odd at the time; however in the evening when I saw the sunburn I’d acquired under my lovely lifeboats running vest I appreciated how hot it had been and felt a little better.

Another few blasts on the bike to Bexhill and another, four minutes faster(!) run on the same 10.2 miles course followed that week and so far this week I’ve had another good few cycle rides (a new best time from the Eastbourne office to home) and another good few miles running this week.

I’m saving the next big run for next week – wish me well!

So in all its all going well but you know how I’m going to finish this blog.  During the period written about here, Hastings Lifeboat have been out on another two shouts; one on the all weather boat to rescue a stranded yacht and tow it back into harbour in Eastbourne; and the other with the inshore lifeboat  rescuing a dinghy in trouble on rocks by fairlight cliffs.  Please therefore help me to help them and make a pledge at my Great North Run sponsorship page.  You can find it at:

Thanks. Rich

Come in Number 12778

Six weeks to go and struggling

Last time I wrote everything was going well.  I had just finished the best week of training I’d done in several years and was feeling good about my self and my prospects at the Great North Run.  Since then its been downhill and I really feel like I’m struggling at the moment.  I’m hoping that by logging this in this blog it might help me turn things back around again.

I’ve had bad weeks before and got through them but this is a particularly nasty feeling one.  I’ve had quite a tired and tight left calf for the last week or so and that was the start of my problems.  Now however I fear I’m getting trapped in a psychological rut as well and far from completing 6-7 mile runs without issue I’ve been struggling doing just a couple.

So how do I get out of this rut?  Well any suggestions greatfully accepted.  I think I’m going to try and spend this weekend healthily relaxing.  Last weekend was great fun but consisted of a wedding, a fair bit of booze, quite a bit of food (German sausages!) and 900 miles of driving – with a hell of a lot of sitting in the car.  None of that was probably helpful.

I’m also going to make sure that I do plenty of stretches on the calves over the next couple of days to try and ease them off.  I might just try and get on the bike a bit as well; I’ve not done much cycling the last couple of weeks and doing a few miles might just be a good way to get some fitness work without worrying those troublesome calves in quite the same way as running.

Fingers crossed that leave me ready for another good burst next week.  Fingers crossed!

Tell you what also might help. Having some more lovely people sponsoring me.  Nothing like knowing that there is a good pot of cash waiting for a good cause (Hastings Lifeboat) at the end of my efforts!

Many thanks!