Sunday, 26 February 2012

Been a while, guess its all the running!!


Been a few weeks since my last Blog. Been a busy lad. Having worked away the last two weeks, I've had a few new places to run. Two weeks ago I had the delights of running in Torquay. Just two nights down that way so i decided on just the one run around the area. Most of the run was around the seafront and town centre, I also took in both sides of the harbour wall. Covered a distance of 7.52 miles. That was my only mid week run that week. I followed it up with a 14.12 mile run on the Saturday. A loop circuit that took in Aldershot, Farnborough and a good stretch of the Blackwater Valley Path.

This week has been an eventful and enjoyable week for my running. Firstly, on Monday I received an email ref the North Downs Way 100/50 Ultra. Asking what and where I would like to be applying my services. After a little think and a few emails going back and forth, I decided on being course sweeper for the first 32 miles!! What the actually requires me to do, is basically run the first 32 miles of the course removing the course markers. From Farnham to Reigate Hill. It took me a little time to realise, but, the first Ultra I plan on running will be as a volunteer!! I've set myself the challenge, one which I fully expect myself to achieve!!

Tuesday I was away again. This time in sunny Norwich. I decided on a bit of a free spirited approach to my run as there didn't appear to be any natural landscape features to follow like Torquay. A quick glance at the map and I decided the best policy would be to run towards the city centre until my app told me I had ran 4 miles, then turn round and comeback. So off I went with this plan in mind. Then I hit the 4 mile mark, and decided to head back along the river. Unfortunately I got back to the hotel half a mile short, so decided to run around the local business park and ended up running 8.2 miles! Still it was fun and at a fairly quick pace. It was one of those evenings where I felt like I could of just ran and ran.
Thursday, and an unexpected night back home. I was supposed to be away, but things change. I decided to expand my 7 mile route into an 8 mile route. The plan was to push it! That was exactly what I did! Not only did I do the quickest 8 miles, I also do my quickest 5 miles and 10k!! Happy Days!!

Saturday. The Big One. I was looking at completing the longest run I have ever done. Setting out to run 16 miles! Again I expanded my route that would take in the Blackwater Valley Path. A beautiful morning for running, and excited to get out after such a good week of running. As I got to my new turning point by the Farnborough Gate retail park, I decided to change the route. My running was going very well and my times were just great. I had planned to run through Frimley and Mychett then turn towards North Camp and onto the Blackwater Valley Path. Instead I decided to stick to the roads and head into Ash, then Tongham, through Runfold and finally home. I was sure of the exact distance, but I was pretty certain it would be more than 16 miles. As I got updated on my time and distance at 12 miles, I realised that I could break the 2 hour mark for a Half Marathon distance. This thought gave me a boost. The reason for it, other than the obvious, is that I have been looking at a site called Xempo. They do tshirts that are colour coded reference your running times, white being you have completed a half or full marathon, yellow being you have completed a half marathon at sub 2 hours. To buy the shirt they verify your time. So at the Fleet Half Marathon I am hoping to do this. An achievement I thought may be a push, but not now! I ran through the half marathon point at 1 hour 57 minutes and 5 secs!! And that was not even trying to do it! I now believe the orange shirt ( 1hr45 - 1hr55 ) could be in reach! Anyway, with the buzz of knowing I had achieved this time I pushed for home! I arrived home completing a distance of 16.75 miles! In a time of 2 hours 32 minutes 13 secs. I was immensely impressed with myself!

I am now 4 weeks away from the Fleet Half Marathon. Sponsorship has been a little slow, but I'm sure it will pick up. It is also 5 weeks away from the National Lottery Olympic Park Run! I plan on a few runs during the week, but nothing this weekend as I shall be helping at the Aid Stations for the Thames Tow Path Ultra.

I have also realised that i have covered 102.2 miles in February alone, and 181.1 miles this year!
Makes you wonder where I could be had I ran in a line somewhere?

That's it for now, please have a look at my just giving page

Thank You x

Saturday, 4 February 2012


I just wanted to air my feelings about sponsorship and my running.
Firstly, I do the running out of pure enjoyment. Most running events I will be competing I will do with out gaining any sponsorship. I will be doing it like this as not to annoy people by constantly asking for sponsorship money. Certain events I feel are a good time to ask for sponsorship. Mainly the bigger known events. As you are hopefully aware, my next event is the Asiscs Fleet Half Marathon. I decided to gain sponsorship for this for two reasons. Firstly its a local well known running event. An event that I'm sure you know of others who will be running it. You may even be running it yourself or going down to watch. If you are going down to watch, please cheer on myself and everybody else. You wont believe how much it means to the runners. Secondly, this will be my longest event since the Bupa Great South Run.
As for the actual sponsorship. I fully appreciate that some will not one to sponsor me. Everybody has there reasons to or not to sponsor me. Be it money problems, sponsoring somebody else already, not your chosen charity or you just don't like me! If you don't want to sponsor me, then just say no if I ask you! I'll probably delete you off Facebook and stick worms through your Nans letterbox, but I wont take offence!
I try to choose a charity that has a meaning to me. As a Cancer victim myself, I naturally gravitate towards the Cancer charity. There are many to choose from. All of which do great work to help others who are fighting the illness. My dedication to my running is equal to my dedication of gaining sponsorship for my chosen charity. So, I shall apologise now if I appear a bit full on asking for sponsorship.

Just remember this, would you rather be giving money for sponsorship than receiving the help it pays for?

The last few days

Hello all.

Again been a few days since my last blog. So, after Tuesdays rest day it was back to the gym on Wednesday. Another spinning session to enjoy. I wasn't expecting to much from the spinning session, as I've been suffering with a bit of a sore throat. So approaching the class I decided I would maybe not give it my all. One hour later and everything had been given. The computer screen on the spinning bike confirming I had burnt 744 calories! The highest amount yet in my spinning!! As a reward I enjoyed a nice dish of chargrilled chicken and veg!
Thursday became a rather long day. My days work was 150 miles away on the other side of Ipswich. It ended up being a 12 hour day and I was desperate to still go out and do my planned run. Back at home at 7pm, I changed and hit the roads. & miles later and I was done. Not a great run, but a run none the less.
Friday and the throat was still not better, so decided to have another rest day and got a curry in. Not enjoyable in the end. Should of cooked! Still it should provide some sort of fuel for Saturdays run?!
Saturdays run was going to be cold. With the weather predicted for the coming day it was better to get out sooner rather than later. My planned run was going to be a 14 mile loop of Aldershot and some of Farnborough, taking in the Blackwater Valley Path. Very cold out!! I wouldn't want to guess the temperature, but I'm pretty sure it had a minus symbol in front of it. After hitting the 13.1mile mark I decided I had had enough. The last two miles marked by intermittent stomach cramps. Again, not a great run.
It shows that sometimes, as much as you try to do the right things, it just doesn't go as planned. That said, I did enjoy the run, just not as much as others!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tuesday, time to rest.

Well its been a few days since my last post. Tonight is a night off from training. After cross training on Sunday, which involved 2.5km cross train, 3km row, 1kmswim and some core and resistance work. Monday was a nice enjoyable low intensity run over 7 miles. 
Its been a busy few days away from training to. Ive booked a place onto the Farnham Pilgrims Marathon in September. This will not be the easiest of marathons. Unlike most marathons this will be rather hilly. Its route is a long the North Downs Way. Ive also received information on the Thames Tow Path 100. Looking forward to that!
Today i decided to register for this years New York Marathon. Registering is just one step towards gaining entry. Fingers crossed ill get a place!
That's it for tonight, after all its supposed to be a rest night!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Its the Weekend!

The weekend, the time for lie ins and doing the things that you like to do. So, i did both, sort of. Having some family coming over mid morning meant that it was a 6am wake up this Saturday morning. The need for the early rise was really to allow myself time to have and absorb breakfast. Big run ahead and it need to be done before the visit. A nice bowl of porridge and a strong coffee, followed by an oats bar, fruit bar and a packet of French Fries. Odd breakfast i know, but it put the fuel in for what i would need during my run.
Out the door at 8.30, and a nice morning to run. Cool with the sun trying to shine and warm. Wanting to up my mileage, i opted for approx 12 mile run. In the end i covered 12.38 miles in 1 hour 56 minutes, with an average mile time at 9.24 minute miles. Total elevation of 409ft. That one run alone burnt off 2148 calories!!
I got back in time to chuck myself in a 10 minute ice bath, and shower. A quick protein recovery drink and a nice coconut flavoured powerbar protein plus. That should help for the recovery. The ice bath being pretty tough every time, but its surprising how quickly you get used to the temperature. Well except for my big toes, they never do. In fact my big toes and thumbs seem to get the raw deal in my running. Thumbs seem to stay cold during my run, then big toes not only have to contend with the ice bath, they like to moan a bit on the descents to. Had an enjoyable visit from the family. Then off to see my local side Farnborough turnover local derby team and league rival Basingstoke one nil! Happy days.

Chill time now, with a very hearty and enjoyable dinner of Spicy Cajun Chicken Quinoea! Try it, i love it!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Thursday Night Back With Chris

Over the last 10 days my running has been done without my running buddy Chris. Having some sort of unexplained niggle he decided it was best to rest up for a while. Tonight was our first run together since his "rest". The general consensus for the evenings run would be a quick, high intensity run around the Polo Fields in Aldershot. A lap being approx 2.61 miles. So this would be a 5.2 mile run. We decided to run at a tempo which should be around 8ish minute miles. So off we went. The best I had managed to run the loop was 47minutes 25 seconds. Tonight I managed to clock 45minutes 20seconds. And if it wasn't for people in cars being in a rush to get home , rather than let us cross the road at the roundabouts, I probably would of been under 45minutes. It was a tough and enjoyable, run all bit it cold, especially on the thumbs!

Its now only 2 months away until my first half marathon in 13 years. Ive entered this years Asiscs Fleet Half Marathon in March. As per the last two Bupa Great South Runs, I've decided to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. If you would like to sponsor me and help me hit my target of £500, please visit my Just Giving page or hit the link at the top of the page. Any amount of money is 100% appreciated! You can also text DENS77 £5 to 70070. Please then follow the link and leave me a message!n I would also really appreciate if you could encourage family and friends to possibly sponsor me or even read this blog.

Thank You

Den x

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Spin & Spa Night

It sounds luxurious, and it is, after the hard work of spinning! Part of my running training plan is to cross train, hopefully bringing more muscle groups into my running. So tonight was an hour spinning class, followed by a healthy dinner ( bangers and onion mash! ). Then a few hours chilling in the spa! Where there's pain there's reward! Tia also in turn allows me to relax my muscles in preparation for a tough run tomorrow evening! Fair to say " if you work hard you can reap the rewards".

Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday Blues? Not Really!

Today's the first day of a new week. Most people dread Mondays and I usually do. Today I awoke with mixed emotions and differing expectations.
To put you in the picture, last night I was trawling the events page on the Runners World website. I for some reason was checking out the Ultra marathon Events! I know, i haven't even ran a half marathon in 13 years, and here I am checking out ultras! So, I noticed the North Downs Way 50, and checked out their website. In doing so I came across the volunteers section. Not being capable yet of running an ultra, I was more than able to volunteer to help on the aid stations. So I volunteered!
Back to this morning, and I did what I'm sure most of you do, I woke up, and within minutes I was checking out Facebook and my Emails. In amongst the usual Monday morning spam, was a reply to my request to be a volunteer for the North Downs Way 50. Awesome! There was more, I was being asked if I could help out with the upcoming Thames Tow Path 100 Ultra in March. So, I naturally said yes! I was in!
Good start for a Monday!
Lunchtime was an unusual time today, it was my follow ups for my post cancer checks. Thankfully only a few hours at the Hospital was required!
The rest of the day was filled with work in the office. My mind wandering ahead, looking forward to the evenings run!
My plan for the evening was to have a low intensity run, around 5miles. Instead I got caught in the solitude that running can bring, and something that I really enjoy! I know odd. In this moment I ended up covering 7 miles, and I loved every single one of them. The last mile was especially enjoyable as I neared home and my route was mainly lit by the stars shining in a beautiful clear sky!
All in all, I never felt the blues that Mondays can bring! Maybe next week??

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sunday Session

Today the wife and I decided to hit the gym early. Now I know what your thinking, I thought this was a running blog?. Well it is, but cross training I believe will benefit my running. Especially if I can do high intensity low impact work outs like spinning. Anyway, we decided to hit it early while its nice and quiet. I had a varied exercise plan, which involved a 10 minutes on the cross trainer, followed by some resistance work. A nice 20 minute cool run on the tread mill. Boy was that boring! Then a hefty 3000 metre row followed by some cool down stretches on the power plates. Quick wash followed by a nice and healthy cooked breakfast in the gym, before hitting the spa! A good one and a half hour spa session I'm relaxed!
Legs feel fresh and the heart and mind do to. Even to me it seems odd that the previous 48 hours had involved 2 long 10 mile runs! I believe I'm getting the hang of it?! Time for some chores, have a great Sunday!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012


A friend bought me a book for my birthday as inspiration. Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Read this book while away at Christmas. Loved it, decided when I got home to buy he's other books. I just recently finished Run and part way into 50/50. What other books out there are just as inspirational?

Also another book I have really enjoyed recently was Ranulph Fiennes Autobiography - Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know.


Hi all, I've decided to setup this blog, to inform yourselves of my on going running missions. Also as an on line diary for myself.

The beginning. From around primary school I started to really enjoy running, which in turn lead to secondary school. At secondary school I would run in the cross country teams during winter and athletics during the summer. Oddly, the athletics events i competed in were never long distance?! After finishing secondary school I continued to run. The only event I entered after school was the Basingstoke Half Marathon in 1999, finishing in 1 hour 45 minutes. Not long after this I stopped running as I found the love of my life!
Up to this point I was probably best described as under weight and was one of those annoying people who could eat anything!! That soon changed! The extra weight I needed eventually came, but, like a private party advertised on Facebook, all its mates turned up!
I knew I was over weight, and wasn't really do much about changing it. Fooling myself that playing Sunday football and annual ski holidays would keep me fit and healthy. Wrong.
Fast forwarding to November 2009 and something wasn't right. I had a lump which I shouldn't really have. After getting it checked, I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer! 1st December and the faulty part of me was removed! Followed in January 2010 with a one off Chemotherapy treatment as a clean up.
During my period of recouping, I was talking to a friend, she informed me she had entered the Bupa Great South Run later that year. Something inside me clicked. I wanted in!! So, after eventually getting bored of the walls I stared at, and thankfully back at work I decided to do...nothing. I had signed up for the premier 10 mile run, but had yet to even run a mile let alone anywhere near 10! Not until August did I eventually get my backside into (running) gear. I trained hard and was very dedicated to the run, but, years of bodily neglect were fighting me! Race day came and I proudly finished the run in 1 hour 52 minutes. Not great, but I had done it! As soon as I got home, I booked straight away for the following years event 2011! After this I did some sporadic running including running a 10K run which involved running up the Hogs Back at Guildford! After this the running again fell to the wayside. In January 2011 I got married in Austria, and made a vow to myself that I would get back into running. Again like the previous year, it took me till September to make this promise! Something this time was different, I loved it! I ran the 2011 Bupa Great South Run in a better time of 1 hour 48 minutes, and followed up again with the Portsmouth Santa 10K in December. That brings me to now!