Posts Tagged ‘running’

One week later: I did it

November 10, 2009

Hello.

So I ran and finished the New York Marathon, finally.  I did it in a glacially slow 5:15. Less than three hours slower than Paula Radcliffe! In fact I came 37,207th in the New York Marathon. But was only 3,834th in my age group!

So, here is how it happened:

Of course I woke up very early on the day and was ready to go 4.5 hours before my start time of 10.20.  Here is a picture of me being ready very early:

New York 2009005

marathon day 06.00

I then walked down Broadway to catch the Staten Island Ferry to the start.  I got there an hour early for my allocated ferry.  There were lots and lots of people dressed in running gear and looking excited, scared and determined.

I was able to get on an earlier ferry and headed off towards Staten Island and the start.  Here is a Staten Island Ferry:

New York 2009008

A Staten Island Ferry taken from another Staten Island Ferry

Imagine if you had to go out to sea to get to Stevenage and you will have an idea of going to Staten Island.

We were hearded off the ferry and on to buses which drove us through a grey drizzly suburb to Fort Wadsworth and “The Start”.  At Fort Wadsworth there were lots of runners queueing for toilets and lying on plastic bags and pieces of cardboard and there was a loudspeaker system blasting out repeating announcements in five languages.  It was quite cold and I was pretty nervous and there was still a couple of hours until my start time so I drank too much tea and lay on a bin liner on the grass:

New York 2009009

Me at Fort Wadsworth

Finally it was my turn to be coralled into the start. So I squeezed through a gate with a few hundred other runners who were allocated Blue Start, Wave 3 , Corral D. After standing in Corral D for a while we were walked slowly along through some parked trucks until suddenly we were crossing the start line and all started running over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

And it was fantastic and exciting and really hard to stop myself running off much too fast. And for the first ten miles it was absolutely great.  Lots of people lining the route cheering and shouting and encouraging the runners.  I need the toilet a lot (all that tea at Fort Wadsworth) and had to stop and use the portaloos several times, which of course slowed me down (I ‘m sure I would have done the race in under five hours if I hadn’t had to queue for the loos so much – ha ha).

There were lots of people with banners and flags with phrases like “Run Jim Run” or “Run Stacey Run” or “Run Tony Run”. Hmmmmm. Coincidence? Or had they all stolen that clever format from me? No. Actually they probably all thought it up themselves, didn’t they. 

My favourite spectator banners were “Wow! You’re running the New York Marathon!” Which was at about 14 miles when I was finding it quite a struggle and I thought that was funny and it cheered me up. It helped to remind me that I wanted to do this flipping run for a very long time, and finally I was.

My other favourite was a man holding up a piece of tatty brown cardboard torn from a box with one badly handwritten word on it: “Kung”.  I have no idea what it means. This was in one of the more industrial areas of Queens I think and was therefore another welcome boost of amusement.

Several runners had messages on their vests. One was, alarmingly, “Heart Attack Survivor!” So I thought I should have written “Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome Survivor!” on mine. It would have looked good I think.

The bit of the marathon between 11 and 20 miles was quite tough. It was great to see my wife, Helen and son, Stan and his friend, Lucas at about 15 miles. But after that there is a really long stretch up through Manhattan to The Bronx.  And I gotto 102nd Street and remembered the song, “Across 110th Street” by Bobby Womack and realised that I still had 8 blocks to go before I got to that  and then would have to go through Harlem before getting to The Bronx – the song is about 110th Street being the southern  border of  Harlem.

In order to avoid the Nestle manufactured energy gels which were given out on the course, I brought along another brand. They were quite frankly the nastiest, most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. But having acclimatsed my stomach to these monstrous sachets of gloop on my long training runs, I was able to keep them down and feel some kind of psychological benefit at least. I believe they gave me some extra energy to keep me going. (Well they have absolutely nothing else going for them, so they must at least give you an energy boost.)

Eventually I got to 20 miles which was the furthest I had run in one go before and strangely that was very encouraging and I thought, “Great, this is all new territory and I can do it!”  I had prepared myself for the last six to be really hard, but actually they were better than the previous 10 miles. So the last six miles were good fun again.

Along the way I often seemed to be just behind people with their name in big letters on their shirts. So the crowd would shout “Go Kirsten”, or “Go, Steve”, or “Go Moose!”. But when people did shout “Go Allan!” it was a good feeling and it was nice to be able to smile back at them.  One such incident at about 23 miles was, I am sure, with Steven Spielberg. He said to me, “Go Allan. You’re doing a great job”. But I suppose I might have been halucinating, what with it being 23 miles and nearly five hours of running. But, then why would I imagine Steven Spielberg of all people?

And then with 200m to go I saw Helen again and it was brilliant to see her and I was able to run to the end with a big smile on my face!

Sadly all the official pictures of me taken on the marathon are absolutely hideous.  Every single one could have the caption, “Fat bloke staggers round New York Marathon looking like he is about to vomit”. So instead, here is an artist’s impression of what I thought I looked like crossing the finish line:

Stan cartoon of finish

Allan finishes marathon by Stanley Wright Sutherland

And then suddenly I was in a queue to pick up my bag as thousands of runners were funneled into a very narrow fenced in path. But felt great to have finally finally done it.

 I would recommend the New York Marathon for anyone, especially if, like me, it is probably the only marathon you ever run. It is a great city and the marathon shows it off well.

And that’s it. I ran a marathon. I ran the New York Marathon. I have banished the demons of last year’s health crisis. I have enjoyed the training and blogging.

So thanks to all who have supported and encouraged and sponsored me (it is still not too late to sponsor me – click here to donate). It was great as I trudged the 26.2 miles (actually my Garmin GPS thing said I ran 26.59 miles in all!) to think about all the support I have had while I have been training and writing this blog. It really did help get me round.

I would especially like to say thank you to my long suffering family who have had to put up with me going on about running this marathon for years and then have me absent while I do hours and hours of training runs and then drone on about them and then write about it and insist that they read about what I have already bored them to distraction with anyway. So thank you Stan, Delilah and Mathilda and especially Helen for all your support and love.

Marathon haiku:

New York Marathon:
finally, the run is run.
Thanks all for reading.

 

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11 hours to go – Halloween and feeling quite calm actually

November 1, 2009

Only 11 hours to the start of the New York Marathon which I will be running, by the way.  And I am feeling quite calm. I have pinned my number to my NCT vest. I have had my pre marathon meal – I went for cous cous (so good they named it twice) over normal pasta, trivia fans. I have attached my timing chip to my shoe and got all my clothes ready for tomorrow.

We have spent a very enjoyable few days in New York eating and new yorking.

I am looking at nearly everyone and thinking, “Are you running the marathon, too?” Many are easy to spot because they are wearing T-shirts saying “I am running in the New York Marathon 11/1/2009”.  And lots of people are walking around in running clothes as if they didn’t bring anything else to wear.  But I am hoping that there are some more like me who don’t spend all their time running or wearing running clothes. I was the only person I saw at the registration expo who wasn’t wearing a running/outdoor pursuits anorak. Everyone else looked very athletic and like they have run many marathons.

I suppose my fear is that I am the only person like me who is slow and has never done this before and is going to take five hours or more. I really don’t want to be last.

Anyway. It’s been a long road to this point and I am very grateful to everyone who has kindly travelled with me. Including everyone who has kindly and generously sponsored me at my just giving page (here). And thanks to all for your many messages of support for tomorrow. I’m sure it will help me through the run.

I’ll let you know how I get on!

Marathon eve haiku:

It’s been a long road
to the new york marathon.
twenty six miles left.

12 Days to go. A selfish rant about selfishness.

October 20, 2009

Just 12 day until I run 26.2 miles in the New York Marathon. So the weekend just gone I hardly did any running at all. About 7 miles in total. The week before I did about 42 miles in all including another 20 mile run up the canal and a 10 mile run home from work.  Weight still 80 kg – still several kilos above target. Not sure why. Probably just eating too much!

Anyway. Blah blah blah. I hear you say. So you ran a long way. Or you didn’t run a long way. Who cares, I hear you say.

Ok. Forgive me, for I am getting very anxious about this marathon malarky that I have got to do in 12 days. So I think the rant that follows is a symptom of my anxiety.

The other day I got to Acton Central to go home and there was a problem with the train and it was stuck at the station and was quite full of people and I got on and there was a woman with a handkerchief over her mouth and in her eyes I could see a look of disgust verging on revulsion. And it made me a bit angry. I thought, “If the people, like me, you share your train journey with are so disgusting, why don’t you get a cab? Or go and live somewhere without an overcrowded public transport system. Commuting in London means you are crushed, battered and squashed several times a week.” Maybe I am being unfair what with the Swine Flu thing, and some people on the train could do with washing more often, but for pete’s sake this is what living in a city is about. None of us particularly wants to be squashed up in a train on a line which only has temporary signage.

And given that I work for (and am raising funds for – click here for my just giving page) NCT which is all about pregnancy, birth and early parenting – and there is quite a lot of that which is about the fluids, juices and more corporeal side of humanity – I just found the hanky thing a bit insulting really.  A bit rude and selfish, if you will.

And when people shout at others for trying to get on or off the train, I have a similar reaction.  Some people shove and are rude and selfish and some people shout (rudely and selfishly) at others for trying to find a place on the train. And then there are the people who almost knock pregnant women and small children out of the way to get a seat.

And people who let their dog run around in the only designated dog free green space in my area of north London, and when you point out that fact they (the more polite ones) say that “The dog is on a lead and they will clear up after it, so that is ok.” But that is not the point. That is what they should do in all the places where dogs are allowed. It seems like there is no thought for others in these people’s heads.

And I am not even going to mention the banking crisis and the unprecedented greed and selfishness that got us here. No. Not a word.

I know I am coming across like a columnist in Country Life magazine, grumpy and grumbling about the erosion of traditional values and if only people were a bit more polite. (Actually I got shouted at by a traditional red-faced farmer in Gloucestershire at the weekend for straying a few metres off a (badly maintained) footpath – communist insurgent that I am- so I still have a bit to learn before I can write for Country Life.)

“But, Allan,” you say, “You are flying off to New York to have a fine time eating in your favourite restaurants running a flickering marathon which you have been going on, and on, about for nearly two years now. And what about your poor family which has had to put up with you disappearing for three hour training runs and having to suffer being connected to your relentlessly self-absorbed blog! Isn’t that a little bit selfish too, Allan.” Well, yes. I do like New York and this training and everything can be a bit excluding for my long suffering family.

OK, now I have offended health conscious commuters, dog-owners, all of ruaral Britain and the British Banking community (the last must be used to it by now though) and probably just annoyed you, my loyal reader. What’s my point?

My point – yes there is one – is that we have lost a bit of tolerance and understanding and a bit of thoughtfulness about other people. And one of the things that NCT is about is supporting people when they are struggling or in need. And by having our branches which are networks of people helping each other and helping their communities with the activities they provide, I think there is model for a responsible and supportive society. So if I can raise some money for NCT by running a really really long way on 1st November I am doing a small bit for a better society. No really, I am. (And having a great time in New York as well, I hope.) 

Selfishness abounds
but I am running New York
for a better world.

(pretentious? moi?!)

LOL (or LOLBACALI)

27 days to go – Milestones

October 5, 2009

Only 27 days until the New York Marathon! I ran 20 miles today.  Which is a long way.  I did some other runs this week as well, so my total for the week is about 42.5 miles.  Which is definitely an improvement. I think the early morning runs and a 10 mile run home from work in the week helped me to do the 20 miles in 3 hours 45 minutes today (it is still a slow time but I am quite pleased with it).

Anyway, that run is an important milestone (as it were) because 20 miles is the longest I will run before the marathon.  And it was the furthest distance I ran in my training last year.

This time a year ago I was just out of hospital after my surgery.   This week I got a copy of the letter the registrar at Charing Cross Hospital sent to my GP about my last outpatient appointment. It reads:

His  scan shows no evidence of popliteal entrapment and we will therefore allow him to do his Marathons and see him in one year’s time…

Very reassuring. Notice the way they have written marathons (plural), though. Sweet of them to think that I will be running more than one marathon before I see them next September. 

One milestone that I haven’t passed this week, though, is reaching even 10% of my fundraising target. Thanks to some very generous people my fundraising is off the starting block. But only just. I need more of you very generous people to support me to raise money for the very wonderful NCT. Apart from all the great work NCT does to support new and expectant parents, it also employs me which I am very grateful for.  So please click here to sponsor me .

Another milestone annoyingly unpassed is getting my weight below 80kg. In fact it went up a bit this week. It seems a little unfair that I ran 42.5 miles, ate cottage cheese and leaves for lunch and put on weight!

I can’t tell you much about my 20 mile run (“hurrah”, you cry) because I had a bit of a hangover, to be honest.  No amusing (or disturbing?) dialogue between two scottish accented voices in my head this morning. It was more a blurry muffled fuzzy hum  – rather like a pirated dvd. Interesting, however,  that I may have discovered the world’s worst hangover cure though!

Drink too much last night? Feeling hungover? Simply run for nearly four hours and hey presto: the hangover’s gone!

However, I know you are just desperate to know what it is really like going running with me. So this week I took some pictures on one of the runs (4.75 miles) I did before work  so that you don’t have to…

05.45

05.45

This (above) is me just before setting off. It is 5.45 am and I am attempting to smile for the camera.

05.47

05.47

This (above) is my road as I am about to set off. Note how I can stand in the middle of the road confidently and without fear because there is NO TRAFFIC OF ANY KIND or even any discernable human activity at 05.47.

06.03

06.03

This (above) is Hampstead Heath at 06.03. Note the majestic beauty of Parliament Hill rolling away to your left.

06.12

06.12

This picture (above) shows the view across the “fishing-” or “model boating” (as it is sometimes known) pond on hampstead heath. No-one fishing this morning, though!

06.18

06.18

Fancy a dip? That’s right, it’s Highgate Men’s Swimming Pond (above), but only the ducks are able to swim this early in the morning. Ha ha!

06.34

06.34

Nearly home and, oh look, is that sky (above) a bit lighter now? Yes it is because it will be sunrise in only 20 minutes or so!

06.42

06.42

Home in time to get ready for work and feeling quite pleased with myself (above).

Really looking forward to New York now!

This week’s haiku is actually about running:

Early morning runs
mad though they seem at the time
do pay dividends.

Week minus seven – collecting cats

December 21, 2008

“I hate china cats, but that one is actually all right.” Those were the fateful eleven words I said to Helen, my wife, some years ago.  “Why fateful?” you ask. Because ever since that day I have been a “collector” of china cats whether I like them or not (and it really is not).  Helen and our friend Suzanne delight in finding china cats in charity shops to add to my “collection”.  Helen recently returned from a trip to Cornwall with eleven of the little lovelies which she had found. There were tears in my eyes that day, I can tell you. 

So over the years I have built up a couple of bowls full of them, which I mostly put under the bed. So this year to ensure my collection was taken to the next level, as it were, Helen bought me a display case and this week after months of avoiding it, the case was put on the wall and the cats finally put on display for all to see.  And do you know what? Hideous as they mostly are, put on display like that I actually find myself having a little look in the case as I go past and smiling at the amazing weirdness of them. People sat down and designed an produced these extraordinary things.  And I feel a little bit pleased to have them out there now.

“That’s all terribly interesting, Allan,” You may (or more probably may not) be saying, “But what the devil has it got to do with running or fundraising?”  Well not much really.  But last weekend I went running and I had one of the worst runs of my life.  I ran with speed and general demeanor of a wounded Water Buffalo.  This weekend I went running with Helen and we ran together and talked and I ran better than I have since the operation. It was a very short run but it was one that felt OK.

And I have had a lot of support from lots of people during my training for the marathon and since. And people have helped me to get back out there running and encouraged me to stick with the blogging.  So that’s a bit like the cats really.  You know, something terrible surprising you by getting a bit better after all.

Clutching at straws really, I know.  But at least I’m blogging. And I bet you can’t wait to see pictures of the cats! (Next time maybe.)

Hope you all have a great festive season and holiday if you are having one. 

I’ll be back in 2009, hoping to run for NCT again!

This week’s haiku:

“I hate china cats.”
But the cats kept appearing.
Now I quite like them.

Week 17 – In which Allan is hit by a squirrel, given “evils” by a gangster fox, runs even further and discovers “existential running”

September 23, 2008

This week:
Weight: once again, still at about 76kg! (target: 73kg) but I don’t really care at the moment; Miles run in the last seven days: 35.92 (57.8077 km)
Total funds raised up quite a bit: £376.79 (including Gift Aid) Only £623.21 to go. Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 39 (oh my!).

I think the change of season is having an effect on the wildlife of North London. It is very noticeably darker when I do my early morning runs. So, for example, one morning last week as I ran on to Hampstead Heath, two geese flew (heading south?) picturesquely (majestically, even) across a very bright moon shining in a dark night sky. 

Another morning as I left the house – again in darkness – a fox which was a few metres down the road gave me an aggressive and arrogant stare, as if he were in a Guy Ritchie film, and was about to say, “This is my manor, son! You’re only here right now because I let you. You remember all those rabbits and guinae pigs your kids used to have that disappeared? I had them. Understand. So naff off.” (Actually that sounded more like Fletcher in Porridge, but you get the idea.) “Gangster fox terrorises Tufnell Park runner shock!”

And on another morning  run – yet again in the dark – a squirrel ran into me.  I thought squirrels sense of self preservation was such that they were pretty good at avoiding humans, but it seems not. I wasn’t trying to sneak up on it or anything (because that would be quite odd in a man of my age), but as I was running along this squirrel didn’t seem to notice I was there until I was right next to it at which point it panicked and ran straight into my foot, then bounced off and ran away.

The point of all this being that this equinochial period is a time of change. Days get visibly shorter each week. Temperatures drop. Animals change their behaviour – flying south for the winter (birds), being bolder and more aggressive in their foraging for food (fox) or stupider (squirrel). And I have been thinking about some changes too.

I have done some very long runs recently. Longer than I have ever run before. Last week I ran 18 miles (29.1291km) and, the weekend just gone, 20 miles (32.2030km). This has helped me to turn a corner in my thinking about the marathon.  Having done these runs, I now know I can finish the marathon. Even if I have to walk the last six miles, I can do it. This is quite a profound change from the way I felt a few weeks ago when I was panicking about it.

One of the things that has changed is that I have been making sure I eat my porridge before long runs and I have been drinking energy drinks and energy gels during the long runs.  Energy gels are absolutely disgusting – “The great taste of vomit with the texture of wallpaper glue!” -but they do seem to give me the energy I need to run a very long way. (Be warned Nestle makes one brand of energy product called PowerBar.) So I am not so worried about the 3kg I still need to lose to reach my target at the moment. I am making sure I have the fuel I need to run a long way.

I have also been reading a book called Running & Philosophy: a marathon for the mind, edited by Michael W Austin. Which is “a unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland.” (Thanks to Kathryn of the Bradford chapter of the north of England regional branch of RunAllanRun readers for recommending this to me.) It features such exciting chapter titles as “Chasing Happiness Together: Running and Aristotle’s Philosophy of Friendship”, “John Dewey and the Beautiful Stride: Running as Aesthetic Experience”, “Can We Experience SIgnificance on a Treadmill?” (to save you the effort, the answer is “not really”) and the surprisingly upbeat “Existential Running”. Some of it is a bit forced but there are some really interesting essays which are helpful in linking some of the feelings of elation and struggle involved in running to some established theories about life and happiness. 

So, since I have after all chosen to do this marathon and this training ,when I get up and go running in the dark or run a “challenging” 20 miles it can be useful to think about freedom and choice and all that sort of stuff . Or I can just enjoy the amusing antics of my local woodland creatures!

Birds are flying south
I am running in the dark
But still enlightened!

Week 16 – “Why New York, Allan?”

September 15, 2008

This week:
Weight: once again, disappointingly still at about 76kg! (target: 73kg); Miles run in the last seven days: 30.02 (48.3125 km)
Total funds raised up a bit: £319.10 (including Gift Aid) Only £680.90 to go. Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 48.

Helen, my wife, who has done two marathons, warned me that I would become a marathon bore about now. (Actually, Helen put it much more nicely, saying “Your thoughts, actions and conversation will be dominated by the marathon and we’ll all have to get used to it.”)

This past weekend we looked after our friends’ two children while they (the parents) went away for the weekend. We also went to another friend’s very enjoyable 50th birthday party. Stanley, our youngest, learned how to play Eye of the Tiger on the guitar (with appropriate irony, I think, but I’m not entirely sure).  Delilah, our younger daughter spent a lot of the weekend working on her personal statement for her UCAS form and recovering from the party she went to on Friday night/Saturday morning. Our elder daughter, Mathilda, came back this weekend from Moscow where she has been attending a drama course at Moscow Arts Theatre for the last two weeks. However, when people at work (NCT) asked me about my weekend, I said “I had a successful 18 mile run on Sunday, thank you for asking.” And went on to explain to anyone who was in the same room about how I ran from Angel to Stonebridge Lock out past Tottenham Hale on the canals and then back again. How I drank energy drinks and “ate” energy gels to help me on the way and how encouraging for the marathon it is to have run so far. And their eyes start to glaze and writing that report on membership attrition and retention rates data for the year end accounts seems a lot more interesting to them than it did five minutes ago. And do you see what’s happening here? I am doing the same to you, dear reader.  Blah blah blah 18 miles. Blah blah blah marathon. Etc. So Helen was right.

Now 18.1 miles (29.1291km) is a very long way and I have never run that far (in one go) before in my life.  So I think it is OK to be quite pleased with myself at this turn of events. And for your info, as I am sure you will be as interested as me, it took 3 hours, 14 minutes and 22 seconds, an average of 10 minutes 44 seconds per mile, my average heart rate was 154 bpm (sorry, are you finding this boring?) and I burned approximately 2,154 calories (which is, incidentally, equivalent to approximately 850 g of raccoon meat– which must be about all the edible meat you could get from the average raccoon, I imagine).

Anyway, after very patiently listening while I droned on about my 18 mile run, our friends’ young daughter (yes, be warned that the listener’s age, relevance to the current conversation and likely potential interest to the listener represent no barrier to my ability to launch into riveting descriptions of the pain in my foot between 6.3 and 8.2 miles – which, I’m sure you want to know, was rather like someone shooting a rivet into my foot every time I stepped on it)  asked me why I am running the New York marathon rather than somewhere else (closer to home).  Which is an interesting question.

After I had been running a few years and Helen and other friends of mine had run some marathons I thought I would probably like to do a marathon at some point, too. And if, as is very possibly the case, I only ever do one marathon, which marathon should that be? Why not make it somewhere I would really like to visit as well.  Given that I have two degrees in American Studies (a BA from UEA Norwich and an MA from Birkbeck, London) and had always wanted to visit America but, rather embarassingly now that I was over 40, never had, New York seemed an obvious option.

Of course this also meant it was easier to put off!  I could say, wittily I thought, that I didn’t want to do the London Marathon because I had been to the Isle of Dogs and it was closed. (Ignoring the fact that there is at least one marathon in the UK every week that I could choose to run instead.) New York offered that classic excuse in that it was the one I was holding out for, therefore I didn’t actually have to do it. And, even better, I said to myself that I would give up smoking when I was definitely going to run a marathon. So, being rejected for a place in the New York marathon every year meant I could continue smoking as well!

In the meantime I visited New York, without a marathon, first with my daughters, Mathilda and Delilah and then with the whole family. And I absolutely loved it. Having seen it a million times in film and TV, the best things turned out to be the smells and the tastes of New York which I couldn’t predict. So now I can, hopefully, enjoy running a marathon there, knowing that I will enjoy being in a wonderfully exciting city which I love.  (I also love London too, I hasten to add, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.)

So this year I got my guaranteed place in the New York Marathon. (If you apply and are rejected three years in a row, you are guaranteed a place in the fourth.)  So it all got rather real. And quite scary. But, joy of joys, it has made me give up smoking. It has made me run and feel good about running again. It has already helped me run further than I have ever run before.  And it has, and this could be the most scary bit in some ways, meant I am taking a risk or two.  At least 30 friends, relatives and colleagues have read this blog and are expecting me to run that marathon. Many have sponsored me. Some, it seems, have even been inspired to do a little bit more exercise. So actually, that 18 mile run is quite important, because it has made me feel a little bit more secure about running the 26 miles in November.

And to answer Amy’s question about “Why New York, Allan?”, the answer would have to be that originally it was probably an excuse to postpone doing things I said I wanted to do, but now it is an exciting and frighteningly real adventure in a city I love to visit. So sorry if I corner you somewhere and turn into a marathon bore in the next few weeks, but it really is very exciting for me.

New York’s exciting
Twenty-six miles is quite far
I am nearly there.

First two weeks of training

June 6, 2008

This week:

Weight: 83kg (target: 73kg); Miles run: 19

Have started new food and fitness regime. My key to weight loss has always been “Eat less; do more” which I suggested might be my bestselling diet book idea. My colleague, Tim, said it was more of a haiku than a book, really. So here is my weightloss haiku:

Eat less and do more
Is a way to lose some weight
That has worked for me.

Did my first “tempo run” at a ridiculously early hour on Hampstead Heath this week. One mile slow “warm up” three miles fast “tempo run” and one mile slow “cool down”. I was guessing at distances and so on but checked it with the very good mapmyrun website and I was pretty accurate. Despite this I am thinking of getting a gps thing to “help me train properly”.

The run was hellish by the way. But strangely exhilerating. So it seems despite being encouraged to be an atheist by an atheist father and continuing to be an atheist all my life, the Presbyterian roots of my Scottish ancestors continue to influence me. Which may be why i am doing this marathon in the first place. Aha.