Monthly Archives: March 2013

Cancer, what is it good for?

*Sung to the tune of War by Edwin Starr

As it turns out, it’s pretty good for PBs at the gym.

I’m not trying to make light of this in any way. But today I found out that one of the people I love most in the world is losing her battle to this bastard, Bastard, BASTARD disease. About an hour later I was due to go to the gym. I nearly didn’t, I didn’t really want to, but I forced myself and I channeled my anger on the bike, the weights, the treadmill and in the pool. I got a PB (or close to) on nearly all of them. Guess I was pretty angry.

If you want to read something by someone that really knows about cancer, then read this amazingly powerful blog called My Cancer Diary. You could also donate to the Macmillan nurses.

Okay, sorry to bring everyone down. Here’s my favourite ever YouTube video to cheer you up.

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UPDATE April ’13 – She lost the battle and that doesn’t do much good for your training.

UPDATE Sept ’14 – Now her son has died of cancer too – horrible, shitty disease.

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Filed under Charity, Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming, Thoughts

Smashed a pool mile

Fastest ever pool mile tonight. First time ever under 30 minutes.

29:35 – get in.

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Filed under Swimming

Do I want to be a runner?

A couple of weeks ago I went running in London, in Hyde Park, for the first time. It was great, a beautiful place to run and a great start to the day. I assumed that as I was enjoying it so much everyone else must be too, so I smiled and nodded at the other runners. But no-one responded. Not one.

So it got me thinking, do I want to be “a runner”.

Whenever I’ve entered running events they are full of people with sharp elbows, fake smiles and a single-minded focus; they rarely seem the most joy filled people or events. Of course there are a few, but generally it seems to be a very individual pursuit.

It’s a lot different with the swims or triathlons – nearly all of the entrants in those events are willing to say hi and smile and wish you luck. It’s as if we all know just how crazy this is, we all know just how stupid we are, we all know how stupid everyone else is being, so we say hi, we smile and we wish each other luck. Whereas with the runs everyone thinks they’ve got a chance, everyone thinks that the person next to them is a challenger. So they sharpen their elbows, fake their smiles and focus.

I don’t want to be like that. So I’m going to go out running a bit, smile at people and remember that I’m actually a swimmer.

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Filed under Running

Barcelona Trip

Last week I was in Barcelona with work. I don’t really want to use this blog to talk about work too much, so for the work perspective you can read this post here from a client of mine.

But from a personal point of view, I’ve been going to this conference for the last ten years and the last six or seven in Barcelona and this was it was the first time I actually liked the city. I know a lot of people that are delighted each year to go to Barcelona and to be honest I just couldn’t see it, however this year it was different.

Firstly, I stayed in an area of the city that I could actually imagine living in. In previous years we’ve stayed in dodgy apartments in dodgy areas of the city – it’s the downside of going to a show with 70,000 thousand other people. However, this year we stayed in a nice part of town with bars, cafes, supermarkets etc that I could imagine going into in real life.

Secondly, we got there a day early and had time to acclimatise. Normally we arrive the evening before the show and it’s all work. This year we had an extra day. It meant that for a few hours at least that we were visiting Barcelona [almost] out of choice – and that puts a different perspective on it.

But finally, going for a run made a lot of difference. Partly because it felt like a real activity, like I might actually do it in real life; partly because it allowed me to see the city at a different pace; partly because we ran round here; and partly because it meant that I did something more than just work and drink beer (although I did plenty of both of them too).

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Filed under Running, Work

Running in Barcelona

I must admit, I’m feeling a bit smug at the moment. I was out in Barcelona last week for a work do – this is a work do that normally involves a huge amount of work and possibly even more beer. This is a work do that normally breaks me. Yet this year I went out for a run twice. Yep twice.

It wasn’t far each time, but it felt genuinely good to be out there running. I’m almost starting to like it now.

The first run was on Sunday afternoon. We had arrived on the Saturday, so the Sunday was pretty much a free day. We pottered around for a bit, then mooched and then did a bit of relaxing. But after that heavy workload my colleague Kate and I actually went for a run. We were staying not far from Montjuic palace and the old Olympic park, so we set off there. We did just over 5.5kms at a very slow pace. And it was lovely.

So on Tuesday morning, as I didn’t have to be in the Congress until a bit later I set off again. I didn’t go quite a far this time, but I did go a bit quicker. And again it was lovely.

What I really love about this is that I actually wanted to go and thoroughly enjoyed it when I did. I’m almost starting to like this running lark.

Of course, I was also planning to go out again at the end of the week, but the show broke me on Thursday and I couldn’t face it and then Thursday night’s beer broke me for Friday. So there’s still a long way to go.

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