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Showing posts from 2012

Harsh.......

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......was how my wife described me, and how a friend described me, well his exact words were "you took your Mrs up Pen Y Fan?? Hahaha bit harsh!" That friend is 3 Para! I'm still trying to work out if he thought I was brave or stupid, on reflection it's probably a bit of both! I had to be in H at the weekend to sort a few things out, so knowing the weather was going to be decent at the Fan, I figured it would be an ideal opportunity to introduce myself to the route, but sometimes, bravado really should take a back seat, especially when you have precious cargo in tow! 

Friday evening was spent kitting Mrs Rushen out with new boots, new socks, new trousers, Helly Hansen base layers for top and bottom and furry white gloves, her preference to the ones I picked out, as opposed to the practical North Face ones. However the furry white ones were still North Face, so I figured, I would let her have her way. I then had to spend the next two hours watching that Twilight dross,…

2013 A New Challenge.........

As I see it, a challenge is only a challenge if you're putting yourself through something that isn't the norm, something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Now you will all be familiar with the events myself and quite a few friends embarked upon last year. The easy choice would always be to say well I/we've done those challenges and we've raised a wonderful amount of money in the process for some incredible causes £16k actually, so, we've done our bit and we can rest with pride, on our laurels.

We did what we set out to achieve, the trouble with achievement is though, it makes you hungry for more. For me, last years two events were about changing my mindset, because life had taken over and a once very fit man had been replaced with someone that was a mere shadow of the man he once was, albeit twice the size! Well not quite, but in January I started the year at a bulging 16 1/4 stone and will finish the year dipping in at under 14. That's a measure of progr…

DONE?!

I know it's probably a little premature to suggest that 2012 is coming to an end, but for me, 2012 has been about reaching certain Milestones and dealing with them best I can, achieving my goals and getting my smile back. The first milestone was the anniversary of Lloydy's death, and although, losing him, or the feelings that his loss evokes will never leave me, celebrating him and his life, will always be foremost in my mind. As the months roll by, the heartache dulls, it will never leave me, it can't, but the sadness is slowly giving way to the pride, the love and the laughs. He was, is a special man, he wouldn't have achieved all that he did, both personally and professionally, if he wasn't. He had a drive and a determination that should be used as an example and he lived his life to the fullest. In his 32 years he did more than most will accomplish in a lifetime, and he certainly left an indelible mark on the world. He certainly left his mark on me, and on all …

Colchester, a completely.....

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........different animal! Since completing Catterick the chatter has been, well Colchester can't be as tough as that! There are no hills, like those ones that tried so hard to break so many, back in September! However, only the foolish would dare believe that come Sunday 21st October, that Colly course wouldn't test those that were brave enough to give it a go. Short sharp hills were replaced with long and shallow uphill woodland  paths that were boot deep sticky mud, and the water traps made by vehicles were replaced with full on water courses, almost chest deep, well on my short arse anyway!


The first three miles were comforatble as I looked down at the Garmin, I was well on target at 31 mins, then my brothers Airborne spirit took hold, and the bravado took over, faced with the decision to go over the river as so many had, I decided to go the wet route, and instantly regretted the decision. I knew as soon as I eventually felt the bottom of that water trap, it was going to cos…

It's been a while.......

.......so I thought I'd better write, especially as the Colchester event is all but 5 days away, and weirdly I'm really looking forward to it. I'm not sure if it's confronting the challenge again, the camaraderie, or the euphoric state of bliss as you make your way up to the finishing line with everyone cheering you on, or indeed a combination of all three. Even now, 6 weeks on, the sensation upon finishing at Catterick, lives with me, that feeling as I crossed that line, that Lloydy was with me, not quite blowing out his ring, but enough to make me feel better about myself, will never leave me! Sunday will have a slightly different feel, it's my home town, it's where I've obviously spent a lot of my life, it was obviously where he spent a lot of his career, and I dare say there'll be some familiar faces there to greet me or abuse me, whichever the case may be, however, I'm pretty certain both will be gratefully received!

Sundays event will mark the …

Withdrawal symptoms.....

.......have well and truly taken hold! Luckily for some of us in a little over 3 weeks time we will be at it again! Colchester is now looming large, and all of sudden a little bit of panic has begun to set in. The week after Catterick, as much as I wanted to, I resisted the temptation to get my boots on, so that I could give my body the rest it probably needed. Three runs the following week and a couple of decent gym sessions, was abruptly brought to end by my stag do and a working week from hell that doesn't look like it's going to end until the 8th October, leaving me about 2 weeks to beast myself into shape again! My stag do last weekend was as you'd expect a crazy affair, full of laughs and hi-jinx and plenty of fun at my expense. However, the activities took their toll and come Monday evening, Man flu had well and truly taken hold, the result of a little dip in the River Wye, which to be fair the Bman had made abundantly clear it was going to happen, turns out he wasn…

Oh........

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..........and whilst I'm talking about tips, if your Bergen is well packed but over the 35lb, leave it be! It turns out I had 46lb at the weigh in and thought it would be a good idea to remove some, can't argue with the logic, it is a good idea - if you repack it properly! At 5 miles I was feeling sore, by the finish, the skin on my lower back had gone. I can live with that, if that's the rub for coming through 10 gruelling miles relatively unscathed, however, Coley, my mate, pointed me in the direction of Germolene New Skin, it works wonders he says, stings a little he says! After Caz had finished applying it, after 5 mins of me laying on my hands so I didn't bust stuff up, biting down into a screwed up towel, I'm surprised I didn't tear him a new arse! Stings he says, what he means is it feels like someone's taking a blow torch to you. I've had nearly 50 hours of ink work on my back this year, and I can honestly say I would have sat there for 50 hours…

Catterick done..........

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...........it's almost sad or to paraphrase Jono "all along I thought I would feel relieved once this was done, and that would be it. I don't know about you lot, but I've had a massive come down today.....although my knees are in bits, I want to do it again! Very odd....." It's difficult to explain to those that haven't experienced the event, the buzz you get, believe me it is by far the most hideous thing that some of us have ever done, including Coley and he's a complete mentalist, but without a doubt the most rewarding, the sense of achievement was palpable even moreso considering the reason we were all doing it. I've said it before but the way the boys had gone about preparing for this event, had for me, already paid a huge tribute to Lloydy, Sunday come 1330 that tribute had been paid in full.

We arrived in Catterick on Saturday afternoon, slowly dribbling into the Travelodge A1 Skeeby car by car. The excitement and the buzz around the boys w…

T Minus 3 days.....

.....and the first leg of this journey will be all but done! I can't use the word 'over' because this Paras'10 is just the beginning. The training efforts seem to be coming together, I did 9miles Sunday with 40lb in kit, it wasn't fast and by that I mean, hitting 1hr50 wasn't on the agenda, it was just a case of getting more miles under the belt and getting used to carrying the heavier pack. I must admit by the time I got back (dripping) I was feeling like I'd been beaten, it was very much a run of three thirds. The first three miles were decent time wise, but my achilles felt (forgive me) shit, the second three slowed a little but were comfortable and the final three were just plain torture. Mix that with people that want to show support, but don't know how really, uttering such phrases as "ooo that looks tough" or "rather you than me", well obviously cos I'm the one with pack on my back doing it! It really is a surprise knowing…

In a little over.....

........a week and a half, we will all, in all likelihood be in a world of hurt! It's amazing that no matter how much training you do, you never feel like you've done enough. Now I can't work out if that's an admission of ill preparation or it's just fact, when you've dropped yourself into an event like this, thinking it's a good idea! 

In the two and a bit years between moving from Colly to Milton Keynes, my fitness levels dropped dramatically. I stopped playing football which had been the mainstay of my fitness regime, and work became my sole focus outside of home, it's an unhealthy way of life, and definitely made me unhealthy. I know I've put some serious effort in to get to the level I am now, and still I feel at this stage that 1hr 50 is beyond me, not that I won't still aim for it, but it is a reality I possibly have to face. The reality is borne from the aches and strains my body seems to be constantly dealing with day in day out. But the…

3 weeks to go.......

.......it's Monday evening and I'm sitting here watching Enter the Dragon! It's ridiculous that even a few hours without training in some way, seems like wasted hours, but that's the mindset I'm in now. Bear in mind I ran home from work this evening after running into work this morning. It's only four miles in both directions without the train journey but miles nonetheless. I did 9 miles on Saturday in trainers, just so I could get a decent run in, but it was redders, and as we all know the hottest weekend of the year! I was running pretty well, but at 6.5 miles really could have done with a breather, just to regulate myself, but 'Dont stop me now' comes on the iPod, so I think I'll have a breather when it's done. It's just as I'm readying myself for said breather when 'Brothers in Arms' starts playing. Most will not understand the significance of those two tracks, but 'Brothers in Arms'  was the track Lloydy was brought …

4 weeks to go.....

.......and counting. These last 6 weeks or so seem to have flown by, before we know it we'll be in the banter wagon on our way to Catterick! The boys continue to do themselves proud with their training and more of late with their sponsorship badgering efforts (especially Jono and Brooky). In the last week we have topped the online targets for both The ParaCharity and Help for Heroes and I couldn't be more proud that we are able to make a little difference in what is ultimately a tribute to my brother. We have so far raised £7.5k and that's just what I know about, I'm informed there is more to come! A couple of weeks into my 'gettingaheadofthegames' training and I was promptly thrown off course by a week from hell at work, which meant early mornings and late nights and no opportunity to train. I met some of the boys (John M, Craig, Coops and Pete) Sunday morning over at Friday Woods in Colly to get a full kit and pack run in, but say it was tortuous would be an …

Bloody Hamstrings, Sand, Lonely Hearts and not so Lonely Hearts.....

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.......all crammed into one weekend. Peckle (James or Oompa) got things rolling Saturday morning, posting a snap of himself, sweating again, he is a sweaty little bugger, an action shot to boot, in kit, Bergen on, arm extended in front of face (to take said photo), and once again I can't help that think his pursuit of a wife would be better served by posting slightly less sweaty pics of himself. So please ladies, if you're reading this and a sweaty little Peckle is your bag, then please get in touch, you could be 'The One' he is determined (desperate) to find - you never know he could be the Charlie to your Chocolate Factory! 


Some of the boys (Cooper, Pete, Bear, John and Jono) got together at Coops Saturday afternoon, for a little beasting, followed by a BBQ. A run of  close to 8 miles, with weight, in boots (for some), saw varying degrees of success. Success it seemed, was measured predominantly by John (Midds) who was on his leaving do from work the previous evening…

Not long now!

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ENOUGH SAID!

6 Weeks and Counting! This sh*t just got real!!

With Catterick.......

.........looming large, and the impending doom of normal working people trying to earn a living, whilst our Capital City hosts the Capitalist monstrosity that is the Olympic Games, I've decided that if you can't beat them, then you may as well join them! My morning commute normally involves me trying to squeeze myself onto a Northern Line tube from Euston to London Bridge, for the next month or so, those of us who have not been encouraged via the rather helpful Mayor of London and 'Get Ahead of the Games' directive, to take a six week holiday or work from home, have had walking routes maps frequently thrust into our mitts, rather ironically with a 'free' tube/oyster ticket wallet! Tomorrow is season ticket renewal day, and the first day of the 'home stretch' before the first event in Catterick on Sunday 9th September. When the alarm goes off at 0600, I shall be (for the next six weeks ) donning my ParaCharity t-shirt a pair of shorts or trousers, my tra…

After..........

.......the 3rd Stag do outing of the year, this time in the Paris of Eastern Europe - Budapest, the body has either not come to terms with the punishment yet or indeed it has and I've come out of it relatively unscathed! I'm not sure which way I'm erring, but I went for a run in full kit and full weight in the Bergen Monday evening, and was in rag state, it wasn't pleasant, actually that's an understatement, it was chuffing torture. The first few hundred yards were horrible, it was almost like I was trying to move house, and carry the bugger from the foundations! Gradually I settled into a decent rhythm, and for the next mile and half felt ok, not great but I thought I'll get round 4 miles in relative comfort, then smash! Right into a wall, the lower calves and the achilles began to protest and to say I was at that point regretting the decision to go out and giving it the 'charlies' is again an understatement. I proceeded to limp round the remaining 2 m…

2 more throwing.........

.............themselves into the cause! We are now up to 18 strong, Stevie Elliott a close friend of Lloydys and mine, is taking part in the event on Sunday 21st October in Colly and Chris (Abbo) Abbott one of my oldest friends from our exuberant youthful days has decided he's not doing one event, that he's doing both! Stevie is an ex-Para, so knows what he's let himself in for, and at nearly 42 Abbo is easily the oldest of us (it's no longer me, that's all I care about haha), although  he's still kicking a football about, so his fitness levels are still pretty decent. He's begun training with a pack on already (last night, apparantly running to football with it on) and his wife Sam, has decided it's her cue to put him on a diet! Really very proud to have two more wonderful friends standing by my side at the start line come 1100 on those two Sundays.

Well July is here and we are all but 9 weeks away from the first event, the boys are really getting the …

Treated.......

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.........myself at the weekend! I've been wearing a pair of Lloydys boots for certain elements of my training up until now, but have known since I started running in them that I needed something else. They are big boots to fill for a start (obviously because they were his, and secondly because for some reason, my little bother never actually bought footwear that actually fitted him properly) and perfect for the Beacons at a leisurely pace, but heavy when it's come to picking up the pace. I really wanted to give the Meindls a chance, to complete the event in them, but they really do make running in them difficult. So I plumped (as I had been encouraging the boys to do, after advice I had been given) for the Alt-berg Sneekers, so no excuses now, with 10 weeks to go, it really is about knuckling down and becoming best friends with the new boots, although, for the time being I will miss the Meindls.



We have now.......

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................hit the £5k mark, just over £4.5k in online donations and that's just what I know about and can physically see. The total may be even greater than that as I know Peckles workmates have been extremely generous with their support and we may actually be closer to £6k. However, we're not stopping there, we still have nearly 3 months to pester you all, but we're not like those charity muggers that dance in front of you, to stop you in your tracks or frightening the life out of you, or offer you giant false smiles or compliments, just to get you to part with your hard earned cash.

This is just a gentle reminder of why we're doing this.....my brother was a truly remarkable man, doing a remarkable job, to protect us all, he was selfless and inspirational just like every soldier that has made the ultimate sacrifice for his Queen, his Country, his family and his friends.
"GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS".
S…