Wednesday, 29 February 2012

HRM - is not an acronym for Hormone Replacement for my Moobs, but Heart Rate Monitor. I never thought for one moment that one little piece of kit would make so much difference to my training! For the first time since I started training I concentrated on working within aerobic zones trying to stay in the 60% as stipulated in my ParaFitness programme as oppose to trying to bust miles out at 8mins blah blah and actually achieving 9 and half if I was lucky, mainly because I was giving it the Charlie big bananas for the first couple then blowing out my arse all the way home for the remainder of a run. Tonight I completed 5 miles in under 45mins without stopping and still feeling comfortable, dare I say it, enough to be able to carry on if I'd wanted to. Now initially the pace seemed slow, especially as I kept looking at my wrist to see what my heart was doing on Caz's very fetching hot pink suunto, but by the end my combined average mile pace was quicker then it's been and I also felt a 1000% more confident about the task ahead. Admittedly by the end of the 5 miles my old body was working hard probably at about 80%, but I feel the best I've ever felt, all because I nicked Caz's pretty pink HRM!
The thieving has continued and since I've taken to wearing it on my runs, I'm definitely feeling better. I've managed 3 runs now at 5miles+ in 5 days (on alternate days), admittedly my knees are in rag, and probably for the time being need to temper my enthusiasm, but on the whole there is significant progress. Caz's Hot Pink Suunto is now Karl's Para Maroon Suunto (in the dark anyway)!
There appears to be a certain amount of hush about the place, various members of the team appear to have fallen into the abyss, as I've heard hide nor hair of them for a while, most noticably Bradders and Brooky. Bradders is normally quiet, but Brooky you can't normally keep quiet, so I'm starting to worry, might have to start a few fires and begin smoking a few of them out!
There are a few of the guys going above and beyond at the moment. Coley continues to knock out 20 miles, in preparation for the London Marathon, as if it's a leisurely stroll into town, and Olly is racking up the miles doing all sorts of events. This weekend it's the Milton Keynes Half Marathon, he suggested I should come along, I suggested he should..........I don't think I'm quite ready for Half Marathons again just yet. Cousin Craig continues to take to the task like the preverbial duck to water. As I was driving into Essex at the weekend Caz informs me that my Cuz had been out on his bike, which at first, sounded like she said 14k. I thought to myelf top effort, then she started reeling out the route, to which I enquired "did you say 14", "No, 40" came the reply. Now, I loves a bike ride, but I don't want the bike to become part of me, cos surely stuck in the saddle for that long, only one thing is gonna happen, and invariably it's going to involve a lot of lube and a crowbar! Not to be outdone however, Olly informs me, when I get into the office on Monday morning, that Sunday he'd racked up the best part of 5/6 hours and a 150k in the saddle, explains why he was walking a little funny at least! I'm beggining to think that in getting everyone involved in this event, I have created a monster, or a few of them anyway!
With the cold snap now a distant memory and the spring weather warming the cheeks, both facially and posteriorally (I think I just invented a new word), now is the time to crack on. In all but just over a week, it will be 6 months until we don up for the start line at Catterick. Excited? Yes. Apprehensive? Definitely. Prepared? Only time will tell, but we have 6 months and a target of 1hr 50mins, and with the spring and some months ahead and the base miles put in, and the HRM keeping a check on me, I'm more confident than ever!

Friday, 17 February 2012

On a lighter note.... Cousin Craig has dipped in under 13st for the first time since he was born, proud of you Cus!

Tales from across the Frozen Pond and the Foam Roller of DOOM!

Finally some good news for Jono, after last weeks trials and tribulations, running with just one shoe on, this week he appears to have found the missing one, and all of a sudden, the training is slightly easier. A couple of 3 milers to get his base miles in, a bit of stretching and some bashing of the old foam roller (that's not a euphamism, well it could be I guess) and he's almost as good as new. Someone slightly less enthuiastic of the Foam Roller is Midds, the poor boy has only had the roller for comfort for weeks now due to his 'runners knee' (ironic really, as this is the first time ever in his life he's pounded the streets in anger), but work with the physio has finally paid off. He's now been given the all clear and the streets are ready once more to receive him pounding them! Although I'm guessing the Foam Roller of DOOM may well get a pounding now, for inflicting pain on poor John, although rumour has it the last time we were all drunk together it received some abuse! Aptly however, it would appear though there is far too much truth in the maxim 'no pain, no gain'!

Free to a BAD home.........Not to be confused with the weapon of choice of Hatchet 'Hack you up with 'an Hatchet' Harry from Lock, stock, but the Foam Roller of DOOM!
There has been news from across the Atlanic this week. Banksy as mentioned before is currently working in Vancouver, which I guess is like home from home really, frickin cold, just like Glasgow on a Summers day. But despite being thousands of miles away across the frozen pond, his training regime is in fall swing (so he says, off course we are in no position to prove otherwise), his little ditty goes thus........"training is going well mate. Currently hitting the gym about twice a week, doing about 40mins on the bike and some light weights on the upper body (just to start building the tissue). Also got the football three times a week – one outdoor 11’s game a week, one indoor 5’s game a week and one training sesh midweek. Had to spend a bit of time at the physio/sports massage wifey as I’ve been suffering from calf and knee troubles on the left leg".

I guess there are a number of constants for us all, we're all bloody cripples, and we are taking this event very seriously, which considering the difficultly of it, is comforting on some level. Well, unless of course your Coley, he's just on a different planet entirely, his marathin training is in full swing, and 20 miles are now a cake walk, or that's what it'll become once he's completed the London Marathon, because that's what we'll be feeding him to slow the bugger down! On a serious note, please support his cause, make those miles easier for him, by helping him raise some money as a tribute to his dad, which is after all why we're doing the Paras'10 in the first place, as a tribute to Lloydy.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The ParaCharity Training.....

.......T-Shirts have arrived, 16 in No. and in various sizes! We are very proud to be able to wear these whilst we are pounding the streets, cowpats, shallow brooks, bogs and gym! They will look particularily fetching drenched in our hard earned sweat! (Fair one, I have just stolen that passage from the Afghan Heroes post I wrote, no point over-egging the pudding, you all know the drill - get them on and get out there - well once I've given them out!)

Spare parts required.......

........or at the very least retirement to a desert island! Jono excitedly posted the other day a pic of his 'new wheels' as he referred to them, and exclaimed that it was time to hit the road. That was Friday night! By Monday night it's all gone Pete Tong. A few of us received a 'whatsapp' message to our little 'whatsapp' group 'this running lark is hard', stating that Jono had indeed fitted the new wheels and gone for a spin, and that after 2 miles his knees are fooked! Then the Midds pipes up that himself and JT (Jono, not the racist twat that this country continually without foundation continues to pin our footballing hopes on) are ready for the scrap heap.......inferring that 'this isn't going to plan'! Jono, condemns himself further by declaring that he's not even fit for spare parts, I begin to sympathise, until Pete suggests we 'Man Up' before he falls in to line and decides that it's all a matter of time for him too. I suggest we all retire to a desert isalnd where the girls can make grass skirts and we can drink Mojitos! On the face of it, it's a solid plan, until I study Jono's picture further to decide I've found the solution to his problem. Whether that means we are ready or not for the scrap heap, only the aftermath of the events at Catterick can decide, but for now, I think the solution could lie in trying to find and fit Jonos other new wheel!

New wheel missing..........if found please return promptly before knees are proper fooked!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012



My cus is the first one of the group to lace my hand with picture and a little ditty about himself. What was the old playground rhyme for being first? First the worst.........Lets hope not! (Only joking cus, esepcially as at the moment, you're the only one!) this a 30 zone?
"..........So about me, up until a few months ago if I was asked what I do for fun, the answer would of hands down been something 'beer' related!  Now if the same question was asked I can honestly hold my hands up and say that when I'm not out setting off the speed cameras of Essex with my trail blazing I am either in the gym, nursing an injury or SLEEPING!! Having never run anywhere before (apart from maybe an occasional chase from a strange man in a blue uniform when I was a bit younger!) this has been a bit of an eye opener but also an enjoyable one so far! I am looking forward to banding together with the rest of these mentally unstable chaps and really smashing into this challenge, hopefully to help make a difference to some of the brave people directly affected by conflict, but also to honour the memory of a true HERO, Lloydy. You can achieve what you believe!"

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Biogs and Pics are coming..........

The Garfster - not just a regular Superhero
..........I'm still trying to convince the boys into writing a little passage about themselves for the entertainment of the masses (maybe that's a little bit of exaggaration when we only have 8 followers, but I live in the notion that this blog is slightly further reaching than that), and as yet there appears to be a deafining silence, but I will keep chipping away. Craig has promised me that he'll get on it, and other than a pic from Garf, those are the only firm committments to my request received so far, although to be honest a pic sometimes does say a thousand words and in Garf's case, that maxim definitely rings true!

The cold mornings and even colder nights of late, continue to reak havoc with the ageing joints, although it would appear that I'm not the only one to have found a new best friend in 'Glucosamine Sulphate'! The knees are starting to kick up a bit of a stink, and don't appear too happy that they are being made to work like they were 10-12 years ago, albeit about 3mins a mile slower! But their objections are to become muted with the inclusion 3 times a day into the diet, anything to stop them bloody bitching (and me for that matter!). Coley's taking them aswell, although that's probably because he's a nutter and putting himself through his marathon training and at the moment clocking up more miles than an average challenge on Top Gear! John's taking them, because at the ripe old age of 32 & 3/4's he's more knackered than I am! Dodgy knees be gone! And take this sodding freezing weather with you!

Dodgy Knee Friend........

Is this the start of something Super?

Hero is a word to easily banded about, but I know when it comes to my brother, and everyone else that puts their lives on the line for our nations protection, it strikes me that the word Hero doesn't really cut it. I'm fortunate enough to have been introduced to my brothers world, and am lucky to be able to call a lot of the guys my friends, in some cases brother, and I can honestly say with complete and utter certainty that what those guys put themselves through personally in the pursuit of protecting Queen and country is not only humbling but inspiring. So Pecks account, whilst sitting waiting for the lights to change in Colly High Street really does serve as a reminder, that the inpiration for what we are trying to achieve, really is there when we need it most. Me personally, I'm inspired by the very idea that 15 friends believed it to be a good idea and join me on this quest to honour my brother. So for me they are Heroes too, Superheroes in fact and come September 9th, I'll be proud to be laying in a crumpled heap with them all, barely able to speak and exhausted, but glowing in the sense of camaraderie, that you only get by putting yourself through something like this, with the knowledge of the sacrifices that needed to be made along the way. My brother constantly made sacrifices throughout his career, and had the courage and strength to put himself through some of the toughest courses the army has to offer. He achieved more in 12 years than most could ever dream off in a lifetime, ultimately he made the ultimate sacrifice, doing what he loved and believed in and sadly he won't be the last.

Inspiration doesn't come much stronger that.