Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dying days of Dry July, a couple of other charitable events and another week of training

I’ve remained alcohol free for over 28 days and as a team one other work collegue and myself have managed to raise $675 in sponsorship for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Cancer wards, it’s amazing how people will give you money when they know they don’t have to buy you a drink. With my end of month funds from Book Depository affiliate sales to still come we may crack the $700 mark yet. A huge thanks to all our sponsors, you can see their messages of encouragement or drop a few dollars our way at our fundraising web page at

The hardest part this week was the thank you lunch put on by my boss at an Italian restaurant where bottles of very nice Chianti were being offered. Back in 2000 I spent part of my honeymoon in a small villa in the wonderful village of Loro Chiuffena, on the Chianti outskirts, and every time I see a bottle of wine with the black rooster or pink/purple neck tie my mouth does water for the sangiovese taste. Geepers I’m making my bloody mouth water just writing this!!! But I did stick strong, having a couple of Chinotto’s and lemonatas, with my spaghetti. I had to follow that up with a team event at a local venue known for its overpriced drinks, atrocious service, staff with more body ink than your usual suspect but is popular due to its proximity to work (ie. It’s in the same building), where I got a soda water (although I’d ordered tonic) for the bargain basement price of $3.50 from a bloke who apparently speaks English but either his accent is that strong or his piercings interfere with his lip movement as I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. On my bike early as even though it can be entertaining, watching colleagues have a ball on the sauce is not really my idea of a great night out.  So all up, I’ve just about lasted a month (would be a month if it was February) without the truth serum and I’m a strong possibility to back it up for quite a while longer.

For people who don’t know where (or how) to start with helping out a local charity, here’s a simple idea for you. At work we arranged a morning tea on Friday for National “Stress Down” Day, an event organised to raise funds for Lifeline who provide crisis support and suicide prevention services, they do ask you to wear your pyjamas or slippers, we didn’t go that far as we thought the office “casual clothes Friday” policy might be breached having a bunch of professionals sitting around in flannelette jimjams. Quite a number of people brought in some home baked goodies and with a gold coin donation to taste them we managed to raise $284.20 for the cause. Easy to arrange, and effective if you can get 10/15 people to bake and 50 or 60 people to come along and eat. More info on the Lifeline services can be found at

Another event that quite a few of us are getting behind is Ultra Spirit, a 7.6km Fun Run, two laps of the Tan a running track around Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens. The event is being staged to raise funds for Kate Sanderson and Turia Pitt, two girls tragically burnt in bush fires while taking part in a 100km ultra marathon in the Kimberly Desert last year. Fund raised will go to the girls to help them with their vast ongoing medical and living costs. Full details of the girls courage and the horrific journey they have gone through can be seen at At this stage we have at least 5 runners taking part as a team and are hoping to get it up to 10 or so as our work place has agreed to match our fund raising $ for $ so the more we raise the better it is for Kate and Turia. If you’re interested in participating or donating, let me know or simply visit the event website mentioned above or our fundraising page at Personally, I’ll donate September’s book sales commission (5% of anything you at Book Depository if you use the link on the right hand side of this blog) to this cause.

Onto the running, Training program said a 3km time trial Tuesday, 30 min run Wed and Friday and a one hour 15 min run on Sunday. So I did the time trail Tuesday (down 9 secs since my last one only two weeks prior), jogged 40 mins on Wednesday, 5.31kms and participated in ParkRun (5kms) on Saturday. ParkRun was a must this week as it was an Olympic themed run, everyone dressing up and having fun and I was fortunate enough to win one of the best dressed prizes for my ridiculous USA outfit. The morning was a scream with flags galore, fake torches, my “I run 100kms for a hobby” buddy wearing a massive set of Olympic rings (as you do when you run 5kms in 30 mins!!!), a Seb Coe lookalike, boxing kangaroos and more. There were laughs all round, a great sense of camaraderie and this all lead to a fun morning being had by all, including the people out for a Saturday stroll a number of who cheered us on and stopped to watch 67 colourful idiots enjoying themselves. I also ran a personal best of 32.01 for the 5 clicks so am slowly closing in on that 30 min barrier. If you are up for a 5km weekly run, where you can run slowly and improve slowly you should check out the ParkRun website, they have free timed events all over the globe. A great way to get started, fitter and to have fun at the same time!!!

Sunday a 14km long run – as you would do on a Sunday. Was talked into a “3 laps of Albert Park” long run by a couple of the ParkRunners. Mr “100km for fun” man arrived about 5 mins after myself looking a bit tired – turns out he’d already done 28 kms, all part of a cunning plan clock up a full marathon distance for the morning. We were joined by two others and they set off at a brisk 6 min per km pace (I was planning 7 min k’s – this was not a day for personal bests it was a day for a long steady run). Needless to say after three kilometres I let them disappear into the distance and dropped it back a notch. One lap in (close to 5 kms) we’d lost one to a hammy strain and one had dropped the pace back a bit to keep up with me and keep me motivated.  I was plugging along in my zone, two laps in I was hurting and my escort was off again trying to run down the leader, my legs were tight, but I gave myself a mental jolt “less than a single ParkRun distance to go” and away I plugged.

When I hit the 10km mark I was pumped, certain I’d run a personal best for that distance and this was a training run. Head went up, smile appeared and the “four k’s to go, four k’s to go” chant began. Another kilometre down and I purposely listened to the birds tweeting away, “if they’re happy so am I”, clocked up one more and it had become the furthest I had run without a break, one more and the I was joined by another ParkRunner who had put in an earlier 26kms or so (as you do on a Sunday!!!) who made me feel good as he was SPENT, 200 metres further up the path the breakaways came wandering towards me to encourage me home. I was in the zone, wasn’t stopping 600 metres or so out, so off I trotted. Made the finish area clocking up 14.19 kms in 1:40.06. Later discovering I was 1 second UNDER a ten kilometre personal best….oh well maybe next week.

Not a lot of laughs this week just a standard training effort. Maybe next week something of note will happen that will give you a giggle. But I’m pretty proud, here’s a bloke who could not run more than 200 metres now running (slowly mind you) 14 clicks without a break (a couple of water stops of 15/20 secs I don’t count as “breaks”) and I think I’m well on track for my first half marathon in 11 weeks’ time – only need to increase today’s distance by a further 50% surely that’s possible.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The latest week – week eight of a twenty week half marathon training plan

The third article of the Geneva Convention states that “persons taking no active part in hostilities….should be treated humanely and that the following actions are prohibited….torture”.

Now I’m not talking about my month off the alcohol for the Royal Melbourne Hospital, this allegory (see I’m talking symbolically here) relates to my running training.

Am I stretching the boundaries by thinking that I am not taking part in any hostilities, therefore should not be subjected to torture? Seriously peoples, who in their right mind would participate in a “10 minute warm up jog” AND THEN the actual training? Tuesday I was advised to do the warm up and then 6 lots of 500 metre sprints, with a 1 minute rest between each and Friday three lots of 1km sprints with a one minute rest. Let me ask you a simple question…who in their right mind warms up for 10 minutes and then “sprints” for one kilometre? And if you could sprint that far who then rests for a measly 60 seconds and then attempts to do it again? And then AGAIN???? So taking into account my ample girth, I pushed out 6 lots of 400 metre “sprints” (well as fast as I could go) with a 2 minute rest – and still on the 6th one I was close to stopping to bring up my meagre breakfast. Friday? 800m solid with two minute walking rest. Feeling nauseous all day is not one of the aims of this program.

But that is not the worst of it. Friday, I did my run after work. A new moon was about so the place watch pitch black, I was alone in the whole park as nobody else in their right mind would be out sprinting on a cold night, let alone a Friday. I can 100% swear this was the FIRST Friday night run that I had done in my whole life. That night is generally reserved for a beer or two after work, which quickly turns into three, then an SMS to the wife saying “won’t be much longer”, a quick one for the road, a further SMS….”still here don’t bother cooking for me”…..then a quick round for the road and a late arrival home to find an arrow pointing to the spare room. At least my beloved is kind enough to leave my pillow there, no point me turning on all the lights in the house to get my bearings. So all up Dry July and this running caper had me home early, running in the cold, sober and questioning my sanity.

It’s not all discouraging I did go for a 4km light jog on Thursday night and that was pleasant and a good mental time out from the day.

But back to the link to “torture”. My adviser who runs 100km events for fun, said I should head out on Sunday (long run day) for a 12km run and if I was feeling good at the end, walk a km and then run one more. Well I wasn’t feeling that good, so I just pumped out the 12kms with three drink breaks (too short to rate a mention) with a slow steady walk home.

Here’s where the pain kicked in….a recent book I purchased referred to “runners nipple”, an irritation of the nipple due to the friction of clothing and often complicated by sweating. Such a nice little quaint reference to something that may happen to people who run longer distances. I’ll give you the tip – it is no little quaint “irritation”. What sort of word is that? Irritation? Isn’t that when you have a mosquito in the same room at you at night time? Something which distracts – “vexation”.  Vexation my rear end, this was pain with a capital “P”. As readers would appreciate, men have a better tolerance for pain that our female counterparts, they only have to go through childbirth and things of that ilk, we suffer flu quietly and without complaint, when having to endure an ingrowing hair or cut or scratch we do so without a fuss, tattoos? Not an issue. So when I tell you a few layers of skin off the top of your nipple hurts, I am not exaggerating, to be honest it hurt a bit when I was walking home, it was just when I hopped into the hot shower that a scream was heard three suburbs away. Apparently strategically placed Band-Aids (a la Janet Jackson) will assist with this problem – what about the problem of having to rip the bloody things off? You think of that Mr Running Advice man? So now I’m reduced to having to apply Vaseline to sensitive areas before I go for a long run – I don’t even want to contemplate how many strange questions I’ll be getting as I prepare for my Sunday jogs. So when I next run for charity I’ll be able to honestly say “I gave my blood for this”.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

How I got this far - or how I started

My first ever organised run

I can see a few people saying; “of course you can run a marathon, you’re running 10km events right now” well it wasn’t always like that. Two years ago I saw an event in the newspaper which was 5kms in distance and had a beginners programme attached. At the time I thought “I can do that, how hard can running 5kms be??” so I printed out a copy of the training regime, pinned it to the board beside the fridge and ticked off each training day as I did them.

Day 1 – Four lots of “jog 4 mins walk 2 mins” – that is like two laps of an oval, how hard could that be? It was IMPOSSIBLE. I am not exaggerating here, a four minute jog was too hard, so I did three and walked three. When finished, 24 minutes later, I hurt, felt nauseous and said “there is no way I’ll be able to run 5 kms”.

Day 2 is even harder 4 lots of jog 4 mins walk only 1 minute – I did four lots of jog 4 walk 2. I could feel the man boobs bouncing, the flab on the arms pumping up and down and even though I was lucky I was running at 6am in the dark so nobody could see me I was afraid I was going to be surrounded by the SWAT team as the neighbourhood were calling emergency services in a panic saying: “Darth Vader is loose in our local park I can hear him.”

Bottom line is I stuck to the programme, heading out into the cold and wet to the local park, for only three times a week with the biggest single commitment being 48 minutes, and fronted up for my first ever fun run at the age of 46, ready to tackle a five kilometre event. And 36 minutes 36 seconds later I crossed the line in 2,500th place (from a field of 4,440).

I’d gone from a bloke who couldn’t run 750 metres to one who could go 5 kilometres, only slowly and with a walk break and the drink station mind you, but I’d crossed the line and was hooked. A goal was immediately set – I’m going to run 5kms in under 30 minutes. Two years later I still haven’t reached that goal!!!! I am resigned to the fact that I’m slow but I have the will power to go further so instead of going 6 minute k’s until I bust, I just keep adding distance.

For anyone who is starting out, there are numerous “apps” that can help you to get started, friends have used and swear by “Couch to 5k”, you can search the web for paper based ones (I used paper as at the time I had a Nokia brick, apps weren’t my thing!!!) or if you’re really desperate ask me and I’ll send you a copy of the one I used.

How I kept it up

There are a plethora of 5km events you can enter, each and every area in the world has them, just search the web. Personally I entered quite a few that raised funds for various charities, but found it a little hard without a training programme. I’d finished the 10 week guide, what did I do next? If an event was in four weeks time did I just repeat the last 4 weeks of the regime? That’s what I did, but as the training was for a beginner I was probably not improving in any way, just keeping things steady, I’d always be a beginner.

The biggest boon that I’ve become involved in is the local ParkRun a weekly 5 km free timed run for all comers. A friendly event that is organised by volunteers and takes place around Albert Park here in Melbourne. If you visit the general ParkRun website you’ll find that there are events in Australia, Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa the United Kingdom and the USA and if any of the others are half as good as my local one in Melbourne, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

Even though there are guys running the event in 17 minutes or so, the atmosphere is friendly and encouraging and if it takes you 40 minutes to finish, there are still the volunteers at the finish line, cheering you on and giving you all the encouragement you need to come back and have another try the following week. How cool is that? A free event where people just enjoy themselves!!!

Of course I’ve run the Albert Park run at 8am on a Saturday 10 times now (and volunteered a further three) but am currently having a hiatus as it clashes with the kids Saturday morning soccer. But since I started running with them in January this year I’ve managed to  get my time down from 36.51 to 32.48 so that 30 minute goal I set two years ago is still a possibility.

Add to that the friendly advice I’ve received along the way and the encouragement and help has led me to the 10km event I ran last weekend, and of course my eventual journey towards a full marathon.

So the only real advice I can give is – give it a try – get yourself a pair of runners, find a basic training programme that suits and give it a go – who cares if it takes you 3 or even 6 months to eventually be able to jog 5 kms? You’ll find that nearly everyone you come across on your adventure will be encouraging, they were all beginners once too, and those small words to keep you going will do just that.

Run Melbourne and Dry July Update

A few may have seen these updates via email - but as promised (you asked for it) they are replicated here on my blog.

Run Melbourne

Post event Update 17 July when results were published

This magnificent event attracted more people than a Carlton vs Collingwood game of aerial ping pong and in their lycra shorts, charity driven t-shirts, long socks and well worn runners etc. the majority of the crowd were better dressed to boot. Being a realist I set myself up in the 60 min+ wave and gravitated towards a couple of fit looking ladies who were holding 65 min balloons. The experts in these matters tell me those ladies run 6 mins and 30 secs per kilometre for the whole distance and therefore you can pace yourself to finish in a target time. I wasn't dismayed by the fact that they had wrist bands showing each kilometre of speed for the whole ten (eg. 1 km in 6.30, two in 13, three in 19.30 etc.) as I wasn't chasing a future science partner but a time goal. Unfortunately I lost them before the 500 meter mark as the sweat in my eyes blurred my vision (it had nothing to with them being too far away - that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Anyways I did have a goal of running the whole distance (which I did bar a couple of walks through drink stations) and finishing in under 70 mins. My official time (published in "The Age" this morning) was 69.37 - not a breakneck pace but at the same time one that I am quite proud to have achieved - it was a full 3 mins 45 secs faster than my best 10 km run. Now onto my Half Marathon goal in October and I did have a 6.2km training run this morning (in the dark) so obviously pulled up fighting fit. You can still sponsor me using the logo on the right hand side of my blog,  or just visit there to see the great messages of support from the donors to date. Funds raised are for the Asthma Foundation of Victoria.

GPS of my run can be seen here.

9 July Update

A couple of months ago a guy who runs ultra-marathons (100km events) volunteered to help me train for the half marathon event in October and being slightly naive in these matters I took him up on his offer. After running in my weekly ParkRun around Albert Park on Saturday (it was 1 degree!!!!) he said "right we're going for a run tomorrow" - so at 10.45am I got the "wake up" sms message - "Hi I am doing a spa session at GESAC so will see you at Duncan McKinnon at 11.30am" - let me give you a tip, don't trust blokes who run 100km events for a hobby, they are a few snags short of a barbie (no offence intended George!!!). My training program said "70 min jog" my training partner thought that meant 70 mins solid jog, then "you've nearly hit 10 kms may as well run the last 200 metres"….."no point in finishing quarter of a lap in, may as well finish the whole lap"….so 10.7 kms later I do a slow slow slow walk home. If you notice I'm a tad ginger today that would be because I am!!!! Good news is I know I'll can run the 10km event next week in a heartbeat.

Dry July

Update as at 17/7

Over half way there now and last week it was a battle, this week it is a breeze - although the cold glass of Sav Blanc (condensation on glass and all) that my wife left on the dining room table on Sunday night as she went to get the pepper mill was nearly necked. I blame the dehydration for the hallucinatory thoughts I was having (see Run Melbourne update as to why I was dehydrated). I did fight back the urge and am still going strong 17 days in. I don't know if the lack of a beverage is playing havoc with my grip on reality, but I do have a vague recollection of saying something along the lines of "I might go another month" out loud sometime yesterday - it could have been a fleeting thought that didn't come out of my mouth though (any witnesses??? How much do you need - money is not an issue???) You can donate via the logo on the right of the blog- funds are for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Cancer patients.

9 July Update

Nine days in and it has honestly been a battle. The wife with a glass of wine most nights hasn't been too bad, but my niece's 21st on Saturday night was a tad boring sipping tonic water whilst these young kids were bouncing off walls. However that's not the least of it!!! To pick an event that swears you off the grog whilst in the middle of a Project implementation is probably not something I'd recommend, with the standard one week out panics, people blowing steam out of their ears because the process for getting hard copies of a document has changed, or arguing over whether the Deniliquin telephone exchange is in Victoria or NSW generally leads to one thing - a binge on a Friday night. Last Friday it was one tonic water and then a quick exit. Now I find out the wife's away with the kids for three days - what did that used to mean??? Poker, beer, sport and pizza, this time it will be a nice cup of herbal tea, a good book and maybe a yoga or meditation session!! Only three Friday nights to now conquer so will kill this one.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Who I have supported this year – and other wonderful tales (Part 1)

Run for the Kids

In April every year they have a fun run event to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital here in Melbourne. I’ve run in the 5.2 km event in the past but that’s just around the wonderful Botanical Gardens. This year I was going “serious”, taking on the 14.38 km event, which took me through Freeway tunnels and over bridges normally reserved for speeding traffic who are generally running late for their flight at the airport. The main reason these roads are full of snarling frustrated drivers is because some “event” has curtailed the road and blocked a lane or two. This event is even better than that; it closes the WHOLE tunnel and Bolte Bridge from the South Eastern suburbs for hours on a Sunday morning.

There are only two ways you can cross Bolte Bridge on foot:
     1)      Illegally and generally pursued by the Police with tasers and an admittance form to the nearest psychiatric institution; or
     2)      Participate in the 14.38km Run For The Kids event

Given I’m reserving the hospital admittance for my mid life crisis breakdown, I thought I’d take the $50 entry option ($29 of which goes to the Kids Hospital) and take in the views and experience in a legal manner.
Evidence it was me who ran the event - no I didn't ask a stranger to wear my timing chip

The event “starts” at 9:15 with a caveat that you have to be out of the tunnel by 10:30 am – an hour and 15 mins for 6 kilometres – easy!!!  The organisers do push the limits though, making the participants do likewise. The event is “limited to 33,000 participants”, all of whom have been overdosing on water for the last 24 hours, so the queue for the toilet facilities (which are on the back of truck a la “Kenny” style) is longer than  the queue outside Apple when they release their new model iPhones. Throw in the fact that it’s early morning so the Melbourne City Council gardens have their automatic water sprinklers going, spraying the throng and muddying up the pathways and we suddenly have mayhem. This puts the start time back at least 15 minutes.

Now those of you who know me, I’m one of those honest participants. The one who says “estimated completion time for 14 kilometres is roughly 7 mins per km so 1 Hour 40 mins”, as a result I position myself at the start towards the rear with the “entrants who participate for fun”, not at the front of the pack with the “can complete 10 kms in under 50 mins” group. These events are full of people who once had a run at school, 8-10 years ago, and think “I should be able to run 5 minutes per km”, not realising that it is for 14 kms not just the first 150 metres. What this incorrect positioning actually does is put a whole stack of tiring joggers in front of the ones who know their limits and we seem to cop the backwash as they collapse back into the pack.

Anyways, being at the back of the whole pack it takes me over 20 minutes to cross the start line. So with the delayed start and now being stuck in one of the last waves released I have the added pressure of having to be through and out of the tunnel within an hour or else I’m going to be picked up by a bus!!!! There is absolutely no way I would be able to look the people who had kindly given me hundreds of dollars in the eye if I completed the course in a bus!!! Better get my skates on, through a tunnel reserved for traffic (so the air is thick and muggy) and the climb outwards is slow and painful.

I make it with time to spare, even taking into account the people who have decided the paper cups from the drink stations would be best placed all over the road where we run (not to the side where the bins are), that handicap made the road slippery, wet and an obstacle course as well as an endurance feat. I cross the bridge (a walk was required at one stage as it’s 2 kms of steady climb) , find a vacant toilet at the 9km mark so have a quick break and then jog the last 5 kms to the finish line. Amazingly my fastest 3 kms are from 11 thru 14, the ones I don’t remember as all I was thinking was “get to the finish line, get to the finish line”.

All up it was a fun day for a great cause, with myself and my work colleagues (well done to all of them) raising $1,911 for the Kids Hospital.

GPS details of my run can be viewed here.

Emer Casey Memorial Run

I heard about this event through my regular participation in Melbourne’s wonderful ParkRun, a weekly 5 km free timed run for all comers. A friendly event that is organised by volunteers and takes place around Albert Park. Yes, the same “Park” that the State Government lend to the Grand Prix circus every year so the rich blokes in fast cars can get richer and use scantily clad females as advertising models on the roads.

The Emer Casey Memorial Run takes place through the grounds of Monash University to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer research. With only a $20 entry fee and all funds going to the charity, this was an event I was looking forward to.

Of all the “fun” events I’ve run in over the last few years, this one was by far the most fun. I participated in the 5km event along with two fellow ParkRunners, Danielle and Ana, and with the friendly encouraging volunteers all the way, Irish Bands along the route as well as at the finish line and a free BBQ snag at the end, we had a great time. The grass underfoot in a few places may have been a bit boggy (that’s my excuse for the slow finishing time), the rain drizzling, but with a small field of 171 runners the enjoyable element was to the fore. This is one I’ll be back for in 2013.

A huge thanks to Champion Picks (if you want to be a better horse punter I'd visit them and see their offers if I was you) for their kind donation, a big push to help Danielle, Ana and myself raise $255.

GPS details of my run can be viewed here.


Here’s the deal – a couple of months ago I thought that I should write a blog about how I decided to start running. I thought it may be a cool idea, where I could get a few fellow runners to legitimately contribute some gems about how the guy who turned up to the weekly Park Run in Melbourne was keeping them from their breakfasts as they had to stay back ages to make sure I’d crossed the line. In all reality some people would wait longer for me to finish the 5 kilometres than they had taken to run the distance themselves. Think about it, if the winner took 16 mins and I took 34 he was waiting for me to finish for 18 mins!!!

After thinking about a blog for a few weeks I thought better of it, who would be interested in my blabs about my experiences – “It’s not all about you Tony” – I could hear it ringing in my ears, and I hadn’t even spoken!!! So the idea quickly became nothing more than an idea.

Although I must admit, that in the back of my mind I did have the nagging concept….if I could motivate just one person to head towards a healthier and mentally tougher lifestyle then that would be a great contribution. I did also think that amusing anecdotes may keep people coming back for at least a laugh, and that in itself spreads a little happiness, which is not a bad thing either. Other thoughts were that, as a non-runner, I could write about all the subjects people are too afraid to ask because they might appear stupid, and I could maybe demystify something which is quite simple really, you get a pair of shoes (not compulsory but handy for beginners – more on that later) a pair of shorts (again not compulsory but etiquette says pants are not optional) and put one foot in front of the other one quickly.

Then an amazing thing happened, I wrote a couple of begging emails to work colleagues and friends asking for charitable donations for an event I was running in, and was told by quite a few people that I should put those emails into a more formal publication, whether it be a book or blog, as they found them very funny, motivational and a great relief to see a real person writing about real things.

My begging emails for charity donations weren’t just for running events I was participating in, they were also for “Dry July” (an event where I go alcohol free for the month of July to raise funds for cancer wards at the Royal Melbourne Hospital). And over the years I’ve grown moustaches, worn silly clothes to work (my collegues may say I do that every day) and other ridiculous things all to raise funds and awareness of charitable organisations or groups who do it a lot tougher than me. Again, if I could change or motivate just one other person to be a little more altruistic then that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

So here is the beginning of my blog journey – and I haven’t been amusing yet, so could have well lost you – a journey where I pledge to tell it as it is. A 90 kilogram 49 year old (I turn 50 in December) who smoked for 30 years, one who has been known to drink more beer in a single day than most would consume in a year, decided that he would take on one of the strangest concepts thrown at man – run for 42.2 kilometres (give or take a few metres). Of course I’ll have stories of painful training, embarrassing clothing, horrible weather and I’ll throw in something about food along the way as nearly every self-help book on running has a section on nutrition – you’ll have to wait to see what I throw your way on that one, it may surprise you!!!

At the same time I’ll also put up a few thoughts about the charity events I’m currently involved in, how I’m battling the challenge ahead – is stopping alcohol for a month in a Country where drinking is more than a National pastime; harder than running 30 kilometres a week?

PS – I haven’t run a marathon yet, this is sort of a diary where the protagonist (me) takes you on a journey and we get all gooey eyed when I get there in the end. Problem is I am yet to run further than 10kms (excluding a run/walk 14.5km event I did earlier this year) and have absolutely no idea if I’m going to finish this journey at all. You may go all misty eyed when I throw in the towel in a few weeks’ time after I blown out a hamstring, or decided cigarettes are really my strong suit so I’m back to 25 a day. We’ll all just have to wait and see what is in store. Gives this blog a bit of cred I reckon.

PPS – ‘Cause it took me a while to get my act together and start this blog I have a few retrospectives to put together. I ran a 10km event on the weekend just gone, but over the coming week or so I’ll put it all down – the journey I took before the journey I’m about to take. Sort of the road movie in a rear vision mirror type thing.

So stick with me – email me, become a follower, comment (rude or offensive (and I’m the sole judge here) etc. ones will be removed not always with justification – anonymous comments will be removed, no questions asked) and ask me questions, if I don’t know the answer I’m mad enough to try and find out, and if I still don’t know the answer I’ll say so or make something credible up so it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. This is intended to be an interactive blog, one where I can help or amuse anyone who is interested. And of course if you have a charitable cause that a professional 50 year old can participate in please let me know, I’ll see what I can do. I have only put the “professional” disclaimer in there because I don’t want people asking me to sit in a tree for three months with no bathroom facilities to highlight the plight of some obscure cult.