Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Virgin London Marathon 2012 Race Report

Just so's you know, I had another shocker. Another shit marathon. But I spent the time working out why, and I think I learned some valuable lessons. I don't think it's possible to love running alone as much as I do in the countryside, and then go to a ridiculously busy racer full of noise, and enjoy it. I know this sounds bah-humbug, but it just drives me fucking insane. I'm not a noisy person. It does my melon in. And fuck me, London is noisy. The other thing is, I have to sort out my IBS/racing problem. I can cruise through 17-20 miles with no food at all, but then the wheels really fall off. Not in any dramatic way, it's more psychological - and there's another weakness, I suspect. Maybe, just maybe, there's an element of self-defeat in there too. And that's not an easy sentence to type. So I have some work to do. And the Edinburgh marathon is just five weeks away. I started London slow, pacing at 11-minute miles, being super, super careful. I nailed my pace pretty well I think, given that I had no watch or nuffink. I was really cruising, even allowing for fuckwits who do not know to simply check over their shoulder before moving laterally, or those absolute wanktards who just stop completely in the middle of the course. It's taxing. I always, always check because I know if I collide with someone, they're hitting the deck, not me. Part of being short and heavy. Mwahahahahaaa. I had to stop for a shite at 10 miles, and again at 20 miles, which wasn't ideal but, well, it happened. And after 20 miles, something really peculiar happened. Last week I had a cold, right? With a cough and everything. Well, on mile 20, the cough came back with a vengeance, from out of fucking nowhere. I couldn't take a deep breath without coughing my ring up; it was odd, unsettling, and downright shit. I was reduced to a shuffle and shallow breathing, until I realised I could walk faster than I was currently moving. So, the last six miles were basically at a walk with bouts of shuffling. I was on for finishing just under 5 hours which would have been a lovely result given the build-up, but that last six miles... The cough, from down in my shoes, gah. Fucking marathons. On the plus side, we raised (between three of us, though it was honestly mostly the other two) over £7k for our hospice and it's still coming in, which is wonderful. And I made it to the end, though most of the race images of me will feature a scowl at best. So yeah. Fucking marathons.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Life changes

Well, it's time to think about some, right after I apologise to Katie for giving her my cold. Ahem.

Katie, sorry for giving you my cold, dude.

I'm glad we got that out of the way.

A job has come up in my home town, and I'm interested in it. I was interested in it last time it came up, but too late to do anything about it; so I'm going to apply for it this time and see what happens.

I know the last person in the posy would probably recommend me for it; I'm reliably told she has a lot of time for me. Her opinion would carry a lot of weight with the position as well, I suspect. So that helps.

But it would be a hell of a diversion from publishing, which I have been doing for the last 20 years. A big, big change, to something that is not quite completely unique but not far from it. But it would be fun, a constant challenge, and would see me dealing with people out and about a lot more, rather than sitting home alone most of the time. And I wouldn't have to deal with any publishing kind of people, who largely do my fucking head in. And I wouldn't have to travel abroad much either. Yes, that always sounds glam and great, but it really is not. I once caught a cold on the way to Sofia via Stockholm. By the time I landed in Sofia, the cold was in full flow, and I was completely deaf in one ear. I was there for 16 hours before my flight back, again via Stockholm, then I had to go to Coventry (a true shithole) for more work before getting home three days later. There is nothing glamorous in that trip, nothing at all. Hotels are the same everywhere; they're mostly shite. Except the Mandarin Oriental in Macau. Wow.

I wonder how much the other job pays?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

And to think I was pissed off before...

That's nothing to how I am now!

So, we've been bumbling along with our lives in our little sett, until my lovely wife's mum became very ill indeed. It was not a surprise, and is largely a consequence of another, longer-term illness, but it creates a lot of stress and worry, and of course expense. Tough times.

Also, Stepdaughter and Lovely Wife went shopping - as in window shopping - for a 'prom' dress, so she could get some ideas with a friend and her mum, and they ended up buying one. Which we completely can't afford. The idea was, Lovely Wife uses her mad sewing skillz to make one, as she is a genuine genius at such things. Designing and making wedding dresses is a big part of what she does, hence we thought we had that one covered - but one question in an unguarded moment, she felt put on the spot and we have a new dress in the house. Wifey feels terrible about it, Child is delighted and has no idea of the shit we're in which just got that much deeper. It happens, we'll cope with it and move on. I am disappointed with Stepdaughter though, as we'd talked about how it was window shopping the day before, and the extra expense of travelling 30+miles to the hopsital to see her Nan, which meant we were broker than before.

But, it happens. And she's only 16 once. Thank goodness.

And finally - ish - I have a cold. It came on fully, just eight days before I am due to run London. The same London I fucked up royally while recovering from a chest infection last year, remember? Yeah, that one. There's no infection this time, which is a plus. But I feel shitty, am shuffling up hills I sprinted up just last Friday, and I know - KNOW - that my marathon experience in London is going to suck ass again. If I feel well enough to go - my head feels okay today, but a cough is really lingering and that's not really something I want to mess with. But I suspect I will be going, and it will not be enjoyable, but I will push through it and still get a better time than last year. Maybe I can just use this as a training experience for Edinburgh - use London to get a 5:xx marathon (like 5:15 maybe), and aim for what I can really do, what I know is within because frankly it's not that fucking difficult, which is a 4:20 to 4:40 marathon.

And I'm fed up of people telling me how skinny I look. It's all relative, people. And if one more person says "Well, you'll get round [the marathon], and that's what it's all about" I won't make the race because I'll be in gaol for stabbing offences.

PS: Mother-in-law has picked up quite a bit. LovelyWife is there now visiting, so fingers crossed.

Monday, 2 April 2012

There's pissed off, then there's me.


It feels like it's been a while. It has, I guess. Things have been going on, and it's taken me a while to process, which is ongoing.

It all really stems from the frustration of having all the hard work of photographers, writers, friends, industry bods getting pissed up the wall when the publication was cancelled. I'm so cross and so, so disappointed. I'm only now starting to tell my models about it; I've literally just sent what I hope came across as a good-natured email to the publishers to say "Seriously, pay my fucking contributors".

I haven't asked to be paid myself, I thought I'd wait a few hours for that one. And see how they respond to this one, first, of course.

So, apart from that, I also managed to scald myself by tipping a cup of freshly-made coffee down my front; no running for me right now. One big burn, right on my stomach, and it hurts like a bastard. Much better than it was, but it's going to have to wait a few days before I go out again.

It's just been exhausting lately. I finished one deadline late Thursday night then spent Friday all day collecting for charity (for the London Marathon) in my local supermarket from 11am to 6:30pm. Saturday, I went with my wife to a wedding fayre in a near-ish city, and that was a long day too. I was exhausted, so wrote Sunday off as a rest day thinking I'd catch up this week on running, then tipped a cup of coffee on my gut.

Fucking fucking fuck.

Still, on the plus side, how much worse can it get? Oh yeah, I forgot - it can get much worse.

Oh, and Micah True turned up dead. Absolutely gutted about that. Didn't know the guy, but he was quite a character if Born To Run is anything to go by. I suspect the world is a poorer place without him.