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It’s been awhile…

Oppsy – the blog has been unwritten for many a month.  There has been a series of very good reasons, but still the blog has been unwritten.

However, I’ve said I write the blog best when I’m running well – and I’m not running well, the hip injury from months ago is still lurking, mainly hurting when I’ve sat down for far too long.  Which given I have a sitting down job and spend significant hours sat on a train getting around the country is a bit of a bugger…

So as I’ve started groping towards getting back into the running its time for a catch-up montage blog…

The degree is over; I’ve submitted my last Tutor Marked Assessment and passed the last module and now have a silly amount of letters to add after the other letters after my name – BA (Hons) Open (Open) – so I stand astride CP Snow’s two worlds, a scientist who loves science and a student of the Arts (as in Art History) with large dollops of Religious Studies and Heritage Studies.  The Open University is a curates egg – at its be…

The end of an era...

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The time has almost come to say goodbye to a good friend, one that has been mistreated by those who should know better and which despite everything I still love...

Yes, I'm talking about my mobile phone.

I'm normally a sticker, if I start with something I stay with it... And so my first phones, with almost no exceptions were Nokia's... The sporty ones, the business ones (oh E71 what a phone you were), the N78... my first phone which had a camera worthy of the name.

The came a mild flirtation with Android... a HTC Desire... and the realisation that not all phone companies bothered keeping phones up to date... and that Android was a buggy, laggy mess with lousy cameras.

And so I fled back to Nokia... this time with windows phone... Seamless integration with social media, excellent camera, useable versions of word and powerpoint that helped with charity and OU stuff.  It just worked, where there was an app gap nokia provided good or excellent alternatives - nokia music for na…

Never say Never Again... Apart from this time

I'm a simple soul at heart...

All I really want from a race is good organisation, and some form of thing for finishing... Yes I'm a medal whore, but I've a set of mugs, t-shirts and even a small number of cuddly toys...

Good organisation however is not something I tend to negotiate on, yes if its organised by a small charity and there's a cock-up I may be diplomatic. However, when your t-shirt claims you are the Premier Road Race in Liverpool then you have zero degrees of freedom in providing good organisation.

A long time ago, I swore I wouldn't run a BTR event again - the endless arguments that I should get a t-shirt when I finished (the excuse always being someone else took them), the times they ran out of water (always due to someone drinking too much) and the marathon that started 50 minutes late with no explanation, water stations closing down and the final indignity of my bag being left in a muddy puddle (that was all Merseyside Police's fault).

I would …

Heroes

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I've said before that I'm a lucky sod, I've met many of my heroes, that strange mix of people who inspire me and keep inspiring me.

And so on the way back from a weekend in Scotland we took a detour, rather than head straight to Liverpool we went down the the east coast to see one of these heroes of mine.

Kieran is a try-er, he doesn't stop trying... I remember walking with him up Mam Tor, him in not a good way, his heart not in the best of conditions.  His humour and sense of wonder of being in the outdoors was infectious.  He fell asleep in his pint, but a legend was born.  The next day he pulled on his boots and walked again.

That was a while ago and since then he's been given one hell of a gift, he's had a heart transplant and is trying again to do what he can to say thank you for that gift.  He's run the London Marathon, twice, and jumped out of a plane.  All of which have raised cash... But he's had a dream, for as long as I've known him of wa…

Life (un)limiting conditions

This is not a blog which will head of into new age clap trap, nor is it one that will say that all change come from within.  This is one of those blogs inspired by a conversation with a younger person with a dicky ticker, and yes they're happy with me to post it... Its a conversation that we've had over a couple of years.

It starts with a simple statement - I am a dinosaur.

My surgery was in the first 300 of its type at Great Ormond Street.

It was done 41 years ago - the machinery used to keep me alive during that surgery is quite literally in a museum. If you walk into the Science Museum in London, walk into the gallery of scientific progress, (its a right turn after the entrance), you'll get to a big hall and on the right there's a heart bypass machine from the late 60's... It looks like a piece of industrial kitchen equipment.  Nothing is digital, nothing seems to be automated.  In short it looks crude.

That's because it was.  That's not a criticism, its…

Battling Back... and being stupid

There's many ways to start a training campaign... There's plenty of advice on how to start... There's the apps that will take you from couch to 5k.

Or you can end up not running for the best part of two months, and not running consistently for six and decide to kick things off with a trail half marathon.

THIS IS NOT A RECOMMENDED COURSE OF ACTION!!!!

There are is a mild arrogance amongst a few of my friends, and indeed myself, who know deep down that on the day, with a medal at end, that we can strap on the shoes and churn it out.  We've lost count of the runs we've done of the years.  Our medal collection has reached the point where we only keep the ones that mean something; the ultras, the marathons, the firsts and ones that just caught on our souls.

These runs with nothing behind them aren't, normally, the miracle runs you read about in the magazines - the ones where someone whose never run before runs an 80 minute half marathon.  These are long, slow and ge…

The 2016 Medal Haul

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I've said before that I'm a medal whore... show me something shiny and I'm there... Not for me the Gold, Silver or Bronze of the Paralympics, or Olympics, but something more tangible.

Headstones (from beating the reaper), Rudolph's from Santa Dashes, representations of Mad Dogs, Countries, Romulan WarBirds, drum kits, the Liver Buildings and not forgetting Sefton Park and Scousers!

In piles, its shows five x 5ks, one 8kish, six x 10k, two x Half Marathons and one Marathon... And then the bonus medals - two guitars with spinning plectrums, a juke box, a pair of headphones and a giant globe (if you too like medals check out Rock and Roll runs - always well organised and bonus medals galore for the dedicated whore).

The medals are tangible, solid memories of the firsts - first fancy dress race, first overseas race, first virtual run, and my first 10k under an hour.  They clank as a reminder of what I have done and hint at what I will do in 2017.

Something's are set fo…