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Showing posts from July, 2012

And so they gather for Eurohearts 2012 - Generation of Hearts

Every two years we gather…
Somewhere in Europe we meet, this elite club…
Hardened veterans; passing on their expertise, knowledge and love
Newbies; eager eyed, unsure of what lies ahead and ready for the unknown
The Danes have delivered, the EuroHearts 2012 conference is going ahead.Whatever the next 5 days brings the effort to do that, and that alone, is appreciated by those veterans who’ve been there and done that (in some cases more than one once).
The late nights, stress about the money, worries about who will speak, coordinating the arrival of over 50 people (most with a range conditions) and the really important things- what colour should the t-shirts be, who will captain the football teams and just how posh is the gala night going to be?
That all sounds light hearted, and for plenty of the time we will be.However, we will remember those not there, both those who for one reason or another can’t make the conference and those who have no choice.We’re a high-risk bunch of friends to hav…

A simple wooden mug... Warning: Contains Emotional stuff...

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As some readers will be aware I'm doing an Open University degree, the OU is the UK distance learning university so I can try and fit it in around the work, charity stuff, running and other stuff... You know like a social life! ;-)

Anyway, we're looking at "material culture", which is arty farty jargon for what objects tell us about how people lived, what they valued.  So at the tutorial today we were asked to think of an item that means a lot to us and describe it; it's use and so on.

Mine was a little wooden mug, a Kuksa, most of the time it sits in my box of important things. Currently it's sitting there on top of my (science) degree certificate with my MBE in its case balanced in it.  If that sounds haphazard, it is.  This is my box that only gets opened when it needs to, and the rest of time is my chamber of memories.

The mug was given to me north of the Arctic Circle in a town called Rovenami, at the first European conference of adults with congenital h…

So ramping up begins, with a PB

It's Ultra Time...

Well the start of the training...

And what a start - a 10km PB, which if I allowed myself such luxuries included a 5km and a 5 mile PB... Unfortunately I don't, so I'll just have to go out and run those distances as fast, or faster, again!

The British 10k isn't a particularly nice route, the views are fantastic, but the twists and turns and two 180 degree hairpin spins slow you down to a walk as you go around them - well slow me down to walk!

It's also, normally, a humid run - the tree lined boulevards, tunnels and proximity to the river see to that - and at times I made the conscious decision to slow down (slightly) to avoid broiling.

So how come the PB? Honestly, it just felt right.  I'd got the food and drink side of things right, I felt good in the legs so decided what the hell.

So despite the shoe lace coming undone, and the two people who ran into me, and the woman who pulled up directly in front of me necessitating a two handed move th…

Halfway... in time... beware contains running...

So this is halfway...

Six months since I set myself the faintly bonkers challenge of doing 2012km in a year...

Put that into context, 2 and a bit years ago my challenge was to do 1000km in a year...

Back then I was looking forward to my first marathon, training programmes were a near random collection of fear, terror and numbers.

Now, I'm looking forward to my first ultra-marathon, training programmes are a mix of numbers, heavy & light weeks and continual forward progress.

Six months and 1103km done...
Six months and 909km to do...

I've done my first trail race - it hurt, I was sick, I'll be back
I've done 2 marathons - one with a hill (Brutal Belfast) one with so many hills I lost count (Excalibur)

I've got leaner - not that hard, I've not had a pie since November

I've got faster - still back of the pack, but the progress for me has been great

I know myself better - I spend enough time with myself; feet pounding, lungs straining, running through my me…