Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woollen Mittens

You know how I said I don’t just throw this blog together…..

So, that’s March pretty much done……

My favourite running community, Fetcheveryone, the subject of a previous blog, has only been in that there Guardian! It got me to thinking, I get a certain pride to be part of something independent, quirky and quite deservedly successful.

My wandering mind then started thinking that what else, apart from Fetch, would feature in running awards if I were the sole judge.cup

So, my favourite website AND community would have to be Fetch. I urge anyone with an interest in running to check it out. Take a bow Fetchies, top step of the podium.

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And the winner is……….

 

Talking of my favourite things, my amazing lady wife, Nicky, and I ran together on Tuesday, me taking the role of ‘coach’. I can’t tell Nicky what the planned session will be as she loses sleep fretting about it. Apparently she slept fitfully anyway, curiously nervous about how fast her legs would need to go.

The session was a good warm up with some mobility stretching then we did 1 x 1 mile hard, about 2 minutes recovery followed by 1 x 1 km hard again with a couple of minutes recovery then 1 x 600m (ish) which is a lap of the north green on Paignton sea front. Nicky’s legs were indeed a blur, particularly on the last one. We then jogged home and Nicky went off for a swim! After work we met up and did some rather public core-based circuit training. Phew!! A triple p.e. day for Nicky!

My blog is coming up to celebrating its 2000th visitor! I hope that it in some way is contributing to the wonderful running community and maybe engaging a few non runners with a little window into the strange world of us 50somethings with a running addiction!

Another great running community is that one that has arisen out of the listenership of the wonderful podcast, Marathon Talk. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a deadly serious talk show based solely around the big city majors, it is a weekly 90 minutes or so of banter, training advice, interviews, features. a hilarious regular comedy piece from Tony Audenshaw (Bob from Emerdale) and so much more. They have a shiny new website where you can interact with the show, rating runs and entering your marathon performances in the hope of getting on the weekly podium.

They’ve interviewed the great and good and inspiring and quirky over the 377 episodes to date.

One of my favourite features is the interviewees magic mile where each week’s guest is asked the following hypothetical question:

“Given 6 months of perfect training, where you didn’t have to work, carry out domestic duties, you’re guaranteed no injuries or illness, what time could you manage for 1 mile on the track?”

Andy Baddely and Mo Farrah are top of the list on 3m48s, Ronnie O’Sullivan said 5m00s and marathon running legend, Steve Edwards said 5m29s.

 

Marathon Talk Weekend
The Marathon Talk Run Camp 2014 – if you look closely…….

Anyway, again I urge you to check it out. Presenters Tom Williams and Martin Yelling, please step forward to receive your award.

 

Running them close, despite being relative newcomers are the witty, engaging and comedians Paul Tonkinson and Rob Deering. Their podcast, Running Commentary is recorded whilst the guys are running and is full of observations, descriptions of the routes,  lots of running chat, stories from their lives and is a welcome treat on my drive to and from work.

Running Commentary
Funny Men Running – Paul Tonkinson and Rob Deering

 

They occasionally have interviewees too and this can make for some truly hilarious moments. they are currently training for the London Marathon (yes, I believe there is one in London) and so plenty of runners will relate to where they are at in their training.

I’ve managed really good long training runs in the last week or so, a 26.2 and a 20 and we treated ourselves to a sports massage too so feeling like the training for North Dorset Villages Marathon is coming together. We ran the race together last year and Nicky did her 2nd best ever marathon time. We’re both quietly targeting going well this year.

Before that we’ve got the Devonshire Dumpling marathon on Sunday, looking to run the flatter parts at a good pace and enjoy the hilly trails and coast path for the rest of it.

I listened to my body this morning and took Charlie for some ball chasing instead of running and was treated to a beautiful sunrise through the trees.

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Anyway, expect a report on Sunday’s pasty (and run), hopefully in a more structured blog……

 

 

 

On This Day In (Fetch) History

March 10th 2017 (and the previous 9 years)….

Ahh, the wonders of the internet. No, really.

When I started running in January 2007, I really didn’t know anyone who ran and, how shall we put it, wasn’t in the joyous, beautiful, amazing, dreamy, loving domestic environment I am now blessed to be in, to put it mildly!

So I just started sort of running. It was hard, as I imagine most of you who are doing me the flattering honour of reading this will know. The first mile was ridiculous, I actually thought I was going to die and building from there was painful. I remember searching the internet and finding generic training programs and wondering what on earth a ‘recovery run’ could be!

I found comfort, solace, comradeship and incredible encouraging support on the internet. Specifically a Runners World forum labelled ‘Inspire’ and the lovely people on there put me on to Fetch.

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My original fetch vest, just about hanging on!

 

Fetch, I here you ask. Well, Fetcheveryone is a wonderful website, community, online training log, forum, support network and generally awesome running thing. Started by the enigmatic Ian Williams, it celebrated it’s 10th anniversary last year and I joined the 10-years-a-member-club just recently.

It appealed to me for it’s homely, yet remarkably technologically advanced and informed content. It seems to attract a certain breed. Runners, naturally, but something more than that. Something to really belong to without needing to ‘go’ to.

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My Fetch vest worn with pride everywhere – Totnes 10k where Callum did the fun run

 

Strava may be the training site, app and world community of the masses, a slick machine, the mass production to Fetch’s home baked joys. I’m a member of both and have no truck with Strava, it’s an awesome thing. BUT, I could happily live without it, whereas Fetch has been a part of the runner that I have become.

I have religiously kept all my training on my Fetch log, including a diary of the way my life has unfolded in the 10 years (that’s 20% of my life!) I have been a member. It can be a dark read, in equal measures to it being an absolute joy. All of (my running) life is in there.

In 2007, I didn’t run on 10th March, on the 15th I ran 5 miles in 50 minutes and had very little to say.

Unlike in 2008 when I ran 20 miles and wrote “absolutely pissing down and blowing a gale, both calves completely cramped up in mile 20”! I was deep in training for the Paris Marathon.

In 2009 I was starting to do training sessions with others and on 10th March I did 4 x 1km with the training group, the fastest being 3m40s!!

In 2010, I was training on my own again and did 4 x (4x400m, 100m jog) in Youngs Park, quite a session!

March 10th 2011, I was training for Taunton Marathon and suffering man flu as I did a 7 mile ‘snotty’ run.

The following year, 2012, I was again training for a marathon attempt and on the Sunday of that week ran 22 miles at 8m20s pace around Torbay. Running away from the darkness by all accounts.

I raced on Sunday 10th March 2013. My Dad had recently had his hip replacement and was grateful for the ride out to Siblyback Lake in Cornwall where I ran 42m50s for a freezing, wild and windy 10k. I also plodded a 2.5 mile ‘recovery’ run in the evening. I know…..

On March 9th 2014 I did a monster 24 mile marathon training session, following it on 10th with a 3.5 mile ‘recovery’ jog! “On battered legs” apparently. No shit!?

 

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A lovely Fetch kiss – Oh My Obelisk 2016

AHHH, we enter the happy years! No running on the 10th in 2015. Nicky and I had ran the Imber Ultra on the previous Sunday. Running 50km together over Salisbury Plain as Nicky was preparing for her South Downs Way 50 mile the following month. One of the proudest days

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Fetch Anniversary Vest at Grizzly 2015

ever.

 

No running on the 10th last year either, but 2 days later we did the ‘beautiful and brutal Larmer Tree Marathon’ which, as it happens, we are doing again on Sunday. It was just so wonderful we couldn’t resist going back.

All of this and every single other run I’ve every done is on my Fetch training log.

Another of my favourite running accessories is the quite wonderful Marathon Talk Podcast (to be blogged about another time). The aforementioned Ian Williams was interviewed on Marathon Talk in November 2014, and it’s well worth a listen.

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Fetch ‘Proud Supporter’ Shirt On Brixham Breakwater, Nicky in her South Downs Way 50 shirt

 

 

Fetch has also had a nice piece written in the Guardian. But most of all, I recommend you go to the website itself for wonderful blogs, article, forums, training tools, online logs, a great race calendar, race reviews and previews, discounts on shopping and  bespoke Fetch goodies to buy. I did 10 years ago and it gave me the lift I needed to keep on keeping on.

As I said, we’ve got the Larmer Tree Marathon (another disappointed face today when I told someone (the building inspector) that, no, I’m afraid none of my 29 marathons so far have been in London!), expect words. About mud. And hills.

Previously….. Elite (attitudes), Elite (Mo), Elite (Ultra heroes), My running streak (now 33 days), Elite (Step-Daughter & Grandson) and remotely interesting stuff….