The Blog That Reaches The Parts …

Posted on: 11 Jan 2015

… That Other Blogs Can't Reach
The following screen shot was sent by one of my (many ;-) ) correspondents after reading the last blog entry. Just whose clever software algorithm matched this blog with the need to purchase this particular product I don't know, but presumably it had its reasons.

A Weekend In The Smoke
My new year's resolution was to re-focus on the marathon training and that includes getting back to the blog (and hopefully YouTube). This weekend, and a return to London, the great city where I was born and raised, for CLIC Sargent's training day.

But, of course, London is now also home to my two favourite (young) ladies, who also happen to be my daughters, and Friday a chance to meet up and buy them (cheap) dinner and (cheap) theatre tickets. Apparently the best way to find a good (cheap) restaurant is from the listings in Time Out and therefore today's restaurant recommendation is Sagar, a vegetarian Indian near Covent Garden. I had a really interesting pancake, which looked a lot like a French stick from a distance. All-in-all a very good choice.

As far as the (cheap) theatre tickets were concerned, I opted for the new musical version of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” starring Robert “Woolfie” Lindsey plus one of my all time favourite performers. I developed a whole new respect for Bonnie Langford a good few years ago when she was the one saving grace of what was a real turkey of a summer show at the Weymouth Pavilion. She threw herself into the summer season with aplomb and her high kicks (particularly bearing in mind she was seven months pregnant at that time) were enough to make the eyes water. She, in her chosen field is a consummate professional, every bit as much as, for instance, a Jo Pavey or a Mo Farah, and she remains a real trooper.

But sadly training efforts were taking their toll and I was having serious problems staying awake during the first half. However, the interval, a quick power nap, and I returned refreshed for the second half. I have to say the second half was really very good (I'd guess a lot better than the first half - wish I could have said the same about last year's marathon), so all in all a thumbs up from me.

But the evening's entertainment was not yet over as my elder daughter decided to take us on a late night tour of her office in Villiers Street.(apparently one of the 20 most eco-friendly buildings on earth! The ninth floor provided some spectacular views out over the river, so good that she actually spent new year's eve there! And from there back to my billet, Bank Travelodge.

A Room With A View

CLIC Sargent Training Day
Although I attended last year, I had no qualms about returning to attend for a second time. Last year my marathon campaign was in serious danger of being blown off-course by the winds and rain of January, and this day was (metaphorically) a life-saver. But a few changes this year.

1. The venue. Last year was based at a running track, the New River Stadium stadium in White Hart Lane. This year we were “in-house” at the CLIC Sargent offices in Hammersmith. Hmmm – well I guess the tribal football supporter in me was not sorry to not have to walk up that particular lane again, even if we were a bit cramped for the practical sessions.
2. This time (the lovely) @RuBo from CLIC Sargent was absent. Apparently she was off skiing (thinks – poor show – how can anyone go off skiing at this vital stage of the spring marathon training calendar ;-) ). So instead we were led by (the equally lovely) Amy and Lucia.
3 And this time no Nick and Phoebe from runningwithus, but instead a chance for last year's third man @ThomasCraggs to come to the fore.
The other attendees were mainly London runners, but it was good to meet up with Gail and Laurence, a couple of other members of the Paris team.

So another very worthwhile day, and a particular thank you to Tom, for his most effective, engaging, informed and at times self deprecating presentation. I guess the main messages I take away are:
1. Generally I think I know what needs to be done in terms of the pure running training. But given my desire to cycle and (learn to) swim at the same time, these need to be woven into the plan as cross training and not as additions, or I risk overdoing it.
2. I go away full of good intent as far as the other training bits, for instance stretching and conditioning, are concerned. But then I went away full of good intent last year. Not forgetting all the good advice will be a major challenge.
3. (and I guess this will be a familiar tale) I need to seriously take on board the need to balance the training with the two other apexes of Tom's equilateral triangle, Nutrition and Rest and Relaxation. So let's start cooking again. And after watching Martin “Woolfie” Adams' magnificent semi-final victory at the Lakeside late last night, at least there will no longer be anything feeding my strange obsession with late night televised darts.
4. At least I have the fund-raising under control. In any case, last year's big push was a once in a lifetime effort, but I am still well on track this year to exceed my fun-raising commitment.

Parkrunners All
Back to Bank Travelodge, I checked the football results – another miserable failure for “Charlton Nil” as one of our host of celebrity supporters refers to my heroes. But nowadays just as eager to check the parkrun results. And somewhat disconcerted to find that one Mr Jim Fudge, husband of Mrs Kim Fudge, the lady who keeps talking me into signing up for stupid challenges, has now usurped my position as a parkrunner of repute. He has made startling progress this last few weeks and this week, sporting new blue shoes, dipped three seconds below my PB at 22:42. I dispensed some good advice on FB, which will hopefully result in the shoes being damaged irreparably, but in any case equally disconcerted Mrs Fudge has already offered to burn them ;-)

Night Out On The Town
But I am middle aged, free and single, so what to do for the rest of the night? I was tempted by the prospect of being tucked up warm in bed by 10PM, but instead how about a film? As someone who has managed to largely stay in employment for well over thirty years programming computers, maybe a sort of an evening with another icon of mine, Alan Turing (hmmm - a few years back that would have got you arrested), so I headed out towards the Odeon Covent Garden, via the Pizza Express by St Paul's Cathedral.

“Can I get to see the Imitation Game” I asked the man? “Yes, I can sell you a ticket” he replied “... tomorrow”. Go round again - “How about The Theory Of Everything?” I asked forlornly – I expected a similarly reply to that received for my London marathon ballot application, and again wasn't disappointed. Third lap. “So what can I see?”. “Birdman – but it's selling fast (well it would be wouldn't it?)”. The pub quizzer in me is pretty crap when it comes to films but I was encouraged to see that it featured Andrea (The Long Walk To Finchley) Riseborough. “OK – Birdman it is then”.

For the record, Andrea's was little more than a bit part (though she was very good), I had trouble staying awake, and at the end I couldn't help but ask myself why they had bothered? Can't help thinking I never will get around to seeing the Imitation Game nor The Theory Of Everything. The Bank Travelodge, and late night darts, was calling.

… And Onwards
And now on the <grumpy rant>so what part of FECKING “QUIET ZONE” do you not understand?!?</ grumpy rant> train back to Weymouth (or rather to Poole and onwards by bus – the joy of travelling on a Sunday). Somewhat disconcerted to see we've just gone through Chertsey – looks like this train is reaching parts that other Weymouth trains don't reach.

And onwards towards Paris. Hint of tears in eye. I guess that, in our own ways, we are all Charlie,


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