With only less than 6 weeks to go until the big challenge I thought it was time to give you all and insight on how the other 3 Cook’s have coped with everything!
Let’s start with the washing….what a pain in the a** that is! 2-3 towels and really smelly training gear to wash everyday and I mean really smelly! Someone owes me at least £1000 in washing tablets!
I’m not going to lie as a family it has been really hard on us all sometimes. We are really proud of Barry and his commitment to this challenge, but…he spends a lot of time training which means we don’t see him that much or get to do as many family things together as we normally would – especially at the weekends.
We have sacrificed our summer holiday…suffered Barry falling asleep on the couch by 9pm most nights…Barry moaning or in a mood when injured or can’t do a training session!
But we understand why and even if I say so myself, the kids and I have been extremely understanding and supportive! (Definitely earned myself a new Mulberry Bag)
Barry and Derek have been training for over 10 months now. It seems so long ago that we were sitting chatting about it and thinking – ‘yes it will be hard but let’s do it’!
I know Barry better than anyone and I know Derek very well too…they can both be completely infuriating, stubborn pain in the bloody arses!! But I knew from day 1 once they had committed to this challenge neither of them would ever give up. It means far too much to them both.
For the past 9 years the Cook’s and the McEwan’s have been good friends.
2003 was the year Jenny was born and the year Derek founded The Catherine McEwan Foundation in memory of his mum. We didn’t know then that 4 years later on our paths would cross after Jenny being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.
No one’s mum should pass away age 38 and no parent should have to watch their 4 year old daughter in so much pain.
But it happens and it is still happening – all because of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Barry and Derek have taken on this big challenge to help change this.
What they have achieved already is incredible and I know like us, you will all continue to help, support and encourage them to the finish line in Paris!!
So you have heard all about the training, all about the fundraising, I thought that this week I would share with you what is working for me and making the process more enjoyable. There’s a music theme. I like music. MUSIC IS THE ANSWER!
Music is the Answer!
So It has to be said, like many I love music. It is an important part of life for me and can really set a mood. One track can change the day! Where it is invaluable and becoming more and more so is during training.
Most of my runs are solo except when Uncle G (Running support and photographer) comes along. The banter is always great and takes your mind off the miles and the aches and pains. Solo runs require serious tuneage! Music has to be planned and selected beforehand. If the music isn’t right, the run isn’t right. And as for the long rowing sessions? These absolute Japanese torture sessions are helped by music for sure, but I’ll be honest, they are still a living hell.
So what am I listening to at the moment? Well I’m an old raver at heart so it’s got to be beats! From Old Skool to House to Techno, the music fits the mood. Here are my top 5 at the moment! (In no particular order)
Carl Cox Global 684
An absolute techno masterclass live from Sydney. This has got me through many a long rowing session! There’s a new show from the Coxy every week so it’s always on the playlist but this Sydney PURE set has been blasted a few times.
Mark Sherry presents #TWENTY (1989-1991)
A 4 Hour Old Skool musical journey that I have never had a bad run to and takes me back to so many good times.
Carl Cox Mixmag LIVE at Fabric London
Another Old Skool set but totally different from Mark Sherry’s. Serious tuneage!
Eats Everything Radio Show
Since I saw Eats Everything at EH1 Music Festival last year I’ve been a fan since then. The fact that he now brings a weekly live set out means you always get something different.
STREETrave 24th Birthday Party
A blast from the past for the STREETrave crew. Incredible tunes tinged with sadness this month as we lost Lee Harrison AKA Hooligan X RIP my friend!
So these are the tunes I’ve been blasting as I train over the last month or so. I have to say music is definitely a motivator for me. It’s not everyone’s thing but it works for me and when you’re training sessions last so long and are incredibly tough, you need to do what works FOR YOU. Getting that bit extra works and music does that for me!
The Fifth Beatle
The Beatles had Sir George Martin, my equivalent in this process is Charlotte Muir, head honcho at Massage Away. You can train and be as fit as an Olympian (I am not including myself in that by the way) but if you don’t get a sports massage you will never be able to reach full potential. Having at least one a week has significantly helped me. You are punishing the body in ways that you never have before so getting all the toxins out is essential.
Massage Away is based in Glasgow Fitness in Thornliebank. Check her out, she may even give you a wee deal if you say I sent you! Tel: 07746644712 or visit www.massageaway.co.uk
“Heavy Techno”. The phrase is what Dean used to describe our meatier sessions. I have to say it’s probably the only decent patter he has produced in the last 8 months but that’s a story for another day. This weekend we take on the Edinburgh Marathon. It’s a bit different for us though as Kevin has set up a weekend of running that will aim to simulate the running part of our challenge.
On Saturday we have a 2 hour run, Sunday the Edinburgh Marathon and on Monday we finish with a 1 and a half hour run. So the weekends running is definitely Heavy Techno!
Please don’t forget this is all for fundraising so you can donate at Arch2Arc.com or on our text codes which can be found on our Facebook page.
Thanks as always for your incredible support. We have now cleared £22,000 in fundraising that is going directly to our charities. There’s a long way to go!
More than a few weeks have passed since London and I know Derek has covered it in another blog but it’s worth mentioning again. It was an incredible day, made even better by having the family along. To hear wee Alex say it was the best day of his life really made it one of mine. Even the Ice Wumman, Kirsteen, was all misty eyed -but I’m saving that story for another day!!
The support along the whole route was like nothing I could have imagined – seeing Big Andy at half way was a nice surprise and it was also great to catch up with 2 of my cousins (Lee and David) for a beer. It was real testament to the training, since October, that Derek and I ran it so comfortably – talking, laughing and having a great time the whole way whilst getting through the miles.
Anyway that training event, along with the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity cycle, are distant memories now. The next training event is the Edinburgh Marathon on the 29th May and training is really building up as Kev wants us to go into that feeling fatigued so we can experience a little taste of what arch 2 arc will be like. We will be doing long runs on the Saturday before and the Monday after so the legs will be really feeling it!
The old body continues to take a bit of a battering with training 7 days a week. My foot problem has never really gone away and I’m now having issues with my left shoulder. The sports massage helps greatly and a big thanks to Natalie Kyle at NK Sports Massage for always fitting me me. I’ve also been trying acupuncture and taping which I do feel make a difference. I bought enough tape at the London marathon expo to cover the distance between London and Paris! I also bought a cooling bandage off Gary Hobbs from Eastenders but that’s another story!
The static rowing continues to kill me – not so much physically now but definitely mentally. 16 miles in over 2 hours non-stop really takes its toll but I have covered this before. I did see this post from UFC Fighter, Connor McGregor on social media to sum it up again.
We have been out on the Clyde rowing a good few times now with Michael, our rowing coach, from the Clydesdale Rowing Club. That’s going really well and Michael has clearly identified his star pupil early doors.
We are already up to rowing together and work continues on technique and getting rid of all the bad habits we have picked doing many miles on the static.
Training solo is pretty much a lonely existence so it’s good to get out on the bikes on a Sunday with Derek to get some miles in. We have a good route out to Strathaven (or Strath-haven as Derek calls it) and we are already looking to take this out further. It’s key we get some good mileage in. This weekend is a 3.5 hour run and a 4.15 hour cycle. You do fall out of love with the training – and I certainly have the last week, but it’s not an option, it has to be done.
Last week I spent some time at Jenny’s school, Williamwood High, watching the first year pupils take on the Arch2Arc distances. They have also been fundraising and we can’t thank them enough for their support. Also great to see Barclays and Morgan Stanley heavily involved as well. Please get in touch if you would like to take part.
So London is done and dusted and all though the blisters, aches and pains it still remains full steam ahead!
With the Edinburgh marathon just a around the corner the attention shifted to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity Bike ride. It was the 40 mile route the guys and I were doing. I was really looking forward to the event and meeting all the people from the charity.
The Challenge started well as we cycled through Glasgow and through the hospital grounds. The Clyde tunnel was definitely an experience. It starts with a very steep down hill (on the flying machines that we were given by Willie at QBikes Paisley) it was a real white knuckle ride! However then the uphill came and it was a challenging wee incline that’s for sure.
Around 4 miles in I was just starting to feel warmed up and enjoying the cycle and that’s when disaster struck! Both clets (the wee things that attach my shoes to the pedals) snapped with one actually sticking inside the pedal. It meant it was the end of the cycle for me. The boys continued on and done amazingly well. For me this was the first time I’ve had to pull out of a challenge and it was a bitter pill for me to swallow to say the least.
As we move onto the Edinburgh marathon it’s full on with the training. This week we are training every day. It’s real hard graft now. When you tell people that you’re training five days (or in this week it’s all 7 days) I don’t think we can express just how hard it is on all of us. Each of us are carrying niggles and little injuries from London, but we don’t get the time off. Right now it’s all about getting our bodies used to being pushed to its limits day after day to prepare for what’s ahead.
This week we got out in the water for the first time with Michael from the Clydesdale Rowing Club. Have to admit I personally loved it. I’ve been having nightmares about rowing machines and now starting to really hate them. So although getting out on the water was incredibly tough, it was completely different to what I expected but thoroughly enjoyable. Let’s hope that remains the case after a few hours in the water!!
So looking at the training for this week, it ends with a three hour and fifty minute run on the Saturday and the same for the cycling on the Sunday. To be honest I look at it and think how am I going to drag my myself round this, how am I going to be able to do that this weekend! Then it hits me that even as tough as that might be, its nothing to what’s coming at the end of August.
Then the bottle really starts to crash! The best way I like to describe this challenge is simply this…. It’s heavy techno!
As always folks thanks so much for all the support it means so much to all of us and please if you can spare even just a pound then please do! If not then share the page and share the post.
My turn on the blog this week and I have to say I am delighted that I have the honour of the London Marathon piece. It was an incredible experience to say the least and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster!
Whilst other runners were tapering for the big event we were still hammering it on all levels. I have been lucky enough to experience the New York & Berlin Marathons and they have been huge events and the final destination in months of training. London was different! Psychologically it took some time for me to get my head around that this Marathon was part of the journey and not the destination. Kevin reflected this in our training with very little tapering as the legs need to work when fatigued and we need to build our endurance. So there was a bit of a drop in running, however the rowing and cycling was still at a high intensity and duration. Tapering may have helped us do better in the Marathon but as far as Arch2Arc is concerned it would have been detrimental to our training. See the big picture is what Kevin told us! I got there in the end!
High Drama at McEwan Manor
The registration document had been sitting on the kitchen workout since it came through the door. I left it there so I knew where it was. There would be no drama for this boy. Well until I actually went to get it and it wasn’t there! Jules and I pulled the place apart. Mail from years ago was discovered but the most important piece of paper in my life at that time was nowhere to be seen. Needless to say Jules was giving me pelters. “You are so last minute!” “How could you be so careless”, I am sure you get the picture. Where the added challenge was that I wasn’t picking my number up at the expo, Barry was doing it for me as I had work commitments on the Friday and wasn’t arriving in London till Saturday evening. So after a fair bit of panic we sorted it out with the London Marathon office and could breathe a sigh of relief.
In the end we got to the bottom of the registration form mystery. The lovely Julie McEwan had thrown it out with the London Marathon magazine! I have no words!
Jules and I got into London about 9pm and went straight for food with the Barry & his clan. I have to say I was dying for a nice red with my pasta but being the consummate professional I went for the water! We had a big day the next day after all! We then went round to our hotel. I have to say I was quite impressed by the Ibis London Euston, much better than expected. If you are staying around there, I would recommend it. A quick preparation for the next day and it was off to bed! Actually swept well considering I had the “Battle Fever”
I am a creature of habit, just ask Jules. So when the advice for the prep for the marathon is stick to your routine it is right up my street. Same pasta dishes a couple of days before, same bagels and banana before the run and plenty fluids! Perfect!
The excitement of getting to the start builds and is halted when the three stooges realise that none of us actually know where we are going! A damsel, in not so much distress as us helped us on our way and we got to the start in good time. When I do a big organised run I wear older clothes to keep me warm prior to the start but also the added bonus is that when you discard them, they are collected for charity, so you are doing your bit. Big Hollywood Reilly had a belter of a Nike track suit top that he had worn twice that he was donating. I was going to go back for it myself! Oh! how the other half live!
Baz and I decided to run together and keep a steady pace. Dean would be doing a slower pace than us and taking selfies so it made sense. From the start I was blown away by the crowds. I had done New York and Berlin but I have to say they are nowhere near as good as the London crowd. The support from start to finish was incredible. Some of the sights were hilarious. We had one guy DJing from his balcony as if he was playing at T in the Park! Great patter! The signs people had were also superb, some hilarious but my favourite was always beer related. Funny that!
I have to say that going round at a steady 11 minute mile pace was a joy! Barry and I had great banter with the crowds. It freaks me out a bit to think that we were laughing so much going round on what should have been torture! Now don’t get me wrong we were still working hard but between the crowds, the banter and the sweets we were given all round the course we were having a great time. The Crohns and Colitis UK cheering point was at 13 miles and it was great to see everyone. Jules, Kirsteen, Jenny and Alex were cheering us on and it really does give you a lift. Hats off to the Crohn’s & Colitis UK team as they picked a great spot where we also seen them at 22 miles, when we really needed the lift!!!!!
It’s incredible the lift that a stranger calling your name and encouraging you gives. You smile or cheer back depending on how vocal they are and trot away on a little high. We had loads of banter with Barry’s T-Shirt as he had “Barry Cook” on his and not just “Barry” courtesy of a kind lady in his work. It produced a few laughs between us and the crowd on many occasions! I think maybe the kind soul who got it printed maybe thought Barry wouldn’t be able to remember his second name by the end! So I would just like to thank the lady who got it printed. You are a hero!
We weren’t so jovial by the time we hit 22 miles! We saw the guys at the the Crohns & Colitis Uk cheering point again which gave us a life and then moved on. The last 4 miles (Actually 5 according to my watch) was painful. Aches and pains a plenty but the crowd got us through.
Running the last 1000 metres past Buckingham Palace and up the Mall with thousands cheering us on was fantastic and a memory that will live with me for the rest of my life. It was very special. We crossed the line and received our medals, hugged it out and if I’m honest I shed a wee tear. I obviously walked away from Barry at this point as this would not be the “done” thing for tough guys like us! It’s easy to get emotional on these days and I always do. I remember not only the incredible challenge but the reason why I am doing it; In memory of my wee mum, Catherine and to help as many people as I can who suffer from Crohns and Colitis.
Crohns & Colitis UK had put on a great reception after the run only a few hundred yards from the finishing line so we headed up there to meet the team and get a few beers and a massage. We met some fellow runners and supporters and it was a nice to mingle and share our stories of the day. We headed back to the hotel after that and teamed up with Dean for food, more beers and plenty laughs!
A massive thanks to everyone for their incredible support, encouragement and digging deep. The first major challenge is now complete and we are entering the business end of this Arch2Arc journey! Bring it on!!!!!!
Been a busy few weeks since my last blog – training continues to build rapidly with 21km rows being added to the already tough17km rowing sessions. Have to say that out of all the training, I find the rowing the one I like the least! You are on a static machine, going nowhere other than half a metre forward and half a metre back. It’s tiring in many ways but I find keeping concentration the most tiring part. (My school report cards always read ‘easily distracted’).
I become a different person on the static rower – I am certainly not sociable. Here is an insight to my mindset:
Why are you getting on the rower beside me when there are 5 free!!!!?
Don’t make eye contact, I am in significant pain and can’t smile back.
Please don’t try and talk to me
If your machine won’t turn on – don’t make me take out my headphones to answer questions
I hate that background music. It is drowning out my music
I hate that instructor’s voice, why is he shouting?
Wireless headphones – DO NOT run out of charge
I hate this
I am bored
How long is left?
Why are you rowing like that? Pull the chain straight and slow down. You bouncing about is making me feel seasick
If you are rowing beside me, why are you trying to race me
Here is a video clip from the TV show, Burnistoun, which pretty much sums it all up – have a look! Funny but true….! Funny thing is, I always have a ‘rowing story’ for the family when I get home!
Pleased to say my times are improving on the rows though and there really is no choice…. It HAS to be done if we have any chance of rowing the channel.
Training is also becoming more outdoors now, we have the bikes (courtesy of QBikes) and all the gear. Everyone says ‘get the pedals’ but they don’t tell you how bloody hard it is to get used to them!!
Derek and I took the bikes out for a spin a couple of weeks ago (I actually had a wee practice on my own the day before)
At the start, we stuck to the paths at the back of my house. Needless to say, Derek came off twice! I then confessed that I had actually also fell off the day before.
After 20 mins on the paths we decided to hit the road and took on some hills through Carmunnock and into Thorntonhall. In the end we covered around 18 miles. Not bad for a first session with a good few hill climbs to test us.
Saturday’s are now seeing a mix of training (Kev calls them psycho Saturdays) with distance running and cycling immediately after. I got 10 miles run in on Saturday then straight out on the bike for 18 (these will soon become 8 hour sessions).
All was going well until near the end when I came off hard at a set of lights. I took my right foot out but the bike tilted left with no time to get the left foot out and down I went. I’m sure with more practice we will master it but big thanks to all the motorists who tooted or drove round me!
You definitely have a new found respect for cyclists after getting out on the road. I had a few hairy moments with people just cutting out in front and forcing you into the curb. With experience comes confidence though!
My running has been hindered for a couple of weeks. I felt foot pain back in Feb, normally kicking in around 10 miles. As the weeks went on the pain was kicking in earlier. I spoke to my physiotherapist, Natalie, Kev and the boys and we agreed an MRI was best as the dreaded stress fracture kept being mentioned. So I was booked in and it turned out I have Tendonitis caused by over use along with a dodgy big toe which ‘will break’……. Perfect…..!
Not doing London was never an option anyway so I am currently trying every lotion and potion available. Also just had some acupuncture to see if this eases it a bit.
We also had a meeting with Michael from one of the Clydesdale Rowing Club. Michael has offered to be our rowing coach and has vast experience – after meeting him, he is perfect for us. I am really looking forward to working with him and learning from him. Look out for us on the Clyde before we get out on the open water down in Greenock.
I can’t believe we are so close to London, it’s my first ever attempt at a marathon and although I’ve done a bit of running on and off over the years, the nerves are kicking in. I just want to get going and experience it. Everyone has advice and I will take that all onboard. We are still training hard the week building up as we have the big challenge in Aug, we have targets to meet and Kev rightly won’t let us rest on what we have done so far (losing a week’s training is like losing a month’s fitness or something like that)
The challenge people are taking on to replicate the London to Paris distances is also great to see. We have many signed up who have joined the team. Friends, colleagues, my kids, Jenny and Alex as well as Jenny’s school who will replicate the challenge in one day on world IBD day!
Anyway, London is now firmly on my mind… It’s nearly here and I’m also looking forward to catching up with some family down there for a beer afterwards.
Thanks to everyone for your support. Sponsors, corporate supporters and even words of encouragement on days when you’re drained and there aren’t enough hours in the day.
So it’s almost here, our very first training event! The London Marathon! If we wanted a memorable start, then I don’t think we could have picked any better.
With just over a week to go the nerves start to kick in, with an even mixture of excitement and worry. Will I get threw this? Will I get hurt? How will I recover from this one? These are just a few of the thoughts flying around my mind right now.
In the run up to this event we got our fantastic Italian road bikes from Willie at QBikes. The bikes are incredible! Willie even took me and the lads out for a bit of bike training which was a great learning curve for us all.
Now I’m going to get this out there before the boys do… Willie asked us to ‘ride around the block and return, test the bikes out guys’ was his shout! So I go last and I honestly don’t have any defence for this but I got lost.
Now you’d think getting a wee bit lost cycling around the block would be bad enough but no, the lads actually had to embark on a search and rescue mission to find me as I was cycling around this industrial park with not a clue what way to go.
Derek has now Christened me ‘Roadmap Reilly’, however Barry is sticking to his initial reaction which was ‘Dean’o I literally have no words!’ I can’t decide which is worse to be honest. It really was a bad day at the office for me, and worst yet it’s not going away for a while.
With regards to the training we are now starting to hit 3 hour sessions at times. I can honestly say it’s almost as draining mentally as it is physically. I actually have scars on the tops of my thighs from being on the rowing machine so long, currently it’s 21k on the rower.
There are a few things that are just not a laughing matter presently. Top of the list is chafing! It’s nobody’s friend!
IT bands! I didn’t know what they were, or that I even had them, but I now know what they are and it seems that I have really annoyed them too!
I was recently introduced to a foam roller, I must say I’m not a fan of them. However I do appreciate the benefits they bring to the table, I am just not a lover of the discomfort they cause me just now.
We are all feeling the aches and pains from training, personally I have been getting acupuncture for the last two weeks and can feel a huge difference.
I have also been using the oxygen therapy at the MS Therapy in Leith. Again this always helps with recovering not just from training but also with the pains I get from my MS.
With a week to go until London and it’s all about keeping calm and staying injury free and getting the last few training sessions in. This will be my second time doing the London Marathon but this time I am far more excited than last year as I know how fantastic a day it really is.
The people that line the streets to cheer and support all the runners, the iconic buildings and places we run past is just incredible. Personally I can’t wait!
So folks that’s a little snapshot into how things are for me just now. I could go on all night and complain about how many washings I’m having to put on a day now to keep up cleaning my training kits and also the price of washing tablets these days but I’ll leave that to my househusband blog 🙂
Thanks so much to the people that have already donated and to everyone that’s already shared/liked the page and the posts. The support drives and motives us everyday and means the world to us all.
The challenge of running 87 miles, rowing 29 miles then cycling 181 miles requires fitness, focus and determination. Barry, Derek and Dean have now been training solidly for over 6 months and the initial preparatory phase of their training is complete.
This has focussed on getting them adjusted to consistent training and progressively increasing the training load. It was key to build a solid foundation on which the next stage can progress from. The London marathon is next for the trio and after that we will be looking to get them outdoors on the bikes, rowing and continuing with the long runs. Phase 1 has not been without obstacles but the boys have shown commitment and worked through injuries and illnesses and we have adapted the training along the way.
Phase 2 will now start to focus on the technical side of the three sports whilst continuing to build on the endurance. Getting them ready for August is going to require them to draw on every ounce of physical and mental strength but I have every confidence in this trio and excited to be working with them on the next training block.
Training, working, meetings, events, family, social life, the list goes on. Week on week you have to juggle to fit in your training. I find if I miss a morning it sends me into a spiral! How am I going to get the time later, I’ve got a meeting? I’m not going to get home till late, then it’s straight to bed. But then I don’t have enough rest so the next morning’s workout is going to be harder! Aaaaaargggggggh!
This, friends is Arch 2 Arc!
Now it’s fair to say that I am no stranger to a party and I love my weekends but the level we are training at and the weekend “Big Run” dictates that you just can’t continue in the same pattern. It’s a total lifestyle change and that isn’t just for the 3 of us who are taking on the challenge. Our family life changes. Our family changes for us. Time with our loved ones is reduced but I think it’s fair to say the support has been incredible. Or quite possibly they are delighted of the break!
Over 5 months in and it’s fair to say we haven’t exactly lived like monks but it’s really about choosing your battles wisely. Admittedly I am not great at saying no. After the 2nd “Derek just have a drink”, I’m in, so I find its either best to stay only for a while or take myself out of the equation all together! I am weak to the powers of persuasive friends!
Work & charity commitments have to come first through our training which means you have to be flexible in order not to miss training. That can mean moving days off, arranging a gym in another town when working away (not as easy as it sounds sometimes) or getting up at 4.45am to get a big run in before meetings. The bottom line is that you just cannot afford to get behind so flexibility and creativity is essential to get it done!
It’s very obvious to me that the Arch 2 Arc challenge is more than navigating yourself from London to Paris.
The challenge is the daily training, mental and physical. The challenge is being in the gym at 6am every session. The challenge is juggling family. For Dean battling his MS. The challenge is giving work 100%. The challenge is trying to still live your life!
This is Real Life vs Arch 2 Arc
Thanks for your support!
PS Did you know that you can also get involved? Would you like to take on the challenge at home, on the roads of your town, in your gym, at work, at school? Message us to find out more!
Well over 2 months since my last blog so thought I would do a quick update.
We have now passed the 4 months of sustained training (5 days out of 7) and I am really pleased with how things are going.
Like Derek said in his previous blog, this is also the longest I have sustained a period of high level training. Let’s not kid ourselves though, it’s not really an option and vital to having any chance of completing the main event, as well as the ‘warm up’ marathons!
December was a busy month for the family as we were invited to Downing Street for a reception with the Prime Minister and for my daughter, Jenny, to collect her Point of Light award. We had a great time and Trainer Kev was able to tweak my programme so I could get out for an early morning run on the Friday. I took the chance to run up to Marble Arch and get a good look at our starting point – I also sent the boys a picture to prove that the training doesn’t stop even when you are on your holidays! Was brilliant to hear that so many friends and family plan to see us off in August and painful to know they will hit the pub as soon as we are out of
We also had a visit to the house from the First Minister of Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon was out to officially open Jenny’s new fundraising office and Derek and I got the chance to talk to her about our plans for the year. She was very impressed and we promised we would keep her up to date with our progress.
Training over the winter months has been tough as times – no doubt about it… but it has also been really rewarding and a great feeling when you get those early morning sessions over and see progress week to week. As well as ‘big run’ day on a Sat we now have ‘big row day’ on a Monday. The run is up to 2 hours 45 (approx 15 miles) and the row is around 1 hour (approx 8 miles) with some endurance and speed cycling inbetween.
We also completed a circuit session (my first ever!) with Kev a couple of weeks ago and I am sure some if you will have seen the video! It is not pretty to be fair!
My weight / training heart rate continues to come down which is keeping me motivated to make the targets set. I have also joined another gym in the City Centre so I can pick between that and EK depending on my day. Kirsteen usually comes out and does part of the big run on a Saturday. This weekend we were in Rothesay and had a great run up to the St Blanes Chapel, although taking the wrong route on the way and climbing a number of steep hills wasn’t the greatest idea in the world but the scenery was incredible. We are planning on taking the bikes over for some cycle training as we are also targeting the Yorkhill cycle in May.
It is great that people are really engaging in what we are doing. I am always being asked how things are going in the office and at the football when picking up Alex. There is a real chance for people to get involved in the coming months and join our team whilst looking to replicate the challenge distance. You can do this as a team in a relay or individually if you prefer. I know we also have plans to speak with some schools who are interested.
We also have some big news to announce on our rowing team support and bike sponsor. This has totally blown us away and it was a major item on our list to have confirmed. Needless to say we are delighted – look out for the news soon.
There are loads of ways to get involved and support – individually or perhaps even as a business. We are on the lookout for support cars, branding. clothing etc and will gladly talk to anyone who can assist us.
Finally, I had my very first sports massage last night. Have to say I wish I had done that sooner and have already booked in again for next week!
Thanks, as always, for all your support. It means the world and really drives us as we look to raise as much funds as possible for 3 great charities close to our hearts.