Barry’s Blog

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.

  • 1_0001_Layer 1
  • 1_0000_Layer 2

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.

Thanks again for all the support


Barry’s Blog #3

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’).

21k row done

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!!

trying the pedals

daily view

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)

run and ready for bike

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.

barry and derek bike

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.

trying the ice

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!

jenny and alex

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.

bike done!

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.

It means the world



Barry’s Blog

So approximately 8 weeks into the training now and thought I would have a go at ‘blogging’ my progress. Yes, I said ‘blogging’ and not ‘blagging’
I just completed a catch up session with Kevin Henderson, our Endurance Trainer, and it feels like there is some good progress. Losing one stone since starting has definitely helped right enough and I am feeling pretty good about that.

Continue reading