Category: Uncategorized

Momentous Announcement!

I’ve given up on motorbikes.

There. I’ve said it.

I had the urge to change to a cheaper bike. I was thinking a Honda VFR750, I’ve had a few of them. They are relatively cheap, brilliant handling, very comfortable and have an absolutely bullet-proof engine.

I listed my bike for sale and was driving myself mad, frantically weighing the options for my next “forever bike”. I had a bit of a shock when I stumbled across an article saying the new standard petrol, E10, being 10% ethanol (sugar based bio-fuel) gums up the jets on carburetors, rots the rubber seals, and soaks up water vapour so will rust your tank from the inside. Super. Modern, fuel-injected, vehicles are fine with it. Not so, ’90s carb-ed, VFR750s. Apparently some petrol stations are continuing to supply super unleaded, which is just 5% ethanol. Bit of an eye-opener though.

Anyway, I was going frantic, weighing different options. Then it struck me, whichever bike I get I just don’t need it, and won’t use it. And if it’s got carbs even 5% ethanol will be damaging it if it’s not used.

Just like that it was over.

A dealer has rung me up and agreed to pay the full price I paid for my Daytona, I’ve listed my fancy leather jacket on eBay, and cancelled my knee-down training course and got a refund. I’m keeping my old, workhorse, leather jacket, (trousers, lid, gloves, etc). If I have to get a job where I need to commute I’ll be getting a bike again, but for now, at the very least, it’s over.

And, I’m selling my boat.

Yes, I know, Wendy was right all along. *sigh*

It’s just one more club to which I can’t face going. As with every martial arts club, triathlon club, running club, Russian class…

I’m screwing up my courage to return to the club, assemble the boat, take some pictures, and get rid of it on eBay.

Clean sweep. Rid of everything that’s costing me money and I’m not using.

Then I can relax without the threat of the boat club weighing on me and without an expensive bike, looking pretty and being pointless, sat on the front.

I have my carbon fibre push bike and fancy resistance trainer collecting dust in the shed, but I’ve already paid for them, and I’ll doubtless swing around to triathlon again. If I sell them at a loss I’ll only have to buy them again next time.

Which brings me around to training again. I’m supposed to be on a 5 weeks, light duties, recovery phase. I’ve still not got much work (supposed to be kicking in this month) so I’m bored witless. I’m doing weeks 1, 3 and 5 of the recovery. That’s more than enough. The plan I bought from the world record holder, Camille Herron, is 16 weeks long, so that gives me 7 weeks between recovery and starting it. To make sure I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket, I’ll start her plan and do it for the 7 weeks, then try a flat-out half marathon. If I’m not faster than my last Half I’ll switch back to the Advanced Marathoning plan. It’s brutal but it gets the job done. I’m optimistic about the sub 3 because even though I was really struggling against the wind at Blackpool, when I turned out of it at mile 24 I managed to put in a 7.03 for mile 25! That’s 10 seconds slower than sub 3 pace, at mile 25, after tough wind. Assuming I can crack sub 3, then I have to crack on with ultra training for my 50 mile race in April. And, while I’m in ultra mode, I may as well do a 100 mile race later in the year. That’s the benchmark distance for a ‘proper’ ultra.

I thought ultra training would be incompatible with (fast) marathon training but I was just reading a book that says the big mistake most ultra runners make is focusing on running a gazillion miles every week, really slowly. It said the best thing you can do is concentrate on shorter, more intense, leg and lung burning runs. Those give the most fitness improvements. So I could throw in a marathon or two next year as training.

Once I’ve done the 100 miles, I think I’ll concentrate on faster and faster marathons. Though I’m not ruling triathlon out.

By the way, I know it’s easy to think “you might have a heart attack and die at your age” (as my mate warned me would happen if I tried triathlon, 10 years ago) but there have been some disturbing things going about lately. A twitter chum who is currently in Australia wasn’t allowed to give blood because she was resident in the UK in the 90s and could still be incubating Mad Cow disease (it can take decades to appear, apparently) and I’ve also recently read post covid, people are contracting Pulmonary Fibrosis, both of which are truly awful ways to die. If I was to keel over and kiff it while out on a run, I’d be OK with that. It’s quick and clean. Bish, bash, bosh, done and dusted. I’m not saying I will, or it’s even likely, but if I should that’s OK. Hmmm. Not sure that works as intended. The health benefits, mentally and physically, outweigh the slight risk, but I was just saying in the unlikely event of a heart attack, it’s not the worst thing that could happen.


To kill the time I’ve started on my clarinet and saxophone again today. Wendy was saying earlier I have huge amounts of determination and I stick with it and get it done (about running and such), I said I haven’t, otherwise “how come I can’t play the sax?” She said musical instruments, unlike running, are 80% talent. You can bang away forever, if you’ve not got the talent it just won’t work. I think that might be painfully insightful. I assumed, like in everything else I do, I’ll start off crap, (everyone does) put in the hours, the sweat and tears, and master it. Perhaps I just never will on this one.

Right, enough for now.



Test Run.

I’ve been putting off updating my blog because today was the test, the proof of the pudding, Blackpool marathon. I went with my latest trainers. Nike were having a sale of the original, benchmark, super trainers so I thought I’d give them a go. They don’t spin my legs up but they are very springy and the reviewers said they leave you feeling fresh at the 20 mile mark so you can start to push on. I only got them last week, when I was already in taper, so I was taking a gamble on them as I hadn’t tried them over any distance.

Weird looking things, but feather light and very springy.

Since ASICS have messed their sizing up I’ve gone from one pair of trainers at a time for all these years to this:

Anyway, it was all or nothing today. I was after a 3 hours 15, but I’ve been nervously watching the weather forecast all week and it’s been “windy with very windy gusts”. It was along the seafront at Blackpool, it’s nothing but gusts. The final verdict this morning.

The race was supposed to start at 09.00. That’s tough running weather. 13 to 17 mph winds, gusts of 21 to 27 mph. Tough.

This is what 27mph gust looked like yesterday.

I was not looking forward to it.

I set off quite fast but got tachycardia within the first mile. I wasn’t expecting that. I wanted to run through it, but I just couldn’t. I had to stop for 2 minutes to get it settled. First mile. What a bummer. I got back to it and worked my way through the pack. The wind was killer for about 6 miles in one direction, and you had to do it twice. Tough, tough.

I gritted my teeth and pushed on. I finished in 3.16:59. That’s with the two minutes lost to tachycardia, and against awful winds. I’m well pleased with that. It was only a small field of runners (355 for the marathon) but I finished ahead of the first woman runner (that’s never happened before), 41st overall, and third in my age group. An age group podium! Me! That was a good day’s work. And very encouraging for my goal of a sub 3.

In other running news, someone on Twitter just did the Manchester to Liverpool ultra. A 50 mile race between the two. And posted pictures of himself on Latchford locks. I’m far too easily lead. A few hours later I’d signed up to next year’s race. So I’d better smash this sub 3 pretty quick to get on to distance training.

My new training plan has arrived from Camille (the woman who’s setting all the records). I wanted to try her plan because mine has no easy days. Modern thinking is all about 80/20, 80% really easy, 20% flat out. My plan has no easy. It clearly works, but I’m worried it’s smashing my body too hard. Overtraining just leads to burn out and injury. So I thought I’d give her plan a go. It’s based on lots of little runs. Long runs at “super easy” pace (she’s American, bless). I am in two minds now it’s arrived. It looks too easy. But on the other hand it’s still about 60 miles a week and when you shuffle through a few weeks you see this: (finger and thumb)

Oh. OK, I’ll give it a go. I’ve got time to give it a month and see if it works for me, if not I can always switch back.

I spotted Boris (the rat that comes in our garden) again for the first time in a year but I fluffed my shot rushing it. I got cheap set of telescopic sight. I’ve not quite got them zeroed in, but I’ll take that for a 3 shot grouping.

I asked about why work is dead. Apparently while they are finishing off the automated sorting machinery they have just installed they’ve diverted loads of our work to another depot. I thought it was all the drivers they took on, but I got told out of the 30 they took on, 25 have already left. (I’ll do it. Gizza job!) The good news is the new kit goes online next month, then depot by depot we are going to be handling everyone else’s work. We are going to be mad busy. Good. I’ve been looking at other jobs and they are all less money, big commutes, unsociable hours and long, long shifts. The only one I could see with comparable pay was 00.00- 03.00 starts at Haydock. So say midnight start, 1 hour 20 commute (round trip) 12 hour shift, home for say 12.40, try to force yourself out for a run for an hour or two, food, shower, make your butties, bed for 15.00, try to sleep, up again at 22.00… That is not a life. Always exhausted. No time with Wendy. Just work and sleep and short runs (if I could find the self discipline after 12 hours and terrible sleep). The last time I did that I was slipping into depression within 5 months. And I was actually considering applying for it before I talked to the manager and found out what was happening.

I’m sure there’s plenty that’s happened since my last blog but I’ve forgotten and I’m a bit tired and done in after today.

A bit of a Twitter catchup and I’m done.

I was sorting some stuff out and came across an old demotivational calendar. They crack me up.

Look what Honda did to Tom Baker’s K9!

The bottom 2 look like some kind of avenging angel

(“Bangs” is American for a fringe, apparently)

And someone’s pic of spring in the UK.





Set up.

Hi Don and Margaret,

Here’s a few tips.


Take the rubber case off.

Where my thumb is, there is a hole. Get the pin from the box (I’ve put it on the charger plug)

Put the pin in the hole and press.

Your sim card tray will pop out. Lay it down the way it came out so you know it goes in that way up.

The tray has one corner cut off, so the sim card can only fit one way.

Put your old sim in and replace it. If it says something like “no sim card detected” that probably means the card is dead and you need a new one. If not, credit it and you’re good to go.

Next you want to start setting up your ‘phone.


With the power on, and screen unlocked (button on the side in the middle, then swipe the screen up) put your finger on the bottom of the screen and drag it up.

Somewhere on the page will be a cog looking icon which is settings. If not, swipe to the side until you see it.

Tap it and you get a menu. Tap Connections.

It will show you some toggle switches.

Slide the wifi one off (to the left)

Then back to the right and it will look for wifi connections. The top one should be yours. Here is the one from our house (don’t use it)

Tap on the top one, if it’s yours, It will try to connect. It should ask you for a password

Which you can find on the back of your router.

Be very careful to enter the correct upper and lower case letters. There is an up arrow on the keyboard to get an upper case letter. Press that then the letter. If it stays in upper case press it again.

Enter it and it should say you are connected.


Go into the Gmail envelope and enter your email address. Then password. It will ask for verification. Ask it to send it to a device you are already signed into (your computer). When you get the email, open it and click “this is me” or whatever. Then you are signed in.

Then swipe up again and look for Playstore (a sideways pointing triangle)

Tap on that and possibly sign in again.

In the search bar at the top type in Duolingo

Tap on the green one at the top. Then install, open, and select your language (Klingon. Or Spanish. Up to you.) And you’re in.

Another one from the playstore is Whatsapp. Then we can send you videos and you can get in on Wendy’s church stuff.


That’s just a matter of plugging that cable I gave you into the side of the computer (in the right sized slot, obviously) and in the back of the telly. The only trick is going through the sources on your telly remote to find the computer.

The other thing is to plug that stick in the side of the computer, in a different type of hole, an left click on the file you want. Season 1, episode 1, and you’re away.

Right. That’s enough to be going on with. Tell me when you’ve settled and given everything a go if anything goes wrong.