Friday, 26 September 2008

365challenge on the radio ...

Hi everyone
As I've mentioned below, there has been some great interest in the 365challenge from the local media here, and BBC Radio Merseyside interviewed me for their morning show earlier this month. Leanne, the reporter, has kindly sent me a CD with the interview, so I thought I'd upload it here for anyone interested to have a listen - but it turns out I can't seem to upload audio files to this blog! So if you'd like to have a listen, email me off-line and I'll send it through to you as an attachment. My email is all over the website, but for the blog, I think I have to write it in this format: colin at 365challenge dot co dot uk ...

All thoughts and comments on my performance welcome!

Monday, 22 September 2008

coughs and sneezes ... keep you out of the gym, but Guinness makes you feel better!

So there I was feeling very good about myself, having kept on with my challenge even while on holiday, when the dreaded lurgy had to go and stick it's oar in.

Last Wednesday, I went in to the Mighty Boosh gig in Dublin feeling fine, but came out a couple of hours later barely able to speak - and not because I'd been shouting and screaming (though i did laugh a lot). And the bug took hold then for the rest of my Irish visit, leaving me feeling very tired and run down. It's still lingering now, so I've put off getting back into the gym for a few days to see if it will settle and let me get on with my 365challenge again without keeling over.

Though the lurgy didn't ruin everything from the trip. I was able to catch up with some old friends and family members who I've not seen as much of as I'd like to, including my old buddy Jack. We used to share an apartment together a long time ago in Dublin, but I haven't seen him for a proper sit down chat and pint in over 14 years - much too long!

Anyway, we arranged to meet for lunch one day in a pub called Messrs Maguire, just beside O'Connell Bridge right in the heart of Dublin, and spent a very enjoyable couple of hours there. Apart from the good company, the outstanding memory of the afternoon was the quality of the pint. Now, I've been a Guinness drinker for a long, long time now, and I appreciate that I've been drinking what many consider to be an inferior version in England for a lot of years, but remember also that I'd just spent 5 days in Lahinch, in County Clare, where they know a thing or two about pouring a good pint, but ... the Messrs Maguire pint was one of the best I've ever tasted: so smooth, so good - I'm almost drooling as I recall it now. Highly recommended if you get the chance. My nephew commented that they charge more there for their pint than other pubs in the area, and also that the price increases over the evening, but believe me, it IS worth it!

And of course, everyone knows that Guinness has medicinal properties ... so once the effects finally kick in (come on, come one), I'll be fighting fit and back on my bike.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

a rainy weekend in Lahinch

Just catching up after having a short break away in the west of Ireland, in a little village called Lahinch in County Clare, which, as the song says, is a long, long way from (Clare) to here. Damp and grey for the first few days, unable to see the beautiful views, but there was nice food to be had and the Guinness was great.

And I didn't forget my commitment to the 365challenge ... I was first into the local pool four mornings in a row - I don't think they're used to early starters exactly, but the welcome was always warm and I got my 40 lengths in each day, so I'm still on track.

I'm writing this in Dublin now, having just arrived for tonight's Mighty Boosh gig, which Donna and I are looking forward to. My nephew, Peter, got the tickets, so he and Jenny are coming too. Should be a good night. Then a little more running around Ireland before back to Chester on Saturday, and back to the gym again on Sunday, probably.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

10 days in, and I need a holiday!

Things have been going great with the challenge, though I'd have liked to have covered a few more miles on the bike and river by now. But work has been busier again, and that's gotten in the way a little - what a pain! And now, I'm only going to bugger off and have a 10 day holiday in Ireland! What am I like?

Thing is, this will be my first break since I had my tumour removed a year ago, and believe me, I'm ready for one! I've been flat out at work since I returned on January 2nd, playing catch up a little, as I'd had 2.5 months off for the operation and follow-up radiotherapy - and when you work for yourself, having that amount of time off is not recommended. But the business is on track again, and as I said, I'm ready for a short break.

As for the challenge, I've got a good start on this, and I'll do some while I'm away too - I've found out that there is a health centre and pool near where we're staying for the middle part of the trip, so I'll get in the pool at least.

So keep checking n, I'll have updates from Ireland soon.

Monday, 8 September 2008

some tales of the 365'ers

I know I've been muttering that I want more people to take up the 365challenge to raise even more for Cancer Research UK, but I guess I should salute some of the people who have already started down the road to taking this on for themselves.

First to the starting line was Carl, the manager in the gym, who plans to run across America - just 3200 miles, he's taking the short route, I think! Anyway, he started off all gung-ho (he's ex-army), and by the end of the week, he'd only gone and given himself a hernia (not running, doing some of his weights work, I think). It looks like he'll be out for about a month - commiserations Carl, but I'm sure he'll come back stronger. Watch this space.

Then, tonight at the gym, Danielle told me that although she hates running, she is going to run 2.5 miles 5 days a week for 52 weeks -she reckons that'll be a marathon a month, but i reckon it's a little further actually, so we may need to work this out more clearly.

Anouska wants to run a marathon a month too, but is hoping to run the London marathon in reality also next April, bringing her goal to 13 marathons in 12 months. Fantastic.

Finally for tonight, Mark plans to run, cycle and row across Australia, from Perth to Sydney - just 2455 miles. He's on his way already, so wish him luck.

I'll have more stories of 365'ers as this blog goes along, so keep popping back to hear more ... and if you want to be included, just get in touch with thoughts on your own 365challenge.

How did it get to Monday ...?

Last week was a bit of a blur of activity on the 365challenge - well it was the launch week, I suppose. Two radio interviews and a press call for photos led to two radio interviews being broadcast, one newspaper putting the story on the front page, and another listing the story on their website. Not bad, if I say so myself! And though the interest arising out of this hasn't exactly been overwhelming, there have been messages of support and sponsorship coming through, so that's been great. I would still like to get more people taking up the challenge though, so there's more work to be done.

Then the weekend was busier than I expected, so, though I got to the gym, I didn't manage to cover quite as many miles as I'd have liked to - oh well, only 51 more weeks to go, how on earth will I fit it all in ... ?

Thursday, 4 September 2008

the madness continues

The madness continues with the 365challenge! I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve been told that I made the front page of the Midweek Chester Chronicle! If I can access the paper online, I’ll add a link to the website. I wonder what the main paper on Friday is going to do!

Then, on Tuesday (was that really just two days ago?), BBC Radio Merseyside called and requested an interview, which I did on Wednesday. I think it went well, good interviewer, she drew out the answers that helped me get my message across. I’m told that it will go out on Friday Sept 5th, in the Breakfast Show, between 8.15 and 8.30 am BST, if anyone wants to tune in. You can listen on line, but you need RealPlayer installed, which I haven’t, so I’ll be at the radiogram! The station link is: bbc_radio_merseyside, then click on Listen Live, if you’re interested.

But the great thing about all of this is that the 365challenge is getting noticed, the sponsorship is rolling in (over £1000 past my original target already), and Brenda is getting acknowledged for the great person that she was – I know her children are following events and are really pleased at the response – so thank you all from them. I really hope that the publicity helps bring some more people on board too, so we can boost the amount that we raise for this great charity even further. Please, if you are in any way moved to take this on, do get in touch. Together we can create a challenge that is doable AND impressive that will bring the support in. Come on, it’ll be fun.

And things continue apace with the challenge itself – I’ve been into the gym Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and have started to make a (small) dent in those miles. Aching a little, but feeling good to continue. I have taken today off, as I had a heavy day at work - early start and didn't finish until 6.30 - ran a workshop, so on my feet, talking for 4 hours. I think having a day off from all that physical effort is allowed, isn't it?

But I'll be there again tomorrow, I promise ...

Monday, 1 September 2008

365challenge is GO!

Day 1, and the 365challenge is up and running.

The press release did its job. The radio interview was broadcast on Dee 106.3 in each of the news bulletins (!) yesterday morning. Then, this morning, at the 'launch', two photographers from local papers showed up (they cover 4 papers between them), along with Jane, the Press Officer from Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and we had a bit of fun getting me posing on various bikes and rowing machines. Carl, the gym manager, got in on it too,as he's started his Run Across America today for his 365challenge too. Hopefully they'll get into this weeks various local weeklys.

Donna was along to take some photos as well, but we've had some PC problems today, so you'll have to wait for those. But Jane sent me a couple she took, hence the mug shot at the top of this posting.

Once the 'media' were happy, everyone left me to it, and I got on with my challenges. I managed a 32 Km (20 mile) cycle, rowed 5 Km (about 3.1 miles) and, oops, completed the 3 Peaks climb of 3.6 Km. I thought this last one would go quite quickly, but now I've done it, I feel a little guilty. I't's just one part of the overall challenge but maybe I'll have to add something else to ease my guilt. I didn't swim today - partly 'cos I was a little knackered, but also, there was a swimming lesson in the pool, and I just didn't fancy trying to work my way around them for half an hour. I'll swim tomorrow.

If you want to keep tabs on my progress, check out my track my progress page on the 365challenge website.

I also spent time in the gym talking to a few other members, telling them about the 365challenge and trying to encourage them to take it on too. A few took details away, so hopefully they will come on board. The more the merrier, I say.

And the support keeps pouring in. I very nearly made it to £3650 ahead of today, which I'd have loved to have done, but as I've hit £3500-odd, I'll not complain. I know there is more to be raised, and I'll probably have to set a new money target.

But as more people come on board to take the challenge too, I think that'll be where my focus goes - supporting them and finding more 365challengers. I've now got it in my head to bring 365 people along with me over the year, and, especially if CRUK get behind me on a national basis, I believe that is possible. If they raised just £1000 each, that could be £365000 for CRUK, and Brenda's name will be well and truly commemorated - but I don't think this will stop there. 365challenge has got legs, and I'm going to do all I can to make it as successful as possible for CRUK.