Thursday, 29 March 2018


Miraculously I made the connection in Mumbai despite Heathrow throwing up the usual curve balls. Safely on the ground in Kathmandu I waited an age for my bag to show and in addition to the time spent in the long queues getting out of passport control and to think I already had my visa. God only knows how long it would have taken if I handn’t.

Without doubt that was the most relieved I have ever been to see my bag appear on the carousel. A big sigh of relief and the second of the day after just making the flight this morning.

I will never forget my first day in India in 2001 when MKM and I came out of the air conditioned airport in Madras and were smashed in the face (metaphorically speaking) with a wall of eyes as well as intense humidity and smell. It was a little the same here and after some haggling and figuring out who was meant to pick me up we set off to the Royal Singi.  Like India and the recent Kenya experience the roads are just as chaotic. 20 minutes later we were greeted by Sherpa Shailesh (pronounced ‘Say’les’ - a little ironic given he’s a chatter box). Interesting fellow, am guessing in his late 50s who’s been guiding in the Himalayas for 30+ years and summited Manga Parbat (the 8,360m peak) in the Pakistani Karakoram Himalayas as well as upteen others.

In the afternoon I put the running shoes on to head over to the hustle and bustle of Thamel which is filled with markets, mountaineering shops (heaven for me), restaurants and a shit load more including sticky yellow tape. It’s Kathmandu’s main tourist spot. Not sure running is going to work though - it’s way too dusty here and my eyes and throat were both sore once back at the hotel for the expedition team briefing.   

At dinner I decided I much prefer the ‘Dal Yellow’ as opposed to the darker ‘Dal Makhani’.

Early start tomorrow morning with the flight to Lukla, officially the planet’s most dangerous airport.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018


And so the day finally arrived after some hectic preceding days. A quick glance out of the window first thing and I knew already then it was a ‘no run’ day with heavy rain and it still being ‘under your skin’ cold. In running talk ‘a day off’.

After one final last gear check and quick visits from my parents and Mi:baby Beth plus my surrogate sis aka Ana, J dropped me at Bromley South BR for the trip across London to Heathrow Terminal 4 and my flight to Mumbai.

Witnessed a confrontation at the Mumbai security gate with a Rastafarian from the U.K. quite rightly refusing to take of his hat in public.

2 x 5k in the rain

Pouring outside and cold but forced myself out the door to initially meet Messi at the top of the hill followed by Dan in the park. Uneventful slog in the puddles and never really warming up. Session done albeit very slow. 16k in 4.09s.

Rydie this morning - going to miss him, J and his brothers.

Monday, 26 March 2018


A lunch slot opened up and so ran 10k on the work treadmill actually feeling damn good (4.40s speeding up to 4.17s). No doubt I will revert back to my usual lousiness tomorrow morning. Thought about running home as well but decided against with my quads still beaten up and wanting to give the 2 x 5k a push in the morning.

We are now less than 4 weeks away from London. Ordinarily I would go big this week but that ain’t going to happen with really only Monday through to Wednesday providing running opportunities.

I am hoping (hoping!) that by running these three days plus a couple of cheeky days in KMD (plus 3 days of acclimatisation hikes) will get me to some resemblance of a good running week. That then just leaves next week as during the final 2 weeks I generally taper.  Next week it will just be the long slogs in my boots but ultimately at least 6 hours on average on my feet. Wishful thinking perhaps but still trying to convince myself that by taking the trip it’s not going to radically scupper the running.  With no alcohol or meat in the next 3 weeks I should in theory lose weight.

For the trip I’ve gotten hold of some Diamox which helps with AMS though I read a great article that said by taking it at altitude it is actually counter productive for running at sea level. The theory being that it stops the production of red blood cells which high altitude usually generates. The key with any altitude training is the initial 6 or 7 days when you get the most effect. Basically severe suffering equates to good, ie you’re producing red blood cells. And so the moral of the story is to hold off with any of the Diamox.

Sunday, 25 March 2018


This morning felt super early with daylight saving starting overnight and the clocks going forward. The early start was though tempered by the pleasant company of Kip’Rory, Selman and Messi as we ran over to Beckenham Place Park. I simply cannot take Norman Park any more!

18k in 5s and 115k for the week.

Packing 3 weeks into 10kg and for all weather conditions is not an easy task:

21k tempo (35 all up)

Had a few drinks last night, got up late, ate no breakfast and headed straight out to meet Messi at 7.05 sharp.

Unsurprisingly, I was not in the mood but soon enough we launched into it after the usual 4k warm up direction the park. Today my breathing was for once just about ok but the legs felt heavy as we pushed through 5, 10 and 15ks as the park gradually got more busy with Saturday morning Park Run congregators.

At 21k I tho pulled the pin due to an unforeseen toilet stop (a function of my not great prep) whilst Messi soldiered on. After my emergency stop I picked him up for his last 2k stint. As we compared notes it turned out that per his watch we had a 3.43 average for the initial 21k whereas I had 3.48s. His watch clearly being better than mine!

Today’s warm down was Park Run and a little more to finish with 35k for the morning. By the end of it I had basically bonked and crawled home having been gel free today.


Early morning run on the work treadmill (10k in 4.29s) followed by meeting Mum at my office and walking to The Ned at 27 Poultry, close to the Bank of England. Fantastic food at Kaia the fusion Japense Polynesian restaurant specialising in Poke bowls which are resplendent to look at and even better to eat.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Major wobble

That was me this morning, an early dose of AMS.

Our house is a building site, no windows and boxes everywhere just in time for prospective tenants to view in the morning.

Mentally shattered more than anything and had to force myself to run 10k on the work treadmill (4.29s).

Ditching London for Nepal

It was meant to be a 10k tempo but neither of us had it still fatigued after Sunday. Ended up with 2 x 3k (a touch over 3.30s) for 13k all up.

My fitness is flakey at best. The long runs are no problem but the short sharp stuff is a nightmare.

I’ve decided to head solo to Nepal for 3 weeks next week which has all but ended my London marathon campaign returning 4 days before the race and so the running form is now largely academic. If anything the poor run this morning has vindicated my decision to go. It was now or never and life is simply too short.  Moreover, I am slightly over the running. It gets bloody boring after a while.

Nice afternoon spent with aunty Mia and baby Beth with my oldest mate Stevie B popping in for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Easy again

Easy does mark #2. Early doors 10k in 4.32s.

Monday easy does

10k early doors on work treadmill. 4.35s feeling not too tired.

Lunch - mobility and strength with Mark P.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Hilly Long extended 40k

Brutally cold again this morning with the wind continuing to blow directly from the east. Conditions  were just about as bad as you can get for a long run - it felt like -10. With a layer of snow on the ground and the wind freezing any water surface it was treacherous underfoot. Messi and I had preagreed on a 4.15 average but that went quickly out of the window as Norman Park was even too slippy for an initial lap to get the ks up to nearer 40, so we ploughed on with the southerly route towards Locksbottom, Farnborough and then Knockholt. The right hander up to Knockholt Village was caked in snow and ice with the passing cars travelling at a snail’s pace barely quicker than what we were.

Knockholt Village is roughly at the 19k marker and at this point I felt decidedly rough. The legs were lethargic and in complete contrast to a few weeks back I was struggling to keep up. The gel at 20k hardly registered before we got to the Indian Restaurant (24ks) and the high point averaging 4.34s. From there it was just a case of getting it done and holding on to Messi who’s beginning to find form. Between 24k and 40k we averaged around 4.08s finishing with a 4.22 average in 2 hours 54 minutes. We had to bolt on close to my house going our separate ways at the roundabout on Wickham Way.  I was absolutely trashed when I got home and never warmed up at any stage for the entire run. Pleasing was that I felt better at 30k than I did at 20. That’s about the extent of it though. Perhaps the effort level was high given all the ks this week. Who knows. 145k for the week.

* All the boys’ footie called off.
** Thank you football gods.

Saturday simply too cold

Had intended 20k with Messi but the beast of the east version #2 was now in full force. Think Siberia with snow lashing into our faces. With 95k under the belt already this week and another 40 planned for tomorrow I tapped Messi on the shoulder and said enough was enough. 10k in 4.55s.

Friday, 16 March 2018

More Yasso 800s

Tired but wanted to do the session irrespective. It was clear after 400ms on the usual Embankment Super-highway that I had little energy.  Got them done though and 2 more than last week for 10 sets with a strict 400m active recovery inbetween.

16km in 4.42s with the 800 average only in the low 2.50s. This week is going to be BIG!

Football gods, please please let Palace take 3 away points tomorrow.

Thursday laps with Messi

Worked from home meeting Messi at 11.30 for 75 mins around the park on a nice day once the rain had passed. 17k in 4.24s with both of us still a tad hungover.

Tried to relax some in the afternoon which is always a challenge for me. Reading the Matt Fitzgerald ‘how bad do you want it?’ book. Interesting first chapter about Sammy Wanjiru.

Jack back from his latest 7s tournament at Kent County schools with a near 100% conversion rate:

Thursday, 15 March 2018


AM - early meet with Dan for MLR into work. 24k and absolutely knackered. 2 hours.

Lunch - 1 hour with Mark P smashing my glutes which I just don’t use.

Evening - met Melbourne Dors (one of my oldest mates) at Blackfriars to take train home to ours to watch the Chelsea vs Messi’s beloved Barca (Messi meeting us there).

Nice evening but sore head this morning.

Tempo time (20k stop start)

Tempo time but not Sammy time. Did not have it today. Laboured to 10k in 3.45s and stopped, I had 20k planned. Decided I needed to do another 10k but stopped after 5k (3.41s) and then continued to labour for another 5k (3.44s).

May be it was due to the lingering effects of the virus or may be just not fit. Anyway another 28k done.  The wind did not help on the back straight which is usually the ‘recovery’ part of the loop but disappointing all the same. Moreover, I felt shattered for the rest of the day.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Going to miss you Fleet Street

AM - jogged on the treadmill with Coach Mark P on the one next to me - that’s a first!  Annoying lingering effects tho of the general ‘yuckness’!

Lunch - 60 mins with Mark on core.

Tummy bug ‘yuck’ weekend

A tummy bug kept me low over the weekend but needed the rest all the same. Busy 2 days playing Dad as well as Dad’s birthday and Mother’s day taking the family to Hibagon sushi in Sydenham.

Timmy will be amused that Ryder played against the famous Ten-Em-Bee, the club where Ian Wright started.

We also visited baby Beth with my bro’s family also there. On that Dave is actually getting fit. 4 years my junior he just chalked up 3rd on the very well trodden Wickham Way strava section (the long road at the bottom of my road used by 1000s of cyclists). Holy cow!

The crew of grandchildren in full attendance:

Friday, 9 March 2018

Yasso 800s

Finally a decent running day after a good nights sleep.

I summoned Dan to the Embankment mid morning for 8 x Yasso 800s with an active 400m recovery. The new cycle highway is clear of cyclists at that time and conditions were good.

Splits below (2.42 average) with a 400m recovery (2.22s). Both of us felt good today with Dan holding his own but most pleasing was the consistency.

After a quick shower I raced back to my office to eat before meeting Rachael (5 Talents charity director) for another run. Very pleasant again catching up through the royal parks on all things running, the charity and Kenya. I honestly think she can run under 3 hours in London. She has it in her!

As for Dan if he sorts out his nutrition there is no reason why he can’t run a low a 2.50. He should take a lot of confidence from today.

MLR with Dan

No sleep after a few pints last night meant I was even more knackered this morning. I literally crawled out of bed at 6am to meet Dan at Bromley South and complained the entire way with Dan bouncing along as usual.

24k in a little over 5s.

After lunch with J at Borough Market we picked up Rydie from school before all visiting Mia and baby Beth at home.