Week 17: Sam’s 1st Half Marathon!

Wednesday 27th April 2017

This week was all about the big build up to Luke Vella’s gargantuan effort for a new world record: could he lift 5500kg worth of deadlifts in 60secs. The answer was a resounding YES! A fantastic achievement! Screenshot 2017-03-14 20.23.32From a humungous feat of strength followed 1/2 Marathon number 17 of 2016. This week I was tremendously grateful for the company of Sam Willis. This was Sam’s first ever attempt at such a distance! The route we chose would take us from Bath, down the cycle path, PAST HIS HOUSE, finishing at my house.

Buzzing from the roar of Luke’s massive crowd, Sam and I set out on a beautiful, crisp Spring evening. The conditions could not have been better. Sam was absolutely heroic in his effort to make it to the finish line. From 10km the boy was really suffering but battled on with each town on our way into Bristol a step closer to the finish line. Sam’s a lifelong Bristol boy, born and bred in Brislington and now living in Fishponds. Each town we passed had a different story attached. As the sun set over the city we passed through the Staple Hill tunnel and down into Fishponds. Agonisingly for Sam, we ran passed his house and down under the M32 and up to Purdown. A massive effort from Sam, I’m tremendously grateful for his efforts and the company! Having pieced together the data from the other night it appears that we may have actually run further than a 1/2 marathon- 22.5km for the night… sorry Sam!

At week 17 we’re just about 1/3 of the way through the year. My total keep totting up and now just tipping the £3800 mark. If you want to run with me, even if it’s for 5 or 10km just let me know and we’ll arrange a date and time. Thank you to everyone for supporting me and thanks for reading. Please find more info at http://www.bobsgrandappeal.com and support the cause at justgiving.com/bobsm100


Week 16: Angry Intervals from Bath to Bristol

Monday 18th April

Today’s run was a repeat of last Wednesday’s outing. After a long day at work I really

Neat little pile of kit when I got home, completely forgot to take it with me to work!

wasn’t expecting much… especially that I’d left all my running gear at home! Thankfully I did have my trainers. So I beg, stole and borrowed and manage to piece together an outfit, I swear the shorts must have been kids sized- luckily they fit like a glove!

I ran angry- no idea why but I was in the mood to get this over and done with! The first 10km didn’t start great but once I got going, chasing a time made me really speed up. After a sloppy first 5km I finished the 10km with another personal best for the year of 46mins36secs. Something came over me for the 5km interval, I just felt like a crazy man through the streets of Keynsham- another PB of 22mins55secs. It was at this point in the day where the joys of my first 15km ran out, along with my phone battery and GPS. I limped back north of the City of Bristol, looking forward to a chocolate milkshake from the shop in St Werburgh’s. I think with a bit more sugar I could have had a decent crack at the 2 x 2.5km.

IMG_0140I’m happy with the progress of the 10’s and 5km’s. They are both good distances to do more work around lactate threshold paces to try to improve my running economy. Still not sure 1 run per week is going to improve my distance-running capabilities but we will see! Next week is a big week for the campaign, not only is it 1/3 through 2016 but it is also Luke Vella’s world record attempt in deadlifting 5500kg total weight in 60secs. Unbelievable to see, looking forward to it. Please check out Jusgiving.com/lukevella as he joins me in fundraising for The Grand Appeal and The Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Week 15: Training 1/2 Marathons Begin

Wednesday 13th April

Today is the first trial at a training period with the 1/2 marathons. By breaking each 1/2 into various intervals over the next 13 weeks my aim will be to increase my race speed. Today was a pyramid of 1 x 10km, 1 x 5km, 2 x 2.5km and 1 x 1.1km from University of Bath home to Bristol. The target to run 21.1km total faster than my 1hr40mins39secs PB, try to increase my aerobic fitness and running economy at higher paces. So, here’s some achievements from the day:

So really happy with this start, the 5km I got a bit lost so that came in at 25mins07secs.  I think by this point I was starting to fade a bit. But then 1x 1.1km to finish in 4mins47secs. All in all it came in at 21.5km in 1hr42mins12secs. When I do this again the goal is to get progressively quicker as the reps get shorter. Think today I was too fatigued off the first 10km to sustain higher paces in the 5, 2.5’s and 1’s. Not sure I could have run much faster for each of them at the moment. A good experiment all the same!

Thanks to everyone who’s supported The Grand Appeal this week, we’ve tipped the £3500 mark with over 145 donations. Please go to justgiving.com/bobsm100 if you’d like to support a great Hopsital!


Week 14: City Paradise Surprise

Saturday 2nd April

Today I did my second run of the year with Renee McGregor, top sports nutritionist and ultra runner all wrapped into one. The original plan was to head to Bath and head out into the Somerset hills and countryside but I’m currently having a few transport malfunctions. We (Katie) managed to write-off our car by hitting a bollard at 5mph last weekend so we have no car while that gets sorted. To compound that the Bristol-Bath railway line is closed for maintenance and the Sunday buses to Bath are pretty terrible. On Saturday night I asked Renee if she might consider coming to Bristol to run. Not one for urban, tarmac running and with hesitation in her voice, she agreed.

“I’ll bring the dog if you know a suitable route…?”.

I knew she wasn’t expecting much when she turned up but I had a secret plan. Bristol’s IMG_3812Purdown, Snuff Mills and 5 miles of virtually uninterrupted trail starting immediately out of my back garden. We started at 8am and headed out, the sun just creeping up over the noise of the M32. Renee even kept Bailey on his leash for the first mile but the countryside kept rolling up and down and eventually she let him off. We ducked under the M32, briefly onto the road and then down onto the riverside. It was that moment when no-one else is around, the sun is just penetrating the trees over the river, it’s slightly chilly still but you know it’s going to be a beautiful day. Bailey went in the river and Renee was so taken aback she had to stop to take a picture! She had no idea this sort of place existed in Bristol. If I’m honest, neither did I until a few weeks back.

Renee, Bailey, Autumn & myself at the end.

Renee’s amazement continued as we ran North out of the city along the Frome River and the Frome Valley pathway. Woodland paths, little bridges and villages tucked in by the riverside. A trail runner’s (and a dog’s) paradise. We eventually hit some tarmac somewhere up by the ring road. By the time we checked the distance we were almost at 7 miles and circled back. A few wrong turns later and we made it back to Purdown and my beloved BT tower!

Current running total is £3475. It’s slowly creeping up. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me this week. If you’re thinking of sponsoring and haven’t yet please do it now. Head to justgiving.com/bobsm100 and pledge your support for The Bristol Children’s Hospital.