Friday, 31 December 2010

Welcome to Kenya...

Tuesday 28th December and this is where the journey begins, started the day with 5 x 1mile threshold in Tiptree, my last run in the UK for quite a while. Checked I had everything packed then double checked. My parents took me to Heathrow stopping off along the way in St-Albans to meet Rebecca who also came to the airport to send me on my way. After spending pretty much every day over the last 6.5 years with Rebecca it's going to be really strange not seeing her for so long and I know I'm going to miss her (even though we have split up). So at just after 9p.m. I flew out of Heathrow for my running adventure in Kenya.

Arrived at Nairobi airport at 9a.m., my flight to Eldoret wasn't until the afternoon so I had some time to kill, I could have gone to Nairobi but didn't due to my tight budget, instead I got myself a SIM card and read my book. Arrived at Eldoret at about 4.30p.m. And after a little confusion with timing I finally got picked up by my new room mate Edwin Kipyego. Edwin had borrowed a friends car so we had to pick him up along with some girls who had a fascination with stroking my hair!! Kenyan driving is something to behold as apart from roughly driving on the left hand side of the road there doesn't seem to be many rules and it's every man for himself. We arrived at Camp in Iten where I met a few of the other guys and Ken Kibet the camp manager/coach, everyone so far has been really friendly and all welcome me to Kenya. After dinner of Ugali and stew I was shattered so went to bed (bottom bunk) and straight to sleep.

I wish someone had told me how hard it is to run at altitude before you acclimatise as my first run in Iten nearly killed me!!! Edwin took me out for an easy hour but after about 10mins I was breathing heavily, after 20 my legs started to go and I dragged myself around the last 40. My only consolation (apart from getting back to camp) was that we overtook Asbel Kiprop the Olympic 1500m champion, and I guess the first one was always going to be the hardest...

Breakfast of bread, jam and banana plus lots of Kenyan tea, which is basically half tea, half milk and a tonne full of sugar (good for energy, bad for teeth). Into Eldoret for lunch with Edwin where we did a bit of shopping and ate at a random restaurant for more Ugali and stew. Back to camp after lunch where I helped Edwin update his facebook account, we also found a random photo of the Bristol half this year where me and Edwin were standing next to each other on the start line.

Run-Fast Camp, Iten Kenya

47min easy run in the afternoon, luckily for me an easy run in Kenya is just that, pretty much jogging. Lots of stares from the locals, probably as I am the only mazungu training in a group of kenyans. After training we had a massive plate of Ugali and stew watched a random Nigerian film then an early night. So far so good....

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Hard Work Starts Here

Just finished two easy weeks, so I'm nice and refreshed and ready to start some hard training. Thinking about it, I guess this is the start of my marathon training. It's been over a year now since I ran my last marathon and I can't wait to get back to the training and racing.

Not very inspiring weather today for training, I like running in the snow but when it's icy or deep slush it can be very miserable, but managed to knock out a good 12 miles this morning and another 10 this evening.

My replacement at work started a week ago, so I'm trying to pass on as much of my knowledge that I've gained over the last 6+ years to him, not an easy thing to do in 8.5 days but I'm trying my best! I let Mark (my replacement) sit in the "hot seat" today and answer the phone, reply to emails etc, I guess the best way to learn is to actually do the job, this means that I get to sit in the background and catch up on some sleep, offering advise when needed.

It's quiet at home tonight, Rebecca finished work last Friday so travelled up to Nottingham today to spend Christmas with here parents. She took our cat Missy with her so no-one to greet me when I got back from work :-( I was never a "cat person" until we got Missy but it's surprising how much personality they can have, I even think she was quite fond of me, probably as I was the breakfast giver, if I ever slept beyond 7a.m. she was quick to wake me with a quick whack to the head.

Off to see Mr Toby Lambert for a run around Alton and some food tomorrow night, should be good.


Saturday, 18 December 2010

10 days to go...

Well, in ten days time I'll be on the plane flying off to Kenya, can't wait.

Had a good night out last night with my work buddies, I was driving but it was highly amusing seeing everyone else get slowly more and more drunk as the night went on. I'm definitely going to miss the people at Pall, especially Steve, Chownser, Matt, Andy and Jack. You never know maybe one day I'll be back at Pall. Just three and a half days left at work and I'm officially unemployed! I guess a lot of people would think it a bit crazy giving up a decent job but money isn't everything and this is the chance of a lifetime and I know I won't regret it for a minute.

Off running with my old mate Rob Ward tomorrow at Queen Elizebeth Country park, I think its going to be a muddy one but all good fun. Rob was my morning training partner when I was living in Pompey, he is someone that has a lot of potential but doesn't believe in himself enough, but he does enjoy his running and I guess that is the main thing.

Elepahants on my last visit to Kenya

Sunday, 5 December 2010


I can't believe that it was a year ago that I raced in the Fukuoka marathon.

Fukuoka Marathon 2009
Fukuoka is most definitely the top event I have ever competed in, the organisers looked after us so well and for a race with only a few hundred runners the crowd on the course was awesome. The after party was brilliant with every food you could ever want. The Japanese are such nice people, they all have such respect for each other and their environment. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to race in Fukuoka or Japan I would highly recommend it. If I get the chance again I will jump at it.

Shame to see Andrew Lemoncello drop out of this years edition, he was obviously going for it as he went through in 64.28. Definite respect for him on that one and I'm sure when he gets it right we will see a sub 2.10 out of him.

My training has been ticking along quite well, I'm trying to stay in good shape but be fresh enough so when I get to Kenya I can handle all the work and not be dropped too much!!

Well at least the snow has gone now, but its still freezing. I checked the weather out in Kenya and its currently 24degC out in Eldoret.....

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The End of Movember

The end of Movember, and the end of me looking like ........ (add whatever insult you feel appropriate).

So we are in December now and along comes the snow bringing the country to a stand still. I was looking forward to a nice muddy Hampshire League Cross Country today but it was cancelled :-( Still sorting things out for the move to Kenya and making lots of headway, I'm confident I will have everything ready.

I found out this week more details about the camp I will be staying at, I will be sharing with a young Kenyan called Edwin Kipyego (won Bristol Half this year among others), he has already run low 62mins for the half so will be a really good training partner. It will be strange getting absolutely battered on every session but its exactly what I need to push myself to the next level and finally get some decent pbs.

Until next Time, laters

Sunday, 28 November 2010


Spent this weekend working at the Hellrunner Down South Event. Mega mega cold both days, I was very happy not to be racing as most people didn't really look like they enjoyed themselves. The winners on both days had multiple cuts from having to break the ice getting through one of the water obstacles, not my idea of fun!!

Only four weeks left at work so starting to wrap things up and hand over my work to other people, I've been at Pall for over six years and it will defo be a sad day when I leave, but I guess I have some exciting times ahead.

Looking forward to a couple of lower key training weeks with maybe a cross country next weekend. I want to be fit and fresh for when I get to Kenya as that's when the hard work starts!!

Hopefully I will warm up some time tonight, standing out in negative degrees for seven hours chilled me to the bone, all good fun though and had a good day with Mr Lambert. Toby has just opened an online shop at so have a look if you want some bargains.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Back Again

Been very busy recently, lots going on and lots to sort out.

Had a couple of races recently, Lordshill 10mile, Hampshire League Cross Country and Gosport Half Marathon. Really enjoyed getting back to racing, was good to see some old faces and nothing beats the feeling of winning a race!!

As I think some people already know I am off to train in Kenya at the end of this year, can't wait to go but have loads to do before I do.....

I will try and keep posting and have just purchased a little pocket camcorder so I can video blog when I'm out in Kenya. I think some people might be quite interested to see how the Kenyans live/train (I know I am!!) and hopefully I can learn a lot from them and come back a better athlete. If nothing else I think it's going to be an experience!!!

Anyway for now, over and out...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Not so easy Tuesday

45min steady run before porridge for breakfast followed by a bit of stretching. Busy, busy day at work, never a bad thing as it makes the time fly by. Travelled up to the track in Winchester after work for a tough session with Toby, 6 x 1 mile hard off 75 seconds. We decided to take it out on the road as we thought it could get pretty boring on the track. Good decision as we worked hard together, second mile was all up quite a steep hill and we still did a 5 min mile. The sixth mile was back down the same hill and we finished the session off with a 4.20 mile, fastest my legs have turned for a long time!!

On my way home from Winchester I got a message from my dad telling me he had been "attacked" by a Jack Russell when he was cycling which made him skid on some gravel and fall off his bike, he had to go and see the nurse to get "patched up" but is fine and raring to get back on the bike - made me chuckle a bit - sorry dad!

Knackered now so off to bed for an early night :-O

Monday, 11 October 2010

Easy Monday

Nice easy day training wise today, just 2 x 5miles with some core work and lots of stretching.

I sent out emails to most of my work colleagues before I finished at the end of last week telling them all that I was leaving Pall at the end of the year to pursue my running, so was greeted with a host of really nice emails wishing me luck, it made me slightly sad to be leaving for a few minutes, then I remembered I wouldn't have to sit staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day!!

I think people have noticed that my attitude at work has changed, not that I don't work hard but that I am more relaxed and a bit more "cheeky" towards the other people in the office. I worked out today that I have 50 working days left at Pall, quite a scary thought really as I have so much to sort out before I finish.

Strange dinner tonight of a roast chicken leg with mustard and kale mush and a white wine sauce, sometimes you just have to use whats in the fridge/cupboard, but it tasted good so that's the main thing.

Session up at Winchester tomorrow night, 6 x 1mile, looking forward to it.

Off to do some painting now :-P

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Nice day for a run

Knocked out a good 20 miler this morning, longest run I've done for a while and thoroughly enjoyed it. Made a really nice Kale Calzone for lunch, I think people don't realise you can make healthy pizza if you do it all from scratch and it tastes much nicer as well!!

Very enjoyable afternoon lounging on the sofa watching the Commonwealths on TV and the Chicago Marathon live streaming on the internet. Had a little chat with Ben Moreau who is currently tapering for the marathon in Dehli, its always a tough time for a marathon runner but Ben is very level headed and has the experience now to deal with it well. I hope he does himself justice which I'm sure he will.

What a race at Chicago, Sammy Wanjiru took the win over Kebede, I just don't know how these guys do it. They surely are two of the greatest marathon runners of all time.

Me with Kebede in Fukuoka 2009
Finished off a very lazy day (apart from the 20 mile run) watching the results of the X-factor, how sad am I!!

Start of a new week tomorrow, lets hope its a good one....

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Alton Sports

Fun day working in Alton Sports - Farnham today. Easy 30mins before work, busy day at the office, time flew past, always enjoy working when I can talk about running all day long, getting paid always helps as well!!

Alton Sports @ Farnham
After work young Mr Lambert and myself went for a 75min run around the Army grounds, ticking along at a very decent pace, definitely the best I've felt for quite a while, easily could have carried on for a long time but we were stopped by lack of light.

Arrived home at around 8p.m. and for my sins I'm now sitting watching the X-Factor, can't say I'm a fan but it is easy entertainment and can be quite amusing. Looking forward to a nice 20 miler tomorrow morning, looks like the weather will be good for it, then I'm going to have a nice lazy day before back to work on Monday.

Time for some more food now..... Definitely one of the advantages of running 100+ miles a week.... lots of food needed for recovery :-)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Thats more like it

Very interesting day today.

First rest day for quite a while so made the most of it with a nice lie in until about 7.30. Made my way up to London with a stop off at Alton Sports to pick up a package for my coach Nick Anderson. Once in London I headed to Leadenhall Street near the Bank of England for a very positive meeting, if all goes well this could be the answer to my prayers and an opportunity of a lifetime. Still need to work out some details before I can really go public, watch this space....

Going to have to give the Hampshire League at Farley Mount a miss tomorrow as I'm working at Alton Sports in Farnham, but have arranged with Toby to re-create the race after work in Farnham probably on the Amy training ground, so if anyone is around that way at about 6p.m. you are more than welcome to join us....

While I remember if anyone needs any new running shoes or kit my mate Toby Lambert at Alton Sports can offer some really good deals, so get in contact with him and mention my blog.

Until tomorrow....

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Happy days today, a nice big delivery from my friends at Adidas:

My Adidas Delivery
10 mile run to work today in much better conditions than yesterday. The word is starting to get round at work that I have handed in my notice, everyone so far has been very suportive, it makes me realise how unhappy most people are with their jobs as most have commented that they wish they had the courage to make a decision like I have, even my boss who I thought was an out and out company man!!

10mile run home with 3 x 12 mins threshold, didn't start great but felt better as the session went on.

Teaching Becs how to make risotto tonight, it is making me very hungry so I'm going to go and eat it now.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Drowned Rats & Toadstools

"You look like a drowned rat mate" was what my boss said to me when he arrived at work this morning. 75min run to work started off with cool but pleasant conditions which quickly turned into strong winds and horizontal rain! Rest of the day was uneventful, 45 min run home from work ending through my local woods which is full of some crazy colourful mushrooms and toadstools:

One of many Toadstools - Amanita muscaria
I think some of my friends and family are slightly concerned that I'm going a bit crazy at the moment with some of the decisions I have been making, but I can assure them all I'm fine and that everything will work out for the best in the long run......

Off to make some dinner....

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Cr*p Cr*p Cr*p

Well I'm sure from the title of todays post you can tell things aren't quite right! 45min run in the morning felt like I was carrying a house on my back, boring day at work with everyone wafting cakes in front of my face then a terrible session on the track (3 x 800m/800m/400m).

Not right in the head at the moment, once I get things sorted I'm sure things will start to fall in to place again, but at the moment it seems as though I will never get back to the times I've run over the last few years, let alone move on to the times I know I'm capable of.

Must stay positive and crack on with things. Exciting day Friday, so for the time being I will focus on that and not all the negative stuff that is going on around me.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Tired Today

Long day today, arrived at work at 7.30a.m. after a 10mile run in the rain. Standard stuff at work, quite productive but no goss unfortunately. Another 10mile run home but in much better weather than the morning. Rustled up a decent beef curry for dinner followed by an 8mile bike ride with Becs.

Meeting up with young Toby Lambert tomorrow at Winchester for a track session. I think we both need each others company at the moment for motivation in training, it definitely helps when you are trying to push your limits and one of the main things I feel I'm missing at the moment, too many mediocre sessions....

Off to bed now, laters.....

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Good Weather for Ironing!

Well, what crap weather it was today, managed to get lucky with my run and snuck in fifteen miles between rain storms.

Apart from that finished off some boring jobs around the house.

Sorry for all the boring news, things will get a lot more interesting soon, I promise.

Commonwealth games opening ceromony on TV, got very bored after watching some guy thanking everyone under the sun for about twenty mins. Good luck to Ben Moreau who is running in the marathon for England (and has the same coach, Nick Anderson).

Back to work tomorrow and for once I don't mind as every day now is a day nearer to my last day at Pall ever!!

Saturday, 2 October 2010


Started Saturday baking some Welsh Teabread followed by a Kenyan Hill session in Creech Woods. Went for a bike ride with Becs in the afternoon before the rain started. We made falafel for dinner had them in pita with salad.

Just waiting at the moment for my meeting next Friday, can't do much until then so I've just got to crack on with staying fit, working, sorting the house out, all very boring stuff....

Met some pigs....

Some friendly pigs we met on our bike ride

Friday, 1 October 2010

Counting down the days

What to say about Friday? Nothing of interest to report, standard day of work followed by a very wet 10 mile run home. Dinner of sage, onion and blue cheese pasta then some DIY.

Looking foward to the next few months, loads to sort out before Christmas, I need to find some way of making money as no more regular pay cheques after December, any ideas??

Nothing much planned for this weekend, some training, some eating and some sleeping...

Got to get back into racing soon, possibly the Hampshire League at Farley Mount next Saturday with the Great South towards the end of October.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Things are starting to change

Well today got interesting. Started off with a 10mile run to work, ended with me handing in my notice!!! I now have 3 months to get my life sorted!!

Also managed a 60min run with the last 30mins at threshold on the way home, felt pretty good.

Definitely feels as though this was the right decision, I'm excited about what the future may hold and what it has in store for me.

I've got to use every day now to make things happen, if I just sit back and expect things to come to me I will end up with nothing, its time to get moving....

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Starting to get interesting

Things got a little more interesting today, can't say anything yet but it could be just what I'm looking for..... I have a meeting about it on 8th October so will be able to give a full update after that, stay posted....

Knackered today... 12 mile run to work, at my desk by 7.30a.m. not the best idea ever, made the day drag on forever! 10 mile run home in the pouring rain.

Missy (my cat) was waiting patiently for her dinner on my return, not sure what she does all day but she doesn't have a bad life!! Quite similar to a full time athlete in fact, she gets up goes out for a little run, home for some food then rests and sleeps for the rest of the day, maybe another little run, some more food and some more sleeping.....

Missy resting in the grass
Over and out.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Session Tuesday

run in the morning with Becs joining me on the bike, we spotted some deer which is always a good start to the day....

Session with Toby Lambert this evening, 8 x 1km off 75seconds. Decent session, a move in the right direction.

Arrived home to the best spag bol ever!! lovingly made by the gorgeous Rebecca xxx

The gorgeous Rebecca Gray

Monday, 27 September 2010

Back to work.

10mile run to work this morning.

General day of boredom but some interesting news from my good friend Mr Toby Lambert:

More on that to follow....

So is it time to hand in my notice?? I will think about this and make a decision for next week.

10mile run home, mackerel with a beetroot cous cous salad for dinner then off to the supermarket with Becs.

Session with the Lambert tomorrow, 8 x 1000m off 75 seconds, should be good.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday, Boring Sunday

90min steady run this morning.

Cut the grass in the afternoon..

Becs made cupcakes in the evening...

What a fun life I am living...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Where am I going?

Looking for a way to change my life, hopefully this will involve running but we will see......
I've only got one life it's time to live it.