Despite Caroline tragically losing her battle against cancer in 2012, presenter Davina, sported a wide smile as she ran in the London heat, showing off her athletic frame.
Not only did she run in this event she took to the stage beforehand leading a vey energetic warm up for several hundred women about to start in a 5k or 10 event depending upon what they signed up for. Many women were here again as part of a series events run throughout the year by Race for Life. Many women run for a loved one who has fallen foul of this cruel illness, many hope to achieve a target, many hope to raise money so a research can be funded so a cure can be found!
Currently Davina presents The £100k Drop (channel 4) swept her brunette locks away from her face into a ponytail, to show off a beaming smile throughout the day for this sporting event. Davina was one of thousands of women at the Cancer Research UK race in Blackheath, and said afterwards that it had been 'an amazing experience'.
Davina was just one person today several hundred and possibly thousand women took park, bringing along family and friends showing support in such glorious weather, today was clearly a successful event. I've attend this event alone for the last 6 or 7 and it seems to get bigger and better each time.
I urge you to have fun and support this event, doing so will help so, so many people. If not please donate to many of the just giving offical pages where the money raised will go to a good cause. With much thanks :-
Overnight Oats Improved My Lifestyle
I’m a firm believer in “Breakfast” and it being the most important meal of the day. You would never start your car on a family trip to the seaside on an empty tank, so why start the day to a hectic work family/lifestyle on an empty stomach? I’ve tried many breakfasts before rushing out the door and probably with a bowl twice the recommended serving size and nothing particularly healthy. As I got older, the cereal stopped and was replaced by fuel that helped me get through the day, well at least until lunchtime.
THE COMMITMENT TO BREAKFAST
In recent years, I’ve made more of an effort to eat breakfast. Instant oats became a go-to, and I would occasionally make eggs or avocado toast, pancakes and Greek yoghurt. I then read an article, it sounded a clever idea so feeling mildly ambitious. To try overnight oats, I decided to give them a whirl.
Overnight oats are exactly what they sound like, provided you think they sound like oats you make overnight. The exact recipe can be customized to your taste, but the two basic ingredients are the same as always — oats and liquid. Instead of relying on hot water or heated milk, you keep things cold, allowing the oats to form overnight in the fridge.
If you want to spruce things up from there — and, trust me, you do — you can add other ingredients like Greek yogurt, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, a little honey (and I mean little) and other oat-friendly items. Berries are a smart addition that can be added in the morning before eating to freshen things up. Depending on how you make your overnight oats, the end result can be delicious, nutritious and filling — exactly what you need to start your day.
THE GREAT OAT EXPERIMENT
I resolved to make overnight oats for five straight days. I kept it up, regularly experimenting with ingredients and wound up exceeding those five days … by about 25 days. Yes, I ate overnight oats every day for a month. Not only did they provide me with much-needed morning fuel, I could ride/run to work, perform in a busy office and not feel the mid-morning crash and helps me maintain a good weight for my sporting activates — and I haven’t gotten off since.
Breakfast is often touted as the most important meal of the day. Whether that’s true is some people will argue it’s debatable, I am a firm believer, for me, skipping breakfast meant I would often make poor lunchtime decisions. Because, come midday, I was starving. And when you’re starving, it’s common to overeat, or to grab the first thing in front of you, even if it’s unhealthy.
Now, whether it’s overnight oats or egg-topped avocado toast, breakfast is an everyday occurrence. And that means I can opt for a lighter midday meal. Throw in a healthy dinner, and I’ve accomplished something: an entire day of good food choices. That was a lot more difficult when breakfast wasn’t on the table.
So, thanks, overnight oats; you’ve treated me right. I will continue to eat you 3–4 times per week. And when I don’t, I will eat something else. Because I’m a breakfast person now.
If you want to make your own overnight oats, recipes abound. But I’m partial to the below.
Overnight Oats Recipe
1/4 cup whole rolled oats
1/3 cup milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 banana, finely diced (Or cup of Blueberries)
1 teaspoon Flax seeds
Cinnamon to taste
Add all into an airtight container, cover, refrigerate overnight; in the morning, you have saved precious time by preparing your breakfast so all that is left to open and enjoy.
What do you look for when buying a bike light? You might consider brightness and decent battery life as being important features, or you might want a light that offers good visibility in the dark. But what about being seen during the daytime? How much emphasis do you place on daylight visibility? It's something that cyclists should consider also?
It is a crucial aspect of cycling safety that many people tend to ignore when making their purchase. But when you consider that an incredibly high 80 per cent of cycling accidents happen during the day, and with a significant increase in fatalities within a 10-year period, it’s become evident that visibility during the day is now just as important as being seen in the dark.
A greater emphasis has been placed on cyclists being seen during daylight hours. Companies are designing bike lights specifically for daylight visibility, and it makes sense when you look at some of the research that has been conducted into road safety in recent years.
Following a study of 184 cyclists previously involved in collisions, Australian researcher Phillipe Lacherez found motorists had “looked but didn’t see” the cyclist before it was too late. He suggested that that a solution to this was both wearing reflective clothing and fitting a light which works during the daytime and also at night. Many cyclists sport high-visibility gear when on the roads, but hi-vis clothing only offers visibility during daylight hours as it reflects UV rays from the sun. Lacherez suggested the use of reflective strips on your knees and ankles that allows the lights from cars to bounce back and signal a cyclist’s movement.
In another survey conducted in Denmark, 4000 cyclists were enrolled in an experiment that again proved the benefit of daytime visibility. In the survey, 2000 only used their lights during the hours of darkness, while the other 2000 participants used their bike lights all day. The results showed that there was a 47 per cent decrease in accidents when lights were used throughout the day.
Also, since 2011, all new cars in Europe are required to be fitted with daytime running lights because of the proven safety benefits. If large vehicles like cars need to be seen during the hours of daylight, then surely it makes sense for a cyclist to also require high visibility?
Most accidents have been found to happen during the hours around dawn and dusk. This is partly due to rush-hour traffic, and also because of factors including changing ambient light conditions which can make it more difficult for motorists to spot cyclists. Bright, visible bike lights can help counter that problem by giving cyclists more of a presence during the day.
Almost half of fatalities occur on rural roads , making them particularly dangerous for cyclists. There are various factors which contribute to the high volume of accidents. Not only does the speed limit tend to be higher, but isolated routes can also be unlit or have poor lighting. Having a bike light that flashes brightly from both front and rear can alert drivers of a cyclist’s presence before they get too close to you, reducing the risk of a collision or near miss.
Motorists have a vital role to play in helping reduce the number of cyclist fatalities and accidents on our roads. Research has found that 60% of major collisions happen at junctions, with drivers commonly reporting that they ‘failed to look properly’. Better awareness of other road users is a crucial factor of road safety for motorists and cyclists alike.
A cyclist also has to be aware of the traffic around them, and by making themselves more visible they are taking an important step towards improving their own road safety.
Improving cycle safety isn’t just important for reducing fatalities, it can also encourage more people to take up cycling. And the more cyclists we have on the roads, the better cycling infrastructure can be developed to improve the overall cycling experience. Cambridge University found that 85% of local cycling correlating with the provision of better cycle routes. So if we cycle, they’ll build it, and if they build it, we’ll cycle more.
As you can see from my website, I am an avid fan of a variety of sports and being a fan I do and like to throw myself into the deep end and participate in sports when I can. I’ve been doing this since I was at junior school and even now at my age, even though it has been made a little harder to squeeze in the training due to family and work commitments etc It will not and doesn’t stop my enjoyment towards my chosen sport. Even breaking down due to injury that my veteran age brings along with it due to wear and tear does not stop my enjoyment of sports.
For me being a fan of running I have participated in most distances from 100 metres to marathons however, I do stay well clear of cross country events for the reason I ran my last cross county whilst at school, against other schools and as you can expect in atrocious weather conditions with a bellowing sports teacher demanding more effort still brings me nightmares that I vowed never, ever run in one again!
If anything this highlights the work and dedication that our elite sports stars face on a daily basis just to stay at the top of their game, hence the phrase “Eat, Sleep Train, Repeat” because in a nutshell this is exactly what they do.
Sleeping is easy and mustn’t be overlooked. This is the time your body needs to recover and recharges you for the following day ahead allowing you to cope with the demands that everyday life will throw at you the next day. Training, well this brings sweat and tears. The harder you work here the more benefits you will see at a later date as you become stronger your training becomes to a certain degree… easier. Now with the eating and fluid consumption this is the fuel that enables you to perform. It’s taken me a while but through a little experience by now, I’ve learnt that if you consume the wrong foods at the wrong time and then expecting your body to perform… at its best… will just not happen. You will need to consume no more food than you actually need but support your body with vitamins and minerals and giving your body the energy it needs (carbs) and tools to repair muscles (protein). This is just to live an everyday life but by taking part in a sport will require an increase in water, carbohydrates and protein. Looking at billboards and magazine articles there’s certainly enough adverts to highlight this, although advice given does vary from person to person and nutritionists.
The hours I actually work is not consistent and there are times in the day I find my energy levels dropping and I need a quick boost. I have a BOSCH coffee machine to which I use to give me a caffeine boost first thing in the mornings before a training run, work or mid-morning always helps. However… the (named) caffeine bought from a high street shop I never realised there was such a difference until now. Firstly certain brands helped pick me up I became alert but once this wore off the energy crash made me feel worse than I did before? So I would have another coffee and again the crash would occur and so this energy cycle continued to which and unfortunately I thought this was normal and acceptable. I would also drink coffee brands and taking into account how much I drink these brands would upset my fragile stomach with bloating and discomfort that in the end this pain just wasn’t work the coffee consumption.
In April of this year I was looking on social media and saw a retweet advertising a company called EnergySnacks. A company that sold sports nutrition products at a very competitive price. I was due to run the London Marathon later that month so energy gels and drinks was high on my consumption list as I still needed to do my last long training run before the marathon itself. My package arrived and it was very nice of EnergySnacks to throw in a few free samples of products they sell. Not only is this very generous but these products were going to be useful to me. SweetPeaks a small bag of sweets I can consume just before a run for another energy boost and a few sachets of TrueStart coffee. I have to say TrueStart coffee was a company that I had never even heard of before but using these free samples that were given to me and the impact it has made I’m so grateful to EnergySnacks for highlighting them to me. For my marathon though I’m afraid I felt it was too late in my training with my big event just days away to experiment with these new items but since this marathon, drinking TrueStart coffee a Columbian natural coffee that supplies a high dose of caffeine is now top of my nutrition list. To date it has never upset my stomach and I have never experienced an energy crash the way other brands make me feel and my Bosch coffee machine has now become virtually redundant and is a bit of a eye sore in my kitchen now as it sits there gathering dust. TrueStart as a company are quick to highlight coffee and its benefits and I have found myself drinking it hot or cold and following their recipe guide and putting a few scoops of TrueStart coffee into my baking so I’m consuming more coffee than I ever did before with no sign of discomfort and I am clearly seeing the benefits. It just saddens me that my “A-race” being the Virgin London marathon is so many months away but feel this coffee will now help me train for my thirteenth marathon and being thirteen I don’t want it to be an unlucky one. A coffee before my run or bike ride makes me more alert and I’m using the coffee as energy before this wears off and I’m resorting to my own body state itself (which is a good thing) giving me a better work out. My mile splits on my bike and on foot are coming down drastically, I’m maintaining and improving my pace but yet my heart rate is lowering, it just feels so good. I also use this as a recovery drink too. This good natural coffee intake is helping me burn calories and the increase in caffeine is helping me with my cardiovascular work rate and as an asthmatic I thank the lord of such natural benefits. Consuming this make of coffee and reduced bloating is slimming me down to a more acceptable race weight and abdominal and core exercises means just that and I’m actually seeing the results as it is generally making me more defined and stronger.
There has to be a benefit using TrueStart coffee as I was pleased to purchase a TrueStart coffee one day from the club house of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers. Blackheath and Bromley are a incredibly successful athletic club and currently boast athletic stars such as Adam Gemili, Dina Asher-Smith and Shannon Hylton who are doing incredibly well for Team GB. These are a few stars you may have heard of but the training they put their younger athletes through I’m pretty sure more of these younger athletes will follow the paths of their older team members.
As you can see I use TrueStart coffee for sporting reason but even on my rest days and even if I wasn’t a sporty person TrueStart coffee would be helping me get through my hectic day. If this is meeting deadlines at work or separating my children arguing over who has control of the Sky remote (even though its me! Who pays the subscription fee) Consuming a good coffee is a good thing and I would recommend this over more famous named brands every day of the week and i can assure you drinking too much of this coffee will not give you the jittery shakes and twitches that you assume would be the side affect.
If your're still not convinved then please read the blog "12 ways coffee makes you happier, smarter and stronger"
I’ve been a Photo Mechanic fanatic for just over a year now and have to kick myself for not jumping ship and using it sooner! It’s proved itself many times over as an worthy companion and an indispensable partner in my photography workflow.
I started up relationship with Adobe’s Lightroom. Seduced by its fuller features and the promise of being able to get me through my entire workflow from start to finish trusting the Adobe promise. However it baffles me how they could not make Lightroom as good as Photo Mechanic?
As my catalog grew, in this current IT industry the software has became more processor intensive with each update, as RAW files became bigger with each new camera, and when I transitioned to using Full frame camera, Lightroom and I began to develop serious problems in our relationship.
Dismayed, I decided to call Photo Mechanic again. Out of the blue, I downloaded the latest version, Within minutes of loading up and browsing through a folder of images, I realized just how much I had been missing.
There are so many reasons I love Photo Mechanic, and why the program was so vital to my workflow in the first place. Although the initial fee for the license is pretty steep. Its going to be money well spent, However, I guarantee you won’t totally disown using Lightroom either. The difference now is that my relationship is not exclusive. Lightroom is still very much in the picture, and I’ve learned to get along and be happy with both programs.
I guess you could call it “complicated,” because I’ve figured how to make the best use of both programs. Each of them has very good qualities, but neither of them is perfect for everything. Isn’t that just like life?
So, now that I’ve given you my relationship history, I’ll tell you the 4 reasons why I love Photo Mechanic Software.
1. It’s an amazingly Fast Image Browser
Photo Mechanic is so awesome because it doesn’t try to be too much. It’s a standalone image browser and that’s all. It doesn’t try to store your entire image library in a single file, you simply load a folder of images and you’re off and running. And when I say running, I mean sprinting flat out at your max heart rate.
Seriously, Photo Mechanic can browse through a folder of a few thousand RAW files SO much faster than Lightroom, even when you’re previewing full size images. In the time it takes Lightroom to load a full size image preview of a large RAW file, Photo Mechanic can browse the same images 10-15 times faster, even at full size.
The reason Photo Mechanic is so fast is that it doesn’t load the actual RAW file when browsing, it’s just loading the embedded JPEG preview. When you factor in the time spent importing, editing, choosing selects, captioning, keywording a large job or a huge batch of trip photo, the time saved with Photo Mechanic really adds up.
2. It can do So Much More Than Just Browse
I lied. It’s not just a browser. Photo Mechanic actually does a lot. It’s a very capable program that could be used as your main catalog software.
Built for speed, Photo Mechanic can Import your images from your memory cards (it can even ingest multiple cards at the same time and duplicate to another destination), Rename your files and Edit IPTC information, which includes adding captions, keywords and copyright information, and adjust capture images. The highly customizable IPTC panel lets you add an extremely wide range of notations to either one photo or entire batches.
Photo Mechanic also has a number of highly functional Editing features. You can rotate, crop, preview, tag, watermark, resize, attach gps coordinates, compare images side by side and set tags, as well as star and colour ratings. You can sort by any parameter you can think of, whether it has to do with capture time, specific metadata or EXIF data,
Finally, it has full-featured Export options. You can save and copy photos to folders and external drives, email photos, print contact sheets, create web galleries, share, upload or ftp images to sites like Twitter, Flicker, 500px, Photoshelter, Smugmug, Zenfolio, or to your own web site. Within the Export panels, you can specify size, resolution, cropping, scaling and apply either a text or graphic watermark.
What it doesn’t have is a Develop panel. That’s the reason it can’t stand entirely on its own in your workflow, but it does have an “Edit” button that will let you export your file to an external editor, like Photoshop. And, as you’ll see below…
3. The “Edit” Command Sends the Original File
When you hit the “Edit” button, Photo Mechanic sends the original file with no adjustments to the RAW editor of your choice.
That may sound straightforward, and it is, but not when compared to what Lightroom does. If you send a RAW file to an external editor in Lightroom, the file still passes through Adobe’s painfully slow process first. What hits the external editor is not the “raw” RAW file, it’s the RAW file that’s been tweaked by Adobe Camera RAW.
Photo Mechanic doesn’t have an internal processor, it just sends the straight file out with no corrections, just like if you do the whole “reveal in finder,” then open it from there, only without all those extra steps.
4. It Handles RAW + JPEG Efficiently
With the click of a Command-J keystroke, you can toggle between displaying both the RAW and JPEG images side by side, or showing them as one RAW+JPEG file. Back and forth. Either or. Anytime you wish.
With Lightroom, you have to specify on import whether the included JPEG should be treated as a separate file or not. This can be slightly problematic, especially when renumbering your images. Maybe Lightroom has an option to apply the same filename to RAW+JPEGs, but I haven’t figured out what that is.
Also, if you’re using a camera that has built-in film simulations or other special colour and effect modes, which are embedded in the JPEG, those specific “looks” disappear once you import into Lightroom if you don’t keep those files separate. Adobe just applies it’s own standard colour profile, and if Lightroom imports your RAW+JPEG files together, essentially, the JPEG just disappears.
Photo Mechanic imports the RAWs and JPEGs as separate files, but as I said, you can just toggle back and forth. This lets you customize your RAW+JPEG workflow to fit your needs.
Final Thoughts: Photo Mechanic gives you all the tools you need to do handle a large percentage of your digital photography workflow needs. It has powerful batch processing abilities, it works well with other programs, and again, it’s blazingly fast.
Don’t get me wrong, Lightroom is a great program, but Photo Mechanic is just so much faster with most tasks that you do on a regular basis. When you factor in the time it takes to upload, edit, caption, and keyword a large batch of RAW photos, the time saved can really add up.
How Fast is Photo Mechanic? Its hard for you to understand just by reading this article but when you have been out for the day and you have captured several hundred images, the Import into Photo Mechanic is amazing and then going through each image as a batch or one by one giving your images ratings you save so much time!.
That’s why I use Photo Mechanic. I have been converted and you will be too. So add this software to your workflow.
On Sunday 15th May 2017, I attended the game and left the current White Hart Lane Stadium for the last time that it will be known. It was a celebration of all the things that went on at the stadium over it's 118 year history, but will be a sad day for many, who have made the journey to the ground for Spurs matches over the years. A shiny new future awaits, but what has gone before will never be forgotten.
There has been many a Glory, Glory Nights and some not so glorious afternoons. Tottenham have had star players and those who made fleeting appearances or worked for the team without the recognition some of their team-mates have enjoyed. The fact that so many players return to be interviewed at half-time and it means so much to them, as well as the fans, says a lot for the old stadium. Their pride and passion are matched by the supporters, who are the one constant, along with the stadium, in all this. Players and managers come and go, but the ground is the nuts and bolts, with the fans being the stage dressing and the heart and soul that bring the place alive. I was pleased to hear that the design of the new stadium is to retain a lot of the atmosphere of the Lane, as it needs to have the aspects of the old ground that fan and players talk about. Fans being close to the pitch means that there is an essential feeling of being part of the game that many new stadia seem to have ignored when being built or adapted for football.
I will miss the thrill I still get, as much as when I first experienced it, of walking up the steps and seeing the glorious pitch under the flood lights... into the light and seeing the green of the pitch in front of me. The ground opens up and you feel at home straight away. And that's why they call them home games at your home ground. It is the familiar setting that you know every nook and cranny of. You know where to go and how to get there. You may even have a particular turnstile you use. I know I have and it is one I have used for over 20 years. Moving into the new ground, it will take a while to adjust to the new surroundings and develop those habits, but it will be exciting and talk of a new ground has been going on since the 1980s, when we were going to share a "super-stadium" with Arsenal at Alexandra Palace. Well, they have their new ground and we will have ours and never the twain shall meet ... which is the way it should be. Because "We are Tottenham. Super Tottenham. From The Lane" and always will be. The new ground might get naming rights, but it's proximity to the old stadium means it will still be White Hart Lane and until the very, very last of the current fans leave this earth this stadium will ALWAYS be White Hart Lane and the announcer echoing the worlds "Welcome To White Hart Lane. The World Famous Home Of The Spurs"
And how will we refer to the new parts of the ground when we move in. The Park Lane, The Paxton, West Stand or Shelfside. Enclosure, Cage or Lower East Terrace. The light blue and white painted gable end on the old West Stand, the gap when the West Stand wasn't there in the early 1980s while it was being re-built. The gap under the North Stand as Sheringham returned ... but in the red and white of United. Everyone has their own particular favourite part of the stadium and over the 35 years I have been going to see Spurs, I have always sat in the Paxton or Park Lane stands.
I was there when the lights went off against Luton for Gary Mabutt to take his team off the pitch only to return when power was restored to score a quick succession of goals and win the match. I was there to see Anderton and Sheringham’s corner kick routines fool most defences which meant lots of goals for us. There to see the trickery of David Ginola, Glen Hoddle, Chris Waddle and Paul Gazza Gascoigne and what about Gareth Bale taking Maicon to the cleaners all night long?
On the other hand, I was there when we lost to comebacks from Manchester United and City when they were 3-0 behind. I was there when Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch. I was there when there was the weirdest atmosphere against Getafe, when news came through that Martin Jol had been sacked.
Highs and lows we have suffered as Spurs fans and this season, we have had mainly highs at White Hart Lane, so the win against Manchester United of all teams at white hart Lanes final match was a very fitting finale.
So, is White Hart Lane just a football stadium ?
To those who enter it's hallowed portals, is is much more. A place of worship, a second home, a meeting place. For it is a place that brings people together. People whose names you might not know, but people who are there for the same cause. People you might not see from one week/month/year/even decade on end, but you see them at the Lane. Old school friends you haven't met since those days, suddenly come back into your life as you are standing in the queue for the turnstile. The shared experience of a football match is shared with the bricks and steel of the stadium. We are as much of the fabric of the Lane, as the building itself. Fellow supporters who have grown up around me as I visit the ground for football matches, now attend with their children, as I do too. The next generation, who will have their own memories of this fantastic old ground and then the new one to come. They will be able to tell their grandchildren what "the old White Hart Lane" was like and form their own memories of the new stadium.
Like many famous Spurs fans who attend the matches at the Lane, he will be just another one of the family. Nobody pesters them, because they are Spurs. They are there like the rest of us. To cheer the team on and have one more experience to add to the memory banks that will be on overdrive on Sunday evening. The return of many of the players who have trod the turf over many years will add poignancy to proceedings and spark flashbacks to when they wore the lilywhite and blue on the pitch at the Lane.
I hope that the game against Manchester United left us remembering that our excellent band of players gave a display of variety and ability that left the audience thrilled and impressed by their skills.
It might have been the last, but it will be one of the most cherished memories about Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane to add to many already there.
The 14th of May 2017 will go down in the history of Tottenham Hotspur for a number of reasons. Some statistical. Some factual. But mostly emotional.
In over one hundred years of football played at White Hart Lane fans of Tottenham hotspur saw players of all eras standing next to each other. Sharing memories. Taking photos and videos, just like fans. Soaking up the atmosphere for one last time. The expression on their faces seemed to reflect memories of glory flooding back into their minds as they took one last look around the famous old ground. Part missing, but in their recollections. Some wiping a tear away. Others enjoying the moment as they took to the turf that used to be their 'back garden'. Taking selfies (David Ginola) or videos of the ground (Mickey Hazard)
Famous names. Famous faces. All had shared the pitch that many fans had trod for maybe the first time in their lives just minutes before.
The whole parade had been done with class and was clearly well thought and prepared about. What else would you expect, having been organised, performed and choreographed by Spurs fans. Gospel, opera, brass band, plus backing vocals by 30,000 to boost the noise and the emotions.
And there in the middle, the old and the new. Former Spurs stars, the current squad and the academy players. And surrounding them, the old and the new. What would soon make way for the new ground grows around it.
Leaving the Lane was never going to be a n easy decision to make, with the clubs history it was never going to be easy for fans to realise no more games will be played at this iconic stadium and what a way to say goodbye by beating Manchester United 2-1 and thousands of fans showed their emotions by coming onto the pitch to say goodbye one last time. The euphoria on all their faces
I’m sure they had one last look and remembering all the times they’ve had at the Lane. Good and bad, happy and sad, but all part of the experience and history of White Hart Lane.
Going, going ... soon to be gone. But never forgotten.
Since May 2016!! i've been leading to this... The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon .
Months of preparation - of long runs, of interval runs on tired legs, training when i didn't want too or fell like doing, almost daily foam rolling, core exercises and using a suspension trainer, trying to eat clean and refusing junk food.
I hope you have experienced this yourself but if not there really is something special about running the London Marathon - with nearly 40,000 people who all have stories to tell, when with a clear line of sight you see thousands of people surrounding you.
The marshals and supporters, crowds shouting your name, willing you on to the finish especially at those tough moments. Finally seeing my family at mile 25.8 Generosity of spectators who offer jelly babies, oranges and sweets just to give us a quick boost as we head on by and fellow runners who just support each other at times of need. Basically it's a offering help to someone else as they too have been in this painful situation themselves in the past. The spectacular landmarks - running past the Cutty Sark, across Tower Bridge, along Embankment up to Big Ben and then the penultimate last few hundred metres along The Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background.
The best way this day can be described is that is - AMAZING an experience of love seeing and feeling and it saddens me when the day is over. I always seem to say to family and friends that's it! That was my last marathon.. but... a day later... the fantastic memories and reflection of "fun" i can't help but plan my next challenge, i make more plans My Perivale 5 mile race, The Cabbage Patch 10 mile race, Watford and Dartford half marathons all do wonders for self-achievement and my training but for me the London Marathon is the big one and most important to me. Even more so than my own birthday! To be fair as I'm getting older my birthday doesn't have the same significance it used too hence why the London Marathon gets promoted into the number one spot.
If there's anything you'd like to ask about this Marathon, don't hesitate to ask I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you but from the beginning :-
1) if you've just watched the London Marathon and think "I'd like to do that" Log on to the London Marathon website and enter the ballot with another 200,000 people. You may just be lucky to obtain one of 39,000 running spaces?
2) Really serious in running this marathon? Then consider running for a charity but you will have to raise sponsorship money of approximately £2,000!!
3) Once the ballot is entered then PLEASE oh PLEASE start your training NOW!!.... now, now, Now, Now! NOW!! If you're new to running this will give you ample of time to get used to ever increasing mileage, running through all the elements, allow time for body weaknesses to get highlighted in the form of injuries. You will need time to recover before starting training again
4) This will take you up to late October/November where you will find out if you were successful in the Ballot. If not still try a charity although now you will have less time to raise your required funds. If successful look at a reputable website for a training plan and choose an APPROPRIATE plan for your ability. This is usually a 16 week plan! but returning to point three!... You've already built your running foundations and won't be starting from scratch. Therefore you're on course to reach your goal in April! You'll be glad you started this early. Use social media find other runners from all over the country, they are all friendly and offer support. They've been there, seen it, done it. They can help with any concerns you will have and importantly encourage you.
5) The running plan you have chosen will say on this day do this. On this day run that... OK everyone's body is different! You will have aches and pains that need time to recover. Be sensible if your body says it needs time to recover before do x routine, move your schedule around delay it or even miss it? Your schedule is repetitive you will have time to do it again.
6) No matter your personality. You will have mood swings especially in the last few weeks! Its human nature and we've all been there, try to relax, stay focused on you goal
7) Think about have regular sports massages. They loosen muscles, eliminate aches and importantly REDUCE the chances of injuries
8) March/VERY early April plan your kit, buy new trainers, wear them in! Long runs come into play. You'll get a better idea of your pace and predicted finishing time. Whatever your time add a few more minutes especially if family will be cheering you on, on the day. This allows for fatigue, tiredness and general runner backlog
9) I personally like a massage in the last week. I also like to go to the Expo early avoid the crowd and then save your legs for the remainder of the week. Have early nights, start your carb loading and drink more fluids, especially with electrolytes
10) The day itself. You will have race nerves. Relax and focus and stick to your plan. Think of why you're running and maybe who for. You have reached the London Marathon the last 26.2 miles of your journey and training plan. You can do this! Get ready for hundreds and thousands of spectators ready to cheer you on. Even through your toughest moments, open your ears listen to the crowd. You've got this because crossing the finish line
11) Wear your T shirt and medal with absolute pride!! Tell all your family and friends. If they are rude and don't want to listen to your story again, make them! Remind them of YOUR achievement point out to them exactly how far you have run
12) Go back to point one! Do this all again!! You're an official member of the running community .
Following social media the program to watch on Tuesday night was going to be the Rio Ferdinand documentary. A documentary I can now only describe as an amazing piece of television. Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad aired on BBC One on Tuesday night, and it's fair to say it really touched, everyone and I mean everyone who watched it. If you watched this and didn’t feel the slightest bit of emotion then I would question if you are even human? The documentary showed brutal honesty and moving accounts of Rio Ferdinand and how he tragically lost his wife - and his children lost their mother - Rebecca Ellison died of breast cancer in May 2015, aged only 34. At the time the troll on the World Wide Web came online and hounded Rio Ferdinand for no real justification or reason other than they could? If these trolls watched this program I hope, really hope they feel a sense of shame?
The program featured the Manchester United legend giving a very personal account of how he and his family are coming to terms with the loss, whilst at the same time looking continuing daily life and supporting his children. The grieving process and how men deal with depression in a more general sense which stereotypically is not the norm. It pulled and to some ripped out many heart strings and was gut-wrenching, heartbreaking but beautiful, inspiring television. Rio came across as an absolute hero for just trying to do the best for his kids and attempting to deal with his own feelings of loss.
I urge you to watch this program on iPlayer if you haven't already, it's such a thought-provoking and moving piece of television.
It was a very good game of football last Saturday. Looking atthe form guide with Wigan in the relegation zone i assume Fulham were going to take full contol of this game and win with ease. How wrong was i as Wigan fell behind in the game, they came back to lead 1-2 just on the stroke of half time. Although Fulham equalised with a wonderstrike from Dennis Odoi, Wigan defended incredibly well throwing every limb they could to block as a tam every shot Fulham through at them. Somehow with a minute to go Kebano found a way trhough slotting the ball in at the fat post. Three sides of the ground erupted with joy, whilst the Wigan Athletic players sunk to their knees or place their hands on their heads in utter disbelief that their hard , hard work to earn themselves a point had just been undone in a cruel cruel way.
Fulham, looking to extend a club record 16-match unbeaten run against Wigan, Floyd Ayite had put the hosts into the lead from close range early in the first half. Having started brightly the visitors fought back and Wigan drew level when Scott Malone somehow turned Stephen Warnock's cross into his own net. The visitors could have been further ahead at half-time after Omar Bogle hit the side-netting with only keeper David Button to beat.
Michael Jacobs slid in Max Power's cross to put the visitors ahead as the firt half was coming to an end in first-half stoppage-time. Wigan lost goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard to injury at half-time, with Matt Gilks taking over, but again went close to a third goal when Bogle was denied by Button.
Sone Aluko hit the crossbar with a shot for the hosts before Odoi's stunning strike levelled the scores.Denis Odoi's fantastic 35-40 yard shot found the bottom corner for Fulham past replacement goalkeeper Matt Gilks
The match looked likely to become the 11th draw between the sides in the last 17 meetings until Kebano struck on his return from Africa Cup of Nations duty with DR Congo. Kebano curled home in a dramatic finish.
Fulham move up a place to ninth - within six points of the play-off places - following their win, while Wigan remain next to bottom and five points from safety.
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