Thursday, 31 January 2013

Week 3

Mind Battles

Welcome back to a fresh chapter in my Great North Story. As with previous weeks, I have continued with my plan as set by the website the ante was upped a little this week with longer running stints and longer brisk walks which will continue apace over the next couple of weeks.

This week I think has been challenging not physically but mentally, cravings have kicked in, temptations to tuck into a nice piece of lemon drizzle or a munch on a bar of the sweet delicacy that is a chocolate bar,any thing will do. It has been hard, it is strange to be caught between the tug of war that is in your mind. One side saying "Come on Luke look at us lovely beautiful tasting pieces of devilish food, you know you want us, what damage will just one do?" You could say they tease you in like some sort of scantily clad temptress offering you all you could want if you give up something that you just don't quiet know how important it is too you. If your body is a temple then these are the other religions attempting you to convert and give up on your temple for a new one.

The other half of your brain like a knight in medieval times comes to your rescue and begins battle knowing that it will be a long hard battle but at the end of it all the world will be a better place and for that reason them exposing themselves to such enemies is good enough reason. The leader of the knight's he speaks boldly and with truth, he tells you that there is much more to be achieved if you join him in his battle and stay strong, he promises you that your temple will be the greatest temple in the land and all good will occur when you get to the promised land. It could be so easy to give in you could think no that battle is too hard, what chance do we have to survive I will never make it to the promised land, the land that is green and luscious, the enemy will eat away at my temple throwing it to ruin like so may temples gone before.

I have chose to fight so many times this week I have been offered the sweet things in life and I have turned them down each time, with a great sense of satisfaction I just think it would be so easy to have one but that as so often happens leads to another and another, those close to me will know that I have what could be called a biscuit addiction I was not one of those people who could just have a maximum of 2 biscuits with a cup of tea that was just wrong I had to have as close to the whole packet as I could. It has been 3 weeks since I last had a biscuit 3 weeks since I last had 2 sugars in my cup of tea, it is unreal what you can overcome if your mind is fully focused on getting where you want to be.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Week 2

Here's to good health

Another week has gone the last of the relaxed work out's has happened the intensity will step up a notch this coming week.
Looking back on the previous week I feel like there has been a big improvement to my well being and this all from just 20 minute brisk walks and eating healthier. It is amazing to me that such small changes can make a difference especially in your mental alertness, I am more switched on and able to take on and understand information more readily. If your looking to increase your well being just these small changes really do make a huge difference.

This week I have continued with the small steps and on Tuesday stepped it up from brisk walks to 6 x 1 minute run followed by 1 minute easy walk. This will gently ease me up to being able to run non stop for 20 minutes.
I have also completed two 20 minute sessions on the rowing machine this week coming in at 1000 reps.

A thing that has also struck me is my focus on achieving the results, I have many times attempted to get fitter but give up as soon as it gets too cold or wet or just a bit too hard, this time there is no room for complacency so despite the snow fall this week, I have not waned I have not give in, I have been out there in the sub zero temperatures ensuring I get the best preparation possible to achieve the success.

Weighing In

Weighed in first thing this morning and was extremely happy with the result good bye 15st and friends hello 14st and mates. I have managed to lose half a stone in just 2 weeks, it's these results that really give you some encouragement knowing you are heading in the right direction, thank the world for spinach rice and sweet potato.
Just to reiterate that this loss came from walking 3 times a week and 3 sessions on a rowing machine.


A side from all this preparation my life that was rocked so badly continues on, I went to see Jasmine on Wednesday at the cemetery in Kingsthorpe and they had dug a hole in preparation for another baby to be laid to rest that will be the 4th child since we laid Jasmine to rest in October, and the 7th in her row since September.

More then 1 child a month is buried in Kingsthorpe alone so far, I have no idea whether there are more cremated or in the cemetery at Delapre, either way it is an incredible number, and each time you see this it hits you and you feel for the bereaved parents fully understanding what they are going through it verges on torturous at times and I hope that they have such supporting families as I am lucky in having as that makes such a difference.
Obviously events like this show that there is a lot more we need to learn to make pregnancy safe and reiterates why I am choosing to do this run. More needs to be done, education is a necessity to stop this happening, It also shows that a support network will help and is needed for everyone affected by the loss of a child.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Week 1

Ok so I am at the end of week 1 since I was accepted to do the North Run 2013 so I thought I should update with things that I have done so far.

Small Steps

After downloading a plan created for me when registering for the North Run I have started following this to the exact letter. I have done 3 20 minute brisk walks so far, sounds pathetic when that sort of thing makes you feel like you have done an ok work out, obviously this is getting my lungs working a bit better and ready for harder things to come. I have one more week of brisk walking before I start the running.

Other things I have done this week include one of the main things a runner needs, a good pair of trainers. I visited sweatshop in Milton Keynes for help picking the right footwear for me. When there I was put on a machine which looks at the shapes of your feet and Achilles alignment. Turns out one of my feet is perfect the other not so. Some specially made insoles were baked to my foot contours for extra support and I was put to the test on a treadmill.
Now this was interesting whilst you are running on the treadmill there is a camera recording your movements, This is used to review your running style. I was told that I was a heel striker (from reading various documents this is not a good thing and something I need to change going forward.) and also that I over pronuncated, so my ankle rolled in too much, trainers with more ankle support did the trick, a few pounds later and I am now an owner of a pair of asics trainers.

This week I have also started to look at the foods I eat and have started to eat better to improve my general well being, gone is white bread, in is whole meal, out is 2 sugars now down to 1, meals will contain more vegetables and protein along with carbs, ready for when I ramp up the sessions

Thursday, 10 January 2013

My Bio

  • Name:Luke Barker
  • Sex: Male
  • Height:6'0"
  • This page will be updated weekly to show hopefully some signs of progress

    Date Weight BMI Muscle Mass Body Fat
    10/01/2013 15.6 Stone 29.26 -overweight 69.5% 26.4%
    17/01/2013 15.3 Stone 28.85 -overweight 69.9% 26.0%
    24/01/2013 14.13 stone 28.34 -overweight 70.5% 25.4%
    31/01/2013 14st 12lb 6oz 28.34 -overweight 70.5% 25.4%
    07/02/2013 14st 10lb 2oz 27.92 -overweight 70.6% 25.3%
    14/02/2013 14st 7lb 8oz 27.53 -overweight 71.4% 24.4%
    21/02/2013 14st 5lb 9oz 27.26 -overweight 71.7% 24.1%
    28/02/2013 14st 5lb 9oz 27.26 -overweight 71.7% 24.1%
    07/03/2013 14st 4lb 4oz 27.11 -overweight 71.9% 23.9%
    14/03/2013 14st 2lb 2oz 26.84 -overweight 72.2% 23.6%
    21/03/2013 14st 1lb 8oz 26.72 -overweight 72.3% 23.5%
    28/03/2013 14st 1lb 8oz 26.72 -overweight 72.3% 23.5%
    04/04/2013 14st 1lb 8oz 26.72 -overweight 72.3% 23.5%
    11/04/2013 13st 13b 25.72 -overweight 73.4% 22.3%
    18/04/2013 13st 13b 25.72 -overweight 73.5% 22.2%
    25/04/2013 13st 13b 25.72 -overweight 73.5% 22.2%
    02/05/2013 13st 11lb 25.46 -overweight 73.8% 21.9%
    09/05/2013 13st 11lb 25.46 -overweight 73.9% 21.8%
    16/05/2013 13st 10lb 25.34 -overweight 74.0% 21.7%
    23/05/2013 13st 10lb 25.34 -overweight 74.0% 21.7%
    23/05/2013 13st 8lb 24.92 -Healthy Weight 74.1% 21.6%
    06/06/2013 13st 8lb 24.92 -Healthy Weight 74.1% 21.6%
    13/06/2013 13st 8lb 24.92 -Healthy Weight 74.4% 21.3%

    Wednesday, 9 January 2013

    My Story The Reasoning

    This year I have been lucky enough to be accepted to take part in the great North Run 2013, I have decided that it would be interesting to write this blog to detail my journey from a man who struggles to run 13 yards with out puffing to a 13.1 mile marathon man.

    Why am I running?

    On the 14th September 2012 I suffered the an horrendous loss that has changed my life completely. On a day that should have been the happiest day of my life transcended into a nightmare. I had spent all day in an excited anticipation as my wife was in labour and I was about to see my 1st born baby girl for the first time.

    20:34 she was born, but she did not take a breath, all resuscitation efforts failed, our baby girl had died, she was the most perfect baby you could ever imagine, she weighed in at 8lb 6oz and was 60 cm from crown to heel and looked just like me.

    You can not describe the devastation that this caused and life will never be the same again, the thoughts that going through your head are so extreme from what they were just 12 hours earlier. Before you are planning her life and how to raise her and also happy at becoming a family. The reality we were faced with was planning her funeral and facing the struggle to cope with life.

    The Charities

    It would seem that now would be a good time to mention the charities I will be running for.

    Children are butterflies

    This charity is based in Northampton and is one we will always hold in high esteem.
    They were there for us when it came to arranging the funeral for us, they provided this service to us at no cost to ourselves, understanding that this is already an incredibly difficult time for us and families in our position. This charity is also more that just helping towards funeral costs, they are also incredibly supportive and helpful, On the occasions when we met with Clare(one of the workers) we often ranted about our experiences to her and at no point did we feel she was not interested, every one just listened and that is something we needed at that time.
    As well as helping with the arrangements they also provide us with a personalised memory box which contained many thoughtful touches and memorial items that we would never have thought of, such a wonderful charity and I can not thank them enough


    Sands are the uk's leading charity when it comes to reducing the number of still borns and neonatal deaths, they campaign for research to reduce the 17 families a day affected by this tragedy. They also help to provide you with comfort in the most trying of times and the memory box they provide will always help and comfort us.