Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Weeks 29 & 30

Back In The Game

It has been a pretty good couple of weeks, the shins seem to be weakening in their fight against me, perhaps they have run off at the thought of challenging me as I have ramped up to what I have affectionately called Project Sparta. I am sure the message got passed down my veins and their reaction was a bit like woah I don't wanna be messing with Barker the Spartan man he sounds tough. So all is well now and I am positive it will stay that way until I take part in the biggest half marathon in the world in just 7 weeks!

Since the shins have retracted I have made good use of this by completing 6 and 7.2 miles in the last 2 weeks, I have cut down the running to once a week to keep injury free. I can not tell you what a relief it is to be completing this mileage again, honestly I can not quite explain enough at how frustrating it is to have to stop mid way through your training, it is probably a bit like going to enjoy a cuppa tea and a chocolate hob nob only to find out that there is only one hob nob and that one has gone all soft and dry and has lost the very essence that makes it the best biscuit, incredibly frustrating especially when you are trying to be good with your diet and will have to wait a couple more weeks to treat yourself. I hope you now understand the frustrations.

So in short I am back timings can improve but for now it is getting the distance in, one lap of Pitsford hurt a little bit next journey 8 miles.

Butterfly Release

As you all know one of the charities I am running for is Children are Butterflies, and since I last wrote my family and I attended their annual butterfly release, hosted at Ivy Cottage in Hollowell. The thinking behind this event is pretty awesome, Ann (Director of the charity) nurtures the butterflies herself from caterpillar to butterfly and handles them with care so in time they can be released in memory of families lost babies.

So the setting for this fantastic event was in a back garden and what a garden it was, semi-wild I believe it is referred to, abundant with wildlife and colour and treasured by the owners who from what I gather were inspired to do this for their grandchildren, some fantastic ideas have been implemented including painting up an old caravan based on the railway children story books and using it as a play house. If any one is into gardens then I recommend visiting on one of their open days

And so with the weather holding up for all the families in attendance it was time for the butterfly release, the names of each child read out and the families going up and holding a butterfly in their hands before releasing them into the wild, I think we were the last ones to go up and release our butterfly. I held the butterfly safely in my hands and went to release it, but my butterfly did not want to go straight off, it decided to land on my chest instead, I think it was Jasmine giving me a hug and acknowledging she knows she is always in my heart a real poignant moment for me

A special thanks to all at Children are Butterflies for arranging this event and long may it continue bringing some joy to bereaved parents

Big News

Today there was a big announcement, I can only presume Mo Farah heard I was doing the great north run and thought that man could do with some competition and so he and Gebrselasie have decided to enter in the race, more fool them sabotaging their careers coming up against me, I jest but hey how incredible is it to say that I have raced with these legends in what looks like it is going to arguably be the best Great North Run yet.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Weeks 26,27 & 28

The Great Man

Its been a few weeks since I last wrote a post, sometimes life just throws things at you that move you off course on the path you are travelling, normally that road is a bit quick sandy probably in the arctic, you just kind of freeze you move around a bit just for survival.

Since I last wrote sadly my wife's gramp Roy who I am proud to call my 3rd Granddad lost his fight to the big C, In the 3 years I have know him, I can honestly say I learnt a lot from him, firstly his attention to conversation, he always had something to ask you, and his strongest asset, something I would say he must have trained like a shaolin monk to learn was the art of listening. No matter how mundane the subject matter he always seemed interested, little things like how your working week was. I think anyone can make a conversation but only a few master it and he certainly did.

Since I started training for this run way back in January, he was one of my keenest supporters, having a passion for shoes it started from the moment I bought my 1st pair of aasics, he gave them the full inspection followed by the thumbs up seal of approval, always a good sign when a man who worked in shoes for such a long time approves, he would always ask for updates on how far I have run what my timing was like, and always safely encouraged me, Saying how well I was doing but to make sure I don't injure myself.

Well I tried not to injure myself but my legs just would not listen, I will really miss Gramps but I will use his energy and enthusiasm he had for life even at 90 years old, to do him and my daughter proud while they watch me from above

8 weeks to go

I can not believe that there is 8 weeks to go until I am lining up with 56,000 other runners as we set off on the 13.2 mile course. I think nerves are starting to kick in now, realistically I have 6 weeks of training to do, but with the shins showing no sign of retreat I have had to adopt a new regime this late on in the game, I am going to just focus on doing 1 long run a week and topping up my cardio with cross training, this seems to be the only choice I have at the minute, hopefully after a few long runs I will get back into the groove of things we will wait and see.

Since I last wrote the fundraising total has now surpassed the £500.00 mark I am overwhelmed by this, believe me it will make such a difference to the lives of bereaved parents

Right that is me done for now, stay safe

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Weeks 24 & 25

Rehab and Kinesio Tape

So I pick up where I left off, carrying on with attempting to cure these cursed shin splints. Over the last 2 weeks I have basically gone right back to basics, no running over 2 miles, with the clock ticking this is really really frustrating now and I am slightly getting nervous about the big event now.

The sessions I have been having with the sports therapist have been bearing some fruit, not quite your nice juicy fruit more baby fruit at this stage. I have loosened up all the joints around the ankle and the hip now which is good news and the treatment has stepped up with the usage of laser therapy and kinesio tape.

The results so far have lead to me running 2 miles feel comfortable not pain free, but a major difference it will be interesting to see how it holds up after a run of at least 6 miles. My goodness it is crazy how much I actually miss running that distance at a minimum. I have read a lot of doubt expresses about the use of kinesio tape but based on my experience I would recommend it to any one with a niggling injury they can not shift, if you are like me and you have hairy legs then removing the tape without it turning in to some sort waxing beauty treatment is a challenge in its self.

Hopefully with this treatment things will improve and I can up the distance again, a frustrated runner is not the kind of runner you want to see.


Sometimes visiting Jasmine's garden is one of the most relaxing places on earth a place that is good for your inner soul, then there are times where you realise you should not be here and actually the place is distressing. In the last 2 weeks they have started to build more gardens on a new row. Since Jasmine's funeral in October her row of neighbour's is now full there are 13 gardens in a row, this gives you a picture of just how many families are affected by child loss and each time a new garden is created a bit of your heart breaks for the other families. Nothing prepares you for the number of people effected and this is why I am running for the charities who will help to save lives. Once again I thank you all for your support so far.

Well that's me for the next 2 weeks, keep safe