Tag Archives: Maggie’s

Final Preparations For Oxford Half

As I sit here now, Sunday the 15th of July seems a very long time ago.  Over the last 13 weeks I have completed 41 of the 52 scheduled work outs in my build up to my first half marathon since the 2005 Great North Run (I know I’ve previously quoted the 2006 GNR as my last half but, it turns out after reviewing my medals, that 2005 was my last!) and hopefully my first under 2 hours. Continue reading Final Preparations For Oxford Half


I know things have been a bit quiet on my blogging front recently.  I’ve had a bit of a low key few months on the running and blogging front following the completion of my year-long challenge for Maggie’s Centres.  With my final pledges filing in it looks like I’m going to have raised £2,000 which will be doubled by my employer which is an awesome achievement.  I’m chuffed to bits – thank you to everyone who have donated, supported and kept me going, including the guys and girls at Maggie’s who really do appreciate the fundraising.

So although I’m taking a break from the fundraising I’ve still out on the roads.  My next challenge is a personal one – to tackle the Oxford half marathon in October.  It’ll be the first half marathon I’ve taken on since the 2006 Great North Run and it’ll be the first one I’ve taken on as a “serious” runner.  The aim is to finish in under 2 hours – how much I beat 120 minutes will depend on how the next thirteen and a half weeks go! Continue reading Jellylegs

Tomorrow Is Upon Us

Well, it’s finally here. Its the eve of the end of my year-long running challenge for Maggie’s Centres. I set out to cover 800km and raise £1 for each of them.

Here I am, 12 months down the line and I’ve covered 1,091km and raised £1,416 so far.

Tomorrow the Carterton 10k will be a celebration of what I’ve achieved for Maggie’s and, selfishly, I’m hoping for some personal glory: a 10k personal best.

I’m feeling good, I’m happy with my running & training and I’ve been a good boy this week – no beers, plenty of water and well rested.

With some friends and family running the race and more coming to cheer me on, I’m really looking forward to the race. It’s exciting!

Final Countdown

It’s Sunday evening and I think I’ve just scored another first in my eventful 12 months of running. After missing a 5k run last week and only managing a sobering 10k yesterday morning I had to somehow squeeze in 15km of running and enough rest to be fresh for next Sunday’s Carterton 10k, the conclusion of my year-long charity challenge for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. I knew there was only one thing that would get me back on track: I needed to go running now, 8.15pm on a Sunday! All I needed was some gentle encouragement from The Wife to turn the thought into reality.

I’m glad I went for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means I don’t have any unnecessary pressure on the build up to next Sunday’s race. It was also an opportunity to blow off the cobwebs from 2 night’s on the town as well as a welcome confidence boost that the legs were feeling back to normal.

So it’s now the final run in (pun absolutely intended and deserving I think you’ll agree?).

This time next week I will have completed the challenge that has not only allowed me to raise a significant amount of cash for charity (£1275 at the time of writing this) but provided the focus to enable me to actually take part in some exercise. Running is now most definitely part of my life, part of who I am, a habit.

I’m addicted and I love it!

Excuses, excuses

I’ve been frantically rescheduling the last few runs of my 12-month and 1,100km running challenge for Maggie’s Centres to ensure I hit my revised target distance.  My fundraising is up to £1275 which is awesome, hopefully I can push it further in this last week.  A busy week and weekend meant I needed to get out for a 10km run this morning after a few social bevvies last night.

It was the toughest run I’ve done in a long while.  I hadn’t gone out on Thursday or Friday after my epic 19km with John Gartland, aka Running Miss Daisy (@740miles21days) so my legs were tired and sluggish.  The four or five pints I had in our favourite pub, the Hollybush (whose sister pub the Horseshoes will be hosting a post challenge celebration in a week’s time), probably wasn’t the best preparation either.  And I have had a stinking cold this week too.

Some people may call these excuses, I like to think of them as justification!

I have eight days and 25 kilometres left of my challenge and this week will be all about being ready for an attempt to smash my PB at the Carterton 10k on Sunday 25th March.  The cold is just about gone, the legs will be fresh, I’ll be making sure I eat good stuff and the beer will have stoped.  Well, after a couple of Guinness tonight for St Patrick’s Day of course!

Spring In My Step

Tonight’s run was an absolute pleasure.  The sky was still blue, the sun was still shining.  I took the opportunity to head to Duck Lake for the first time since the Autumn and what a great choice.  Although still a touch muddy underfoot I still managed a decent pace.  There were plenty of wildlife distractions with a plethora of birds on the water and the banks.  I was making good time so I stopped to take a photo of the view:

Spring has sprung!

Another pleasant surprise, after my post-run cleanup was an e-mail from Just Giving telling me someone had made a £20 donation to my Maggie’s fundraising challenge.  My bigger surprise was, on checking my JustGiving page, that the donation has been made by a complete stranger!  A massive thank you to the generosity of Rachel Davies, who wanted to contribute to my fundraising challenge after reading a version of one of my earlier blogs that was featured in Breast Cancer Care’s Vita magazine.

My Olympic Dream

In case you have been living in a cave for the last few months, the year is 2012.  In a few months time a little sports day (or seventeen) is being held on a little parkland in the east end of London.  A few people are thinking of going to watch but I wanted to get involved in the action.

My training has been going well and I’m just getting faster and faster so maybe, just maybe I can make it.

Who am I kidding!  I’m no Team GB Olympic hopeful.  I wasn’t even successful in bearing the torch in the run up to the opening ceremony.  I have, however, received some exciting news today that brings my Olympic dream a step closer.

For the last eleven months I’ve been running to raise money to support the fantastic charity, Maggie’s, who support anyone who is affected by cancer.  Whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or are a friend or relative of someone who has, then Maggie’s are there to offer support, advice or just a friendly face and a listening ear.

As of tonight I’m only 92km and £181 away from my 1,100km and £1,100 targets so what a boost to hear that a week after I finish my challenge I will be representing Maggie’s in the Olympic Stadium!

To celebrate the Gold Challenge, an Olympic-themed charity challenge, and as part of the test events for the London Games I will be among 20,000 charity representatives, celebrity ambassadors and Team GB legends taking part in an afternoon of sport-based entertainment.  I may even get a chance to walkthe track.

Thank you Maggie’s!

It was this inspiration that had me flying through my interval session tonight, adding another 5km to my running totaliser and building my speed further to assist in my aim of achieving a PB at the Carterton 10k – join me!

Please can you help?

The self-doubt that was creeping in to my mind this week was firmly told where to go this morning thanks to some inspiration from watching the National Cross Country championships at Parliament Hill and from all the people I know are desperate to be running but can’t due to injury.  It was also an opportunity to judge, with 4 weeks of my challenge remaining, just what I could expect to achieve at the Carterton 10k.

My schedule for the remainder of my challenge had me down for a 13km run today.  I hadn’t planned a route but I knew that I wanted to test myself by aiming for a 50 minute 10k so I just stuck with a run around the edge of Witney and then I could add a couple of kilometres on at the end.

In my mind I was thinking of hitting a steady pace of 5 minutes per kilometre but my heart took control and I just went for whatever pace I could sustain.  I was determined to push myself, to toughen up, to not give in.  Proof was needed that I could control the discomfort and keep going so that I could go into the Carterton 10k knowing that I can do it.

After clocking 5k in 24:34 I allowed myself a 15 second walk, as my ankles were starting to feel the pace, ensuring I picked up the pace right away afterwards.  The pace was maintained and I even felt, at my historic brick wall of 7k, that I could push on.  In reality, in was enough to keep me at 5 minute kilometres.  With 500 metres to go I kicked on, stretching my pace to 4 minutes per kilometre.  I felt like I had gone to early and was fading but looking at the GPS data I managed to hang on to that pace and complete the 10 kilometres in a new personal best time, albeit unofficial, of 48:55.  I managed to add a 1km warm down but was happy to finish a couple short of my planned distance – as long as I don’t drop any more kilometres I can still hit the 1,100km.

I have made it to a million metres in 11 months, something that I wouldn’t have dreamt of when I embarked on completing 800km in a year.  I’ve run in some fabulous places with some fabulous people and made some new friends along the way.  I now have 4 weeks to cover the final 97 kilometres and to help secure my 10k race PB at the Carterton 10k.  I now have 4 weeks to push my fundraising total above the £919 at which it stands to raise as much as possible for Maggie’s Centres.

There are a number of ways that you can help me:

  1. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/800kmForMaggies and donate – every pound that you donate will be doubled by my employer
  2. For those of you who are runners, click here to find out how to join me for the Carterton 10k on March 25 to provide some moral support
  3. For those of you who don’t run, please join The Wife and others in cheering me on at the Carterton 10k – I cannot stress to non-runners how much positive impact your cheers make on keeping the legs moving quickly
  4. If all else fails please tell your friends, families and followers about me and my challenge by e-mailing, reposting or retweeting this blog https://runningdanw.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/please-can-you-help/

Thanks in advance for you help and thanks for reading.

Approaching A Million Metres

I write this blog in the 3G and WiFi blackspot that is the Holiday Inn in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, where I am staying again for a couple of days for some head office work.

The recession has been unkind to many businesses and we have been no exception but we have a few great people at the top of our organisation who are pushing in the right direction. I have a very interesting role working alongside the Directors & Senior Managers on Business Improvement.

The work is varied and challenging. It feels like I can really make a difference. That is until you hit one of the brick walls. I’m sure you’ve got them in your organisation.

I hit a brick wall hard this morning. Not physically, otherwise I’d have been hauled in front of HR. I mean metaphorically of course.

This isn’t unusual in my role but this morning I hit this one hard. It was bigger than most I’ve hit and I hit it faster than I’ve hit one before. The way the debris covered me took me by surprise.

Needless to say, I was strapped in and wearing my helmet. So I’ve dusted myself off, informed the appropriate authorities and I’m back on my way. I’ll be fine, so will the business.

I’ve no idea if any of my colleagues read this – it’ll be interesting to see if anyone asks me more tomorrow but now back to business: my running challenge!

Another 6 kilometres tonight in Westhill have taken me to 992km on my journey to 1100km. It was a solid run but left me worried that my pace over 5 & 6km isn’t where I want it to be.

As well as aiming for 1100km (& more importantly £1100 for Maggie’s Cancer Centres) I’m aiming to beat my 10k PB of 51:46.

I’ve run faster in training & ultimately I’ve had two long, tiring days at work so probably shouldn’t be worried. I’ve made some awesome progress recently so I need to believe in my ability.

I guess some of the apprehension is over the challenge coming to an end. And whether I’ll hit my self imposed target of £1100. And whether I’ll beat my PB by what I’d be happy with. And whether a little target I had on the side – to inspire 20 others to run with me on my final run – will actually materialise. Lots of people have said they were interested over the weeks but were they just being polite? I don’t want to pester as I’ve been banging on for 11 months about my running. I guess we’ll see on March 25th.

This blogging lark is very therapeutic. What on earth did I do before? 🙂