Three months ago, my mate Mark had asked me if I fancied doing the Lancaster Half Marathon with him in November. Since our last race (my first) back in March, we needed another challenge to keep us motivated, so we signed up and started training again.

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Yesterday I was contacted by an F1 fan (Mac) @againstsharedF1 on twitter who also blogs about Formula1. As he’d come across my own posts, he invited me to write for his own blog. It’s the first time I’ve been asked to write for someone else, so I gave it a go and this is what I posted.

I remember when there were only four TV channels available. We would have football shown on a Saturday afternoon (along with the wrestling), and Boxing would be on every Saturday night. Now, if you want to watch a football match or a big fight, you need to remortgage your house, and then, only if you have Sky.

With only Freeview in my house at the moment, I took some comfort in the fact I could at least watch SkySports News to keep up with the scores and top stories. Oh hang on, that went back to Sky too. Actually, it recently became part of one of the subscription packages!

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An old friend of mine who works for the Journal was asking for anyone who would be interested in being the subject of a weekly Health and Fitness article called Health MOT, which involves a quick Q&A about your general fitness and lifestyle habits. I said I’d give it a go for a laugh and here it is.

http://www.journallive.co.uk/lifestyle-news/great-north-fitness-revolution/great-north-fitness-revolution-news/2011/08/25/health-mot-graphic-designer-phil-brown-61634-29295790/

Thinking it was just a small web based feature, I was very surprised when Paul, from the running club I’ve just started training with, asked “Was that you in tonight’s Journal?” What i hadn’t expected was to end up getting a half page article in last nights paper. To say that a few of my mates have had a laugh over it at my expense is an understatement!

Guess I’d better start living up to my answers haha!

Well, after two or three more days of cleaning down and re-assembling all the fixture’s and fittings, Project Perfection is finally complete! We ran slightly over the allotted two weeks so a few of us helped out today adding the finishing touches. Yes, i got to play with my spanners, screwdrivers and drills again, and i have to say, the finished article looks pretty impressive.

Below is a photo of the boat before we started


and here is the end result, with the team involved!


Thankfully, 99% of the parts we’d taken off on day one, still went back on properly today, with the exception of the odd screw here and there.

The boat will be handed back to the Calvert Trust within the next couple of weeks and hopefully they’ll be pleased with their new-look boat!

For more information about the Calvert Trust, please visit their website at http://www.calvert-trust.org.uk/
For additional images of ‘Project Perfection’ please visit our page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/InternationalYachtPaint

For those of you that don’t know me, I work for the Yacht Division of International Paint in Felling, Gateshead as a designer/artworker within the marketing team.

Typically I spend my working days clicking away on a giant iMac, artworking labels for a various number of yacht-paint products including topsides, antifoulings, primers, undercoats etc. So what are those? To be honest, I really have no idea what they are, what they do, what they look like or how they work either. Until now that is.

Last year, International Paint ran a programme called ‘Restore a boat’ in which we sourced a vessel that was looking pretty ordinary and in need of some serious restoration work! We were lucky enough to be given a boat to work on from the Scouts up at Lake Windermere, who used it for weekend sailing days. The idea of the project was that we take the boat away and give it a complete makeover from top to bottom using our own products and then hand the boat back after the transformation. This meant that we were able to help out a worthwhile cause and at the same time, showcase our own product range, demonstrating how the products are used and showing the effect and finish of the end result.

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I never intended this blog to be purely about running, even though it seems to have taken a bit of a running slant since it started. Ah well, it’s as good a thing as any to write about I guess, particularly as I’ve just signed up to do another race in November with my old faithful running partner Mark.

This time we’re tackling the Lancaster half marathon in November (just the 13 miles this time unlike Dentdale) and will be going for PB’s I’d imagine. Last time round we set out just to complete the run together. This time I think it might be a bit more competitive.

My personal target of course isn’t necessarily to beat Mark (although that would be great too), but rather to finish in under 2 hours. The race is approximately 12 weeks away and I’m already fitter than I was when we started before, so training for this one should be more comfortable…and effective!

As for training, last week I was invited to go along and try a session with Tyne Bridge Harriers in Newcastle (cheers Sam). I’ve never trained with a running club before and was worried I’d be completely out of my depth. When I got there however, everyone was very friendly and encouraging so I felt a bit more at ease.

After a 6.5 mile run at a very steady pace in group 4, I was relieved to have finished the session in one piece and be told I could move up to group 3 who were apparently working on speed drills. I’ve never done speed work before so it should be interesting to see how I fare when I go along this week. Somehow I think I may be in for a shock! Anyway, if I start to see/feel the benefit, then it’s something I may try to keep up. It’s certainly more fun to run with other people and when someone else is pushing you it gives you the extra motivation you need so watch this space…

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/ratingsall.asp?ugn=5510&sp=&v=8

Well, it’s been months since I last blogged and have decided to start again, however it doesn’t seem right to start a new post since I never came back and wrapped up my last ones…so here goes!

I finally managed the Dentdale 14 mile run (14.2 miles to be exact) in two hours and 14 minutes which I was extremely pleased with! To be honest, I was just glad not to come last. No, I tell a lie, I was just glad not to come last out of the men! I even managed to beat a lad from Durham Harriers, which made me very smug as a first timer.

As for the race itself, tough doesn’t even come close! Sherburn Hill isn’t even as hilly as this place, so it was a comfort to hear one of the more seasoned racers say it was the toughest half marathon course he’d ever ran.
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After 8 weeks of hard training over a total of 123.5 miles, the eve of the Dentdale 14 mile race is here! Since last Thursdays 10.6 mile run i have taken it easy this past week with only a short easy 3 miler on monday night. The rest of the week has been spent relaxing and eating plenty of carbs. Today i’m keeping my meals very light so i don’t feel overly full come race time tomorrow.

Below is my completed training plan.
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Well it’s been a while since i last posted, as i was going to keep a weekly update of my training regime for the upcoming Haweswater Half Marathon. As it happens my training partner has doubled booked the event with a family anniversary party so we’ve swapped the race and are now taking part in the Dentdale 14 mile run on the 12th March (as if 13.2 miles wasn’t enough).

We have completed 5 weeks of training and are now into week 6. So far the commitment has been excellent and the progress staggering! our long runs have gone from a paltry 4.1 miles to my biggest achievement to date which was 13.4 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes last Saturday morning, which i think is canny going for a beginning runner. Especially as we’re only half way into our training plan!

After 5 miles and realising where i was it dawned on me just how far and how long was left and how much it was going to hurt. (I had lost my training partner to injury so had to run on my own which meant talking to myself for 2 hours…nothing new there then).

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Well my first week of training is done and my second is underway! Tuesday saw me do 2 miles at a faster pace than usual so although the run was short my lungs were ready to burst!
Thursday was a steady 2.5 miler and Saturday was my first longer run. In the rain for some reason 4 miles felt very long indeed…if I have to do that 3 times over plus a little bit more then I’ve got a he’ll of a lot of work to do!

So, onto week two and I’ve just returned home from a conditioning class called ‘legs don’t quit!’ well, mine certainly have…45 minutes of anaerobic torture with very little rest has nearly finished me…in fact I can barely keep my eyes open as I type this. My only hope is that my legs ‘don’t quit’ tomorrow and I can do my scheduled 3 mile run…fingers crossed!