Kevin Betts's blog posts tagged with 'charity'

The Blog of a man who's started a marathon of running events

Feb

21

It's been a while since I last blogged. That's mainly because there has quite literally been nothing to write about. Training was on hold for a good couple of weeks because of the leg issues spoken about before. That's probably the thing that's tested my resolve the most. I've been talking up these events so much and then all of a sudden, my ability to run was taken away from me. I had agonising leg pains, but I saw my physio, Cathy. She's the woman who helped me recover from the soldier surgery, and diagnosed the over pronation.

The answer was orthopaedic inserts for my shoes, and after getting them, I was like a new man. And so it is to todays event - the Brighton Half Marathon. The weather was atrocious, the rain was driving down and the wind was awful. To make matters worse, we (me and Elliot) lined up a little late and had to start at the back. I know it sounds arrogant, but I couldn't help but think that was going to affect my run.

And it did. The first three miles were spent trying to weave in and out of fat people. I can't say it was enjoyable. I spent the whole time thinking what an injustice it was that I - me(!), of all people had to waste my time and leg power ducking and weaving. It took three miles - that's about 22 minutes - to get into an area where I could run at a consistent speed and consistently take over people. And the only thing I could think was that I had lost loads of time - and more importantly places in the 'race'. All this after I have said how I only challenge myself. However, how wrong I was. I had no more right to be in that race than anyone else, and each and every person finished with a huge smile on their face. The achievement flowing around the place was immense - especially those who were 'first timers'. Congratulations to each and every one of them.

So anyway, the race - running past all of those people showed me that people really do run for different reasons. This one guy in particular, at mile 10, was talking to himself. And I mean properly encouraging himself. He was saying 'come on' and 'push yourself'. I felt really inclined to egg him on as well - and he was really appreciative. Then I looked down - it appears a lot of men suffer from chafage. Especially in the rain! His shirt was bright red with blood. But he hadn't even noticed - because he had so much pain going on elsewhere. This blood thing wasn't exclusive to him, either.

To cut a long story short, I finished in 1hour, 28 minutes and 15 selconds. Which wasn't too shabby, all things considered. Especially as the whole run felt fantastic, I was pain free and didn't struggle in the least. I'd go as far as saying I could easily have run faster - perhaps even have got 1hour 25. But the time wasn't the main thing. It was the start of the challenge.

 

I'd like to thank the Melton Times (my home town paper) for writing a great article about me this week. It was really flattering that they gave me the coverage they did. Esp as it was written with real compassion regarding my charities.

 

And the writer, Chris, was a top bloke. I even got a picture published -

 

Finally, I have a plan for a summer event. More on it later, but I want to work with the sports department and organise a 24 hour treadmill marathon. Basically, the challenge will be for people to do half hour slots on the treadmill for a full 24 hours. The twist - I'll do every other half hour. Essentially I'll be running for 12 hours. And plan to average 10kmph for the whole time.

 

That's it for now. Guaranteed extra blog this week, as the training intensifies.

Many thanks for reading

Kev

The blog of a man who has just completed his 2nd marathon of 2011

Jan

09

So, only 50 to go. I successfully completed the second marathon of the year yesterday.

There's not yet a lot to talk about. I think things will get interesting in the weeks and months to come. Essentially, this is a marathon of marathons and at the minute, I'm at the start bit with the excitement and comfort and energy. Later will come the slog of the mid-miles where monotony kicks in, followed by the mental and physical agony of hitting the wall and then the success of finishing.

Strangely, I didn't hit the wall yesterday. It was some sort of paradoxical run where I was very mentally taxed but physically I felt generally fine. As I've said before, I love the idea that running causes a great deal of pain and I can stop that pain at any time but choose not to. It's being in charge of how hard I push myself and my mental toughness to not take the easier option.

Anyway... Enough of the cerebral stuff and down to the basics.

Yesterday's was my first ever marathon on a treadmill. Before this, I hadn't ever run further than 10k on a treadmill. Mainly because it's dull. I mean, it's mind numbing! Essentially it was me staying in one place with my legs going round, looking at myself in a mirror (pretty as I am, i can still get bored of myself) and watching numbers go (slowly) round and round.

I have to say, the people at Riptide Gym are incredibly helpful and supportive. They've sponsored me where the University gym wouldn't, allowed me to use all of their equipment and give me advice and support - all for free.

So up I got at 7.30am to go to the gym. On the treadmill ready to go at 9.15. ON A SATURDAY! There were a couple of small issues... Firstly, treadmill's aren't designed or programmed to run for 26.2 miles at a time (surprised?!?!), so logic had to be used. As far as I could work out, you could only time it in for 60minutes at a time, so this was going to be what I did. Under the agreement (with myself!) that as soon as it finished, I would start again! This is what I did. I have some videos that will be uploaded when Wid adds the module that allows it to the website.

So the first 60 minutes was steady if not a little tiring as the muscle aches from last week came back quite soon. I did 11.95km. That then finished and I started doing the next hour's stint. As I came to the end of that hour, I pressed a button and it allowed me to continue. So I did - up to 90 minutes as there were only enough spaces on the screen to go up to 99 minutes and I didnt want to start working at fractions of hours. Anyway... after 2 and a half hours I run at an average of nearly 12km/h and completed 11.95km in hour 1 and 17.92km in the second hour and a half. 2.5 hours - 29.87km done and 'only' 12.33km to go.

I ended up doing that final 12.33km in 67minutes 20 seconds. So a total for the full 42.2km was 3hours 37minutes and 20 seconds. Add in a bit of time for those changeovers (I wouldn't want anyone to think i was trying to steal a few seconds!) and I reckon it was still under 3 hours 40. Which was essentially the second fastest marathon I have ever run!

You know what could have been easier, of course? Instead of adding up all the distance and that sort of thing, I could just programme it to do four equal runs of 10.5km!!! What a numpty. But then did the constant maths in my head take my mind off the running? Probably not, but I'm in an uncertain mind as to whether I should change it or not.

That's it for now. Next week, look out for my chat about putting too much salt in my water, the great audition for a new TV show with some of the Passingiton guys and how I secretly hope my wee is dead orange when I finally finish running!

Remember, I wouldn't be doing this if a) I were not mad, b) I was not running for two really important charities and c) I didn't secretly want an MBE in the future for my endeavours in my life. Please follow me on twitter - @52marathonman or 'like me on Facebook

Remember too, there is lots more information available on my website www.52marathons.co.uk 

For now - thanks for reading!