The Pain and Suffering Race

On March the 8th I will doing another obstacle course race, called The Pain and Suffering. It is a 10 mile obstacle course race in and around the grounds of Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire. This will be the first 10 mile one that I will have done so I will probably be doing a bit of extra training to get used to longer distance running as it’s about 4 miles longer than obstacle course runs I’ve done in the past, I’ve done 10km obstacle course runs before which roughly equates to 6 and a quarter mile.

So that will be challenge one, being able to cope with the distance, I’ve not been a strong runner, until recently I used to get really bad shin splints which slowed me down a lot. Not to mention that up until christmas day just gone the longest I’ve ever really run continuously is about 4.5/5 miles. I don’t know just how much running will be between each obstacle but I hope if I do a bit more long distance running in order to get used to it anyway.

I think I may well and truly have the “obstacle course race bug” hopefully I’ll manage a few more in the next few years, it’s good to have a challenge and something aim for in fitness, it makes all the effort worth it. Plus it’s a lot of fun, the three I’ve done so far have been great fun to be a part of, the people doing them have been very friendly, so there’s usually a good community spirit to them. I’ve put in a video I found of the event, I know it’s an advert really but I think it gives a good sense of what is to come. I also now have a GoPro camera myself so hopefully I’ll manage to video it as a I progress round.

There is another part to this story and that is, I’m raising money for Mind, a mental health charity that supports people with a range of mental health issues, having had depression myself, I know how much having a good support system in place means. I think treating mental health problems is as important as treating physical illnesses. I will also be doing the race in memory of my Uncle David who sadly passed away in 2011. I have set-up a justgiving page with the aim of raising £500 by march, hopefully this target can be reached by then. The link is below:

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New Years Resolutions

Obviously with a new year starting it is the time that people make resolutions for things they want to do or achieve this year. For a few years now I’ve had a tendency not to make them because I know I’m likely to forget what it is I plan to do for the year, usually before the year is a fortnight old. Of course this is fairly typical of most people, resolutions don’t seem to last long for most people, so at least I’m not the only one.

I could resolve to post more often, or to eat cleaner, I will try to do both, but I know that they’re not necessarily “do-able”, particularly the former as I’m now entering the second half of my final year of university, so that.’s my priority. The latter on the other hand is more of a money thing, if I can afford to buy the often more pricier food I will do my best to do so, although my diet isn’t terrible these days, it definitely could be better.

I really ought to get advice on how to improve my diet and nutrition, I have a vague idea of what sorts of foods I should eat and I know what I could cut down on, but to have a clear idea of what I should be eating would greatly improve my diet, health and weight loss.

Maybe that can be a resolution of mine, start researching a diet plan or foods I should eat more of and where to get them. Maybe I won’t call it a resolution and just make a note of it to do it when I can. We shall see what challenges and excitements the new year will bring, Happy New Year everyone, I hope you have a good one

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Boxing Day Plans

On Boxing Day my siblings and I are going to my dads’ place to spend the afternoon with him and his girlfriend. On Saturday he kind of sprung on us the idea of each of us putting on individual performances as like a family talent show. This is odd for a number of reasons, mainly due to the fact that it is very unlike my dad to want to do anything like this, this being the first time he has ever suggested doing anything like this and also my siblings and I are all in our twenties, I get doing something like this when we were younger, but the idea of doing it now is a bit off-putting, seeing as we’re all quite different, in terms of things like interests and sense of humour.

For example, I’m supposed to be doing a comedy sketch/stand up comedy and I have no idea how I’m going to make my sense of humour “family friendly”, when you take in to account my sense of humour at best is  sarcasm and smut and at it’s worst has about as much finesse as a sledgehammer. I also have to take in to account that my niece and nephew will be there, they are six and three respectively, this adds an extra component of difficulty as I have to make it appealing to both adults and children. This is were I have respect for the creators of films like shrek, that film is a great of example of something that caters to children and the parents that went along to the cinema with them to watch it with them, as it has the silliness that kids love, but also has jokes and subtle mentions and one liners that the adults will get, without ruining the film for kids.

I’m going to have to pull of something like that on a small scale, by myself and in a very short amount of time, and I have no idea what I’m going to do or how I’m going to do it. I’ll have to go look for some tips on how to write comedy, because I’m stuck otherwise, it’s either that or I just make it up as I go along.

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Almost the christmas holidays

I’m in my third and final year at university now and the time has flown by. I can’t believe in a week I’ll be breaking up for the Christmas holidays. After that it’s only four or five months until the exam season and then I’ll be done, the last three years have shot by.

Then I’ll be out in the adult world looking for proper jobs, if I haven’t found one already that is. That is a bit scary, although big change is I suppose.

Anyway I’ve still got a week of uni left to go and I’ll try to enjoy my Christmas holidays in between the coursework. We shall see how it all goes, it should be all good, I just have to keep plugging away and get everything done.

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Obstacle Course Running

In the last couple of months I have done a couple of these “Obstacle Course Races” or “mud runs”, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share my experiences of the two and explain how they differed.

The first run that I did was called The Major Series, it’s usually between ten and twelve kilometres long depending on the route (this year I believe it was only ten kilometres, due to the farm owner restricting what they could or couldn’t use) and there are three of them of in different areas of the country twice a year, the midlands one was at the merevale estate, near atherstone. This one was the easier of the two I feel, firstly because most of the running in it seemed to be across open ground as opposed to across narrow, slippery and difficult terrain. Secondly there were fewer people doing it so there weren’t many people to try and get around. Thirdly and finally I felt there were fewer obstacles to tackle and they were as difficult to tackle, the running between the obstacles seemed longer, not just compare to the one I did last sunday, but another major series run I did last year. Although I did have fun doing this run, I did feel like it could have been harder.

The second run that I’ve done this year is called The Wolf Run it’s held in two different places four times a year, twice in warwickshire and twice at stanford hall in leicestershire. This one was a lot of fun and it was a challenge, this is the run I raised money for, I chose to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, they provide services and help to those with mental health problems, having personally dealt with depression I felt that it was a great cause to raise money for, in total I raised £220, so pretty decent going.

I found this run quite challenging, unlike The Major Series a lot of the running was on uneven ground through woods and around the edges of fields. There seemed to be a lot more more mud to get through and not just ankle deep, there were mud sections that were chest deep, they were energy sapping. When your crawling through mud however deep it is, there is only one tactic to getting through it, spread yourself out and try and move as quickly as possible. There were other obstacles as well, including monkey bars, a few climbing walls and hay bails to climb. There were several “water obstacles”, these were several rivers and streams, these like the mud sections, range from ankle deep to waist and even shoulder deep. These were quite fun to get into, but also really cold so it was important to keep moving. I did think my swimming was ok, but these obstacles proved that I might not be the strongest swimmer.

One of the most fun obstacles on The Wolf Run was the Water slide, unlike in The Major Series, it wasn’t just a tarpaulin on a hill with some soapy water chucked on it. This one was a bit more substantial being built on a frame and having a pump to get the water back up to the top. The idea of this obstacle, was essentially to chuck yourself down it head first down the slope and into a giant puddle at the bottom.

All in all I think these types of events are great amounts of fun and a good challenge, both physically and mentally. I would thoroughly recommend doing these sorts of events to those who want to challenge themselves or those who want to give themselves a goal to train for. Thoroughly enjoyed doing it and I want to do more of them now, I have caught “the mud run bug”and can’t wait to get a few more under my belt.

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I’ve been a bit quiet on here recently…

Not that means anyone who follows or reads this blog has missed any quality blogging, or anything interesting happening in the last year(ish) that I’ve not post on here for. The only exciting or noteworthy things to have to happened in my life (in my opinion) is me going in to final year of university and I’ve completed two of these Obstacle Course Runs (OCRs) or “mud runs” (the second of which I used to raise £210 for the mental health charity Mind (maybe I’ll talk about that in another post), anyway back to it), all of those things have happened in the last two and a bit months. Like I said nothing particularly interesting has happened otherwise, I mean I passed second year of university, I spent the summer looking for placements which I unfortunately didn’t get, so I just carried on with studying.

Actually maybe I’m wrong about nothing else noteworthy happening, my older sister got engaged over the summer, how did I forget that. For her it’s a big deal, I might not be particularly interested in marriage, but for her it’s important. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that, but I’m not at all fussed about marriage, that’s probably why it slipped my mind. Anyway I’ll be back with a post or two about the OCRs I’ve run in the last couple of months including the one I did sunday just gone (2/11/14).

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Celebrities and celebrity culture

I find the concept of celebrities and celebrity culture an interesting one, not because I follow it religiously as some people do but because it make such massive news every time a celeb does anything from the seemingly ordinary that “normal” people don’t even give a second thought to, all the way to things society deems as abnormal. For example if Lady Gaga is pictured without makeup the picture creates a fuss on all sorts of social networking sites and entertainment news sites and channels; on the flip side when she wore that meat dress it created such a furore that even mainstream media reported on it.

Sure I’m a fan of different actors or musicians etc and if I see trailers or hear snippets of their music I’ll be inclined to check out whatever it is they’re involved in, I just don’t feel the need to be clued in on everything that they do on a daily basis. Yes they have put themselves in to the public realm to show off their abilities or talents, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure that’s the main reason they do it for, and not to have their private lives invaded on a regular basis.

I’ve never been particularly fussed about the minutia of celebrities daily lives or what they wear at awards ceremonies I do however have a gripes I would like to try to express and elaborate upon in this post. Celebrity culture becomes a problem in a number of different forms:

  • Firstly how celebrities are portrayed in the media. Celebrities are not consistently portrayed by the media. Meaning there is not one “image” that all famous people are held to as a fair comparison. I know this is more a problem with the media and it is a big problem but I’m not entirely sure famous people are 100% blameless in how celebrities are presented to the world. As guilty as the media are at bashing celebrities, they are equally as guilty at stroking their egos. this will have conscious and sub concious effects on those people.
  • How celebrities act does seem to have an effect on people and how they behave, especially younger people and those who are more impressionable. If they see their favourite celebrities acting in a way that wouldn’t normally be acceptable and getting away with it, are they more likely to act that way themselves at some point in the future? Or defend behaviour of that sort when they see it? Considering the amount of young people who constantly jump to the defence of Justin Bieber every time he does something utterly dickish I’m going to say yes.
  • The fact that celebrities are held so loftily is ridiculous, yes they are talented, but so is everyone in their own way so why are particular people are held under the limelight and others not. Is it that the people who are everywhere easier to mould into what people think they want to see.
  • celebrity culture seems to have a big impact on a lot of things these days, from fashion to how people act towards each other. With one set of rules for most people and another for celebrities how people are supposed to behave seems to be a bit of a grey area and it makes no sense at all what so ever. Some celebrity behaviour is bizarre from drug habits to spitting on fans who thinks they can get away with this sort of stuff.

I could continue to rant on and on, if you gotten this far then well done, I fear that it could get worse and I could have to rant a bit more in the future, but if I think about it for too much longer my headache is going to get worse. So sorry for ranting but it had to be said.

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