Sunday, 29 January 2012

Half Way Hell

Finished the week with a cracking 15 mile walk this morning. I needed to do something special to rid myself of the guilt from falling off the wagon on Friday night in spectacular style. I managed 27 days, but Christmas and New Year brought one retirement and the birth of two babies. Friday night was scheduled as a retirement do and wetting the babies heads combo. So as I was out I didn't get chance to do any training (except the mandatory bicep curls with pint in hand) and therefore thought it time to see how I would fare on a longer walk given what training I've done since the turn of the year.

I arranged with Richard Wild that we would walk the leg of the Parish route from Ramsey, back to my house in Lonan. Rich picked me up at 7am, and after parking in St Paul's Square around 7.20 we soon headed off towards Queens Pier Road and the steady climb out of Ramsey. We aimed to average 5.2mph as Rich is training for the Sarah Killey walk and I want to push myself as much as I possibly can. I absolutely love this route, and I am a complete statto when it comes to distances and landmarks all the way along. This is to do with a bad bad experience during the 2010 Parish and since then I have trained on this section countless times to banish the demons and also to prepare myself mentally.

This is a good tip number 3. If you have done the Parish before whether completely or not, train like billy-o on the section where you struggled. Pick out landmarks, measure distances, and time yourself. This way, when you get there on the day,  you will know precisely what to expect, what to look out for, and exactly how long you will be on that section - it really helped me. So there is a very good chance that you will see me on the Malew to Round Table section at various points during training this year.

Anyway, back to today, we made it the 14.57 miles from St Paul's Square to the Ballacannell bus stop in a little under 2 hours 50 mins and therefore pretty much bang on the 5.2mph target. The climb up to my house was a good warm down, but I have to admit, the rest of the day has been spent doing quite a lot of limping and plenty of sitting down. No blisters though !!

I have a good download of the stats which I will update this post with just as soon as I work out how to embed it from the Garmin website. I have to say that I am a complete technophobe and have just spent nearly an hour trying to do it. It's lucky the laptop hasn't been pitched out through the lounge window !!

Prior to my Monday rant, I promised a run down on my first Parish attempt in 2008, so here goes.

I thought I had trained well, living in Douglas at the time, I had several routes to keep it mixed up enough not to lose interest. The only snag was that the longest route was around 7 miles, and I probably didn't do more than 2 walks a week usually around 4 or 5 miles max.

Although I had supported many times previously, I have to say I was absolutely clueless about actually taking part in terms of training and nutrition, certainly on the day.

Everyone will remember 2008 as the most horrendous conditions for walking. The forecast was grim, but the start was relatively bright. It wasn't until I reached the Braaid Roundabout until the first signs of rain appeared, and once it started, it didn't give up for the rest of the day. Going into the day, I wanted to complete the whole distance, but my overriding objective was to get beyond Peel, and simply keep going until I couldn't walk any more.

I made it to Peel in a reasonable time (8hrs 14mins), and felt ok although I was absolutely soaked to the skin. I had a complete change of clothes behind the car (apologies to anyone who saw the early moon that afternoon). Dry clothes (albeit for about 20 minutes) gave me a boost, but as the crowds subsided and number of walkers dwindled on the way to Kirk Michael I really started to feel it and my pace slowed to around 3.25mph. The lack of training, particularly hill training showed itself, and I felt I was really starting to struggle. My mate Dan had picked up the support baton from Caroline at this point, and he kept saying to me to keep going and take it one church at a time. I decided under no circumstances was I stopping at Kirk Michael as it was a relatively short distance to Ballaugh. Once again, I was soaked to the skin, and just did not want to eat or drink anything as I was beginning to feel dreadful. Although I had gone a little quicker since Kirk Michael, I still wasn't anywhere near even 3.5mph and I knew in my heart that the end was in the post. Knowing the speed I was trudging at, and the fact it would have taken me best part of an hour to get to Jurby, and the conditions we endured on that day, I decided at Ballaugh to call it quits. I'd given it a good go, but poor preparation and lack of understanding of what was required put paid to that year's attempt. I would never make that mistake again. So I had completed 2 of my 3 objectives, I got past Peel, but half way was as good as I could do.

So here's looking forward to another successful week training, I'll give you another update midweek.


ps. Just a brief note for my co-blogger Richard - did you enjoy the footy yesterday???

pps. 2 days without a drink and counting.......

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lunatics in black cars

Over the past 36 hours, I have encountered 2 idiots in black hatchbacks. It's people like this who drive with such reckless abandon that cause accidents and sometimes worse.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to walk to cross country which was held at Ballanette in Baldrine, and as my house is a mere 2.5 miles away I decided that to walk there would be a great warm up, and to get the adrenalin flowing ahead of the run. The adrenalin certainly got flowing, but it wasn't in the way I expected it to. On the main drag down to Baldrine a black Clio overtook another car and in doing so, missed me by what seemed less than 2 feet. As it was approaching me from behind, the first I knew was when the engine revved to overtake. Had I stumbled, or slipped at that point, it's doubtful I would be here to write this blog the speed the car was being driven.

Then tonight when I was down at the NSC, another idiot, this time in a black Mini was driving on the NSC roadway far in excess of the 10mph speed limit. Fortunately this time it was driving towards me so I could take evasive action.

These are not isolated incidents either, many is the time I have had to jump into hedge bottoms to avoid boy racers. On last year's Parish just after the climb at the Lhen, I had to jump out of the way of an oncoming tractor and trailer which seemed to own the road. Not an easy manoeuvre after 50 miles !

So what can we do to avoid risky moments like this?

Well, there will always be boy racers, there will always be drivers who have monetary lapses of concentration, but as a good mate of mine once said, 'If I ever get run over while I'm out running, it won't be because I'm not visible, I'm lit up like a Christmas Tree when I go out'. The underlying message her is 'BE SEEN'. Make sure you are wearing light, hi-viz or reflective clothing, and when the light is failing stick to well lit paths and routes with pavements. Go equipped with a torch or an alternative light source.

You can't legislate for the idiot drivers out there, but you can do your very best to make sure that you get seen. One last thing I will say on the issue, if you happen to be driving, and encounter walkers, runners, or cyclists for that matter, show them respect and make sure you pass wide and not put them under any unnecessary risk.

A quick training update, in addition to the eventful walk to Ballanette, I ran the short course taking my total distance for the day to 5 miles, and this wasn't without incident either. I lost a shoe on the last leg as I was going round the lake and ended up running in just my sock. Shame the traction on the sock wasn't the best and I ended up slipping on my backside and getting covered in mud. Ah well, it was all good fun, and I have to say, as averse to running as I am , I really enjoyed it and the improved fitness really showed. Bring on the final round at Glen Lough. Must remember to tie my shoes tighter next time !!!

Whilst dodging mentalists in Minis, I managed a number of loops of the NSC roadway to clock up another 10k with a mate from work. So all in all a good couple of days. Rest tomorrow (maybe a touch of skipping), and usual Laxey Prom session on Wednesday. If anyone is in the vicinity and is interested in trying to improve technique or just general fitness, why not come down. 6pm start usually and we generally do an hour.

That's enough for now, but remember STAY SEEN and STAY STAFE.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Another good week...

.....well, for training anyway. The less said about football the better !

Managed to keep up to my promise of getting out 3 times a week again. As well as my laps of the NSC on Monday night, I did my usual Wednesday night session on Laxey Prom working on technique and speed, and did a good 9 mile loop on Friday night at a good pace a little over 5mph. This is a far cry from the top boys, but miles on from the 4mph average when I started back in 2006. Mixed up with a bit of skipping, and swimming with Archie and his friend on Saturday, I am pleased with what this week brought.

To be honest, my main aim is to do long events such as the Parish, End to End and Sarah Killey, but I use the shorter stuff such as Winter League as training for my ultimate goal. Race based training I suppose you would call it. Although speed is certainly not my forte, I am extremely competitive and am always determined to do my very best if I am racing against someone else. This is why I think I sometimes seem to get the odd warning from judges because I push myself so hard, I stop thinking about what I should be doing and try and go faster.

Because I am so tall (6 feet 4 inches if you were wondering), I tend to stoop when I am tired which doesn't help when trying to keep my landing leg straight. It comes as a bit of a surprise to me though that the leg I struggle with most is my left leg. This is because I have had serious right knee problems for the last 15 years culminating in reconstruction of my anterior cruciate ligament in May 2004. Maybe it is the endless physio I have undertaken over the years, and stretching that has made my 'weaker' leg more supple and really I should now be concentrating on my left leg and getting the hamstring looser.

Anyway, I have a good schedule lined up for next week, starting with the cross country today at Ballanette. Running is definitely not my bag, but I agreed before round 1 that I would give it a go. So far, I have taken part in all 3 rounds and currently find myself in 3rd place in the league table for the short course. I must hasten to add that this is nothing to do with ability, but because I am one of only 4 people to have taken part in each round so far. Today is double points, and I am hoping the extra effort I have put in since the turn of the year will manifest itself in a better performance today. As long as I can make it through the bog section with my shoe still on will be an improvement in itself.

Last time I told you about my first foray into walking, so next time I will share with you my experience of the first Parish I took part in as a walker in 2008.

Prior to walking I have acted as support for my brother in law Julian for a number of his successful loops. The one that sticks in mind most though was 2004 when my sister attempted the full distance for the first time. She had walked to Peel a number of times previously, but decided this year that this was the time she wanted to go the distance.

Julian made it round in a good time, and Lou's back up told us that she was out of Maughold and well on her way to Dhoon and was going ok. Instead of wanting to go home, Jules wanted to go and give support so off we set to find her. By the time we met her, she was just rounding the top of Bulgham but looked a lot less than ok. Her white trainers were red, and she looked in agony. She was complaining of terrible back pain and as height runs in our family, she was also stooping because she was tired which was probably causing the problem. By the time she made it to Laxey Village she had slowed considerably and we were starting to worry about the Lonan cut off. I jumped out of the car to try and encourage her, and she asked that I push my fist into the base of her back to try and relieve the pain. So, if you can imagine it, the two of us walking through Laxey about 6am with stumbling along behind like a puppet master. I had completely forgotten about the car and Julian, until about 20 minutes later he came driving up behind us. I still to this day cannot comprehend how he managed to walk 85 miles, and then drive whilst being as stiff as a board.

As we arrived at Lonan church, the marshals were packing up and had said that we had missed the cut off and that Lou had to stop. She was devastated and wanted to go on, so I used my best charm and convinced them that she was just emerging from a bad patch and was actually speeding up and by my calculation she would make it to Onchan before their cut off. Good job I'm not pinocchio otherwise I'd have had the poor fella's eye out!

Things came to a head on the straight down to Baldrine, all of a sudden she stopped, a bit like that scene in Forrest Gump when Tom Hanks decides he's had enough running. Only difference was, instead of turning round and going back, her legs went from under her and I managed to catch her before she hit the deck. I scooped her up and put her into the back of the car and her first attempt was officially over.

Having witnessed this I vowed at that point that I was never going to get involved in something as daft as the Parish as it can only be bad for you. Hmmm, how things have changed, but I still use that experience as something to spur me on and to remind me of how difficult an achievement it is.

I always remember that although I have been successful twice, it doesn't give me a right to complete it again, as you will only get out what you put in and I use this as one of my main forms of motivation.

Bring on the mud...

Monday, 16 January 2012

How did I get myself into this....?

So, last blog I promised that I would enlighten you as to how I managed to get myself involved in walking. Well.....thinking back to a very sunny day in July 2006, me and a group of mates and our respective other halves were at a one of my best mates weddings. It was the day England got knocked out of the World Cup courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo - what a winker !

Anyway, it was a warm day and therefore we had had quite a few refreshments to keep us cool, and during late evening conversation, talk turned to the previous week's Parish Walk. I had supported my brother-in-law Julian to his 6th consecutive finish and the question was posed would I ever have a go myself.

'Don't be ridiculous' I think were probably the words, 'you wouldn't catch me mincing round like that lot' I went on. I may have mentioned before that amongst my group of friends, I am known as the guy who never knows when he's beaten and to cut a long story short after much cajoling, me and my mate Dan (you'll hear a lot more about him as my blogs progress) agreed to do the End to End in September after all, how hard could it be, and of course we could do it.

Waking with a hangover on Sunday morning, I suddenly remembered the conversation and the agreement we had come to. Training commenced the following week, and as we were completely new to this lark, we hadn't got the faintest idea what we were capable of. Dan being the statto he is said that to complete the required distance we needed to average 4mph, so that was our starting goal. We managed to walk quite comfortably at this pace and were soon pushing the echelons of 4.25mph. We trained well, but neither of us really knew what really was required to be able to complete the course. 2006 was the year that the Isle of Man hosted the 100 mile challenge, and to give the serious walkers a bit of a boost and extra company, the organisers put on a 20 mile walk on the same circuit called the Starlight Stroll. This was our first taste of competitive action over a decent distance. What an eye opener. I promised never to walk without applying vaseline first ever again. I made reference to this in my best man's speech at Dan's wedding in September, and on my photo slideshow, I showed a picture of the Japanese flag - hopefully you get the idea !! The race kicked off at 10pm, and it took us a little over 4 hours to complete. At the time, I was living on Ballakermeen Drive, so normally only a couple of minutes walk from the NSC. If anyone had seen us limping along Peel Road at about 2.30am, they would have wondered what the hell we had been up to, but more than likely had wished they'd been at the same party as we had, or maybe not !!!

I think now is therefore the perfect time for tip number 2 - Make sure you lubricate all areas of skin that are likely to rub, this includes, inner thighs, bum cheeks,  armpits, and certain other 'ladies areas' (some of the more portly male entrants may need to address this place too).

I'm rambling again......

To end this tale, 2006 was the year that the End to End was brought to an early finish at Eairy Cushlin due to bad weather. Thank God it was, because had I been going any slower walking past the Ballacallin, I'd probably have started going backwards. Having subsequently completed the full course, I think it's highly unlikely I'd have even made it to the Round Table that day, so the weather definitely did me a favour. So I made it to the 'end', and ever since then I have never been under the illusion of how hard endurance walking is. Unfortunately, Dan only made it to Peel and had to quit as his hips were grinding, and causing him a whole world of agony.

So, to this week, I am quite pleased with the training I have put in. To add to the 10k I did round the NSC last Monday night, I did my usual Wednesday session which really consisted mainly of drills to try and improve my technique (will someone please tell Steve Taylor I really am trying, and in future can he please keep his cards to himself). I invested in a skipping rope last week, and did a 15 minute skipping session on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I didn't realise quite how difficult it was, but hopefully it will help with stamina and cardio as I get more proficient.

Sunday was round 4 of the Winter Walking League, and I managed to complete the course in 64 mins 28 secs which I think is my competitive PB. Although still over 2 minutes off my target, I was pleased with the performance (except what now seems to be the mandatory yellow card) and Rome wasn't built in a day I keep telling myself.

Tonight I took another trip down to the NSC, but this time took one of my work colleagues with me as he is trying to get in shape. We did a good 12 laps in the time we had, but unfortunately I forgot to charge the magic watch after yesterday so don't know the precise time.

Right, I've really rambled on tonight so think I'll leave it there. Oh, one last thing......16 days!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I’m sticking to walking

Equipment malfunctions, what is the worst that can happen when walking? A hole in your sock, rip your shorts, your waterproof jacket turns out not to be waterproof after all?

None of these are likely put paid to a planned training session or a race, they may make it a slightly unpleasant experience, but none of them are terminal. Not like losing a pedal off your mountain bike, could you imagine….?

Well this is exactly what happened to me on Sunday morning and completely screwed up my exercise plans for the weekend, to say I was hacked off would be an understatement.

Me and my mate Brian had decided that the Manx Mountain Bike Club ‘Coast to Coast’ ride from Douglas to Peel on Sunday morning offered a really good opportunity to get out and do a good cardio workout, but as they were running a family section, we thought it would be a great chance for some of the kids to tag along too. There were a couple of routes planned, one via Archallagon plantation for the more experienced rider, and via the old railway lines for the novices and families. So as I had brought Archie along and Brian his eldest daughter Jess, we planned to take the railway line route. To be honest, it’s doubtful I could have managed the more experienced route as I am not the most enthusiastic cyclist. As it transpired, I couldn’t even manage the family/novice route as I got as far as the NSC perimeter track, and my right pedal snapped off rendering my bike about as useful as a handbrake in a canoe – dead handy.

I stopped to pick up the offending item, Brian continued on with the kids. As I limped my way on to the TT Access road, I saw they’d stopped a little up ahead. After a brief discussion, it was clear that my ride was over, but Archie was still keen to crack on so he went off with the others, and I said I would meet them in Peel. After calling virtually everyone in my mobile phone book, I realised that I wasn’t going to get a replacement bike in a hurry, so, as the other half of the family were swimming in Peel, I was stranded with a useless bike 7 miles from home, and 10 miles from my lift. Fortunately, as I trudged along
Peel Road
towards town, I was passed by 3 of my nieces in the car. I flagged them down, and they agreed to drop me to Peel to get the car from the swimming pool, and set about catching up with the riders. I chucked my bike over the hedge by Waltons, and off we went.

By the time I’d collected the car, rescued my bike, I managed to get a brief glimpse of them at the Raggett and a quick dash back to Peel meant I saw them finish – muddy but happy.

So, as this blog is entitled, I intend to stick to what I know best.

Since my last post, I have done a couple of good, short quick sessions. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get out on Friday night due to the high winds which, coupled with the dark and lack of pavements made it too dangerous, so I opted to do my 5 mile Baldrine loop on Saturday lunchtime when it was at least light. I hadn’t realised just how blustery it was, and the climb from Baldrine up to Conrhenny was into a strong headwind and was an absolute killer.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am aiming to get out 3 times a week for now, and so on Monday I had around 90 minutes to kill whilst Archie was at Cubs. I decided to do a timed 10k round the NSC perimeter. My best competitive time is a little over 65 minutes, and it is my aim to try and shave this to 62 minutes this year, and ultimately break the magic 60 minutes next winter. There’s a lot of work to be done between now and achieving that though. Anyway, I managed to do the distance as per my Garmin (which from now on will be referred to a ‘the magic watch’) in 63 mins 28 secs, so I’m moving in the right direction. To do this in competition I would be chuffed, so I’m looking forward to the next round of Winter League on Sunday, hopefully I can set a competitive PB.

I was really encouraged to see so many people out last night too, I counted now fewer than 25 hi-viz clad people on my way to the NSC, then there were at least a dozen more traipsing round the perimeter road. I just hope that these people don’t fall off the New Year’s resolution band wagon.

Finally, I said last post that I would explain what got me into walking, but I think I’ve waffled on enough tonight, so next post I’ll definitely do this.


Ps. 10 days and counting – not even a wobble!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Normal service is resumed

The Christmas tree is in the garden, the decorations are boxed up ready to be returned to their place in the attic, the kids (and wife) are back at school, and life has almost returned to normal.

It is always the same at this time of year, I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I wish Christmas and New Year hadn’t gone so quickly, but 2012 is now well under way.

A quick update, the wagon is gathering good momentum as it is now 4 days and 21 hours since my last sip of alcohol and until it just took me a few minutes to calculate, it hasn’t crossed my mind since I last worked out how long it had been. Whilst briefly covering this topic, I must say thanks to my co-blogger Richard for the honourable mention in his latest post. I shuddered when he mentioned the dinner we were at, at the Hilton/Palace (call it what you will). I think my passion for the Parish Walk was hyper-accelerated due to the amount of free wine I had consumed. I doubt Richard has been referred to as a legend as many times as I did that night and it's probably a good idea to abstain for a while. That said, what Richard has achieved in walking is nothing short of phenomenal and I take my hat off to him!!

I have managed to squeeze a couple of good sessions in since the turn of the year, and I am aiming to try and do a bit of exercise every day just to help me a long the way.

After the dip on New year’s Day, we went for a walk up to Conrhenny Plantation (I really hope I’ve spelt this right) to check out the trees planted by many of the Island’s Primary Schools, in particular, Scarlett’s tree that she planted. Unfortunately, the rain since planting has washed all the names off the plastic supports, so we weren’t exactly sure which was hers, so in good parenting fashion, I allowed her to tell me which was hers, and we have now clearly marked it. Whether it is actually hers or not, we have now adopted it, so we don’t have to spend hours looking for it next time we go up there. Me and Archie then went for a jog around the perimeter so when I got home I felt very satisfied with myself.

I followed this up with a 5 mile walk on Monday which I did in just about 56 minutes which I was pleased with. I’ve managed to stay relatively active during the winter months thus far. Since I did the End to End, I took part in the Julie Brew memorial walk, the One-Hour Challenge, the Syd Quirk, the Winter Walking League (only one round unfortunately), and also the Medis Cross Country League. I also do a regular Wednesday night session with Steve Partington which originally started off in Ramsey, but has now migrated to Laxey, so is perfect for me.

This Wednesday I jogged down to Laxey Prom, did a good hour with Steve and two new recruits Alex and Andy and then jogged home again. How I wish it was downhill on the home leg as I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got in, but again, felt very pleased with myself. I mentioned the other day about hills and how there are plenty to train on in Laxey, well I suppose this may as well be my first tip for training – make sure you include plenty of them in your routines as on the big day there are also a significant number right from the off.

I haven’t actually done anything today, but tomorrow I think I will either do my 3 mile Laxey loop or my 5 mile Baldrine loop before I sit and watch the mighty Reds try and regain face against Oldham in the FA Cup after the awful result against Man Citeh on Tuesday. I find that as long as I am getting out regularly and spending time on my feet then every little helps and it’s a good base to start from and it also helps fix the mindset. A course I went on few years back highlighted that if you do something regularly for 28 days it becomes a habit, so the more I do now the easier it should be to motivate myself in forthcoming weeks.

Hmm, I’ve just been advised by Caroline that the kids are expecting a movie night tomorrow so my football watching may be restricted to following the live text on BBC – bah !

In my next blog I will share with you how I actually got into this walking lark, and what keeps me motivated.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

All aboard...

Happy New Year one and all, I hope 2012 brings you everything you wish for.

As is tradition in our house, the new year started with the annual Laxey Dip at midday. Standing there on Laxey beach at about 11.45am, it was clear that there were a few people still feeling the effects of some over indulgence from last night. No-one more than a certain 'Banana in Pyjamas' who told me that she had only been persuaded to dip last night when it's abundantly clear she would have agreed to anything. Fair play though, she dipped in full fancy dress outfit and actually stayed in the water longer than the majority of the revellers. Good work Skilly, see you same time same place next year??

I have to admit, I was feeling a tad ropey too, we spent last night at my sister's house where we enjoyed a fantastic meal, and the wine and beer was in plentiful supply. As we saw the New Year in, me and my sister reaffirmed our commitment to the target we set ourselves on 26 June 2011. This was to complete the 2012 walk together, and within a certain timescale. I don't wish to give the time away at this point as I am a firm believer that targets are personal, and I don't want to see it as a millstone round my neck if training doesn't go to plan.

So, now we are into the New Year, PW2012 training commences. At this time of year, I usually try and get out twice a week, typically one of the weekend days, and Wednesday evening, but this year I am aiming for 3 sessions a week, probably squeezing a short walk in on either a Friday or Monday.

On my two previous succesful attempts in 2010 and 2011 I have had a regular training partner, however, although I aim to walk this year with my sister, she is currently in training for the London Marathon and won't actually be doing any walking until that is over in April so I will be training with different people between now and then. I find training in numbers is far better than training alone for various reasons, mainly you don't want to let the other person down but also the banter that you have passes the time, and before you know it, you've been out 3 hours and have a good distance under your belt.

Everyone's training regime is different and I simply aim to get miles under my belt for the first couple of months, but once the weather warms up and the days get longer, I will usually do 4 to 5 sessions a week. Normally one long walk of anywhere between 15 and 25 miles and the remainder are shorter, usually minimum 4 miles, up to around maximum 8 or 9. I won't do anything over 15 miles until around March time though as I don't want to pull anything or damage my feet until they've had time to get up to speed.

I've been doing bits and bobs up to now, and actually did a loop of Ballaragh from my house yesterday which took me around 90 minutes to complete the distance of around 7.5 miles. Living in Laxey is great as there are so many brilliant walks which I fully intend to exploit in my training. The hills aren't bad either!

To be honest, I'm usually carrying a bit too much timber at this time of year (anyone who saw me on Laxey beach this morning will testify that this year is no exception), so the first couple of months are a get in shape and trim down exercise.

So finally, to the title of this post, and another New Year tradition of mine is to stay off the booze and I am therefore now officially on the wagon until my birthday which is midway through February. I will keep you updated with my progress, but usually after the first couple of weeks, I find that it's quite easy to do, and I find it seriously helps with weight loss, and a general feeling of improved well being.

So far so good, not a drop of alcohol has passed my lips for almost 19 hours, just another 49 days to go !!

Thanks for reading !


Hmmm, think there is an issue with the time on this blog. I published this latest post just before 7pm, but it says that it was just before 11am. Will have to look into it and see if I can change it. Don't hold your breath though, I am a bit of a technophobe !!!