5 Bar Gates are better than Asprin – FACT.

So days to do are getting few.

It seems that the vast majority of us are suffering for our art and have various niggles and I’m no different I’m afraid. The past two weeks have been a nightmare and just when I feel I should be really ramping things up training wise I’ve not really been able to do very much at all. One of the side effects of the drugs that I’m on is arthralgia and I have had joint pain in places I didn’t even know were joints.

The worse, believe it or not, has been in my left elbow – I really have never had pain like it and I’ve fathered two children. It’s not too bad when resting but as soon as I start doing anything it is excruciating. In fact me and little Amy went for a run a couple of nights ago and it turned into a power walk. I had to keep stopping and resting the elbow on metal gates (the cold relieved the pain – obviously) so I hope that the good farmers of Hampshire & Sussex have installed plenty of Steel 5 bars as opposed to wood!! Anyway it’s only pain……

Sunday I popped down to Winchester to find the start of ‘the way’ and I’m glad I did. A bit of research had thrown up that different people had different ideas of where to set off from so I thought it prudent to take matters into my own hands and sort it out. I had expected some sort of grand sign declaring the start/end of the South Downs Way but no such luck. There isn’t anything (that I could find anyway) and it isn’t until you start really looking around that you find any directions. It would have been hilarious had we just turned up on the day, 10 of us running up and down Winchester high street like something from a Benny Hill film – still it’s sorted now and we can all sleep that little bit more soundly knowing that we at least will not be taking an hour to get out of Winchester.

More good news came when we found out that on line donations have broken through the £1000 barrier. What a great effort. So let’s push on by spreading the word to all and sundry. Every donation, no matter how small really does count and every penny goes directly to Factor50, no Just Giving or Virgin Money vultures skimming off 5 or 6% with this challenge – didn’t know they did that? Me neither until I started this. Don’t forget to gift aid either – worth an extra 25% or so on every donation.

My little jaunt to NICE last week went OK. The first half of the meeting was most informative but the second half was way above my payscale. Most of it was spent with statisticians discussing the merits of this or that curve on this or that graph. I didn’t understand most of the words let alone what they meant but in the main everything appeared positive – we shall see. At the end of the day it all comes down to cost v benefit and whilst the latter is massive, so may be the former. Let’s just hope a deal can be done.

Another side effect of Vemurafenib is something called Keratoacanthoma’s. These are little non-benign tumours that pop up on the skin and I’ve had 5 removed thus far. Unfortunately one on my forearm wasn’t totally excised (cut off) and has come back so I’m off in tomorrow to have that sliced and diced – lovely. Another couple of days off training as a result – I really don’t think I’m destined to be at my peak for this but hey, it’s only 100 miles in three days. Hahahaha…crazy stuff….hahahahaha (continues laughing manically ad infinitum).

Anyway I know how much you all look forward to this bit so here it is. AND FINALLY……

My best mate took inspiration from me taking on this challenge and decided he would do something to get himself in shape. He started by walking 5 miles a day and slowly increased this and is now running 10. Three months later we have no idea where he is…….

Keep on Keeping on.

Football, Scotch Eggs & Smelly Clergymen

Not blogged for a while as I’ve had loads going on but at long last here I am.

“So what’s been going on Steve?” I hear you all say.

Well …….

Firstly I had a massive presentation to do at work for a major retailer. I broke my previous record for talking and managed to keep going for about 6 hours. As part of the whole wooing process we took the customer out for posh nosh at a top place in Lincoln. Apparently this hostelry is famous for it’s cheese menu, so after we’d finished our main nosh we ordered up some random cheese with biscuits. One of the cheeses was quite definitely the worst thing I have ever had the misfortune to eat – called Stinking Bishop it tasted like, well the best way I can describe it is the smell of Cow Shit. My guess is every time a waiter goes to the kitchen and says I’ve a table of slightly drunken idiots wanting some cheese, the Chef doles up the old Bishop. Worse part was we still had to pay for it and it definitely wasn’t cheap!!

So having broken my world record for talking I then proceeded to set another one a week later when I managed a whole 7 and half hours at the next presentation. This time we were at a lovely restaurant/hotel in the middle of the Yorkshire moors (I think) and the food was top notch – no foul cheeses but a scotch egg starter that cost a tenner. Now it was without a doubt the best damn scotch egg I’ve ever had but for ten quid I guess it bloody well should have been.

We’ve also had lots of somethingsilly stuff to organise and a football tournament to take part in. Big thanks to Thom Belk for organising said night and to Salisbury FC for hosting it.

A hard fought semi final saw the SomethingSilly Allstars overcome Shrewton Youth on penalties, despite playing the last 20 minutes with only ten men (cough cough) and SCFC Supporters over came the challenge of the Old Alehouse to claim the other final spot. The Allstars just shaded the big game to claim the trophy and despite Toz Judd getting named player of the tournament, it has been said many times (in this house anyway) that the decisive moment was definitely the first penalty in the semi final shoot out – now who took that I wonder………

It was a great night all round and aside from the fun and football, we raised over £200 so a massive thank you to everyone that turned out to play or watch. It’s greatly appreciated. I must confess however that trying to walk the next day was a challenge – who’d have known after all the running I’ve been doing (different muscle group I guess…..hope).

What else?

Oh yeah I’ve been interviewed by Spire FM. All was going well with Hen until the big boss man cut us short as he had a meeting with a deadline that included her. As a consequence I didn’t quite get to say all I needed to and I have no idea when it’s being aired (I was kinda rushed out). Never mind it was nice of them to want to interview me and hopefully he hit his deadline, I got the feeling if he didn’t the world was going to end and we don’t want that do we???

Had my monthly check up from the neck up at the hospital yesterday (they didn’t rush me out) and have been passed fit for another month which is nice – it does mean I’m OK to do the 100 miles though!! The training has taken a bit of a hit recently as I’ve had some side effects from the drugs that have prevented me from running but I’m back on track now and racking up the miles. Still don’t get that endorphin high and find it incredibly hard work but it will be worth it I’m sure.

Next week I’m off to ‘that London’ as the patient advocate on the initial NICE appraisal of Vemurafenib. This is where they try and decide if the drug should be introduced as part of the standard NHS treatment for Melanoma. It’s all assessed on a cost v benefit basis so fingers crossed – at the end of the day I understand that the NHS pot is only so big but without the drug I’d probably not be here now, so what price a life? And being particularly selfish, what price my life? Should be interesting. I’ll keep you posted. Firstly though I’ve got to try and decipher the documentation they have sent through to me as preparation for the meeting – I don’t understand half the words let alone what they’re saying.

The whole fundraising thing is going OK – I’ve hit my £1000 sponsorship which I’d set myself and there’s still a few weeks to go, so hopefully I’ll smash that and I know that lots of you lovely people have been donating on line so big thanks. If you haven’t sponsored us yet I know you will (you will won’t you) and to be honest why hang around, do it now. It’ll give you a nice warm feeling and help people just like me, now that’s got to be worth a few quid hasn’t it? Cheers you good people.

Anyway before I sign off here it is (groan) and finally……..

An overweight young lad decided to sign up for a weight loss program complete with personal trainer. It was explained to him that an essential part of the training was a run each morning at 6:00 a.m.

Determined to take it seriously he went to bed, setting his alarm for five thirty so when the door bell rang the next morning, he’s up, dressed and ready to go. Upon opening his front door he is confronted by the most beautiful blonde he has ever seen. She’s tall, very well endowed above a slim waist with long graceful legs. Dressed in a small pair of running shorts and a halter that can barely contain her, she smiles seductively and says, “If you can catch me, you can have me” turns and runs off at a very fast pace.

This continues every morning.

After three (very frustrating) weeks the young man begins to get in shape and can almost keep up with her, in fact he just about touches her shorts but can’t hang on. However, he thinks, tomorrow will be the big day, I’ll catch her and have her.

He barely sleeps that night waiting in eager anticipation.

The next morning, the bell rings precisely at 6:00 am. He runs downstairs to the door and throws it open. There stands a huge burley woman, at least six feet five inches in height and over 250 pounds. She’s muscled up like a plough ox and has a large wart amid her facial hair. She grins and says, “Hi, I’m your new trainer. If I can catch you, I can have you!”

Keep on keeping on people.