Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 Bring it on!

Blimey. I finished 2011 (my first full year without an alcoholic drink and therefore a hangover since 1988ish!) with a 19.5 mile 14.2 mph average speed dawn cycle with two actual Ironmen that I had 'met' on Twitter. I learned loads during the 1hr 22mins we were out and I will confess to loving this cycling stuff! Meeting cyber 'friends' from Twitter is to many people an alien concept reserved for such mockery as would accompany an admission down the pub in front of your mates that you had signed up to a dating agency and you had a first date lined up. I stumbled upon Twitter in February with the naive notion that Jonathon Ross and Stephen Fry and Eddie Izzard etc would retweet my charity information to their millions of followers and donate cash so my fund raising would go through the roof. That's not quite how it works. Stephen Fry & Co sadly & simply aren't interested. I soon realised this and stopped following the 'celebs' and instead stuck with following 'normal' people doing extraordinary things. Ordinary people running the Edinburgh Marathon in May as I was preparing to do or preparing for an Ironman Triathlon or preparing to run 10 marathons in 10 days or from John O'Groats to Lands End or 100 marathons in 100 weeks or desert marathons or 24 hour Ultras or Himilayan Marathons or running across continents! I soon realised and took full advantage of a huge support network full of advice and support. Having signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon in Dec 2010 I was very lucky to have 4 marathon runners happy to help me through a winter of preparation for my first marathon and thanks to Gareth, John, Kate and Paul I completed it! I met @Deedah10 at the start line who smashed his marathon cherry that day too. I also got to join @mrhappyontherun for a stage of his JOG - LE run (22miles per day 6 days a week with one day of for 1050 odd miles via the London Marathon) in April - a run that gave me the belief I could conquer Edinburgh. I met @movingalong79 and ran with @100mara100weeks at Liverpool Marathon in October unfortunately failing to meet up with @ogdenrunner for the second time. Today @JWultra (Ironman and Brathay 10in10) and @Madlot1 (Ironman) turned out to be as supportive and insightful as they are on Twitter and to the best of my knowledge I've not yet met a nutter from my Twitter real life encounters! I've been inspired and supported by so so many friends on Twitter its ridiculous and whilst I cant mention them all here they are all the people followed by me @Sidowski ! For my two marathons this year and the beginning of my Ironman journey I have to thank all of the above, everyone on Twitter, all of my friends and family for spreading the Poppyfiields word and sponsoring me, Ken and Kenelope who are Poppyfields, but most of all I have to thank Mrs Brightside for putting up with me going on and on about routes, trainers, elevations, times, pace, kit, weather, training, Twitter, FB, sponsorship, as without her I am nothing and I certainly would not have my arse in gear! In return for her support she has gained the continual comedy moments of ribbing me about my "running friends" and now "cycling friends" anytime we see a runner or cyclist whether I know them or not. Thank you all! So onto 2012 sober, hangover free with a minor training run known as the London Marathon in April before the Outlaw Ironman in July (ironically its on the 1st being exactly 2 years to the day I started with a 2.5 mile run after 20 years of curry and cider!) then a 45mile sprint section of the JOGLE2012 relay as a warm down in August. JV got me into this mess and I've appointed him head coach for my IM preparations! I will unashamedly be leaning on you all throughout 2012 as I try and hit £5000 of sponsorship for Birmingham Children's Hospital @bham_childrens who have been treating my niece Poppy for a Brain Tumour since she was 14 months old - she will be 9 years old in 9 days time! I've never liked New Year and I always feel it odd to wish people a Happy New Year only because the changing of the year changes nothing and its purely down to the determination of the individual to make a change. I usually find it too sad and reflective but this year by becoming the WII WWE'12 and Just Dance 3 Household Champion against Mrs B and the rugs its been an end to 2011 full of laughs. I hope that continues for everyone. I'm out on the bike Monday morning, tagging on runs through Jan then hitting the pool. I've a feeling 2012 I could actually do this!

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