Category: Running

2008 WTF?!?

By , Thursday 1st January 2009 12:00 am

2008 was a strange old year, there’s several things I really enjoyed about it,  and there’s some things that have now been forgotten and moved on with….


I haven’t done much in the way of scuba diving I think I managed around about 10 dives all year. One of those dives was the scuba santas event at Vobster Quay which was more successful than my wildest dreams. In the end we raised over £1000 for the RNLI, got coverage on BBC and ITV, and had around 80 divers in the water. Vobster was a sea of scuba diving santas for the day! I really hope I get to do mroe diving in 2009 (lots more!), getting back into it will involve lots of training to get comfortable again. I miss the days of getting on the boat, sun beaming down, grabbing a lobster, packing up   and heading home for a few beers.


At the end of January 2008 I was involved in a car crash, hit from behind whilst stopped, nothing major or so I thought. Over several months my neck pain got progressively worse stopping me running. In the end I contacted an accident claims company who started getting me treatment with a chiropractor in Cardiff which I’m still attending (March 2009 – the claim still isn’t settled either). Running is another one of those things I want to get back to, I did start with Miles but between illnesses, injuries, and him eventually moving to Cambridge we only got out a handful of times. I really need a good kick up the bum to get going again, although my one consolation is that I have been cycling back and fore to work for months which is doing me some good.


In July 2008 I moved into a flat with Megan, we’re getting through the painting and decorating and getting it looking really nice  – although we’re sort of dragging our heels with the painting….still. The flat is in Adamsdown in Cardiff (I never seem to move far) and is suiting us just great.


Work was all over the place in 2008, I started off drifting a little before taking up work at a letting agent as manager. This helped no end with the estate and letting agency software that I was developing. My plan for the estate and letting agency software is to release it as a low cost product when I have more time to clear it up. From what I’m told about competing products on the market it is easier to use and performs many or more of the same functions in a better way :)

During April 2008 coming up to my 22nd birthday both Megan and my mother started pushing for me to ‘get a career’, which a hard idea to swallow was really what I needed. Running my own company was fun but didn’t provide the stability needed and earning a pittance at the letting agency wasn’t a long term career goal. It was always a case of wait until I get my software finished and I’ll start selling it, but time was always against me.

What followed was several interviews with some great companies in some great areas, full of promise of moving to a new area, fresh start seemed great. The best job offer was with a large hosting provider in the Worcester area and seemed ideal. So what happened? Well I had developed an online SMS solution back around christmas that had been sitting around not doing much which investors were found for. Excellent I thought and off we went. All didn’t end well and after several months of broken promises and rising stress levels I made a stand and walked out. Working 60 hours a week, coming home and doing another 3-4 hours plus working all weekend and for all the stress it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (Here I’d like to thank Megan, my parents, and my friends that stood by me, I was a stress-headed dick at times, and I’m sorry)

Four weeks later I landed myself a job with a company called Tracesmart in Cardiff Bay as a PHP Developer. After passing the tests and the interviews I started with a whole pile of enthusiasm (as you can imagine things had been a bit low for sometime). Tracesmart perform people searching, people tracing, electoral roll data handling, involving huge quantities of data. I’ve been there now for about 5 months (given I’m actually writing this in March 2009) and I love every minute of it. I’m pushing myself every day, have a great working environment (my desk overlooks the bay!), good colleagues! I’ve been involved in some good projects (other posts to follow) and I’m really proud of the work I’m doing there.


Despite starting 2009 in Germany suffering from the Novo virus 2009 is great so far. Megan and I spent  New Years time in Germany and Amsterdam. Amsterdam is beautiful and the Anne Frank house had a real profound effect on me, somewhere we’ll definately be returning to. Work is going really well. My neck is getting better and better so in a couple of weeks time I’ll head out for those first few awful runs once again. The only thing I really need now is a good few dives (or a dive holiday) to get back into the swing of things!

Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding Challenge 10k 2007

By , Sunday 16th December 2007 11:00 am

I’d been looking forward to this race for a good couple of months! The Christmas Pudding challenge promised a big sand dune and a spell of stream running. I was not disappointed. My first race at Merthyr Mawr, before this race I didn’t even know that the highest sand dune in Europe was almost in my back yard. After parking the car a couple of miles away and running up to the start I saw the monster in front of me *gulp* much bigger than I was expecting.

The Big Dipper, Merthyr Mawr, South Wales Here’s a picture of the sand dune from near the top as you can see its a big one at about 300ft! The way up was tough and with lots of people I couldn’t go any faster even if I’d wanted to. Anyway there was a bit of congestion at the top of the dune so there was a few minutes of waiting around (good time for everyone to catch their breath). The next thing I know I’m plummeting straight down the other side at full speed, half worried I’m going to bowl over at any moment, but my its good fun ;)

From there we head out across a flat wind swept area before what I heard to refer as the ‘orrible hill, and it was just that. A long steep hill up to the golf course (at least it wasn’t covered in sand too). So did the usual trick, drop the arms, reduce the stride length and switch into “Disney’s Little Engine that Could” mode….

“I know I can, I’m sure I can, I know I can, I’m sure I can”

…which slowly became, “I’m not sure I can, I know my legs hurt” :( Slowly but surely I got to the top of the hill and had some nice views down to the sea.

I figured the mid-point couldn’t be far away at this time and upon approaching not only were we offered water but mulled wine and mince pies. Now being the highly professional athlete I am of course I opted for the mulled wine, vitamins, water, warmth it all made sense…..surely? A good cup of hot mulled wine it was and with the long slow decent I started flying along – alcohol fueled possibly ;)

Around back to the dunes which again made the running a little tough and in the back of my mind the stream was coming. Next thing I know we’re running through a shallow bit of water, some tried to skirt around the outside but for a laugh I headed through the middle :) Got out of that one when a marshall mentioned there was another couple to go. Lets say the third one was pretty deep and cold, almost got up to places I don’t wish to have frozen off, but fortunately the crowd was spared me shreaking like a girl had that happened!

Post race I collected my soup and bread roll and Christmas Pudding and ran back to a warm car for the drive home accompanied by some loud JayZ courtesy of Radio 1.

Cardiff Santa Dash 2007

By , Sunday 9th December 2007 12:30 pm

 This was to be a quick 5km race around Bute Park in Cardiff, however the weather over the past week meant that a last minute change of course was required reducing the course length to around 3km (best guess!). The announcement system was terrible (being polite) so I don’t think many people actually had much of an idea what was going on.

The race went ok, nothing much to report except although things in the gym has been going well it doesn’t make up for a lack of running in the outdoors! I have the Merthyr Mawr Christmas pudding next weekend which I’m really looking forward to although the weather has prevented much running outside. This will need to fixed over the next week :)

Cardiff Santa Dash 2007 Photos

Tour of Torfaen Half Marathon

By , Sunday 28th October 2007 10:00 am

What am I doing? I’ve been in bed all week with a bad cold, I’ve managed one run since the Cardiff Half where I pulled my left calf, and now I’m stood out in the freezing driving rain about to run another one!!! Standing at the start line, soaked to the bones already, the hooter goes…. here we go again :) Continue reading 'Tour of Torfaen Half Marathon'»

Cardiff Half Marathon 2007

By , Sunday 14th October 2007 9:00 am

So today was it, my first half marathon. Training had gone fairly well, I’d managed to do my over the mountain half training several times my best time on that being 1 hour 57 mins roughly. A few days of tapering, which generally meant I felt rubbish and there I was standing on the start line at 8:30am. I finished in 1 hour 48 mins 44 seconds. Continue reading 'Cardiff Half Marathon 2007'»

BUPA Great Wales Run 2007

By , Sunday 29th July 2007 2:13 pm

Today I ran in the BUPA Great Wales 10k run around Cardiff Bay. It’s the first year the event has happened and must say it all seemed to run pretty smoothly. Before the day I was hoping to get around in 54’ish but I’ve been training hard with lots of climbs on my route so when I was 4km in and realised I was putting in 5 minute kilometers I figured I was going to get in under 50′. Unfortunately towards the end I started to slow and crossed the line in 50’24”. Still did better than expected so I can’t complain! Continue reading 'BUPA Great Wales Run 2007'»

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