Posted by: onemanonedrum | September 21, 2010

Injury Time

From highs to lows. Everything had been going so well I had been training hard, running over 45 miles a week with some time spent in the pool slowly building my technique. Now look at me I am stuck doing core work because I can’t run up hill, it is so frustrating. I have been off the road for almost three weeks now and I am going crazy. I know that hamstring injuries are not to be taken lightly but this is so frustrating and now I am getting deja vu, I feel as though I have written this all before and it turns out that I have. I say again ‘it sucks to be injured’. To top everything, the second day after arriving in Seattle I sprained my ankle. Should I constantly walk around with joint supports on? Aaaargh!

Okay, lets look on the bright side, at the silver lining and any other metaphor that will lift my spirits. My core strength is increasing, I am just having to be really careful with my American diet so as not to drown in HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Stretches are slowly increasing and the pain is almost gone. I am going to lay down a gauntlet and say that on Monday the 27th of September I am going to recommence my training. I have eight weeks until the Seattle marathon and I am damn well gonna make it!


Posted by: onemanonedrum | May 18, 2010

It’s Official!

Well, one thing is official anyway. My pool training has begun.

I had planned to swim the English Channel in the summer of 2010. Well the summer is fast approaching and I have done a tonne of training, unfortunately only a small portion of it has been done in water and I don’t think that I can count running in the rain. Traveling in America hasn’t allowed me an opportunity for water training. Instead I opted to build my general fitness by running which lead to the completion of the Kirkland Half Marathon and hopefully the Seattle Marathon in November.

Today I entered the pool for the first time. I didn’t want to push myself and believe me, I didn’t. 64 laps of the Tottenham Green Pool would be enough to complete an entire mile. I, on the other hand, completed an impressive 20 laps. If you do the math, that is a staggering 500m. No please, there is no need for applause. Really there isn’t. I will optimistically look at this as a good start and can safely say that the only way is up. The only worry I have is combining my running regime with my new swimming schedule, not that I have organised one.

I am working on a new mantra “Take it slow and listen to my body.”

Posted by: onemanonedrum | March 28, 2010

Second Anniversary

What should I buy to celebrate this auspicious day? Tradition suggest a gift of cotton. Cotton wool pads, a particularly important part of my adventure, used daily to administer the much needed treatment that kept me moving.

I admit, the treatment wasn’t perfect, it had a few flaws but I wasn’t a trained chiropodist, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had taken the suggestions from a range of electronic and ink based sources, tossed them into a pot and pulled out what I understood to be the best and most practical methods of keeping my feet in good shape. This being the use of surgical spirit as a daily cleaner, disinfectant and skin hardener (thank you wiki).

The flaws were the volcanic islands of puss that irrupted from my feet in strategically painful areas. Like I said, the treatment wasn’t perfect. Blisters and sores, when located on the feet have unusual properties. After a few weeks of friction they turn nasty, they start to attack, taking no prisoners, pulling none of their targeted punches. Their sole purpose is to repay you for not heeding to their clear warnings. And pay you do. Once the courtship is over a tentative relationship between you and your blisters blossoms.

You put your best foot forward” a lyric I remember being sung by Rolf Harris on ‘Saturday OK?‘ but what if you don’t have a best foot? What if both feet are decidedly F**ked? The first step of the day was always agonising, no amount of Ibuprofen Gel could reduce the swelling or relieve the pain that brewed over night. The only way to keep both parties happy as the partnership grows is, not to stop. No matter what hurts, what twinges or pulls you cannot stop because you’ll pay for it, in tears. In the beginning I had enjoyed stopping and talking to anyone I could about what I was doing and why. You may understand that this became less and less enjoyable towards the end, because their are only a finite number of first steps that you’ll want to take each day. The optimum being…

So, I would like to propose a toast. Please, raise your glasses of rubbing alcohol. Dry your eyes with your complimentary cotton wool pads and rub your sore feet in memory of all those whose blisters have wept for a cause.

It’s not all bad, to take a line from Monty Python “I got better”.

Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 10, 2007


Sleeping on concrete slabs is not good for you, especially when your tent is not secured to anything and the only thing holding it down is your own weight and the weight of a drum!

The sound of the waves gently crashing onto the shore is great to put you to sleep but being woken by a sudden gust of wind trying to move your tent to a different location doesnt half freak you out!

WEATHER UPDATE: Blustery winds with drizzle! So I waterproof up!

I nip into the Post Office to thank Gale for her help and to check my postal account! No Joy! It hasnt worked and the only place to fix it is in wick!

I have 2 choices:

* Travel to wick and sort it out, wasting a day and the weather!

* Plow on and get the bus back to wick in the morning!

I pick door number 2, I’ll sort it out tomorrow!

I pass Nottingham (they have one up here) and a red van pulls up beside me with two guys in it! They are the support team from the lincolnshire fire and rescue LEJOG cycle team! Who they explain I will meet coming at me! And less than an hour later two HiVis yellow jerseys scoot pass me followed by the red van!

I stop in Lathornwheel to call the BBC Radio Leicester studio to do an interview for Rupals show, I update her on the weather and the size and shape of my newly formed blisters! After the drenching on the first day my feet have soften too much so I am now getting massive blisters!

Dunbeath is calling me and my spirits are lifted as a women thrusts a bag of toffes into my hand out of a parked car (John & Lydia)

In a lot of pain I arrive at the Inver campsite just outside Dunbeath! I pitch my tent and crash!

Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 9, 2007


I wake after a horrible nights sleep waking up every hour for no reason at all!

Its a beautiful morning outside which spirs me on I get up and make some rice for breakfast! william has dried my trousers and charged my phone! Legend!

I pack down my tent and prep to leave! I have to pop into wick to pay the cheques in that I got at the Musician. I check the balance £10 awesome and I only have about £20 in by pack I need sunscreen and bug repellent not that my bodies own odour wont kill anything within 5ft!

Oh well it could be worse I have food, I have my tent and I almost have my health! The knee feels better not perfect but better!

Leaving Wick I pass the Caithness Courier office so I drop in to do an interview.

I meet Mark again he has been using Wick as a base camp for his first few days running away then coming back and staying in a B&B. I dont know if I could do that, I prefer to stay where I stop and continue on in the morning to the next place going back and forth over the same ground just sounds like punishment to me!

The sun is out and I feel like a packhorse (I didnt want to say ass)At the top of the hill coming out of wick I decide to take a break and check my phone now it is fully charged! Joanne from the press and journal had left a message trying to organise a photographer to come out to me, i call her back and we arrange for him to drive out and catch up with me I’m not hard to find Man With Drum!

Half an hour later a 4×4 cuts infront of me and out jumps Robert MacDonald the photographer! he takes a few snap and I ask him how far it was to Lybster, his response was ‘about 10 miles’ ohh!

I tried to have a nap outside a house near Bruan but road works and traffic stopped me!

The views over the coastline are stunning! Out to sea i can spy the wind farm that is being constucted!

Arriving in Lybster was tough. My mantra was now ‘I think I can, I know I can’ (Dumbo: Walt Disney 1941) I make it to the Post Office where I ask if there is anywhere I can pitch my tent. The lady calls someone asking if I can Pitch my tent down by the harbour? The reply comes back yes but not on the nochi pitch!

After being shown down to the harbour by her son I find out that the harbour (other than the nochi pitch) is just concrete slabs or gravel! I pitch on the concrete slabs and prepare for and uncomfortable night!

I have to trudge back up the hill to check my messages as there is no signal in the deep valley  of the harbour!

Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 8, 2007

No Bloody Way

0700 my alarm wails!

I roll over peering out the zip of my tent and see what I can already hear and have heard for the past 24hrs! RAIN!

I zip up and roll over knowing that all my gear is still sodden and my knee aches from the gymnastic manouvre the day before! I make a plan to find a laundrette and dry everything out!  my shoes are going to be the major problem and my trousers are line dry only!

Theres a laundrette near the harbour, the weather begins to calm down the rain stops so around midday I venture over to the harbour! dry my clothes and come back my trousers are still soaked but william offers to dry them over night at home!

My tent neighbours are a musical family the eldest son is a drummer so I give him the professional question and show him a few tricks!

In the end a relaxing day the sun has come out i allow my shoes to dry out side and prep for the next day!

Lybster here we come!

Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 7, 2007

Wick to John O’Groats to Land’s End

6:50 AM

Well the alarm works! My arm doesn’t work, must have slept on it. First time sleeping in a tent for a long time probably about 15 years.

What a day to start my journey torrential rain outside my tent! Luckily I am walking back to wick so I don’t have to take my tent down! Even though I dont have to I take the rest of my gear with me (may as well start as I need to go on). William at the campsite gives me a lift over to the bus stop which is just the other side of the river. The bus doesnt leave until 8:35 on a saturday which gives me about 20mins to wait. so I do some well needed stretching after my first night sleeping outdoors!

The bus arrives and take 45mins to get to John O’Groats, 45 mins there 8 hours back! On arrival I register my walk at the LAST HOUSE (I dont honestly know why they call it the last house as there are many more houses north south east and west). Waiting for the official photographer I nip into the cafe for a bacon and egg cob, the perfect start to a horrible morning, I write a postcard to my mum thinking she may like a postcard with the official JOG postal stamp.

At around 1100 AM I adone my PROSTaid T-shirt and get my ONE MAN ONE DRUM 1000 MILES picture taken by the photographer who is dressed to the hilt in waterproofs the only skin showing are his hands and face. Honestly is it really necessary? YES!!!!! The rain is coming sideways across the land!

I get my waterproofs back on and head over to the official start line (again I dont really know why you start there but it does say in big letters START/FINISH)

walking up the hill with the rain coming straight at me blistering my face as I reach the top on Hill 1 only hundreds left.  i’ve only come a mile and a half and I am already drenched the only things that are dry are my feet!  the wind and rain are relentless coming down over the hill I meet a cyclist coming up he is on his last day of a LEJOG that has taken him into his third week the weather for him up until now has been kind! Its just punishment for his last day!

I have to stop as my shoulders ache and I want to get out of the rain I huddle against a dry stone wall (not so dry) munch on a banana and a mars bar then drag myself up and back into the rain (not that I was ever out of it). A few miles later a figure appears next to me in shorts and trainers.

Mark Allison running from JOG to LE for St Benedicts Hospice! Day 1 of five weeks! we chat for a bit about our attempts and then off he runs half an hour or so later I meet his wife who is following him in her car she offers me a banana and wants to sponsor my event! Very supportive and a bit of a boost!

They day continues the weather rages and the miles slowly reduce i am wet through my socks have got wet so my feet are squelching! This is now reminding me of my promotional walk only a lot worse! If I’d have brought my tent with me I probably would have put it up in the middle of no where and just sulked!

My feet are starting to soften being encased with water! I trudge into a shop that sells freshly made tea and try and dry out just a little whilst hugging the warm polestyrene cup!

on the next trudge I meet a car (or should I say that a car tried to meet me up close and personal!) I had to jump out the way onto the grass verge at the side of the road twisting my bad knee in the process, not good! Until this point all the cars have been polite and patient moving around me if they could or waiting until they could!

WICK at last i see a sign for wick and the wind sock of the airport I know is near by! at this point I am drenched my feet and shoulders are sore and time is getting on all I am thinking about is my tent and stove!

The last mile is a challenge just focusing on my goal not stopping and pushing myself on I arrive in wick now all I have to do is find the campsite! I follow the river and there it is, tent sweet tent! The woman looking after the campsite for the night kindly take a picture of me next to the campsite sign and I crawl of to my ‘home’ trying to keep it as dry as possible!

Tent Stove Food my mantra for the last mile and now a reality!

What will tomorrow bring?

Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 6, 2007

Travelling Up

Well here I am in WICK, 18 miles south of John O’Groats I have travelled up here by train and it has taken me over 14 hours! I have to catch the bus to John O’Groats in the morning and then start my JOGLE.

On the journey through to Birmingham I realised that there was a bunch of stuff I’d forgotten to take with me (never move just before a big adventure – moving is a big adventure)  I bought a crappy travel pillow (the ones that you wrap around your neck – they are rubbish!) thought it may come in handy over fourteen hours, it did! It was used to garot me all the way up! realised that I’d forgotten to pack any pants! error! so at 8.20 on a friday morning I’m running around B’ham station trying to find somewhere that sells pants and is open! Don’t worry I find some!

I catch my train to Glasgow sitting first next to a lady who didnt seem to mind sitting next to someone who honestly wasnt smelling his best! A few minutes in i realise that everyone had packed themselves into the first available seats and the other half of the carraige was empty so I grab myself an availble table seat and spread out aquiring the seat opposite for my feet! Slap on my ipod with the BBC radio play of The Lord Of The Rings (12 hours worth) and try to catch up on some well needed sleep!

The journey passes quite steadily with me drifting in and out of conciousness! I meet a few nice people with whom I pass the time chatting about my journey and theirs.

At Glasgow I have to switch stations and catch the train to Perth.  The train is rammed! I grab a flip down seat hugging my gear so it doesnt fall on any small children.

At Perth its off the train again and on to another to Inverness which as I’m walking I meet Friea a lovely american sounding swedish scott! We chat about my proposed travels and we talk about how she wants to do the ley line walk in spain! I try and spir her on “I you want to do it just go! otherwise you’ll just put it off!”.  She dismebarks after about half an hour leaving me with another hour and a half! This journey just goes on!

Inverness! I run across the road to Blacks asking if they have an alarm clock for sale Ben the assistant gives me his as his boss bought him two that day to try and get him into work on time!

Back on the train to Wick. Lots of stops and starts but finally at 2210 we arrive in wick, I’ve already prebooked a pitch at the wick campsite where I arrive ladden with food shopping set up my tent and crash setting my alarm for D-Day tomorrow!