Well at least I was smiling by the end of the 2009 Edinburgh Marathon. But then I did have a beer in my hand and unlike many of the runners I passed in the last couple of miles I was still walking unaided and without the need for additional oxygen.
This was a race of two halves for me, a quick first one and a much slower, way more painful second one. By the time I’d done a 1hr 27min first half it was getting hot. That’s always going to be a potential issue with a marathon this late in the year but hey, this was Scotland, I didn’t realise they had temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius. Even on the start line at 9am it felt warm. The first few miles are shaded so it wasn’t until we hit the coast that it was obvious the sea breeze would be slight at best.
So great, a quick first half and then immediate tiredness. Miles 13-19 were really tough going and I struggled to maintain a sub 7 minute/mile pace. Any hope of the target I’d set myself, a sub 3 hour marathon, was ebbing away and I realised that to cope with the heat and not end up a wreck I needed to slow down. In fact at three separate points I walked for a short distance to compose myself. It worked as I felt fine for the last couple of miles and even managed a sprint finish on the home straight as I noticed the clock nearing 3hrs 10 minutes.
In reflection I ran a bad marathon. If I eased up in the first half I might well have been nearer the 3 hour mark. But I was heartened at the end by the knowledge that I now run ‘bad’ marathons in under 3hrs 10mins – not bad I think. Plus the crowds at the end were great (I was virtually alone down the finish straight and got huge cheers) and then I spotted some ladies serving beer – how could I refuse.
Many thanks to all who sent messages of support on Twitter and donated to the charity I was supporting. Unfortunately those finishing later in the race had a rough time with some of the water stations running out. That aside (and I realise that’s a big thing to put aside) I thought this a well-organised race in a great city. Great to see so many Bournville Harriers there as well – thanks for the company at dinner the night before.
David Harte (Male 40) (301) 228th 03:09:47
And I’m back.
As promised, I’ve now given my £40 to St Basils – happy to have you do the same if you wish. Although I do appreciate that giving up twitter is hardly some kind of great sacrifice so will understand if you’re not inclined to hand over a few pennies. It was generally harder than I realised though.
Oh and it is good to be back. I’ve been on so many ‘awesome runs’ and have been gagging to tell you all about them…
Okay, so as well as giving up twitter for Lent I’ve been thinking I could usefully give up other stuff for Lent on behalf of people who just haven’t got the time or inclination to do it for themselves. That’s right, I’m offering you the chance to outsource your Lent obligations – want to give up crisps for Lent but can’t actually bring yourself to do it? I’ll do it for you.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide what you’d like me to give up for Lent on your behalf. Put it in a comment here or drop me an email (dave [at] daveharte.com). I’m on twitter only until the end of today (24th Feb)
- It has to be something you want to give up. So if you say: “Dave I want you to give up being a tit for Lent,” then that’s fine but it’s more a reflection on you than me.
- I’ll do most things that don’t adversely affect my ability to stay alive and earn a living. I won’t be giving up running.
- It’ll cost you. Minimum price is a £1 a day. Lent is 40 days approx so that’s £40. Too much? Well if I get 10 of you who want to give up the same thing, chocolate as an example, for £4 each then that’s fine. Clubbing together is a good way to do this – you do the maths.
- If you commit, I’ll commit. I’ll begin your fast straight away but if the dosh doesn’t appear by the weekend I’ll presume you don’t want me to continue. Donations via my charity page.
- Monies to go to St Basils, a youth homelessness charity in Digbeth, Birmingham.
- I’ll post up progress on your fasting on this blog.
Let me know if you’re interested.
I’m giving up twitter for Lent. Now don’t go thinking this is part of some complex social experiment to remind myself of how life used to be before twitter – it’s nothing of the sort. It’s Lent, I’m just crazy about Lent and would love to have you help me out with my twitter-fast.
Like a lot of Catholics, I’m lapsed, lapsed since circa 1984 in fact, having given up the altar boy stuff a few years before that. I’ve not given up anything for Lent since then but I always enjoyed the banter amongst family and friends about who was going to give up what. It was usually something like swearing (impossible), chocolate (near impossible) or cabbage (erm, easy). So after a 24 year break Lent is back in my life and this year I’m giving up twitter.
For every day I manage to stay away from twitter I’ll give a pound to the Digbeth-based youth homelessness charity, St. Basils. Given that Lent refers to the 40 days and nights Jesus spent messing about in the desert that’s £40 for a start. For those that would like to show their support for what I’m doing you too can donate to the #keepdaveofftwitter campaign. Obviously multiples of 40 work and I don’t care if you give 40 x 1p, 40 x 10p or whatever you choose. All welcome. I run a marathon later this year but I’ll probably forego raising funds for that and see how I get on with this instead. There’s a second part to this Lent-based fundraising – info to follow. Am outsourcing Lent – see here.
So here’s the rules for the twitter-fast:
- Lent varies in length according to different beliefs but in my book it’s from the start of 25th February (Ash Wednesday) to the end of 11th April (Holy Saturday).
- I can’t look at twitter.com or use twhirl or any other app. My phone can’t access the net anyway so I won’t get updates there.
- I can’t use an RSS feed of any sort to look at tweets.
- I will be honest with you. If I lapse I’ll put £2 in for that day but I really don’t anticipate lapsing.
- I reckon #keepdaveofftwitter is a useful hashtag for this. Not that I’ll be reading your tweets anyway.
- Although not on twitter I do still exist (on email, dave[at]daveharte.com and on the phone and in person)
- I may glance at Facebook as I have a couple of friends on there who never use any other medium but I’ve long since stopped posting updates directly on there, pushing them through twitter instead.
I’m not alone with this idea
but the least I can do is turn my time in the social media wilderness into a positive for a local charity. Love to have your support.