So my no booze until the marathon has been run lasted all of 5 days when late on Thursday I discovered on Twitter that the band The Destroyers were back in Liverpool as headline act on the Friday night of The Threshold Festival. So with tickets bought for me and a mate we headed on down to Liverpool’s Baltic triangle. First venue we headed for was District which was The Picket. It was here we go our festival wrist bands which would get us in any venue for the night and the first band on at District were The Indecision who are an 8 piece Ska band. We only caught a few songs as we wanted to head out and check out the other venues of the festival but first up some ska and a can of Red Stripe. A good start to the night. Below is a youtube track from The Indecision.
Next venue was The Nordic Church or maybe better known as Gustav Adolfs Kyrka or the Scandinavian Seamen’s Church built in 1883. I have been past this grade II* listed building many times but never ventured in. After doing a full lap of the church looking on how to get in with eventually rang the bell and were let in and went upstairs into the church to watch Stems perform. The venue was very atmospheric and suited the music well. I ended up buying a CD of Stems as we caught the final few songs in their set. A splendid building just lacking one thing, a bar so it was time to move on.
So looking at some street art (See above) as we walked to the next venue 24 Kitchen Street and the next band we got to see were Kalandra. Kitchen 24 is just a small warehouse room with the joy of some gas bottle urinals (See below) Kalandra are a six piece folk/rock band based in Liverpool with some strong female lead vocals. Caught quite a bit of this set but most noticeable here were the number of photographers at the start of the performance. Now I am just getting into photography and thought is this my destiny to get out taking pictures at gigs and getting in peoples way ? Anyway the paparazzi soon settled down and we could enjoy Kalandra who perform “Sell your voice” below.
Next up we walked around the The Baltic Bakehouse which was a tiny venue so we swerved it and headed up to Unit 51. Which as the name suggests is a unit converted into a a food and drinks place which puts some events on. Playing here were Hey Bulldog who were three piece, though sadly the drummer was out of view on a weird stage set up. They made lots of noise for just the three of them and the blues influence was shining through. Another good band.
Onwards we went and now the The Blade Factory which is part of The Camp and Furnace. Playing here were Book Thieves a four piece indie/rock band. One of the loudest venues this one despite its size and another good performance. So back to were we started and District were we caught China Bull Shop. Hard to nail this one down with a rapper and a brass section I think I will use their Facebook description as Ska, Rave, Rock rap and in your face. China Bull Shop impressed me most out of the bands I had seen so far and were very impressive live. The track that stood out was I think called “Rotten tomato entertainment” ?? so with them blowing us away including a human pyramid attempt in the crowd and some cat dancing there was a slight delay before the headline act.
So with it well past midnight it was time for The Destroyers who I had seen twice in Liverpool within the space of a few weeks in 2012 and at Glastonbury last year. Nicked from their Facebook biog “A collection of rogues and misfits surfing a tidal wave of horns, fiddles and guitars! Rapidly exploding from the ‘Balkan Brass’ genre they emerge as an anarchic orchestra of blazing passion and breathtaking originality.” all 14 plus of them. The District venue was now busy and the crowd were not let down by The Destroyers with another energetic performance which had the crowd bouncing from start to finish and week worth a look at their promo video below and checking out their last album “Hole in the universe” and the band were joined onstage by several large scouse balloons and even more smaller ones later on. An act worthy of headlining the night and I can’t wait to see them again hopefully at Glastonbury 2014.
So as quite often is the case a hastily arranged night out turns out to be a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed the Friday of The Threshold festival which carries on on Saturday and Sunday http://www.skiddle.com/festivals/threshold-festival/ Great going to a few new venues I had not been to before including the church and well worth falling in after 2am and just £9 for 7 bands. A day to recover now before a 16 mile training run tomorrow for my marathon attempt gulp !!
Fay x x x x x
So here we were and race day one and the BTR Liverpool half marathon. Having had more training in the bank this year than last despite losing three weeks with a chest infection in January I was in semi confident mood I could nail a personal best in my second half marathon. Of course this was just a stepping stone to the full Liverpool marathon on 25th May. Having done some research in race preparation all advice pointed me to a pasta tea on Saturday. Well those of you who know me and my eating habits would have laughed at that but I did manage some Heinz spaghetti hoops on brown bread ! I also laid off the diet coke as this is said to dehydrate you and I was in bed for 8:30pm and sound asleep by about 9:30. The youngest (nearly 2) decided to be good and I got the best sleep I could have expected and was up for 7am for some Jelly Babies and a Lucozade sport and a PRD (Pre race dump) don’t want no Paula Radcliffe moment. So arriving at the Pier Head with plenty of time to spare it was indeed quite apparent then that the feared wind in your face along the prom for the last 4 miles would indeed pack quite a punch. Talking race tactics with a mate we said we might find a group of runners and then try and draft them. I then said I hope no cheeky bastard gets behind me and drafts off my 6 foot 3, seventeen stone athlete’s physique.
So 9am and the start. I held myself towards the back and let all the fast people and people who think they are fast but then crash and burn around 10 miles get on with it. Brendan Rodgers was the official starter oh how I would like to next see him in the flesh on Queens Drive in May on an open top bus. So the first part of the race seen me running faster than I normally do and I just let my race take it’s natural course. Around the 8 mile mark my “fans” were there to see me and was later told that man dressed as a hotdog was in front of me !! I picked up some drinks and a change of hat and headed on down through Otterspool Park to the prom. A small downhill run to the prom and Zap, Pow, Boff and Kerfucking Pow a right turn into a bastard of a headwind. Holy smoke Fay this is gonna be a tough slog and it was. My miles times as I expected fell back a bit and unlike last year when I had a “kick” in me for the final mile I only managed a small “kick” this time.
So that was it my second half marathon completed. Had I beat last years 02:15:52 a quick check and I had and the official time for me was 2:09:17 which considering that wind coming home was a good effort. On the official time page I had noticed that last year I was in the open category but this year I debuted in the 40+ category, life’s a bitch eh. I finished 4743 out of about 9000 better than last years 5238 and if there was an over
17st category pie arse category I reckon I would have done well in that. Of course this half marathon as mentioned is just a stepping stone and this week was a “rest week” with just a 10k and Half Marathon !! A few days rest before its out on the road again for a 10, 8 and 16 mile set of runs next week.
I am of course doing this for charity and many thanks to all those who have sponsored me so far. It really does mean so much to me and will inspire me over the hell of the next 9 weeks. You can donate by clicking HERE or if I am clever enough I will put something at the bottom of the blog. So in a weird twist of fate I have including the marathon itself 26 more runs to do. The challenge that my late dad set me has been half done but that is the easy half. With some dedication and 9 weeks off the ale I will do this. My dad would have been proud of me today but he would have been chuffed and proud when I finish the big race. So Desperado’s this evening and unless Liverpool win the league nine weeks dry (yes I know it will be nine weeks dry) which will be just as hard as the marathon. Good news as well no more harassing for sponsorship until May now ha ha.
Fay x x x x x
So last night I finally gave into temptation. In the whole of Feb and seven days in March I had managed to stay off the grog apart from two days in Warsaw. So OK then in the two days in Warsaw I most probably consumed enough ale for the whole of February but I had done well to stay off the grog. But last night after a gentle 5 mile training run I decided enough was enough and I would have a bottle of wine with the missus ( 1 each like ) So for those of you who don’t know back in November I decided I would run the Liverpool half marathon on March 23rd and then push on and do the Liverpool rock & roll marathon on May 25th. So what prompted me to do this. Apologies if you have heard this for about the 20th time but some readers might not of. Back in the mid 80’s when my dad was over 20 stone and turned 40 in the February he said he was going to do the Liverpool marathon in September. Oh how we chuckled. His first run was around Sefton Park in Liverpool and started by the swings in Aigburth Vale and he had to stop some 200m later as he reached the iron bridge !! Fast forward to September and he was a good few stone lighter and finished the full marathon in just under 4 hours 30. After the race he challenged me to complete a marathon when I was 40. I was just into my teenage years and the thought of being 40 was light years away and my aim in life then would have been to lose my virginity again light years away ! So sadly my dad died in September 2012 and I announced that I would do a marathon in honour of him when I was 40. So in September 2013 I reached 40 and in November started training for the races.
Just a gentle start kicked off my training with the idea of kicking on after chrimbo. I mean hardly worth doing that much to put any weight loss back on (and more) over the festive period and come the new year the scales of justice indeed said I was the fattest I had ever been. 18stone 10 for the record and confirmation if it was ever needed that sausage rolls and Desperado’s do indeed go straight to the hips, or belly in my case. So new year training went well until around the middle of January I got a bad chest infection which caused me to miss 3 weeks worth of running which included a failed attempt in which I got some dodgy chest pains and had visions of dropping dead on the spot. The half marathon was now in the balance. I ripped up my jogging plans and created a new one which was shit or bust for the half marathon. Things started to get back on track and I thought I would invest in a new pair of trainers which might help me now I was reaching 10 miles in training. How wrong I was. Some killer blisters and after just 4 runs in my new trabs I abandoned them for the old ones yesterday and put in the fastest mile times of my training so far and no new blisters and minimal pain off my old ones. It felt like I was back. So the first leg of my challenge is just over a fortnight away and it will be 12 miles tomorrow with my new jogging belt which will be armed with some Lucozade sport and energy gels. The scales of justice say I have lost over a stone now and hopefully more will drop off as I build up to 20 miles in training. It is quite hard to plan runs once you get to the higher distances but I have worked out that the big 20 miler will see me get the train to Ainsdale and then jog home, christ that seems a long way !!
Not only do I want to do the marathon’s for myself and my dad I am also gonna try and raise some sponsorship as well. In time honoured tradition I have set up a just giving page http://www.justgiving.com/faymondo The charity I have chosen is Christie’s hospital MORE INFO HERE Back in 1996 my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the prognosis was not good. With the help of Christie’s hospital and the amazing courage of my mum she defied all the odds and lived for an amazing 10 extra years. Years in which she managed to see me get married and have our first child, something I thought she would never get to see. My dad during this time had lung cancer and after mum died suffered from a brain tumour all of which he beat but the general toll on his health was too much in the end. So I since the age of 23 cancer sadly had played a part in my life. Anyway thats the end of the sob story and if you could spare whatever you can even if it is just £1 any monies raised with give me great satisfaction as I cross the line. I have not set a target on the Just Giving page as what will be will be and thanks in advance to anybody who sponsors me.
So early night tonight in preparation for tomorrows long jog. The feet will hurt over the next few months, the muscles will ache, hopefully my pants get looser and I nail the 26 and bit miles and raise a couple of quid in the process. But most important to me will be the fact I know my old man would have been very proud x x x
Fay x x x x x