So first off the big news of the week and the massive announcement that Zayn Malik has left One Direction. How would my 7 year old daughter take it. Well luckily her favourite is Niall and the band hasn’t split up so it wasn’t as big as drama as it could have been in the Fay household. The autumn tour is still on so Charlotte is happy to go on. Though I have a feeling they might spew it after that tour so we might have some delicate counselling to pay for so our daughter isn’t permanently scarred for life by the disbanding of one direction. This could cost a few bob as therapy doesn’t come cheap though I think I might opt for plan B which is get over it, lets go the Lego shop and I will buy you a new Lego Friends set.
The second big news of the week was the leaders debate that wasn’t really a debate and the self titled #RaceForNumber10 which I watched on Sky News. How the mighty have fallen just that little bit further and the highlight of the week was settling down with a glass of wine to watch the “debate” Oh how nice it was to see Paxman back. First up was Cameron and as he walked out I found myself behaving like I was watching a pantomime and letting a loud “Boooooooooo” out at the television. Come to think of it and the behaviour on the last day of parliament the whole thing isn’t far off being a panto ! I won’t bog this blog down with political bollocks just wanted to point out how my life has gone from lost weekends clubbing to being excited at political debate. Some might call it growing up and maturing. I prefer the lost weekends.
And finally as Sir Trevor McDonald once said today was the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon arranged by BTR Liverpool. Training had been going well. Previously I smashed my 10k personal best a few weeks ago after a few beers the night before. A few weeks after that I ran a personal best half marathon in training, again after a few beers the night before. This time though I decided to the the professional athlete and lay off the grog the night before as I was attempting to break the two hour mark. Coming out of Moorfields train station at 8.30am in the morning I passed two girls still clearly twisted from the night before. Oh how 20 years ago it would be me getting the 82 bus home after night at Garlands followed on by extra punishment at the G-Bar. Now however balder, fatter and with some wrinkles developing it was not a post clubbing experience at 8.30am on Moorfields but a pre race routine for what would be my third half marathon. So in twenty years I had gone from 13 stone clubber to a just under 17 stone athlete. How does that work ?
Down the start line I bumped into a few people I knew and had myself positioned just behind the two hour pace maker so I knew exactly what I had to do. The good news was that the wind had died right down but with that the pay off was rain. To be honest give me that anytime. So the race was off and the two hour pacer was away in the distance as I was meandering towards the start line. I like a chilled start to the race to settle down into a rhythm and my plan of just hanging in behind the pacemaker was up in smoke before I had even got to the start line. It was already onto plan B and my Nike Running app on my iPhone and the good old trusted stopwatch. The first mental target was to get to the top of Upper Parliament street and the knowledge that any big hills were out of the way. All done and nicely settled into band on nine minute miles. Next up was my fastest mile of 8:47 which was the decent from Princess Avenue. Next up the park (Sefton) now I hate running around there at the best of times but it is easier during a race. Before I knew it I was well past half way and on target for the sub two hour as I ran past my fan base who were bravely out in the rain by the subway in Aigburth Vale. Next up a very wet Otterspool and then the turn along the prom which was gonna be the decider regarding any personal best time as it was time to see what the wind was doing. Thankfully as forecast it had dropped and the record attempt was go. The bad news along the prom is I was passed by Spiderman and a blind man but I did managed to get past Superman who had edged in front of me around the park. Two miles out and the rain was driving as hard as ever and I started to develop a stitch. A few expletives later and some deep breaths and a slight slowing of the pace and it had gone. A look at the watch and it was gonna be close for the sub two hour attempt. Like Sebastian Coe I kicked for home. Nearer the end as the fans cheering became more and more I took my earphones out to soak up the atmosphere and push on harder. Speeding to the line I crossed the line with a burst of speed (Must look like a tit ! ) and I was sub two hour and my last mile was one second slower than my fastest. Official time 01:58:06. 2014 time 02:09:17 2013 02:15:52 Here I am in the form of my life with the Brazil olympics just over a year away. Sadly though I did once again not win the award for best Fay with Steven Fay beating me. No relation but I do know him so he can give me some stick again next time we meet over a pint.
So congratulations to all who finish, a thanks to all volunteers (I am gonna do this for a race soon) and to BTR Liverpool for putting on another great event. The next big call in my racing career is should I push on for the full marathon in June ? I would love to go sub five hour but it means two months of frankly very ****ing hard work. I will deffo do the half that day. I am up to 15 miles training and will push on so will see what happens. So refuelling now with a Desperados and a Lincolnshire sausage roll and chilling for the rest of the day with added bling and the sense of achievement.
Fay x x x x x x
So August 11th 1999 I had most my hair and was a bit slimmer. Not a grey hair in sight and no wife and kids, eclipses were better in them days. The excitement was high as I had been waiting for this day since I was a child. So me and a mate armed with our eclipse glasses headed up to Everton Park for a great vantage point for the great eclipse. So the day light went a funny tint of colour and the sun looked Ok in the eclipse glasses. A bit of a letdown to be honest. I lived with my nan at the time in the same house we live now and got her to have a look from our backyard. She was non plussed by it all and seem more bothered an old Episode of The Bill was about to start on UK Gold in the living room where despite it being August the fire was on its traditional two bars !! So fast forward nearly 16 years now married with three kids, fatter, balder and hints of grey thought the fittest athletically I have been in my life, take that oh body of mine. This time it was just a jarg partial eclipse but I was somewhat more excited this time around. Maybe it’s the fact I know I haven’t got many of these to see in my lifetime with the next decent partial will be in 2026 I will be 42 and the next total eclipse will be on September 23rd 2090 when I will be ashes in a box possibly at the bottom of a drawer full of shite in one of my daughters houses if I am lucky !! So Mrs Fay got knocked for and was going for a dog walking eclipse party on Sudley Field when I had a quick look through somebody’s eclipse glasses and wow. It had only just started but I was amazed by the sight. My eclipse maturity levels must have increased since 1999. I managed to get a few pictures from my backyard and posted them on the Twitter, Instagram and the usual Facebook pages. None of that in 1999 just your memories and my first internet connection was a few months away. Hard to believe eh.
So a certain weather Twitter account @WeatherCast_UK was running a competition for the best eclipse pictures and the prize was a box of Jaffa Cakes due to their Jaffa Cake eclipse advert of years gone by. Anyway I put my two best photo’s together and sent them in. A private message later on in the afternoon confirmed I am now an award winning photographer LINK HERE (FACEBOOK NEEDED) So OK it’s hardly the Pulitzer prize for photography but it is a double box of Jaffa Cakes. Not bad for 2 mins work in the back yard.
I messed around with the image and came up with a scouse eclipse photo (See below) So this time around I was genuinely more impressed with the partial eclipse and and now determined one day to travel to where there will be a total eclipse to view the event for real. Even if its cloudy I will get the thrill of the darkness and if I can’t see it due to clouds I will immerse myself in the local beer to get over it.
Now Everton got beat last night and I don’t often dish it out often, indeed very rarely. But today I sent a Tweet to a mates lad of mine was born on the morning of Everton last winning a trophy. He is a keen geographer like myself and an Evertonian unlike myself but I couldn’t help but point out to him that he had now seen more eclipses than Everton trophies. I wonder if Everton can make it 2-2 by 2026 ?
So thats yer lot. Next week will be spent excitedly waiting for the postman to bring me my Jaffa Cakes and the normal eclipse regime resumes with the only eclipse seen in this house is that of when Mrs Fay gets out of the shower and dries herself in our bedroom and her arse eclipses the TV I am watching.
This might be my final blog after that gag !
Fay x x x x x x
So the morning before the party. Mrs Fay wakes up with a slight feeling in her tummy. Nervous about who is or more the case of who isn’t going to her 40th birthday bash that evening. Things were not helped when our youngest Holly asked “Is mini the dog (My sisters dog) coming? “Christ” I added “You really ares struggling for numbers if were are down to inviting family pets !” Such was the occasion I even bought myself a new shirt and donned some pants which reminded me of the effort you had to put into getting into The Rubber Soul in the early days. I was even on the verge of buying some new shoes but they did not have my size in Topman. Yep Topman wow I haven’t bought anything from there since I was about 20 and so that record stays intact. Next time I will just stick with shopping at Jacamo ! So all dolled up and even a designer trim of my now burgeoning Glastonbury beard which I am even admitting now with Glastonbury some 3 months and a bit off this is gonna be one mighty beard by the time the festival comes around. We drove up to Heath Hall and I had the good intentions of driving back but failed miserably as I admitted defeat and needed a few beers to get into “Networking” mode. Heath Hall is a great venue for parties and I know the lad who runs it from many years ago from our “I.M Posse” a gang of us what would now be labelled anti social that used to hang around on the I.M Marsh and then Sudley Field. Mainly sponsored by Mad Dog 20/20 and dodgy music from 1990/1991. The venue came complete with a photographer which all pics from the night were kindly given by the owner of Heath Hall to Claire at the end of the night as a present.
So the night went brilliantly and thanks to all those who came and all those who have sent cards and gifts to Mrs Fay and I am sure I will help her consume the 23 bottles of grog she received. Apologies to those I never got around to chatting to. Despite having a few social beers I know there were people I never got around to speaking to. Just like a corrupt politician who sells his time and influence in return for gifts. My time too can be bought at parties with the simple donation of a Desperados. At the end of the night we even managed to get a group picture of past players of Sudley F.C who were managed by a certain Dave Runacus and what I didn’t know then he would go on to become my father in law. So later on in the teams history did that make me “un-dropable” did it hell and not making it back on Sunday after being pre occupied with a club the night before in Sheffield I was binned to the bench. It would have been nice to have pulled out a trophy for the reunion but the cold facts are we never won a bloody thing so we substituted a balloon in for a trophy in the reunion picture below. I was offered a comeback this morning as a mates team was short at half time due to injuries. I declined to keep my footballing legacy in tact. I did however end up running the line and was a proud linesman to veteran referee William (Billy) Collinson who back in the 1990’s had sent me off when I was in goal once for chopping down a striker down about 35 yards out denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Referee’s like Mr Collinson are the unsung heroes of Sunday League football.
So Mrs Fay has been a bit delicate today. I wonder if when she reaches 40 she will realise that after about 8 drinks there is really no need for any more bevies. On Friday I had the absolute horror of a visit to the dentist for a filling, which like a big brave boy I got done. They give stickers out to kids who aren’t even arsed about going the dentist but giant “shandy” men like myself get nothing for closing my eyes and grabbing the arms of the chair very intensely for 15 mins. The least he could do was give me a “I’ve been brave sticker” On the way out after I had paid to be petrified for 15 mins they were selling cup cakes and other sugary delights in aid of Comic Relief. Killing two birds with one stone there in gallantly raising money for charity whilst securing future decay and fillings. If I was my dentist I would have been offering free full fat Coca Cola to swill the cakes down with.
A bittersweet day today as mothers day always is. Happy that Mrs Fay is spoiled by our three daughters but a reminder that my mother is no longer here. I then raise a smile as she got to see one of my three daughters, indicated on this great picture below Mrs Fay got as a present which even includes Benny the Morkie. Then sadness returns as she never got to see two of my three daughters. In true cliche style it is my mum that gets me through the horror of the dentist and when I am shaking like a shitting dog in the dentists chair I think back to the 10 years she bravely fought against her cancer and then think what a big shithouse I am being in the chair at that moment !
Fay x x x x x x
And once again thanks to you all for making last night a special night for Mrs Fay and us.
So Sunday morning and no need for an alarm as despite no kids waking up at 8am is now classed as a lie in. No after effects of last night 4 bottles of Corona and a late crisp butty were felt and it was off on the train to Port Sunlight to complete in the BTR Port Sunlight 10k. Due to the timings of the trains on a Sunday I was there with plenty of time to spare so cheered on some of the 5k race runners which was on before the 10k. So then time to get my kit off. I bumped into somebody from the Sudley School run and had a pre race chat and then it was time to line up for the race. I assumed my normal position at the back for a slow and steady pace. I wasn’t expecting much from the race due to the forecast high winds. The course itself was two 5k laps around the lovely village of Port Sunlight (Must get back over there in the summer) So with the wonders of modern technology my Nike iPhone app was telling me I was running faster than I have ever run, well apart from when we used to get leggers as a kid when I found the sprint speed of Carl Lewis ! Onto lap two and only in certain parts of the course was there some kind of breeze. It soon dawned on me that if I keep up this pace I would be on for a personal best (PB) so I just settled in and kept the pace. With one mile to go I felt I had some left in the tank and picked up the pace again. With a sprint finish (I must look like a tit !! ) I was over the line in a new PB of 52:36 and my fastest mile was my last and I reckon the fastest mile I have ran since I have taken up jogging. So I was well chuffed. Not bad as I am still nudging 17 stones on the scales of injustice. Just one more ambition in my jogging career and to actually one day be able to fit in the free XL race t-shirt you get for finishing. Post race it was a quick stop at the Albert Dock for a pint of Stella and a burger and chips (and I wonder why I am 17 stone !! ) at Smugglers Cove which was great.
Many thanks to all those helpers who help the race day run smoothly. I am going to help an event myself one day and put something back into the running community. A final note from the race and one that puts everything into perspective that near the final bend somebody was down getting treatment and when I got changed afterwards in the car which was not far from this they were taken away in an ambulance. Hope it’s nothing too bad. So the Liverpool Half Marathon next and 29th March where I an gonna go (pardon the phrase) shit or bust for under two hours. Then depending on work commitments I might attempt a sub 5 hour marathon after despite a great effort by me last year I was and still am gutted with my time MARATHON BLOG HERE
Ahh well time to refuel a bit more as below and post my three previous 10k times (All the tunnel 10K) and I wonder if there is something in a relaxing 4 bottles of Corona the night before ?
2012 Tunnel 10k 01:04:05
2013 Tunnel 10k 01:00:17
2014 Tunnel 10K 00:56:37
2015 Port Sunlight 10k 00:52:36
2016 Rio Olympics 10k Bronze ?
So thats the race review but the night before I was getting all my kit together and could not muster together one of my two pair or deluxe (£10 a pair) running socks. These are special anti blister socks I wear under normal sports socks along with gel innersoles to give my feet some support as my 17 stone frame pounds around a 10k course. Well first up I thought I will look in my sock drawer and see if it has found its way into there. First up I was struggling to find a pair of any socks so I thought why now have a sort out of my sock drawer. I mean there are not many more things better in life to do whilst your wife is out on the piss and your three daughters are staying at their nans is there ? Now the mystery of the single sock is among one of the great mysteries of humanity much like finding a cure for cancer. Disclaimer having lost both parents to cancer I can crack a not so funny gag about the disease though will refrain from going as far as Turbo B the rapper from 90’s German super eurodance band Snap with the lyric “I’m as serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer” what a bastard, though in fairness to Turbo B I don’t know his family history so he might have “The Power” to rap such Ivor Novello award winning lyrics (More about music awards next week) So the number of solo socks must have reached 50 plus and I did not find the missing one I wanted. A quick root through the washing basket and I found one so all was go for race day. With most the spare socks being of many different styles and varying shades of black or more like 50 shades of black sock (Sorry) I lashed them all in the bin. So it’s back to more socks for my birthday and chrimbo please.
Fay x x x x x x