Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Results day

Daniel picked me up at home again at 7.30 AM before slogging it out for the 17k route to Fleet Street which included hills and a harsh headwind. Bloody freezing too. 17k in 5.05s, very similar to yesterday.

At lunch spent 35 mins on core and stretching before sprinting back for afetrnoon calls.

20k for the day.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Run in early with Dan and right knee sore due to my own laziness. 17k in 5.05s.

Busy day in the office and it’s bloody cold.

Jacqui Monday

I worked from home today due to family commitments and so ran 9k earlyish in the pouring rain (4.40s). Not exactly enjoyable.

Grabbed some lunch with J at a new Vietnamese place in North Bromley for lunch.

Sunday footie

Ditched the long run and instead attempted to sit down and do some homework with the boys with varying degrees of success.

This week all their football matches coincided around midday with me taking Jack and Ryder who both had games in sunny Catford. I dropped Jack first before dropping Ryder with his coach to then race back and catch Jack’s first half meeting my dad there and then speeding back to catch Ryder’s game.

Ryder (Rydie) is improving all the time but he’s still hands down the worst player in his team. That said, he plays with real gusto and he most importantly thinks that he’s doing great which I find totally adorable. He constantly puffs his cheeks and goes full gas. Jack was back on form scoring a nice goal cutting in from the right and curling a left foot shot into the near corner.

Post games I took Jack, Rydie and Sin (the boy with magic in his feet) to see Lukie’s and Harlem’s second half. They managed to equalise 2 minutes into injury time only to lose the game in the 3rd minute of injury time. Never mind.

Now late into the afternoon I had a 45 minute window until the Liverpool Man City game which was not quite at the level of the Palace game the day before but was great entertainment with the Reds squeezing home 4-3 :). The impetus to get home to see the start made it into a sponstaneous threshold run. 9k in 3.55s on the hilly course and the first k being 5 minutes.

It’s been a good weekend. 106k for the week.

Stars aligned...with Loyle

AM - ran to Park Run but my legs were goneski. I only planned to jog round and but progressed through the field passing Lukie’s best mate Josh with 600 meters to go. He’s 11! and says it all. 13k in 4.35s and straight home to pick the boys up from training.

Lunch - family time as is standard in our house on a Saturday. In fact at the weekends we try and sit at least twice daily for food.

Afternoon - took Jack to Selhurst to see Palace vs Burnley. It’s always nice to have the one on one time. It did not disappoint with Selhurst typically raucous and Palace running out 1-0 winners thanks to Sakgoaaaal.  The highlight though was pre-game whilst standing in the queue to get in when I spied Loyle Carner the now global hip hop star. I was certainly star struck but demanded a selfie all the same and blabbing about taking my 13 year old to his recent gig at the Brixton Academy. He was nice as pie and a real gent. I knew he would be, his Ma is a mad Palace fan after all.

Evening - family dinner.

*A great day.
** Even tho managed 5 loads of washing - we could employ a factory to wash the amount of crap our boys go through in 1 week with all their activities.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Mike Holmes

Ran in with Dan (17k in 4.55s per km) and then also a short loop with Mike at lunch which took us west down the embankment, over to the better south side via Westminster Bridge and back across the wobbly bridge (6k in 5s). Great catching up with him.

Same age we both started at GS the same year and have shared many a joke over the best part of 2 decades. A mad Liverpool fan who grew up in a working class area in the city, defying all the odds and was the first in his family to go to Uni finishing with a First in mathematics at Cambridge no less. He is one of the good guys.

We were both in Germany at the same time in the early 2000s, the highlight being the night when we did the all-nighter to go and watch Liverpool’s Champions League Semi away at Bayer Leverkusen. We spent hours trekking for tickets and was ludicrous looking back at it now but a lot of fun. He’s not changed one iota.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Dikembe Mutombo

Today I met Dikembe Mutombo. A privilege and someone who has made real difference.

In short, his story is NBA legend followed by full time philanthropist. It’s the latter not the former where he has had lasting impact. 10 years ago post retiring from basketball and whilst on a trip to his native Africa he felt compelled to help and decided to build a hospital in the Congo, his country of birth. He was told it would cost $30m and so he and his wife duly donated the vast majority.

It’s a remarkable story from someone who grew up in humble surroundings, his father earned less than $40 a month.  He was very keen to impress that it’s not how much money you make but the extent to which you help others which counts. It’s this contribution which will invariably ensure your happiness.

He realed off quote after quote:

- It’s in our hands to make the world a better place (straight out of the Mandela book)

- The real litmus test is how much you touch people other than your love ones

- Life is not where you come from, it is where you are going

- On his email signature he has the following quote which I love : I will continue to work hard as I do not accept excuses’.

They kept coming....

He told the story of how his first coach reached out to him in 1999 and said ‘hey African come here’, ‘do you want to play basketball?’.  ‘What about my medical studies?’ he replied. The coach went on to tell him that if he did exactly what he said he would be able to help more people than any doctor in history.

We asked him about why team sports are so important for business careers. He said that you don’t get success alone, it only comes through working with others.

He was asked whether his background gave him the platform to succeed in all the facets of his life.  He agreed, at 9 years of age he was asked to get up at 4.30 every morning to sell bread before school. He did that for 8 years to help feed his family.

Only three players have had their jerseys retired. He being one. He broke countless NBA defence records.

He is now a global ambassador for the NBA. An $8bn institution. They’ve recently built 10,000 courts in China alone.

He was asked about his kids, his 14 year old son is 6 foot 8 and has a size 18 shoe.  He takes them home to Africa every year to ensure that they stay grounded.

He was asked about how to start a charity? He said the main thing was to commit to it for life as opposed to lying to the world and letting it go after 3 years.

He only broke 22 noses in 18 years. Lebron James was his last victim.

* ran to work with Dan. 17k in 5s.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sammy special

Fartlek today which went 13 minutes warm up followed by 1’/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 with 1 minute floats finishing with another 13 warm down for 13.8ks in 60 minutes.

Not quick but done and the first session for yonks.

Meanwhile back in the Alps there is utter carnage. Yesterday’s avalanche was exactly where we 6 were skiing last week - today’s Times:

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Run in with Selman

Daniel picked me up at 730 and even before we reached the end of my road I already knew it was going to be a struggle. Am sure Daniel was getting annoyed with how slow I was running. Ended up with 17k in 1.28. Could not have done solo so thanks to Daniel for putting up with me!

Lunch - 60 mins gym.

PM - jog to E&C train station 3k. 

20k for the day but feeling crappie.

Monday flat

Totally flat today. Short gym session followed by 30 minute jog. Sure I have a minor bug of some sort.

Sunday slog

Out early doors with Messi to chew the fat on how unfit we both are (no pun intended).

17k in over 5 minute ks. Ouch. Nice to catch up all the same.

The rest of the day I was playing daddy day care as J was out all day with Jack in north London for his London Cup Final round which they lost!!!!!

Managed a short ride with boys 1, 3 and 4 in the afternoon to Kelsey Park and back saying our hellos to the resident fox.


The bus got us down the mountain safely thank goodness and the flight out of Geneva was also on time which meant we made it back for 1.30pm.

Got out for short 9k jog pre dinner. Knackered and not fit.

Lake Annecy early morning:

Monday, 8 January 2018

Day #7 - final day

The boys and J were at ski school in the morning followed by us all meeting up at lunch in time for the Pallafour lift to open.  We were one of the very first to speed down after the piste workers had done their bit.  That first run was fast, terrifying and a tonne of fun all at the same time. At one point I was travelling well over 50kmh and border line out of control.

The Pallafour opening coincided with blue skies and glorious sun shine which always brings out the best in the stunning 360 degree vista.

A sensational afternoon joined by Chev and Dave to cap off a memeorable holiday. J improved out of sight as did Lukie who is now parallel turning with no bother. Tommy is undoubtably the natural and just gets better and better.  My form was mixed and a little frustrated with myself but it left me with the goal to ski as well as I possibly can and decided we must squeeze in another trip this season. It’s a priveledge to be able to ski and dreamlike in good conditions.

Day #6 - bonkers amount of snow

So we woke to be told that the Tignes authorities had imposed a curfew with no one allowed to go outside with the avalanche risk increasing yet again. Last night it snowed another meter at least and it must be 5ms in the last week now. I’ve skied a lot over the years but have never seen so much. Not even close. You can hardly see out of the ground floor windows.

Around midday the curfew was lifted with most of the 30+ people staying in our chalet heading out to wade through the new layer on the road outside, our boys messing around with the other UK boys and getting in trouble for throwing snow balls at the truck driver who was given the impossible task of clearing the road. At one point, David had to run out in front of the driver to warn him that he was heading in the direction of a parked car that was completely submerged under all the new snow. Bonkers.

It then turned into a mass snow ball fight against the chalet next to us before we headed into town to try our hand at sledging on the Pallafour.   The boys loved every second despite getting soaked to the bone and will probably never ever see so much snow again.

My concern is definitely rising re how the hell we are going to get back down the mountain on Saturday morning.  Here’s really hoping we are able to ski tomorrow too. It would be a shame if we were not able to but that’s the volatile mountains for you.

Day #5 - no ski

The weather today was terrible with low temps, really high winds and heavy snow fall. We all braved the conditions first thing and sking down to the Ski school meet.  The only lifts open were the green and a single blue so I turned around to put the running shoes on. The weather was so bad I wore my long Goretex as well as my ski goggles. Definitely a first!

I ran a short circuit of the town, thought about the road to Val Claret but with the avalanche risk now a whopping 5 out of 5 I thought better of it. Instead I turned around and ran some hill repeats in the thick snow on the path back to the chalet timing it nicely to pick the boys up at 12 and march them back up the hill for hot showers. Ended up with 9ish ks in 60 minutes or so trying not to stack it.

In the afternoon, the weather worsened again with the wind picking up and a full on blizzard enveloping. Never seen anything like it which meant we were confined to the chalet spending dinner with Chev, stunt man Dave, Sarah and Lewis.

I’ve a big decision to make....