Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Vaughan Identity

I’m delighted to confirm that top Manchester barristers, Byrom Street Chambers (, have become a fivemarathons corporate sponsor. Their logo will be on my running top for each of the marathons, and on TEAM fivemarathons’ tops for the Great Manchester Run and the Coniston 14. The money which Byrom Street Chambers have kindly donated will help Christies and Macmillan in their invaluable work.

It's been another busy week at fivemarathons HQ. We've just taken delivery of the first batch of promotional t-shirts for fivemarathons. They look absolutely great, except the printers had a bit of a spelling crisis and have managed to write "maratahons". Fortunately, on the same day that the t-shirts arrived, so did several boxes of Macmillan cloth badges. With impressive ingenuity, Kirsten realised that the Macmillan badges were exactly the same size as the unnecessary "a" in maratahons and got sewing the badges into place. Well done, Kirst! Perhaps she can take in the waist in some of my suit trousers next. The Macmillan badge now looks like the tag on pair of Levi's - very impressive. The imperfection in the initial t-shirts is bound to make them a collector's item. Ahem.

The t-shirts have also had another unexpected benefit. TEAM fivemarathons' Martin said he felt vaguely fraudulent wearing a t-shirt with dates for marathons he wasn't going to run. As a result, he's seriously considering signing up for the Berlin marathon. That's the spirit, Martin! It's particularly commendable considering he'll be running the Reykjavik marathon barely a month before Berlin. If he goes off and registers, just ignore him.

Our running tops also arrived yesterday, and we're really pleased with them. That said, they are on the large side. The added wind resistance from my top flapping in the wind could easily add an hour or so onto my time for the marathon.

I've picked up an annoying niggle in my hip. It felt the same way the day after the New York marathon, but that only lasted for a couple of days and was easily attributed to the 26.2 miles which I'd just run. This time, I've had it for about 10 days, and it isn't showing much sign of clearing up. I even missed my 10 mile run on Sunday to give it a chance to improve. That's the first training session I've missed in two months, so I must be a little nervous about it. My physio has been hard at work, and I'm back over there later today for a final session before I fly to Barcelona tomorrow.

Apparently, the muscle which is causing the trouble is called the piriformis (which, ironically, is from the Latin for “pear-shaped”). The physio told me that she thought she'd identified the problem area and pressed it to confirm. Crikey, I felt like the chap in the game “Operation” - the jolt of pain sent me skywards (although, to be fair, my nose didn't light up. Nor did I make a buzzing sound). The good news is that my 6 mile run last night went without incident, so fingers crossed. I was beginning to think that my preparation was going piriformis.

To add to the above tale of woe, I was fighting off a bug at the weekend. Fortunately, I seemed to sweat it out within 48 hours. The friend who kindly donated it to me has been largely confined to bed for nearly two weeks, so I had a lucky escape. Although, it didn't feel like that at the time. First I couldn't get warm, next thing I was overheating. When I woke up at 1am on Sunday night, it felt like somebody had emptied a bucket on me. Given that I was feeling pretty grim, I simply moved into the spare room, only to wake up an hour later in the same situation. Fortunately, things started to improve. With only one spare bed left, the bedroom burn rate was getting unsustainable. I'm convinced that the exercise and good diet have contributed to my immune system working well at the moment, which helped me to deal with the bug quickly. Still, hobbling around the house with a pain in my piriformis, sweating buckets, was hardly the perfect start to marathon week. As a result, I'll take it easy in Barca. After all, I've got four more cracks at the world record before the year is out.

Finally, I'm pleased to announce that we've confirmed Manchester's exclusive Press Club for the fivemarathons party on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 (the week leading up to the London Marathon). Further details to follow, or contact Kirsten on

Right, I'm off to Barcelona. Speak to you after the race.

This week’s training schedule:

Monday, 2 March 2009 Rest
Tuesday, 3 March 2009 Return from Barcelona
Wednesday, 4 March 2009 Rest
Thursday, 5 March 2009 Rest
Friday, 6 March 2009 Rest
Saturday, 7 March 2009 Rest
Sunday, 8 March 2009 Rest

Barcelona, 1 March 2009
London, 26 April 2009
San Francisco, 26 July 2009
Berlin, 20 September 2009
New York, 1 November 2009

Christies is the charity which provides funds for, and supports, the work of the world renowned specialist cancer centre, The Christie, in Manchester (see Macmillan provides practical, medical, financial and emotional support for people affected by cancer and campaigns for better cancer care (see
Visit us at

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NYC Marathon, 2004

NYC Marathon, 2004
NYC Marathon, 2004