Blog No. 5 – More than just a Beast from the East

Hello All,

How are we all? Well here I am with another blog to update you of the vigorous training that is turning me into a Terminator that will run 26.2 miles at the end of April (specifically, the Robert Patrick type on from T2). Well I haven’t turned into a Terminator sadly, as with constant work/rehearsals and then the beast from the East (not Bam Bam Bigelow – again, if you get that reference, I love you) my training schedule has gone flying out of the window and to make matters worse for the first time since September ‘16, I have gone up a waist size! Uh Oh, Spaghetti-O, that wasn’t in the plan.

As I mentioned in the last blog, I am now working with the Royal Shakespeare Company in two productions – The Duchess of Malfi & The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich. This is super cool and something I have wanted to do since I was 16. However since the middle of Feb, I have been working 50+ hour weeks and the last fortnight have been 60 & 70+ hour weeks. On top of that, the production of Malfi is leading to me having to warm up numerous times a day as its quite intensely physical (but only for a brief few minutes), so the last thing on my mind is going for a jog. I have now moved up to Stratford Upon Avon, which is much better to run around than Clapham & Southbank (I think). I managed some morning runs – about 7.5 milers, not exactly amazing but I dont have much option as I have no other time to go and I just cant get up at 6am to jog 10/12 milers. I am clocking an average of around 10.30secs p/m which isn’t going to make Sir Mo Farah think ‘Good Lord, big Graeme is hot on my heels, I best put my foot down’. I really want to complete the Marathon in under 5 hours. Having read some books (Thanks Miss Martib x) – I need to do a Half Marathon and get a good time of around 2 hours for this to be feasible. My time when I did the Birmingham Half Marathon last October would be about right, however I am not running as much as I did then and I am not as fit or energetic as I was then.

I am still running don’t get me wrong. Throughout January, I had signed up for an ‘E-Marathon’ named ‘Running with Refugees’ to do online that was set up by a lovely actor named Emma Manton. It was all done to raise money for the charity – ‘GRACE’ (https://www.graceaid.org.uk/) who support refugees in Greece, Syria & more with clothes and resources. It’s the second time I have done it but this year got me a shiny medal and a bag of Lush stuff. I think this is brilliant and I hope to do more of them. I don’t know how much Emma raised across the board. What a hero, she is. Thanks Emma.

Around the last few weeks in Feb & March, my running was building to the Warwick Half Marathon on March 4th, however this was cancelled when the Beat from East came to say hello! I tried to run in it but it was ridiculous and I gave up after 2k because the risk of injury was too great. I was secretly a little glad as we had just opened The Duchess of Malfi that week and I was absolutely shattered. I have another half marathon in Coventry in a fortnight and I am hoping the Warwick Half Marathon get rearranged before the London Marathon. I also have another half marathon in early April in Birmingham so still lots of time. I also need to make sure I essentially get an 18-20 miler in at some point however I cant find anything overly official, so it’ll be a case of doing it myself which sucks because when I make my own routes, I end up running up bloody hills that feel like Kilimanjaro! This is going to sound weird but . . . . I run better alongside water I think. It makes ‘life’ disappear a little better. When I think back to my best of most enjoyable and best times running, it was alongside – The River Severn, Taff, Cam, Exe, Thames and now the Avon. I genuinely have no clue why that is, I love going to the sea and I find it really calming so perhaps its linked to that. Although I tell you what – the swans around Stratford are beasts! Spitting all over the place as I jog past them, I imagine it being like a Sex Pistols gig back in ’75. They genuinely scare me a little bit, I always remember being a kid and my Dad telling me that Swans are nasty and ‘will have your fingers off’ – as a 34 year old man, I don’t ‘think’ that’s true but it ‘could’ be. Why would my Dad lie? It’s like when he told me a Haggis was a small Hedgehog exclusive to Scotland that had a long snout and laid Scotch Eggs. Again, I don’t ‘think’ that’s true but you just never know.

Anyway, I am still feeling mentally strong which is good so I still know for a fact that I will be finishing the London Marathon. No doubt. If I have to army crawl, I will finish. Now is the time though for me to come cap in hand as I am only about 6 weeks away and need to raise £1400 so please let this start being the point where you think you’d like to sponsor me to me begging youPLEASE SPONSOR ME. Also, please share this blog and/or website across your social media and amongst your family and friends. I would appreciate it so much as would the amazing charity I am doing it for.

Thanks all. I hope this meets you well, I’ll let you know how I get on once I do the Coventry Marathon as that will put me a month out and be able to give me a decent approximation for the time I am going to aim for come London. That’s scary. However the idea that once I have done the London Marathon, I should have around 5 running medals so I can then walk around constantly wearing them looking like a really crap chubby version of Mr T . . . . “I AINT GETTIN ON NO PLANE, FOOOOL”.

That’s enough of that. Speak soon. Take Care.

Love, G. x

P.S – The RSC have asked me to be the blog writer for their website until August, so if you just cant get enough of me, then keep an eye out every 3 weeks or so for a blog there talking all things Malfi, Rich and the RSC. Here is the first one . . .

https://www.rsc.org.uk/blogs/whispers-from-the-wings/death-and-comedy

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