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Mandarin Language Challenge Take 2 So things kind of stalled on my Mandarin Language Challenge after I finished in 2012 (actually, it stalled before the end, but that’s another story ). Since then, I’ve dipped in and out a bit here and there, but I haven’t really done anything concrete, and I haven’t kept it going for any length of time. Now it is time to actually do something about it. Since the start of the year I have been very busy with my marathon training, but now I have a lot more time and I feel it’s time for another challenge to try to kickstart my learning again. This time, I am looking at a much more concrete end goal with some mini goals in between. I will be...

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Greater Manchester Marathon 2015 On Sunday 19 April 2015, after 16 weeks of training, I completed my first marathon!! I woke up early on Sunday morning to find the sky clouded over and the temperature in single digits. Perfect weather for running a marathon! I got everything sorted out and, after a mild panic over some missing Vaseline, I got a lift to the race start (thanks Mark ). Before the race I caught up with a few of the guys from the Club and we agreed a meeting point for after the race. It was then time to line up at the start line. My plan for this race was to stick with the 3:30 pace runner for as long as I could, but I couldn’t see him...

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Marathon Training As mentioned previously, I am planning to run my first marathon this year. I will be running the Greater Manchester Marathon on 19 April (all being well) and as such I have been training hard to make sure I can actually cover the distance. Since the last week in December I have: run a total of 394.2 miles as part of my training (Last year it took me almost 10 months to cover that distance!); taken 40 seconds of my parkrun PB; taken 9 minutes 25 seconds off my half marathon PB; and really enjoyed the volume of running . Despite all of this, I was still a little apprehensive about actually running 26.2 miles in one go. That is until yesterday when I completed...

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Happy New Year all! I really cannot be bothered with the whole year in review thing that I did last year, so instead I’m going to write about my new challenges for the year. If you’re not interested, please feel free to leave this site now, I won’t get upset . Running My first challenge for this came about almost by accident. At the end of the summer last year, my Running Club started the ballot for who would get the 2 London Marathon places that the club were entitled to. I figured there was no harm putting my name into the ballot as I probably wouldn’t get it anyway. As it happens I was right, but my brain seemed to think that this marathon...

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On the first of October, or more specifically 2 weeks before, I decided to do a 30 day Paleo Challenge. This is a diet based challenge, but obviously the purpose was not to lose weight. I don’t weigh a lot as it is! I read a lot of different blogs on a wide range of subjects and one of the ones I read a lot is called Nerd Fitness and they think the paleo diet is brilliant so after checking to make sure it wouldn’t do be any harm, I decided to give it a shot. This is my story. The 30 Day Paleo Challenge The rules of this challenge are fairly simple, follow the Paleo Diet strictly for 30 days to understand the benefits....

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The Minimalists - Everything That Remains Last night, Rosie and I went out, just the two of us, for an evening in Cardiff. It is the first time we have been out for a while, and we went to a book tour in a lovely, cosy little place called the Juno Lounge (can highly recommend the place for a nice evening by the way). This particular book tour was being carried out by a couple of American guys who call themselves The Minimalists. Rosie & I have been reading the essays they publish on their website for a couple of years now and thought it would be cool to meet them. Who Are The Minimalists? They are a couple of guys who spent their early 20’s climbing the corporate ladder chasing...

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30 Times Around the Sun So recently (ok a month ago, but who’s counting), I completed my thirtieth rotation around the sun and I thought I should write something to recognise the occasion. However, life got in the way and it’s now a couple of weeks down the line and I’m only just sitting down to write. It seems like a fairly appropriate time to write up an update on my Epic Quest, so here it is… Completed Quests Travel Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France - 05/04/2013 (there is a blog post coming…honest) Visit the Louvre in France - 06/04/2013 Visit Notre Dame Cathedral in France - 05/04/2013 Active Do 10 one-arm push ups with each arm (May 2014) Learn how to do a frontflip & a backflip...