Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A tribute to Kay

For all of you out there who haven't run since childhood, but contemplate getting fit to do that 5K charity run, the answer is  "YES YOU CAN".  Aged 52 and having "not so much as run for a bus",  Kay is a shining example of what is possible with a lot of determination.. and a bit of AudioFuel.

On the 1st of January this year I got this email from Kay.  

"I have foolishly agreed to a 3 mile run in March and having not so much as run for a bus since 1987, I need help.  I saw your Audio fuel free sample via Weight Watchers Magazine and decided to try it with a view to purchasing more if it helped.  However, I can't seem to get it from Windows Media Player, where it automatically loads and starts playing, onto my MP3 player.  I have asked several more technolically minded souls and they couldn't get it to synch either.  Will it only download to an iTunes library? Thank you for your help. Kay"

So Kay and I started a dialogue.  First of all she got herself set up with an iTunes library and she is now the proud owner of an iShuffle.  Just for getting over the technological challenges she gets three cheers from us at AudioFuel.

Then I invited her to be a guinea pig for our idea to create a 0-5K AudioFuel Starter Pack.  This would be a collection of tracks that could be used to create incrementally longer and faster playlists.  And bless her, she said yes.  First of all I gave her our Walk in the Park 40 minute walking programme that goes from 120 bpm up to 137 bpm.  Here was her feedback on the 25th January.

Foolishly I must have picked the only hilly bit of bedfordshire. By the time I got to the last couple of tracks at 137 bpm, I was just really marking time and not getting anywhere. Back in the car, I collapsed in a sort of glowing heap.
Next attempt was a nice flat road.  I managed all the speeds except the 137 bpm.  I literally couldn't move my feet and legs in time!  I got home, fell on the sofa and felt I was having an 'out of body' experience!!!!  Just how unfit am I?
third and fourth attempts and it was getting easier, I found the majority of the tracks reasonably easy and managed to keep up with the 137 bpm for almost one of the two tracks.  
I decided to give the walking another go before launching into the running, as it is clear my fitness is not good!  The final attempt was pretty good in that I managed the 137 bpm all the way through  and didn't feel quite so puffed out when I got home.

Determined or what.  And very funny too!  So then Kay moved on to the running.  I'd given her links to download a 3 minute running track at 150 beats per minute, and a 2 minute walking track and suggested she alternate them.  We clearly need to have 1 and 2 minute running tracks on offer in our pack!

Okay, so yesterday I had a first go at the running......OMG!!  Loaded up a playlist - 3 mins running, 2 mins walking as per your suggestion - and off I set last night.  30 seconds of jogging later and I ground to a gasping halt!  I then took advantage of the 4 and a half minutes until it started again.  It would appear that I have forgotten how to run....how can that be?  I used to do it all the time when I was seven!  I attempted the running bit 5 times, managing less than a minute each time but keeping more or less to the 150 beat - it was very helpful
Just got back from attempt two - much better.  Got into a better rythm and jogged properly rather than trying to run.  The beat was excellent, really helped.
Overall, I have found the tracks really good.  The walking was excellent, building up easily to a good fast but manageble pace - giving me something to aim for and making me feel I had worked hard.  But I did physically find it hard to actually move to the 137 beat the first few times.  The running track, well I think maybe a one minute run might have been better, but I can see it is going to work and the music really, really does help.  I don't think there is anyway that by now i would have been out in the rain and the dark seven times!!!

So then I sent another 3 minute track for her to include.  And I suggested she start a blog .. it's a really good way to keep yourself motivated.  You see how much progress you are making.  And if you decide to raise money for charity by entering an event, you can send the link out to sponsors so they can keep track of your progress.  Here is the latest email sent to me by Kay today.

Dear Clare
thank you very much for the track, I have loaded it on as a new playlist and am looking forward to trying it out.
I've done the 3 min jog, 2 min walk (repeated three times) for the fourth time now and ........brace yourself, put down that hot drink.....have actually managed to jog for the whole three minutes for all three 150 bpm sessions!!!!!
I can't quite beleive it.
thank you so much, I will continue to update you and am going to have a bash at this blogging as you suggest.  I think, as it is my birthday tomorrow (52!) I'll start the blogging then.  Also will not be jogging, but will be eating cake instead :-)
huge thanks
Kay x


Monday, 31 January 2011

Goodbye for now and thank you

Wishing all Janathoners the very best til we see you again.  And wishing many thanks to Cathy for making it all happen.  I hope you all enjoyed your month of blogging and running.  If there was a competition for the number of underground stairs climbed, perhaps I would have been a contender.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Honor taking the exercise

Hopeless .. what's it been now since I blogged?  At least a couple of days.  Just looked - the 18th to be precise!  Breaking my resolutions like everyone else.
Mmm and that's just the bloggin - have I taken any exercise? Nope.  Took an aeroplane ... up to Edinburgh on Thursday.  Met a fantastic bunch of people who invest in businesses called Par Equity. https://www.parequity.com/profile/our-business/
Not often you hear a bunch of investors described so positively.  But they're not your typical investment types.  Yes they're dead clever and switched on, but they've all got hands on personal experience of running businesses so they know what it's like at the coal face, they get properly involved and actually help advise the people running the business (not just giving them a hard time for not hitting targets), they are amazingly well connected and can introduce you to almost anyone you care to name .. and best of all they seem like a bunch of really nice, interesting people.  So as and when we look for investment, they'll be our first port of call.
And Friday was even more hopeless on the health front but very enjoyable .. back in time for lunch with my dear friend Jen who is MD of super brilliant brand and design agency Start Creative: http://www.startcreative.com/.  We shared the joys and woes of running businesses over a large glass of wine to celebrate her birthday.  Then onto a very cool new barrrr and restaurant called 86: http://www.86restaurant.co.uk/ to meet with our very well connected, super clever, NED, Simon Holden.  So more drinking .. and still no exercise.
And today, more action at the laptop relieved by an hour of watching Honor in her new role of goal keeper ... at which she is brilliant;  she was voted "man of the match". She saved more goals than I could count.   Pity I didn't manage to capture her in action but here she is all kitted up. Usual comment from all the parents  .. "well in my day we didn't have so much as a shin pad between us".
Good news tho .. we're back for some more miles of the South Ups tomorrow .. which will go some way to making amends for such a poor week!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The late late breakfast show and Phil

Still no exercise .. still stiff.  But probably no excuse not to tomorrow.  I'll see if I can drag Honor back onto her bike and save some money.  Just filled up the car .. £94!!!!  Time to change the AudioFuel car.

Despite remarkable (more of that later) technological difficulties I managed to see 4 of the 5 'gorgeous presenters' at a networking event called the Late Late Breakfast Show this evening.   It's hosted by a very amusing man called Bernie J Mitchell.  http://www.berniejmitchell.com/

We learnt about the importance of being remarkable rather than 'very good' from Lucy Payne;  the benefits of making a total f**k up from Julie Hall; that happiness lies in setting realistic goals you can achieve from leadership expert William Montgomery (http://www.askten.co.uk/A_our_company_leader.asp).  Really interesting guy with a pretty extraordinary past that includes being a commanding officer in the navy.  And from Phil Szomzor we learnt about brilliant initiatives like Janathon and what excellent grass roots marketing opportunities they offer for a company like AudioFuel.  Thank you Phil.

And not just for making Janathon and AudioFuel the focus of his case study this evening .. but for an unbelievably long list of ways in which he has supported AudioFuel.  As someone who should know an awful lot more about public relations than I do, Phil has been a complete godsend.  As the head of Citigate Dewe Rogerson's digital practice, he not only knows how to do the 'old style' stuff (print), but how to combine it with digital expertise. He has been a constant source of good advice, and provided an enormous amount of hands on help with Twitter and Facebook.  Here is his blog where he writes about technology, social media and  pr.  http://www.theredrocket.co.uk/blog/

And to top it all off, his girlfriend Jo (who also runs) has the sharpest eye I've ever come across for grammatical errors and kindly passed an eye over our entire website.   Lots of editing required.   Here's her blog:  http://irunbecauseilovefood.wordpress.com/

Big thanks to Phil and to Jo.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Blog bonkers

Having been so reluctant to do any kind of blogging, I now have two blogs!
I mention this, because the other blog accounts for lack of Janathon blogging .. and also accounts for taking some exercise.  Alot of exercise: Honor and I walked 12 miles of the South Downs Way yesterday - the first 12 miles of the 100 miles which we will complete in 2011.
I am now so crippled by riding a horse on Friday and walking 12 miles on Sunday .. that I couldn't even walk up to the tube today.  Yup .. I drove! Nope I do not feel ashamed.  I am still feeling virtuous. And I've  just eaten a chocolate too.
The other very exciting thing is that we're doing our walk to fund raise for a wonderful charity  that I support called the Place2Be and it's been a real thrill to see the loolah start to come in.  Silly really - the fund raiser I organised a few years ago for MacMillan generated over £200,000 .. but it's somehow more exciting to see the a couple of hundred pounds mount up in our Virgin Money Giving account.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Riding in Richmond Park

For the first time in nearly a year I got back on a horse and had a lovely hour trotting and cantering on Solomon around Richmond Park.  Most enjoyable exercise since the start of Janathon.  Rachel, from Stag Lodge, who took me out was delightful company too.
I'd recommend Stag Lodge as the most conveniently located stables for Richmond Park, and if Solomon is anything to go by the horses are well schooled.
And from the summer there'll have even better facilities - an indoor and outdoor school just a bit further down the A3, 50 more horses and cross country jumps .. so I'm told.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Back to school and bicycling

Phew .. it's all speeding up again. Well over 100 emails today.  Honor's back to school now so we were on our bikes by 7.40am to do the 2 mile ride across Clapham Common.  

A new type of exercise tomorrow .. done walking, running, stair climbing, cycling ... and next up riding.