Completing the Marathon

I know you’ve been eagerly anticipating this blog, and it’s been a while in the making.  I would apologise, but I’m not going to.  I could tell you that I’ve been too busy, but I’d be lying.  If you weren’t eagerly anticipating this blog, then at least I hope you enjoy the read.

Challenges Completed

#number3: Complete a marathon: This was the big one!  Well I made it round the course quicker than my target time – finishing in a time of 3 hrs 27 mins.  The last 6 miles really hurt but I managed to keep running, if I had stopped that would have been game over – cramp was banging loudly at my brain door.  I will probably quit now as I don’t want to train really hard for another one.  Maybe if I do enter another I’ll do something stupid like run it backwards or inside a giant Rhino suit, or do it after 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile cycle in the heat of Barcelona…

Start line selfie - I didn't run in the bag

Start line selfie – I didn’t run in the bag

#number20: Go to a place abroad that you haven’t been before: I thought I ticked this one off when I went on a short weekend trip to Puerto Banus for a friends birthday.  However, it turns out it was the same place I went when I was 17, on that oh-so-typical “we’re pretty much 18 and they’ll serve us in Spain and there are nightclubs and sun and stuff, and lets get matching t-shirts” holiday we all remember fondly.

So instead I’ll have to attribute this to the UAE – namely my trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  I saw a really tall building, lots of other quite tall buildings, some man-made islands of some sort, a VW shaped office block, and an extremely symmetric mosque.  There was a very amazing all-you-can-eat ex-pat brunch with champagne, and a dead jellyfish too.

A very tall tower

A very tall tower

 

The mosque is straighter and more well built that the photo suggests

The mosque is straighter and more well built that the photo suggests

My favourite photo from the vast number I snapped

My favourite mosque photo from the vast number I snapped

Challenges In Progress

#number 26 Buy your little sister something every week:  TRANSLATE – bombarding my sister with free stuff every week:  This will be an ongoing feature of my blog as it happens, suprisingly, every week.  What I have sent my sister to date:

  • a Nicki Minaj perfume sample
  • a “Yes Peas!” recipe book
  • a Lenor Spring Awakening sample
  • Original Redbush and Redbush Citrus tea samples
  • a sample pack of Bullet Screws
  • an Owl Wall hanging*
  • 3 Holgraphic animal wall prints
  • a Sealife children’s magazine
  • a month trial with a Taste card
  • 250g of professional Moorland butter
  • St Johns Ambulance first aid guide
  • Halifax Big Lunch Kit
  • an Aqua One 50ml water conditioner voucher (she has to go the the shop to pick it up though)
  • a Diabetes UK pedometer

*The owl wall hanging was an actual real present (read: paid for).  Well, it has to be her birthday once in a year.  I might make an excuse for Christmas too.

 

#number12: Learn a new language:  I quit languages at school as early as I was allowed to for a very good reason.  I just don’t have the memory for remembering words and I struggle enough as it is with English vocabulary.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for learning a new language, but when it comes down to it how often am I going to go on holiday and end up resorting to English anyway because we both know his/her English will be much better than my generic foreign?

If I was to lean a language it would have to be Mandarin, in preparation for when China releases its vast stockpile of US dollars on the world, USA is ousted as the world power, and China becomes the new dominate world leader.  But Mandarin is really hard right?

So to tackle this challenge I’m instead relying on my strengths (I read a book that I would recommend that says this is the right thing to do anyway and is in no way a cop out).  I’m learning HTML5, CSS3, and PHP (wow, that’s 3 languages!).  In short, as a side project I’m learning to write websites and I am going to act like that counts.

 

#number19 Write and record a love song: My contact in a band has fallen through – however I am in talks with someone who has a friend who knows a roadie for an Eric Clapton tribute act so I expect this to take off very soon.

New Challenges

Part of the original challenge is that any of you people (yes you!) can set me a new challenge at any time. I’ve got 1 more to add to the list this time:

#number29 Create a wall display using the art of mosaic: #challengeaccepted #baresymmetry

Random Muse

This weeks random muse comes from the world of motivation.  If you are not happy with the use of the phrase “the world of motivation” feel free to replace the last sentence with “Here’s a motivational quote”, I don’t care.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed.”

Nice, huh?  I’m definitely inspired.  Some of you might recognise this as coming from the great man himself Michael Jordon (the adjective ‘great’, of course, assumes you have ignored his short baseball career).  If you’re interested I got this when I read this article

That’s All Folks!

..SPRAGUEY..

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Completing the rubix

This week I’m excited to get right into it and tell you about my progress.  It may have only completed 1 more challenge this time around, but it’s harder when you are running between 8 – 20 miles almost every night!  Marathon training is, unsuprisingly, pretty time consuming and a lot of hard work.  Anyway, here you go…

 

Challenges Completed

#number22: Complete a rubix cube: Last time I gave you the rather unimpressive news  (or impressive, depending on your point of view) that I had completed the first layer.  I am pleased to announce I have now ticked this one off the list.

It apparently took the designer of the rubix cube himself, Ernő Rubik, over 2 months to complete this since he made the first one in 1974.  So I beat him.  But I suspect he didn’t have copious tutorials and algorithms on YouTube to copy back then.  Still, I have learnt the ‘intermediate’ method of 2-look OLL and 2-look PLL for those in the know, and have got my time down to about 3 minutes for completion from a scrambled cube.

Check out the video of me completing it, and might I say this has an awesome backing track too.

rubix

Yes, you got me. This isn’t my rubix cube

 

 

Challenges In Progress

#number3 Complete a marathon: My training is now winding down in the build up to the race.  Since I started training in mid-January I have done 35 runs,  burnt 40,500 calories, lost 8kg of body mass, and covered a total distance of 290.5 miles.

In an attempt to keep my runs interesting I like to mix up my routes, I now have excellent knowledge of all the canals of East London and Stratford and I have even spelt out my own initials (why not?)…

runningA Irun sRun

Requests for messages for your friends and families mapped out in runs across London can be sent to me via postcard.  I will charge on a ‘per mile’ basis so let me know how large you want your letters, in a measure of miles per letter, and I will send you through a quote accordingly.

I’m running for a great charity, the Motor Neuron Disease Association, and in memory of my Grandfather who had the disease and for whom the association provided invaluable care.  Please head over to my Justgiving page to find out more and to donate.

 

#number 26 Buy your little sister something every week:  TRANSLATE – bombarding my sister with free stuff every week:  This will be an ongoing feature of my blog as it happens, suprisingly, every week.  What I have sent my sister to date:

  • a Nicki Minaj perfume sample
  • a “Yes Peas!” recipe book
  • a Lenor Spring Awakening sample
  • Original Redbush and Redbush Citrus tea samples

And this week:

  • A sample pack of Bullet Screws – “Bullet screws are strong, fast and long lasting. These are premium quality wood-screws that will give you increased drill battery performance!”

 

#number19 Write and record a love song: I now have interest from someone in a band…  The lyrics I started to right last time were crap, though I have a few other ideas.  This is still very much in the pipeline.

 

New Challenges

Part of the original challenge is that any of you people (yes you!) can set me a new challenge at any time. I’ve got 1 more to add to the list this week:

#number28 Do it ‘Gangnam style’ in your office:  #challengeaccepted

 

Random Muse

This week I take you to the world of Philosophy of Science.  Last week I got asked, as a university Physics graduate, whether I believed in God.  It reminded me of a great theory about science vs religion that at the time I only semi-explained, I’d like to take this chance to elaborate.  The theory is called Pascal’s wager.  This is it in it’s original form as stated by the great 17th century Philosopher, Mathmatician and Physicist Blaise Pascal:

  1. “God is, or He is not”
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. According to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
  4. You must wager. (It’s not optional.)
  5. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  6. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

Put simply, if you were in any way a betting man, or even if you were ever so slightly risk averse, you would always choose to believe in God because…

  • If you believe and he doesn’t exit, the combination is a small finite loss (pleasures, luxuries etc.)
  • If you don’t believe and he does exist however small this chance may be, the combination is infinitely bad i.e. you spend an eternity in hell!!

 

That’s All Folks!

..SPRAGUEY..

Thanks for all the Challenges

So firstly, thanks to Lizi for setting me these challenges!  Inspired in part by a passing remark I once made that maybe I should start a blog, coupled with the Social Media butterfly that is Mrs Jeffery (aka @lizi_jeff), here I find myself.

I’ve been concentrating so hard on completing some of these challenges I’ve had no time to blog about them.  But I’ve finally got round to it, here is the first chapter on my progress to date.

Challenges Completed

#number4 Send someone flowers:  Obviously as my birthday is only 3 days before the big commercial event that apparantly happens every year on Feb 14th, this was a not-so-subtle reminder to actually make a gesture this year.  So accordingly I ordered some flowers off the cheapest website I could find on the net that do delivery, bonus was that they had a 10% off special.  They arrived nicely presented in a large cardboard box and left outside the office for the recipient to be picked up in the rain.  God I’m romantic.

Flowers

Buy flowers challenge completed

#number 6: Buy a piece of designer clothing: I hate designer clothing.  It is esentially the same as non-designer clothing but 4 times the price.  People see a little picture of a horse on your breast and get all excited where-as I get excited when I see an offer in Primark or a £5 bargin rail.  Still a challenge is a challenge, so I sucked it up and got a piece of designer clothing this week.  It will fit in lovely next to my extensive range of “Calvin Klone” Thai market boxers and selection of Primarni fitted white T’s.  I really blew my budget on this one too, £13 on as Michael Kors belt from TKMaxx – it is even reversible and is brown on the reverse side – perfect for when I feel outlandish on the weekend.

Michael Kors belt

£13 from TKMakk, bargin

Challenges In Progress

#number22 Complete a rubix cube: I have bought a rubix cube.  I have done layer 1.

#number3 Complete a marathon: A little confession, I was already training for this one (shock).  Still I can’t drop out last minute with the pretense of a weekend business trip to Slough or needing to look after my Grandma’s pot plants anymore.  I did 18 miles on Monday so well on the way to the event on April 6th.

Brain and brawn

Brain and brawn: Marathon training and a rubix cube

#number19 Write and record a love song:  I wrote some lyrics down but need some volunteers who can play instruments, record, produce, sing, or who can write good lyrics.  Make yourselves known…

New Challenges

Part of the original challenge is that any of you people (yes you!) can set me a new challenge at any time.  So I’ve got 2 to add to the list this week:

#number 26 Buy your little sister something every week:  Guess who set me this?  Still, sticking to my cheapskate approach, which I’m sure will apply to many of these challenges, I accepted this one with a slight twist.  I’ll now be bombarding my sister with free stuff every week – last week I signed her up to recieve a free sample of the new Nicki Minaj Beauty perfume range, and this week she was the lucky recipient of a “Yes Peas!” recipe book.

#number27 Go skydiving:  #challengeaccepted

Random Muse

I might keep this as a little feature at the end of my blogs for those that don’t really care about the challenge part.  This week I bring you a quote, but it could be a question, a philisophical viewpoint on the nature of life or science, or more likely a moan about recent events in the news or on the internet.  Here you go:

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” – Albert Einstein

That’s All Folks!

..SPRAGUEY..

The Challenges #challengespraguey

Here are the 25 challenges that you MUST complete over the next 12 months – you do not need to do these in any particular order as long as you complete them all. Don’t forget you need to provide photographic evidence and tweet the blog using the #challengespraguey… x

1. Use a fire extinguisher

2. Go to a music festival

3. Complete a marathon

4. Send someone flowers

5. Brew your own beer

6. Buy a piece of designer clothing

7. Make your own calendar, that features you in every month

8. Complete a volunteer day (i.e at a homeless shelter)

9. Go to a hot yoga class

10. Go on a roller-coaster 4 x in a row (i.e. in Chessington / Thorpe Park etc)

11. Apply and go on a TV show (and provide proof – NOT take me out!)

12. Learn a new language

13. Bake a cake (chocolate one would be preferable)

14. Do a tour of London and take a selfie infront of at least 5 x London attractions (i.e. London Eye, Houses of Parliament etc)

15. DJ at a party

16. Grow your own tomato plant (or some sort of vegetable / fruit)

17. Make a piece of furniture (a table / chair, for example)

18. Build a house using the art of origami

19. Write and record a love song

20.  Go to a place abroad that you haven’t been before

21. Fly a plane

22. Complete a rubix cube

23. You must go to Bounce for an evening

24. Take a picture of anyone you see with a moustache. You need at least 5 in one week

25. Make it to 26

Happy 25th Birthday Andy Sprague – @Andy_Sprag

Hello Andy,

You said to me a few weeks ago that you wanted to start blogging. But you didn’t know what to blog about. Therefore, I thought I’d kick start the process for you with a campaign called #challengespraguey.

I have set you 25 challenges  that you need to complete by your next Birthday – 11th Feb, 2015. Once you have completed your challenge you need to blog about it and provide photographic evidence.

Once you have published your blog, you need to tweet or Facebook it using the hashtag #challengespraguey

The goal is to get you blogging. Make you trend through Twitter – some people might even try and set you new challenges. Whether you decide to do other challenges beyond the dedicated list is up to you.

Good Luck and Happy 25th Birthday!

Love You

Lizi xxxx