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Last minute change of plans
Thursday, 20 February 2014 06:04

Thursday 20 February 2014

Sydney International Airport

It has been a very busy couple of days before getting away today.  Tuesday morning, after Charlie had gone to work (at 6am!), just as I was ready to clean my teeth and get to work as well, an email arrived at 7:06am from Marathon Caracas.  Violent political protests in the last few days have led to the organisers deciding to postpone the marathon.  Which in my case means it is cancelled.  All of a sudden - what do we do?  We were due to be leaving only 48 hours later.  A call to the insurance company (they don't open until 9 am), an email to Charlie, an email to Ben from Angel Eco tours, with whom I had organised our trip to Angel Falls just after the marathon, to check the safety of the country (outside of the capital) and to request suggestions to a change in schedule.  Off to work, and more checking of the internet - other places in South America, short trips?  Other marathons?  Do I contact the airline to change flights, to delay the trip?  What do we do?

On Tuesday, I just felt flat and very anti climatic.  I appreciate that the organisers have no choice but to cancel the event given the riots and deaths on the street in Caracas - there is no way you could have 10 000 people running through the streets safely.  But I was really looking forward to finishing this project.  Finishing my 7 marathons on 7 continents. A project over 2 years in the execution and 3 years in the planning.  I was really looking forward to finishing.  There were a couple of options for other South American events that I found, but none that I could still enter, and all involved coming home later than planned.  Between work, locum replacement at work, arrangements with the kids for each of us - it was just too hard.

Of course, I am still running in Antarctica in a couple of weeks.  That is still a very awesome thing to be doing, but I am not excited about that yet.  We have organised a pretty cool looking trip to Venezuela now - a combination of jungle and safari, so we should see some waterfalls, wild life and some local people.  We are not likely to ever get back to Venezuela, so we are going to make the most of it.  I don't know yet when I will actually run my 7th marathon.  This trip was relatively convenient in terms of time and money with the two marathons so close together, and it will take a while before I can afford both the time and money to get over this side of the Pacific again.  

And rehab my feet enough to manage a full marathon training cycle again.  Perhaps that is the most daunting bit.



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Health News

This weeks links

The Cancer Council came out this week and announced that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and that alcohol should be considered to be as carcinogenic as smoking and asbestos are.  As well as being highly associated with throat and mouth cancers, it is now found to correlate highly with breast and bowel cancers.  Perhaps it should not be so surprising that a substance that can so alter mood and ability, even at very mild levels should turn out to be in fact, not good for us.

This story, an editorial from the British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year has some amazing targets - it ties in with our look at sitting and health, and is about developing healthcare systems that support exercise - recognise it as being as vital a measure of our health as is blood sugar levels or blood pressure.  It recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults as a minimum.  30 mins on 5 days.  For children, it is 420 mins / week - 60 minutes every day.  How close are you?

This is another article on inactivity / obesity and health from Sports Medicine Australia, highlighting the link between an inactive childhood and a lifetime of battling depression.  It is food for thought (!) these days where there seems to be much paranoia about safety of children away from their parents watchful eyes, and therefore a tendency to want to keep them closely under watch instead of encouraging more activity and indeed risk taking behaviours.  The ability to judge situations for risk and to be able to take appropriate risks builds self esteem and resilience.  Not much to do with bowel cancer awareness, but close to my heart as well.

Another article on sitting

This one is in really simple terms - if you walk 30 mins (as recommended) and sleep 8 hours, most of us still have 15.5 hours per day not moving.  You cannot sit all day behind a screen, then drive your car and sit and watch tv with out it being bad for you.  A good read.