how are you today, in fine fettle i hope?

if you are one of the group of fifteen people that met for the first time last week with me and rory coleman the running coach, you are probably hungry.

but hopefully focused on losing a little lumber, and getting into the kind of shape that will see you run either your first or your best half marathon.

let me explain.

my last saturday started thus, wake up at 5.30, don my orange running gear, i am nothing if not loyal to the bigmoose brand and colour guidelines!

head out to caerphilly mountain, and run my twenty mile 'training' run that rory has mapped out for me.

i run at a slow pace and concentrate on my feet being ok, my stomach feeling ok, and my head being ok, and when i say my head, i do not mean have i been hit by anything, but am i in the right place mentally to complete my run, a positive place, and i am learning that on runs of big distances, sometimes you go through positive and negative patches, and if you hit negative you have to learn how to pull yourself back into the good area, it's a bit of a metaphor for life really i guess.

having run this distance quite a few times before now, my confidence is growing, and my body is working very machine like, and it was such a beautiful morning, with mother nature showing me her sun, which rose, and covered her worldy creations everywhere with early morning light, and so it was that at mile 16 i found myself being disappointed that i only had four miles left to run, a first for me, and when i told rory this later he told me i had it bad, which was kind of worrying from a man who is very compulsive in all he does, 910 marathons, i will say no more.

two miles to go, and there is a tiny free running stream where i live, and it affords me the chance to refill my water bottles on my sexy ultra running vest, that allows me to carry my water, fuel, and white gold (toilet paper) for all eventualities, being caught short and needing to go is so much easier with andrex rather than blades of slippery grass, and that isn't rhyming slang!

i drenched my head, and squirted water all over my face in a style that reminded me of when i played ice hockey, and thought to myself that it would possibly make a good picture with the natural sunlight, and at that precise moment i was in the warm glow from nearly completing a 20 mile run, and the idea seemed idyllic.

however, the dream is not always the reality, and the shot prompted me to google egremont, the location for the 2015 gurning comp, as i feel i had to have a shout. 

i really do know why 52 year old men should avoid selfies, and i sometimes have to question my decisions, but hey i may claim sunstroke in my defence statement yer honour!

anyways, returning home, i refuelled, showered, and headed toward the david lloyd to meet the gang that had all decided to run the cardiff half marathon under the bigmoose banner, figuratively speaking obviously, we don't actually have a banner, that would be an idea of similar proportions of sense as the water bottle selfie.

as they all arrived at the hive like worker bees, drawn by their own curiosity, i felt a nervous energy in the reception area, as we congregated, a bit like the first day at a new school or job, and i guessed it was because it was the unknown, which us humans aren't great with, well i'm not anyway.

i cope, but new surroundings and experiences often push me outside my comfort zone, but as i reflect as i write this, i am reminded that this stirring of my hormones is what actually thrills me most, which is probably why is push myself so hard at times, wow, self diagnosis in a blog, velly eenteresting meester smith!

anyway enough about me and my mental disorders, the running crew assembled, and on the stroke of two we headed up to the airy studio upstairs, where rory waited for the throng.

rory is a pretty cool orator, and conducted the next two and half hours in a mercurial manner, and tested people's vo2 levels, weighed them, made them run flat out on a treadmill, and told them they needed to lose weight, and he really doesn't pull punches, but he tells you in a fashion that doesn't seem to offend, 'you need to lose two stone' was met with smiles and nods of acknowledgement, wow maybe this was gonna be a cathartic process, how very interesting.

by the end of the session we had a team picture, where people were actually smiling, after being told home truths, and how they could no longer eat food or booze that satiated their desires, how strange, is rory a conjuror, or modern day prestidigitator, i do not know, but watch this space, i have a feeling the journey is going to be rather interesting, and october 4th is the cardiff half, and if you fancy running it with us and being told to lose weight, your trainers are crap, and rory's way is the right way, gimme a shout and i'll hit you up!

so that went pretty well, apart from i committed a rookie error, and stood up for all of the two and a half hour session, which added to my 20 mile run, caused my legs to be pretty pooped as i woke on sunday to attempt my 30 mile training run, which if i'm honest was a grunt, and caused me to dig very deep in order to grind out the last few miles, which i guess is why rory has set me such a gruelling task in preparation for my race in two weeks time. (i just did an internal 'eeek' as i typed that)

but it was worth every mile, as my youngest and tiniest child chloe, made the most amazing chocolate fudge cake, which i challenged myself to eat most of, purely in the name of science, as i had burnt circa 5000 calories on my run, so needed to replace them, and chocolate fudge cake formed part of my recovery, and a fathers day treat, oh baby there is a heaven!!!

so that was my weekend, full of running and cake, a heady cocktail i hear you cry, but the bit where we introduced the gang to rory, might actually be life changing for some, so that, in all seriousness is pretty cool, and totally on point with the bigmoose ethos.

weekend over, and the new week was to become a rather surreal affair if i'm honest.

monday afternoon i headed to greggs the bakers to collect our first food 'waste' ready for distribution to the homeless of cardiff, and apart from being extremely surprised at the amount of waste two pretty small shops produced, i felt quite proud as i saw the crew tucking into their donated baked goods.

i decided to take a picture of carys, the young lady at greggs who gave me the food from the first store, and put it on social media to try to spread the word that small actions can have big reactions, and as well as getting a big offer from people on facebook to volunteer to help, we also posted these numbers on twitter from one tweet, so don't ever doubt the power of the good that social media can create if used simply and honestly.



and here is the response one tweet received.

hopefully greggs see the power of positivity around what they are doing, and this prompts them to look at expanding the scheme across their stores.

this leads me onto why i headlined this weeks blog in such a fashion, because as well as my own personal shizzle, bigmoose has had some pretty big stuff happen this week, which has been rather amazing, and i have struggled to share it all on social media, as it has been a bit overwhelming if i'm honest, so to keep this blog from entering the guinness book of records for word count, i will just list the big things that have happened, and not add detail.

* we have been asked to meet with the millennium stadium in cardiff next tuesday to see if they can help bigmoose.

* we have been asked to attend greggs managers team meeting on 7th july.

* we have been asked to attend marks and spencer managers team meeting also on 7th july.

* we have been asked by cadwaladers to discuss their food waste.

* we have been asked to speak at the inaugural cardiff business awards about bigmoose, which will be at cardiff city hall in front of 500 business folk.

* we have been asked by the welsh government to meet to discuss their tackling poverty agenda.

now i'm really not a showoff, but that is all pretty amazing stuff, of which firstly i am very proud of, but secondly, by you reading this blog, you are a part of, as your support continues to show that from small beginnings we can achieve much, so thank you for said support in whatever way you give it, i genuinely appreciate it.

and finally, i saw this video on me old mucka kris king's timeline, and have pinched it as i found it both motivating and hilarious in equal measure, have a watch, it may just stir you into doing something amazing.

so in conclusion, have a great week, thanks for reading, and i hope in some small way the bigmoose team can inspire you to do fun, exciting, rewarding stuff in your life, and if so, we're getting it right.

till next week, i'll be seeing ya,

blue skies,