“You go ahead love”

“My grandmother started walking 5 miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.”

Ellen DeGeneres

The dog woke us at 06:00 this morning, whining to go out. Very unusual behaviour as he sleeps like a teenager normally.

On went the jammies and dressing gown and I stood in the rain out back while he crapped, pee’ed, crapped again and scurried back upstairs to complete his regulation 10 hours.

We, of course, were wide awake by this point and so coffee was made, birthday cards opened (Annie today) and we decided to just get up and get on with it.

So if, like me, you have been mooching around on social media this morning you may have noticed that I’ve entered the Greater Manchester Marathon on 28th April 2013.


  1. I have to have a quest – like all of my clients and many friends, if there isn’t “something” in the calendar that represents a future goal then I stagnate and start to irritate those around me. Annie is wise to this. “You go ahead love.” Is her standard response to almost any hair-brained idea I come up with – she also knows that the adrenaline or alcohol induced rush of blood that has me say “YES” to these things, can also dissipate in the light of day;
  2. It was Andy Legg who started me thinking about getting fit again – asking if I would join him and others in dentistry on a Manchester to London 24-hour bike ride in June. “YES” I declared over a recent breakfast with Colin Campbell. “You go ahead love.” said Annie when I got home that night and announced my involvement over a few glasses of red;
  3. A few days later I was chatting to Ashley Latter about said event (it was during our annual Christmas Eve “three pints in a scruffy pub” gig) and he said a big fat “YES” over the third pint. (Note to self – you know you are getting past it when you have three pints of beer and on the way home have to get off the Metro in Piccadilly to go for a wee in Starbucks).
  4. I then accepted Ashley’s kind offer to witness 89 minutes of dire football and one magnificent RVP goal last Saturday and he asked “are you sure about this bike ride because I’ve been thinking that you and I are road warriors and we’ll never get the training in?”  Wise words indeed – and the cold wind of Old Trafford on a wet weekend and the beefy tang of a hot Bovril had me realise that Ash was right;
  5. So I re-engaged Ms Bradley on the subject that night over Barbera D’Asti and Night Nurse (just before I lost consciousness) and admitted that my desire to ride was foolhardy and would lead to 6 months of regret, stress, hurried and inadequate mileage and the possibility of a rather pissed off Scottish lady watching me disappear into the dank mists of Cheshire every weekend morning. I’m not that stupid;
  6. So the next step was to do some research on the subject of Paleo marathon training. You know that since August I have lived the hunter-gatherer nutrition programme – “YES” to meat, fish, fowl – fruit, nuts, vegetables and “NO” to dairy, potato, rice, pizza, pasta etc etc. (p.s. actually the Alco-Paleo programme – much more fun). The record book has been written already that I’m now 20 lbs lighter and feeling much healthier (apart from the last week of man-flu, through which I have struggled quietly and valiantly, not wishing to spoil anybody else’s festivities :));
  7. So last night I surfed the net, reading various blogs, forums and web sites on the subject of running 26.2 miles without pasta. It can be done and involves a close and growing relationship with yams, sweet potatoes and bananas;
  8. So I’ve decided to battle with my Plantar fasciitis and get myself back into marathon running again!
  9. I’m bored with London – have run it I think 6 times and know every inch of the course, which means very little mental stimulation. Same with New York I have to say – so I need some new vistas to float my boat. Where better to start then my home town – and so 28th April will see me at the gates of Old Trafford football club and I’ll be hoping to return there sub-5 hours and reactivate, at The Theatre of Dreams, my dream of getting back to sub-4 before I die;
  10. To use the event to raise funds for Bridge2Aid is a no-brainer for me;
  11. By the way – there is some history here – back in 1998 I ran the then “Manchester Marathon” and actually finished last. Did no training – felt cocky – turned up on the day and realised after 5 miles I had made a mistake. Arrived in Wythenshawe Park 6.5 hours later to find a bloke in overalls sweeping up – as I approached he reached in his pocket, took out my medal and said “this will be for you then – I’m off.”  How times have changed as last year’s race was marred by typhoon grade storms (so what’s changed?) and the organisers closed down early and blocked the course to howls of protest from runners striving through the rain! That was the year my late parents, Charlie and Norma Barrow were waiting on Kingsway in Burnage with 6 litre bottles of water and a huge bunch of bananas – bless them.

So CB the runner will be back in his trainers ASAP (just need to shake off the last of the man-flu).

I may need a trip to the Adidas store in the next few days to get some gear for Getting My Year In Gear!

Tonight we will be at The Hale Grill, celebrating Annie’s birthday – and I fully intend to make best use of all their facilities to eat, drink and be merry.

Tomorrow, I will be thinking about the training schedule ahead, happy in the knowledge that I have a QUEST.

On her birthday, I take a moment to pay tribute to a marvellous lady who allows me to be ME – unconditionally.

Thank you and Happy Birthday Anneliese Bradley.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.