Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Night time leg around the towns

26/01/10 - It was dark, it was cold, it was wet and I needed to get out and run.  I decided to try out a new route, in fact I decided just to head out of the village and wing it.  So I strapped the trusty headtorch over the top of my beenie hat, fired up Runkeeper on the phone and set off.

As I was unsure where I'd be going and for how far I decided to keep the pace steady and not go too mad.  First was leaving the village, so it was through the high street and then off down a dark path through the lanes. Here the torch came into it's own and ensured I neither fell onto my face or ran into one of the many hanging thorny branches.  Still it was rather dark and at one point I was chased down the darkened path by a horde of zombies...... honest.

Proof !!

So having escaped the bloody clutches of the zombie horde I got as far as the nearest town.  I then decided I'd run through the town and head back home in a big circle.  It's amazing for me, since I tend to run a lot down the country lanes on my own, when running through a town just how many other runners there are out even on a cold rainy night.  So I'm doing OK though not entirely sure where precisely I am and I'm having to stop to look at road signs.  Also something I'm not used to, stopping for traffic to cross a road.  Eventually I make it to the other side and exit onto a road I know will take me back to the village.  Excellent.  So headed for home knowing I was no more than another three miles from a cup of tea.  In total the run ended up being just over seven miles so nice distance and route to add to my growing list of routes.

Apologies if for any typo's if there are any but as I'm typing this one of my cats is pestering me for a stroke and is licking my hand while I type.  Stupid cat :-)

Stella - licky cat

Monday, 24 January 2011

The tale of two cameras

24/01/10 - Well last week was a bit of a mixed bag as far as the running goes if I'm honest.  On the upside I managed a PB for the 10k and felt pretty good all week.  On the downside I've got so much on that I only managed 3 runs in total for the week.  

Tuesday saw me deciding to really push and see how quickly I could do a 10k.  I felt great and, for me, flew round.  Finished in just over 51 minutes, 3 minutes under my previous best.  I'm pretty sure you could here me puffing away from 5 miles away.  I must of sounded like the home made porn video of  heavy smoking 80 year olds.

I had to wait till Saturday to do my next run and it was a slow plod round my usual haunts.  It was made slower by a new toy and one of the reasons for the title of this post.  I'd got myself a tiny tiny video camera ( see below):

It's got a 2 mega pixel video camera and sound recording.  The video quality is surprisingly good and I was impressed with how good  it also recorded the audio.  I tried clipping it to my jacket, with one of the many attachments it comes with, and running with it but as expected the video's too jerky.  I can see how it would work well on a bike though.  It's very small, light and I'll use it to record bits of my run if as and when. Below is a short vid I took while out:

For 11 pounds it's a bit of fun, though it does lend itself to dodgy voyeur snooping I think I'll give that a miss.  I'll have to keep it away from my daughter as I reckon it'll take her 2 minutes to realise she can hook it onto the cats collar and record where the cat goes.   Trouble is I know it likes to visit our neighbours and I neither want them to think we're spying on them or even worse to see them on the bog.

I enjoy my Sunday morning runs as they get me going on an otherwise lazy day.  Not much to report on this Sunday as it was a pretty standard uneventful run round the lanes .  A nice easy 5 miles. 

So why the title "The tale of two cameras"?  Well today I took delivery of a Canon 550d DSLR.  I've wanted a DSLR for years and final decided to invest in one.  It's very nice and oh slightly more expensive than the pin hole camera :-). So that's my evenings taken care of for a few weeks.

Cannon 550d plus EF-S 18-135 IS Lens

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Double Days

12/01/2011 - I need to increase the mileage I'm running.  OK, in principle not hard but in practice tough.  Mainly due to the whole load of decorating I need to do a.s.a.p.  As mentioned in the previous post I've been re-decorating the utility room and things are going well but it meant I only got one run in over the weekend.  So I decided that I'd double up on my runs where possible, doing two a day.  So I took my running gear to work for a lunchtime jaunt.

Lunchtime came and off to the ladies loo, sort of, actually to the shower next to the loo.  Funnily enough last year my mate got reported to security for using the ladies loo.  Well not him specifically but security sent out an email drop detailing that "A man was seen using" and carrying the warning "we frown on these things".   The "Man" in question was not actually using the ladies toilets but the shower room?  Only to get to the shower room you have to go through the door marked "Ladies" then you can either a) actually go through a second door into the ladies loo or b) take the door to the right mark "Shower".

So off to the shower room to change wondering if I'll get tackled by security and my name on the sex offenders register.  I get changed, dump my stuff at my desk, out through the security gates and I'm off leaving St Albans and down into Sandridge.  It's light rain which is not unpleasant, though I'm having to leap the odd puddle as I do a 3 mile loop.  I pass a number of people out walking their dogs all of which say hello (the people not the dogs).  One chap, as I run through a cemetery,  got the fright of his life as I overtook him with an "afternoon". Now there's a couple of nice pubs in Sandridge.  Quite hard running past and seeing people enjoying a beer without wondering how nice it would be to stop for one myself.  I managed to get past them and headed back into work, dry off, get changed and just time for some lunch.

Get home from work and had planned to go for another run.  Sadly it was raining, hard, and water had started to come through the roof of the utility room.  Bum.   So there I was in the dark on the slippy roof of the utility room laying down tarpaulin and holding it down with tins of paint and a damaged wheel that had come off my wifes car.  Then it's drying out the room, then the sopping wet me etc.   So it's rather late before I have the chance to get out but a runs a run and the lack of runs was making me feel like a caged hamster.  My wife says "take the key, I'm off to bed", and there's an explicit warning the gist of which is "wake me up and you die".  So I do a nice 5 miles and get home sopping wet, for the third time, but pleased that I'd got out.  One lesson learned though, don't wear the headtorch too tight as my forehead hurts 24 hours later.

Wet but happy
So I dry off and I'm ready for bed, except I'm not as I am reminded that I'm currently doing a "press-up" challenge.  I'm doing five sets of press-ups and sit-ups every night, increasing the number done by one each night until I reach 5 times 100.  It was 5 times 71 to do, that's in total 355 press-ups and 355 sit-ups. Sigh.  Why do I do these things?  Completed them then loped off to bed like Quasimodo with chronic piles. I'll be doing the same Friday with any luck except without the whole leaking roof thing and it'll be 5x73 press-ups/sit-ups by then.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

New Year, time to start decorating.

09/01/2011 - This weekend sees the start of the decorating season, a serious threat to running mileage.  I was under strict instructions to get started decorating the outhouse first thing Saturday morning.  I knew I was never going to get out in the evening, I'd be too tired, so decided I had to get out early in the morning.  Set the alarm for 7am.  Saturday morning arrives and the alarm does it's job.  I jump up and then remember that I was supposed to be doing the first combat training session of the year at 08:00.  Bum.  So it's of out the door and off to the training session not the run I was planning.  So it I was going to lose a days run so I had to be sure to get out Sunday morning.  So I set the alarm.  Sunday morning and I'm up and out the door to the cry of "make sure to start on the outhouse pronto".

First thing I notice is damn it's cold.  I was beginning to regret wearing the ultra light marathon jacket instead of the warmer running jacket.  The road is white with frost and very slippy.  Much slippier than running in the snow.
At least the suns shining which make it quiet pretty and I'm warming up quiet nicely so I'm beginning to think the light jacket was the right choice. I run past a field of horses who look less than impressed with the morning chill.
Bored Horses in a field
Past the horses and It's back through and out the village passing some equally bored goats. Onwards to the mill where I near do a pretty good impression of an ice skater on a large patch of black ice.  Pass by the mill and a chap whose dog simply refuses to come back.
The Mill
Carry on past the cemetery and it's the return leg home.   I get home and begin to stretch, happy that at least I'd got five miles in this weekend but peeved that's that's 10 miles short of what I wanted to do.  Oh well the outhouse is looking good.

EDIT: Apparently it's not an outhouse now it's a utility room.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Oooo It's so hard after Christmas

03/01/2011 - Not the first run of the new year, that was a 3 mile struggle on new years day, but still it felt like my first proper run.  I'd taken a break over Christmas and stuffed my face with all the usual food stuff and probably too much alcohol as well.  So I'm a touch heavier than I was ten days ago and really feeling it.  I set off .....slowly. Really found it quite hard going and by the time I reached the cemetery at 3 1/2 miles I felt I might become a resident a little earlier than I was hoping.

At the Cemetery - I must wear my other sunglasses
Quick pic on the phone and off I set again.  Considered going for the seven mile run route but changed my mind and kept to the five mile one.  It's amazing how a ten day break and a bit of extra weight effects the running and even though I'd been doing ten milers pre-Christmas this five miles seemed tough.  Got home and decided I really need to start pushing a bit as it's only three months till the Silverstone 1/2 marathon.  So it's cutting back on the indulgent food, beer and upping the mileage.  First challenge of the new year though is to get up for work tomorrow morning.  Oh and I miss the snow, odd really, but I do.