Monthly Archives: August 2008

Time to walk

Not really a post to be proud of but hey.

I haven’t run, just been out on the motorbike every day and caught up on all the jobs around the house I seem unable to get around to in a normal week.

Cathy seems rather ill, I hope it won’t stop her walking up the mountains. I’ll get a gauge on how bad she is tonight but the trip to Scotland won’t be happening if she isn’t going to make it – i’m not spending 15  hours (combined there and on to Scafell) out of 36 in a car to go for a walk on my own, that’s most of the reason I haven’t got round to it in my previous 37 years. But now i’ve got this far, I somehow really want to do all 3. If I was running or cycling, it might feel different owing to the special challenge but to look forward to 3 long walks (possibly in the rain…joy) is certainly a change of direction.

So today will consist of gardening, packing and wondering what i’ve forgotten to pack. Probably allsorts, but hey.

150 cars, no rain (but shitloads of stratus style cloud cover, so no skydiving either. Bah.)

Holiday Tuesday

Somehow today doesn’t feel like a Tuesday, partly due to enjoying yesterday (enjoyment? In my life? Shorely shome mishtaik [to quote the late great JC]) with Cathy, partly due to still having a week off work.

My mystery “I feel crap but can’t put a finger on what it is” ailment still seems to be hanging on, i’ll go all day with no problems then start coughing and blowing my nose as though it is a cold after all. I’m getting frustrated, it must be said. Last night, I was up 3 times, at about 4 o’clock I thought i’d be getting a complaint from the neighbour, so severe was my hacking, so when the alarm went, I didn’t notice i’d turned it off until i’d wasted half an hour of the day. And getting up, I felt awful again. Compounded by the news i’ve probably given a portion of whatever I have to Cathy, who now sports a sore throat and cough. I hope it’s unrealted.

So, my last run before the mountain adventure wasn’t being looked forward to but, having cleaned the bike and hung the washing out and all the other essential holiday activities done, I got changed, coughed some more, put the trainers on, grabbed a drink, coughed again, blew my nose and ran.


It was rubbish. I was wheezing down the hill from the house, got half a mile in and changed plans from a 5.4 to a 3.8 or 4.2, depending how I was at the top of the hill a mile in. Which wasn’t good. To the point of turning up the road at the wimp out cut off point to convert all my effort into an amazing 2.5 miles. Yep, 2.5 miles. Wheezing, sweating like a horse and knackered. Man, am I pathetic. Didn’t even feel good overtaking a pair of overweight pikeys on their horse and cart (black and pink contraption, actually looked well made but why the desire to put a “Sindy” fake number plate on it? Pure cheese.)

So I got home, sulked, sweated, sulked some more, went into the village (sheep purse based emergency), had lunch, went for a 60 mile motorbike ride, still didn’t smile as much as I should, so set about cleaning the windows. Which are now clean on the outside, tomorrow will see the inside done, shopping, ironing and hoovering brought up to speed ready for the weekend abandonment and week of tiredness I anticipate ensuing.

If the chest thing clears, i’ll run and blog again before the weekend. If not, i’ll bring you up to speed on our 3 highest mountains (assuming we make it to all of them!) after my return. Assuming Cathy doesn’t use all the interesting stories for herself and copyright them first, of course…

155 cars, by the way. And a trace of rain.

Full of something

There appears to be something funny going on in my life and it’s not making me laugh.

Since Monday morning, i’ve had varying degrees of ailment, ranging from the full spectrum of sore throats, through coughing fits (mainly at about 4 o’clock in the morning or just as I get up), via blocked noses to cold symptoms. But nothing stable enough to say “right, i’ve got a cold” or something else for that matter.

So last night, I ventured out for a spin on the bike for a play, only to find my balance was appalling and I couldn’t roll back more than about half an inch without dabbing a foot.

And tonight, to celebrate the last day at work for a week and a half, I promised myself the elusive run but through the day didn’t feel like it at all. But, afraid of ageing, heart attacks (Barry at work has followed Garry and Mark’s lead and joined the club) and getting slow, I set off at 5 o’clock for a short, slow amble along the Hastings seafront to ease myself in.

Has anyone had coughing fits in public when attempting to run? It can’t be good, especially when it’s within the first hundred yards and it certainly isn’t fun, but hey, i’m an athlete.

Still, the occasional hack aside, the run was ok. I kept it slow, the front was crowded, the lifeboat was out for what looked like fun (they weren’t going anywhere), plenty of enormously fat people kept me focused on wanting to stay fit and healthy and, aside from now having a blocked nose and feeling tired, I feel ok. I think the nose is on the way to clearing and hope, one early night later, that i’ll be ok for a full on weekend.

Just a trace of rain today. Well, it is August. 4.2 miles. 162 cars. Oh, and why is it the only time BMX gets a media mention, it’s all bad? Why no mention of the British greats, eh? Check out Youtube and some clips of Phil Dolan (flatland), Mark Webb (park) and Jamie Bestwick (vert) to see a true representation of homegrown talent. And what film broke Nicole Kidman’s career? Oh, yes…BMX Bandits. Quality!

Sorry, that post seems dull. I’ll improve with the week off and a weekend of great company, honest!

The counting cars conundrum

This being the start of a week in darkest winter (August? Yeah, right!), having got home earlier than expected last night and having time to do upper body exercise, tonight was to be a running evening. However, age being what it is and me being me, the start of the week seems to be occupied by mostly feeling shit. So, despite the running kit having been taken to work, it stayed in the car while I shopped, ate, did the chores and it’s still there as I write,  just before I retire to bed to try and sleep off whatever it is making my throat feel worse than in the tonsillitis days, my body ache and anything else that makes me feel pathetic. Should athletes feel this rough?!

Anyhow, i’ll take the opportunity to explain one of my odder little foibles. Ah, i’ve just started sweating heavily, too. That’s nice. I’ll note if shivers start presently.

In what seems a different life, I started to feel I was blundering through time without making any contribution to my own happiness.  I’ve been blessed to always be healthy, keep reasonably decent jobs, have nice houses, a car, motorbike and whichever toys take my fancy. I guess it’s the real joy of being single but it got to the stage where I felt I needed a step change in my life, didn’t know what or where but felt I could develop an idea given a defined timescale. So, last year, in a flash of oddity, an idea came to me. Counting cars.

Over the course of a few evenings, whilst brushing my teeth, I began to wander about the house (not too weird, honest – I used to do sit-ups while cleaning them at one stage!) and noticed a pattern. I live in a village on a main road that links a large town with a small one and I noticed that at teeth cleaning time, more cars go North towards the big town than South towards the small. I pondered if one car a day on average passed while I was brushing. I started to count, but got a few weeks ahead of myself and some odd connections were evidently made to link numbers of cars to a timeframe for a decision on my future. Another link made me ponder how old I was in weeks. Another link made me wonder how long it would take for my age in weeks to be surpassed by cars passing my house in a southerly direction while I was cleaning my teeth. But only while looking out the bedroom window from inside the bedroom, so spitting, rinsing and such times don’t count.

So, on February 28th 2007, the count began. I’d count down from my (then) age in weeks to zero, each vehicle passing south scoring, and once at zero, i’d make a life changing decision.

I now have 177 cars to go (record day, 14 cars). Ok, so i’m weird.

I just have to decide what to do at the end of it, especially since life at the moment is truly the best it’s ever been.

Oh, and another 6.5mm rain today.


Wow! A run!

Yep, it’s only 7 days since the last one and again i’m running. Wonders of this summer may never cease-well, i’m hoping not in as much as it might actually develop into one!

The first aid refresher finished well enough in that a) I passed and b) it was early enough to buy food for the week, get home for a run, eat, clean the car (ran out of time to wash it after hoovering and a chat with the neighbour last night), rebuild the bike and blog. Only I got home to a message from the jumpsuit maker to say my skydiving suit is available. Hang on! Wow. So, I jumped back in the car and went to get it. And how fine it is, all blue, black, silver and maroon with Symbiosis Suits’ logo on the left leg, it almost looks respectable for my own design! Then I wasted 5 minutes posing in the mirror in it, before realising my master plan had slipped by half an hour.

So the run went ok. I was slow, it was warm and windy and I didn’t eat very well at lunchtime what with no appetite from sitting around for two days blowing up dolls and that. Only a pair of farmers ploughing their fields broke the mental rhythm of painful calves so no records were broken but it’s all good.

As is the 11.5mm rain overnight. 5.4 miles run. 190 cars. And a need to rush to cook, eat and the rest now. So i’m off. An evening with my favourite girl in the world will pause the exercise tomorrow, i’ll be back on Thursday with upper body stuff, a curry on Friday will undo all that before hopeful skydiving and a visit to the best girl ever and her metal loving mate on Saturday will round off the week.

It’s all good.

Just a quickie

Monday evening, wow.

It seems just yesterday it was Friday and I was setting out for Cornwall to see some donkeys. Well, donkeys were seen, loads of rain was experienced (most of it horizontal), my walking boots were proved to be awesome, Lands End turned out to be as disappointing as we expected but not as bad as it possibly was for the three cyclists setting out for John’s other end of this island and the London traffic proved how messed up the country is. Still, it gave a fair opportunity to develope my road rage tourettes a stage deeper, so it’s all good!

The walk around St. Just may get an airing on someone else’s blog, so i’ll leave that and I haven’t been running but tonight I have at least exercised, tomorrow i’ll hopefully run assuming my first aid course finishes early, I get shopped and the car cleaning goes to plan. Doesn’t seem it’s going to get too hot to run again this year, so I guess it’s time to speed things up for the proposed Ashford 10k and a hopeful acceptance into London for April (they can only deny me one more year…).

Apparently Saturday (combined with Friday) produced 28mm rain (Andy measured for me as well as watering the greenhouse – thanks!), 192 cars to go and not enough time to pack in all I want to at the moment. It’s fantastic and long may the situation continue. I’ll discuss press-ups challenges and the counting cars logic as soon as i’ve the time!

Back to fitness

Ok, i’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking.

As i’ve mentioned before, usually through the summer, i’ll abandon running for the mountainbike. The last couple of years, i’ve got past the late May bank holiday, traded trainers for pedals and not run with any severity until late August. Well, with no trip to the mountains on the bike, i’ve possibly ridden less this year than any time in the previous 10 or so. Juneathon didn’t help, but was a laugh (with hindsight) and a challenge and next year i’ll do all the days and break 100 miles. Honest.

Following Juneathon I was a skinny whippet, struggling to keep weight on. Now, that’s all changed. I seem less able to do anything without breaking into a horrendous sweat this year than ever, so combined with eating out and drinking more than I have since I was in my early twenties, it’s time to reign myself in and hit the running, cycling and upper body exercise hard before I turn into a bloater. Oh, and if i’m going to do the Ashford 10k in October in less than 45 minutes, i’m going to need to find speed, too. And plenty of it.

So, yesterday the upper body was attacked.

I’ve just got in from 4 miles around the village in just over 32 minutes. I’m getting a haircut tomorrow so heated up too fast, but i’ve never suffered sweat running into my ears before. Is that an age thing? Hope not, I don’t think I fancy handling that in future life. But apart from getting a stone lodged in my shoe forcing a stop for removal and seeing a speedwalker twice (then a third time walking past the house while I was talking to the best girl in the world on the phone just after I got in), it was pretty mundane.

Tomorrow will see weights again, then i’m packing for a trip to Cornwall over the weekend. Where these last three days effort will undoubtedly be undone. But in the most fun way imagineable with  company i’m madly happy to spend time with so it’s all good.

Still, a regime of 4 days exercise with a day off will prevail afterwards, just as I used to, so all will be well.

Other than that, i’m down to 199 cars, July totalled 55.5mm rain (compare 75mm last year so this summer isn’t as bad as it seems…until you see July 2006 had 3mm!) and so far we’ve had 4 wet days this month totalling12mm. There are still 10 sheep in the field and now, it’s time for ironing.