Category Archives: Moaning

Sunshine on a Working Day

If there’s one thing worse than being weary, not enjoying the site you’re on, not having very good weeks and having to work a Saturday with no chance of either payment or the time off to make up for it, it’s all that plus having to do it while it’s a perfect sunny windless day.
But I’ll not really grumble since the air-tests went perfectly, I got some paperwork out of the way without the usual interruptions and then had an unexpected perfect winter run around the lanes.
My favourite route around Paddlesworth before going towards Denton then heading toward Elham before enjoying the rolling hills to Etchinghill and then back to Hawkinge.
A gentle pace, 6.5 miles, sun, warm and not a soul to be seen all the way around.
Guess it means it’ll shit it down with cats and frogs and blow a gale and freeze for the remainder of my outings now.
Or I could be less pessimistic and look forward to tomorrow. Yep, let’s do that.
140, 97, 49.

Do the BBC have no shame?

On my drive to work this morning (hadn’t planned to cycle, I was out for a mountainbike ride with Steve. Don’t think I ‘ll get away with claiming Juneathon miles with the bike in pieces in the back of the car), the local doomsayers (BBC Radio Kent. The most depressive pair of idiots ever to present a morning show. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. But I fancied hearing the traffic at 6.45, so had it on for a few seconds) did a quick weather statement indicating that it was forecast to get up to 25 degrees celcius and be fine today. I laughed, called them cunts and turned over to BBC Radio 4.

Around the turn of the hour, Tomasz  Schafernaker (best name ever? Yep, probably. Well, after Mike Hunt, the RovaKabin rep, of course. I’ve still got his business card.) was introduced and he again iterated that we were due (in the South East, at least. Kent is the South East still, isn’t it?) 25 degrees. This was as the car was buffeted sideways and the wipers were on full through the rain that was pelting down. I checked the car thermometer. A rosy 11 degrees. Nearly halfway to target, then.

On arrival at work I checked the BBC weather site and it showed, for anywhere I looked, a maximum of 18 degrees forecast. With an  average 18mph wind from the North East. Which was about what happened. XC Weather indicated similar. Metcheck the same.

So why were the presenters lying? Because something is so corrupt at the BBC that they are compelled to do so, I guess. Tomasz especially – he wouldn’t want to be sacked twice, after all. None of us like that.

Any Questions on Radio 4 this evening must have hurt them so much. Policy is, I’ve read, to encourage debate with a swing towards support, on climate change. The audience didn’t like it and neither did the presenter when a scientist stated the fact that global temperature hasn’t risen for 17 years. Despite his balanced judgement that yes, human influence is altering the planet, that yes we are experiencing alterations in weather, that things are changing but global warming isn’t occurring in a measured way, the audience (and presenter in failing to control them) wouldn’t have it at all.

I need a change of life. This one is frustrating me. I’ve even deleted FaceBook, such is my growing anger at idiots commenting on things they clearly feel they should when in fact they should simply be executed. And no, I can’t not look – my “I’m going to upset myself by looking at the stupid people” gene is too weak.

So Today’s Juneathon was a relief from the frustrations of my existence. I hated the wind. I especially hated my decision to ride from work to meet the boys because it made an extra 3 miles at the end of a 15 mile loop uphill and into wind. Proper uphill and wind, too, even at 8 o’clock. Yep, hills get no flatter in the evening. Steve was looking forward to my rant about how shite the trip was. I haven’t the energy. The BBC have outdone even the wind. But I was sweating by the time I’d got to the car. Sweating with cold hands. A hot core and cold extremities. That’ll be the effect of 25 degrees on the soul. Or the 11 my car thermometer showed, anyway.

My jog was courtesy of Steve, too. He got a puncture on the flat, road bit in Hythe. I proposed I’d run my mile while he repaired it. So in flat-soled skate trainers and cycling shorts (long ones, not lycra padded things. I’m not that much of a pervert.), I set off and returned in time to help him pump it up. Cool, windy but flatter than a pan-type cake (the run. Not Steve. Or Shaun, come to that), so easy despite the footwear.

Juneathon? It’s going ok.

Despite the bastard weather that’s worse than the first week of Janathon was.

Ah, the weekend. I can almost smell it.

I like Robins

As I headed out to water the greenhouse after my Juneathoning was over, I was followed by my Robin. Always there or thereabouts with me in the garden, today saw me amble towards the glass structure (why have I just felt like I’m writing a passage for “Just a Minute”? Because I resisted writing greenhouse twice? Maybe. Maybe there’s a blog challenge just been hatched for when things get really desperate in week 3. As if writing about a Robin isn’t desperate enough. And no, I haven’t wavered off topic. It’s a running blog. Topic was off with the title.) with it (the Robin. Keep up!) firstly on the wall by the conservatory, then onto my favourite red-leafed tree (must decide what it is instead of just looking at it in ignorance and liking it as I clear the lily bed of beetles), then onto the pile of brush that needs burning, then onto the water butt. No digging, so no opportunity to provide food, but to see him watching me from Cathy’s stick (a tree branch she brought back for a mile from a drunken walk back from town, she’s attached to it so it has to stay on the lawn by the kitchen window) as I washed up was like being observed by a wise old fellow. Like when it makes me jump when I reach for the fork and it’s sat on the handle with me.

Forget Kites, Storks or Gulls. Robins will do me come the revolution.

So today, for Juneathon, I have been mostly worn out.

A difficult cycle to work took far longer than it should. 10 seconds under 15mph average for the 15.4 miles was a bit slower than I’d reckoned. But it is uphill overall, two of them stink, one is just a long gentle slog and the wind was against me. Plans to jog from work were forgotten with priorities being to save a bit of energy for the ride home.

The ride home averaged 18.1mph with a breeze behind me and the associated nett downhill making it nicer.

But when I got in I needed to run (Juneathon being predominantly a running challenge, after all, and me searching for 100 miles overall. Or is it 75 overall? I’ll decide as energy levels equal out). So I changed shorts, pulled on my running shoes (as opposed to cycling ones. I don’t use clipped pedals and disco slippers, even on my road bike (or racer, as we used to call them when they weren’t trendy), I stick to DMR V12 flat pedals for everything. Their grip is all I’ve ever needed to keep full rotation of the pedal stroke under power. The difference to my running trainers is they’re flat and stiff to grip the pedal, rather than contoured for road/trail grip) and went for a jog.

Or tried to. My legs were moving like Bambi on ice and it wasn’t pretty. Less pretty than usual. Very bad. But 2.6 miles around local lanes was done, 7.42 average pace maintained and now it’s time to sleep before I repeat the effort tomorrow.


Ah, the 80’s. So yesterday. Janathon 29.

Today has been spent inside a cloud.

Hawkinge (AKA village of doom, shittest place on earth, most depressing place to work ever. A couple were meant to look at one of the houses on the estate on Saturday. Not knowing the area they arrived an hour before the viewing to look around. Half an hour before they cancelled. They didn’t like it up there. Sensible people. It really is shit. Imagine, if you’ve never been to Hawkinge, putting your head inside a particularly fragrant, surprisingly loose cow’s arse. During bowel evacuation time. with another cow stood on your foot. It’s that shit.) has seen nothing but drifting water all day. The kind that makes you soaking wet in 30 seconds without any raindrops actually falling. Except that for most of the day rain has fallen, too. The grey material (mist? Nope – visibility less than 1000yards. Fog? Nope – no advection or any other vection present. I was quite vexed though. Just simply moisture droplets in cloud form scudding past at eye level and below) is the most depressing stuff ever. At least it was warmer.

Except that wasn’t much of a bonus. 15 minutes before I set off for the run I knocked a scaffold board off the pile I was walking past. Having just passed it, the board fell straight down onto my left outer rear knee bit, the sticky out bone on top of the calf. It hurt a surprising amount so I headed back to the office and got changed. But didn’t know what top to wear. A long sleeved running top was right for the heat. But I knew I’d get cold once soaked (around 8 seconds in) So I opted to overheat but stay dry in my fleece running top. Along with a rapidly stiffening knee, it wasn’t to be a promising run.

And exectations were lived up to. Uninspired, tired, left knee hurting on the inside as well on the newly hit bit, right heel playing up, right foot bridge making me roll my foot oddly. I wish Janathon was over.

Except around 2 miles in when I realised I was past my target 186 miles for the month. All done. Target acquired and executed. Tick (in a Justin Lee-Collins style). But 6.2 miles to the next target (10k a day). So on I plodded. No air punch involved.

Once back I changed and again reached for the computer to play some odd music. Today was a mix of Buzzcocks which inspired (don’t ask how my brain works) Fergal Sharkey’s A Good Heart. My god. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the video before. I wasn’t going to watch it today (I intended writing the diary with musical accompaniment) but couldn’t take my eyes off it. Are any 80’s cliches (musical, style, fashion, hair) not complete? Even the nasty moustache is fully represented. Shocking.

Then I realised I was out of the 80’s in mileage, too. Just inside 190 miles I now need fewer than 5 per day to reach 200, a mere mile per day to exceed 10k per day. My knee has stiffened enormously since I’ve been home but surely I can get out for at least a mile tomorrow?

Hopefully there isn’t that much of a sting in Janathon’s tail, is there? Maybe – when I got home, the rain gauge in the back garden is registering a mere 1mm for the day. Just 15 miles (as the crow flies) from site. Did I mention Hawkinge is shit?

Short and bitter. Can it get any colder? Janathon the cold.

If this year has done anything for my resolve, I hope it’s to make me determined not to sign up next year. At least not to running everyday. Maybe internal activities with the occasional venture outside if it’s suitably clement. The only problem is, that’s pretty much like the rest of my year.

I don’t think I can take much more coldness. Hopefully it’ll warm up tomorrow. I haven’t warmed up in the slightest all day. My site is in Hawkinge. 3 degrees colder than Folkestone below it, we still have 4 inches of snow covering everything while Folkestone (2 miles away) hasn’t a drop left. It didn’t warm above -2 degrees all day. Spending a day there is the most uninspired I’ve been in 25 years at work. I don’t think I’ll warm up all weekend, if I’m honest.

My runs today were horrible, unsatisfying affairs but at least I’ve maintained my 6 a day target. Legs are now throbbing, toes hurt with cold, two toenails have delaminated today (I guess in the cold) and I’ll see if they survive until things warm up along with my toes being bright crimson with broken capillaries. My foot still hurts but it’s again no worse. My heel is playing up worse again but I’ll try to sort that before bed. My knee seems to have eased right off. Or maybe it’s frozen.

Not a happy Janathoner but the last weekend of January last year was so much worse anything is an improvement.

Did someone say 6 days to go? Hoo fucking ray.

Time is running out and Janathon day 10

With the month almost a third through, were it like my runs I’d be calculating the exact mileage against either known run distance or that measured on GmapsPedometer. It’s just something I love doing around third distance – work out how tired I feel, check I’ve no injuries, calculate time and speed without the Garmin telling me and tick off the hundredths of miles until the threshold has been passed.

By the time I’ve done that I’m usually well clear of the distance and pressing on for the half way stage without realising even if I am absolutely knackered and that I should turn around before I do myself some damage.

As it is, I’m merely getting annoyed that by the time I get home and eat and build the fire and wash up and log my runs (SportTracks and RunningFree in case one fails. Wish I’d kept up writing them down like in the good old days) and blog, I’ve run out of energy to pop into the garage and press on with the windows.

This evening’s frustration was the computer taking 10 minutes to get to the logging in screen (I know when I started – the chimes of doom that herald another suicidal journey to the East End (or at least a shitty tv set…it’s so lifelike, who’d know the difference?) were ringing out from the other room and I was desperate to drown them out with some aversion therapy instead of leaving this bit and potentially missing something decent. Guess I shouldn’t have bothered.) and everything being so slow that 26 minutes had passed before I even clicked onto WordPress to start the blog. And before anyone states the obvious “get the computer to multi-task – it can do more than one operation at once” (ok, it’ll only be the voices in my head say that, since my readers are only imaginary), it can’t. The Garmin won’t successfully transfer info while anything else is running; Sporttracks won’t upload if Runningfree is open and neither will it work the other way around. I resort to Freecell between clicks, the kettle (placed on the woodburner as I light it to save money on hot water for the washing up. Yep, I’m that tight) not having boiled yet so washing up not being an option. Those 26 minutes are equivalent to 3.29 miles at my overall Janathon running average speed (7.54 per mile). Despite the pain, I think I’d rather do that.

Today’s run was 6.6 miles at exactly that average speed. It was a new route consisting of known loops and wouldn’t have been so long if I hadn’t checked a few options before I left and thought as I approached 4 miles that I’d opted for the shorter one which would bring me up under 6 once back at work. I added a little return loop to kink the distance up, then realised my error about half a mile up the road. Silly boy, I’ll tack a bit on the end next time. It wasn’t a bad run but was absolutely filthy – I felt on the verge of cross-country at times despite all being on tarmac but that’s narrow lanes, overwidth vans using them and soft verges, I guess.

So I plod on towards one third distance. And much like a run, as soon as I contemplate the distance I’ll be beyond it. In days, at any rate. Fingers crossed we escape the worst of the weather – Hawkinge (being on top of the Downs, right above the sea at Folkestone) is always useless in inclement weather – I don’t want to have to divert to the seafront or the bypasses around home if it does turn out bad but don’t want to reduce distance either. Hopefully the BBC weather forecasters will predict barrages of snow, wind and freezing temeratures. Then at least we’ll be sure it’ll be a heatwave, the useless cunts.

Ah, well, we’ll see.

Bruce Lee

All plans were off today.

My avoidance of proper injury seemed to have come to an end as I got up and as well as the usual cracking and stuff from every joint below the waist, I had acquired a spiteful pain in my left foot. Not a pain of the metatarsal bursitis variety that I gave myself last Janathon but a wincing one nonetheless. From the sole just forward of my heel, upwards through the instep towards the ankle.

Wondering if it was just another thing to add to my list of hiccups I began to worry as all my walking at work was accompanied by a little limp (a limpette?) which when I noticed it and moved to correct it and stride through normally, with a roll of the foot and some articulation of the ankle, produced the same wince of pain.

And this continued all day.

So I began to wonder if I’d head out tonight and either a) ruin it completely with a big run, ending Janathon on a high, b) treat it normally and hope it would go away or c) treat it gently and hope it would repair for a decent weekend.

All pondering eased as my phone went just as I was leavng site to report someone with total boiler failure and, while not my department, since I was there would I investigate? So I did. And 45 minutes later the resident had a working boiler, hot water and heating. And a site manager with a window for happy running gone up the swanny.

And so it was that I returned home and did dinner (I hesitate to say I cooked it, merely needing to warm some things through and boil some rice), made the fire, washed up and decided I’d dig around in my foot for any hard skin etc that might be making me carry myself awkwardly. And I found some odd bits which, with a combination of nail clippers, stanley knife and glasspaper, weren’t attached to my foot for long.

So with minimal time for marvellous Indian cuisine to settle down I headed out.

Feeling flat I simply did an extended loop of Park Farm in a workmanlike fashion, easing through the strides and not feeling anything amiss with my foot at all. Really quite exciting and making me curious about what the cause is, was or might be.

Being later than usual I saw 3 police cars on different patrols, two dog walkers and that was about it. A shortlived idea about tacking a mile on the end of the run was just that – shortlived. I wasn’t in the mood for excitement or a bigger challenge than actually getting out and seeing if I have got a run in me tomorrow, so I rolled home to clock in another 4 miles.

I seem to have somehow increased mileage for the week so far from last week, so maybe this year will be more successful than last. I can’t bear the thought of a messed-up February and March like then, though, so if something is wrong with my foot I am going to stop, simple as that. Fingers crossed I wake up fresh and I can enjoy another few miles in daylight.

130 runs, 96 exercises and 47 cycles to go.