I went for a run this morning…

…unlike my normal MO, I can’t prove it, ‘cos my GPS went wacky and then my running app crashed when I got home, before I could save the data.

I am somewhat miffed that having mentally prepared for getting up at 0-My-Goodness-600h, and then actually done it, got out of the house in a timely fashion and made myself run 3.42 miles i do not have the data, not really becuase I want to __prove__ it to anyone (let’s be honest 12.333 minutes/mile is nothing to crow about), but because having the data has been one of the mainstays of my being able to motivate myself.  What can I say, I’m a geek.  I like data, numbers, graphs, trends and the such like.  I get excited when I can see that over time the trend is that I run faster and further, and missing a data point like today’s run (in which I clawed back a whole minute from last week’s effort) is just a bit, well, “meh!”.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to try again tomorrow – I am planning to reboot my iPhone just before I go out in the hope of having as much memory available as possible, seeing as the old 3G I have is now at the blunt back-edge of the iPhone tech-tree and even if “turn it off and turn it on again” shouldn’t work with something made my Apple, the simple truth is that it does 😉

Roll on April and my chance to bully an iPhone 4 out of O2, or make my own destiny if they refuse to play ball!

Enjoy your Wednesday 🙂

So what’s all this running stuff about anyway…

So, those with an eagle eye may have noticed that I, of all people, have been mentioning the fact that I’ve been starting to go running on Facebook and Twitter. Now why on Earth would I do that? Anyone who knows me well, but has not known me for more than 17 or 18 years might not believe that I’ve ever been a runner. To be fair I’ve never been a particularly __good__ runner, and I am mindful of the fact that having been a runner in my teenage years, at boarding school, should not allow me to misguidedly think that I can easily recapture that level of fitness. After all it was roughly 21 to 17 years ago, and while I’m not __old__ I am older. So why would I put myself through the horror of trying to become a runner once more?

Well, I have gone through short periods of finding some success with running in the last 8 years, but not really in the last 4 years, so it’s not actually that long ago that I have done __some__ running, and so it’s not quite as mad as it might sound. Still, having made great strides (if you’ll pardon the pun) with adopting cycling for my personal fitness and as one of the core choices supporting my decision last year to slowly and sustainably change my lifestyle with a view to better safeguarding my long-term health, what need is there for running? The answer is quite simple – it’s not really very safe for me to be out cycling 10 to 15 miles in the pre-dawn mornings or the post-dusk evenings that I have access to as a working stiff. My vision is more than good enough in fine and light conditions, though I do have to take particular care with regard to looking over my right shoulder, with the defecit in my vision being mostly in my right eye, but I am of the opinion that it is other people actually seeing me, even with lights and high-vis / reflective gear that is more worrisome. I am intending to continue to cycle at the weekends and on days when I am not working, and of course once the year rocks around to light mornings once more then I want to be putting in as many miles as I can on Suzie, but in the meantime I am worried that my fitness is going to suffer if I don’t take up something as an alternative, an activity that I can easily and cheaply partake of 4 or 5 days a week. Thus I have started running. This is not as grand or foolhardy as it sounds, I am taking it easy, keeping an eye on my knee (the one that’s damaged), and not going all out to immediately be running half-marathons by Christmas, but listening to my body and yet allowing myself to push enough that I am doing meaningful exercise.

The thing is, I’m a bit of a neophyte as to the science of all of this… I’ve had one good recommendation on Twitter, that I should buy a heart-rate monitor and use it to achieve and maintain a target heart-rate, while also using it to time myself so that I run for an allotted and increasing amount of time, rather than worry about distance, and this seems to be a very good bit of advice on the surface… The thing is that I’ve not even the first clue about which brand of heart-rate monitor to buy, let alone how much I should expect to spend or once I’ve got the thing how to work out what my target heart-rate should be. I am still managing to lose weight by increments, and my primary motivation for exercising at the moment is to support and strengthen the weight-loss objective, but I’d like to think that I might be able to get a little bit fit(ter) as well, over time… Do I focus on fat-burning, do a bit of both (i.e. fat-burning AND cardio), or do I wait for fitness to come as the next stage after I achieve my target weight? I’m sure I could find answers to these questions on the ‘Net, but I’m just as sure that I could find five different answers (at least) on the ‘Net and I’m not really sure who to believe…

I suppose what I am asking for is some guidance from friends / readers who have gone through this process, so based on actual experience and wotnot. If you’ve bought a heart-rate monitor or you’ve got some good advice about training regimes and so forth, then please let me benefit from the wealth of your experience, and beyond that, if you can recommend any good fitness / running / cycling websites to me then than would also be really cool.

Right, back to the lazing around and reading… 😉

Notes from an even smaller island…

…hopefully Bill Bryson will forgive the shameless poaching / plagiarism inherent in my using that title (above!), and we can move on to other things – call that a pre-emptive diffusing of flamebait, ok?

Anyway, I arrived in The TRNC – The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – on Saturday evening, on time amazingly after the chaos of the journey, and since then I have been doing very littletm

There has been a lot of spending time chatting with Mum and Dad, there’s been some running, swimming and walking, and there has been some reading and sleeping as well… I really can’t recommend this delightful place enough! Oh no, hold on a moment… No I’ve thought about it and you wouldn’t like it really *wink*.

So far the only deficiency I have been able to spot with the whole arrangement has been the absence of a certain special lady (yes I am referring to Lee-Anne, in case you were raising an eyebrow), but that will all be dealt with on Saturday evening as she will be arriving here, to spend eight days with me and my folks, under the “almost North African, almost MIddle Eastern” sun – hurrah!

Right, I’m off to get an early night so that I can go running in the morning – yes you did read that right, and I’ve not been replaced by an alien…


P.S. I’m thinking of something interesting to say about Milliband the Younger, but so far I’m just stunned by how much he wants to be “not the old guard” and yet how much he sounds like Tony “the hair” Blair when he delivers a speech! Also, what’s wrong with being “Red Ed” as leader of the LABOUR PARTY? Ah well, I guess that there’s a reason that “plus ça change…” is a saying…

Cycling Bore Alert!

Looking for excitement..?

If you are, then why not try cycling in Central London..?

I’m still alive despite the best efforts of one hare-brained driver who decided to not check their blindspot when pulling out into traffic. Said driver not only exclaimed with shock that they had not seen me, but also that they had not noticed that I’d hit them! Still no injuries and the bike is once again unscathed; thank heavens for taking it all very seriously (i.e. being vigilant and defensive at all times) AND for having good brakes!

New GPS Software, some data inconsistency…

I have put another walk / run tracking app to the test on my iPhone, and while I am perturbed to discover that RunKeeper thinks that I am walking roughly 0.2 miles less than Google and / or MapMyFitness, I am not bothered overall, because regardless of the distance, I am walking the same route and I did it in 8 minutes less today than I have measured myself to do it in!!

Here is today’s map:

Onwards and upwards!


iPhones, GPS and my new walking regime…

So, I am walking between Paddington and Work, or Work and Paddington depending on what fits, and this morning I have taken my “starting point” GPS trace of my walk. I’m not going to do it every day, but I am going to do it once a week (or so) to try and see how I improve…

Here’s the first one:

Be prepared to be bored with more of these as they come along…