Archive for September, 2013

23
Sep
13

no internet no problem…

 

For the last 2 weeks, I have been unable to access the internet from work. Most people would immediately think that must be a bit of an inconvenience – not being able to catch up on the news at lunchtime or browse stuff on Amazon when things get quiet but it actually meant that it was almost impossible to get any work done at all. No emails. No access to online job systems means not being able to log jobs, raise Purchase Orders, close jobs down or raise invoices. I felt like I was suddenly being given work but with no means of getting it accomplished. What would normally be reasonable deadlines suddenly become very tight once you take away the luxury and speed of almost instantaneous electronic communication and the ability to send large files at the click of a mouse. The only way around it was to take to working one day at work and the next from home – ensuring that if I was at home, I could catch up on the previous days emails and jobs without too many distractions and hopefully get myself a little ahead so that the following day spent back in the technological dark ages did not inconvenience me too much.

The upside of this was the time that was normally taken up with my morning commute was instead used for a 10 – 11km run first thing. I would arrive home from my run, fire up the laptop, shower and be “at my desk” for 9am. Safe in the knowledge that the days run was complete and I was feeling focused and ready for the day . And, after almost 2 weeks of this, to go back to an hour’s commute each morning and the struggle to squeeze in a run was beginning to slowly gnaw away at me.

So on Sunday morning, I was up and out and determined to get a decent run in. It was fairly quiet out and I decided to forgo my usual route and instead head out on a route that I was using this time last year whilst training for the Berlin Marathon. An 18km mix of woodland trails and pavement that takes me out to the town I grew up in, around and back. It was the furthest that I had run in a few months and by the time I had finished I felt suitably weary but happy. So much so that I have just entered the Ware 10 Mile run which takes place in just under a month. The race is local to me and I have wanted to tackle it for a few years now but have always had to give priority to other things. This year, there was space in the diary and I am very much looking forward to it. Part of the course is very familiar to me although approximately 50% seems to be through areas that I do not know. It will be nice to discover some new routes to run whilst enjoying the fun of an organised race. I’ve the feeling I may need a few more long Sunday runs between now and then…

16
Sep
13

farewell forerunner

It is so incredibly tempting to start this post with quotes from The Parrot Sketch, as my trusty Garmin Forerunner 205 is finally giving up the ghost (it has ceased to be, it’s demised…). It has not completely died on me but instead has tantalisingly refused to allow itself to be seen by my computer meaning that none of the data from my runs can be uploaded and logged. Sooner or later, the memory on the unit will become full and I will have to delete the data if I want to continue using it. And the longer I use it, the more data I will have that cannot be uploaded.

After a few email exchanges with Garmin support (who have been very good, patiently replying to my pleas for help) we established that cleaning the contacts on the unit did not work, re-installing the drivers did not work and that the only course of action would be to return it to Garmin for them to repair / replace at a cost. At which point I have to make a decision – is it worth spending money to get something that is 4 years old repaired and risk it going wrong again? Or should I perhaps look at getting a replacement? I know I could probably find some fancy running app for my phone but that does not appeal – I want something I can strap to me when I run and not care if it gets wet / muddy / broken / lost. If I fall and break a running watch it’s not a problem – If I fall and break my phone I would be very unhappy.

And so, dear readers, I need your help and advice. I don’t really need anything too fancy: I really just use my current Forerunner 205 for pace / distance and to upload my route. I don’t need heart rate or calories burned or any of the other bells and whistles that these things normally come with. So far, after a little search around the internet, the Garmin Forerunner 10 seems to tick all the boxes – basic, sturdy unit that has all the functions I need and is currently under £100. BUT… does anyone out there have any other recommendations? I know there are other brands available – Nike, Tom Tom etc. – but I have only used Garmin before so am unsure of how any of the other brands compare… Help me in my quest for the perfect basic running watch.

02
Sep
13

over

So, that’s it then. My Summer holidays are done for another year… And that has been why there has been so little posted by me in the last month. There was a gradual psychological winding down prior to my holiday which weirdly coincided with an upturn in work related stresses and general “stuff-to-do”ness. So I got my head down and got on with it. And then went on holiday…

Which was fabulous and I managed to run every 2-3 days. We stayed on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands so my runs had to be done first thing in the morning before the temperatures got too high. I would get out about 7.30am and run for about 45-50 mins – my route taking me out in one direction to the edge of the desert and the Corralejo Nature Park before looping back into town and down to the port. A distance of between 8 and 9 km depending on slight variations in route. But in terms of landscape I would go from holiday resort to desert, past extinct volcanoes and then back in to town and to the sea in under 10kms!

It is easy to see why runners and cyclists flock to the Canaries to train – the terrain takes in everything and the combination of steep, volcanic hills, long smooth roads and the ocean make it perfect for tri-athletes, runners and cyclists. The weather is always pleasant – rarely dipping below 20 degrees – but in August it can touch 50 degrees during the day when the breeze drops. Even getting up early and trying to get the run completed pre-8.30 am, I would still find that the temperature would sometimes be in the high 20’s by the time I returned from the run. I did see a few hardy (or foolish) souls setting off to run mid-morning although by then it was way too hot for me. The other thing I noticed is how tiring it is running in that heat. Ordinarily, I would think nothing of going out to run 10-15km but with the temperature there, I was find 9km a struggle. And I suppose that is another reason why people go there to train. Imagine running repeatedly in 25-30 degrees and then switching to a milder climate – It must seem like a pleasant stroll without the oppression of the heat. And over the weekend, I was able to test my “temperature” theory. 2 runs in the UK –  one of 10.7km and the other of 12.5km and both significantly less tiring than 8 or 9kms in the heat of the Canaries.

And for the first time in a long while, I have no planned races in my calendar. This time last year, Hauling My Carcass and I were in the final throes of training for The Berlin Marathon… perhaps it’s time to get a few races scheduled…




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