Posts Tagged ‘Work



Those of you reading the title of this post and expecting an analysis of racing speeds will be sorely disappointed. Nope, this post is more about the juggling and the planning to squeeze a run into the balancing act of everyday life.

Recently runs have been snatched at opportune moments. Slipped in at the last minute or put off completely at short notice. They have become not a rare commodity but a valuable one. The almost constant rain we have experienced for nearly a month now has scuppered many a planned run. I don’t consider myself a “fair-weather runner” but do find it hard to get my self outside in torrential rain which hits the streets and bounces right back up a foot or so. I enjoy my runs and any half-hearted attempt in monsoon conditions often leaves me feeling more frustrated at the lack of satisfaction gained from the run than the frustration of not going for a run at all.

Couple that with a magnificently busy period at work – 12-13 hour days and 400 mile round trips in pouring rain have meant that I have really felt I needed to get out and run but found myself too knackered to even contemplate it by the time everything else was taken care of. Which has made the runs that I have made it out for all the more enjoyable. I often find that after a really bad day, getting out and running is a great way to vent frustrations, clear my head and invigorate me. And the more rotten the day I have had at work, the longer or faster I run. And I’ve had some rotten days recently.

Thankfully then, I have found a few instances where I had some time coupled with a lack of water falling from the sky, so have been able to get out and just run. Most of these have been longer (18-20kms) with just a rough idea of where to go. They have been made up on the spot… if I get tired, I turn one way and head home, if not I take the other and run some more. I have also done a lot more running without listening to music which is very unusual for me. Perhaps it’s the getting away from it all aspect of my recent runs – perhaps I just want the sounds of the run filling my head? It has added a different dimension to the runs and made me more aware of the surrounding. Running with music is brilliant but it does isolate you from what is going on around you.

So, the recent lack of blog posts has not been a symptom of a lack of running. Just a lack of time to write about the runs I have had. In a little over 3 weeks time, training for the Berlin Marathon will begin so will have to get organised and plan my runs and distances and times. Which has made the last few weeks of running where and when I could all the more enjoyable.

Soundtrack to this post: Orbital – The Box


juneathon day 14: fix up

Today I had a job to do. A job for work. To some this may not sound much like work, some may even dream of doing this for a job. Today I had to do a “comp shop”. This means that I catch the train into the West End and spend approximately 6 hours walking the length of Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street and parts of Soho taking pictures of shop window displays. Sometimes I have to photograph the interiors of stores and this obviously requires some stealth and cunning as the people who own the stores or who work there do not want me snooping around with a camera. I sometimes like to see how obviously I can stand and take photos without being asked to leave or being forcibly ejected. That helps pass the time.
It does however grind you down, shop after shop. And you end up spending money. Many lovely things pass before your eyes and it is like slowly being brainwashed, with everything clamouring for attention and screaming “Buy me, Buy ME, BUY ME!”. Also, assume that, at a conservative estimate, I cover 2 miles an hour as I saunter around the streets and shops… that’s 12 miles walked today.
Although, walking around the West End had one advantage. The fixed gear bicycle is the cycle couriers transport of choice and many are to be seen chained to lamp posts or nipping through the traffic. Almost all are customised or tricked out in some way and it was great to look at the variation and individuality on display and to see a bunch of wiry limbed couriers with crazy facial hair stopped for lunch and try and marry up the courier to the bike from the assorted ones leaning up against the wall.

My Lovely Fixed Gear Bike

All of this served as inspiration for today’s Juneathon activity… I knew I was going to cycle today but had planned to get the singlespeed out and have another ride on that before London to Brighton on Sunday. Instead, I grabbed the fixie from the garage and completed 24.46kms of narrow handlebarred, continuously pedalled fun.


funny old man

I think it is very strange that the less free time I have, the more I feel the need to run. Maybe it’s the frustration of work, or the endless sitting in cars / on trains or the desire to just get away from it but as a rule, the busier I am, the more I want to cram in some running too. This week is a case in point… I’ve had more to do and travelled more miles than in an average week but still felt the urge to get out and run 3 times in 5 days. Admittedly, those runs haven’t been very long and since the temporary closure of my favourite 10k route, I’ve had to get creative with route planning. Yesterday morning, with a long day ahead of me, I thought I could get a quick run in the VFF’s before tackling the drive to Peterborough for some store visits. I haven’t run in the Vibrams for a while so was surprised to find myself feeling spritely (and blister free) enough to complete 7.85kms. Admittedly, I was spurred on by the thought of attempting a 10k in the VFF’s very soon. I was toying with the idea of entering the Old Deer Park 10k in Richmond this Sunday but logistically it is a bit tricky so will instead have to find something closer to home that takes place soon-ish.
The Vibrams always get strange looks from people as I run past – admittedly they do look odd – and yesterday was no exception. Although I did pull off a bit of a coup as I managed to garner strange looks from commuters in the morning for running in the VFF’s and also get strange looks in the evening when I went to see Klaxons in Cambridge and was, for about half an hour, the oldest person in the room by a country mile. You could see the bemused look on The Hip Young Things faces… “Who’s brought their Dad??” Fortunately some people even more decrepit than me then arrived and I could get on with enjoying the evening and the very fine din that Klaxons made.

Soundtrack to this post: Horace Andy – Do You Love My Music


oh, it’s going to be horrible!!

Nowhere To Run To – Mud and Mayhem – The GrimCam

There’s been very little running activity in the past 2 weeks. I’ve been finishing off my freelance work and starting my new “proper” job. Unfortunately, that has entailled trying to sort out about a million things including making 2 weeks worth of travel plans and arrangements. So far this week I have been to the Midlands 3 times and London once. Next week is looking like a day in Lancashire, a day in Leeds and a day in London with Thursday and Friday still unplanned. And as I sit at a desk, or on a train, or behind the wheel of a car, I can feel the fitness ebbing from me which is bad news as, bright and early Saturday morning, I need to get myself up and out to get to the Grim Challenge – 8 miles through mud and puddles and water. And eight months ago it seemed like a good idea. Well not exactly a good idea but at least an interesting idea. And now it is only 48 hours away, it seems like a horrible, barbaric idea and I can’t believe I could have been so stupid. I know that it is going to be one of those events that is horrific at the time but once it is completed will be the subject of many a “do you remember when we did that…” conversation.
Also, my partner in crime for many of these ridiculous endeavours, Hauling My Carcass, has discovered a way of streaming photos live from the event. So any particularly sadistic readers can log on to his blog on Saturday morning from 10.30 and see the two of us run / wade /crawl our way through all manner of messiness. It’ll be like the good old days… Saturday is, after all, Tiswas day.
Once Grim is out of the way and my work begins to settle, I am looking forward to getting back out and running properly. I have a couple of weeks grace before starting to train for the Wokingham Half Marathon in February so need to buckle down.

Soundtrack to this post: Tutu – Miles Davis.

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