Friday, 24 February 2012

Random Friday Facts

This is the My God I Am So So Tired Edition.

1: According to something I just read on Twitter, apparently if you slowly raise your legs and lie on your back, you can't sink in quicksand.

2: I am so tired.

3: All I want is a cold beer and some unhealthy food. But tomorrow will be just as demanding as today (but without the 5.5 mile run to start the day), so I need to keep my shit together.

4: Sunday will see me hit double figures for the first time in ages. 10-11 miles planned (with a very early start), then another photoshoot, then an afternoon at my desk. Who said journalism wasn't glamorous?

5: Did I mention I am tired? I burned myself out twice in the past, and it was no fun at all. No plans to do it again, but the next three weeks will be incredibly hard.

6: We may watch either 22 Bullets or Limitless tonight. Who knows?

7: My facts never feel really random.

8: Everyone coos over Darcy the Dog when we're out, and not Millie. But those in the know, know that she is, in fact, SuperDog aka Best. Dog. Ever.

9: Nine is the phonetic pronounciation of the German word for 'no'. True story.

10: I have to take the dogs out in a minute. I don't think they've had enough walks the last few days. My bad. Fucking work, you big bastard.

11: No, I got nothing. Did I mention I'm... Oh yeah, I did. Well, I am. I'm going to go and relax. After doing all that stuff I have to do!

12: Which includes fact number 12: many famous actors got their first significant roles in horror movies. Kevin Bacon in Friday 13th, Holly Hunter and that fat bloke off Seinfeld in The Burning, Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street are probably the most famous. Joel Coen's first film job was on Evil Dead, too. I mean as well, not Evil Dead II.

13: I finished reading Chrissie Wellington's autobiography yesterday, and it's great. Read it.

14: Where did all this energy come from? Is that a second wind I smell?

15: False alarm. 'Night!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Since when is seven miles hard?

Since yesterday, it seems.

I wasn't going to run yesterday, despite making a half-arsed promise to myself never to take more than a day off running at a time. I ran Friday, took Saturday off because I had a photoshoot to sort in the morning, which took the rest of the day out too. Sunday, photoshoot in the morning, then a monster roast dinner*, then much sitting on my arse.

However, I just couldn't ignore the urge to run. I ate my monster roast*, then came home, drank tea, got changed and went out. Now, running with IBS has many drawbacks, not least the general need to run on an empty stomach for fear upsetting the Shit Your Pants Gods. But this day, they must have been having a lie-in. No problems at all, of any kind - well, except that I found a 7.5 mile run kind of hard. It illustrated to me how far away I am from where I really ought to be in training.

Next week's long run will see me try to hit double figures. Could be fun.

I also did this one with a new bit of kit on my arm - a Timex GPS unit, which was kind of fun. Had to not look at my mile paces, as I find it depressing to have been doing this so long and still being so slow. But considering I had a full roast dinner in my belly and next to no energy anyway, I was happy to have done the run in under 10-minute mile pace. Not sure what it actually was, something like 9:45s I think.

Anyway, then I sorted out dinner, got drunk and fell asleep on the sofa. Job done, though perhaps not the most positive finish to the day!

* By this, I mean a large roast dinner. Not actually roast monster.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Random Friday Facts

1: I am currently re-reading Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Hopefully it will help me rediscover my mojo even more.

2: This weekend, we are doing a photoshoot for my new mag. 'citin.

3: Except we're short 3 sports bras. But the apparel, shoes, watches, Buff, food all turned up. Which is good. And two bras came; the other three will hopefully be here in the morning.

4: It's going to be a long weekend. Tomorrow I will be up stupid early to do my long run (only 7-8 miles, but still) then walk the dogs, then get everything ready for people arriving at 11:30. Photographer at 12, up the woods by 12:30. Hopefully we'll be finished by 5.

5: Sunday is more of the same, but with an earlier start: 10am.

6: When I conceived this project, I thought I was creating my dream job; I may well be, but I wish it were all I was doing right now.

7: The event in September is looking completely fucking awesome. Really, really special. Still a ton to do though.

8: For the first time I can remember, I would really like a holiday somewhere hot, doing absolutely nothing.

9: On the plus side though, I got some lovely new headphones. They changed the design on my much-loved ones, so now they bash against my headtorch on early-morning runs, which is seriously annoying - luckily they sent a second pair which are ear buds. Less safe, but less headtorch bashing too.

10: Way, way behind in marathon training. Way behind. Will still get there though., After last year's chest infection, how can I possibly turn up less ready??

11: Rupert Murdoch is apparently launching The Sun on Sunday. Like that wasn't what the News of the World was. Why don't you do us all a favour, Rupert, and book a holiday with that nice travel agent that sorted Robert Maxwell's vacation? That or just fuck right off. Either way, we win.

12: After all that's happened, if it turns out I know anyone that buys the new paper, I will disown them.

13: I just read The Dark Volume by G W Dahlquist. It's the sequel to The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. I have no idea why I read it, because both books were actually shite.

14: My office is filled with boxes. Tomorrow, they will be gone!

15: My favourite TV shows are, in no particular order: Friday Night Lights, The Rockford Files, Cheers, Frasier, Biggest Loser USA, Eerie Indiana (but not the last series), The Office (US and UK both), The Walking Dead, Dawson's Creek. That's about it, I can't think of anything else I watch or have watched in the last 20 years. Except Battlestar Galactica.

16: For some reason, when I use a public internet terminal and I think someone is watching, I type something in about fisting. I don't know why, other than it just amuses me. Try it.

17: The Sylvester Stallone movie FIST also amuses me. And not because it's a good movie.

18: No more avoiding work for me. I'm going to go and do some. Honest guv.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Short and stiff

Yep, that's me. Well, that was this morning's run. I woke up having had a truly lovely sleep, 8 solid hours of it, to my alarm clock singing 'Jonty go run, Jonty go run, the weather is bad but you'll have fun, Jonty, o Jonty, go run... Run!' My wife recorded that for me last winter, and it's set very low so only I can hear it. Great way to wake up!

Anyway, I lay there for a few minutes (35) thinking about the run, planning where I'd go and what I would do. This helps me when I lack motivation, and means I get more out of the run - especially shorter runs. I decided to do two miles quick, then some hill sprints and finish. Bear in mind recent running has been neither satisfying nor structured, I thought I would ease back into what is still, for me, a hard workout.

The two miles went fine. I think I maintained around a 9-minute mile, which is still quick for me. I even enjoyed some of it, and the tunes on my delicious new iPod Shuffle have been a pleasant surprise. I filled 1.2gig with my old running faithfuls - Pearl Jam, Faith No More, and a motley collection that I have built up over the last seven or eight years that just work for me. I then 'autofilled' the remaining space, and it's resulted in some really odd stuff, most of which I am not really familiar with. Who knew Arcade Fire would be so bloody good to run to? Not me, guv. Who knew I would skip EVERY Beach Boys track? In my defence, it's all from Pet Sounds and it's just not very... Runny.

Anyway, then it was time for the hill sprints, which came on the last hill before the short walk home. I only did five, I think if I had aimed for seven or eight it would have resulted in vomiting! This length of hill took me perhaps 20 seconds to run up. That's all. But it's plenty steep, well, enough for me. I haven't done this kind of session in ages, and I can feel it in my legs right now.

Tomorrow I am supposed to do a longer run, maybe a five-miler if I wake up feeling excellent. But takeaway Thai food and champagne beckon, it's Valentine's Day I'm told.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Random Friday Facts

Here we are again... Kind of. Well, I'm here. Are you?

1: I've been a bad blogger. Not done nearly enough. But I've misplaced my running mojo, which is a pain in the arse.

2: I only drink beer, water or redbush. On rare occasions, fruit juice. But that's basically it.

3: I just had a pee in the staff toilets of my old school. I felt very naughty indeed.

4: While doing said pee, there was a comparison chart about the urinal, so I could check and see if I was hydrated. I am extremely well hydrated, it turns out. I was a '1'. The light was bad in there, but I still say I'm a '1'.

5: I am, of course, doing this instead of working.

6: Tonight, I believe we are eating hot dogs. With locally-made sausages, which are incredible. In fact, we have three butchers here that all make their own sausages. Tonight I will hopefully get some venison. Mmmmmm, deer.

7: I have way too much to do these days. But it beats being out of work.

8: Last night, I went to a parents' evening with my stepdaughter's dad. Stepdaughter was concerned people might think we were a gay couple.

9: The England manager resigned a couple of days ago. I just don't care any more.

10: I think I need a new dictaphone.

11: My weekly mileage - which is rarely high, but I had been hoping to buld reasonably, sensibly, quickly - has been hampered by shitty weather. Icy pavements, that kind of crap. Gah.

12: When I came in the house a short while ago, the dogs stayed still and quiet on the settee. Didn't even get up to greet me! It made me very suspicious.

13: I watched Green Lantern for the second time recently. It's a great guilty pleasure, and around 200,000 times better than Captain America, which was truly fucking awful.

14: Can't wait for the next Batman movie. Have you seen the trailer?? Wow. Just... Wow.

15: I just pre-ordered Chrissie Wellington's autobiography online. She absolutely rocks, I'm sure it will be a great read.

16: God, this is all about me. Where's the random facts, Fat Boy? Huh? Huh?

17: Stan Laurel married several times, including two marriages to one woman. Crazy guy.

18: I think my misplaced mojo might be down to the two colds since Christmas. Trying to train, launch new mag, keep old mag going, organise event... It's no wonder I'm tired. Maybe I should just accept it and shut my moaning face.

19: N-n-n-n-n-nineteen.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Running can be a right pain in the arse.

Sometimes, you just don't feel like it. It's sub-zero outside, it's still dark. You're absolutely knackered from the night before. The week before. The year. You have the shits. A hangover. Both. You just don't want to go.

But you do anyway.

I haven't been enjoying my running so much recently, partly because I've been so fucking tired. Oh, and I got another cold last week, which really didn't help. I was working in London, and when you combine that unique 'I'm at an exhibition' tiredness with not sleeping well because my fluffy bunnikins* was tucked up in bed back in sunny Ludlow. it was a fucking tiring week. Add to that a few beers on a couple of nights, then waking up with a shitty cold first day of the exhibition, and you're really fucked.

Still recovering, but I've been for three runs in three days this week. I feel okay. Not great, but okay. Not been going far, just been trying to regain momentum, which seems more and more important to me.

Running is different for all of us. We all take something unique to us out of it, and because we are not stationary as people, because our Self is in a constant (hopefully) evolution, what it is to us changes too. So when it's bad, the bad is unique to us in how it affects us, though the basics are much the same ("I really do not want to get out of bed. It's 5:20am and it's -3** out there. Fuck it. I'll walk the bastard marathon. That'll learn you, Winter!").

The momentum issue - of getting out as frequently as I can - seems to be vital to me, and how my brain works. It needs to be a habit, something I do almost every morning. In December, I could not sleep past 6am because I was used to being out; January saw me struggle to get up by 7am. What changed? Two colds!


This isn't leading up to some spanky conclusion, I'm just rambling. I may ramble about something else soon.

RKS Plumbing in Ludlow? Bunch of fucking robdogs.


There's a part of Born To Run - two parts, actually - that bother me in a big way. The first is ragging on Dean Karnazes because he is the 'populist' figure in ultrarunning. A self-promoter, I think he is described as. Well, if he gets one of those hilariously obese Americans I see every year in Vegas off their fat arses, then I say more power to him. If he gets a hundred people up and active, even better. But I suspect he does more than that, much more. And, speaking with cynical journalist hat on, when I met him he came across as grounded, humble, and a very, very nice man. I met him expecting him to be a cock, expecting to be disappointed and I came away admiring him hugely. This does not happen often, believe me. Before you dismiss him, let's not forget the dude has won Badwater, something the same writer bigs-up the book's kind-of hero Scott Jurek for. Maybe he is a self-publicist - he's trying to make a living from running, so if he isn't working to promote himself he ain't going to be paying his mortgage next month, is he? Nobody is going to earn a living for him.

The other thing is where the writer dismisses yoga in a single sentence. One mention of yoga in the book, and that's it. Despite yoga providing the basis for every single stretch we do to stay supple and healthy and avoid those nasty muscle injuries... Apparently, all the runners the author knows that do yoga are always injured. So it's dismissed. That is just fucking strange, not to mention shortsighted to the point of near-stupidity. Yep, it may be true that all the runners he knows that do yoga are injured frequently, but is yoga the cause? Are they doing the right type of yoga for what they need? Yoga has been around for a very, very long time, and for good reason. I simply cannot believe that yoga is the cause of injury for those runners. Mind you, they might be pig-shit thick, so who the hell knows?

Don't get me wrong, I adore the book. Those things just annoy me, and for the same reason - two facile comments with very little to back them up. I've never, ever done anything like that, ever. Not me.

*FYI, that's the wife, not the dog.

** US Fact Fans, that's 26.6 F in fake degrees