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Life

More Running, More Coffee

Some good friends came over last night and sat outside with us while I cooked food on the barbecue. I somehow managed to drink two thirds of a bottle of wine while talking about everything and nothing with them, and boy did I know about it this morning. It didn’t stop me going for a run though.

I’m not quite sure how my brain works with this whole running business – I guess I’m pretty good at being accountable to myself. I thought about staying in bed for an extra half hour, but something inside me stood me up, pulled on some shorts and a t-shirt, and delivered me to the doorstep.

I’m not particularly happy with how far I’m running, or how fast I’m running, but also realise that at least I’m doing it – at least I’m doing something.

I’ve already downed one coffee this morning. A second will be following in a few minutes.

In other news, lets try not to remember the huge ass spider that climbed on me while hanging washing on the line this morning. I have no idea how long he was on me, hitching a free ride around the house, before he decided to climb down my leg. It was a “false widow” – I don’t think they are particularly dangerous, but probably enough to make the kids scream.

Categories
Life

Running and Coffee

I scraped myself out of bed before 7am this morning and went for a run. I must be mad. Or feeling guilty that I haven’t been running (or done any sort of physical exercise) for weeks. I just ran a few miles around town, but it felt good. Good to be out doing something.

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s half-way through September. After spending most of the weekend in a t-shirt and shorts, I retrieved the reflective waterproof I usually wear for evening runs from the depths of the closet, and hoped for the best.

During the height of lockdown you would see people out exercising every morning. That’s all stopped. I ran right through the middle of town, and didn’t see a single person. Nobody. I started to wonder if everybody had left town and not told me about some sort of impending doom.

I’m now killing the last half an hour before work starts. I just noticed an OpenReach van parked outside – they work on broadband network infrastructure. I have a call open about our continuing internet problems – fingers crossed they are here to help (cue exasperated look as they drive off without apparently doing anything).

It’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow. We’ve somehow made it through nineteen years without killing each other. I think we’re inviting some friends over to celebrate with us (read: we will feed some friends and make idiotic conversation – mainly to avoid killing each other).

I think perhaps a second cup of coffee might be a good way to start the day.

Categories
Life

Heat, Humidity and Lightning

I just looked on the weather app built into Windows 10 – because of course I can’t just look out the window. In the interests of accuracy, it’s 11pm and the temperature is still nearly 30C. Humidity is above 50%. Lightning keeps rolling across the sky, but no thunder yet. I have a fan blowing into the room, but all it’s really doing is replicating a fan oven – making sure I cook evenly. I also have an incense burner filling the room with smoke, mostly to try and persuade flies that they will die if they come anywhere near me – the smell is really a secondary requirement.

I’m sitting in the dark, while Spotify plays “my” playlist – the stream of go-to 80s tunes that kind of form the Forrest Gump soundtrack to my life, thoughts, and day-dreams. At the moment Christopher Cross is singing “Sailing”. Elton will follow him in a few minutes – something about Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters.

I’m wondering about staying up all night watching a movie. It’s too hot to sleep. I wonder if I can find the bootleg version of “Almost Famous” anywhere ? Did you know there are at least three versions of that movie? The Bootleg version adds about half an hour to the cinematic version, and then there’s another version – more of a Director’s Cut – that adds another chunk on – turning an already long movie into a wonderful musical marathon through some of the best songs ever to grace a movie soundtrack.

I think the incense has burned out – how long until the flies start arriving?

It’s been over a week since I last went for a run. It’s just been too damn hot. They said something on the news earlier that it’s the hottest run of consecutive days since records began – and doesn’t look like getting any better for at least a week. I had been entertaining thoughts of running at 6am, but woke this morning before that and it was already 30C, with clear blue skies and no wind. Madness.

I’m still losing weight though – mostly through not eating junk. That being said, I just made myself marmite on toast for supper. The choice might have had something to do with there being nothing else that was easy and fast to make. I need to buy some more cereals in the morning.

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Life

Surviving the Day

I started the day with an empty page in my bullet journal, and filled it with tasks as the day went on – the kinds of things you would expect after being out of the loop for a couple of weeks – timesheets to fill out, documents to read, emails to reply to, calls to make.

I admitted to somebody towards the end of the day that I really hadn’t been looking forward to returning, and couldn’t really explain why. I suppose I had grown used to the slower pace of life – it turns out sitting on your arse all day and getting nothing much done is strangely addictive.

I talked to my other half this evening about feeling trapped – stuck in a job that I don’t always like as much as I once did, but having no exit route. I pay the majority of the bills. I keep a roof over our head. I can’t take chances.

Anyway.

I’ve already promised myself to go for a run before work in the morning. Another step back towards normality. I’ll have to get back on the bike again soon too – perhaps alternate running and cycling each day.

I survived the day. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I got over myself. Go me. I’m now sitting in the dark of the study, wondering about heading to bed soon, listening to Cutting Crew on Spotify. Every time I hear it now, I think of the scene in LEGO Batman when Bruce Wayne meets Barbara Gordon for the first time.

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Life

Not Feeling It

I got up this morning and went for a run, after not running for the last two days. I got up half an hour later than I should have, both my knees hurt when I started out, one of my feet went dead after a couple of miles, a tendon started to hurt a mile after that.

You know how you sometimes start to wonder “why am I even doing this?”.

I carried on though, and called it a day a little way from home – walking the last quarter of a mile. I’m kind of glad I carried on, and also amused at my own idiocy.

I took my phone for the run and recorded it on Strava. I’ve realised the main benefit of Strava isn’t to push me to go faster or further – it’s to guilt me into not stopping, because other people will see it.

After getting home, I dragged myself into the shower, and then got dressed. In a few minutes I’m walking back into town with my better half to get a birthday present for her Mum. She ran into the study panic-stricken last night, having forgotten her Mum’s birthday. Guess who was washing up baking tins at midnight last night ?

Anyway. Remind me to get some toothpaste in town – I ran out this morning.

Categories
Life

Ray and Marijne

I meant to write a blog post yesterday, but somehow the day got away from me. The days have been doing that a lot recently. I started writing, but got no further than the first paragraph.

I ran yesterday morning – another five kilometres around town. There is no record of it happening this time though, because I bought a little MP3 player to use while running instead of carrying my mobile phone. I had been recording runs on “Strava” (a free running app), but realised I was beginning to think too much about how far, and how fast I have been running. I’m not training to win anything – I’m just trying to keep fit.

I filled the MP3 player with a running compilation album, and immediately regretted it. I need to fill it with all my favourite, most cheesy songs. Songs that take my mind off running instead of “how long is left of this horrific rubbish?”. I’m thinking a huge collection of 70s and 80s tracks from the likes of Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Go West, Ultravox, Fleetwood Mac, and whoever else springs to mind.

While writing this, I have some music on in the background – “Rush Hour” just started playing by Jane Weildlin – apparently she was a guitarist with the Go Gos (the band that Belinda Carlisle started out with). There’s something about music from that era. I’m not sure if it’s just because I was an impressionable teen back then, and the music is burned into my subconscious. I have no doubt every generation thinks their music is the best for the same reasons.

I can still remember MTV banning rap – this was of course back when MTV was ubiquitous across satellite and cable television networks, and played music videos all day instead of a non-stop stream of reality shows. My late teens and early twenties were spent listening to and watching MTV Europe – with Ray Cokes and Marijne van der Vlugt introducing the various videos. Oh my word how I laughed at Ray, and adored Marijne.

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Life

The Loneliness of the Short Distance Runner

I woke the first time with a start at 5am. I know this, because I looked at the clock before falling back asleep. I woke the second time at 8am, remembered I am on holiday, but also remembered about going running. One little voice said “but the bed is so comfy!”, while another little voice said “you’ll get enormously fat”. I’m turning into Gollum.

After scraping myself out of bed, I knocked on my teenage daughters bedroom doors, and enquired if they might be running with me.

Five minutes later, I left the house. Alone.

I didn’t really have a plan, and set off in the general direction of town – listening to my breathing, and not really feeling like running at all, but I was already out, and running, so thought it a bit stupid to stop. I would only have myself to answer to anyway.

While running along one of the suburban roads down by the river, a woman in her fifties (I’m guessing) ran past on the opposite footpath. She was hunched over, and running seemed like an enormous struggle for her, but she was doing it. She reminded me that I really have no excuses.

After looping back through town, I passed several people completely ignoring the one-way signs on the pavements (a very low effort way of safeguarding people from the virus). I’m not quite sure what level of stupidity and/or laziness is needed to ignore social distancing signage.

By the time I got home my other half had already left for work, and none of my daughters had yet surfaced. I busied myself with hanging washing out, filling the washing machine with the first of many loads, and clearing the kitchen and lounge of wreckage from the night before.

I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever know how our house so reliably destroys itself every evening. I’m pretty sure the missing mass in the universe is directly linked to pens people have “borrowed” from me, and unwashed tea spoons.

My eldest daughter surprised me mid-morning with a number of questions about bullet journaling. I’ve been writing in a bullet journal for the last two or three years – keeping a record of the things I do each day. I think she’s finally coming around to the whole “rapid logging” thing – where you DON’T make each page into a ridiculous faux arts and crafts production, and you just write down the things you have done, or the things you want to do.

I pointed her at the Ryder Carroll book on the bookshelf, which she studiously ignored.

Late this afternoon I let my middle daughter attempt to “air traffic control” me in the simulator. With her at one end of the house, and me at the other, she watched a radar screen, and barked instructions to direct me through a number of circuits of an airfield in southern England. I realised we might have a problem after the second time she told me to turn in the opposite direction than she meant. Somehow I don’t think air traffic controllers are ever heard saying “left, no, the other left”, “my bad”, or “you can do if you want”.

Anyway. One day of holiday used up. Very little achieved. Must try harder to do something of consequence tomorrow. Maybe a long walk. We’ll see.

Categories
Life

Stupid Like That

After scraping myself out of bed this morning I knocked on Miss 15’s bedroom door, and quietly enquired if she might be running. No answer. I then wandered down to Miss 19’s room, knocked on the door, and repeated the enquiry – with similar results.

Running alone again.

After finding a pair of running shorts from the washing line, and pulling yesterday evening’s t-shirt back on, I wandered out into the road – wondering if my recently broken toe would continue complaining as much as it had since getting up. I switched on STRAVA – an idiotic mobile app that keeps me accountable to myself – and set off.

I knew it was going to be warm. I don’t think I really registered quite how warm. After only a few minutes, I could feel beads of sweat rolling down my neck.

After perhaps a kilometre, approaching the high street, I had a decision to make – either be sensible and turn back across town – taking the safe option and not doing any mischief to myself – or keep running in a straight line and double the length of the loop – taking it out to five kilometres. I kept going straight on.

At the half-way mark, an argument of sorts was forming in my own head – between the rational me, and the idealistic me. I was calling myself an idiot for doing this running business at all. The stubborn me had also turned up to stoke the argument, and was busy telling the others not to dare let him give up and start walking.

I ran all the way back through town.

During the last kilometre I could swear all sorts of aches and pains appeared – I imagine warning lights were going off all over the place in front of the idiots arguing in my head.

I made it. Of course I made it – because I’m stupid like that. I ran 5K, and can get that particular monkey off my back. It was probably a bit stupid, jumping from week 5 of “Couch to 5K” straight to week 10, but then I had already run the first half twice in a row with my daughters.

I get the day off tomorrow. I’m guessing I’ll do it all again on Sunday though – because like I said – I’m stupid like that.

Categories
Life

Not Much of Anything

You find me sitting in the dark of the junk room, trying to switch off at the end of the day. I’m listening to a Carly Simon album, and typing into a minimalist online editor. I sometimes find it difficult to switch off – it’s difficult to stop thinking.

It doesn’t help that with a few days of work left until my vacation, I’m buried in thousands of lines of source code for a new project at work. I need to get it to a “good place” before downing tools on Friday – and I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to happen at the moment.

Of course I’m not really going on a vacation – I’m not going anywhere – it’s more a “staycation”. I’ll promise to read books, watch movies, and lots of other things – and I’ll do none of it. I will go running though, and I will go for long walks. Long walks help with the thoughts.

I must remember to take a notebook on the long walks. I often think of things to write about while out on my own, but almost always misplace the idea before reaching a keyboard.

I often solve computer programming problems while in the bathroom. How does that even work ?

In other news, I made it out for another run this morning. I went on my own, and just ran around town – a couple of miles. I’m still worried about the broken toe and don’t want to push it too much. I tell myself that, but in reality I’ve lost quite a bit of fitness while sitting on my arse for the last month. To be honest I’m stunned I can still run any sort of distance.

Anyway.

It’s getting late. Time to go brush my teeth, and sit in bed scrolling rubbish on a tablet instead of reading the book I purposely took upstairs to read.