Thursday, 30 December 2010

Mobile blog test

For when I'm too tired to turn on my laptop...

Trail trial

As promised to myself, I enjoyed a solid run tonight with a great friend, which reminded me of many trail runs we used to do a couple of years ago. The route profile is up on Running Free, as my final pre-Janathon test.

I hadn't expected to get ten miles in the bank, and I don't think James was expecting it either, but between us we shared the choices about which trails to take, and naturally found a consistent pace.

One of the best aspects of this run was the weather. After the recent arctic blast, we enjoyed an unseasonal seven degrees, and a thick mist which ensured we could never see more than five meters ahead. Impossible to take any pictures or avoid the really muddy sections, but with no distracting views we had a good catch up.

I'm hoping James can join some of my Janathon runs, he's good company, and cooks a mean chilli hot-pot.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

"We have the technology, we can record him"

My data from November's Queen Elizabeth Country Park XC race 
I have some really good friends. I've known this for years, yet I can still find myself gobsmacked by their generosity.

On one such occasion, I was given a GPS training device as a birthday present, to help me record my runs and cycles, and pace myself on some of my longer exploits.

In the years since, it has found itself regularly attached to my arm on many of my adventurous endeavours. Yet even on the occasions when I've remembered to turn it on, the luddite that I am, I've probably used less than ten percent of its potential.

In a few days time, my Janathon challenge will commence. Since taking the technological leap to set up this blog and create a profile on Running Free (under the name "local-adventures"), I decided to go the whole hog, and finally install the PC software that accompanied the GPS device.

After only a reasonable amount of bewilderment, I should now be able to upload my Janathon footwork into my laptop, and hence online to my Running Free page. Fingers crossed.

I remain hugely grateful to my friends for their support which has come over the years in all manner of ways. I figure if I'm unable to repay it, the least I can do is make good use of it.

Nowhere to hide, everywhere to run

Formalities have been formalised, preparations prepared, and a statement of intent has been intentionally stated...

There remains a few days of December in which I can still be slovenly if I choose, as from this Saturday, I will be attempting to jog, log and blog every day in January as a participant in the 2011 Janathon.

The premise is simple: run every day, record each run on a public website, write a blog.

Of course, within this simplicity lies the challenge. I've never run every day for a week, let alone a month. Those that know me as a runner may find this amusing, yet whilst I rely upon my running for many things, I rarely run more than twice a week, and frequently abstain for weeks at a time if I just don't feel like it, or if I lazily allow myself to be bullied by a sporadic work schedule.

The blogging element should be equally testing. Having taken the plunge, and set up the blog, I can see myself applying my endurance-running mantras to the blogging process: "Start as you mean to finish"; "If in doubt, blog"; "Blog easy" etc, and already I'm doing a couple of trial blogs (such as this one) to make sure everything works.

So this should be interesting. Although I'm focusing on the goal, it's the journey that most intrigues me. For a long time, I've been considering whether my running (let alone other areas of life) would be improved from some kind of daily regimen, so this might help to provide an answer - even if that answer is "not really".

I appreciate that this is essentially a selfish endeavour, even though it's being selfishly shared by over a hundred other Janathon participants, but I'll try to make it as unselfish as possible, and in doing so, aim to complete the challenge in good form. I'll try to include some photographs (in the dark I suspect), and attempt to mix up the locations and routes as best I can. I'll also be trying to keep an eye on some of my fellow participants, and will include any links to some good stuff that they produce.

My final "pre-Janathon" run is in the diary for tomorrow, and in company, so there's no weedling out of it. Just as well really, as with all this jogging, logging and blogging on the cards, any more weedling is going to have to wait until February.

GV running in Northumberland, December 2010 (photo by Gary Tompsett)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

New year, new blog?

Time marches on, technology fairly gallops.

For the masculine brain, this rate of change is difficult to adapt to.

It seems the best way for mortal man to keep up is to have children, and hope that they can bring him up to speed before they don their first hoodie, and become irrevocably absorbed into the technology of their day.

This approach, however, could be regarded as a little selfish (for mortal woman at least), so the alternative is to embrace this technology as it develops, and bomb into the deep-end of the learning pool.

And this is my aim for 2011.

I'm not drowning, I'm blogging.