Shifting expectations

When I went for Parkrun yesterday, I hadn’t run much all week and still was feeling sluggish. I also hadn’t eaten anything all of Friday. So, I planned to keep it steady and hoped to finish in around 25 mins.

I felt good on the warmup jog, so by the time the run started, was hoping to finish under 25 mins.

When the timers announced the time after the first lap, I was surprised to hear 11:35. That was unexpectedly fast! Maybe I’d gone too fast on the first lap. I’d probably suffer on the second lap and run it in maybe 12:30. I was hoping I’d make it 12:24 on the second, and scrape in under 24 mins. I hadn’t run sub-24 since late June, so getting a time starting with 23 would be a good boost.

I finished the run, met the dogs and the humans, and went for the cool-down jog. When we were back at the car, I tried to estimate my actual run time by subtracting the warm-up and cool-down times. It seemed to be about 23:23, two seconds faster than my fastest time this year. However I’d been late starting my watch so I didn’t know what the official recorded time was.

When I got the official result a few hours later, it said 23:30.

It was my second fastest time at Guildford Parkrun this year, and the 3rd fastest ever. So I am surprised to discover that I was disappointed at that result!

I went in planning to finish in around ~25 mins. After warm-up, I reset that expectation to sub-25. After first lap, I was hoping to sneak in under 24 mins. I finished in 23:30, and was disappointed because I wasn’t another 6 seconds faster :/

How quickly and easily does our brain reset expectations?!

Downs, ups, struggles, smiles

I’ve got a really stiff lower back—I’m barely able to turn sides while sleeping, or easily get up from the sofa. Tinnitus was really, really, really bad last night—I wanted to take drill to my head. It’s still bad, but not last night bad. I’m losing blood again.

The tinnitus drove me to bed early. But sleep didn’t oblige, so I finished off half a book last night. (Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog)

The boy hugged me and slept all night. For an hour in the morning, while I drank coffee and read this week’s Economist in bed, he wrapped himself on my thighs and drifted into deep sleep. I think I got all the lost blood back.

I didn’t run for two days. The heart wasn’t in it. Legs were a bit stiff. The back was really stiff. And it’s been surprisingly chilly.

I did go for long walks with the boys, without headphones. Gave me a lot of time to think. Helped me sort out a few work hurdles. Kept me sane. The boy, I think, enjoyed the walks too; specially after he found a good ball and made me chuck it all through a walk.

Today I ran—at Parkrun and then home after the Parkrun. Amit helped by driving us there and then bringing back my jacket, phone and water-bottle so I could run home freely. Both the runs were fabulous. I took it easy on the Parkrun, still finished under 25 mins. Met lots of friendly dogs too—Jasper and Danny were back at the parkrun :)
(Amit got rewarded with a new parkrun PB himself)

I got a 3⭐ review on my favourite extension :(

Then I got four 5⭐ reviews and a new subscriber on the android app, and another new subscriber on the favourite extension!

At work, I’m struggling with structuring the final opinion note. It’s partly because the meaty issues have already been dealt with so I’m not struggling to focus much. It’s also got something to do with my general inability to focus over last week or so.

I managed to publish an update to the Todo.txt android app—Android 10 compatibility upgrades. I also started work on a new (small) side project.

I ran out of clean underwear. (R washes our regular clothes, I wash our exercise clothes).

I’ve since cleared—washed, dried, folded—two loads of washing, one each of regular and exercise clothes. The dishwasher is on its second run. The backyard is clean. Groceries have been topped up. Bins have been emptied. Boy is happy. And I have load of clean underwear again.

I think I’ve earned myself the super single-dad title.

I may struggle to get off the sofa after publishing this, but at least I’ve got a smile on my face and a content boy sleeping next to me. Little things.

I’m happy

It’s been a terrible week. I didn’t run. I really struggled with work, faced multiple setbacks. I had to abandon a feature with TTS. Got even more disappointed with Axc—another week of abysmal communication. Even the sleep was erratic. Hadn’t seen/spoken to parents for nearly 3 weeks and I was missing them.

The only good thing was the dogs. Dudley gave us company on Monday and Wednesday, and Barnaby was here for half a day on Thursday. Above all, Chewie gave me loads of extra love. Perhaps he could sense the sadness in me, and decided to do his bit to help.

Today’s been better.

I ran.
Body and head didn’t want to get out of bed. But I got dressed and went.
Legs were stiff and heavy on the warmup but I managed the full 10 min warmup jog. , Tummy was unsettled and legs stiff, so ran the Parkrun at an easy pace. Didn’t have the the heart to go with the pacers today.
Finished in 24:35. Took a quick toilet break to give the tummy some relief, and finished with another easy 20 min jog.

It wasn’t a pleasant run. I definitely didn’t enjoy it. It hurt way more than such an easy jog should have. But I ran, and that makes me happy.

The stretching afterwards felt really good, coming after a week of no running, no stretching, and sitting on a chair for hours.

Meeting Jasper, twice, was an additional bonus. Also met Rich after a few weeks. Saw Andy, Keith, Maddie, Prab, and others as well.

Returned home, stretched a bit more, topped up with a peanut butter toast, and took the boys out for a walk. Met lots of friendly dogs and a few familiar faces.

On the return section, we met a big group of students out for a country walk. Based on dress and behaviour, they didn’t seem from around here. They were definitely not comfortable with dogs. Dudley, ever friendly, decided to go say hello to all of them! And everywhere he went, the students shrieked and jumped away (or froze and stopped breathing)! That shouting triggered Chewie off, and he went barking to everyone. It was a mess. Took me a bit to get them both under control. The students were shaken, but good natured, and hurried off with hearts racing but smiles on their faces.

On return, took a long shower, shaved (after nearly two weeks), and been watching a big stage of Le Tour.

After lunch, called home. Mom picked up quickly today, after no response for two weeks. Turns out they’ve been missing me just as much as I’ve been missing them. It was satisfying to see and speak to her. Dad was taking a nap so didn’t get to see her. But it was good to have at least spoken to ma.

It’s been a tough week, but today has made it a bit better. I’m happy.

Continue reading I’m happy

Knackered. Happy knackered.

Saturday morning: 50th parkrun. Maddie remembered. Thank you Maddie. Paint pickup from Screwfix on the way home.

Got a happy S for company in the afternoon.

Spent the evening on the road behind the house, painting the fence. It took nearly 4 hours for 8 panels. The wood hadn’t been painted in at least 7 years, if ever. It was drinking paint. A 9L can didn’t finish a single coat on the 8 panels.

A late dinner, some Glastonbury on the beeb. Late night.

Today began late, with an aching body.

Took boys for a short walk. Then went for a 70 mins easy run.

Showered, ate, washed the dishes in the sink, made a coffee, and read a book.

Around 7pm, I returned to the rear fence with the second can of paint. Spent the evening clearing the ivy at one end of the fence, then giving the fence a second coat (first coat for bits under the ivy and the bottom fifth).

Finished at 21:30. Cleaned the brush. Fixed (correctly this time) the shower holder. Took a shower. Shaved.

Now, having a pre-meal of peanut butter toast with red wine. Chicken schnitzel is in the oven.

It’s been a productive, happy weekend.

The only area of improvement is that I didn’t get to spend much time with Duds 🙁

Well begun, and well done

Started the day with Parkrun. 24:51 of running, and about just as long chatting with the regulars. In fact spent first lap of the run chatting too – Anne’s dad, Rich from Phoenix, Andy, and Val. Never really bothered to run hard, but ended up with a decent time nonetheless. All the chatting in the first half meant that I had a negative split 🙂

It was a near perfect start to the weekend – a good run, lots of friendly faces, sunshine, and lots and lots of lovely, friendly dogs.

Back home, spent two hours reading the book in the conservatory. It was a beautiful morning with lots of sun, but often interspersed with dark clouds and chilly wind.

After lunch, made myself a coffee, and called home. It turned into an almost hour long video call with parents. It was nice to see them both. It was even better to end such a long call without getting into a fight over anything 😅

Had planned to call a friend too, but the long call home drained all my calling energy.

So I started with the long planned cleaning of the utility room. I expected it to be a long slog. 7 hours of slogging later, I’m only about ⅔rd done. I didn’t expect it to be that long slog!

At least the output is looking good.

While I was cleaning, Soham came over to spend some time while playing a video game and chatting.

I’d also brought Dudley over for the evening. He wasn’t happy though that I was cleaning, and not spending time with him.

After the long cleaning, took a long, hot shower, had dinner, and now watching MOTD.

I’m knackered, and very sleepy. Not broken, yet. Might have to cancel tomorrow’s bike ride plan though

It was a very good day. Hope tomorrow is more of the same.

Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

My PB at Guildford Parkrun is 23:12, and my best ranking is 77.
My current time at Guildford Parkrun is 25 mins (5:00 min/km), and ranking is near 120.

To rank in the top 50, I would need to achieve a time of 22 mins or lower. This would require running at an average pace of 4:24 min/km.

Losing 3 mins will not be easy. It’s a good target – challenging but not impossible.

Continue reading Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

Guildford parkrun snaps

I wasn’t in a very chatty mood while volunteering at the park run this weekend. So, instead, I stood in a corner and took some photos on my phone. Here’s some of them…

And, below the fold, a few gifs…

Continue reading Guildford parkrun snaps