parkrunday: Jesmond Dene #59

Volunteering this week as we’re into the last stages of the marathon taper. I usually (well, for my two marathons so far!) do a shakeout parkrun the day before a marathon – but that won’t be happening this time because of the way that our weekend logistics have worked out. As such, next time I attend parkrun I will (hopefully) be wearing a new race t-shirt!

It was a lovely morning to be marshalling, and it looked like (as usual) there were a fair amount of parkrunners new to the Dene (i.e. lots of people asking me for directions to the start!).

Also, I remembered to take the hi-vis selfie today:

Marshalling at parkrun

…though there are some even better ones currently at the top of the Jesmond Dene photos page!

Weekending, water and wishing the final week away

I’m very nearly 19 weeks into my 20-week marathon training plan. The first half went perfectly. The second half has not. I have pulled it back in the last three or four weeks, but I do wish I had been able to do a few more long runs than I did. I also wish I did not now have the additional worry of trying not to get caught by the fire-breathing demon that is the sweeper bus (every slow runner’s mortal enemy).

I have my strategy ready (it feels like it changes day by day and it may well do so again by race day, but it does make me feel better when I think about it).

I’ve been having a lot of stomach issues in recent weeks (which have been affecting my longer runs) so I’ve started drinking two extra pints of water a day this week. I already feel considerably better for it.

I’m so ready for these nerves to be gone. I hope to glean some amount of enjoyment from the race (it is meant to be fun after all!) but I can’t deny I will be really glad when it’s over and I can start gathering all the lessons I’ve learnt for the next one. (Spring 2023. I’m not doing back to back seasonal marathons again!)

I’m volunteering at parkrun this weekend. No more running it until after the marathon – I’m too ‘maranoid’ at the moment to risk doing any damage to myself with sprint finishes etc.!

Morning sun

Other than a spectacularly wet morning on Monday, it’s been really hot and sunny for my morning runs recently, and I think I’ll be switching to full-on summer gear soon. I’ll probably end up taking multiple different options for the marathon itself, because the weather in Edinburgh could be anything.

A little bit of extra time today has meant a bit of gaming this afternoon, so that’s been nice.

Counting down the days

Still trucking on with game-making and short runs, still going well. Been practising marathon pace and it feels nice and manageably slow. Looking forward to getting on with it and getting these nerves out of the way – the nerves are absolutely the worst part of the taper.

Booked some travel logistics for a gig in July today – nice to get some summer plans nailed down seeing as the year is barrelling along.

A sort-of-new process

I’m doing a serious revamp / redraft of a game project at the moment. I did the first draft in March and intended to release it as part of the Spring Thing competition at the end of the month, but following feedback from testers decided to make a lot of changes and submit it to ParserComp at the end of June instead. It was clear what needed to be changed and planning this out was very easy, but it’s a fairly big editing job, which is something I’ve never done for a game before (only for novels). It’s been a really interesting process so far, partly because I’m simplifying a lot of things, whereas usually I’m making them more complicated. I should have done the bulk of the editing work by the time of the Edinburgh Marathon, and I’m looking forward to having any spare time I can grab in June (which is a bit busier than most months this year) for polishing.

The taper moves on, and running is still short and painless – though I am looking forward to doing a final six-miler on Thursday to test out the pacing strategy one last time.

Poking my head out

It was a nice change of pace to be out for a concert last night. I was in my favourite row at the Sage Gateshead (the raised row behind the mixing desk where you can still see the stage properly when sat down, even if everybody in front of you is standing up) and I enjoyed the show. These things will remain few and far between for me, though, as I still have quite a lot of post-pandemic anxiety about going out in the evenings. I’ll review the gig eventually when I’ve caught up with my backlog.

Nice quiet day today – mainly dozing on the sofa.

Different kind of Saturday

I didn’t go to parkrun this morning – just did a streak saver mile. I think this was probably for the best as I felt a little more tired than usual out on my short run. I’ll be doing a bit of walking later so will still be able to stretch my legs a bit today.

Edinburgh Marathon info packs arrived by email this morning. Cut-off is a little closer to the wire than I’d like given what’s been going on recently, but I’ve got my strategy. Finding it hard to believe it’s so close now!

Trying to weekend

I’ve not been good at weekending recently. I don’t do day job work on the weekends (unless a client has an urgent job for which they’re willing to pay express rate), but over the last couple of months I have been working on my games at weekends, which means I’ve not really been giving my brain a break. I hit all my game-making goals this week and am well on target, so I’m taking a break from that over the weekend. I’m quite looking forward to some downtime.

I’m in two minds about parkrunning tomorrow. Geth is having a week off from volunteering so if I did go, it’d just be me. It might be nice to have a Saturday lie-in for once. I’ll make a decision about that tomorrow morning.

Then I’ve got an actual concert in the evening! First of the year (but not the last as I have several originally-2020 gigs coming up this summer). Again, it’s just me as Geth chose not to come to this one, but I’m looking forward to it – it’ll be great to tick Paul Young off my Band Aid Baby bucket list (which I still need to update following a Duran Duran gig last year) and I enjoyed Go West last time I saw them.

Sunday will be really quiet and thus brilliant in a different way.

Phone Box Thursday: Edinburgh Revisit

An update to this post today.

Red phone box

Added coordinates and spent some time enjoying the Google Street View history (click the little clock in the top left corner) of this box – the police box next to the phone box has been about five different colours in the last five years (as it’s been taken over by various different companies), and the phone box itself now appears to be an art installation. I’ll try and take some updated photos when I’m next in Edinburgh!