Tick tick tick

Another nice productive game-making day (and also a new Monkey Island trailer, which I was very happy about). The amount of work still to do over the next couple of days feels a little bit overwhelming, but I’m getting through the list fairly quickly so hopefully it will all get done.

Enjoying catching up with various triathlon and athletics coverage on the iPlayer in the evenings this week. It’s very good background noise for when I’m fiddling with code!

A proper sofa day

Back to the usual mile (and a bit) route today…

…as I finally felt like I could face it again after Sunday!

Other than my short run, I’ve not been out today. I’ve finally had the opportunity to catch up with a bit of admin this afternoon, and am now spending the evening enjoying some catchup TV athletics from the last few days!

Another nice quiet day tomorrow.

Cat on car
A photo from the end of one of my laps on Sunday. Next door’s cat can sporadically be found dozing on top of my car, perhaps because it’s a warm surface when it’s been sunny.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Avril Lavigne – ‘What The Hell?’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’

Nearly there

I did my penultimate day in this set of multiple run days today…

…which involved a step up to five laps. Another five tomorrow, and then I will be taking a break from multiple run training for a few days, before building it up again from midweek onwards.

I’ve had a fairly quiet day otherwise, just getting on with a bit of work and admin, and am now relaxing with last night’s Diamond League athletics. Really happy it’s the weekend! Will post my usual running vlogs over the next couple of days and update again on Monday.

Jelly bracelets
Bit of a flashback image for today as WordPress is refusing to load any new pictures. I took this photo of my bracelet collection in the early days of this blog. Still have them, still never wear most of them!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Oasis – ‘Roll With It’
The Midnight – ‘Crystalline’
Matthew Wilder – ‘Break My Stride’

The best weekend

Just a mile (and a bit) today…

…as it’s all short easy runs until Sunday’s Virtual GNR. So excited about the race and happy that the weekend is here! I’ll be starting by getting up early tomorrow and watching the elite-only Antrim Coast Half Marathon livestream. Mo Farah is competing, so it’ll be nice to watch him run this weekend, even if it’s not in Newcastle!

Geth and I went to Asda today and stocked up on all the stuff we need for eating over the weekend (I will be doing a lot of eating on Sunday). I also finished my work for the week and am really pleased that I can have the full weekend off! Not always a given at this time of year 🙂

I’ll be posting my running vlogs over the weekend, including my Virtual GNR vlog on Sunday, and will be back on Monday with a weekend update and a race review. A virtual race is not the same as an in-person race, but it’s the closest I’ve got right now, and I can’t wait!

Protein bars
We stocked up on a ton of protein bars at Asda. Protein bars are my favourite running food because they’re basically glorified chocolate bars but you’re allowed to call them ‘healthy fuel’. I expect I’ll get through a few on race day!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Take That – ‘Never Forget’
Wiz Khalifa – ‘Black And Yellow’

Fresh starts

Bit of a victory mile this morning…

…as the London Marathon decision (which was announced yesterday evening) worked out really, really well for me.

First of all, I will be taking part in the (Virtual) 40th London Marathon in a slightly altered form. Participants have 24 hours (from midnight to midnight on Sunday 4th October 2020) to complete the virtual race, and are allowed to take breaks. As such, I will be combining it with a challenge I’ve wanted to do for a couple of months but couldn’t commit to until I knew what was happening with the marathon – I will be running one mile an hour for 24 hours on 4th October! (My usual ‘mile’ route is closer to 1.2 miles so I will be running around 28.8 miles in total – more than enough to complete the Virtual London Marathon.)

I’m thrilled about this – it feels like a challenge I can really have a good go at this year, seeing as I run that route most days and could do so in my sleep – whereas my ‘training take two’ for the full marathon was not going as well as I hoped due to the general uncertainty of the pandemic, and I don’t think I would have run to my full potential had the physical race gone ahead this October. It also enables me to raise a bit of money for the RNLI (here’s my JustGiving page if you’d like to donate!), which I’ve not been able to do this year due to all my races being postponed, and it will be something exciting that I’ve not done before. I really feel motivated now, and am considering entering the Virtual Great North Run as well in order to give me a good training base for the challenge!

(I’m also quite looking forward to watching the special biosphere-protected elite race on TV in between mile runs on Sunday 4th October, as that will hopefully provide some inspiration!)

Secondly – assuming that COVID-19 is no longer cancelling races by next autumn – I will be running the next in-person mass race at the 41st London Marathon in October 2021 (they’ve delayed the usual April date to give the pandemic a better chance of clearing off). My place for the 2020 race was a ‘back of the pack’ place, which was generously given for free to all runners who took more than seven hours to complete the race in 2019, due to the problems that arose at the back of the pack that day. All ‘back of the pack’ places are being deferred to 2021 – so, unlike ballot place runners, whose places will be spread over a couple of years, I know for definite that I will be on the start line in October 2021 (again, assuming that COVID-19 is thoroughly in retreat by then!). I am really grateful for this additional certainty, although I do feel for other ‘back of the pack’ runners (and other groups of runners who won’t be allowed to defer to 2022 for various reasons) who can’t run an autumn marathon due to calendar issues.

In general, then, I’m on a real high about my running plans for the rest of the year. I’m even going to be swapping out some of my weekday one-mile runs for two-mile runs in order to build more of a mileage base! Following the 24-hour challenge, I’m planning to work hard on my 10k pace over the winter in the hope of getting that sub-hour result at the Sunderland City 10k in May (pandemic depending) and then start building up the distance again with the Edinburgh Half Marathon, also in May (pandemic depending).

(I really, really hope that we can have races as normal again in 2021 and that all of this planning will come to fruition.)

Anyway, in only-semi-running news (as far as I’m concerned walking is good training, and it was related to Geth’s running anyway!), Geth and I went for a nine-mile walk this afternoon to scope out a new section for Geth’s long run. Geth is hoping to run the Yorkshire Marathon in autumn 2021 (if we can get in – what’s happening with Yorkshire is a whole other kettle of fish that deserves a post of its own!), and so is gradually building up his distances for the long run he does every second Sunday, thus requiring additional loops for his route. It was a warm, muggy day and so we appreciated a stop-in at Brinkburn Street Brewery in south Byker – it was our first time in a pub since March, but we both felt really comfortable there. They are managing their distancing admirably – we only had to wait a short time before being shown to the beer garden, where we had plenty space to ourselves and didn’t feel encroached upon by other customers (some of the beer gardens I’ve walked past lately are not like this at all!). I would definitely stop in again on a quiet weekday afternoon, though I’d probably book next time as I think we were quite lucky to get a table.

A very quiet evening now, with both of us collapsed on the sofa in front of some YouTube!

A ‘pace run’ tomorrow morning, though after today’s exertions I doubt it’ll be that pacy. I’ll post my running vlogs over the weekend as usual and do another update on Monday.

Sober girl in socially-distanced beer garden
Back to the random flavours of Fentimans that you get in pubs (so possibly look out for some new Booze Alternative posts soon!). It was nice to have a bit of semi-normality this afternoon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

ACE+ – ‘Riki The Legendary Heropon’
Meat Loaf – ‘You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)’
Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’

A race day approaches

Just four miles for my midweek run today…

…because I’ve got a half marathon this weekend – my first race of the year!

It’s standard to book in for a half marathon about seven or eight weeks before a full marathon, as part of the training plan. It gives you a good benchmark for how you’re getting on. As such, I’m a bit nervous about it, but recent training suggests that I might be able to get a good PB, so we will just have to see how it goes on the day.

We’re making a bit of a weekend of it, so Geth and I have spent today making various preparations. I think we’ve covered just about every weather possibility, and Geth has bought several different types of protein bars!

Next bit of prep is a recovery mile tomorrow morning, for which I absolutely have to keep it slow (legs are very excited at the moment and want to sprint). In the meantime, we’re watching the US Olympic marathon trials to get ourselves (even more) in the running mood!

Running TV
Love a bit of running TV in the build-up to a race weekend 😀

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘New Moon On Monday’
Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’


A long and difficult run this morning…

…which meant I was a bit too wiped to do much else today, as is becoming typical on Sundays! I spent the afternoon doing a bit more work for my weekend client and watching the second day of the athletics on TV.

I’ve also eaten everything in sight since I got back from my run. I need to be a bit more careful with that as even a super-long run doesn’t provide quite enough spare calories for all the nice things I crave once I’m back home! Back to healthy meals for the next few days.

Salted caramel cupcake
Cake tastes amazing post-run. Well, not immediately post-run, as I need to stop feeling sick first, but a few hours later.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tyler Lyle – ‘Lost And Found [The Midnight Remix]’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
Katy Perry – ‘Roar’

A working weekend

A brass band and a narrowly-missed target featured at this morning’s parkrun…

…and then I spent the afternoon doing day job work (a client has an urgent deadline so I did some weekend hours today) with the British Indoor Athletics Championship on in the background.

Now having a quiet evening in order to rest before tomorrow’s long run… and I distinctly remember saying something similar last week, and probably the week before. Marathon training does tend to result in some particularly un-rock-‘n’-roll weekends, even by my standards! Early nights all round 🙂

Slashed leopardprint leggings
I also got a long-neglected sewing project done today. I’m guessing these leggings will be a bit too big nowadays but hopefully they’ll also be comfy after tomorrow’s run!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – ‘I Don’t Care’
George Ezra – ‘Paradise’
Alanis Morissette – ‘Hand In My Pocket’

Running and editing

Just a quick post today as I’ve been busy!

I went out for another run this morning (which felt great – better than any run I’ve done for over a year), watched the Chicago Marathon on TV this afternoon, and since then have been working in my capacity as one of the copy-editors for a subculture magazine. This is voluntary work that I’ll talk a bit more about when the magazine comes out, but for now suffice to say that today has been a lot of work but very interesting!

Back to the regular routine tomorrow, although I will go out for another short run. Might remember to take an interesting picture as well!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
Koichi Sugiyama and Takenori Yamamori – Unknown World
Traditional – Abide With Me

A slightly more relaxed Saturday

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning as I wanted to watch the first part of Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt before Geth and I headed to parkrun. It was a lovely morning for the inaugural Jesmond Dene parkrun, and it was good to have a walk there and back as well – no boring treadmill walking to get my steps in today!

Once home, I watched the rest of the Kipchoge coverage (and got spoilered for the result by the BBC when I opened iPlayer – seriously, sort it out, we can’t all watch everything live!*). A fantastic day for the running world – it’s been proven the barrier can be broken now, and I’m sure we’ll see it happen in an official race eventually.

I spent the rest of the day having a proper chilled Saturday afternoon – I did a bit more coding on my text adventure, and planned out my parkrun schedule for the next few months (I’m very enthusiastic about parkrun at the moment now that my 100th parkrun is not too far in the distance).

More running and more coding tomorrow!

*Although I did see more than one person posting about how they spent the first fifteen minutes of parkrun running with their phone in front of their face in order to watch the end of the attempt. I am not quite that mental.

Slow cooker curry
Not an OOTD: the afternoon was also improved by the delicious smell of my signature curry in the slow cooker! Excellent end to the day.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Jason Paige – Pokémon Theme (Gotta Catch ‘Em All)
Cast of Les MiserablesDo You Hear The People Sing?
Vangelis – Chariots Of Fire