Two weeks down…

Week 2 of 20 completed on the marathon training plan and so far it is going well. Podcasts on my Aftershokz are really helping, it has to be said! I’m building up the miles nice and slowly and my legs seem to be coping at the moment, so fingers crossed for another good week.

I’m also making sure to get in a good yoga session at least weekly, in the hope that it will keep the usual issues at bay. This was recommended by the practitioner at my hospital appointment on Monday and I think it’s good practice for me anyway, so it’s a habit I will really try and stick with this year (and not just when I need to do it to get a Garmin badge or Strava trophy). My hips will thank me, hopefully.

A long week

I can’t believe this working week has only been four days! It’s felt like forever. Geth and I have both been really busy and the weekend is very welcome right now.

I’ve had a bad hip all week and so have only been doing short runs. I’ve done a lot of yoga to try and sort it out, and it is getting better, but only gradually. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do my planned weekend running and walking but we’ll see.

I’m thoroughly ensconced in the coding for my next game, which is really, really enjoyable. It’s a fairly big project though and I’m already looking forward to going back to experimenting with smaller games over the summer.

Still doing a fair amount of day job work too. Lots going on at the moment!

Local elections 2021
COVID-secure polling station selfie! It had just started to hail…

This week’s earworm playlists:


Michael Land – ‘Upstairs At The Hotel’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Haul Away Joe’
Bee Gees – ‘First Of May’
Duran Duran – ‘Burning The Ground’


Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
Men Without Hats – ‘Safety Dance’
Michael Land – ‘The Brimstone Beach Club’


Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Sailor Ain’t A Sailor’
Aloe Blacc – ‘I Need A Dollar’
The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Haul Away Joe’


Michael Land – ‘On The Hill’
The Undertones – ‘My Perfect Cousin’
Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Sailor Ain’t A Sailor’
Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Monte Carlo Hotel Entrance’


Levellers – ‘Julie’
Eric Hammond – ‘Into The Catacombs’


Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Barnett College’
Lisa Lougheed – ‘Run With Us’
Eric Hammond – ‘Berlin (Königgrätzer Marsch)’


Fisherman’s Friends – ‘Bully In The Alley’
Michael Land and Clint Bajakian – ‘Opening Credits Part #1’

Up and down energy

It’s not been a bad week. The only thing slowing me down has been an ear infection that I picked up last week (god knows where from given that I never see anyone at the moment!). Following a phone appointment with the doctor, I’ve managed to get some antibiotics, but so far I’ve been up and down with them – hoping it settles down over the weekend. I’ve also been feeling a bit stiff and achy again, so there’s been a fair few evening yoga sessions over the last few days!

Work-wise I’ve been trying to do focused days this week rather than trying to do a small amount of ten different things every day. I feel like it works a bit better when I can just sit down and concentrate on one thing for most of the day rather than chopping and changing and trying to squeeze everything in.

I managed a day off on Wednesday, which was great, as I wanted a bit of time to sit down and play videogames (I’ve not had the energy for it in the last couple of weeks, which is usually a bad sign). Wednesday is a good day to take off if necessary, as it’s the weekday when I’m least likely to have urgent work from clients.

I’m playing the Fetchpoint game on Fetch Everyone again, which is kind of like virtual geocaching and involves collecting lots of invisible tokens around my local area. This is getting me out walking more often (and helping to vary my running routes), which is a good thing as we move into spring.

I’m mostly concentrating on the Adventuron jam this month, but in April I’m hoping to have a bit of time to work on my business website – I’m going to be changing a lot of terms soon and need to revamp the site accordingly.

A big week of game-creating ahead as we’re reaching the final push of the current jam. Fingers crossed I can carve out lots of time to get it finished!

Jesmond Dene
Geth and I went to Jesmond Dene for a walk last weekend. It was so nice to be back in the Dene for the first time after the winter.

This week’s earworm playlists:


Simply Red – ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’
Kanye West – ‘Stronger’


John Newman – ‘Love Me Again’
The Boomtown Rats – ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’
Kesha – ‘Tik Tok’
Frankie Miller – ‘Caledonia’
Girls Aloud – ‘Sound Of The Underground’
Matthew Wilder – ‘Break My Stride’


Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – ‘Islands In The Stream’
Joe Hisaishi – ‘Battle’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’


Kanye West – ‘Stronger’
Muse – ‘Feeling Good’
UB40 – ‘If It Happens Again’


Joe Hisaishi – ‘Battle’
Cheryl – ‘Call My Name’


Bros – ‘I Owe You Nothing’
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – ‘Human’
Let Loose – ‘Crazy For You’
Demi Lovato – ‘Heart Attack’


Revo – ‘Halcyonia’
Kesha – ‘Tik Tok’
J Balvin and Willy William – ‘Mi Gente’

A recovery Monday

An extremely gentle recovery run this morning…

…and then I spent the rest of the day doing some admin, planning out my work for the week and making the first of my running memorabilia collage frames!

I’ve also been doing a lot of recovery yoga – not the YouTube videos as I don’t want to do anything too strenuous right now, but instead just getting onto my mat and doing all my favourite stretches that help with my aches and pains, along with some foam rolling. I’ll probably do this for another day or two before getting back to ‘Yoga with Adriene’.

Back to work proper tomorrow – it will be interspersed with a few runs as I’m doing my 24-hour challenge training again this week.

GNR shirt 2020
Following on from Saturday’s 2015 t-shirt, here’s this year’s! Not a ‘real’ GNR shirt but a nice addition to the collection nonetheless.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Knack – ‘My Sharona’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon [Theme From The Trap]’
Toni Braxton – ‘Unbreak My Heart’
Pink – ‘Raise Your Glass’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’

Legs ready to go

One last long-ish easy run today…

…and now the next few days will just be gentle recovery mile-long runs in order to save my legs for the Virtual GNR on Sunday. I’m getting really excited now!

Other than my run and my yoga session, I’ve just spent today doing a bit of work and sorting out some pre-race admin. Same again tomorrow!

My new frames, ready for me to put my running collages together. I’m really hoping that I will actually have some time to work on these at the weekend!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Toni Braxton – ‘Unbreak My Heart’
Elvis Presley – ‘It’s Now Or Never’

And a couple of bonus tracks that Geth was humming earlier:

The Lancashire Hotpots – ‘The Technical Support Song’
Eiffel 65 – ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’

Next level

Several shorter runs today…

…as today was my first session of specific training for my 24-hour London Marathon challenge, i.e. first session of running several mile(ish)-long runs on the same day. I’ll be doing this quite a lot over the next few weeks in order to get used to the hourly runs scheduled for the 4th of October. I’ve already learnt quite a few things just from doing four runs at three-hour intervals over the course of today!

When I’ve not been running, I’ve been working. As I explained yesterday, the September rush has started, so I’m juggling a lot of clients at the moment. I don’t mind busy work weeks like this, though, as it means I have more momentum than on weeks when it’s a bit piecemeal and stop-start (i.e. most weeks!).

Have also enjoyed a nice yoga session, and am now putting my feet up with some YouTube videos this evening.

Between runs
I spent most of today hanging around in my old trackies from my 1990s teenage years in order to keep warm. Planning lots of kit changes for the 24-hour challenge because I felt a bit grim being in the same stuff all day!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rizzle Kicks – ‘Down With the Trumpets’

A pleasant new pattern

Another short run today…

…followed by a nice walk in the sunshine. I’m really happy with my daily routine at the moment. I’m usually done with running/walking/yoga by noon, and then I can crack on with day job work/admin in the afternoon and be done by eight or nine at night so that I can relax for a couple of hours before bed. I’m not at all a morning person, but strangely, I have turned out to be a morning exerciser – I feel very unsettled on days when I have to do it in the evenings – so keeping to a more traditional nine-to-five schedule for work and then running afterwards just wouldn’t work for me at all.

Tomorrow will be busy as I’ve got a couple of clients with tight deadlines at the moment. It looks like I’ll be working over the weekend as well, which is often the case at this time of year, but I’m really grateful that the work is coming in, as it looked for a while like September might be quieter than usual.

Wall art
I’ve been digging out more art for the walls. I bought this one from Vincent Fantasy Art at UKGE a few years ago, but haven’t found a space for it yet. This is the week!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carl Orff – ‘Gassenhauer’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’

Resting… mostly

A nice recovery mile (and a half) today…

…and other than some gentle yoga, that was it for today’s exercise, as I managed to get everything I needed for my online game during my run. This week is going to be relatively low-mileage running-wise (though there may be a few long-ish walks depending on where my online game tokens land), as I’m trying to taper as much as possible before the Virtual GNR in a couple of weeks’ time.

It’s a bank holiday here and also my usual day off, so I’m just finishing off some admin before I get into some videogames for the evening.

Running stats
My running apps and logs all give me slightly different total mileages from when I started running in June 2015, but I like this nice round number on the Smashrun display and so I’m taking today’s mile as my official 2,000th mile!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’

Fed up

Just a mile today…

…as I’d already done a five-mile walk first thing this morning. I’m trying to alternate longish run days and short run plus walk days while I’m covering all this extra ground to grab my tokens for my online game.

I was having a good day up until about lunchtime – after I’d finished my run, I did a nice yoga session as well – but then I had a postal issue that has been the absolute last straw in the string of postal issues plaguing me since lockdown began.

We are now down to an average of about two postal deliveries a week, if that. Most items are taking a good fortnight to arrive, even if posted first class. I have had numerous items go missing in the post, and several more items arrive with envelopes already sliced or ripped open. The latest of these arrived today. It was a package that I had ordered that was meant to contain two items; it arrived completely ripped up two sides, and one of the items was missing.

If this was a one-off occurrence, I would be annoyed but able to put it to one side after contacting the sender (which I have done, though it will probably take a couple of days for a response so ANXIETY UNTIL THEN YAY). However, I am already extremely stressed about the post following months of this nonsense, in particular the last two weeks, during which I have been waiting for a delivery of hearing aid batteries from the nearby hospital. In normal circumstances, I can just walk into the hospital and pick the batteries up; in pandemic circumstances, I have to request for them to be posted out. I made this request two weeks ago. No batteries yet. I emailed the hospital yesterday to check that they had been posted out; the hospital emailed back this morning to confirm that they had been, two weeks ago, and said that they would send me some more. I am not hopeful that these new ones will arrive either, and after two weeks of struggling with my hearing due to lack of hearing aids (which comes hot on the heels of struggling with my hearing due to blocked ears a few weeks ago), I am completely on edge about everything and close to tears.

The kindest explanation that Geth and I (mostly Geth) can come up with is that the whole post office system is understaffed due to the pandemic and so things are sitting around in warehouses and going missing for non-malicious reasons (although there was a particular item delivered a couple of months ago that had blatantly been deliberately sliced open). But I know from Mum and Dad that their postal service in Edinburgh has been absolutely fine, so it can’t be a nationwide thing. I just don’t know what to do, and I’m now extremely anxious about a delivery due in a couple of months’ time that will contain irreplaceable items.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is a total first world problem – but it’s causing me a lot of stress at the moment, especially regarding the hearing aid batteries and now today’s package with the missing item. I just don’t trust the post anymore, which is a bad thing in these times when we’re all more reliant on it than usual.

Trying to finish on a positive note… I’m hoping to be able to lose myself in some videogames this evening.

RNLI envelope from a couple of months ago, which arrived with a neat knife slice along the bottom (presumably because it says something about a lottery on the envelope and so someone thought there was money to be had from inside – it was actually just a sheaf of tickets).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Red Box – ‘Lean On Me (Ah-Li-Ayo)’
Fleetwood Mac – ‘Dreams’

Wall thoughts

I managed a ten-mile midweek run today…

…which is not something I usually find time for during the week! I need to get the miles in before the Virtual Great North Run, though, which takes place in about two and a half weeks’ time.

I’m thinking a lot about putting stuff on my walls again. This is something I think about a lot (need to put that picture up! need to paint that wall! need to wallpaper this room!) but rarely get round to. Next week is meant to be a bit quieter (as it stands!), so maybe I’ll get round to doing something then. Presuming my attention hasn’t wandered over to something else!

Today was similar to yesterday. In addition to my run, I managed a walk, a yoga session, and some day job work. Tomorrow will be similar again, though my run will be a lot shorter and I will be doing my day job work first thing so that I can get it back to the client promptly.

I’ll also maybe order some of that stuff for the walls…

Dalek poster
One of the few things that I’ve actually put on the walls in the two and a half years since we moved into this house. Like most house stuff, it’s a can that just keeps getting kicked down the road.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The LAs – ‘There She Goes’
The Lancashire Hotpots – ‘Ebay ‘Eck’