moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Outdoor swimming

Inspired by Kate Rew's book (Wild Swim, which is VG by the way) arriving from Amazon, I ploshed bodily into the local river today. It's broken my UK outdoor swimming duck this year. Here's that diary entry in full.

Cycled to sinuous bend in the Wey, just downstream of Godalming. Recce'd the scene at first : bright, sunny, nice breeze, occasional towpath users and the odd boat. Various fowl splashing about, cows on opposite bank being cows. Checked out the getting in and out place. Got down to shorts and read the paper for a bit, to gauge traffic, and to see how hot it was (quite, but not summer of 76 exactly). Stowed all keys, phones and things of economic significance away from casual fingers.

Waited for a quiet gap. Sunnies off. Hat off. Kit off. Walked in. It! Was! Cold!

Did a length or two. Didn't feel like dunking the head, given the (perfectly natural) detritus on the surface. Fingers gettting numbbbb. Quick get out.

Back to the towel. Sit there for a bit. Dried off. Waved to passing boats : oh look, a shivering naked person, titter titter. Cycled home.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cycling in London

I've been waiting for ages for my folding bike to arrive. At last, here it is:


I'm really pleased with this. It can be folded in under a minute, and I can carry it round the block without my fingers going numb. The purpose of this is to whizz up from my mainline station in town to where I work. This could be a 25 minute tube journey or a fairly random amount of time on the bus. It's 10-15 minutes on the new toy.

I've found cycling in London perversely a lot easier than in Surrey. There are more paths and stop areas, and most drivers have by now seen a cyclist, and understand why we sometimes do odd things. We like to keep moving, and out of harm's way, so we don't always keep to the left where we can get squashed. So the taxis and buses all nod me through. Contrast this to leafy Surrey, where the 4x4 crowd think they have every right to blare their horns if I so much as think about using the road creatively.

And now for something completely different ...

Although Mayor Bozza is (was?) a cyclist, I fear that we have to fight for our space. So I was up there again for the weekend's naked bike ride, as reported in Londonist. This is partly a pro-cycle jamboree, but also somewhat an anti-petrol patrol and a little bit plain old naturist party. At least a couple of my hobbies represented then.

Snapping Assembly area Another Pause Music Bike

I took a small number of photos, but not as much as the gleeful spectators or some of the other riders. Have a look at the other Flickr WNBR groups (e.g. here and here) if you want confirmation of just how beautiful and funny the human race can be when it gets naked on a bike!

Obvious warning: depictions of nudity, blah, blah.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ploddy start

An old friend of mine has entered the Stratford half, and hopes I'll join him. That means getting the long runs long and a bit of speedwork in, over the next 6 weeks. Maybe even a warm up half, like the White Horse in a month's time.

Out today for the first run with M for a while. We looped behind Loseley House, then back toward the town. The plan was to go on to Bramley along the Downs Link (over the bridge that's been restored, but that was enough for me. My energy bridge is still out.

Over the gap

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Overdoing it?

I should know better, what with my colleague being having been on a heart-surgery rollercoster, and who is now spending hours in sofa-ville, recovering.

The running was going fairly well, which is to say uneventful, until just now. The countryside has been lovely in the sun, and I'd been scampering about it 2-3 times a week. Mostly steady-paced running, usually with the same partner.

This Friday, we decided on Intervals, and round a field/cricket pitch nearby. I've done plenty of 2-minute fast sessions round there before, so I know the procedure pretty well.

DSC00497 DSC09898.JPG DSC00499

Now, you know when you do hard sessions, you usually hold something back? Well I do, anyway, not being temperamentally suited to the make-yourself-puke school of training. This time, having been complemented on my apparent speed (M travels a lot, and was jet-legged, hence 10 s behind), I progressively started to pile on the pressure at each repetition, knocking seconds off the watch each time. " 加油!" you might say. On the last but two reps, I started fairly steadily and was pumping all out for the last 50 yards. On the penultimate rep, I went for it with 120 yards to go. Can't. Talk. On the last one, I pretty much went for it from the beginning. These reps were all in the 1:45 area. Hey not bad. Nice jog home, shower, out for a curry in the evening.

You know when you eat loads, hot food especially, you can get uncomfy in the night? Well it wasn't that. Or had I bruised a rib? We occasionally practice push hands at home, but not with any striking, so it wasn't that. It was more like a soreness inside. Ouch. Sleeping on the other side didn't help. In the morning, the discomfort was still there, associated with a particular organ in the left side of the chest. It would exaggerating to call it pain. Is it possible to red-line a heart, bending the valves? Is it serious? Will it get better by itself?

Saturday was pretty normal, shopping and stuff. World Cup was completely unexciting, about from That Headbutt (Zinedine may have a future as a martial artist?). Lack of excitement is good. Low heartrate is good. I felt OK, but was still aware of Something Different. I cried off the Long Sunday Run, and flopped about at home. Flopped about at the office yesterday.

Today, I trekked through London to get to said colleague's place (two trains and a tube each way, which means about 3 miles of walking). I really felt as if my legs were in a different mode. Not heavy, but prevented from swiftness. It was rather an effort to get about. Normally I bound up stairs two at a time, but today there seemed to be a limit to my rate of progress. I was quite happy to bumble about in third gear. Or just to Sit Down.

Clearly something knows I need to take it easy. I'm going to check with my GP tomorrow. Meanwhile, no more running for a while.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Gaps in the system - outlook fair

If there's one thing runners should not worry about, it's the weather. Right now, the UK is being dampened by a succession of Atlantic storm systems. All par for the course. I think I confused my Chinese teacher more than I should be allowed to with "Ne'er cast a clout 'til May be out", but it holds much truth.

Having said that, it was pretty nice on Tuesday when my usual partner an I did a 6-ish mile loop round Loseley etc. Yesterday was lovely, despite the misery guts forecasters, and I did about 8 miles on my own. Some parts were a bit squishy. This time I took a camera. Here are some curiosities that Surrey tries to hide away:

PuddleFieldSt Francis LittletonLaneOver the gap

(a few more on Flickr)

So far it's looking OK for Sunday's long run. That's normally a sign of a downpour, but I'm not worried. It is what it is.

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