Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Three notable things last week

Garden border
Back garden, May 2015
Two people I know featured in the news last week. The first was Emma Percy, who hit the headlines by asserting that the Church should feel free to refer to God as a woman. We were at secondary school together, and I met her again a few years ago when she led the memorial service for another schoolfriend's mother.

The second media appearance was by a regular visitor to this blog, known as CERNoise. As the name suggests, she works at CERN and has contributed a guest post to this blog in the past. The Large Hadron Collider was fired up again this week, and is now ready to operate at higher energies than ever before. CERNoise appeared on the BBC Today programme this week (segment starting at 2 hours 24 minutes). Her explanation of the slightly strained nature of her contribution was that it was incredibly noisy in the control room and she could hardly hear herself speak.

The third notable thing was to do with my running. [It occurred to me this week that we used to call it 'jogging' - when did we make that change?] I have an app on my phone that monitors my location, speed and elevation. It is very complimentary about my performance, and tries to find anything to congratulate me for - as well as fastest and furthest in many distance categories it has also commended me on the most outings I have made in a month, number of calories burned, meters climbed and so on.

Anyway, this app - called RunKeeper - also contains a few different training programmes. As I'm planning to Run Forest Run in November, I thought I'd try the plan that offers to help you achieve 10k in under 65 minutes. It is a set of 61 'workouts' over about 4 months at a rate of 4 runs a week. As there isn't a chance that I'll be going out 4 times a week, I have started it already as it will probably take me more like 6 months to get through that many runs.

It starts with shorter, slower runs, but mixes things in an interesting way, giving a bit of variety. The longest run scheduled so far coincided with this week's Parkrun - the regular Saturday morning run that is held every week for all comers. But RunKeeper wanted me to run 8 km, while Parkrun is only 5 km. My solution was to run 3 km from home to the start of the Parkrun - I usually go by bicycle.

8 km is definitely the longest run I have ever done, and it went surprisingly well given that I misjudged the timing/distance a bit and ran for 8.4 km. I was only 40 seconds slower than my best ever Parkrun time!

A couple of weeks ago I volunteered to marshal for Parkrun instead of running, and it was quite entertaining. I went for a lonesome run afterwards, and this is when I realised that after a year, I have actually come to enjoy running - probably because I can do it without constantly feeling like my lungs will burst any minute. So, it takes a year. Definitely worth it.

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