Rules CONTROL the fun

I admit to liking structure and routine. I’ll even admit to having a fondness for planning and procedures. Don’t even get me started on lists.

Rules can be good! Helpful, even.

Which means that I sometimes have a hard time bending them.

Don’t get me wrong – I can ‘do’ spontaneous with the best of them…but preferably with advanced warning, and a bit of a ‘heads up’ on what we’re being spontaneous about.

If you don’t mind.

So…this running thing has caused a bit of conflict at times.

I can happily go with the flow on a number of things. I even enjoy it.

But ask me to run through red lights, cross the road when the little man is clearly not even green, or jog the wrong way down a one-way street, and I experience an inner eye-twitch (of sorts). My brain whispers, “rule breaker”, my eyes look around for undercover traffic cops, and my conscience just shakes its head in disappointment.

Well…maybe not exactly like that – but the point it, it’s still not a natural thing to do.

I remember my first 5km running event through the city. The streets were closed off, it was an organised run, but my law-abiding brain initially wanted to stop at every red traffic light and politely wait for zeroes of cars to pass.

I continued on, but the urge to wait was definitely there. So was the eye-twitch.

At my second event, said brain wanted me to go the ‘correct’ way around a roundabout. As in – where the traffic would go. I was in my own little world, following the ‘traffic rules’, and almost did the full loop.

All I was missing (apparently) was a set of indicators and a horn. I forgot to human.

Luckily, I spotted others just in time and followed their path (whew!).

running rules

I still prefer trail runs, or a run in the park, but when it comes to ‘bending the rules’ for a stint in the city I’m definitely getting better. Getting up at stupid o’clock also helps; barely any traffic, a few dogs and their humans, and fellow runners.

So my recent triumph?

*drum roll*

I ran through three pedestrian crossings before the lovely green ‘walk’ signal gave the OK. Without a guilty look on my face (*shifty eyes*), and without the expectation of an “Excuse me, Mam – we’d like you to come with us” being uttered from the darkness.

Granted, I probably wasn’t fully awake at the time, and no doubt running in a sleep-deprived haze.  Even my conscience gave me a free pass.

Or maybe it was still asleep (did I mention it was stupid o’clock?).

Either way – I’d say that’s progress for sure. 😉

 

I’ve been cheating on my Garmin

With a Fitbit.

And I’ve come to the logical, non-crazy conclusion that it knows, and has been deliberately messing up to get back at me.

I didn’t mean to start cheating, but the Fitbit just seemed so practical and helpful. I’ve been wearing it every day, and using it to track my sleep at night – reserving the Garmin for the occasional parkrun or ‘official’ events (usually anything 5km or more).

But let’s back up a bit.

Have you ever found yourself assigning a personality to inanimate objects in your home? Maybe a toy, appliance, or…um…athletic device?

No? Oh. Well this is awkward…me neither!

Haha. That would be weird.

So…please just ignore that first bit, and let’s now look at an *imaginary* scenario where a Garmin watch appears to be displaying jealousy toward a Fitbit and is being quite passive-aggressive.

Exhibit A: At parkrun a few weeks ago, the Garmin suddenly, ‘lost’ its satellite connection (on a bright, clear day, mind you) and failed to track the first 800 metres or so. Hmmm…

Exhibit B: Refusing to feed any information to its own website. No amount of coaxing worked. Consideration was given to making aeroplane noises and saying, “here comes the data!”…apparently.

Exhibit C: Only starting to charge after a ridiculous amount of re-aligning the points, and then having to freeze on the spot once it connected (reminiscent of playing ‘statues’ as a kid).

Now if you were to believe that this imaginary Garmin had been acting out, you may be convinced by the solid facts above. You may also be interested to know that only weeks earlier it had been on the shelf, gathering dust. A shiny new Fitbit had moved in, and the Garmin remained hidden away, forgotten.

Its imaginary owner may have even been reminded of Wheezy from Toy Story, and felt bad.

Wheezy

They may have also started wearing it again on shorter runs out of guilt.

But of course none of that actually happened, and the ‘real’ tale ends well. That is; both Garmin and Fitbit are now getting along working fine.

It was probably something to do with installing a new Garmin software update, which resolved all of the synching and recording problems.

Probably.

Oh, and on a totally unrelated topic– have you seen Nessie!?

Nessie Ladle

She’s sold out at the moment, and not available for a gazillion weeks, but I’m pretty sure I’ll place an order.

Pretty sure I’ll use her.

Pretty sure I won’t feel terrible for plonking her and those precious feet into boiling hot liquid.

Poor thing…um…if you believe in that stuff.

There and Back Again…

A Hobbit’s tale.

No wait.

A tale of habit. (yes, that’s much better)

I wish I could tell you that my Juneathon activities have involved new paths taken, trails explored, and exciting adventures along the way, but in reality the closest I’ve come to being Hobbit-like is by way of a typo.

Hobbit Habit.

As in a creature of.

So my tale of ‘There and Back Again’ is not nearly as interesting. In reality, it means I’ve taken the same route for walking / running pretty much the whole time. With a couple of exceptions, I generally stick close to home – the nearby park, the streets close by, and the parkrun course. I run there, and I run back again.

(I did get a bit excited last week visiting ‘The Wizard’s Bar’, but figured a business function may not be the most appropriate time for a selfie with the dragon mural)

Normally I am more than OK with it. Consistency is key and all that. I enjoy my runs / walks – I know the tracks well, the best spot to cross a busy road, the distance, and areas that are open and well lit.

I guess I just figured that for Juneathon I should try mixing it up a bit.

So in the spirit of new things, off I trotted for an organised group run with strangers. I even had my reflective stripes and (new) flashy-torch with three settings. (Did I mention it was a night run? I know, right? So adventure-y of me!)

Take that, familiar safety and routine! New paths come at me; I am in your hands.

So off we ran…

 

…to the park near my house. And back again.

*sigh*

Actually I had to laugh – I could have popped home for a drink we were that close.

But I did it, and it was also great meeting new people and being pushed to keep running when I normally would have stopped at 5k.

So adventure aside, I guess the lesson is that my usual trails are fine. I’m still running and doing other Juneathon-y stuff. I’m not terribly good at blogging about it regularly, but it is happening.

There and back again: a tale of habit.

It may not be worthy of a movie adaption; but for a wannabe (off and on again) runner, it actually isn’t so bad after all.

The sunrise challenge

Juneathon Day 9: Walking and sunsets

On my walk today (a quick 3k) I got to thinking about a question posed via #RunChat on Twitter: “Sunrise or sunset? Which would you rather see on your run? Why?”

My answer: Sunset.

Why? Part of the reason is that I find it’s a nice way to wind-down after a long day. Plus, they’re so pretty! And right…there. This one was just hanging around waiting for its photo to be taken last week:

sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone out, click, done. See? Easy.

I guess if I’m being completely honest though, a bigger part of my preference is that sunset running doesn’t involve ‘rising and shining’ and being all chirpy at a time when it feels unnatural. But that’s just me.

I’m more of a night person, and therefore find running at sunrise is so, so much harder (and also – don’t they involve mountain trekking or beaches or other inspiring things?).  Plus, seeing a sunrise takes planning and warm layers and coffee drinking and…well…just getting up early in general.

And there it is: getting up early.

I know it’s easy for others, and there may be people *eye-rolling* at this (sorry), but here’s the thing:

I try, I really do, but am not your typical early-morning riser. So much so, that I have dreamt of a truck backing-up and making that beeping noise (as they do). This can last for ages, but in my dreams I’m OK with it (take your time, Mr Driver. It’s cool, reversing can be hard).

Yeah…so…that ‘beep, beep’? That’s my alarm clock.

(Turns out I can incorporate pesky noises into my dreams and just keep sleeping through. It’s a gift and a curse)

Switch to music as an alarm, you say?

Nope. Cue dreams of performing onstage, singing my heart out to whatever happens to be on the radio that morning (apparently I’m an extrovert in my dreams. Go figure).

It doesn’t always happen that way of course, but it’s often enough for me to start setting multiple alarms when I need to get up any earlier than say…6:30am. Either that, or ask ‘J’ (who’s usually already up) to come in and roll me onto the floor. And that never ends well.

So you see – the odds are against me. That’s how much I love my sleep.

But Juneathon is about mixing things up, and I’m up for the challenge:

I will see a sunrise on my run by the end of the month.

Time to see what all the fuss is about. 😉

 

What about you? Sunset or sunrise?

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Previous #juneathon (micro)blog Day 8

Smashing goals out of the park(run)

Juneathon Day 7: The one where I raced a dog.

Otherwise known as my first parkrun in…forever.  Where I not only raced a dog – I won!  Goal = smashed. 5k done. Thankyouverymuch. The end.

So there you have it.

 

…but if you want specifics, I guess you can read on. Spoilsports.

The starting line

Feeling a bit nervous (as it’s been a while), but also excited to be back running again.

And we’re off…

Around 500m in

“Umm, this actually feels kinda OK. Breathing is easy, legs are fresh(ish).”

Checks Garmin: “Woah – great pace.”

Excitement starts to rise: “I think I might beat my parkrun PB today!“

1k

“Goodness, is it really only 1k? That last bit went kinda slowly. Never mind, I have a goal to reach: Onwards to the finish line and a new PB!”

1.1k

“I’ll just stop for a little breather. Just a short walk won’t hurt.”

2.1k

“Have they lengthened the course? I think my Garmin is broken.”

2.5k

Spots teeny-tiny dog.

Hatches new plan.

Pretends it was the plan all along.

3k-4k

“The dog has only overtaken me four times, but that hill is my chance to take the lead again.

I got this.”

4.1k

“I don’t got this.”

4.2k

“Never mind the parkrun PB – please just let me beat the dog.”

4.5k

New burst of energy found.

The finish line

(Internal) applause.

Sense of relief.

 

I did eventually win’ (cough), but for a teeny-tiny dog, she really had some get-up-and-go!

Here she is crossing the finish line:

Image

(Yes, I waited around. Yes, I snuck a photo. Yes, they both had no idea they were involved in my plans)

Then after finishing, off she pranced without losing a breath!

 

…I wonder if she wants a training partner…?

 

So there you have it. Ruby Sneakers: smashing hastily revised and slightly ridiculous goals since June 2014.

 

It was actually a great morning, and we even broke the attendance record.

Congrats, Launceston parkrun! (photo from their facebook page)

Image

I’m already looking forward to next week.

 

Previous Juneathon (micro)blog: Day 6

It’s a zig zag kind of day

Juneathon Day 5: The one with all the climbing.

Otherwise known as a trip to the Cataract Gorge via the Zig Zag track, which is a steep climb of pain trail with a series of…well… zig-zags…and some pretty amazing views.

Throw in a walk across the suspension bridge, more climbing on the way back, and a jog to / from home, and before you know it you’ve clocked up a sneaky 7.5k without even realising.

I did take a few photos just for you guys. Nothing at all to do with needing a rest. Nope, definitely not that.

“Please Take Care – Steep Track” – Yep, they weren’t kidding:

Zig Zag Track

 

Obligatory selfie. Having a drink…after only 5 minutes of climbing… #totallyfit:

Selfie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recently-built viewing platform:

Viewing Platform Cataract Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The suspension bridge – and halfway point – taken (bravely) from the platform:

View - Cataract Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting closer to the bridge. A ride on the chairlift will have to wait for another time:

First Basin Launceston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well hello there! Who’s a pretty boy, then?

Peacock at Cataract Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a little bit further and we’re at the Alexandra Suspension Bridge.  It actually swings slightly as you go across:

Alexandra Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the bridge and heading back – this time along a different winding trail:

Gorge Walk Launceston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kings Bridge in the distance…

Cataract Gorge Launceston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and we’re done!

Kings Bridge Launceston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a short jog home from here.

That was actually pretty fun – I could even be tempted to do it again next week!

Previous Juneathon (micro) blogs: Day 4, Day 3, Day 2, Day 1

 

 

 

By the Power of Grayskull, I now declare this rest period over!

Yep – that should do it.

But just in case, I’ll also pull out my magic wand (Expecto…Rest-o-stoppus?) and add a sprinkle of fairy dust. That always works…right?

Actually, there’s a lot to be said for rest periods – any runner will tell you that they’re important for recovery.

Example: Run 10k, rest. (Easy, right?)

Nailed it.

I think you’re meant to run again after a few days… but whatever. I’ll leave the technical stuff to the experts.

I discovered I was really good at the resting part and got excited to have a new goal (I love being good at stuff!!). It does take a bit of dedication though – all of that distraction and avoidance is tough work.

Referring back to last year’s Diddly Squat challenge for a few pointers helped a lot, and I even reached Expert Resting Level recently (for those playing at home – that’s the stage where you can physically see your butt imprint in the couch cushions).

So having ticked off that goal, it’s time to set a new one:

Run (or do some other form of exercise) every day in June.

That’s right – it’s Juneathon time!

juneathon_participant_logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t taken part before, but figure since it starts on the first day of winter, requires exercise every day, and I haven’t run in months, it’s really quite a sensible thing to do.

Logic has always been one of my strong points.

You do also need to blog – or microblog – about your Juneathon efforts every day, so I’ll be updating here and on Twitter.

I’m actually looking forward to it, and have my trusty treadmill and never-used rowing machine ready as backups on those too-frosty / too-rainy Tasmanian winter days.

Good luck to others taking part, and happy running!

 

Now where did I put my gear…?