D4D

If brains were dynamite, you might just have enough to blow your nose.

Archive for the category “2012-2013”

Cutting Down (Again)

While I’m off and job-hunting, one of my little side-projects is to (yet again) cut down on my intake of Diet Coke. It seems it’s a regular(ish) cycle with me, although I have cut it down significantly anyway from where it all was a few years ago.

As it is, I’m down to one 500ml bottle a day. It’ll vary again over time, but I’m quite happy with where it stands.

10km

Over the weekend, I took part in a 10km (6 mile) walk to raise funds for Marie Curie cancer care.  They’d done it as an evening thing, round a local(ish) stately home.  In my case, that meant Boughton House, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

As it was, I just fancied doing it – it seemed like a fun alternative to the whole ‘fun run’ (an oxymoron if ever I heard one) and just something I wanted to do, so I signed up ages back, and did some (very minimal) fundraising with friends via Facebook.  I raised enough to be able to do the walk, so there we go.

In the meantime, life conspired to make sure I had no practice or ‘training’ whatsoever – with the icing on the cake being the fact that my decent walking boots fell apart the night before the walk. Ain’t life grand?  Still, it wasn’t a major issue – I walk everywhere in boots anyway, so sod it, just use my everyday ones. At least I know I won’t get blisters!

Fortunately, Saturday evening was dry – the limit of my preparation was a vaguely waterproof jacket (well, more fleece than anything) but by halfway round I was sweating like a perv in a playground, so it got taken off and carried the rest of the way.

I wasn’t really in the mood to be sociable, so didn’t actually speak to anyone else on the walk. Chatted briefly to some of the marshals, but nothing else. I was doing it more for the walk, the fundraising, and just to be doing it – plus plenty of time for thinking/planning, of which more another time.  I could’ve strangled a few people – particularly the dog-walkers, with their extendy-leads that conspire to try and trip people at every opportunity – but for once I was fairly mellow. Mind you, one of ‘em nearly ended up with a boot up the arse.

All told, I did the 10km in 1hr 50 mins, which I was really quite pleased with. It wasn’t super-quick, but at the same time I was also surprised by how many people took a lot longer to do it. It wasn’t competitive: no names, numbers, or times, but it was still interesting. I didn’t set out to be first, or to do a blistering time, but managed to end up in the first third of finishers, if not the first quarter. Which surprised me, but anyway.

And then just the drive home. I could’ve stayed for some kind of concert and fireworks, but again, I wasn’t really in the mood.

More importantly, I was quite chuffed that I’d done it, and while my feet were sore afterwards there’s been no lasting pain, blisters, or anything. All told – and bearing in mind how little preparation I’d managed to do – it went pretty damn well.

Who knows, I might even do it again next year. After all, I’ve a time (and financial) target to beat now…

Submitting Writing

As usual, one of my projects for this year has been about writing more. (Not that you’d know it from D4D of late, but that’s different, more about having time than anything else)

Anyway, I’m doing more along the way, but also trying to send it out into the world, so I’ve submitted bits to a couple of competitions recently.

Nothing major, and if I’m honest I don’t expect anything to come of them. But at least I’m writing, and making the effort.

Stone Down

In other news, I’ve now lost a stone in weight this year.

That puts me on a weirdly OCD number (ending with two zeroes) although still at the high-end of “Functioning fat fucker”, with a way to go.

I’m happy with the progress though. I’d like it to be quicker (wouldn’t we all?) but at least it’s progress.

Slow Progress

This year, as I’ve said before (and on many occasions) I’ve been working at getting more exercise, with an aim of losing some weight, improving health, and all that standard crap. At the same time I’ve been keeping track of food intake and so on, which has been interesting rather than overly useful.

I’ve been doing fairly well for a start- I’m tending to average walking about 3-4 miles a day, including at least a mile round the village every day. I started off just making sure I did it even on days when I wasn’t in the mood, or when the weather was vile (and lord knows we’ve had plenty of those so far this year) so that I could establish it as routine, and thus have even less excuse when the weather was good.

It’s slow-going though – which I’m not happy about. I’m eating less than the ‘recommended’ calorie count, and I’m doing more exercise. But weight has stayed fairly stable.  As it is, I’ve lost half a stone this year – which is better than it could be, but it’s still hard to monitor when it takes so sodding long.

This week has been different, because of stuffing my back last weekend (which is improving, but still insanely sore in the morning) I made the decision to lay off the walking etc. as much. It’s about halved from the usual, and I’ll actually be glad to get back to it.

Anyway, there’s been progress, it’s just been ridiculously slow. Next step, once I’m back to not hurting (pardon the pun) will be to get back on my bike again and do more work on that score as well. Maybe that’ll help things progress. We’ll see.

 

Fitbit Flex – Taking Steps

It’s now been a couple of months since I got the Fitbit Flex, and it’s been pretty interesting.  I didn’t buy it to boost my fitness, or any of that other rot – I just wanted to see how much I do walk on any given day, keep track of it, and also to look at how I sleep. (which I’ve written about before)

The sleep monitoring is quite useful – although I do wonder about how it affects me subliminally. (of which more later in the week)

For the walking / pedometer, it shows I’m currently walking about 3 miles a day. Not brilliant – but equally, not at all bad. I started this year with the intention of getting out and walking more, and getting into a routine of doing so. (This actually started back in November-ish, but has been more fixed since January) I try to make sure I walk around the village (a decent mile loop) most days – although I still sometimes fail to do so when the weather is truly vile – as well as walking more when I go to the local cinema etc.

The Flex helps me keep track of that, and it’s been useful. There is a certain satisfaction when it buzzes away on my wrist, letting me know that the daily target (currently set at 5,000 steps a day, approx 2.5 miles) has been achieved. And weirdly it does get into your head – I find myself thinking “Oh, well if I park there, it’s a longer distance to get to the shop/cinema/whatever, I’ll be closer to that target” and similar.

If nothing else, it’s a useful tool for just keeping track of exercise through the days and weeks – but also as a minor kick-up-the-arse for actually getting out and walking more.

Year End

Here we are, at the end of 2013. It’s been an eventful old year, what with one thing and another.

In no particular order – and probably leaving out a load of lesser stuff – my 2013 has consisted of…

  • Having Mondeo kill itself in the outside lane of the M1 – always an interesting experience
  • Renting a Renault Megane for two weeks – the shittest car it’s ever been my displeasure to drive
  • Buying the Saab as a replacement for Mondeo, and it’s done well so far.  Handing back the Megane was also an absolute joy
  • Countless meetings all over the country
  • Completing my bankruptcy period – it stays on the record for four more years, but it’s discharged now
  • Being made redundant from the job I started the year with
  • Going back to contracting and
    • getting the first job I applied for – indeed, they offered it to me at the interview, and wanted me to start immediately
    • And the second – although it turned out to be shit
    • And indeed the third – on that one they offered after phone interview, without even meeting me
  • Forming my new company, which will start trading from mid-January
  • Sorting out an ISA savings account – which actually has some money in it!
  • Continued writing, and getting some ideas out onto keyboard/paper – time will tell how successful that stays
  • Been able to purchase some stuff I didn’t have in the new house – like a proper bed-frame, etc.
  • Caught up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in far too long
  • Attended two weddings – and another one’s already booked for 2014

All told, it’s been pretty busy, somewhat hectic, highly changeable, and not a bad year at all. Sure, things could have been better/smoother, but when all things are considered, I’d say it’s been a positive year.

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