He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Not Dead Yet

It's been over four months since I last posted an update and I'm long overdue for some rambling. Yes, I am still alive. Yes, it has been a busy few months and yes, I shan't leave it so long next time. I've been rambling rubbish here for over twelve years now and don't have any intention of calling it a day in the near future - so here's a quick summary of what I've been up to:

1) RavesnPi 2 - I'm busy working on the successor to my Raspberry Pi-based car-audio system, although this time I'm using a Pi Zero W. This will be faster, a fraction of the size, a fraction of the cost and will send its audio over Bluetooth. Once the final build is done, I'll post the image here for you to download.

2) The Atari ST Demo Coding Thing - It's still being coded, but is looking really promising. As with all these things I've completely overrun on the timescales, but that's the perfectionist in me. Hell, if you're twenty-five years late, what's an extra year or two?

3) With all that stuff I'm making, it's probably worth mentioning that I've also got a distraction in the form of a second-hand PS3 that I bought near the end of last year. The PS3 is still a pretty wonderful console with a wealth of cheap and great games to play - not that that's helping me finish off those projects, of course.

4) New year, new job. It seems that seven years is the longest I can stay in a job before I start climbing the walls. It's been good to have a change in direction.

On a final note, I also set myself a challenge over the last month, to run three half-marathons in four weeks. Did I do it? Yes, I did…

3 Half-Marathons

I've been running for nearly four and a half years and have learnt a few new things during the course of this last month. The first thing I learned is that doing back-to-back events like this doesn't make you any quicker at all. In fact, chances are you'll get progressively slower. I've read a few guides in the past that suggested a week-long abstention from running (5K in the park excepted) for at least a week after you've run a half-marathon (or longer for a full one) is key to recovery. I'd agree with that. My legs didn't feel sufficiently recovered from the previous event when I ran the next one. Two weeks as a minimum seems a good rule to follow and holds up when I've done similar in the past.

The second thing I learned is that I'm never going to be "fast". I'm not even five and a half feet in height and have legs like an oompah-loompah. With some special training and dedication I might just get under two hours, but it's unlikely. That said, I've now got to a pretty good state where I can enter a half-marathon event without having to slaughter myself in training for it. I may not be fast, but I do feel that my body is sufficiently conditioned to keep entering them every so often without too much of a struggle.

The final thing I learned was during Saltash half-marathon. The weather was awful with wind and torrential rain. Within a couple of miles my top was wet and turned into what I can only describe as "runners sandpaper" for the remaining eleven miles, working like a cheese-grater on my moobs and causing some fairly unpleasant bleeding nipples. It's just as well I was wearing a black top. Unfortunately, I didn't fully realise the pain until I jumped in a swimming pool with my son a few hours later. Ouch. It took two weeks to heal up. Must. Remember. To. Protect. Them.

I do feel pleased about what I've achieved over the last month, though. I've now run seventeen half-marathons, not bad for the wobbly fat kid who kept getting told his P.E. teacher that he "lacked confidence". I keep contemplating running a full-marathon as I approach number twenty-six. That sounds like a cool thing to do around about 2020.

I'll sign off for now, but In the near future expect a post on what I'm using as my running watch after my fourth Garmin device failed on me….
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