I went for a 23km run on Wednesday having done a 20km run the previous week. It was actually quite enjoyable and because I did the 20km I was mentally up for going the extra distance. It way my first half marathon and it feels strange because I’ve been running for so long and I’ve never really wanted to run more than 10km at a time. So it makes sense but its also new which is cool.

As per usual, I mixed up the route and on the way back I got sort of lost but not really – I’ve never really been one to loose my sense of direction entirely. I can always feel the way relative to the last waypoint I remember and back- track from where I deviated from. I ran too far on the way back and found myself at the West Ham football stadium. Its in the Olympic park and I figured upon seeing it, that I should probably go and investigate it and run around it.

On the way in I ran with some guys from work and I told them I’d be running a bit further and longer than usual and they we’d have to diverge at Victoria park as I intended to go down to Lime house basin again. One to the guys said that I the Olympic park is not that far away and indeed I did see it on the map last week. I thought perhaps I’d schedule that run the next week as I’d quite wanted to have another go back down to see the Thames again and Limehouse Basin(Its a cool dock like St Katherine's Dock).

So as it turned out, I did see the Olympic stadium after all. A week too soon! I will continue with this ‘Olympic route’ next week and perhaps diverting somewhere else to mix it up.

According to my various technological aids, one being Strava and the other being my Garmin 235, this half marathon was my longest ever run. Not bad I think, and I did notice on the 20km run that I ran over an hour, so this time I brought a SiS isotonic energy gel which I consumed about an hour in. Good move. I think what I’ll do moving forward is on these longer runs is to bring some water too and consume that either with the gel or sip intermittently.

After such a yomp like that, one might expect a bit of strain accumulate in the legs, and dutifully I noticed after the run a slight strain in the lower side of the knee. This is probably because of my naturual running style with is under-pronated(I run and land on the sides of my feet). This effect was to be expected. So I decided to recuperate by yielding any running until the next Saturday and instead did the cycling, the stair master and rowing. I also noticed a bit of a tingle in the back of my throat, a usually sure-fire sign that a cold is developing. Again, I responded quickly by ensuring I eat a lot of good food as to support my immune system now that I needed more than ever. I felt like i eat too much but that tinkle and strain left promptly afterwards. I’m happy with my performance and my recovery after the run.

I ordered a Garmin Virb action camera which I received and then took for its maiden-voyage down to the gym in Cowley on Saturday. I then proceeded to drop the damn thing while running on the tarmac and its new shine lasted all but 10 minutes into the run. It looks battered and well weathered from day one. With that said, its doing very well. Its well-built and is tough. I like it. Unfortunately I didn’t read the listing properly when I bought it and got only the main unit without any mounts. So I ran with it in-hand and then briefly out-of-hand…

So I’ve actually ordered a second unit with the mounts and will have 2 units moving forward. This gives me transferable mounts, an extra battery charger via the new unit. So it worked out well. The mounts are crucial If I'm not going to drop it anymore: I want to mount it to my head using a head-strap mount as this is the most suitable and stable place to film from while running. I’m also waiting for the head mount to be posted and arrive.

My plan is to record my runs more frequently as this will be an interesting way of documenting them and help keep the momentum going as I look to increase my running moving forward.

At work, I’ve found some autonomy in the project I’ve been assigned to and have been given the opportunity to get stuck in and figure it all out, which is the way I like it. I’ve been able to research and learn about implementing AWS lambdas, interfacing with CF services from .net core and made some interesting discoveries (eg. IExtensibleObject).

I had a good back workout on Saturday and I’m getting stronger by doing wide-grip pull ups. I still battle to do 4 sets of 10 completely, with only the first set being under good form and it gradually goes downhill from there as I stagger in repetitions of 5 however and then sometimes just 2-3 at the end. I’m optimistic about it and I think its the right thing the be focusing on.

One of the things I’m eager to setup is my Virb on a tripod and watch my technique and particularly my range of motion. I also would like to improve my swimming and I think setting it up high will show me deficiencies in my strokes. Perhaps I can show it to a swimming teacher and ask(or pay?) for advice on how to improve it. Though, right now with the weather being so hot, the pool is in demand so I’ve put this off. I haven’t ordered a tripod yet anyway.

Another idea is to go Kayaking one Saturday or Sunday with the virb. Someone from work suggested we go. Sounds promising…

I’ve continued with a decidedly military themed reading list on the train recently. Having finished Who dares Wins, which is about what it takes to get into the SAS, I’ve started reading a similar book this time bout another branch called the Royal Marines Commandos. They’ve also got it tough. I finished that today in the library and bought a new book called “The Future of Terror” by Frank Barnaby which is basically a A-Z guide on terms of modern terrorism, from extremist Islamic terrorist groups to Animal welfare activist groups.  Fairly interesting until your head fills up with term after term after term and it get a bit like reading a dictionary, which has its place but not today.

So I’ll continue my morning reading by reading more about the Royal marines commandos. Having read up on this stuff, I’m fairly interested in learning more about orienteering and more specifically map reading. I think I’ll order a OS map, a compass and read up on how to use it. Perhaps try it out while Kayaking… I’ll leave my GPS.

I also bought a book on Investing and Google Hacks. All were criminally being sold at my local library and I bagged a bargain for £2. Oddly enough, I also came across and bought a book about what one practically does when someone dies - a bit unconventional, sure and perhaps a bit morbid but after seeing it, I thought that that's something I know absolutely nothing about and could learn more.

So perhaps this later set of book purchases will dictate my reading list moving forward.

The other interesting think about the Virb is that I can control it from my watch – I can tell it to start recording, take pictures etc. Very cool.

So far so good.

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