Forerunner Unreliable

I’ve used various models of the Garmin Forerunner for years and feel some brand loyalty to the products but it is wearing a bit thin today as my Forerunner 620 completely screwed up yesterday! This wasn’t the first time — I was getting some VERY odd behaviour earlier in the year — but a factory reset got it back to working well up until yesterday where it decided to press the “stop” button twice on my long run. Suddenly about 10 miiles into my run I realised I had no idea how long I’d gone (as I hadn’t realised the run had been stopped)!

This was terrible but due to somewhat familiar terrain I was able to guestimate my distance and got to what I thought was 20 miles only to find out on my return that it was only 18. Very annoying.  

Ultra marathons

Mathew Beard came in and talked about his training regime for running an ultra-marathon at our last #qs meetup. I was all ears because I too am planning on taking on that challenge. Unfortunately for me training time is largely over … the race is on October 6th. Now if my Greek translation is correct and “marathon” = “arrogant fool” than surely my latest endeavour should put me into the highly esteemed “ultra-arrogant fool” category to which I must simply say “piss off ye walkers and lazy slaggards”. Had I not had so much to drink though a more appropriate response might have been “can you point me to the nearest medical facility”?


The Amsterdam Marathon

 20x30 AMBX3897   20x30 AMCZ1304

I had always thought I’d run a marathon. Well not always … about 4-5 years ago I convinced myself that that was too long. The human body isn’t supposed to go that far. It’s not healthy. That’s what I said to myself. I may have been right but regardless I have now run one. 

So, how did it go? Here’s my quick distance-based chronology:

  • Starting
    • I feel healthy, I think I’ve trained enough but never gone more than 19 miles
    • Nervous but secretly confident
  • 5 miles
    • I am the fastest man alive!
  • 10 miles
    • It must be tough on others how incredibly fast I am
  • 13.1 miles (half way)
    • I can feel it in my legs now but my stamina still feels good
    • I am disappointed that I am only barely below my target of 2 hours; had hoped to have some “buffer” for later in the race
  • 19 miles
    • Jesus. I’m definitely feeling the strain. 
    • Still ok, buckle up soldier.
  • 21 miles
    • I know it’s only 5 miles to finish but i want it to end now!
  • 23 miles
    • The only enjoyment I can remember is when those kind soles hand me those cups of Gatorade at the water stations
  • 26 miles
    • Thank god … only 0.2 miles left. I’ve made it. I am an elite athlete.
    • Hey wait, why do the signs say there are still 3 kilometres left? What?!?! 
    • Can’t blame it on the fucking metric system, must be the GPS in my phone. Jesus. 3 kilometres? I’m never going to make it.
  • 26 miles + 1 km
    • Is it ok for men to cry?
    • I hate my phone for deceiving me
    • I need to walk for a bit
  • 26 miles + 1.5 km
    • Ok, I hurt badly but I am not going to walk this fucking race
  • Finish Line
    • Yes!
    • I did it!
    • There’s no where to sit down!
    • I can barely stand up
    • Even if I didn’t like bananas I’d take your fucking banana treat … give me another!

Hopefully this conveys the triumph and the pain to which there was plenty of both. In the end I hit my official goal which was to finish but missed my informal goal which was to run it in under 4 hours (it took me 4 hours and 13 minutes). My informal goal not being reached was a result of the final stretch which was probably partially a result of my phones screwed up expectations but admittedly was a pretty speculative goal to start as I’d never run this distance before nor practice pacing on these long runs. The chart below shows my collapse around the time that I realised my phone was wrong about the distance:


All in all though it was a great experience. Would I do it again? Probably but I’m going to let my body rest first. Today is the first day since the race that I feel I can run again but today will be a small run to work out the kinks.

Life Lessons While Running

I jogged today through Hampstead Heath and in the course of getting my exercise added a few gems to my likely-to-never be published book of life hints:

  1. They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line … but they forgot to mention hills!
  2. Just because you ran during a break in the rain doesn’t mean the ground won’t be soaking wet and that strangers won’t find it funny when you lose your balance.
  3. Getting lost when you have a GPS on your phone has no noticeable downside besides the constant feeling of “vuja de” (aka, the experience of never having been somewhere before).

Now onto more mundane topics … while not a long run it still topped off a good month for me. 15 runs during the month totalling 77.2 miles. My longest distance for a month so far (although not by much).


Voila Capture214

I Would Walk 20 Miles for You


Well I think the song claims I’d walk 500 miles for you but that’s just silly. At least I’m putting my feet on the pavement for you and I got 20 miles out of it today along with my beautiful wife Kabuki and our lovely friend Tasha. For the detail oriented among you you might quibble that we didn’t actually walk for you but rather a charity (the NSPCC). Technically you’re right but I’m sure you either supported us monetarily through our Just Giving site or simply forgot to write that check because you were so busy with your own charitable work. Right? Well maybe you just supported us emotionally but felt parting with money for abused children wasn’t justified. Maybe you just don’t like children. That’s fair, you don’t have to. Regardless, it doesn’t matter … we walked for all of you even if you too cheap or heartless to contribute. Sarcastic smile

Damn we have such big hearts (and swollen feet). Feel free to congratulate us or donate (post facto) using the link below the pictures.

Kabuki, myself, and Tasha at around mile 4?Kabuki and Ken ... past the finish LineTasha and Ken ... feeling good but it's still earlyNSPCC Charity PosterThe London EyeHyde ParkAlong the canalsAlong the canals

Walking for a cause

I’m walking 20 miles in a few weeks to help sponsor a fundraising effort for NSPCC who are raising funds to help stop cruelty to children. If you’d like to help sponsor, click on the link below. If you don’t … well that’s just cruel. ;^)