Category Archives: News & Media

Travelling and learning to pass the time

In preparing to settle down and write this post, I thought I’d look up how long it is since the last time I posted. I was surprised to learn it was only just over two weeks ago, which means the Poppy Half was only three weeks ago tomorrow.

The Poppy run feels like ages ago now so much so that I’ve been able to get a week into my next training programme building towards next year’s Fleet Half Marathon.

After the Poppy, I felt a bit sore from my back in the days afterwards so aside from a single run up to basketball the following Tuesday, it was about ten days before I ran again. I do feel I really benefitted from the rest though.

One thing I have been doing a lot of in the intervening time is traveling, obviously back from Eastbourne but I’ve had a couple of journeys between Reading and Jersey as well. I’ve changed how I travel a fair bit. I enjoy the experience of flying with BA and the lounge and all that, but sadly BA just aren’t very punctual flying into London which means a very late train journey and arriving into Reading around midnight.

So going forward generally I expect to be going via Southampton and when all goes well (which it has every time I’ve done this so far) I get into Reading not long after 8. Not a hard decision really.

The other change about my travelling is my choice of entertainment. I’ve tried magazines in the past but find them actually to be fairly inconvenient on cramped planes and trains and it’s meant I’ve got two copies of Runner’s World which have been backwards and forwards to Reading several times in the past couple of months.

I’ve tried watching recorded TV and find it a difficult thing to relax with. One of the first things I watched was Jack Whitehall’s Travels With My Father and I enjoyed the show but felt a bit “special” when laughing out loud at it so it’s just less relaxing so that didn’t last either.

One day a few weeks ago I stumbled across a motor racing podcast, focusing on sportscar racing and really enjoyed it and it’s a thing that’s grown on me and expanded. So I’ve now got a little selection of these, on various topics and rather than blathering on about my new training schedule for the next 18 weeks, I thought I’d share what podcasts are interesting me at the moment.

  • The Week In Sportscars – an engaging show for sportscar racing fans largely based around listener Q&A
  • Midweek Motorsport – a bit more journalistic and news based but also with a fairly silly tone at times which is obviously a good thing.
  • No Such Thing As A Fish – presented by the QI Elves, and in fact featuring Stephen Fry himself last week, this is odd-fact based silliness and discussion
  • The Week In Indycar – similar to the Sportscar version above with the same lead presenter, Marshall Pruett, but with less banter and more guests, not necessarily making it better
  • Running Commentary – two comedians recording a podcast during a training run as they prepare for the London Marathon (at the moment anyway as they’ve been doing this a while now).
  • Lineker & Baker: Behind Closed Doors – not sure about this one. Plainly focused on football and Gary and Danny are always good for some honest opinions. They think the ongoing Nations Cup is nonsense so that’s a positive for this.
  • The Adam Buxton Podcast – I really enjoy most things AB does and I enjoyed this listen but it was a special I think based around a largely serious interview with a guy that had been kidnapped by pirates. Going to stick with it for now though.
  • Track Side with Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin – another Indycar focused talk show, but this time actually an internet radio show. As a result it fluctuates between slick and irritating, and is a bit snotty about non-US racing. Again, going to stick with it.

So that’s what I’m listening to at the moment. I’ll post more about running another time, but if it doesn’t come before Tuesday, wish me luck for a fun run/race on Tuesday up and down a familiar location, being the airport runway. Should be fun.

Taking inspiration

I’m not sure if it was last year or the year before but I posted something here about how I felt about being told how much of “an inspiration” I was for what I was achieving. Whether that was one of our earlier half marathons or maybe the twelve races in twelve months, I forget now. But it was incredible to be told that.

Then I watch what I’ve seen tonight at the World Athletics Championships. Mo Farah giving his best but never really looking like it was enough. Incidentally I think I’ve watched Farah run twice live and he’s lost both of those races. Sorry about that.

Then the relative chaos of a 4×100 relay run where the British team always looked in control but you find yourself looking for Usain Bolt at the finish because he was there or thereabouts at the start of his leg but isn’t there now, only for the TV to cut to him lying on the track in obvious pain.
And then to reflect on it all a few moments later and consider that where that British relay team were celebrating,

I was celebrating myself with my wife a couple of months ago. The relay team cleared their summit just like I cleared my two hour target in Liverpool earlier this year. Or my sub 7 mile. Or sub 24 parkrun.

I look back on my running year so far with immense pride. I’ve cleared so many mountains already. Next week might be another one with it being my first and possibly only competitive 10k of the year. And then there’s the marathon in only a few weeks time.

You can’t help sometimes but watch something like that shocking and excellent relay victory and take something from it. Or when Paula Radcliffe ran her last London Marathon, taking the hand of someone nearby and running in with them, and feel a little bit affected by it.

For so much of the time running is a solitary thing, but it’s those times when you come together with others – whether as competitors, training partners or spectators. That’s when you can step back and take in what you’ve seen or what you’ve done. That acknowledgement of “I’ve been there” or “I’ve seen that” really brings it home.

I ran down lane 3 or thereabouts of the London Olympic Stadium with my wife next to me, us both holding a Jersey flag. These are the kind of experiences we live and live for. And I look forward to many more.

On to the next (few) challenges

When walking home from work a few days ago I came across this story.

Why London Marathon will be Farah’s toughest test http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/26968962

and there was another London Marathon story too about tips for the race which included one from Paula Radcliffe which I’d used myself during the Silverstone Half – counting from 1 to 100 just to keep the mind ticking over.

This week has seen our first proper training week for our next challenges. For me I am mad enough to do a proper 10k race here. I’m not expecting anything beyond a personal best, although I’d like to not finish last too. The legs are definitely suffering a wee bit but maybe from doing something like 30km this week maybe they should be!

It’s all part of the challenge though, and it’s still all good.

Moving time, news and OG

It is fair to say it’s been an interesting past few weeks! I guess most readers will have already been aware we’ve moved house lately – into just a rented place and we’ll keep on looking for the dream house and hoping it really does exist. Can’t help thinking even Kirstie & Phil couldn’t help us on this one since we’ve investigated just about every 3-4 bedroom house in Jersey.

One set of estate agents made sure they aren’t on our Xmas card list for next year (message me if you want to know who to avoid!)

This house we’re in is quite lovely – too small for us to be a forever home but it makes a nice place to crash a few months. Having successfully sold our house means we can now consider some very interesting projects for the future. Going to look at one tomorrow actually.

Before heading off to return to my normal diet of racing cars of Forza Motorsport 3 I just wanted to mention last night’s “Newswipe with Charlie Brooker”. This programme should be essential viewing for anyone who’s ever watched the news. The gradual turning of news programmes into fact-based soap operas is just shameful but it seems to be here to stay – most sad! I guess “Newswipe” would be essential viewing if he CB didn’t say “f&€k” and “£u^+” quite so much really but hey stupidity in the rest of the world brings out frustration in all of us.

In fact….one more thing before I go. I have some lovely neighbours here, some nice folks we met down the pub last Saturday night… But sadly we also live near some gits. One in particular (anonymous sadly) who likes to hassle us about parking by our house despite our letting agent assuring us we’re entitled to.

Obviously our Old Git friend wasn’t interested in the fact and is utterly horrified at “young people” (eeeeek!) moving into the neighbourhood. Well my friend parking spaces are not allocated in proportion to the number of wars you have lived through, which is just as well as judging by the shaky handwriting I think OG was around for the English Civil War!

Ok I’m done now – hope you’re having a good decade so far. Bye for now!

A little moan

This minor, in fact really really petty, moan started life as this tweet “Dave wonders why BBC’s Breakfast programme is shown on their news channel when there wasn’t a shred of “news” on it from 8 until 9″ but I thought the subject matter deserved more whining than Twitter’s 140 character limit allows.

Let’s get right to the point here. I don’t actually understand the point of the programme any more. It used to be an interesting source of information but now it’s just a very long trailer for other BBC shows. Take this morning for example.

I tuned in about 8-ish just in time to see Torres’s goal from last night (3rd minute of injury time – but still a victory earned the Man U way is still worth 3 points). Then some e-mails…ooh how exciting.

An interview with Faryl Smith with a clip of her singing before a rugby match. Unfortunately for the Beeb she says in the interview that she found her performance before the FA Cup final more thrilling, but of course BBC “News” can’t be arsed springing the cash to buy any rights to show the clip from ITV – quick change of subject then.

Then we get to see how Colin and Justin, the worlds longest surviving celebrity relationship (probably), are spending New Years Eve. No useful information is provided. They must have a BBC series coming up. Finally we get a preview of BBC’s dance contest show. No news there then. It’s just not good enough for a serious tv channel really.

Reflections on some TV

I’m just settling down here for a short while getting ready to watch the start of tonight’s Nascar race (in Atlanta, should you be interested) but that’s really incidental to other thoughts I’ve had tonight whilst watching tv.

Before this I was watching this programme, The Hospital, that was originally shown a few months back I think, but tonight I think was the first time I saw the first show all the way through.  They were focusing on drink related things tonight, and whilst I wasn’t suprised by anything it is still shocking the attitudes of some people.  You know the kind – those who think they have a god given right to be treated NOW – irrespective of why they’re actually there or who else might be more sick.   I don’t hate many people in this world, but if I ever meet anyone like that I’m sure I could reserve some hate for them.

Before that I was watching 9/11 Phone Calls from The Tower.  Now this brought out various feelings in me – some of which won’t be that popular.

My first reaction was – is there anything else about 9/11 that hasn’t yet been documented and made into TV.  Don’t get me wrong here it was a dreadful dreadful event and should be remembered, but does it really have to be dissected in such detail that we hear not just someone’s final phone calls, but literally the call they were on the very moment they died.  It just feels plain wrong, and really rather exploitative – although that said everyone clearly co-operated with the filmakers (with the exception on the husband of one of the featured deceased i noticed).

It does make me rather wander (somewhat uncaringly I admit) what the heck is next.  Give it a few years and presumably we’ll have a documentary on the children of the 9/11 survivors.  Anything to prolong the tv-viewability of the tragedy.  I sound cynical I know but I’m not sure that’s my fault.

They were my initial thoughts.  Then I watched it, and kept watching.  It made good TV – hearing the undoubtedly tragic stories of so many people who got caught up in this event.  It got me thinking – if I was there who would I call, what would I say, who would I need to hear from.  Morbid really isn’t it.

Developments in motor racing

I thought I’d post a bit about whatever has been going on in Motor Racing recently.

From looking on you can’t help but think that the sport is in a lot of trouble. A driver with famous connections dies last week live on tv, an F1 driver is seriously injured but somehow at the time of the incident itself the guys at the circuit make it look all very relaxed – certainly no hint of the actual injuries.

Then just about as I’m writing this BMW are holding a press conference to announce (allegedly) that they’re leaving F1.

Aside from that the IRL keeps changing its rules to help “the show” and MotoGPs top class has an embarrassingly small regular grid.

Very little good news around really and I don’t see it getting much better. Its a shame really as has been said before because this years F1 championship should be a thriller.

I haven’t got any solutions here but its just not so good seeing a sport I enjoy so much struggling. Just have to hope things improve soon I guess.