I have had a crap 24 hours.
Last night Richard (and thousands of others) tried to get home from London but found that all the trains from Liverpool Street were cancelled. Reports indicated someone had been hit at Goodmayes and services were suspended for 3.5 hours.
So many people were waiting to go home and so many trains were cancelled Richard had to admit defeat and stay in town.
I didn’t get much sleep as I don’t sleep well on my own when things aren’t planned and I was worried I may not be able to get into town today.
Turns out the trains had restarted late last night and things were pretty much back to normal this morning.
I didn’t sleep well and awoke at 4. I pottered around then headed into London to meet Richard, drop off some clean work clothes, coffee and a bit of breakfast.
Somewhere in amongst all this – probably the bad nights sleep, I managed to pull my back. It’s really really painful along the base of my spine and its been aggravating me all day. I’ve been really cranky as a result.
I already planned to skip tonight’s run as the forecast is for gale force winds. I didn’t think it wise or safe to venture out in those conditions. The pain in my back had confirmed I won’t be running.
I want to head out tomorrow but it seems like my next run will be the Mo Run 10K on Sunday.
I’ve tipped £1,300 now so just £200 to go! Please remember to sponsor me.
I did ask some celebs to retweet my request for sponsorship and only Ben Cohen did so. Alan Carr, Tom Daley etc all ignored my requests .
Although Ben Cohens fans retweet quite a few times, it didn’t actually get me any more sponsorship
This has bugged me today as has the total shit storm that has brewed up at work. I try to remain positive but it’s hard in the current climate and in sure this too is not helping my back.
Thankfully my iPhone 5 was delivered today and thanks to a dispute I got a free case too
I had to wait for delivery as the 32gb is very popular. It’s not been bad though as I have only waited a week. I hope I can get a better service and user experience now I have switched provided as I am fed up of the poor service and lack of signal offered by Vodafone (which is why I made the move).
Once in I will get some dinner, do some stretches then spend some time setting up my new iPhone.
Of course with iTunes Match and iCloud it really shouldn’t take too long.
Now do I run with my old iPhone or new or on Sunday?
This may not be the ideal way to run and I know I should listen to my body, all I am saying is that I am currently more comfortable running with a coaching app and taking the structured guidance it offers.
Ultimately I think I will run a mix of naked running and coaching and see how I get into getting used to running without that voice in my ear.
To be fair on myself I have completed more runs with the coach so it’s only natural I am to feel like I need the voice in my head to keep me going…
Anyway as I have a 10K coming up in a couple of months I thought it best to get another coaching app to help me train for this. I have plenty of time so I don’t have to be too rigorous but I thought I would make a start.
After reading all the reviews and checking all the screen grabs etc I opted for Bridge to 10K. I am an avid researcher and will take all comments and ratings to heart and have done so with this app.
I have paid my £1.99 and downloaded it and now I have played it once to see how it compares to Get Running I am not sure I like it. I have to go out on the road with it to give it a proper test but even trying it at home it feels very different to Get Running.
Get Running does not have the best user interface or graphics but what I really like is the human voice that talks to you, in sentences!
Bridge to 10K simply rings bells and says short comments such as “warm up” or “run”. I am not sure I like this and it seems far less natural to Get Running.
Has anyone else used any 10K apps that have helped them train but were more human in their execution? It’s a shame Get Running don’t do a 10K app as I would definitely download it.
I’m trying to workout out whether I am getting hooked on running or obsessed with the data I can gain from my runs. What I do know is that the data is very helpful and has been instrumental in helping me track my progress, learn from my runs and improve.
As mentioned on my longest, fastest run on Friday my Nike+Running app on my iPhone let me down and didn’t log a route – probably due to poor GPS signal. On Wednesday the same app caused me to have a few false starts.
I have my Nike+ Fuelband and am impressed with how motivating it can be but it doesn’t track position or pace.
I am currently using the Get Running app which is based on the Couch to 5K training regime and I am nearly at the end of the training. I’m trying to decide how I will proceed after the coaching has ended.
At present I listen to the coach and have Nike+Running at the same time. This enables me to be coached and to listen to music and track my run, data, pace, GPS etc. Until recently I was happy with that but as I have had a couple problems with the Nike app I am not so happy and don’t want to be let down by it. That said I am looking at alternatives and all of them are from Nike!
I am looking at a couple possible combinations for tracking my runs etc as follows:
- Keep what I have now – Nike+Running on my iPhone
- Nike+GPS watch plus my iPod Shuffle
- iPod Nano (with Nike+ built in) and Nike+ GPS watch
Option 1 doesn’t cost me any more as I have it all already and I could add additional apps (such as Zombie Runner) to keep me motivated. I do however feel self conscious about running with my iPhone. What happens if stumble and break my phone? It’s an expensive error to fix.
Option 2 means I would have to pay £149 for the watch and could use it to track my routes etc via the built in Tomtom GPS. I think I would have more faith in it working than the iPhone app as it is specifically designed to do this task.
My old iPod Shuffle would provide the soundtrack to my run independent of the watch. It would only play music though.
Neither would give any audible feedback which I prefer now and I think I would miss it. I know the watch gives visual feedback on the display but I’m not sure if I would get used to it.
Option 3 is the most expensive as I would be looking to buy the watch and the Nano. The only thing I see as being beneficial from this route is the audible feedback you get from the Nano within the app software.
What I don’t know is if the Nano announces progress such as every km or every 5 km. Does anyone know if this is something you can turn on and off on the Nano?
Ultimately this is all personal preference and although it sounds like it, the technology is not giving me an excuse to run. The technology so far has and will continue to be an aid to my running.
I enjoy the audible feedback I get on progress and I cannot imagine running without some music to motivate me. I simply need to work out how I move to my next evolutionary step I running (no pun intended) one I no longer need the coaching app.
How do other runners work out their pacing, their speed etc?
I would be very happy to hear how/what other runners do for their runs and how they came to the decision they have about what aids their runs and why they chose the relevant kit etc they are using to plug in some kit or not…
Oh and why Nike+? Purely because I like the measures and the method they use, I already have a Body of runs logged with them and I like their approach to running and data. I’m not sure I’m really in the market for high end professional tracking kit.
I had a sneaking suspicion that when I socially announced I was at Apple HQ in London today that there would be some buzz.
How right I was
I has lots of people asking me to get some freebies for them, to steal stuff (!), to ask when products would be launch and to find some of you jobs. Sadly I was unable to do any of the above.
I cannot tell you why I was there but I will say it was work related.
Apple offices look very similar to Apple retail stores and it's a very calm Eco system to be in amongst.
I had a very interesting, insightful and beneficial day and thank all the Apple bods who made me (us) feel very welcome.
I took some snaps of the conference area (external area) for you all the see the inner sanctum that is Apple HQ.
Oh what freebies did I get..? An iPen
P.S. They did tell us when the iPhone 5 would be released as its crucial to our meeting. Not! (We were told we could say that . )
Sometimes I think things are never easy and this morning was no exception.
I decided I would jump to a new network when the iPhone 4 came out and after a dig around the shops in town I decided to queue at the Orange store.
I wasn’t planning on leaving the house until 8 am but had fallen foul of the collective paranoia on Twitter and a live image of queues on the St Albans web cam.
I therefore left the house at 6:30 and made my way into town.
The 02 shop was indeed queued out – around 70 people were there when I passed by. The Carphone Warehouse also had about 10 or so. To my surprise Orange had no one (well except a guy on a bench whom I seemed to queue jump cause he was asleep!)
So I queued and I queued and I waited patiently for the store to open at 9. Thankfully my companion had a good sense of humour and the people who arrived after us (about 8 in total) all had a common interest – gadgets!
Orange staff asked us what model we wanted and I got first dibs. I was quite delighted to hold a piece of paper which simply said “Number 1 – iPhone 4 32Gb”. Sadly my morning then took a turn for the worse.
The store opened and I was the first to be served – all my paperwork seemed ok, the system was running, I was happy but then… the systems ground to a halt. Orange switched to manual account checking and I had to wait an hour for a response.
When I got my response I was royally pissed off as neither my passport, driving license, Council Tax bill, Water bill or TV license were sufficient enough for Orange to let me set up a new account.
Their rules state your documents have to be within 3 months of the date of purchase and all of mine were dated end of April so I was out of luck by mere days.
Being a member of the 22nd Century the majority of my accounts are online and as this does not include address information I was stuck.
The Orange guys were very apologetic, offered to hold the phone for me so I could go home and try and find some other form of ID.
I didn’t find it. I had nothing. Thankfully Richard had a scan of our joint savings account so with a heavy heart I printed it and headed back to Orange. I was back in store by 11 and the sales assistant (JAck – I feel I know him as a brother), insisted he would do everything possible to get me my handset.
A call was made, systems delayed and a fax was sent to HQ – 45 minutes nothing.
My solace at this point was that all Oranges iPhones had been sold (they only had about 18) and three other people who were behind me in the queue had different problems.
The Manager stepped in and sent an urgent email to regional office which seemed to get the ball rolling.
Thankfully another 15 minutes later I was approved (as if there should have ever been any doubt) and my iPhone was being activated.
I’ve only just started playing with it as I left it to charge/sync this afternoon whilst I was working… My first impressions however are fantastic. The screen really does have to be seen to be displayed and regardless of all the scare mongering regarding the signal I have had no problems.
So I am an iPhone 4 User. My iPhone 3G is to be recycled (and help towards to the of my 4) and I am now using it at blisteringly fast speeds. I would even go so far as to say it’s faster than our iPad.
I have only taken test shots (this is starting to sound like a blog entry about my PEN!), but wanted to share them as the camera and the video are THAT good (even if the subjects are not).
So that was 6 hours of my life I will never get back – I mustn’t grumble though as I have my iPhone 4 and am more than happy with it ;0)
So I have tomorrow off. Jeff is here from NYC and we’re going to spend the day in London prior to the three of us heading off to Paris for the weekend
Ok so as you know from a previous post, Richard purchased an iPad.
Well St Albans saw the opening of a Solutions Inc which is a premium reseller of Apple products. We didn’t plan to go down but some how we ended up in the queue waiting for the “grand opening”. Within about five minutes we were in the store and taking advantage of the 10% off offer for the first 50 customers.
Ten minutes later we left the store with a new iPad case, a free gift bag which included Sennheiser earbuds and a memory card amongst other things and a 1TB Time Capsule!
I am not sure we can squeeze any more Apple tech into our house
The tech frenzy does not stop there though as I am now the very proud owner of an Olympus PEN EPL-1.
For a while I have been thinking about replacing my faithful Lumix, which was a great little camera, but I wanted to stretch my photography further. We did own a Canon EOS 300D which was a fantastic camera but we never took it anywhere due to all the kit we owned (lenses and so forth).
Last weekend we decided we would put the Canon on eBay (which ended up being bought by a friend) and I also managed to sell the Lumix to another friend.
Ultimately the PEN was a steal and thanks to Richards powers of persuasion we managed to get the 14-45mm lens pack with an official PEN leather bag and memory card.
I got my hands on the camera on Thursday evening and have spent some time taking plenty of shots around the house to test it out. Today I took it on my first road trip around the Verulamium in St Albans.
The PEN is a fantastic everyday camera with heaps of features including intelligent auto which means you don’t have to worry about aperture priority or shutter the speed – the camera does it for you. You can however use the PEN as a SLR as it’s completely programmable.
It’s about the same size (body) as my Lumix but with interchangeable Four Thirds lenses so it’s not as bulky as a traditional SLR.
The PEN is also a fully functional HD camcorder which enables you to take traditional footage in crisp HD quality alongside the all the art filters that you can use in the camera mode. Check out this time lapse footage I took whilst at the park.
Of course there are lots of photo’s online from the garden, the park and of course of Miss B. Please take a look as I am especially proud of them.