Sunday, 19 September 2010

It's nearly showtime dude, why no update?

What's going on?  The half-marathon is next weekend and you've heard nothing from me for two weeks.

Let me explain...

I did a run last monday but only managed 5 miles before my foot became too swollen to run on.
Fortunately my x-rays came through so I popped over to the doctors on Friday morning - the results were somewhat unexpected.

It's not a break or fracture that healed badly, it's not muscle or ligament damage...  It's arthritis.

Specifically - minor osteo-arthritis of my right big toe.

This means the half-marathon is off.  It means running is off for at least the next four months.
It means that if I start running again I have to get shoes specially designed at one of those run shops.
It means cycling or swimming when I need exercise - anything that lessens the impact damage on my foot.

It means this problem will stay with me the rest of my life.

I'm pretty fucking bummed about this.

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this blog - it was a nice idea but I can't see me running often enough now to make it worthwhile.
Maybe I'll change it - increase or expand the XP rewards for swimming and cycling, introduce shop items for other forms of fitness training - keep the exercise going in other ways.

It all depends how much this news affects me, whether I bother now at all.
I've got other things coming up - I've signed up for the mongol rally next year so physical fitness might be key.

I'll let you know.


Monday, 6 September 2010

Ow, bugger, damn.

Only 8 miles today - I know, I know.  Around the 6 mile mark I felt a twinge in my left knee, it wasn't much so I decided to keep going but by 7 miles it was a constant rubbing like I'd caught a tendon.  I could still run (kind of) but it was slow going and I was worried I was doing more permanent damage so I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and called it a day.  Leg feels ok now but I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Oh and the old right foot is swollen again, doc's appointment at 8am tomorrow.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 8 miles = +11 XP
Time = 83min05sec= 10min23 per mile = +0 XP  - did ok until that last lap.
Total = 11 XP

Grand Total = 94 XP


8 miles = 40 GP

Cute female joggers (x5) = +10 GP

Interesting things:

Mumsercize - 20 women stretching and jogging with prams +2 GP
Geodesic Half Dome - going up in the park, v pretty.  +2 GP

Subtotal = 54 GP

121 gold total.  Quite a haul.  I've pretty much covered everything I would realistically buy for myself as a runner so lets go for the 'serious' runner style.  First up; running vest (30), sweatband (10) and pedometer (40), leaving me to bank 41 GP but looking faaaabulous.  Plus, of course, my level 4 haircut...

LVL: 4
XP: 94
Gold: 41

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Getting there

 Forgot to mention my tuesday run!

Tuesday afternoon, as I planned I did my 9.5 mile run.  No mid-week run but it's a start.  Foot is really hurting now so I'm going to have to pop to the docs sometime soon.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 9.5 miles = +14 XP
Time = 102min09sec= 10min45 per mile = +0 XP  - getting slower!
Total = 14 XP

Grand Total = 83 XP - Hooray!  Level 4!  Time to buy a hat!

It must've been the late afternoon thing but the park was FULL of eye candy.

9.5 miles = 45 GP

Cute female joggers (x9) = +18 GP

Interesting things:

Nothing, I was kinda distracted...

Subtotal = 63 GP

67 gold total.  Let's bank the lot.

LVL: 4
XP: 83
Gold: 63

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

On the final straight

Another 8 miles but I went too long between runs this week and last so I have to take an XP forfeit.
From now on it's one extra lap per week, plus a short run mid-week.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 8 miles = +11 XP
Time = 81min55sec= 10min15 per mile = +0 XP
8 day gap this week = -1 XP
8 day gap last week = -1 XP
Total = 9 XP

Grand Total = 69 XP - GAAAAAH!!!  1 XP short.

Gorgeous and sunny with the occasional gust of wind this morning.  And the fair-weather joggers were out in force.

8 miles = 40 GP

Cute female joggers (x5) = +10 GP

Interesting things:

Awesome off-road forklift - wants.  = +1 GP
Three pushchair mums side by side on the running track, grrrrr = +1 GP

Subtotal = 52 GP

So that's 74 gold total.  I think I'll buy an MP3 player (40 GP) and some decent sports headphones (30 GP)

LVL: 3
XP: 69
Gold: 4

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

8 Mile

So much for my 'running every other day' thing.  Nonetheless I made up for it with an 8 mile run.  I'm officially knackered, but I managed to keep to exactly 10 mins per mile all the way round.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 8 miles = +11 XP
Time = 79min44sec= 9min58 per mile = +0 XP
Total = 11 XP

Grand Total = 60 XP

Almost nothing happened :(  Tuesday morning drizzle kept the park fairly quiet.

8 miles = 40 GP

Cute female joggers (x1) = +2 GP

Interesting things:

 Red and blue slurpy in a spiderman cup - WANT = +1 GP
An impromptu fireman's pole comprising a wooden post, the iron park fence and a streetsign on the pavement outside.  Plus the line of kids waiting to try it - hooray for ingenuity! = +3 GP

Subtotal = 46 GP

So that's 92 gold total.  That's a lotta cash.  As I'm going for the 8 mile theme I think I'll get the plain white t-shirt (15GP) and the branded cap (25GP) plus the thin hooded top (30GP).  Chuck a bandana under that and you have the man himself...

LVL: 3
XP: 60
Gold: 22

Monday, 9 August 2010

Like a stoned and horny tortoise

A bit late but I got my six miles in - slower than a stoned tortoise though.

Monday mornings Clissold Park is apparently chock full of honies.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 6 miles = +7 XP
Time = 60min25sec= 10min04 per mile = +0 XP
Total = 7 XP

Grand Total = 49 XP

Oh my, the ladies.

6 miles = 30 GP

Cute female joggers (x4) = +8 GP

Interesting things:

Cute female Power Walker - do people still do this? = +2 GP

Subtotal = 40 GP

So that's 46 gold total.  I think I'll go boring and bank the whole lot this time.

LVL: 3
XP: 49
Gold: 46

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Getting back into the run of things

Another 3 mile run.  I'm going to start running much more frequently now - this weekend then every third day next week then every other day thereafter until the half-marathon.


Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3 XP
Time = 28min29sec= 9min40 per mile = +0 XP
Total = 3 XP

Grand Total = 42 XP

Not that much going on today

3 miles = 15 GP
Running in heatwave = +3 GP

Cute female joggers (x2) = +4 GP

Interesting things:

A man in formal jogging attire (white trainers and shorts, blue long-sleeved shirt and brown knit tank top - I kid you not!) = +3 GP

Total = 25 GP

Leaving me with 26 gold seeing as I spent almost everything on my funky new trainers last time.  As I ran in the t-shirt I got for doing the marathon last year I thought I'd go with that and buy the charity t-shirt (20gp).  I'll also take off the shades for now as without them my D&Dogwalkers character will be wearing exactly the same outfit as I usually wear when running:

LVL: 3
XP: 42
Gold: 6

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Guess who's back?

Well my foot is now mostly healed but I've got only two months before the half-marathon and I'm back to square one. Booooo.

Started my return to training with a leisurely 3 miles round Clissold Park alongside my brother's girlfriend Claire.  Once again the heat was stifling but it was a good jog and it's always more fun to run with a partner.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3 XP
Time was not recorded = +0 XP
Total = 3 XP

Grand Total = 39 XP

Too busy chatting to Claire to do much gold-spotting...

3 miles = 15 GP
Running in heatwave = +3 GP

Interesting things:

A very yummy mummy parading for the doting dads +1 GP
A whole heard of brown-paper llamas +2 GP
A poor ginger child with a dandelion haircut (what evil parents he must have) +2 GP

Total = 23 GP

That's 46 gold in total.  Now I can buy the damn trainers!  I'll change back into my running gear to celebrate.

LVL: 3
XP: 39
Gold: 1

Friday, 25 June 2010

It turns out Friday at 6pm is not the quietest time to go swimming

You may have noticed a prolongued absense on my part.  I promised that I would go running this week but alas my foot is still swollen.

Instead I decided to do some exercise that was less foot-pounding-intensive so I popped to Highbury pool and did a few lengths.  I think I did 44 lengths but I can't be sure as halfway through an extremely pretty and shapely french girl wearing the most inappropriate strapless peach bikini joined my lane and started swimming just in front of me.  The view was so stunning I forgot what length I was on, where I was and what my name was.

Location = Highbury Pool
Swam 44 lengths at 25m/length = 1100m  = +2 XP
Total = 2 XP

Grand Total = 36 XP

I'm going to include things seen on the way too / from the pool in terms of gold earned

1100m swam = 11 GP

Cute female joggers (x3) = +6 GP (in the space of 2 minutes! I can thoroughly recommend Highbury Fields on a Friday afternoon)

Interesting things:

That peach bikini +3 GP

Total = 20 GP

Leaving me on 35 gold.  Still not enough for the cushioned trainers.  I'm going to have to shell out 7GP for the goggles as I couldn't find mine and had to buy new ones.  As I was swimming I shall swap my jogging outfit out for my swimming outfit - namely the goggles and the Wrinkled Beach Shorts [wet] (5GP) so I'll bank the remaining 23GP.  Of course I'm also inflicted with the Swollen Foot of Drunken Dancing.

LVL: 3
XP: 36
Gold: 23

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Self-inflicted injury

In case you were wondering where I'd got to (assuming anyone still reads this of course) I managed to rather badly twist my ankle while out dancing on Saturday night.  This was compounded by the fact that under the influence of a bucketload of alcohol I continued dancing on it for the rest of the evening.

When I woke up on Sunday my right foot was twice it's natural size and I wasn't able to walk.  It's almost cleared up now but I won't be running anywhere on it just yet.

As dancing is technically exercise I suppose I could say the injury is 'sports-related' but I think it's more accurate to describe it as 'booze-related'.  So, no bravery XP or GP for injury in the line of duty, but no XP penalty for not running this week.  Hopefully it'll have cleared up by Monday and I'll be able to get back to my not-exactly-regular running schedule.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

You don't know, man! You weren't there!

I've been noticably unmotivated recently, I only ran today because if I didn't I would lose an XP point (So I guess the system works).  It was really humid and incredibly hot and running through the wooded areas of the park felt like traipsing through swampy rainforest.  It really sapped my energy and that combined with my general lack of morale made feel like I had a bit of a glimpse into jungle warfare conditions (Except the, you know, 'being shot at' thing).  I couldn't really focus on much beyond getting that next ten paces so very little gold won this run either.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3 XP
Time was 28.44 = 9min35secs/mile = +0 XP
Total = 3 XP

Grand Total = 34 XP

Not good on the gold front - wet afternoons kept the cute girls away.

3 miles = 15 GP

Interesting things:

The horror, the senseless, unending horror of it all +1 GP

Total = 16 GP

Leaving me on 30 gold.  Not enough for the cushioned trainers yet but I made the mistake of wearing jogging bottoms today so I'll buy those (15 gold).  I won't sell the shorts though.  I shall also don the Vestements of the Jungle Vet.

LVL: 3
XP: 34
Gold: 15

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Speed test - NEW LEVEL

I decided to go for the fastest time I could today.  I did the first mile and a half in under 13 minutes but I slowed quite a bit on the second, coming in just under 27 minutes again.  I'm going to see if I can't get down to 25 and a half minutes for the three miles - that'd be 8 and a half minutes a mile.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3 XP
Time was 26.50 = 8min56secs/mile = +2 XP (Hurray!)
Total = 5 XP

Grand Total = 31 XP

Hooray, new level! 

3 miles = 15 GP

Cute female jogger (x2) +4 GP

Interesting things:

Almost tripped by an overenthusiastic black labrador (saved, perhaps, by the Stick of Dog Distracting) +1GP

Total = 20 GP

Plus the 9 from last time gives me 29 gold.  I'll just buy some running socks (15GP) and save the rest for some cushioned trainers next time.  The Manga sweat drop has gone and a level 3 hair trim replaces it.

LVL: 3
XP: 31
Gold: 14

Friday, 28 May 2010

On track mind

Good run today, you may notice from the 'interesting things' section that there was a certain theme going on.  Alas filthy thoughts and good running times don't always go hand-in-hand or I would be training for the England 2012 running team by now.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 6 miles = +7 XP
Time was 53.51 = 8min58secs/mile = +2 XP (Hurray!)
Total = 9 XP

Grand Total = 26 XP

That means I should go up to level 3 next time.

6 miles = 30 GP

Cute female jogger +2 GP

Interesting things:

Hardcore full-frontal girl-on-girl hand-holding +1GP
A pair of '50s fillies on '50s bicycles, enjoying the good vibrations +2GP

Total = 35 GP

So that's 37 gold in all.  I think today's time broke the Curse of the Overheating Fat Bloke so I'll get rid of that and buy myself some proper jogging shorts (20 GP) selling the old shorts for 2 GP.  I've also just weighed myself and I'm under 15 stone so to celebrate I'll buy a Belly Bulge reduction (10 GP) leaving 9 gold in the bank.  Given my mindset I'll have to bear the Oversize Manga-Style Sweat Drop of Friskiness for now.

LVL: 2
XP: 26
Gold: 9

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 29 minutes

Dear god that was hot.  I had planned the full 6 mile run to make up for a lack of mid-week jogging last week but the heat defeated me.  The first lap was fine and I was looking forward to a nice sunny hour of running but by halfway through the second lap my head was swimming and I was slowing down rapidly.  I decided to cut it to the 3 mile run at that point and I'm glad I did - look at my /mile time!

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3 XP
Time was 28.47 = 9min35secs/mile = +0 XP (bloody hell that's slow)
Total = 3 XP

On Saturday I cycled to Hampstead Heath and back (3.8 miles each way) +1 XP

Grand Total = 17 XP

Not much in the way of gold either, I put it down to lack of concentration due to the heat..

3 miles = 15 GP
Running in Heatwave +3 GP

Cute female jogger +2 GP

Interesting things:

Little Orphan Annie-alike playing dead for Dad +1 GP
Dicta-jogging - multitasking gone mad +1 GP
A snowstorm of silvery seeds +1 GP

Total = 23 GP

Leaving me with 28 GP including what I banked last time.  I think I'll use most of it on the wraparound shades (25GP) then buy a bottle of water (1GP) as I certainly need it.  I'll also have to endure the Curse of the Overheating Fat Bloke (-1 to endurance).

LVL: 2
XP: 17
Gold: 2

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Six miles of greenfly swallowing - NEW LEVEL!

Ugggh, mouthful of insects, bleugh.

But I managed 6 miles so that means:

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 6 miles = +7XP
Time was 54.54 = 9min 09/mile (oooh, 54 seconds too slow) = +1XP
Total = 8XP
Grand Total = 13XP - Level 2!

I shall let you know what book I buy.

Now for the gold.

6 miles = 30 GP

Cute female joggers (x3) = 6 GP
Running in greenfly 0.5 GP/mile = 3 GP
Attack of the baby Yorkie - twice! = 5 GP

Interesting things:

Park Landscapers drilling for Oil (at least, that's what it looked like...) 3 GP
A Trio of tipsy tramps 1 GP

Total = 48 GP
Grand Total = 59 GP

A windfall!  I'll get the unbranded trainers and the cheap casio watch leaving me with 19 GP to spend.  I think I'll grab some socks and the faded t-shirt, sell the old T for 2 GP to leave me with 6 GP.  I'll buy a Stick of Dog Distracting to help me in future Yorkie attacks and bank the rest.  Oh and I'll give myself a level 2 haircut and shave too.

LVL: 2
XP: 13
Gold: 5

Thursday, 13 May 2010

First run!

Now to add today's running result.

Location = Clissold Park
Ran 3 miles = +3XP
Time was 26.52 = 9min/mile = +2XP
Total = 5XP

Hooray, halfway to level 2.

Now for the gold.

3 miles = 15 GP

Interesting things:

Primary school footballers appealing to ref about over-the-jumper/goalpost-shot 1 GP
Two Hasidic Jewish gents a-wandering in the wilderness (very picturesque) 1 GP
A train of tennis playing tweens 1 GP
A bescarfed young man attempting to pick up a stick while the dogs whose leads he's holding in each hand strain to rush off in opposite directions (amusement value bonus) 3 GP

Total = 21 GP

I shall save some for the trainers next time and just go for the vaguely pink old white t-shirt (5 GP) and the wrinkled beach shorts (5 GP).  I shall also display my current special items - the Mark of the Overexcited Staffie and the Medal of Last Years Run.

That leaves me on...

LVL: 1
XP: 5
Gold: 11

Welcome to Dungeons and Dogwalkers

The geekiest way to train.

First some background. Last september I ran a half marathon with a couple of friends, it was a gruelling experience for someone like me with little to no sporting background. At the beginning of my training I weighed 16 stone which on my 5 foot 9 frame I am told was edging into the 'clinically obese' end of the BMI, I could hardly run a mile. By the end of my training I was down to 14 stone and I made it round the half marathon in 2 hours 22 mins. Not a great time and I did end up walking for about half a mile but I got round.

Six months later I'm back up to 15.5 stone and the training for this year's half marathon starts in earnest. Then disaster strikes: My (far fitter) running partner gets a new job and moves out of London. Now I should hope I'm self-disciplined enough to continue my training alone, but it was his constant encouragement, chivvying and flat-out insulting that kept me going further and faster each time.

So I'm worried. How am I going to improve my running time now? I don't know anyone else who runs who I'm good enough friends with that they won't mind me slowing them down all the time. My only other running friend does odd things like early morning runs and two laps round hampstead heath and I know I'd never keep up.

So what does that leave? How can I keep my interest and my focus for the next six months?

Three nights ago I was lying in bed, having finally crashed out after 5 hours of Modern Warfare 2 and I realised my addiction to the game lay not in the game itself - which is a fairly standard First Person Shooter - but in the experience system whereby you gain levels, abilities and new weapons. And that applies to a lot of things - the D&D and Advanced Hero Quest I used to play in my younger years, games like Oblivion, Fallout 3, Dawn of War 2 even Spore use a levelling system of one kind or another.

So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give myself experience points each time I train, and when I go up a level I'll treat myself to a book or a DVD or similar. I'm also going to give myself gold pieces with which I'll upgrade my running character with new imaginary kit, just for fun. I've roughed out some experience and gold earning tables - you can see them in the menu above. Expect these to be added to and revised as I perfect the system.

So here's me - Gary (LVL 1 Slob)

Equipped as standard with:
  • Embarrassingly tight shorts bought ten plus years ago (-1 to charisma)
  • Extremely inappropriate footwear (-1 to endurance)
  • Belly Bulge of Sloth (-1 to speed)
It's not a new idea - I'm told some student developed a similar system to help himself revise for exams - but who cares? As long as it keeps me running.

LVL: 1
XP: 0
Gold: 0