Tales From The Wrong Side Of Sanity


Another outing of 6 x 1:00/2:30 run walk iterations today. Extended the cool down walk to take me up to 10,000 steps. Back is grumbling. Don't seem to notice it too much when running (probably blowing too much) but definitely am when walking. I'm hoping it settles down over the next week or two. It's not at a pain threshold, but I'm definitely aware of it. I've had enough of it complaining to know this is more about an increase in activity than a warning of incoming injury.

Right ankle grizzling a little as well. My right ankle is toast from many injuries from my sport playing days, so hopefully this won't cause problems later on as distances increase. I also did a long 15,000 step uninterrupted walk yesterday.

Only 3 runs in, but really noticing the inconvenience of road crossings in my starting track. I think I will transition to other nearby tracks in the coming weeks that don't have road crossings. Trouble is, they are further from home – so a longer warm up walk I guess.

Didn't feel as laboured as the 2nd run. Heart rate reflected that with a 115 max. One more outing of 6 x 1:00/2:30 and I'll tick off level 1.


Sunday. Session 2 of couch to 5k. Stiffness from the first session was manageable, back a bit grouchy, and some stiffness in weird places, like ribs but otherwise OK. My legs did feel a little jaded as I walked out this morning. I put that down to an early morning evacuation alarm requiring me to walk down an unplanned 18 flights of stairs. It was a false alarm. Again.

But I did feel slightly jaded and I expected to have to work a little harder. I wanted to reduce the rest time between iterations to 2:30 instead of 3:00 which was inline with my plan. Then any running I do beyond 0:30 is a bonus. It was the same track as Friday and this will likely be my go to until I start running for longer distances / times. Too many road crossings.

1:00/2:30 x 6 was my aiming point and I was able to nail it, typically doing a few seconds over in the run and a few seconds under in the walk. My cheap Chinese health band proving its usefulness there. I definitely had to work a bit harder and felt it more than Friday though. Heart rate showed the same, typically around the 115 mark but did spike up to 130 at one point.

This time I did all 6 running iterations before about-facing and heading for home because I noted Friday that the entire outing was ~7000 steps. I figured I'd extend the “cool down” walk to bring the whole adventure in at 10,000 steps giving me a tick for the day.

I still didn't quite get it right as I was a little light as I got home, so I kept going to the supermarket and picked up some groceries, finishing at ~10,600. So I need to push my turnaround point out a bit farther.

One thing I did differently was bring a small water bottle with me. I didn't on Friday and I could feel myself getting a little stressed as I was reaching home, whereas today I didn't. I drank after I finished the running sections, sipping periodically. Carrying it in a pocket likely didn't help my running, but I think it made a difference during cool down. Although to be fair, today was quite cool compared to Friday.

As I said, I definitely needed to work harder this time. I was blowing more and my lower back was starting to grumble slightly. My back is my biggest limiter. I expect how it is going will drive whether I am able to level up each week or not. Same as it did when increasing walking distances and speed.

I plan on doing an uninterrupted 5km (or 10,000 step) walk tomorrow and then back for more running on Tuesday.


Yeah, so today I started the “couch to 5 km”. So some stats. I'm north of 50 and my BMI has been prefixed by “morbidly” for at least 15 years. And I haven't “gone for a jog” since my late 20's, which perhaps not coincidentally was when I left an employment which had a fitness testing component. I also moved into “family life” around that time where I moved away from team sports midweek and on weekends because I had “other duties”.

But I'm actually in slightly better nick than the statistics and your imagination might suggest. And yes, I know everyone thinks that. I was in properly terrible nick for years, but over the last 6 to 8 years I've been making a series of micro adjustments. Tweaking little things looking to live a bit healthier but without having to rely on willpower to get the job done, because that road will always lead to failure for me. If I'm hungry upon getting home from the salt mines, then unless I've got a super easy option right in front of me I'm internetting up a pizza and six pack. And then I'm not moving from the couch until bedtime.

As well as the eating micro tweaks, I've also been leaning into the move more area as well. Trying to incorporate more and more walking into my daily routine. And working on my core so I could manage more than 100 meters without debilitating back pain.

It wasn't that long ago when I completed my first 10,000 step walk. Then 11,000, then 13,000, etc. During a lockdown, I attempted to see how far I could go before I emptied the tank and got did about 20km, but I was cooked well and truly before I got home and cramping in all sorts of weird place, like the side of my knee(ish). From there, I settled into semi-regular 15km walks whilst trying to clear 10,000 steps on as many days as possible without being a bore about it.

That was my history coming in. I knew my legs could carry me OK and my core would mostly keep up. Even as a youngster I was never an aerobic beast. Very fast over short distances and explosive, but jogging for distance was never my go. I was very worried about air and ticker, but something kept telling me the time was right to start. Last week I bought a cheap Chinese health band and expensive Vietnamese running shoes.

Though the week I was comparing plans – starting with the original NHS plan (Which many state starts off too hard for some (AKA Fatties) beginners. I was very much in this camp), a softer starting 12 week plan and another 12 week plan for over 50's. NHS week 1 was 6 reps of 1:00 run then 1:30 walk. I thought that was well beyond me. One over 50 plan said 5 reps of 0:30 run then 2:30 walk and another said 0:20 run with the same. I thought these were more inline with my capabilities.

I built my plan, conscious of not going too hard and committed to today being the day. I was pretty apprehensive last night. I could feel my limbic system starting to trigger 'flu like symptoms which is a stunt it pulls when confronted by the threat of exercise, but it's gone to that well too many times and now I'm a wakeup to it.

This morning I walked to a track I was familiar with. One I've walked many times before and warmed up. I had the above numbers firmly in mind, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about those 15km walks. Surely they lift me beyond the average 50 something couch potato? Despite the 40% bodyfat? Lets think about that NHS week 1 and just see how we go?

What I ended up managing was 6 repetitions of 1:00 run and 3:00 walk.

I was pretty happy with that. I've pulled up OK (it was a few hours ago) and if anything felt like I was holding back and consciously trying to go slow. My cheap Chinese health band told me my heart rate got to 105. By the time I walked back home I had been gone for about an hour and covered 7,000 steps. Only started to get lactic acid near the end of each minute and that and any blowing was completely gone before I started the next minute section. I was really worried about how “puffed” I would be running even 0:20 or 0:30 so this came as a pleasant surprise.

We'll see how sore I am in the morning. Hopefully not too bad, but I've well practised a nice walk to work out any soreness. And then we back up on Sunday.

Overall, could've gone a lot, lot worse. Better than the statistics suggested.

Things I don't understand

Found a marker in my desk drawer this morning – Staples Duramark.

Nothing strange about that you think. But I don't remember putting it there. Plus I moved apartments last year and this desk was disassembled. So it's been put there since then.

Then there's the fact that they don't have Staples stores in the country I reside in. Nor have I been to a Staples store in over 20 years. And this marker appears near new. Certainly not an old dried out thing.

No idea where this thing came from. I recently ordered some stuff from Temu and Amazon. Maybe it was in the package and dropped into the drawer without me noticing?

Maybe someone broke into my apartment to do some administrative tasks and left it? Given there was a wad a cash in the adjacent drawer which is still there, that seems unlikely.

Maybe I'm just having a senior moment and I bought it from some other store that carriers Staples branded stuff, used it one, put it in the drawer and forgot about it?

This is going to drive me crazy...

The men’s bathroom at work:

  • 8 cubicles
  • 4 urinals
  • 5 sinks
  • 1 paper towels dispenser, that is frequently empty
  • 1 off brand air blade hand dryer

Things that amuse me

Taking advantage of a seemingly rare morning of bright sunshine to partake of a riverside stroll in my home town. Being a very built up urban area, the river could be better described as an outflow of sludge rather than more typically idyllic river scenes. Particularly after rainfall.

I was aware of a couple of manmade floating islands behind a footbridge, and this morning I noticed a sign in front of them. Taking time out of my stroll to read the sign repaid me in spades with amusement.

The two (quite small) floating islands had been funded by government grant to trial reintroduction of native river plants. There was some discussion of the reliance of ancient native peoples on the plants and what the river was like at that time – less concrete.

Nothing particularly amusing here. Just matter of fact statements, and probably a bit of an indictment on modern western civilisation's need to control every last thing.

But it was the copy-writer's choice to describe the plants as riparian vegetation that got me giggling. Who do these people think they are, Hyacinth Bucket? At least they weren't offering riparian entertainments! 🤣

Things that annoy me

Watching the annual “Pink” cricket Test at the SCG and I see, as is normal for that Test, that they're not playing.

The playing cards historically get a good workout for this Test, blighted by rain interruptions.

This time though, off for bad light. This means that despite the ground being floodlit (and cricket being playable at night) the conditions are unsafe for fast bowling.

Cricket is a game that historically could only be played in near perfect Summer conditions. No rain and decent sunshine. A few drops or overly cloudy and off the payers go for a game of cards until the conditions improved. It defies belief that the game was actually invented in England, given their stereotypically lack of either. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that back in ye olde times cricket was actually a con. The chaps would head off for “a game” but conditions meant they'd spend the whole time in the clubroom drinking ale. It was only when a few wives starting turning up to watch that the ruse was at risk of exposure, so the chaps hastily threw together a game lest they be discovered. Which goes some way into explaining some of the rather befuddling rules of traditional cricket.

But in modern times, with competition for the public's entertainment dollar fierce, cricket would be well advised to figuring out a way to safely keep the players out on the field, playing, during scheduled play when it is not raining. Like now.

Things that amuse me

You know those small SUV's most manufacturers are offering these days? Especially the German ones? Had one waiting for me at a pedestrian crossing this AM. Very impressive looking it was too, in sleek black with many trim highlights, especially the bright, shiny Mercedes badge front and centre.

But you also know that if you weigh up what this particular vehicle does compared to some other manufacturers and start to factor in purchase price plus total cost of ownership, it typically comes out that these are objectively pretty bad cars.

Just as well no one (myself included) purchases cars objectively! We pick what we want, and then use “data” after the fact to justify our decision. Did I mention the big shiny Mercedes badge front and centre? Good chance that was what this lady was purchasing. And it came with a car attached, which she obviously needed, so that was handy! So long as it makes her friends slightly envious, but not too much, then job done!

Anyway, enough late stage capitalism ranting, I want to talk about one of this cars features. Specifically the “green” feature that shuts off the car's engine when the vehicle is at a full stop and quickly restarts it again when the gas pedal is depressed (As in when you put your foot on it, not when it's experiencing an existential crisis nor feeling that it has no control over its existence).

The lady in question had selected one of the diesel options when purchasing this very flashy looking Merc. And because of that, when it restarts to my ears it sounds vey much like an old Massey Ferguson tractor! And this juxtaposition amuses me greatly. I grin every time!

I know I'm likely part of a dwindling minority that associates that noise with farming equipment, but associate it I do!

Maybe The Wurzels could write a song about it?

Ooh Arrr!

Things that 💩 me

Things I overhear

At the supermarket, dairy aisle, this morning. Have to sidestep a clerk doing stock refilling as is the norm these days (late stage capitalism rant). These folks are pretty great at keeping out of your way but this individual clerk had been distracted and baled up by a customer.

Customer: “Can you please tell us where to find XYZ?” Clerk: “Oh yes, it's over by the deli, in front of the BBQ chickens.”

Mrs Customer: “Are you sure?”

Are you sure?

Like what the actual? You've been told where it is, and where it is is very nearby – like 15 or so steps. Just go and have a look FFS. And it's not like the guy didn't seem sure, he just fired it straight off.

We all know what she was angling for. For the clerk to abandon his post and escort her and partner directly to the item in question. Are you sure?

The entitlement on this woman. Like her time is so precious she can't just spend 10 seconds walking over to the chooks and looking herself. But she's no issue wasting time by unnecessarily extending an interaction! Are you sure? It's not like he told her to go to another store.

You gotta feel for these poor schmucks. They're all casual, likely on or near minimum $ per hour. And if they don't get through a certain volume of racks per hour, they get their hours cut. That is what was waiting for this stocking clerk.

And it's not like this couple were elderly or impaired in any way. Fit, healthy mid 30-s couple adorned in active-wear. Just super important and quite relaxed about wasting someone else's time.

Because in 2024, if you have to do something on your phone from a browser, is there any point of doing it at all?

It is interesting that Write Freely have chosen the option to charge you up front what they deem to be a fair value for their piece of software. Rather than let you have it for “free”, but hobble it with adverts, adwalls, in app purchases, crippleware and dare I mention gamification? An approach truly retro. I wish them well.

Well I will if I manage to publish this utterance anyway. 😁

Like most of us in this modern age, I rely upon the pocket sized supercomputer constantly in my possession to perform many routine tasks precisely where and when the urge strikes me.

Oh, and looking at pictures of cats and arguing with strangers as well, natch!

Until next time.