autumn already – seize the day!

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The weather forecast promised a day of sunshine and a brief Indian summer. With the thought of one last hurrah of sunshine, it was almost mandatory to make the most of it.

I am in a period of transition, or maybe limbo is a better description because transition implies that you are moving in a planned way from one state to another- whereas I have left somewhere and as yet do not know the next destination.

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Fellow readers who are freelancers may know this feeling well – unless your inbox is crammed with future assignments. Just into October and having finished one longish contract and slowly getting used to not being part of my old gang,  I am residing in ‘in-betweeny land’  not fully sure of what lies ahead and yet not able to summon up enthusiasm to make a start on those set aside craft/garden/household projects I was too busy to do when working  ūüėČ

There are a couple of work projects bubbling under – but they are at the tentative stage and all told not quite enough to be overworked. Freelance life is an interesting one that’s for sure.

So Carpe Diem  – seize the day and all that!  Nothing for it than to go running.

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Small confessions of mild obsessions.

Mary Somerville £ 10 note Mary Somerville

Towards the tail end of October, I got caught up in one of my recurring running obsessions Рchasing a target mileage for the month . Although October is blessed with 31 days in which to run, come the last week I was ruing my slacker behaviour of the preceding October weeks when I realised how far behind I was in miles covered to date.
But with five days of October remaining, all was not lost. I had covered a fairly respectable 60 + miles so was confident that I would at least manage to reach a total of more miles than previous months 64 and 70 miles respectively.

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Although¬†not currently training for anything – I am trying to keep up a decent amount of mileage each month because I don’t seem to be managing to fit in any other exercise at the moment. Is very easy to talk myself out¬†of doing any exercise (even when I know how much better¬†I feel when I do), without some sort of way of being accountable.

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And having set off at the beginning of the year with big monthly numbers, I am motivated to keep running and recording miles as I am on track to reach an annual total of 1000 miles by the end of November ( barring injury ) Рa whole month earlier than I did in 2017.

So that is a target of sorts.

I know there are lots of naysayers around tracking exercise, league tables, wearable devices and the like – but my view is that on balance, it is mostly a force for good creating as it does for me anyway, a positive reason to keep going when it may seem pointless otherwise.

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Runners often have stated and secret goals usually where races are concerned¬† – (aka the¬†backup plan when the shit hits the fan) and so it is for me and my ambitions around¬†exercise –¬† I have a stated start of the month goal and as the month progresses and life intervenes I revert to my¬† back up or secret plan of what will ‘do’ for the month.

Throughout the year my graph of exercise ambition would be a jaggy profile characterised each month by an early peak of optimism usually around the first day and then as the month progresses a few more high spots coinciding mostly with weekend days when post-run, I am filled with euphoria and misplaced waves of invincibility.

The contrasting troughs of run reality and dips in the graph would be plotted next to those weekday work mornings when I opt out of a pre-work run in darkness, trading it for more time under the covers and telling myself that I will just run longer at the weekend.

( if I was not so shit at creating graphs – I would ‘insert diagram here’ – but instead here is a nice pic )

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Back to October mileage. For as long as I have¬†been kind of seriously running, and it being¬† my hobby of choice –¬† I have recorded¬†my runs on the Nike+ app. Like other running communities, you can opt to have friends who you share the details of your running¬†achievements with. With Nike+ there is a leaderboard including the stats of your chosen friends – and this provides a degree of competitive edge and encouragement,¬†as I monitor my run chums and their¬†mileage totals.

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While it is not really a contest I do check to see where I am in the standing of my own small league and yes I confess I have sometimes gone out running just to get ahead of a Nike+ ‘friend’ and wallow in the warm glow of satisfaction when I am top of the leaderboard.

So come the last week of October РI set myself the first goal of reaching 90 miles -more than the past 2 months and higher than any month since April. Then on Monday 30th I was at 87 and a bit  miles so if I ran 5 or 6 miles my 90 mile target would be comfortably achieved, and anything more a bonus.

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Monday morning and with a flash of inspiration I realised I could combine the objective of reaching 90 + miles in October with the workaday task of taking clothes back to Zara. So in one swift move combine two of my running loves – ‘running with a purpose’ and ‘running a set number of miles in a month’ – how lovely is that?

As I was running I was thinking about how to achieve one of the following mileage number – 90, 93, 95, 99.

So the run story goes like this – I did the run into town and got myself to Zara and exchanged the clothes – at that point by my calculations I was on track to do 95 miles.

After a meander round Zara – I set off to run far enough for 95 miles then after a run up to Calton Hill and down again and not quite knowing where I was mileage wise –¬† my phone battery died. I just guessed that I was most likely at around 95 miles and that was fine by me.

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Once I was on the bus home and had fired up my phone with back up battery¬† – I discovered my Oct mileage total was at 98.4 – so from a happy with 95 miles I saw that a tantalising 1.6 miles would take me to the magic 100 for the month and while I ‘could’ have done this extra bit the day after- I reckoned getting this done and dusted on this day was the better answer.

I got off the bus 3 stops early and ran the remaining distance home – wishing as I often do that I did not live on top of a hill.

Anyhow – my end of Oct total was 100.1 miles. the running was not always pretty but I did it with a day to spare. And thanks as always to my running challengers for spurring me on ūüôā

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Autumn

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I just saw a post from one of my favourite bloggers Materfamilias writes Рa wordless Wednesday tour of mural art in her Vancouver neighbourhood. Truth is Рit is not really wordless as she takes you on a descriptive tour and her observations are always thoughtful.

I have been doing a bit of touring and observing recently at home and in London, so thought I might try a word ‘lite’ post to try and jump start my writing habit.
Maybe a kind of a writing warm up.

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