Friday, June 25, 2010

Solstice, or thereabouts

I have previously enthused about these few precious weeks when my 5:30 alarm is met with daylight, which not only makes staggering out of bed easier, but means my pre-work run has the appeal of being able to see where I'm trotting and even the possibility of some interesting wildlife sightings.

I do realize that those living in Seattle, Stirling or Stavanger will find this most amusing, but here in San Francisco, "long" summer days are rationed. Sure, we enjoy mild, friendly weather for much of the year, but you guys have the last laugh with your extended summer mornings and evenings.

My pathetic sluggishness of the past few weeks means many light mornings have already slipped by me, so I am determined to make the most of what's remaining. Somewhat to my dismay, we are already past the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

It's very likely you'll recognize this photo as Stonehenge, Wiltshire, in the UK. Much debate surrounds precisely when Stonehenge was built, by whom, and how, but the rising of the sun on the summer solstice was clearly of extreme importance in the precise placement of these enormous stones which measure up to 24 feet tall and weigh 50 (English) tons.

If these sun-lovers could achieve something of this scale and accuracy with the resources available to them around 4000 years ago, then the least I can do is hop willingly out of bed for a gentle dawn run.

Stonehenge photo thanks: Konrad Mostert

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Well, this is embarrassing...

For my own benefit as much as yours, I thought I should do a post to clarify, Yes, I am still here, just struggling a bit.

I've been feeling utterly crummy for three weeks. Nothing in the least bit serious, just a stupid cold that I haven't quite been able to shift. But I felt too guilty to take more than one day off work, and so have been using up my energy just on the daily ins-and-outs of existence. I probably should have spent the last couple of weekends on the sofa, but joining several thousand San Franciscans to watch the USA play England at soccer, plus the unending quest to prettify my home, have just been too tempting.

Three weeks, of course, isn't the end of the world, but before those, there were 16 lazy vacation days, and I wasn't anywhere near wonderful shape before that.

My runs, therefore, have been short and sluggish. This morning's 5 miles were a photo-finish between me and the neighborhood snails. My weight is creeping slowly but undeniably upward (well, brownies are good for morale when you're under the weather, right?).

But this can't go on. I'm a fit, healthy person, not a 10% overweight reluctant exerciser who gets sick at the drop of a hat. If any of you know of a magic pill marked Energy, I'd love to hear about it. I need to get my groove back, and quick!

Photo thanks: Miroslav Sárička

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Slip Sliding Away

Isn't it funny how something as trivial as a common cold can make you feel so utterly wretched?

Having run just 13 miles in the last 2 weeks, eaten badly, slept poorly, crossed 8 time zones and then come back again, I really shouldn't be surprised at feeling under the weather.

Image found here

I'm trying not to be too paranoid about my fitness level slipping slowly but surely from pretty good to average to poor. To be honest, I spent the latter part of last year feeling somewhat smug: I had achieved a PR half marathon, was running 3-4 times a week, doing weight training twice and yoga once. Right now I'm not sure I could jog a mile and I'm feeling extremely guilty at not having done one single knee exercise while I was in England.

The plan: be kind to myself while I kick this cold, and then get firmly back on track. After all, it's only 9 months to marathon day! As we say in England - Crikey.
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