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30/04/2014
[17:00] Last night's two UT2 ergs (only 6km each) were hot. Not particularly hard, but definitely perspiration-eliciting. And we were outside on the balcony too, rather than in the sweatshop that was inside the training room. It was good to do at least one of them as the four that we're taking to Wallingford this weekend. After I got home I managed to get my downloaded television-playing computer's hard drive cloned to something a little larger while I made dinner, and then watch a few episodes upstairs on the other computer whilest I waited for it to finish doing its thing. All seemed well afterwards, so I've returned the cloning kit/software to Cormac.

Work today never really seemed to get started. I don't have anything particular on my plate at the moment. This did mean I could cycle out to give my Networks team leader a help with some fibre stuff, and then cycle back in what passes for spring sunshine around here. Otherwise, it's the usual mix of things and stuff.

I'm off now for weights circuits again, then home for sausages and relaxation. Tomorrow morning is an 8+ outing, I believe. It's going to be an early one, again. Then Rachel arrives after work. Hopefully I'll be home before she is after what promises to be a rather hard 30 minute AT erg, unless my legs are lying to me.

29/04/2014
[17:10] Weights circuits last night, early morning outing in the 4+ we're taking to Wallingford (Dorney) this weekend coming. It's all about the rowing at the moment. Which is helpful as it turns out I still can't run without major discomfort in my right back/hip/leg joint area. I think it's time to visit a physio again, and see what can be done. I honestly think it's eminently fixable, and probably boils down to tightness/tension/inflexibility. We'll see, and of course I'll keep you informed.

The morning outing didn't go too badly. We haven't been in this configuration of people (crew and ordering within the boat) so it'll take us a little while to get our 'eye' in, as it were. Sadly, I don't think we have another 4+ outing before the race as the next time we're out it's the 8+ we're also taking. But never mind, it's all good practice, even the races themselves.

Work today saw me catching up with nearly all of my email, and doing a fair chunk of the small but important things which are my job description. However, now I'm off to do two 6km (strictly) UT2 ergs, and then go home and clone a hard drive for the rest of the evening. Hopefully while watching downloaded television on the spare computer.

28/04/2014
[17:15] And I've returned. In one piece for the most part. Although I have discovered that I can't actually run at the moment. Either I've got some damage that I've finally allowed myself to feel by not masking it with ibuprofen, or there's something which has finally seized/tightened up to the point at which I just can't move faster than a nice quick walk. I think it's more the latter than the former, but while it means I'm extremely frustrated at not being able to run, it hasn't affected my rowing, thankfully.

So, I was on a rowing training camp for the previous four days. Not much to say about that other than a lot of rowing went on. I suffered one minor injury that I won't go into the details of except to say that it was due to a seat in a boat and leave it at that. I think I won my seat race (look it up), which was good. There was a lot of food, not quite enough sleep, and plenty of socialising. I even socialised well past my bed time, even if I didn't necessarily enjoy it all that much. Anyway, that was the training camp. Lots of rowing, some improvements by me, maybe.

I got back pretty late on Sunday night after helping take everything back off the trailer at the boat house and rerig everything. Rachel was wonderful enough to come and visit just after I got home and we had some delivery food and watched something on the television as I wasn't really up to doing much more. This morning I didn't feel too bad, so was able to get up in good time for work. Mostly today has been about catching up with being away from a computer for four days. I think I'm in a good place to actually do some real work tomorrow!

23/04/2014
[16:40] Last night's ergs apparently really took it out of me to judge from how I felt this morning when I got out of bed. Definitely plenty of gluteal discomfort going on from the muscle activation. Also, I was very very tired. I probably still am, to be honest. But sitting down all day in an office chair tends to hide that until you try to stand up to go home, which I'll be doing in a few minutes. Well, not to go home. I'm seeing a friend in town for a drink first, then going to the boat house to load the trailer for this extended weekend's training camp away. I'll be leaving for it tomorrow morning, rather than tonight.

Today's mainly been about getting Observium up and running given all the network complications and configurations we have here. That and relearning everything about adding static routes on top of VLANed virtual interfaces on linux. Simple when you know how, but a real pain in the proverbial when you've shuffled all of that knowledge out of your easy-access memory. So, it looks like this server is all ready to go now. Nessus, Observium, and now NeDi on top of that. Although the latter doesn't seem to be especially well written to judge from the number of PHP Warning and PHP Notice messages it's spewing out.

But anyway, that's about it for me for the remainder of this week. Another short one, which has been nice, even if a little busier than usual because of the compressed amount of time I've had to do things in. Hopefully I'll come back from training camp a little better at rowing and injury free. We'll have to see. In the meantime have a great next few days and I'll see you on Monday.

22/04/2014
[17:15] Easter! It was great! I did lots. Friday was relaxing and not doing a whole amount other than lots and lots of housework. I even strimmered the lawn. This involved me having to stop half way through, cycle to B&Q for new strimmer line, and then continue. Now it looks like someone gave it a home hair cut. Maybe once it has grown a little I'll get the lawnmower out and see if I can't make it a little neater. Rachel came over towards the end of the day. There was nice food. Saturday morning saw me rowing, lots. We had the head coach there so he made us do hard things in the second outing for about two hours. In the evening I popped out for the ingredients to make American pancakes (including Canadian maple syrup). Sunday we didn't do all that much at all. I might even have set up a computer in the bedroom for the day so we could watch things while lazing on the bed. A proper Easter break from the norm. There was a moderately awesome roast dinner in the evening, too. Monday morning was supposed to be a bit of a lie-in but who can do that when the weather was so good. We cycled along a quiet cycle patch for about 21km, had some lunch in a pub, sat by the river and read the paper, then cycled home again. In the evening I went to do weights at the boat house and Rachel went for a run. And that was Easter pretty much done and dusted.

This morning was a return to normality with a 06:00 outing for me (not too bad) and a return home for Rachel. I've been working on getting my new server into its rightful place, figuring out all kinds of annoying network things (which I don't doubt I still haven't gotten quite right and I'm going to get sighed at by my team leaders when we first try to use it for Nessus scanning), and have been struggling to get Observium moved across and up and running. Thus far it looks like I've got about 50% of the tasks done, but no more than 20% of the actual work. I have to leave now anyway as it's time for ergs at the boat house, then home for masses of leftovers from this weekend's eatings.

17/04/2014
[17:00] Spent most of morning the strugging to get something to kickstart before working out what it was that was the issue. That took a while and I'm still not sure why things worked out as they did.

The early morning was spent rowing. It was a reasonably good outing, which was helpful as I was feeling pretty shattered when I got up. I'm off to do some UT2 6km ergs this evening. Rachel's due tomorrow and then we're doing various fun things between then and Tuesday morning. There'll also be some rowing, and maybe even some lawn strimmering (not double entendre). Have a nice Easter and I'll see you in a few days.

16/04/2014
[15:35] Last night's AT erg was hard. And a little embarrassing that the guy everyone's always thought would always be the weakest of us in the 'top crew' was very close to beating my distance for 30 minutes. Not my PB, but last night's attempt. I'd like to think that once I start getting back into a rowing frame of mind (and body) I'll be a lot better than him. We'll see. Anyway.

Up early this morning to help move one of our core switches from one side of a wall to another (thus clearing another piece of active kit from what used to be a server/comms room and is now going to simply be a secure store room. Once we got the polarities of the fibres right everything went pretty swimmingly, thankfully.

At work nothing much is happening. In fact I was able to get one of my huge email replies done, and even some of the smaller ones, as well as the majority of today's work. I may spend a chunk of tomorrow over at the new server room finally preparing the server which is going to run our Nessus client and switch monitoring software. That would be good.

Tonight is weights at the boat house, then I may be doing some coaching of the women's squad, or simply going home to do some housework. I tell you what desperately needs doing, and that's putting away all of my clean and neatly folded clothes, and mowing the front lawn. Or at this point strimmering it, as I don't think the lawnmower's going to cut it. Literally. But for now, I think it's time to head off as starting work at 07:00 means I can do that kind of thing. Hurrah!

15/04/2014
[17:25] Last nights semi-abbreviated weights session didn't kill me, as didn't this morning's outing (which was remarkably set (balanced), too). It was pretty cold at 06:00 though, I don't mind telling you. Still, with all of my new compression kit on courtesy of my parents and Rachel (birthday presents) I was rather warm everywhere except my fingers. Rowing harder fixed that.

Today's main achievement was catching up on all of my email (mostly work, a few personal) such that I actually know everything that's in my inboxes now. That makes things a lot easier to deal with. Only four or five emails I currently need to deal with tomorrow if people don't deluge me with messages while I'm away from computers until tomorrow morning.

Stupidly I've offered to help someone do some network-related things at 07:00 tomorrow morning so tomorrow morning's slightly later sleep in has now vanished. It'll be Friday before I get to lie in past 06:20. However Friday is Good Friday, so it's actually a completely day off day! As is Easter Monday, hurrah. Anyway, I need to head off and go and exhaust myself doing this week's 30 minute AT erg (something I haven't done in a few weeks now because of tapering and time off after the marathon, so it's going to be 'interesting'). I hope the weather's as nice where you are as it is here. Not that I've experienced it except through my window today.

14/04/2014
[17:00] Well, here I am again. Another birthday older and a marathon better for my time away. I wouldn't say everything went according to plan with the marathon. I got 3h19m. I'd been hoping to hit somewhere between 3h05m and 3h010m, but the two separate week long breaks I had to take from training in the lead up to the half marathon and marathon due to back and achilles issues meant that I just don't think I had enough 'time on the legs' going into the race. Everything was perfect up until just after the half marathon distance. I was right on where I needed to be, and I felt good. Then I started getting either quad cramps, or just overly tired muscles. I had to walk up certain inclines, and getting started again was painful. I probably could have toughed it out, but I don't think it would have gone well. But, I finished. Rachel did really well, only a minute behind me. That was incredibly good and a real testament to the amount of training she was able to put in. Maybe next time I won't also try to do the same amount of rowing training alongside the running and see how well I can really do. So anyway, we got to Paris on the Friday, found our apartment for the weekend (which was pretty lovely and perfectly placed), and settled in. Saturday morning was mostly spent at the running expo getting our number and drooling at all of the running and outdoor kit for sale/on display. The afternoon was mainly about ambling a little and not spending too much time on our feet. The race was on Sunday and I've covered that, I guess. The weather was lovely, a smidgen too hot, but there wasn't anything to be done about that. None of the injuries I'd picked up in training manifested at any point during the race (but the back issue did, and still is afterwards). I also got a bloody blister and some serious chafing here and there, but that's all pretty much gone now, too. We got the Eurostar back the same day and made it to Croydon just about in one piece. I spent most of the train journey back rollering in the aisle, which amused a few people.

A night in Croydon, then a night in a 5* hotel in London with a trip to the in-house spa for a proper massage and pool/steam room/sauna pampering. Then we were off to Dorset for three nights of 'glamping' in a yurt. Definitely an experience worth doing once. I had my birthday there, enjoying the comforts of the yurt and delivery food direct to the door (all mod cons!).

Back home on the Friday I had just enough time to get unpacked and things washed before rowing training started up on Saturday. Two usual outings and then I spent about two hours getting the trailer ready to take boats for the racing in Bedford the next day. Up early again on Sunday morning we drove to Bedford and pretty much everyone raced twice in two different crews. My B crew was the fastest out of the four crews of a similar level, so that was quite pleasing, especially as I was back in the stroke seat for the first time in a while.

Rachel came over in the evening around the time I got home after marshalling the London Marathon. Food was had and relaxation was achieved. This morning she had to be up early, so I took the opportunity to sleep in a little and then start what I hope will be habitual morning exercises again (when I don't have morning outings as on Tuesday and Thursday mornings). At work I've managed to reduce a hugely swollen pair of email inboxes to those which're a little easier to deal with. There's a few long emails that deserve a bit more thought, but otherwise I think I'm pretty much close to be being back up to date. It's amazing sometimes how quickly one can get behind on correspondence.

Monday evening weights beckon. Then a pile of housework and working out what to have for dinner.

03/04/2014
[17:30] My final day at work before I head to Paris tomorrow and thence to Dorset for most of next week. Nothing much happening. My back isn't doing great at the moment. It's not impossible, but neither is it the best that it has been while being Not Right. I'm using ibuprofen now and again, and will be a lot more over the next three (plus) days. Obviously as soon as I can get by without it, I will be doing so.

I got my go-faster hair cut at lunch time today. I already feel cooler (temperature wise only). Given it's going to be warm and rainy on the day I think this is probably the best thing I can do, other than lots of hip flexor stretches, to prepare for the marathon. That and probably wear contacts and a buff to keep sweat(y rainwater) out of my eyes on the run. Bin bags will be packed also. I'm just glad I don't have to wear kit to travel to the start and then worry about leaving it until I get back. We're so close to the start that we can emerge from our apartment ready to race with just bin bags to keep the rain off and some heat in our bodies.

I guess that's it, really. I'll post my result when I get back, and what I did when I wasn't here, for the most part. Until then, have a good week and a bit.

02/04/2014
[19:10] Late at work today, but for a good cause. I updated a piece of monitoring software we use and came across two issues. After fighting with the developers being obtuse on their IRC channel they finally got around to helping me and we not only solved both problems, but I made a code contribution back to the project, which was pleasing.

I did my last run pre-marathon at lunch time. It didn't feel all that awesome. I maintain that the breaks I've had to take because of my back and achilles have scuppered my chances of the time I was hoping for in Paris. We'll have to see how it goes. As it was today's 6km was faster than my planned marathon pace, plus it was hot and humid.

I think this morning's early (07:30) sports massage helped a lot with how OK bits of me have been feeling today. I think I may go back there as the guy seemed to know his stuff and I think he can help me with my back/pelvis issues. Nothing much to be done between now and the marathon other than stretch my hip flexors now, though!

01/04/2014
[17:05] A quiet day today. Nothing much happening at work, which is nice considering I have a short week and I'm off next week recovering from the Paris Marathon. Yes, not a lot to say, really. Ran 12km fairly easily with Rachel last night with only a moderate amount of back pain and no real achilles problems (although I did 'notice' it). Nothing this evening other than some home PC reinstallation, some television watching if I get the time and the beginnings of a packing list for the end of the week and next week!