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28/08/2015
[16:50] Today nothing really happened. Nothing new or different anyway. Really, there's nothing to tell. I wish there was.

This evening I'm going to do my second physio-manadated non-running session. Tomorrow morning I'll do a nice long, fast cycle with rowing friends, and then probably head down to the boat house for our annual boat house burning barbeque (it burnt down a few decades ago, and got rebuilt). Anything could happen on Sunday, but Rachel arrives on Saturday evening probably, so it'll involve us both. Given I can't run it'll probably be a cycle. Monday's a bank holiday, so we'll probably do something fun that day, too. Then it's another four day week.

27/08/2015
[17:20] Well, I 'ran' last night. 12 minutes of movement, 10 minutes of which was walking. Interspersed in that was 2 minutes of slow running/fast jogging. I didn't even break a sweat. What I did find was that despite doing a lot of stretching beforehand, I wasn't really able to run doing anything other than a mid-foot or even flat-footed step. I really hope my achilles sort themselves out soon, otherwise I'm going to really start being disappointed. Also, it'll mean I can't run a marathon next year (or any of the half marathons I want to do) and I'll only be able to do rowing and cycling, and I was hoping to take a break from the former again this coming winter season. Anyway, here's hoping tomorrow's similar physio-mandated exercise is a little more rewarding.

In other news I'll be finding out this evening how Rachel's ITB issues are going and whether regular stretching and rollering is helping her at all. I'm very hopeful she'll be back to her usual punishing training schedule soon. It does seem like neither of us will be running any of the probably wonderful mountain paths in Italy when we go, though. Still, hopefully there'll be cycling and water sports, as I think I've mentioned previously.

Work-wise nothing's really happened today. I've made some plans for tomorrow in terms of looking at UPSes that've fallen off the network, but we're going to have to see how short-handed we are here before I go galavanting off with someone to do things. Also: it needs to not be raining.

Rachel's due this evening, so I should go home and get the house looking a bit more presentable.

26/08/2015
[17:00] Today's the day I try running again for the first time since late July. Admittedly, it's only ten minutes of exercise, and only 4x 15 seconds of it will be running/jogging, but "small steps" and all that. I'm fairly certain my achilles aren't going to enjoy it, but I have to see what the state of play is. Plus it's physio-sanctioned, and I always do what she says. My achilles don't seem to be improving, if I'm honest with you. And they seem to have taken a step back (no pun intended) since the hike Rachel and I did on the weekend. I'm doing my exercises though, so unless my physio's a complete quack, or I am well and truly broken for life, I'm doing the right thing to be on the road to recovery.

I did two ergs last night to keep myself from going off the rails. One was UT1, the other more UT2 at a slightly higher stroke rate. Both were 6km, because "why not?" After that I headed in to town to catch up with Kate over Thai food. She's doing OK, but would like to be doing better. I hope the big and micro changes that she wants to make come off.

I cycled to work this morning just in time to miss the torrential rain. It then rained for most of the working day. Thankfully the trip to one of the server rooms to do some maintenance with an Oracle engineer was cancelled and rescheduled for next Tuesday. Therefore the only reasons to get out of my chair were to return a phone call from a recruiter, and pick up the parts for the above maintenance which were delivered to reception.

The weather, now, is pretty fabulous. As a result I'm going to go home via Tesco for a truncated weekly shop (the week's pretty much half over at this point), then pull on some running gear and go and walk/run/walk/etc. before settling in for some serious achilles stretching, food, and television-watching. I'll tell you how it went tomorrow.

25/08/2015
[17:25] Happy Tuesday. I hope you had somewhere near to as good a Monday as I had. Well, as good a weekend as I had, really. For not being able to run, still, and the stars not aligning well enough to go mountain biking either (weather, trains, other things), Rachel and I still had an amazing weekend away in and around Brighton. After the physio session on Friday evening where I realised that for the most part things seem to be improving, even if running still doesn't feel all that sustainable, I went to bed in good time to wake up for a cycle on Saturday morning with some rowers. A good 70km or so later I was back, showered, and then on the train to meet Rachel when she was to join my train in Croydon. Things didn't go quite according to plan, but we still got to Brighton in good time, and even managed to stop off and buy her a roller to help with her ITB issues. That is, if she keeps using it now that she has it.

Settled into the awesome hotel we enjoyed the facilities, then went out for fish and chips (or kiev and chips for the vegetarian) on a fine and balmy evening. Then on Sunday morning we took the train out to Lewes and walked a chunk of the South Downs Way back to Brighton in initially torrential downpour, and then a rather lovely summer's day sun. Feeling quite pleased with ourselves despite not having been able to run it instead, we had our room upgraded to a 'junior suite' owing to the first night's room being right next to one containing machinery which hummed all night. This meant having an awesome bath for two right there in the room, and a huge television for the watching of things I'd brought with us on USB stick. Dinner in the hotel restaurant was lovely, too.

On Monday we wandered around the bike and outdoor shops but only found some cycle shorts for Rachel for our upcoming trip, and then got the train back to Croydon so Rachel could be in for her double glazing man to come and measure up the windows that're going to be replaced. Then it was time for a bit more relaxation, home made curry, and a fairly early night so that I could be up early enough to get to work on time.

The morning's travel happened pretty much by the numbers, which was a relief, and I've spent the rest of the day catching up on the weekend's (plus Monday's) IT happenings, rearranging hardware maintenance for tomorrow, and getting other tasks and things lined up for the rest of the week still to come. Now I'm off to do a quick erg at the boat house, and then it's dinner with Kate to find out what's been happening in her life in the last few weeks.

21/08/2015
[16:45] Somehow, since arriving at work I've managed to pull or otherwise damage my right hamstring/tendon where it attaches to the outside rear of my leg behind and above my knee. It's really quite annoyingly uncomfortable. 'Luckily' I'm not running at the moment, but it could affect my rowing and more importantly my cycling tomorrow and over the long weekend when I'm away with Rachel. I have have a physio session in about fifteen minutes, so that's sort of useful.

Neither of us wanted to get up this morning, but we managed it. I think what got us through was the knowledge that we're away this weekend (I leave on Saturday lunchtime) and have Monday off.

Today's work was annoying, frankly. Firmware updates which wouldn't apply, software updates that required firmware updates to remove warning lights from our monitoring system. All a bit frustrating. Anyway, I don't have to worry about any of it until Tuesday, when I'll have it to deal with, hardware maintenance with an Oracle engineer, and probably my team leader being annoyed at me for something I did whilest he was away for the last two weeks (or didn't do when I should have). That's four days away though, so I don't care until then.

Saturday: early morning long cycle with others. Then train travel to Rachel. Thence onwards to our hotel by the sea. Sunday at the sea side, probably hiking. Monday, potentially doing the same route on mountain bikes, depending on the weather. Then I'm back home either Monday evening or straight to work from Rachel's on Tuesday morning.

20/08/2015
[17:15] I couldn't just go home and not do any proper exercise yesterday, so I went to the boat house and did some heavy weights for the first time in months. I wish I hadn't stopped as it felt pretty good. I then went home and had steak, so that was good too.

Today was a morning of getting my hair cut on the way into work, working out (eventually) how to do alert-checkers with our network monitoring software, and sorting out a few issues the DBAs were having, as well as helping Cormac collect a few dozen TB of hard drives which were destined for the WEEE Disposal route otherwise. The afternoon was mainly about wondering how to do some DNS/load balancing stuff that someone's requested but has all bee previously done by my team leader, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to work, and other small bits and bobs. I'll take a look at the setup for the above tomorrow, but I can't guarantee I'll know where all the knobs are I need to twiddle.

Rachel's coming this evening, so I need to get to the boat house and get my erg done before she does. Also, a Tesco trip to get some mashing potatoes for our sausages needs to be done.

19/08/2015
[17:30] Did I achieve anything today? Honestly, I'm not sure. I did get in to work early to patch a server with new glibc packages, but the fixes included didn't fix the issue we've been seeing. So that was a bust. My colleage and I couldn't even work out why two different instances of exim, configured exactly the same way, were behaving differently. I got a bunch of hard drives, but none of them work where I want them to because they're the wrong connection type (but I can get some smaller ones that will, I was just being greedy and thinking I could trade up). I had some issues with the networking monitoring system we use, connected with switches, and UPS I got online yesterday. Nothing really interesting has gone on at all, to be frank. And I'm getting a little bored of it.

I'm not going to exercise today (other than the usual physio exercises and morning exercises I do), so I'm off home shortly. Tomorrow I'll do some kind of erg before Rachel turns up, I imagine. That'll help keep the running blues at bay a little, and keep me from getting all tubby and stuff. I really wish I had something I could train towards at the moment. Unfortunately I can't run, so I can't train towards the 10Ks and HM I have in a few months, and the rest of my 4+ is variously away for the next month or so (including me for a bit, too), so I can't train on the water. I guess it's ergs and cycling, although I'm not training for anything on the bike right now.

In more positive news, Rachel's got her double glazing almost sorted in terms of a quote and a date for it to be fitted. And she's still in the midst of doing a full day's productive work from home today. I'm going to go home and drown my sorrows in dinner.

18/08/2015
[17:40] So I went ot the boat house last night, ostensibly simply to rerig the boat we'd used on the weekend. However, when I got there there wasn't anyone else to help me, so I started cleaning and tidying the boat house. After about an hour and a half of doing so other people were available to help me rerig ther 4+. In that 90 minutes I realised that almost no-one else seems to care about where things go in the place. Stuff was missing, misplaced, or broken, there were piles of things which should have been put away, tidied, or simply thrown away. After getting quite angry, I just gave up, did a 15 minute erg and went home. I won't be doing any more cleaning and tidying for a while there; I've run out of patience.

As I was still angry when I went to bed last night, I set my alarm for 06:00 and got up this morning to do a quick cycle on the off-road (but on tarmac) route I've done a few times in the past. I pushed fairly hard, but didn't break any PBs, sadly. What I did do was get home in time to do my physio exercises, have a shower, make lunch, and have breakfast in time to cycle to work before 09:00. So that was good.

Work today has mainly revolved around getting UPSes to respond on the network again. I've got five working now, with perhaps as few as six or as many as ten still to go (depending on whether they still exist in more than the DNS any more). Other than that, lots of work email and decisions to make, preparations for tomorrow morning's patching and rebooting, and generally trying to keep up with everything that goes on online. I'm off home now, possibly via somewhere to collect some free agave nectar. This evening will be mainly about washing up, and probably relaxing as much as possible.

17/08/2015
[17:30] All in all it wasn't a bad weekend, if I'm honest. Saturday was spent in Oxford at the regatta where we won our semi-final, but lost our final to what turned out to be a much better crew that'd done rather well at Henley only a few months previously. So, no great shame there. Others from my boat won in their 2-, and another 4+ from our club in a lower category won their competition, which was nice. Owing to logistics/transport issues there was rather a bit too much hanging around, but I still got home to see Rachel for a few hours before bed time. On Sunday Rachel's cold really took hold, so I did some mountain bike maintenance for next weekend while she did some work. Then we had a quick ride of a few miles before settling down to enjoy an honest-to-goodness relaxing Sunday afternoon. I went to Tesco, but other than that there wasn't much going on, which was rather nice.

Today has been something of a change from yesterday, with lots of things going on at work. Network issues, outbound port scanning, multiple requests from the same developers for minor incremental changes, developers who don't know what the hell they're doing, and the usual amounts of issues big and small that you'd really rather not deal with, but you have to.

It looks like my outing has been cancelled this evening, so I'm going to go to the boat house to do some rerigging, then go home and do some washing up. Because that's the kind of exciting life I lead when I still can't run. I hope I can soon, if for no other reason that erging and cycling aren't everything I want to be doing right now.

14/08/2015
[17:15] Rachel arrived buzzing from her workplace upheaval yesterday. All kinds of strange things going on there at the moment, which she's happily managing to stay on top of for the most part. Because she's awesome. I just hope her astonishingly high work ethic doesn't get the best of her and mean that she works even harder than she already does, and thus ends up exhausted. Anyway, a quiet evening with me was just what was required, apparently. Which was nice. If there's anything I'm good at it's providing quiet evenings in with very little happening. This probably isn't a great selling point most of the time.

Evening and morning physio exercises followed, then I was back at work and making my way through a Friday at work where nothing particularly notable actually happened. I'm just about to head home via the boat house to make sure our boat for tomorrow's regatta is tied on properly, the right blades are in the trailer, and the riggers are there too. I'll also put together a spares-and-tools kit for the morning. Saturday morning starts early with a long drive to the regatta, racing in the morning, watching the other 4+ use our boat in the afternoon, and then a drive home to where it's possible Rachel will be waiting for me, which will make the day wonderful whether or not we win our category. I'm not sure what'll be happening on Sunday, but hopefully it'll involve some fun, potentially in the sun.

On a more sombre note, an email went around work today explaining that one of my colleagues, who's also the woman I moved to this city for 16+ years ago, and who's mentioned a lot in this journal up until around 2002, is very ill and in need of 6 months or more of chemotherapy. I wish her all the very best.

13/08/2015
[16:10] Last night's outing went fairly well. The river was mostly clear enough for us to do what we wanted, and the coaching I think helped. Although it did cause us to tear our stroke/rhythm down and have to try and rebuild it again. Definitely something we need to do between Sunday and any potential future regattas or head races (like Fours Head of the River Race), but probably not something we really want to think about too much before Saturday's race(s). In any event it was still good to know what to work on, and we made some useful (I hope!) changes to our start routine.

My new physio exercises for night and morning are taking a little longer than the old ones. Hopefully I'll work out how to streamline them a bit more as the days go on. Otherwise I had a reasonable night's sleep, made it to work on time, and nothing exploded today. Especially not whilest I was the only person in either of my teams at my desk for most of the day. I'm leaving in about twenty minutes to go to a psychology study, and then I'll be home in time for Rachel arriving, I hope.

12/08/2015
[17:20] Another day, another disk swap. This time things seem to have gone normally and the new new disk doesn't have any issues with it. RAID redundancy is restored. In other news I had my second session of structured physiotherapy sessions (by which I mean "seeing the same physio more than once, and doing what they say"). I didn't think I'd made much progress, but then I feel my body every day, so it's like not noticing that your hair is growing. So, it turns out it's going to take a good few weeks to get this achilles tendinitis sorted (hopefully for good, but I'm guessing it never truly goes away, like athlete's foot), and I'm probably not going to be able to run along the south coast with Rachel in a few weeks from now, and probably not in Italy either. I might not even make the 10K in late September, either. We'll have to see. Anyway, I'm on my second set of exercises, which I do religiously every morning and night. If nothing else I'm going to have an astonishingly toned bottom and hamstrings.

What's actually more distressing at the moment is that Rachel thinks she might have an ITB issue with one of her knees. This worries me a lot as at the moment she doesn't really have another sport to fall back on if she can't run. Hopefully it'll neither be long term, or problematic while it's affecting her. In the meantime, at least I can offer commiserations from a deeply empathic and "I know what you're going through" position.

Right now though I'm off for an evening outing in what looks to be rather nice weather. Given the sun's come out I might go all the way home and get my contact lenses in and sunglasses on. We've got a coach tonight, and will be doing some starts and probably an 850m piece or so. Hopefully he won't identify too many problems as it's not really like we have much time to make any major changes before this weekend's regatta...

11/08/2015
[16:50] I'm back, after a long weekend full of happiness and joy. Mainly two of my good (mostly-)ex rowing friends who tied the knot on Monday. As usual with weddings (but more so with this one than any others in the last few years) this one made me think back to my own wedding day in November 2010, and where things went from there. It was a Humanist ceremony and really quite lovely. If I were ever to get married again, I think I'd have a similar one. But anyway, that was Monday. Over the weekend I did two medium-length cycles (one with Rachel), did a lot of house cleaning and tidying, some washing, washing up, reading, and some rather poor sleeping. Really, I had a few horrible nights of sleep, and a headache and a stomach ache for two of them. I did go and see Ant Man on Friday evening, so that was a fun way to spend a few hours.

Today I had an outing first thing after getting home from the wedding reception at Mike's pub fairly early in the evening (21:30 or so). It went pretty well considering we did 8x 500m pieces at 06:30, with everyone feeling pretty rotten, and me coming off the back of a really weird night's sleep/set of dreams. I've replaced a hard drive with an (apparently) almost equally-broken one (which I replace, I hope, tomorrow with another one which is being shipped out), manned the fort alone as my co-worker left at midday and my team leader's away for two weeks. This evening I've got another physio session for my achilles, where I get to tell the physio that I've done the exercises she asked me to do every morning and evening without fail, but I still don't feel like I'm any closer to being able to run, and my first race is in six and a half weeks from now (but I'm hoping to run in Brighton and Italy with Rachel well before then). I guess we'll see...

07/08/2015
[16:35] We had another outing last night. Weirdly, the more we row together the less impressive we seem to be doing. Maybe we're all thinking about it too much now. In any event, the outing was OK and I was able to get home and do most of the washing up before Rachel arrived. We then had a lovely evening together with pizza and relaxation, which was exactly what we both needed.

Today I've been upgrading our installation of our network device monitoring system to the paid up/up-to-date version. It's all quite spangly and awesome, but I'm having to learn a few new things about it, which is actually really nice to do on a Friday afternoon. There'll be far more to do and set up next week. Although I'm not in on Monday as I'll be at a wedding.

This weekend I intend to go to the cinema (probably tonight), clean and tidy the house quite thoroughly, and mow the lawn. There might also be a cycle with Max (and Rachel, depending on day and time, although it might end up being two different ones). For now though, I'm going to leave before my line manager explodes with rage at the thing he's been asked do to before he leaves for two weeks of holiday.

06/08/2015
[17:05] It looked like rain last night, so I ended up going to do legs and core at the boat house instead. It didn't really ended up raining all that much before the time I would have made it home again anyway, but I think the leg/core combination did me more good. I'm still doing my physio prescribed exercises morning and evening, and I'll admit that they seem to be helping (either that or I'm getting better anyway). I'll continue to do them, probably even after the physio says all is well again, much as I do with the glute activation exercises that got rid of the pain in my right glute getting on for a year ago.

Not much else to tell you today. Went to work, did work, finished work for the day. Now I'm heading to the boat house for a 4+ outing this evening, and the home to probably find a Rachel waiting for me. Which is the best kind of coming home.

05/08/2015
[17:10] Nothing much going on today. I had a sort of epiphany last night on the way home to do with trying to get into better shape in the next few months. This got me thinking about getting up this morning after last night's ergs and going for a long cycle before work. Naturally, I didn't. However, I am going to cycle past the boat house this evening and decide - based on the weather - either to do another cycle tonight, or go and use the weights and do a core workout instead. I still can't run at the moment. Or at least, I shouldn't/am scared to in case my achilles tendinitis flares up again. I've got another physio appointment next Tuesday evening. But that means I have to find other things to do than be on my feet... at least for the time being.

I spent a good chunk of the morning getting a UPS network card to a) respond and, b) recognise the type of UPS it'd been inserted into. In the end I was successful, which was satisfying, but it shouldn't have taken that long. Other than that I've been catching up on some very old emails, watching red lights slowly vanish from our monitoring system (as things start working better), and generally wishing the day/week was over.

04/08/2015
[17:30] Came home briefly after work last night to say hello to Rachel before heading out for a 4+ outing. The combination of Sunday's impromtu 26.2 miles cycle (half of it into a headwind) coupled with last night's 8x 500m sprints left me feeling pretty tired in the leg department this morning. Happily, the pull in my back muscle(s) seemed to have died down enough that I could do a full (now with added rehab exercises for my achilles) morning exercises session. This made me a little later for work than I'd normally be, but still before 09:00 (just).

Nothing much happening at work today, other than logistics for rowing regattas and outings, congratulating a very lucky friend who's won a load of running gear and a personalised training programme, as well as entry into a trail half marathon in November, too. He's incredibly photogenic, so I'd be surprised if he doesn't make the front cover of the magazine that was running the competition. Oh, there was a power cut in town, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it, other than wait for my network kit to come back on.

Anyway, time to do some erging, then home to have the leftovers of the delicious dinner Rachel made us last night.

03/08/2015
[17:05] And now it's August. The year continues to speed by. Good and bad in different ways, I guess. In my case it's good because it means I'm slowly getting closer to the time when I can buy a house again after being convinced to lock my money away after I decided to sell my house (so only 50% of the blame). Also good because it means I'm getting closer to going on holiday to Italy. Yay.

I had Friday off, so was able to get up, shave off my beard, and head to Croydon to see Rachel who arrived home from Kenya and Egypt the previous night. We had a great day, then a great evening. That's pretty much all I have to say about that. Saturday was mainly about heading into London to meet up with old university friends for the afternoon and evening, which was rather lovely. Rachel even came in to join us in the evening, and a good time was had by all. Sunday morning saw me traveling home, and Rachel doing a slightly ill-advised marathon for fun. It turns out that training for a marathon is fairly heavily advised, even if you're not going to be running anywhere near your best speed. She still finished the course (because of course she did). Then she came to see me where I'd been defrosting the freezer, Tesco shopping, cleaning away a few weeks' worth of clothes from the drying racks, and trying to tidy the house a little. Oh, and doing a quick marathon distance on the bike in solidarity (far far easier).

Today started with an air-conditioning panic that turned out not to be anything of the sort. Then lots of email fettling, appointment scheduling, and server/workstation updating, then lots of nothing at all. I'm about to head home to see Rachel for an hour or so, then there's an outing in the 4+ which, it turns out, doesn't get to row at the regatta this weekend... so we're looking at entering another one the weekend after instead.

Did I mention that I had some physiotherapy on Thursday evening? Well, I did. It went pretty well. Discussed my achilles, showed the therapist my shoes, did some exercises, had a massage and some ultrasound and left with some exercises to do every morning and evening. Hopefully when I go for my next session in ten days or so there'll be an improvement. Definitely hopefully as I have some 10K runs coming up that I'd like to train for at least a little bit beforehand! For the moment there's cycling, and the rowing.