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30/06/2016
[16:25] Nothing much happening today. Sadly, Rachel's somewhere between Entebbe and Dubai at the moment so we can't really celebrate her birthday. But happy birthday to her anyway. I'll see her on Saturday when she gets home though, and hopefully we can have a nice remainder of the weekend and Monday off.

Ran in this morning, running home this evening via a weights session at the boat house again. One downside to running in today is that I forgot I had a physio session at lunch time and there was no way I could run to it (sweat, timing, etc.) so I've had to rearrange it and leave myself electronic reminders not to do the same thing again that day.

Work has mainly consisted of finding more of the issues with the new RHEL7 VMWare servers I built recently (postfix this time) and fixing them.

29/06/2016
[17:30] For the first Wednesday morning since 2016/05/04 I didn't get up at the crack of dawn and run 19K+. I have to admit, it weas quite nice. However, I was still stiff as blazes after yesterday's three shorter run/jogs and a strength and conditioning session with Max. We'll be doing the same tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. I ran back to the boat house last night with his pack so he could try mine and got a graze/rub on my collarbone for my trouble. I don't think it'll get in the way of anything, but it's still a little annoying.

Workwise nothing really happened today that it's worth telling you about. Hopefully something more interesting will happen here tomorrow. For now I'm off home while there's a break in the rain.

28/06/2016
[15:45] A fairly poor night's sleep. Probably due to me not closing the curtains, or perhaps too much of Rachel's amazing cheesecake before bed (I still have a remaining portion for tonight). In any event, as it was only a 06:50 wake-up time I wasn't too groggy. After a quick porridge breakfast I headed over to Max and Stacey's to run (jog really) to work. That was nice, and the weather was good. I'm not sure it's going to be good for the run back to the boat house this evening for strength and conditioning training. Otherwise today I've simply been finishing off the servers I built in a bit of a rush yesterday, dealing with some annoying WinSCP/sftp-server interactions, and emailing lots of developers, etc. about their servers to ask why they're in such a state.

Off for another jog now, then weights, then home. And I may not even run tomorrow at all! Madness. Still, it makes me feel closer to Rachel, who has been sitting in a car all day driving from Kenya to Uganda, and hasn't exercised since last week.

27/06/2016
[17:40] At my parents' for the weekend. Friday was two trains and a lot of reading. Saturday was setting up, hosting people, saying hello to relatives, and looking after my newphew a bit. Sunday was sleeping in, doing computer maintenance for my mother, and then two trains home again. It's surprising how much that kind of thing can tire you out. Or maybe it was just that my body has had time to go in to proper recovery mode and is taking out the last few months of training on me. I'll see to that tomorrow with some light jogging with Max before and after work, and then another strength and conditioning session (hopefully they'll start happening twice a week now).

At work today I tried out my setup script for three new VMs and discovered why things like that need a few iterations of testing. As it is I think I now have another three servers ready to go, and the scripts have been refined a little bit more so there are even fewer warnings and things that go on. So on that note I'm going to go home and watch the last Game of Thrones before an early night for a semi-early jog tomorrow.

24/06/2016
[16:00] Had a humid and sweaty set of train rides down to Croydon to see Rachel. Although with the trains being the mess they were we actually met on the platform of London Blackfriars, which enabled me to sardine myself next to her for thirty minutes of catch-up before we got home. Whilest I got myself clean and desweated, Rachel went out to vote in the referendum. Then there was dinner, some Person of Interest, and bed. We were both pretty tired from the day, so slept quite deeply/well. However, when we woke up it was to the bad news that the UK had voted to leave the EU. The less said about that the better. We got our respective trains home or to Heathrow (Rachel's in Africa again by now) and I cycled to work and had my last day of Windows 2012 Server training (for now). A moderately interesting day, but one I'm very glad is over so I can go home, pack, and get trains to my parents. There's a celebration this weekend, so I'll be there, not running, and trying to not itch too much in long trousers and a proper shirt. Back on Sunday afternoon in time for Tesco and a bit of downtime before the week starts all over again.

Ironically, for the doom that happened in the early hours of the morning here in the UK, the weather was rather bright and cheerful.

23/06/2016
[16:10] Another constructive day of learning lots of stuff I'm probably never going to need, but it still being quite interesting. Also: the most I've ever learned about IPv6. Definitely very very interesting, but also something I'm going to have to review a few times before it all sinks in. There's a lot more to it than IPv4.

Anyway, that's it for today. I'm off to Rachel's this evening, so I need to get down to the station and on a train. Hopefully the trains will be running well tonight and tomorrow morning so I can get back to work in time for the beginning of the course's final day.

Oh, and I ran this morning. I was hoping to do a nice 21.1K run, but chickened out at 18K as I felt absolutely shattered by 1K in, but somehow managed to keep going at an acceptable pace. Happily, in solidarity with Rachel (who's going away to Africa again for a week or so), I won't be running again until at least Tuesday next week, and then probably only once or twice before the following week. This will hopefully give my body a bit of time to recover and repair. Although I may be doing weights and core with Max, and potentially doing some short, twice-a-day runs with him. Anyway, off now. Back tomorrow.

22/06/2016
[16:15] No pub last night, but Rachel and cheesecake, so that was OK. Also did my first proper core/weights session in a long time with Max, which left me tired. Earlyish night, then realising that I was more than tired, I was sore and aching, which made a fastish 10K in the morning (Rachel did sprintervals) quite a challenge. Then in to work to try to stay awake through a morning of TCP/IP, CIDR, and DNS. Thus far on this Windows 2012 Server course I've yet to learn anything that I didn't learn a long time ago in a Windows 2000 Server course way back in the early 2000s. Hopefully if I get to go on the other two courses I'll get something new to remember. Thus far though all I'm doing is reactivating very old memories.

Home now, an attempt at a longer (slower) run tomorrow morning, and then I'm on day four of the course before heading off to see Rachel.

21/06/2016
[15:35] Today, the Windows course supervisor accused me of "typing like a linux user" because I type "so quickly". I told him it was to stop my hands from cramping from using the mouse to do so much GUI work (the Microsoft Way(TM)). I'm also done for the day course-wise as I finished my lab exercises nice and quickly. As a result I'm off to do a watt bike session at the boat house before Max (and Stacey) arrive to do a weight session. Then we're all off to a local pub for food and to hope that Rachel arrives before too long from London to eat with us. After that we'll head back to my house for home made (Rachel made) chocolate cheesecake and entering the Vanguard Way Marathon. I think that's about it. Oh, other than me running a 10K this morning before breakfast which wasn't quite as fast as I would have liked, but much faster than I've been doing longer runs recently.

20/06/2016
[16:10] Pretty excellent weekend (other than amount of sleep) in passing. I did a solid (if dull) long run on Saturday, then headed out for "afternoon tea" with lots of cake in the afternoon. Rachel arrived very very late on Saturday evening, bless her. Neither of us got a particularly good night's sleep. Sunday was therefore a moderately late start. We got another solid (but shorter) run done in the late morning, then I was taken out for lunch before we went to do the Tesco thing. After that we retired to the sofa to start watching the final season of Person of Interest. That's probably about it, for things of note.

All this week I'm on a training course, hosted in my building. Therefore there won't be much to my entries this week other than saying I was on the course, and perhaps what I did outside of work. For example, I'm off to the boat house now to do some light weights and core stuff, then I'll be going home. So there.

17/06/2016
[16:45] Ah, the sheer joy of not getting up early on a weekday morning, and especially a Friday. Rachel didn't have to get an early train, so we didn't get out of bed much before 08:00, which was fab.

Then at work I made some more progress in getting another training course approved. Hopefully this'll happen before the course fills up. Otherwise I've been fixing small things, reading lots of documentation about Redhat Satellite 6, and making sure the second last of Rachel's birthday presents to arrive is in good order. I should start wrapping things at some point.

This weekend I'll probably run long tomorrow, although I am still very tired. Then tomorrow afternoon there's an afternoon tea thing going on as a housewarming for some friends. Sunday will probably be when Rachel arrives from seeing other friends (unless she comes on Saturday evening, which I don't think she'll do as she has lots to take care of at home). We'll probably do a shorter (but still quite long) run, Tesco (unless I do that on Saturday) and then end the second last season of Person of Interest and finally start on the new one.

Then it'll be Monday, and I'll be on a training course every day next week. Probably some time for a journal entry after it finishes, but there won't be much to tell you.

16/06/2016
[17:20] I just got an email offering me cheap entry into the 2017 Manchester Marathon to make up for the fact that the course I ran in 2015 was short by 385m. They say that if you didn't run the racing line you probably ran the full marathon distance anyway, but I think that's probably bollocks. Either way, I'm not taking them up on the offer as I'm doing the London Marathon next year. Although after this morning's run (another half marathon distance to match yesterday morning's) I'm not sure I could manage it. I'm really quite tired, and very much looking forward to doing very little (read: no) exercise tomorrow.

In work news I've done some serious work in getting things working on the RHEL7 servers I was required to build without us doing much testing beforehand. All kinds of annoying and finicky things have been identified and fixed. I've even got a license server thing working when beforehand it wasn't being started because the installer was brain-dead and assumed that a way of working on RHEL5 would work on RHEL6 and 7. It doesn't. This caused me to learn a bit more about systemd and unit files, which was good. Now I have something scriptable, which is nice.

I'm heading off shortly, hopefully not to get rained on, to Tesco to get food for this evening's dinner with Rachel (whenever she's able to arrive). Then we'll get a moderately early night and won't have to get up very early at all tomorrow (although in time for her to get a train and me to get to work before it's too far past 09:00).

15/06/2016
[17:05] I got an early enough bed time last night that getting up this morning wasn't too much of a trial. The run wasn't too bad either, even if I felt pretty shattered afterwards. If I can manage the same distance tomorrow I won't care if it's slower. It'd be nice to be within about 30 seconds of it, though, so that I'm on 1h40m or just under. Anyway, at work today there was even more iterative fixing of stuff on the new servers running newer technology than I've been able to test before it being used live. A lot of interesting things have been coming out of the woodwork, but I think thus far I've been able to deal with every one of them. I also 'finished' the storage tender evaluations I was asked to do. I'm not entirely sure how good a job I've done, nor am I going to be able to defend my scoring/thoughts at the meeting next Monday as I'll be on a training course. So, I might have damaged my reputation with some higher-ups by dint of giving them gibberish to work with. We'll have to see. For now though I'm just going to be pleased that I've done a reasonable day's work, and head home. Another early morning tomorrow, then a day of work, then Rachel in the evening. If the weather stays good and I have a good run tomorrow has the potential to be a pretty good day. We'll see...

14/06/2016
[17:30] Various things annoyed me today. Mostly it was to do with install scripts belonging to a huge software company we're heavily invested in using. It did require me to do some new stuff and learn some cool things, but I could have done without doing so, to tell you the truth. It meant I missed a meeting I probably should have attended. I've had a day of incrementally fixing twelve virtual machines so stuff can be installed on them. It's all for a good cause and means we can slowly get rid of actual hardware (old, running an old version of RHEL), but it's slow going when we're moving to new technologies I haven't been given time to check out all that much.

Rachel had to leave early this morning to get back to London for a meeting, so I took the opportunity to do an early morning run to make up for the fact that I didn't run last night with her. I just couldn't face doing sprintervals, not to mention being roundly beaten by her when we did them together. She's just better at long distance sprinting than I am.

Anyway, that's that. Home and plenty of washing up to keep me occupied, and then the first of my very early morning runs tomorrow.

13/06/2016
[17:20] A strong weeekend, running-wise. I ran from my city to another on Saturday, via the river. This required me to slog through some extremely overgrown paths which left my legs covered in scratches and my arms covered in grass seeds. On the plus side, I managed 20 miles without dying too hard, and my new ultra vest performed admirably. I took the train home rather than run 40 miles. Sunday morning I ran a much more sensible 13km or so on the towpath instead. After the day before's run my legs weren't entirely happy with the effort, but they got me out and home again. Then all I had to do was three loads of washing, the washing up, and a Tesco trip. After all that I still had time to clean and tidy the house a tiny bit and sit down to watch something before Rachel arrived. Then the weekend was over. Blink and you'll miss it.

I wasn't entirely looking forward to today. Many many things were pending, and I wasn't sure where to start. However, after a slightly lazy morning I got in and just started at the beginning. I've been doing stuff basically for the whole day and have actually achieved quite a lot, considering. I'm about to head home where Rachel will either make us go out to do hill sprints, or won't, and we can have a relaxing evening. I imagine it's going to be the former, even if it's start raining again. I think that's probably everything. Oh, and I got quite tanned/burned on Saturday. Serves me right for not wearing sun cream. I just wish I didn't have quite so silly tan lines now. They're even worse than when I was rowing.

10/06/2016
[18:00] The reason I'm here so late today is not just that I got into work late this morning because I was looking at ultra vests and trying to work out which one I was going to keep, but also because I've just taken ownership of what's going to be a massive amount on infrastructure work and the learning 'curve' (read: cliff) is vertical. I've already asked if I can go on a training course for what it is in August in the hopes that that'll mean I do a reasonable job of setting up what I need to set up, but we'll have to see. In the meantime I've finally got VMWare cloning from templates working, so I was able to create 12 new servers rapidly today, and therefore get them configured and stuff fairly quickly on Monday in time for Wednesday when they're due. I will admit I'm starting to see the attraction of moving everything from physical to virtual hardware.

Other than that I said goodbye to Rachel this morning (she's gone to see an aunt) and hopefully will be saying hello to her again on Sunday afternoon when she comes back and stays until Tuesday morning. Between now and then I'm going to try and do a long run with the choice of ultra vest I've made and try not to melt, go to Tesco, do a shorterish run on the Sunday, and before all that mow the lawn (tonight). Then I'll reward myself with pizza and catch up on some television I downloaded months ago but still haven't made time to watch. See you Monday when it'll be all hands to the pumps starting my knowledge cramming.

09/06/2016
[18:15] I should have gone home on time today. Unfortunately I pulled the wrong disk out of a server and had to wait for a RAID1 resync before I could pull out the right one and replace it.

Other than that I did a shorter, slower, run this morning, had a physio session at lunch time, and had my work plate piled pretty high with things I need to do before the middle of next week (thanks for the lack of planning, guys). So, obviously, I'm going home. Mostly because Rachel's coming to see me this evening, which is fantastic, and just what I need. Therefore I also need to head to Tesco to get us dinner. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll get a lot done (probably mainly RHEL7/VMWare templating, which hopefully will work this time around), but I certainly wouldn't mind the week being over just as soon as possible, please.

08/06/2016
[17:10] A fairly good run this morning, with just a hint of achilles/heel trouble here and there. Nothing too problematic though, I don't think. I also made it up to a half marathon distance as I had the time and the inclination. So that was good. I'll try to do the same tomorrow morning, although not being quite so muggy and humid would be nice; I was utterly soaked within about five kilometers, which wasn't pleasant when I stopped. I had to wash my kit and leave it at the boat house (where I'll collect it this evening so I know I have everything ready to take back there again in the morning). Had a nice chat with Keith and Steph who were both there getting ready to train on the ergs when I had finished getting changed. Then it was off to work, where I've spent much of the day looking over more storage tenders and remembering why I really prefer doing 'real work' rather than administration-type stuff.

So, I'm off home now via the boat house, then will have to decide if I head out to watch some rowing on the river this evening, or stay home. The weather's pretty nice so I might stay out. Not too late though as I've got that run in the morning.

07/06/2016
[17:25] I need to get this entry done as quickly as I can before the rain comes down. So, quickly, I've started being part of the tender review process for our new storage. It's going to be deeply heavy going. More on that another time. Probably tomorrow. I also forgot to note down that I had a physio appointment today, so I've rescheduled it for Thursday lunch time. After I'd had the call from the physio saying I'd missed it I popped out for a 10K run instead. It has been incredibly hot and sunny here today, so the run wasn't all that fast, but felt hard because of the heat. Otherwise, the two ultra running vests I've settled on choosing between have arrived. So when Rachel arrives on Thursday evening we'll have our final decisions, send back the one I'm not keeping and I'll buy her big birthday present of whichever one she prefers.

And now, home. I should have gone home earlier as I was in early to patch and reboot the load balancers, but I haven't. Maybe I'll recoup those hours on another day this week instead. Early morning run tomorrow, if the weather isn't abysmal.

06/06/2016
[17:10] First things first: Rachel beat me soundly in the ten mile race we did on the Sunday. I just couldn't keep up with her after about six and a half miles. That was probably due to the fact we'd run 20 miles (rather than the twenty six she'd wanted to do) the day before, and that'd worn me out. She'd deny it, but I think at the moment she's running a lot better than I am. By "the moment" I mean since Boston, rather than the last year, or anything like that. Anyway, that's a roundabout way of saying that we did a picturesque but quite hard twenty miles along the North Downs Way on Saturday (which saw me absolutely soak my clothes with sweat, which was a bit worrying). Sadly much of the last two fifths of it were walked, but we did fairly well considering. Much more improvement required. Also, my achilles and one ankle weren't particularly happy with the experience, either. Ladybower won't be quite as hard on them, considering the conditions underfoot, but the weekend has definitely highlighted that there's a lot more for me to do before the lower ends of my lower extremities are ready for fifty-plus miles in one go. But yes, after relaxing for the remainder of Saturday (we didn't get home until gone 16:00) we rose with the sun on Sunday and got a train and then cycled a few miles to do the Dorking 10. The weather was pretty much perfect, if a smidgen too warm. For more than half the distance I was running fairly well, even with hills (which I don't normally train on), then Rachel just eased away and there wasn't anything I could do about it if I was going to finish the race without walking. Only one minute and forty-seven seconds behind, but that's somewhere around about 500m, which isn't something you'd sniff at.

I came back to work this morning on two trains and a cycle again. Everything seems to be OK here, and I've been added to an evaluation group for storage tenders. However, getting access to the tender documents that've been submitted is proving to be a bit of a pain. Hopefully that'll be sorted tomorrow, after I've come in a little earlier to patch and reboot the load balancers. For now I'm going home rather than to the boat house to do weights, so that I can go straight back out again and do the Tesco shop.

03/06/2016
[15:50] More of a placeholder day than anything else. The highlight thus far has been replacing my keyboard with an identical (but newer) model that I rescued as part of a pair from the WEEE bin here at work. It's amazing what people throw away in there. Otherwise, I was a little late to work this morning as I was packing for this weekend, which starts this evening with a train journey down to London to meet Rachel to go and look at some ultra vests. Hopefully with a view to buying one or another based on how we feel about what we try on. Probably not in the shop, unless the prices are as good as we can get online, but you never know. Then we'll be down in Croydon for the weekend, with a trip to the North Downs Way on Saturday morning to run about 26 (and likely a bit) miles at a fairly leisurely pace, and then an early rise on Sunday morning to head to Dorking for a 10 mile actual race (which I'm pretty sure Rachel will beat me soundly in, especially given the day before's mileage). Anyway, it's all about getting time on our feet. I've packed two types of shoes (most of Saturday will be off-road, so the trail shoes I put back on on Thursday get a proper outing), and a large amount of clothing to deal with whatever the weather ends up doing on both days. Outside of the running, well, hopefully we'll get a little bit of time to stop and relax and recover from our individual week of work. I'll then be heading back to work straight from the train station on Monday morning.

02/06/2016
[17:15] Running in my trail shoes this morning wasn't so bad. It turns out I ran my slowest ever in a long time, not that it matters all that much. However, importantly the shoes didn't rub, and my legs seem to have survived the experience. So that bodes at least a little well for Saturday's long trail run with Rachel. I haven't really worn them to run in since I was big into adventure racing many years ago. That's definitely something Rachel and I should have a go at in the future.

At work I've done all kinds of useful things today. Honestly, it's the most productive I've been in some time. Not only things on the computer, but also having face-to-face conversations with people that resulted in Things Happening, and Decisions Being Made. Quite pleasing, really. What isn't pleasing is that Rachel can't come to see me this evening as she has things to do elsewhere. I'll have to come up with some way of keeping myself occupied for the evening, I guess. It may involve television, or books.

01/06/2016
[18:00] I should have gone home an hour ago, but I had too many things to do. None of them particularly difficult, just time-consuming. I won't bore you with what they were, mainly so I can go home more quickly. I did the morning run before work from the boat house and it was pretty hard work. No tension in the front outside of my right calf this morning, but a bit of discomfort in my left achilles tendon instead. If it's not one thing it's another. I was fairly exhaused afterwards. I'm not sure if I'll be recovered enough to do similar tomorrow, but that's OK as I'm going to try running a little more off the beaten track (in places) with my other shoes instead. I might even leave from my house rather than the boat house so I do less on actual tarmac (which might do me some damage in that footwear). Otherwise... I guess that's about it. See you tomorrow where I imagine I'll tell you all about how things went, probably. Oh, and today I spent an 'amusing' couple of hours going around in circles trying to jump through the right hoops to get a training course (run internally, no less) paid for. Or at least authorised to be charged internally. That was a pretty keen way of observing how disorganised and problematic this place has become in the last year or so.