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September's Journal
November's Journal

[16:30] Core testing last night was a little embarrassing. I don't think any of the men got anywhere near to the times some of the women were posting. This may have been down to where we were sitting on people's legs (far closer to the ankles than the women had been) to keep them in the right positions. Or maybe we're all just really weak in the core. Who knows?

Anyway, other than that I got to go home to Rachel, have a great dinner with an actual pudding (really, actual pudding as in bread and butter pudding), not have to get up early this morning for erging, rowing, or patching, and have a reasonable day where nothing particularly went wrong. Which is great as I'm off all of next week on a trip to Cornwall. It started out as a running holiday. But with injury, time constraints, and other things it's more... not a running holiday. However, we can hope there'll be some somewhere at some point. Otherwise, as the weather is going to be atrocious there'll be lots of books, and maybe even some sleeping in.

This weekend there's rowing, in the rain, I imagine. Also some packing. Some fridge emptying, and probably some other stuff I haven't thought of yet.

Whatever happens, I should be back a week on Monday.

[14:40] Early morning down at the boat house. Managed to give a key to a cox so they could have an outing, did my 30 minute AT erg (quite good), cycled to work in shorts and T-shirt sweating madly in the cold morning air. Did the morning's patching without any major or really any minor incidents. Have been into town once to sort out some network snafus (not my responsibility that they happened). Have just had lunch. About to go back in to do the second half of the snafu fixing, and then I may not come back to work as I've probably accrued enough TOIL to not need to.

This evening I've got core testing at the boat house, then I'm home to see Rachel and have a great evening.

[16:25] An OK outing last night. I put down a fairly chunky rhythm and was backed up by Max in the seven seat. Given the weather was perfect but the light was pretty much completely gone there were some issues with following us down the boat. Plus our coach was... frustrating. Anyway, I was pleased with a) being back in the stroke seat and b) doing OK for my own part. Steak and potato cakes with broccoli for dinner, far too late into the night.

This morning was another early morning patch day. Everything went as according to plan as it could, given the circumstances. Tomorrow morning's going to be the big one for this week as I've got to get a 30 minute AT erg done first, then get into work and patch some live systems as quickly as I can. Tonight's weights session first, then dinner with Kate as it's her birthday.

[17:45] Last night's weights session was good. I think I came very close to doing myself a minor lower back injury again, so I'm glad I backed off on the weights I was lifting. I definitely need to do some more back strengthening exercises. I'll just have to wait until there's a lull in the patching when I can start doing morning exercises again, rather than having to get up and go straight out of the door.

This morning's patching was a mixed bag of perfectly fine, weird, and totally broken. All of the above seemed to be working fine by the time I handed off the servers at around 09:30, though. I've managed to more than half the number of servers I have to patch tomorrow morning, which is good. It doesn't mean I can come in any later, but at least I'll have higher blood pressure for a shorter amount of time.

There's an outing this evening that I need to leave for in as short amount of time as possible. Hopefully I'll be stroking the boat and hence maybe stay a little dryer (and therefore warmer) than elsewhere in the boat. We'll see how that goes. I think the crew will be made up of the two fours we're taking to Fours Head in a little over a month.

A few personal things seem to be evening themselves out a bit, which is good. A few plans are being made for next week. I won't be here, by the way, I'll be in Cornwall. I did hope to be running, but my right achilles is still giving me all kinds of worries such that never mind next week, I may not even be going to the St. Neots half marathon... and if I do I certainly won't be in any shape to get a personal best. So very far from the kind of shape I was in this time last year, both on my feet and in a boat. It's distressing.

You know, I think it's going to be steak for dinner tonight.

[16:45] Raced twice on Saturday, spent all of Sunday morning rowing in pairs with good quality rowers. In the grand scheme of things it was a good weekend, even if I had to row stroke side in one of the Sunday outings (new blisters), and both afternoons were whitewashes as I was so tired I ended up spending them entirely on the sofa.

Friday was much more important, though. I think I made a good decision, came clean about a lot of stuff which has been bothering me for a significant amount of time and generally made up for a lot of things I'd made mistakes concerning. You don't need to know the details. Suffice it to say we get to move on from here in a much better way.

That's about it though, really. Monday has been Monday. My achilles still hurts when I run, which is really beginning to worry me for the half marathon I have in a little under a month, this morning's ergs were hard, and I'm not sure why, work is going OK (even considering the motherboard replacement over lunch), and even the web meeting I had this afternoon wasn't too problematic.

Now it's time to get out of here, do my weights session, go to Tesco and get home before something happens. Tomorrow's a patching-morning day, followed by a day of work, and an outing in the evening.

[16:25] Maybe I was tired. Or having an off day. Or just at a low ebb, but I had a really poor outing last night. First off there were some emails that I wasn't included on with regard to something at the club. That's fine, I didn't really need to be a part of those. Then I discovered that I could have stayed in bed an extra hour yesterday morning and done my erg yesterday evening with other people. Then I discovered that those other people had pushed a lot harder in their erg than I had, and I wished I'd done better (although I am still technically getting over a cold). Then I was replaced in the stroke seat for the outing for not readily explained reason (although it may be because my last outing wasn't so good). And then finally we did some high rate/power work and because I wasn't at stroke I got pretty soaked by the people in front of me over the course of the row. This lead to a fairly peeved me. I tried not to let it show because, basically, none of it was anyone else's fault, really.

It was still nice to get out of there at the end of the evening, get home and get to bed. This morning was another early patching morning, but with no erg beforehand, so I got to stay in bed until 06:40. Practically a lie-in. The patching went OK, and the rest of the day has gone fairly smoothly too. The thing is, I've an outing this evening which could go either way, and then what could be a rather difficult conversation after that. I don't really know how either of them are going to pan out, if I'm honest. I'm just hoping for the best.

I'll let you know on Monday, along with how the races on Saturday, the outings on Sunday, and whatever else I get up to goes. Have a good weekend, and enjoy whatever it is you get up to.

[17:15] I think I'll rename this day of the week Crivensday. Because, crivens, I've done a lot today. And it still isn't over. I was up around 05:30, out of the door around 06:00, doing a half an hour erg (after getting the heating and hot water working at the boat house again) by 06:20, buying belgian buns and cycling to work by 07:10, patching servers at 07:30... and then the working day happened. Luckily that hasn't been at all bad.

However, after a full working day I've still got to get down to the boat house again, do an outing in the dark, and then get home for some dinner. I'm just glad I did the mountain of washing up last night. Although it was a bit weird getting home and seeing tiny little things out of place. Turns out I'd forgotten the landladies had been due to come round with a gas person and check all the gas-related stuff. So that was OK.

Right, I should get going I guess. Food to eat, boat to row, more food to eat, bed to get into. I'm patching again tomorrow morning, but it should be a relatively easy set of servers.

[16:55] So I think I may have solved almost all of my issues with the move to a RHEL6 desktop. Almost all of them. And those that remain are things I can train my brain not to be bothered about, I think. That was most of the morning spent doing that, anyway. Getting the webcam working again was the biggest part, and it still doesn't work with Skype, which is really annoying. How it could work under RHEL5 but not RHEL6 is a mystery to me. Something for another time, perhaps. There are also some generic copy and paste issues, but I should be able to work around them too, in time.

At lunch time today I only went and got myself some new running shoes. 3100+ miles since the last pair were bought in February 2008 at the instigation of Kris (who said I'd run too far on the previous pair). Well, I think I got my money's worth out of that pair.

I'm about to leave and go and do some weights and rerigging at the boat house and then maybe get home at a more sensible time than after last night's delayed outing. We'll see. I ran some firmware updates this afternoon, and I've got some more patching to do tomorrow morning at 07:30. Amusingly, I'm going to try and fit in a 30 minute erg in before I get in to work. We'll see how that goes. There may be belgian buns involved. I still have a stinking cold, and pretty uncomfortable achilles tendinitis in my right ankle, which is beginning to worry me for the half marathon I have exactly a month from now...

[17:35] Another rushed entry, I'm sorry. This time it's because I've just moved my desktop to a new machine (RHEL6 rather than RHEL5) and I've got to get all kinds of things set up before I leave for an outing.

I had a great erg/weights session last night, and not only that, I got home to find a letter from my surgeon saying that I didn't have any signs of hernias! This is great news. I do have some inflammation and stuff, but nothing that will require surgery, which is the key point. Hurrah! I celebrated by eating a lot of food last night post-exercise and squad meeting.

I was in for 07:00 this morning to patch forty one servers. Thankfully only one really misbehaved and needed to be cycled over to fix. Everything else was pretty much on the money. Not something I see happening again, to be honest. I very much dodged a bullet this time around. Next time I'm sure a live service is going to be affected. Joy.

Anyway, yes, new machine, new OS, new things to complain about. Still, there are a few technical advantages I'm going to be taking advantage of, which is good. I just have to see if I've got everything I need from my old box and can set up all the bells and whistles I had on there on the new one...

[17:30] Busy day. Can't really go on for long about the weekend. Key highlights would be rowing on Saturday, getting up to row on Sunday in the cold and wet and being told to go home as I had a really, really sore throat and people didn't want it to get worse. Rachel visiting for the weekend and it being rather nice, odd mealtimes, nice food, reasonable sleep and a chance to think about a few things.

Monday has rolled around all too quickly, along with the masses of machines I suddenly have to patch (only six today, but one necessitated a cycle over to the old machine room and back), with forty one servers needing to be done and rebooted tomorrow morning.

I need to head off to the boat house to see about weights/a 6km erg, but I can't go until certain things have finished copying, which is annoying. With a squad meeting this evening too I'm sort of trapped as to what I can do in the time I'm going to have left available to me. Especially as I need to get my workstation backed up before tomorrow's potential reinstallation to RHEL6.

[15:50] The 2K went OK. I didn't get anywhere near my PB, but I was slightly faster than last time, which I guess is an improvement, somewhere. I could have gone harder, I think, but it would have been at the expense of the technique I wanted to hold, which I did. On that score I think I did really well. Anyway, it's done, and there won't be another one for a while. In the meantime I'm going to get busy with the leg presses and squats (but more on the leg press machine than free weight/barbell squats, to save myself from a potential pair of bigger hernias). I should try and fit some in every night (or time) I'm down at the boat house really. It should help my running a good bit too, I think.

I was in early this morning to do some patching. It went fairly well, for the most part. Any problems which arose tended to be ones that weren't really my fault. One problem stuck around until well into the afternoon, but I learned something new in fixing it, so that was useful in its own way. So, that's a few machines down, and many many more to go!

Other than that I've managed to get through the day without anything really exploding, which is always a positive thing. I'm off now to do another of those paid psychology experiments, and then either go home, to the boat house for a bit of exercise and a film, or home to watch a film on my own. We'll have to see how the mood takes me. Have a good weekend. I intend to do a lot of rowing, eating, sleeping, and hopefully have a smidgen of fun here and there too.

[17:00] It's 2K test day. I'm desperately not looking forward to it. So much not looking forward to it. I'll be doing it, obviously, and trying my very hardest, but I can't guarantee it's going to be any good. Surviving it is mainly what I want to do. It's at 18:00 (or thereabouts, probably just afterwards), if you want to be thinking of me for about six minutes and forty seconds.

Work today has been mainly preparations for the first early morning patching session. Only six machines this time around. Hopefully it'll go smoothly and there won't be any issues. It should, but you never know.

That's about it for today, really. Other than getting some bread delivered I haven't really got anything else going on. Oh, I think my achilles tendinitis is acting up again as well. See you tomorrow.

[17:15] Thankfully, last night's outing wasn't all that hard in terms of energy expenditure as I'm still not feeling totally full of beans at the moment. Couple that with a bit of an achesome stomach in the morning and I really don't feel like getting out of bed all that quickly either. Not that I've had any morning outings, or needed to be at work early. Those will both be coming in the next few weeks as I've got a whole load of patching being scheduled and almost all of it is going to be pre-07:00 work. Which is great if I want to leave work early, but does mean I'm not available for morning outings on those days, and have to get out of bed quite early.

Otherwise, it's been a quiet day, thankfully. Not really anything to report other than some progress on the aforementioned scheduling of patching pretty much every linux box we have. Currently I have eleven early mornings already set for between now and 21 November. I'd be surprised if there aren't a lot more before too long...

Now though, it's outing time again. I really hope it doesn't rain. Rain would be a real downer. I just want to get this outing done, go home, have food, watch a bit of downloaded television and try to get a good night's sleep for tomorrow's 2K test. Not having an aching stomach would be a big plus, too. Oh, and some energy, please.

[17:00] I slept better last night, but I'm still tired today. I think doing three 6k ergs last night won't have helped, even if they were at UT2 intensity. Still, tonight's outing should be fairly easy, even if I'm in a boat with a whole load of less experienced people.

Today's work has been pretty straightforward for the most part. Some network stuff involving grubbing about underneath raised floors, some switch configuration and a bit of social networking/engineering to get things organised. Speaking of organising, I've started on the big 'mini' project of getting all of our linux boxes updated again for this year. By which I mean I might have them all done by April of next year. I've emailed out to all the people who're team leads for all the different groups and started getting responses. I don't have the brain power to start logging them to calendars and things, so I'll be doing that tomorrow morning. For now I'm just going to go to the boat house, do my outing, go home and eat and relax. Here's hoping for another good night's sleep tonight.

[16:40] This weekend was good. My back returned to normal some time on Friday, Saturday was spent rowing in a pair and not capsizing, which was good, and then going for a long cycle with seven other people for 42km or so, which was also good. Rachel turned up in the evening, which was even better. And then on Sunday we did a local 10K race and I came 8th (I think) and Rachel came in as first woman only 1min27sec behind my 42min exactly time. That was rather good, too. On top of that, the achilles tendinitis in my right ankle failed to manifest once I started running, my potential hernia sites didn't feel strained, and I finished the run just feeling tired, rather than injured which was fantastic. Cycling there in the morning sun, having perfect racing temperatures, sitting in the sun afterwards with cake and drinks, stretching in an orchard, and then cycling home again to relax all afternoon (post Tesco) made for a rather lovely Sunday. Making wraps for the first time in over two years was a little strange, but only a little bit. I'm out of practice, so got the quantities a bit wrong, but that was OK in the end, too.

Slept awfully last night, so didn't end up doing the Monday morning erg, again. As I'm refraining from doing weights this week due to the 2K test on Thursday I'll do the erg this evening, or at least straight after work. Then I can go home and get some stuff done before an early night and hopefully feeling a bit more on top of things for tomorrow. Not that currently there's anything important happening tomorrow. It would just be nice to be a touch more on the ball.

[16:30] Back feeling even better today, hurrah! This is good as it means I can go to the boat house after work (right now, in fact) and do the AT ergs I should have done on Thursday morning. With the 6km ergs I should have done on Monday morning done on Wednesday evening that just leaves one weights session I didn't do this week. Which is fine considering it was weights that did my back in the first place (so leaving them out for a week or so is probably the best thing). I've seen the training plan for next week. There appears to be another 2K Test planned for Thursday evening. This is rather unexpected. However, as everyone's doing I guess that's just the way it is. Of course, I'm going to be thinking about it for the next week. I also need to make sure I don't overtrain before then so as to stand a chance of getting a reasonable time. A place in a good boat for Fours Head could apparently rest on it. This is mildly disconcerting as we've just had a new rower come in who pulls a mean 2K time, apparently.

This weekend there's obviously some rowing, but only on Saturday morning. Sunday morning I'm doing a 10K running race with Rachel (although not running it together). Saturday afternoon is a nice spin on the bike with a whole load of other rowers as the river will be closed for a small boats event. Sunday afternoon? Lots and lots of relaxing, I hope!

I seem to have made it through the working week without anything going wrong that I haven't been able to deal with, which is good. I'm turing off my mail client and getting out of here, so if anything does go wrong I won't see or hear about it until Monday, at which point my team leaders will almost certainly know about it and be able to direct me appropriately. I did push out a new version of the application I pushed out on Thursday morning (a bug fix). That took less than a minute of my lunch time, which was nice.

Right, other than that I think it's time to get out of here. Have a lovely weekend. I hope the weather is nice. It looks like it's either going to be great or terrible here this weekend. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

[17:20] Last night's two 6km ergs seemed to go pretty well. My back ached somewhat afterwards as I began to cool down, and it wasn't awesome this morning either. But a little bit (not enough) of stretching throughout the day seems to have helped it. Also, I did a run at lunch time fully expecting it to be a complete disaster given how my back is, but it was the complete opposite. My back never hurt once, and indeed didn't hurt at all for a good hour or two once I got back and showered. Running as a cure for back pain? I doubt it, but it worked for me, this time.

Plenty of work happening today. I managed to foist off some of the more drudgy stuff to other support teams, which was helpful. I may have some emergency updates to apply to a fairly useful application tomorrow lunch time I think. But that's tomorrow and I don't really care about that right now. Between now and then there's an outing (which could be quite interesting, I think), seeing a few people back at the boat house who haven't been around in a while, going home and having lovely dinner with Rachel, and then a night's sleep. Tomorrow's Friday, and it's hopefully going to be a rather good day. Or at least start that way.

[17:10] I don't know if it was the wine last night, or just a day without exercise, but my back feels like it's well on the way to recovery at this moment in time. I'm going to head to the boat house as soon as I've written this entry and do some very gentle erging, to see if I can do tomorrow's outing. In fact, if tonight goes well I might even do tomorrow morning's AT erg, but we'll take small steps one at a time, I think.

Work has been moderately busy today. Most of it was spent rewriting a script that does date importing to use a whole new mechanism. It seems to work OK on the test database, so I'm unleashing it on the live database tomorrow morning. I'm fairly confident everything is going to be fine.

So, off I go to warm up very well for my ergs, and then go home and have dinner. Last night's dinner with Kate was excellent, as always. A few hours of unfettered chat (preceeded by a drink), setting the world to rights, and generally spending time with someone else who really gets you. We like that.

[16:30] I can't believe it. I was trying so hard not to do myself any more injuries, or exacerbate whatever was already wrong with me... and then I went and somehow pulled my lower back last night doing weights. It's so deeply frustrating. I'm half tempted to go back to the training I was doing this time last year, as that seemed to be working more for me. I was certainly running a lot better/faster than I am now. Then again, I am more of a rower than a runner at the moment, despite all of the races I've entered myself for recently. I just wish I could reset my body to its defaults again (even if they were less fit defaults than I am right now) just to clear up all of the injuries I feel like I'm plagued with at the moment. Suddenly today (and possibly tomorrow) has become my rest day for this week. My speed and stamina for long distance runs is way off what it was last year, I don't think I'm going to do well in any of the half marathons (and don't get me started on the Paris Marathon next year) given how I feel right now and when I'm out running. I just want to turn it all around and be back to how I was before, when I enjoyed pulling on my running kit, and looking forward to getting on the Path. Rather than now when I almost dread running, and right at this moment, when bending down to tie my laces would make my back twinge.

Work has been busy. Very busy. I'm just pleased that the service upgrade I came in early for this morning went off with nary a hitch other than a weird buffering issue with one of the log file writers. Otherwise it's been all about rogue DHCP servers, VLAN netmasks, and firewalls.

No exercise tonight, but dinner with Kate, which should be good.