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August's Journal
October's Journal

[16:25] A slight case of over-training this weekend. But nothing outside the realms of possibility, as it were. Two outings on Saturday morning were good but then I decided to go for a nice long run on Saturday afternoon... and ended up doing a half marathon. Not stunningly fast by any means, and I was pretty broken by the time I made it home again. Almost every kilometre was slower than the one before. Still, I did it, so that proves I still can. All I need to do now is go running a little more often. The night before had been a curry with non-rowing friends, which was quite nice to do. I did leave in plenty of time to get a good night's sleep, though. Saturday afternoon was spent helping a friend deal with her recently-deceased partner's IT things. It felt good to do something quickly and efficiently that would have taken them days to do, otherwise. Unfortunately I couldn't help with certain emails-to-local files issues, but I at least showed them a reasonable workflow to follow. Plus we got to have a good talk about things and hopefully filled up one of those horribly empty weekend afternoons that can be the worst thing ever when you're suddenly without your life partner.

The outing on Sunday wasn't too shabby either, for a mixed boat. Definitely some stylistic differences between the two squads (men and women). It was lovely to have the afternoon off, once back from Tesco, to do nothing at all. Rachel arrived in the evening and we made a rather delicious Moroccan beef stew.

This morning I've been preparing for tomorrow morning's upgrade of a "tier 1.5" service. Hopefully it'll all go perfectly... We'll see. If it doesn't I think I have a pretty foolproof backout procedure, so that should be OK, I think. I missed this morning's early erg, but there's weights this evening so I don't get/have to miss out entirely on today's training. I'll try and do the 2x 6km ergs later on in the week. Maybe tomorrow evening.

[18:15] I enjoyed my first morning lazing in bed until 07:30 this week this morning. And it was glorious, even if still a little early. Got to work, did some work, picked up my new Zoot triathlon suit from the place it had been delivered (the old building) and tried it on (fits perfectly, if I stay in shape). Went to Aldi over lunch and bought another one for £15, which is considerably cheaper than the Zoot one. Luckily it shows and feels it, so I'm not disappointed. And now I have two. One for weekdays and one for Sunday best, as it were. Also got myself some compression kit as it was stupidly cheap. The long-sleeved top I got in a larger size so it might keep my hands a little warmer when it starts getting very cold in the boat again this winter. Oh, and I got Rachel into the same race as I'll be running next year, so that was pretty cool too.

The afternoon's work came and went. I got stuff done. Next week I'm on my own Networks-wise, which will be 'fun'. And my team leader (systems admin) is back, and settling into the new building, which will be equally so. Tonight is curry night with friends, the weekend has lots of rowing, and hopefully a nice long long run at a reduced speed, and then it's Monday all over again. Have a good weekend.

[18:30] 30 minute erg this morning. After last night's successful (no extra aches than the normal ones) weights session I managed not to embarrass myself after so long without doing one at the intensity called for. I even beat the younger, stronger crewmate. Stamina, I guess. I really should do some long runs again soon. Once I got to work, and managed to sign up for a popular half marathon I discovered that I had been stung for a not-inconsiderable amount of import duty on my tri suit from the USA. For something that was going to be quite a bit cheaper to order online from there I think all of the savings and then some have been swallowed up by delivery costs and this VAT thing. Ah well. With luck it should arrive tomorrow, which will be nice.

Work today has been pretty hectic, even with yesterday's two bits of network stuff in town going rather well I was still covered in work for most of the day, not to mention something weird happening with the load balancers this morning which required me to create an incident report when somehow what I was doing managed to drop all of the services they were hosting. I got them back after about ten minutes, but it was definitely rather annoying. The workplace continues to be a smidgen too hot for everyone's liking, but there doesn't seem to be a lot we can do about it right now.

The reason I'm at work so late is that Rachel isn't due until later on this evening and I actually don't have any training scheduled this evening. Even so, it's pretty late and I should probably go home and tidy up a bit before she arrives.

[12:45] Up at 05:40, running a 10K at 06:05, back in time for an hour's core workout. It's a good way to start the day, and I only ache a little bit. Which is nice. I also don't appear to be aching in any silly places (just the usual, normal places). Although we'll have to see how that goes. I will say that I have lost a lot of my running fitness, which is greatly disappointing. I'm hopeful that this I something I can get back gradually but fairly quickly when I start doing a bit more regular running. We'll see, as I'm still a little reticent about stressing my body with running while I still feel a bit fragile. Anyway.

Work has somehow gone very quickly this morning. Couldn't say why. Although It's already pretty warm in here I think over the summer months it's going to get deeply unpleasant, I think. We'll have to see how that goes.

I'm about to head off into town to do all kinds of network-related things, including moving a switch for Security and plugging in two wireless access points. I hope not to be back today, and instead go straight to the boat house for an early weights session. That way I can go home and make a proper dinner rather than breaking and ordering a pizza last night instead (I was so hungry after the in-pairs outing we did in the 4+).

I think that's everything. You're all caught up. I'll finish my lunch and be on my way.

[17:20] A pretty good day in terms of work and stuff here at the new building for the most part. Pretty much everything is unpacked now (after a concentrated 30 minute session just now). Although we've just this second noticed another stack of crates we need to deal with.

I didn't get up at 05:40 for a run this morning as I was trying to take it a little easier after a rather good (no aches, other than the right ones!) weights session last night. Plus I have an outing this evening in what looks like really nice weather so I'm making an effort to ease myself back into a harder mode of training again, rather than going all in with the weights, rowing, and running all at the same time. I do miss running though. And I can feel that my 'running fitness' has dropped way off, which distresses me not a little. Anyway, I should go. See you tomorrow.

[17:00] I'm now in my new seat, in my new office. There's a good chance this could be the last place I sit in this job. Of course, it could be all change in a bit, but I doubt it. I'm moderately happy with where I am, I have the shelves I want behind me, and thus far there haven't been too many issues other than the desk being a lot smaller than it was before. I have enough room, I think, to put everything out that I want, and plenty of storage space (although it's behind me and in plain sight). I guess it's all just new and strange right now. I'm not looking forward to my team leader coming back and settling in though, as I don't think he'll 'settle in' all that well. Although stranger things have happpened.

The weekend was pretty great. Saturday was spent almost entirely in boats. Three outings totalling about seven hours. Even my fairly calloused hands were a smidgen sore by the end of it all. A few of us went to the pub after all was done and had large amounts of protein and carbs. Then I went home and Rachel arrived, which was even better.

Sunday was relay race (running) day. That went pretty well too as neither it nor the rowing the day before set off any major twinges in my problematic places. Although I was worried about all of them when doing some warmup jogs around the grass area before my leg of the race. After racing there was a pub trip for protein and carbs, obviously. Sunday afternoon was mainly about relaxing and not doing much at all, which was really, really good. I didn't sleep very well on the Saturday night (not terribly much better on the Sunday night either, actually), so it was much needed.

This morning I got in pretty early to make sure everything that I wanted to be in my area was. It was. In fact in some ways it was better than I'd hoped for. The desks are worse, but everything else is pretty OK. This is good. Now I just have to wait for my team leader to come back and hope that things work out. For tonight though, it's weights, then food, then television, then bed.

[17:50] As days go, today was a pretty easy one. I'm in the new building, and have basically spent the day making sure someone was watching the servers in case they decided to go wrong. They didn't. At lunch time I went back over to the old building for a free celebratory buffet, then came back here and caught up on old web pages I hadn't gotten around to looking at. Now I'm about to go home (absolutely no exercise today).

This weekend I'll be rowing literally all day tomorrow, and then doing a relay race on Sunday morning, of which Rachel will also be taking part. So that should be pretty cool.

That's pretty much it. Monday is going to be interesting, what with everyone moving in and me moving desks. I intend to arrive very early to make sure all of my stuff goes where it's supposed to. We'll have to see how that works. More on Monday... I hope...

[16:55] First post from the new building. Not my new desk, which isn't in the building yet, and is in fact still someone else's desk in the old building until it's moved across this weekend. I'm really going to have to get into work very very early on Monday morning to make sure everything that I hope is in place (mainly my bookshelves) is in the right place. Otherwise I'm never ever going to be able to make it happen. We'll see.

So yes, last night I did a weights session and although I wasn't using very heavy weights I got a good burn on in all the right places and none of the wrong ones, which was so gratifying I wanted to call someone and share my happiness. Unfortunatey they didn't answer their phone, so I had dinner and watch some television instead. Still happy, though. This morning was an early morning erg session. 2x 10min at rate 20, AT traning band. That was pretty darned good and set me up for the day. No twinges then either. I'm under no illusion that I'm suddenly fixed/well, but it's great when I get through a few sessions and nothing hurts in ways that it's not usually supposed to. I'm not going to run again until the relay race on the weekend though, just to be safe.

Work was dull this morning, I packed up everything over lunch, and now I'm sitting in the Operations Manager's office on his desk until Monday morning, when I'll move across early and continue providing support while everyone else gets set up and running. There are going to be a lot of teething troubles with this new building. Not only physical, electrical and technical. But also personal. Everything is open plan on both floors. There are going to be some tense moments, I think. My aim is just to invest in some very good head phones and ride it out.

Evening outing tonight. It seems to have stopped raining for the moment. So that's nice. It'd be good if it held of for the remainder of the evening. And Rachel is here this evening too, which is also nice.

[17:20] Hmmm, what happened today? Well, let me tell you about last night first. I got out of work after spending a chunk of time looking at places to establish wireless access points. Then had a damned good read in a book shop until just before 19:00. Dinner with Shannon at a fish restaurant during which time considerable amounts of conversation were had. Then I went to bed as I was a pretty tired bunny for not having done any exercise that day. This morning I remedied that with a morning exercise session, then headed into work to find that everything seemed to be going perfectly well. Which is odd for work, but extremely acceptable. I didn't even ache anywhere more than usual either, which was good. Although I can sometimes feel like bits of me are on the edge of aching if I were to do something overly stretchy, that I could easily have done without worry nine months ago, but not so much now. Anyway, over lunch I headed into town to show Shannon a few of the sights, then sent her on her way to get a coach to the airport while I did some more wireless access point surveying. Back at the office for a few minutes for lunch, then shifting two servers from one server room to the other. Since then I should have spent some time writing some emails, but I really couldn't be bothered. I will try and do a few this evening. For now though, I'm going to head to the boat house, I think, and do something light in preparation for tomorrow morning's AT erg.

[14:20] Back again. Almost the usual same old, same old over the weekend. Saturday was rowing, but then off to Tesco to make fresh smoothies for people in exchange for a charity donation. That went well, and I also got to drink a lot of smoothie. I'm pretty sure I got twelve of my five a day. Rachel arrived on Saturday evening, which was lovely. I left her alone for Sunday morning while I went rowing again. Just after I got back she turned up again after running basically more than a half marathon. I've been aching or in some way injured in various and sundry places for the last long while now and I had a bit of a downer about how I couldn't go out and run (or do weights, or row) to my maximum (straining) potential whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted/used to, as bits of me would complain these days. As opposed to previously (last year and before then) when they would only complain about being used, rather than being injured. There's not that much I can do about it right now, so it's sort of doubly upsetting. Obviously, therefore, I entered a 10K race which'll take place on new year's eve and yesterday (which I had as a day off) got a place in the 2014 Paris Marathon.

Other things I did yesterday included going for a run, mostly out of stubborn desire to see if I could, no matter what happened (luckily nothing more than a hint of achilles tendinitis in the right leg), two 6K ergs (should have been three, but I didn't arrive in time to get them done before the technical demonstration session for which I was the crash test dummy), and meeting and showing Shannon (an American triathlon friend) around town a little.

Back at work today it's all getting a little more busy than it has been in the recent past. I've a bucketload of meetings coming up. There are new wifi points to be plugged in in various places around the institution, I've built two Oracle Linux servers this morning (well, doing the final updates on them now), and on Thursday I move buildings (before everyone else in the building bar three other people).

On top of all of that I volunteered for a psychology study (that'll require me to fill in a questionnaire every day for 28 days, plus four more on a weekly basis) and dropped most of the money for today's session out of a hole in my pocket on the cycle back to the office, which was really frustrating. I hope the person who found it gets themselves something nice, or useful. Or even gives it away as charity.

Right, time to head off into the rain. I'm so glad I'm having a nice dinner out this evening (with Shannon, before she leaves for Europe to go cycling) as I really can't be bothered to sort anything out to make myself.

[17:00] Another relatively quiet day. Did some work on some new servers' internals, got annoyed at developers for being arses, got annoyed at myself (just now in fact) for being an arse (and I'd been doing so well), and started planning an extremely busy next few days (up to Tuesday, in fact). The good thing is that the next three weeks at least will be pretty much distraction free, and leave me able to concentrate on the things which are happening in my life that are important, and that I can control. Like my training, and healthy personal interactions, and the building move. Stuff like that.

This weekend I'll be rowing both mornings, making smoothies at a Tesco to raise money for Help for Heroes (as part of the publicity push for my rowing club), seeing Rachel either here or where she lives, taking Monday off, and at some point seeing Shannon when she comes to town after her ITU race in Hyde Park to have some interviews for the university here. I think it'd be pretty awesome if she ended up being here for a while. Another training partner! Also, she's kinda cool.

Right, I should go, and concentrate on the things I can control. Like smoothies.

[17:45] First of the early morning ergs. I did it on my own as the only other person to turn up was finishing as I arrived. That's OK, I do my best work solo. Well almost all of my best work.

Not much happening today, which is good. I was able to clear a backlog of emails and other things. Off for a gentle erg this evening, then to cheer on some people doing 2K tests. This week seems to have passed pretty quickly given it's Friday tomorrow. That's OK though. Roll on the weekend and all the fun that'll entail.

[17:25] A slightly less frenetic day today, thank goodness. I've actually packed up almost everything I need to pack for the office move we'll soon be making. Actually, it's a whole building move. Across the road and into a 'shiny' 'new' building. It'll be all open plan and horrible. Hopefully I'll have some bookshelves behind me though, so I won't feel like I do since I moved across the room post-divorce; as if people are sneaking up on me every time I hear the door open. Even when I don't have something non-work related on my screen.

Last night's erg was good. Especially good considering rowing is the one sport I do at the moment which doesn't seem to make me feel like I'm coming apart at the seams. At least, not yet. We'll see what tonight does. And tomorrow morning's AT erg.

[17:10] It's pretty grim outside today. Very autumnal. Unless we have a late spurt of sunshine it really does feel like summer is very much on the way out now. Which is a bit sad given I've got things planned for October that're out doors. November as well, actually.

I had my MRI scan yesterday. Obviously nothing to report as yet. As soon as I know something new, etc. etc. Made it to the rowing club pre-season meeting in time to see the whole thing. It was interesting, and I think got a lot of people wound up for training hard this time around. Personally, I'm feeling a bit down about how much bits of me ache after yesterday's only moderately hard 8km run. At this rate I'm going to be useless for anything more than 10km, which doesn't bode well for the half marathons and more I want to do in the coming months. Here's hoping that once I get my MRI results there's some good news on the horizon. That, or that physiotherapy can help with my problems.

I was over at another building for most of the morning watching a Virgin engineer do things with a new circuit between here and London. Our end worked fine, but apparently there are issues at the other end. I found myself dozing off during the periods when we were waiting for someone at the other end to do something. Probably something to do with getting up at 05:40 this morning to go for a run, and then not going because my running partner slept through her alarm. Given that I was aching from yesterday's run it was probably for the best that it didn't happen.

I'm off shortly to do two UT2 ergs, then home for some more of the rather lovely sausage casserole I was made a few days ago. I can feel myself approaching another depressive slump, so I'm going to take steps to see if I can head it off at the pass, as it were.

[17:20] I've had a full day of SSL certificates, site redirections, network updates, virtual server builds, and a myriad other things big and small. On top of that I did an 8km run at lunch time and am about to dash to hospital for my pelvic MRI (must type this quickly).

Saturday was spent on the water in the morning (in a single scull, which I managed not to steer terribly well in the last five minutes of an hour long outing and managed to tip over, which wasn't all that bad, really, given the weather and the location). Rachel arrived in the evening, which was rather great. I helped with a boating thing (not rowing) in the afternoon, basically running an erg competition for a while.

Sunday morning I was up and out of the house by 04:50, which was a bit of a killer. Lots and lots of stuff in a launch on the river was then done for the rest of the day until I got home, tired and hungry at about 21:00. Rachel had not only made me lunch (and came to share it on a picnic blanket), but she'd also gone to Tesco for the week for me (and made a sausage casserole) as well! She's just the girl who keeps on giving. Amazing.

That's just a brief hint of what went on this weekend. It really was pretty packed. I even enjoyed the showers on both days. Especially the Saturday. And now, it's a cycle to the hospital for the MRI, and if I can make it in time, to the beginning of the season rowing meeting. I may just go home and have casserole.

[18:15] Last night we had a 2K erg test. To cut a long and probably boring story short I was five seconds off my PB. This isn't surprising as I almost always get the same time when I've been training, and I hadn't really been training. That it was only five seconds is a little surprising, I guess. My time when I am training never really gets any better, either. So, there's that.

I'm feeling a little flat today because I woke up after a shitty night's sleep ready to go for a run, only to find my throat was extremely sore from shouting encouragement for other people last night, and I had a pain in my foot almost exactly where someone else had said they'd gotten one a few days early. I hadn't gone to sleep with it. Weirdly psychosomatic. Anyway, I went back to bed and tried to doze for a little while, but still got up feeling crappy. I came to work and began to feel a bit better, which was nice. We spent the entire day over at the new building putting switches and cable management bars into racks, which is a real pain in the bum when the cage nuts don't want to go in, and there's like three different sizes of thread holes so that you have to make sure you have the correct size of bolt for them. Came back for lunch at least, which was good. Although it did mean I missed lunch with Anna. I will try to connect with her on Monday instead.

I was all set to leave today when I had a bit of a mental slip and sent myself down a mental route I thought I was getting past. I'm pretty sure at this point I've well and truly salted the earth in that area, but I guess there's always the chance of sticking a few landmines in there as well, for shits and giggles. Hopefully I haven't done so. We'll see what next week brings.

Anyway, this weekend is going to be long and hectic, but hopefully have some lovely, wonderful, pleasant moments as well. There's an event on the Saturday that I'll be taking a small part in, and then Sunday is an all day thing from 05:00 in the morning to 20:00ish at night. I'll be pretty tired by the time I get to bed. Still, it should be (the wrong kind of) distraction free.

I should get out of here. See you Monday.

[17:00] Last night's outing wasn't too bad, all things considered. It turns out we all still know how to row, which is good. One of us (not me) was on the other side for the first time ever, so that was a bit odd for them. Other than that I think we actually rowed like a reasonable crew. I think we have a few things to work on between us, but there's promise. Sadly I think we're going to have to rerig the boat out of the awesome bow side bucket rig that we had for the end of last season, but I think we've shown that it's possible for the future if we ever want to try it again.

Tonight is the club 2K test. There'll be a lot of people getting very close to killing themselves on ergs, including me. I'm really not looking forward to it all that much, but it has to be done. All I can hope is that I don't get a time too much slower than last time. Of course, we're only at the beginning of the season, and the two other people from my boat who're doing it at the same time as me are younger, stronger, and less potentially herniated (or abdominally torn) than I am, but I still want to put in a reasonable time. More on that tomorrow, if I'm capable of getting to work.

We built a stack of switches today, for installation in the new building my division is moving to in a few weeks time. They've been shipped over to said building and I'll be racking them up and helping configure them tomorrow. As that was all going on I also threw together a linux workstation for one of the web developers. That's on his desk now, and the support ticket is already closed, which is nice.

Right, I should gently cycle over to the boat house and try not to get too wound up about my 2K test.

[16:55] Got up lovely and early and did a core workout at the boat house with Max. I have to say, by the time I was finished I was pleased I had indeed gotten out of bed at 06:30 rather than sleeping in for another thirty minutes or so. It also meant I got to have belgian buns from the Co-Op, which was great. Today I've mainly been setting up new servers, getting them racked and all the usual stuff that goes along with that. Not a lot of other stuff has gone on, to be honest with you.

I'm leaving as soon as I've written this so I can get a boat rigged for this evening so we can go out on the water for the first time in I don't know how long. I'm pretty excited, I have to say. If for no other reason that the weather is really lovely and it was frustrating to be doing two 6km ergs at UT2 last night rather than being outside on the water like some other people in the club. Anyway, must be off, there are nuts to be tightened.

[17:00] Hiho. I'm back. It has been a brilliant week and a bit away. I'm afraid I can say I'm utterly rested, as I'm already back to training/exercise, but I do feel a bit better. Herewith a taste of what I've been up to.

A week last Friday there was an event at the boat house. I only turned up to make sure everything was being set up OK and ended up bartending for the whole night. It was pretty fun, all things considered. I even managed not to make a fool of myself. The following day was the first day of the yearly boat house maintenance weekend. We got a lot done, once people started to show up. On the Sunday I traveled down to Croydon. Having left just a little too late on foot to amble to the station, I had to jog with a rucksack on and was therefore utterly soaked through with sweat by the time I got to the station. Where there was a huge queue for train tickets. I made my train with a minute to spare. Only to find that I'd bought the wrong ticket in my haste. Luckily I was able to change it (for no additional money) in the train station, yay. Sunday afternoon was therefore much more relaxed. Monday was a bank holiday, so we went to Kew Gardens and did garden-related things, which was really nice and, again, relaxing. Tuesday Rachel was at work all day, so I took the opportunity to catch up on some correspondence and do absolutely nothing. I almost didn't leave the house, except I had to pop out to collect our evening curry because the place that said it delivered, didn't. Wednesday we traveled into London, Rachel to work and me to meet up with a friend for a coffee (or in my case, a mango juice). Once I'd done that I tootled across town and checked into the hotel we'd booked for two nights and settled down to read a newspaper (something I haven't done in years). Two nights in the hotel were used and abused, as was the gym (we were both missing exercising), the pool, and the breakfast bar. Friday I traveled home in time to have dinner out with Kate at a fish restaurant. The bream was delicious. Saturday was a genuine Texas barbeque at the boat house to celebrate a significant milestone in its existence. Aside from the food there were fun races between many of the members, including a little triathlon (cycle, run, scull) that I came second in. This inspired me to get up on Sunday and do another one of my own devising consisting of a 10km cycle, 10km run, and 40 minutes on the erg (just a shade under 10km as I was doing it with someone else). Sunday lunch was spent with (non-rowing!) friends, and then I went home and relaxed with a film and later on a book. Monday was my last day off. As I didn't really have anything I wanted to do (a case of use it or lose it) I took part in two psychology studies for a bit of pocket money. They took up most of the working day. I had lunch in town sitting out in the sun, and then after the studies were over went to the boat house to begin the new season of training (weights). Annoyingly I could feel a minor ache in one of the two areas that I might have a hernia (or a muscle tear) in, but we were doing very light weights so it wasn't a problem. Rachel was in town by the time I finished, so we went to Tesco for dinner, and had a pleasant evening watching The West Wing and eating masses and masses of food.

So that was my vacation. This morning I got into work very early to find the expected masses of emails and work to deal with. I've dealt with the emails, but the work's going to have to wait for tomorrow. There's going to be a huge amount of things to do between now and the end of the week. I can't imagine that I'll get all of it done. But I'll give it a shot. This afternoon I also got to go over to the new building we'll be moving to soon to look at the networking situation. That, too, needs to be sorted by the end of the week. Somehow I don't think it's going to happen.