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[16:35] Rather amazingly, my legs weren't totally ruined, nor do I have any signficant injuries off the back of yesterday morning's run. This is Rather A Good Thing, I have to say. I'm thankful in very many ways for this fact. Happily, Rachel isn't suffering either, except that she has some kind of horrible head/chest coldy thing which is really making its presence felt at the moment. She managed to make it to my place last night, but didn't leave this morning on account of it probably being far better for her to stay somewhere warm (yes, I have the heating on) rather than going out into the cold, and to work. There's no point wondering whether or not what she has is infectious as I'm either going to get it or I'm not at this point. Prolonged exposure isn't going to make a whit of difference at this point. It does mean she'll be at home when I leave in a few minutes, which is very nice.

Anyway, today's work day didn't start perfectly as I came in to find my coworkers talking about the fact I didn't do something that had been promised (by someone else, mind) for yesterday, yesterday. In my defence I was shattered after yesterday morning and it just slipped my mind until just before I was about to go home. I apologised and got it done (patching 200 machines or so) in about an hour. It would have taken much less time, but we don't have the right Red Hat subscriptions to enable me to do that at the moment. Once that was done I got a few support calls dealt with, and then went out for my Friday sprintervals session. I wasn't expecting much after yesterday's run, but was pleasantly surprised by the resulting graph I uploaded to Endomondo and synchronised to Strava... even if the exercise itself wasn't all that much fun. Now all I have to do is get through a 22.5km/14 mile run tomorrow and Sunday's a day off (albeit with some coaching of the top women's boat mid-morning). I hope you have a good weekend, whatever it is you're doing. See you Monday.

[17:20] Today was a big day, or at least a big morning, for all kinds of reasons. After a really terrible night's sleep (broken/none really after about 03:45 (thank goodness I went to bed at 21:40)) I got up at 05:05 and after a quick breakfast made it to work and was changed into my running stuff for 05:50. I then ran (with one nature toilet break) 26.9km, probably while most of you were still in bed. I'll admit, there were (more than) a few periods during the run when I wished I had been, too. In the end though I managed a two hour (2:03:32) run without any significant injuries so far as I can tell. I then had to go straight into server patching and reboots before I could have a long hot shower. Immediately after getting back to my desk post-shower I had to get up again and cram a Snickers into my mouth while going over to the old server room to derack six servers and help transport them over to, and rack them in, the new data centre. This took quite a while as we had to negotiate the officialdom of getting into and out of the place, as well as my induction. I also managed to cut my thumb quite badly on the bottom of a server, which served as an adequate blood sacrifice to the racking gods. Then, once I finally got back to my desk (having missed the chance to get a hot bacon and sausage baguette due to being out of the office when the sandwich van came) I had to quickly choke down my inadequately-sized lunch so that I could head over to the other other server room and replace a failed hard drive in our failover load balancer. While I was waiting for that to sync, I opened a support call about a dead RAID battery. Then it turned 13:00. I decided after that I wasn't going to do much this afternoon, and certainly not this evening. Rachel does approximately that distance every Thursday morning, and similar or longer on the weekend. I think I need to up my game somewhat. And my calorific intake post-run. I'm not sure how tomorrow's sprintervals are going to go, or the weekend's long run, but I'm sure I can give them a shot. Right now I'm just extremely pleased that I don't seem to be horribly injured in any way, and I'm deeply thankful for that. I'm going home now. There will be a great and terrible eating. Especially once Rachel arrives and we have dinner.

[17:15] I made my lunch last night, went to bed early, and fully intended to get up and run a fairly long distance this morning. At around 03:45 I realised I wasn't getting a good night's sleep and changed the alarm for 07:00. Morning exercises happened instead. I then did a run with Max to the sorting office and back at lunch time, and was going to do the long run this evening until Rachel convinced me that it probably wasn't a good idea to run twice in a day, resulting in an cumulative distance of around 24 miles in a day this early into my training. As a result I've now got the option of running long distance tomorrow morning or tomorrow evening (or not at all this week other than my planned one on the weekend). Doing it in the morning has the potential advantage of better weather. But the evening has the advantage of not being very early in the morning, and not getting in the way of some patching. But the weather is due to get a bit nasty in the evening. Plus Rachel's due then and I don't want to be utterly shattered just as she gets here. I'm sure I'll figure it out. I just need a good night's sleep. That's all. Anyway, off home now, even if the evening does look perfect for running. I think the morning'll be better, as it'll be getting lighter, not darker. Tomorrow's going to be a busy day though, even if I don't run in the morning.

[17:25] Another early morning patching day. But this time with a twist! I went to the boat house beforehand and managed to squeeze in two 6km UT2 ergs and then got to work in time to do the patching. Both endeavours seemed to come off mostly without a hitch, although there were a few issues here and there with services starting up again on reboot. I think they're all sorted now. We moved some servers from the being-decomissioned server room to the new data centre at lunch time. Having help with the deracking meant that I didn't see which interface one of the network cables was plugged in to. This meant some on-the-fly reconfiguration via the onboard lights-out-management interface when I got back to the office so that things started working again network-wise. Since then I think I've managed to confirm that some custom-rolled KDE RPMs from a Red Hat developer might have fixed a long-standing bug with my Task Manager applet, which is great. Hopefully they'll make it into the mainline repository some time in the next few weeks. Although I don't really care as I have the fix already. I had an offer to sub into a boat this evening to row, but I really can't be bothered at the moment, especially as I did ergs this morning and I've decided that Wednesdays are going to have a proper long run in them (probably in the evenings rather than the morning before work). Now all I have to do is go home, try to refrain from doing the washing up (Rachel seems to want to do it when she arrives on Thursday, don't ask me why), and relax. Maybe watch a film.

[16:15] This weekend was a bit weird, to be honest. I really wanted to run a long distance on Saturday, but somehow found myself doing exactly the distance specified by the training plan, which was less than a half marathon by a good few kilometres. And that was enough. I didn't really do much for the rest of the day, even though I sort of wanted to. On Sunday, other than going to Tesco I didn't do much of anything at all. Which was probably a good idea for my body, but not for my mind. By the time Rachel turned up I wasn't quite in a slump, but I certainly wasn't as bright and cheerful and other good things as I'd wanted to be for her. We still had an OK evening (she tells me it was good) and went to bed. I slept fairly well, but not stunningly/all the way through. As a result I didn't do morning exercises, but did get to work in time to do the morning's patching (only the institution's live web servers). Although there were some moderate issues arising from the patching and rebooting, nothing terrible occured and all of the problems were sorted fairly quickly.

Getting on with the day after that mainly consisted of fighting with a pair of servers with too many third-party repos enabled on them, meaning that attempting to do package updates was failing horribly. I'm pretty sure I've fixed those issues, so we're ready to go tomorrow morning with a set of ten servers for package updates, with four of them also getting firmware updates as well.

The lunchtime run was a 'mid tempo' run of 8.1km. I wouldn't say this darned near killed me, but it was pretty tough at numerous points. I managed it though, so there's that. This evening I'll do a shortish weights session, then head home. I've got patching (or server moves) every morning this week except Friday, so it'll be a good idea for me to get some early nights to compensate.

[17:10] Given the huge spot on my nose I elected to go for a run last night rather than show up to the boat house with it. Not that most other people would even have noticed it (I feel like I'm a bit more observant (read: anal) about details than many), but there you go. It was a cold night, but I still managed to get a good 14K run in and be home in plenty of time to shower and get the dinner on before Rachel arrived. Both of us were tired from the day (she'd run to work this morning, which is about 13 miles) so we felt perfectly justified in slobbing out on the sofa and eating rather too much.

This morning was a bit of struggle in terms of getting out of bed, but I managed it, did morning exercises and was at work in good time. Today was mainly about getting things ready for the weekend. There's both power work and server moves going on, and I don't have anything to do with either of them, thank goodness. However, there's a good chance there'll be some cleanup to do on Monday morning with regard to servers or services not coming back as they should... Unless my colleagues deal with it all on the Sunday evening.

Over the weekend I'll be doing only a 16.1km run and taking a day off. No coaching I don't think as my club will be at Boston Head. It'll be the first 'big' race they've done without me in a crew in eight years. Feels a bit odd, but I do feel like I'm making progress on my running by not trying to split my attention/fitness between two sports.

[17:10] I'm closer to 40 than I'd like and I have a huge spot on my nose. This can't be right. Seriously, it's huge, and red. Deeply unpleasant and unattractive. It's so bad that I'm not going to go to the boat house and do weights this evening, I'm going to go for a run instead.

Good day today, all things considered. No patching this morning so I could stay in bed until closer to 08:00 than I have in a while. Morning exercises, OK cycle to work, nothing going boom particularly loudly at work. Other than the spot on my nose things have been normal, for once. I even reduced the amount of cruft being logged in the firewall by about 86% by adding two servers to a firewall group and switching a few other groups around. It'll certainly make looking for other bad things a whole lot easier.

Anyway, that was today. Tomorrow's going to be interesting, with some patching that won't take effect until some power work/shutdowns/moves over the weekend. It could mean I come back to a complete mess on Monday. But that's Monday, it isn't even Friday yet. Run time, then Rachel time.

[18:40] Didn't run last night as Rachel had run at lunch time. So that made yesterday a complete rest day. I think I probably needed it. Getting up this morning was still difficult though. I think the reason can be partially traced back to having a huge evening meal courtesy of Rachel's excellent cooking, and then having trouble sleeping as I'd eaten too much. Anyway, I got to work in time to patch and rebooted nine machines or so. Everything went swimmingly there. Then some time mid-morning I tried to patch a few more servers and one of the virtual hosts completely botched its networking in some completely impossible-to-diagnose way. Luckily I could get to it via its lights out management interface, go back to basics networking-wise and get things going again. However, that ate into my lunch time, so my Wednesday 'pootle' run was a bit faster than it should have been. However, I got a good 11.6km in before I got back, showered and was at my desk for a meeting later on. Since then I've been able to empty my inbox somewhat, tidy up technically from this morning, and even read a few articles on line. It's now dinner time with Kate, before I head home fairly early to try and catch up on a bit of sleep. Rachel's back tomorrow evening (hurrah!), and she'll be making her way from station to home on the 'new' bike I rebuilt for her, which hopefully will be a bit more stable and easy to cycle than her old one.

[17:25] Popped to the boat house last night and did a quick hour on the wattbike to try and get a bit more out of my legs for the day. Disappointingly failed to break 40km, which is something I have done before. Topped it off with a bit of weights and then made it home in time to tidy up a bit before Rachel arrived.

This morning was an early one to patch some easy servers and some potentially problematic ones. In the end everything went perfectly, which was a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one. The worst part of the morning was the cycle in in the bitter cold... and getting out of bed at all, even if I did have morning exercises to get the blood flowing a bit. This afternoon I've mainly been doing make-work and clearning up after a colleague shut down a host for a few virtual guests without shutting them down first. Everything seems to have survived, but it was a bit disappointing that more attention hadn't been paid to things.

I'm contemplating a run this evening with Rachel, if the weather's not too chilly. We may just stay inside, but it's likely she'll force us out for a quick one by the river. I'm in work early again tomorrow patching a set of test servers, so that should be fairly OK, I hope. We'll see. Given how two of them had their motherboards replaced this morning by an Oracle engineer (with me attending) they should be OK, at least.

[16:50] I had a fairly fantabulous long weekend, thanks for asking. It started on Thursday evening with getting into nice clothes and having swanky dinner in a hotel with Rachel. We then stayed the night there. Disappointingly, neither of us got a great night's sleep, but the room was nice, and breakfast was awesome. We then did fun things on Friday. Chasteningly, when it came time to do my run for the day (sprintervals), Rachel beat me into a cocked hat on all of the sprint parts. She's definitely a better runner than I am now. It's strange feeling, to have a girlfriend who's better at something physical/strength/stamina-related than I am, but it certainly gives me reason to train/try harder!

She went home on Saturday to play hockey and do her own running training, so I went for my weekend run (13.1 miles, a half marathon distance), which didn't feel too bad at all, all things considered. Of course it turns out Rachel did 19.5 miles the following day. I'm seriously considering whether or not to add a second long run to my weekly training schedule. Especially considering I'm currently not all that injured, and not really training for anything rowing-related (especially at the moment when every morning seems to be all about patching, so I can't erg then). Maybe Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings will be the time to do it.

So anyway, Sunday was my rest day. I went to the boat house and coached the W1 8+ up and down the river a bit. I think we made some definite progress, and they seemed happy with my coaching, so I imagine I'll be back again in the future. After that it was Tesco, then home. This morning it was the first of almost a whole week fo early mornings for patching. Everything went swimmingly, so I was able to settle in quite quickly. I had to rush to get my lunch time run in (5km, not as fast as I was supposed to go, by a few seconds per km) to be back in time to go over to the new data centre with three servers we first removed from the old server room. There were a few issues with one server, and the racks really aren't set up very well, but otherwise things progressed and we know where we are, as it were. Getting into and out of the building's going to be a complete faff, though.

Weights straight after work, then home in time for Rachel, who's coming tonight, working from (my) home tomorrow, and then leaving on Wednesday morning as she can't come on Thursday evening this week. So that's lovely of her. Of course, none of the next two mornings can I stay in bed late, but them's the breaks.

[16:10] Hurrah! I get to leave now as I was in this morning doing more patching. This is going to be the way of things on and off for the next few months. The downside is that I have to be in work earlier than I would like. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.

This morning's work seemed to go OK, which was good. I got notice that the replacement motherboards for my two Oracle calls would be turning up at 12:00, with the engineer arriving at 14:00. This worried me as I wanted to be out of here at 16:00 and motherboards take a while to replace. When the engineer arrived at 14:00 the parts still hadn't. Turned out they were still in Leipzig, which isn't where the servers are. Happily this meant that the work has been rearranged for next week, and I can leave on time. Otherwise I've been plugging in bits of fibre, adding things to Observium, and printing out Rachel's marathon training plan and looking at it thoughtfully, and under the impression that perhaps I'm not doing enough long runs a week. I guess we'll see.

For now though I'm off for the week (yay!), having a nice meal in a posh hotel this evening, and the day off tomorrow. See you Monday after a weekend of running, coaching rowing, Tesco, and recovery.

[17:10] This morning got busy fast. There I was just doing my morning patching when various firmware issues started showing up, machines were slow to patch, and someone from Red Hat called to ask me to enumerate... well, let's just say it wasn't a straightforward or quick task. Couple that with having to cycle over to another data centre to cold power cycle a server to make sure the service processor in it was actually dead and I didn't really get to stop and think about going for a nice run until close on 14:00.

Happily the run helped soothe my savage brow, as it were, and 6km later I was back in the office post-shower and able to have a quiet afternoon of preparing for tomorrow's early morning patching. Only two, thankfully. But moderately important in the grand scheme of things. I'm contemplating going home rather than weights tonight, but I won't honestly know which'll happen until I pass the boat house on the way home.

[17:55] Weights last night was good. I dropped the amount I was squatting and deadlifting and I think that, combined with having gotten into the swing of things, meant that my legs/body didn't have such a rude awakening this morning. I also squeezed in a quick 6km UT2 erg with the women last night after my weights as a show of solidarity. I did skip out on the all-members meeting which was starting straight afterwards as it doesn't really have any bearing on me for the next few months while I concentrate on running (and occasionally coaching the senior women).

Max and I were joined by someone else for our UT2 ergs this morning. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the way through the first erg he pulled a back muscle and had to leave us to it. Hopefully he'll be OK again soon. No running for me today (already I'm thinking "hooray!"), so I spent the day getting a good bit of preparatory work done for tomorrow's patching and maintenance. Ten machines, with one of them requiring a cold power cycle once I've got everything patched, rebooted, and some extra packages swapped out and updated. Hopefully everything will go fine and I'll be free at 13:00 or so to go out with the slower runners here for my Wednesday lunch time "remember that you enjoy running" run.

Tonight I have the night off from everything, though. As a result I'm going to go home, make a nice meal of something or other, and relax with a film and an earlyish night so I can be in early tomorrow morning. Life. It's just so exciting sometimes, isn't it?

[17:20] Sometimes even the simplest thing gets a little complicated. Owing to the stupid way that X4600 M2 servers label their disks externally versus how utilities like lsiutil do it within the OS I managed to not only remove the wrong disk from a RAID1 set, but it was the wrong disk from the wrong RAID1 set. Now I have to wait until the first RAID1 set has resynced before I can see if the other set will start resyncing. And don't get me started on how I had to work out which disk in the correct set was the right one to remove, either. As it is I now have to wait and see, rather than leaving early like I wanted to to get to the boat house and do my weights session.

I did my second mid-rate (hoho) tempo run at lunch time today. 11.3km or so (7 miles). I only just managed to complete it with an overall pace on the upper bounds of what I 'should' be doing. I probably could have pushed a little harder in places to make it a little easier, but there was wind, and a few minor uphills. Thus far I don't seem to be suffering too much from my usual aches and pains. However, I do count myself lucky every time I finish a run fully, rather than having to fetch up short. There was a point in this run, less than 600m from the start when I thought I might have to. I definitely always need to stretch properly before running, these days.

Over the weekend I had no rowing. And there won't be any more now until after the Manchester Marathon. Instead I had a bit of a lie-in and then prepared to go out for my weekly long run. Unfortunately, the moment I stepped out of the front door the heavens opened something fierce and I decided that life was just too short to go out in it. About an hour later the weather was much nicer and I was able to get my 19.4km or so in without too much distress (just the usual amount for having run that far). I also got my hair cut in the afternoon, as it was time. Sunday was all about relaxation. And for the first time in a while I really didn't mind that I wasn't doing anything active, other than going to Tesco. Rachel turned up nice and early, so we went and had crepes in town before coming home and enjoying a very nice afternoon and evening together. Disappointingly, we didn't sleep too well, so were both pretty groggy this morning. I managed to get my morning exercises done before coming into work, though.

I've started to get more machines scheduled for patching and reboot today, which is good. I've started arranging them for 08:00-09:00 rather than earlier as I have begun to believe that there aren't many things worth getting up early for when it comes to work. Exercise? Yes. Speaking of which, weights tonight, then I have to decide if I'm going to go to the start of the year rowing meeting, or just go home. I think I'll probably go home as I'm not really doing anything rowing-related other than potentially a bit of coaching for the women's top boat, and my own private ergs to keep fitness and technique ticking over.

[17:35] And yesterday ended so well... I got a new season's best for a 30min AT erg (8016m), but then bumped into someone I wished I hadn't on my way out of the boat house, which put me in a bit of a funk for the evening. This meant that Rachel didn't get me at my best, which was also disappointing. I woke up this morning with an ache, which hasn't seemed to have gone away over the course of the day. I can only hope it isn't anything serious. The day went OK work-wise, without anything going spectacularly wrong. However, I had my first set of sprintervals at lunchtime and whilest they didn't go spectacularly wrong, they certainly weren't at the pace I was supposed to be going at given my purported 10K pace/time. They were hard work, and not very impressive. I can only hope that this was due to last night's erg and it only being the first week of my new training routine. I've got a week until the next sprints session, so we'll see how I do then. All I have to do now is get through this weekend's long run (19.4km/12miles) and it's back around to the start again with a longer mid tempo run than last Monday's (which nearly destroyed me, too). This training programme is either going to kill/injure me or make me a running machine. The jury is still out as to which that's going to be.

This weekend as I said is going to have a long run in it. There might be some messing about in small boats at the boat house, but actually I don't think so. Rachel should arrive nice and early on Sunday so we can have a totally lazy afternoon (although we might meet at Tesco (romantic, I know)). Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on for me right now. This is probably why there aren't many people accessing this site much these days (not that I care). Those of you reading this at any point close to the date of publishing should know you're part of a select few of - at most - fifteen people who read what I write. And that's direct and LiveJournal views together. Maybe I should introduce you to each other one day.

Anyway, the first working week of 2015's over. Time to go home and hopefully make it there in one piece given the wind that seems to have picked up.

[17:00] Honestly, I was 75% sure I'd get up this morning and go and do a 30 min AT erg this morning. However, in the end I didn't even get out of bed before 07:45, and only did morning exercises instead. I then thought about going out at lunch time and doing it then, and didn't. Instead I'm going to make my best effort to go after work and do it at the same time as other people in the hopes that'll make me do it. I have a bit of a prod at the back of my mind from Rachel doing many lots of miles on the road last night and this morning (basically the distance of a marathon in two lumps) even though rowing isn't really running. I've got sprintervals tomorrow, which should make me feel a little better, and then the long weekend run (although that isn't anywhere near as far as Rachel's running on a normal schedule). She's definitely more built for marathon distances than I am, and fitter for them, too. As I've said before, I think this is the year she outstrips me.

Workwise I've started the long job of scheduling every single server I administer for update and reboot. It's going to mean a lot of logistics planning, a lot of early mornings, and more than likely a good bit of stress and extra work as we discover things that break in the upgrade. I can see there being a lot of work for me to do between now and... well, probably the end of April, if not more if deadlines slip (they will).

[17:20] It was nice to only have to get up for morning exercises today. Especially as the DOMS from Monday and Tuesday had really begun to bite last night. That meant that I didn't really feel all that flexible and limber until I'd started my cycle to work. Sitting in a chair all morning doing work also didn't prepare me all that well for the run at lunchtime either. Luckily, Wednesday is "remember you enjoy running/running is fun" day, so I was only out for a very very gentle 8k with other people setting the (slow) pace. Even so I think my muscles complained a little, while my cardiovascular system basically just ticked over. Hopefully this means I'll be OK for tonight's row, a potential 30min AT erg tomorrow morning, and then sprintervals on Friday at lunch time. Not to mention the weekend's long run. I guess we'll see. This is only week one of the marathon training programme, so there's bound to be some complaints from my body (and mind) to begin with.

Anyway, rowing tonight, then potentially to see Ellie in the pub for her birthday, then home for an earlyish bed, just in case Max decides he does want to do an erg tomorrow morning.

[17:20] Although I didn't enjoy getting up early this morning at all, I did find myself enjoying the practically leisurely-feeling 2x6km UT2 ergs with Max. Given yesterday's run, plus weights in the evening my legs were already feeling a bit overwhelmed by this marathon training (yes, after one day). I get the impression they'll get on board in a few days, or a few weeks at most and then it'll all be good, but for the time being I think I'll be setting great store in the 'gentle' Tuesday mornings, and Tuesdays in general. Given I'm putting rowing on the back burner until after my marathon's done (or I get injured from running so much) I feel justified in not going to the coached erg session this evening. I also don't have to be up early tomorrow morning, and tomorrow lunch time is only a gentle 6km that I don't care about the speed of. Of course, in the evening I've got a rowing outing, so I'm hopeful the weather will behave, at least. Tomorrow and Saturday morning are my last outings, so I'd like them to be reasonable.

Workwise I replaced a BIOS battery, did some server updates and replaced complete PHP infrastructures on a few Drupal servers. There'll be more happening tomorrow, I imagine.

[17:10] I had a great last weekend of the holiday period. Mostly due to Rachel being around. No rowing on the Saturday or Sunday (more on that in a second), and then a shopping trip into town where I managed to convince her to let me get a decent waterproof for her, and she bought me some replacement earphones for work and both of us some books. She also convinced me to go for a run in the torrential rain on Saturday just around about lunch time which both of us hated at the time but enjoyed in retrospect. Sunday was more about laziness for me, while Rachel did herself another run.

Lately I've been feeling like I'm just not getting the enjoyment out of rowing that I used to, as well as feeling like trying to train for a half and full marathon again while still doing a full rowing training load wasn't the best thing for me last year... so I've decided to take a break from rowing until the running is not as full-on. So basically after the Manchester Marathon in April. I'll still try to do most, if not all, of the the land training for rowing (ergs, weights) as cross training for the running, but I don't think I'll be doing any outings. At least not unless a crew really needs a sub. I think this is the best idea, and should also mean that I stand the best chance of running as well as I can, before I start to slow down in my old age, as it were.

If nothing else it'll make Rachel happier for me to concentrate on only one sport, and hopefully start running faster than her again as she doesn't like it when she's a better runner than me, which she is, right now, whether she likes it or not. Although she'd always swear that I was a better rower and cyclist, etc.

Speaking of training though, on Rachel's recommendation I've downloaded and modified a marathon training plan which should hopefully give me some structure, and something to work towards/within. As such I did my first run today at lunch time, a mid-tempo 8.1km. It was pretty hard in places, and I had my usual adductor pain afterwards, but hopefully that's just something I can either get rid of with more training, or deal with through other exercise/physio. On that note though, it's weights evening.

Oh, work? That was fine. Nothing really to report. I've got a few things starting to line up on my to do list, but nothing that I won't be able to deal with as and when they become actually active/pending.

[16:20] Hello, happy new year, and all that stuff. I've had a great past few weeks, thanks for asking. It started off in Finland, where Rachel and I did lots of awesome things. Snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, husky sledding, and building a quinzee and sleeping in it over night. Not to mention eating far too much high-calorie food to replace all of the energy we burned doing all of those things as well as going for runs in the almost-Arctic darkness. Sadly, no northern lights. The sky was cloudy every night we were there. Disappointingly it only got down to about -14degC on one day, too. The rest of the time it was a relatively mild -4degC. I've got some photos to show you, at some point.

After Finland I came home and headed up to see my parents and my brother (plus his newly-adopted two year old son) for Christmas. Relaxing, even with the impromptu half marathon distance I accidentally ran by getting lost. After that I came home on the train(s), only to find that the bike I'd left at the station had been removed when they started redoing the car park and I had to be given a taxi ride home instead. Hopefully I'll get the bike back early next week.

I spent the new year at home with Rachel. We had a quiet one as we'd planned on doing an 18-ish mile run on New Year's Day. Disappointingly I decided to stop after 13.1 miles (another half marathon distance), leaving Rachel to finish a 16 mile run. Perhaps it's the cold I've been shaking, or perhaps she's just become a stronger runner than me, but I do feel somewhat that this is the year that the 'torch' is passed from me to her. We'll have to see how the next two races we do (a half marathon together, and two different marathons) go.

Anyway, I'm in work, if only for a day before the end of the week. This has given me an opportunity to truncate and rotate various log files, update the copyright and other date-related things on the site, and download the Christmas Top Gear episodes over a fast connection. See you on Monday when the working year starts for real. I hope you had a happy festive period and a fun new year celebration.