Ramblings of this guy you know!

Tech Stuff and random observations on life as I see it….

Category Archives: My Running Life

Run to Stuartfield via a roundabout route

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Taking the route from the A952 at the Durie/Skelmuir turnoff and run along that road to the end and then turn right and follow round to the Kinnadie turnoff. following this road round to the end you come to the B9030 and turn left and then shortly afterwards tunr right up Bank Road which lead to Maud. Running about 2/3 up Bank Road you turn right shortly after Bulwark Croft and stay on that very hilly road till you get to the B9029 and turn right. Travel along the B9029 forcabout half a mile till you get to the Scrottshill/Aikey Brae trunoff and head on up, up and up some more followed by a long downhill to Stuartfield. From there it’s across countryside to take the back roads to Clola via a hill I call Nemesis and then back to the start.

Total distance : 15.62 miles

Running time : 2 hrs 16 minutes

Run Notes:

  • To date this is my longest run ever
  • After not going along to Aikey Brae in the four years I have lived in the area, I was very surprised when I went passed in on the run.
  • My other half (who is a much more accomplished runner that I am) had to come back a get me on this run so she didn’t get too far ahead… In the end she amassed the huge distance of 20 miles…. 20 miles? Awesome.

Wild Bap!

ImageSpotted earlier today on a run I was on, a very rare scottish animal indeed, the lesser common Wild Bap (Wildicus Bapius). The wild bap has a hardish exterior protecting its fleshy insides.

In the rare occurrence that it is found its head and legs retract into the body and it lies inert in an effort not to be seen.

It can often be seen in the proximity of bacon or beef.

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Update: from demand by readers, I have been asked about the difference between Wildicus Bapicus and the more commonly found Bapicus Domesticus.

The Genus Bapicus Domesticus differs from its wild cousin firstly from its more common appearance in bakeries and supermarkets by humans. Human beings have been instrumental in the domestication from its wild form and much like with dogs have altered its appearance to fit in with their lifestyles. Variants include the addition of seeds and grains and sometimes come pre-sliced. The biggest crime against the Bapicus line has been the inclusion of flour to the top.

Durie and Lenabo woods Circular(ish) Run

On the 14th of April I took a sort of circularish run through Durie and cut across to Lenabo woods and then back home again after a total of 11 miles. I did have to put in a little extra spur to get to the 11 before I got home.

you can see the whole run stats at Smashrun here: http://smashrun.com/cbeagrie/run/2012/4/14

It wasn’t the furthest I have run but it is the fastest I have done this length of run, so very happy with it.

Durie, according to Wikipedia, is a former weaver’s hamlet situated half a mile east of Clola Church. It is mentioned in records as far back as 1588, when it was spelt Dowrie. By 1600 the modern day spelling was adopted. The name is believed to come from the Gaelic dobhar or dobhran meaning a small stream, and the name Durie was originally applied to the Clola Burn which runs nearby.

RNAS Longside plaque
Something I didnt know about my surrounding area was that Lenabo Woods used to house a Royal Navy Airship Station in World War One and was known as RNAS Longside. There was a spur taken from the original Formartine Railway line at Longside to supply the Airship Station. Sadly, now there is nothing but ruins to mark the place. It is well worth reading Grey Granite’s post on the topic and has some photos of the area there also.

This shows the commemorative plaque that is fixed to one of the ruins thought to be the officers building:

This link from Geolocation.ws site shows some more photos of the area including RNAS Longside.

My new running Addiction – Smashrun

Last year I had some problems with my Nike+ account and after going through a few sessions with the tech supporter engineer to sort it out I posted it on this blog in case it helped anyone else’s with the same problems. It has been one of my more visited posts so I guess a lot of people have the problem. Recently I received a message about in in my comments list telling me about an analytics engine that they had helped develop called Smashrun.

  1. Jacklyn Giron February 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Colin! – I can definitely empathize on the Nike front. I run with Nike+ as well and have been since it first came out back in 2006. I recently converted to Garmin, even though I often encourage beginner runners to pick up a Nike sensor :) This is a bit of a shameless plug for something we built, but you might like smashrun.com – here’s my Nike+ stats: http://smashrun.com/jacklyn.giron

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That’s it, my curiosity peaked I had to go and take a look… Unfortuately when the comment came through, I was laid up after having gone over my ankle (again) running so it took a week or two to get to use it. Now, it is a staple part of my run uploading providing the sort of analytics the I always hoped that Nike would. I love the design, I love the UI and I love that it is made for runners, by runners.. This project is a labour of love that started as something personal and it shows and once you see it, I think you will be signing up too.

If you are a Nike+ user you can sign up against your Nike+ login. You can also sign up with your Facebook ID or sign up with a new one. I signed up with my Nike login and it set up my account and it started importing my runs almost immediately. Once imported you have your entire run history to analyse.

Runs stats can be calculated by year or by an individual month in a year. Once you start logging new runs and upload the workouts then they will import automatically to Smashrun. If you don’t have Nike, don’t despair because you can manually enter run times and distances instead and I think they are working on a Garmin data import option too.

So, what stats does Smashrun show you? Well when you first log on you are presented with the Overall running report page which shows your all times stats and graphs including overall miles, longest run, miles per month, cumulative miles as well as showing % of running days per season, which days you run most often or least on and average run length and days running per week plus more. You can customise this screen with a simple calendar style menu to show stats for a year or for a selected month,

On the “By Run” screen you can get the stats for a single run. Your last run is shown by default but the calendar UI can be used to select and previously logged or Imported run in your history. This page shows you the date of your run, the distance, time and average pace. In your history it shows via a couple of graphs how this run ranks compared to others of a similar distance and speed.

As well as your own runs, you can invite friends to come and join and follow them to compare your results to theirs.

To add an element of gamification to the site, badges are awarded for achievements you make. You get badges for completing curtains distances, completing runs at different times of the day and even for inviting friends to join up. There are loads of badges up there already with more in development

So if you want a better handle on your workout stats then head on over to smashrun.com and sign up.

You can follow me on the site at smashrun.com/cbeagrie

Oops! I did it again… A story of falling down.

I have lost count of the number of times I have gone over my ankle running but I managed it once again this week. The last time I went over an ankle was last August. This time it was the other foot. The image on the right there shows the swelling and the bruising.

Monday morning was cold and frosty as we had expected and we had already made our minds up that the farm track would in all likelihood be too icy to run on due to all the puddles. Instead we got up a little earlier and run along the A952 between Clola and Mintlaw. This road is never truly quiet but if you get out sharpish then the volume of traffic isn’t too heavy.

The temperature was just under 0°C so it was on with the thermal layers and then our reflective vests, headlamps, belt lamps and Adidas flashing arm bands; We want to be seen out on the road. Once our shuffles and earphones are in and the volume right low we are ready for the off.

Tracy, my other half runs so much faster than I do and is quickly out of sight leaving me in a darkness that is only punched by two smallish orbs of light; Sometimes when it is dark like this its like the dark is trying to snuff out your little lights. I settle into a pace and set off for my goal; two miles out and two miles back again is all I have time for in a weekday morning. Other than the occasional car either coming at me or behind me the road is quite quiet.

On the road back the traffic starts to increase in volume and I end up having to weave from one side of the road to the other more often. On the last mile, it happens. I see a truck coming towards me and I head to the other side, moving to the outer edge of the road in case there is an idiot trying to overtake at speed. As I find out, the edge of the road is quite crumbly and uneven and as the truck passes me I feel that sickening, lurching feeling in my ankle.. Then, tumbling, falling and land on shoulder in the verge. OUCH! (Actually I said a lot more than that but i am keeping this post clean… The air was blue)… The next short while is spent limping while the initial pain subsides before lurching for home at a half run/half lurch.

I guess that’s me off my feet and not running for at least a week till it heals up.

Blogging in 2012 – My goals

This blog started off life as my rants against the world and those article comments that were too long for Twitter to cope with. Then came the occasional posting about significant runs or goals met.

Laterally I started writing tech posts mostly aimed at the students of the School of Computing at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen where I work. The reality was though that even if I rewrote about tech events etc in my own words it is still technically scraping what is already there and becomes a very time consuming. As a result, by the end of October I ran out of steam to keep it up.

Now at the beginning of 2012, I’m going to try again to write about the aspects of tech news that catch my eye but rather than repost what is there, I intend to post links to original articles and write my own opinions about them. Short comments and opinions will end up as Twitter retweets that will appear on my paper.li weekly publication or may end up as weekly digests embedded into WordPress posts…

Time will show how I get on…

Another moonlight run and a goal achieved, finally

Another moonlit run.. It was more frosty than yesterday and our track had more ice on it and a bit more perilous underfoot but still runnable in.

On the way back home again the sun was rising on a mostly clear sky with just enough cloud to reflect the rising sun. It was a lovely blue/orange/pink/red skrather made me regrett that I didn’t have my camera with me. Magic (my cocker spaniel) came out running with me today and lived it as always.

Going passed MidNewton farm, scowly cat was scowly! There are two cats at the farm that seem to sit at opposite ends… On one side sits happy cat who loves a cuddle and on the other, scowly cat sits in the undergrowth and, well, scowls!

It was also the run that let me finally complete my goal set on 1st Jan 2011 to run 1000 miles.

It loses like Nike got a bit confused somewhere eh? Either that or I am older than I look.

Moonlit Run – 14th Jan 2012

it was the first day back running after a week of Gastro-Intitis. I wanted to take it easy as a “back-to-it” run so it was punctuated with several drops down to a walk.

Thankfully it’s been windy enough to dry things off around here in Clola so although a frost had come down overnight, all it really affected on our track was the puddles in the potholes. The moon is getting fuller and with a clear sky I didn’t need my headlamp on… I love mornings like these, it’s like running through a black and white landscape.

Other than running by the light of the moon the other highlight of today’s run was hearing two owls hooting at each other down by the woods near West Chrichie.

Problems with Nike+ Sportsband

Recently I got a new Nike+ Sportsband. I have been using Nike+ for about three years now and other than some of those times when you have to stop for traffic on the roads and then forget to restart the band, my experiences have been quite positive.

My intention this year was (and still is) to reach a total of 1,000 miles this year and I will admit that I was purely concentrating on the distance so when I uploaded a run I took it on faith that it was uploading the run successfully.

One day though, I thought I would check on how a run had gone and found that several runs had not uploaded and randomly it seemed that I had lost several runs. I thought there was a problem with the band and reset it and it still didnt help.

So i returned to using my ipod touch for recording my runs but after a weeks running i wastold that no runs had uploaded since the previous Saturday.

Overall, I think I lost around 65 miles of running and it isaffecting my attempt to record the 1,000 miles I was looking to achieve.

I will admit that I was quite narked when I sent a support request to Nike+ Support to ask if there was anything they could do to a) retrieve lost runs and b) stop it from happening again. Gabe, the support person unfortunate to pick up my call was very nice about it all and it looks like the fix for this problem is quite simple. Unfortunately, lost runs are just that – lost and the fix mentioned below is pretty much in response to finding there is a problem rather than preventative. However if you find you have a similar problem, here’s the fix.

1. First clear your cache and cookies, I would recommend that you do this often. More info on how to do it in the link below

http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/support?1315494050924#/faqs/article/3803

Next, clear your flash cookies:

– In your browser, navigate to:

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

– Under “visited website’s,” locate and select “nikeplus.nike.com.”
– Select “Delete website.”

If your iPod has stopped syncing then the fix for this is below:

1) Dock your iPod touch. When iTunes opens go to the Nike + iPod tab.
2) Un-check the check box to “Automatically send workout data to nikeplus.com” and click Apply.
3) Safely un-dock your iPod touch.
4) Go for a run or short test workout. Around the room is fine. Just enough to register a distance on the iPod touch.
5) Dock your iPod touch, then select the check box to “Automatically send workout data to nikeplus.com” and click Apply at the bottom-right of the screen.
6) iTunes will make the connection to nikeplus.com and send the workout.

Note: At this point, the workout is not attached to your account.

7) In iTunes, the button to “Visit nikeplus.com” should be displayed (you may be presented with a window to either “Visit” or “Don’t Visit”). Click on Visit and your default internet browser should open and go to nikeplus.com.
8) Your workout is visible, but it still is not attached to your nikeplus.com account. Log in to nikeplus.com and the workout will attach to your account.
9) Close the browser window. It does not matter if you log out or not.
10) Go back to iTunes and click on the button, “Visit nikeplus.com.” Your web browser should open, but you can close it immediately.
11) Go back to iTunes. Your email address should appear below the “Automatically send workout data to nikeplus.com” check box and the options Cancel and Apply will appear. Click Apply to save this setting.

Once you have completed these steps it should allow all of your future workouts to upload to your profile without any troubles.

Running the Nemesis

There is a hill not far from me and its name is Nemesis… No doubt it is not anyone else’s name for it, probably more mundane like “the hill on the way to Stuartfield” but to me it’s Nemesis and is so called because in the two and a half years that I have lived in Clola, I have never managed to reach the top and still be running. Otherwise I can run miles without (much) complaint and all other hills around are conquered… This one however eludes me. Even as I write about it, I look at the distances between each segment and think… “Nah, must be longer than that”

Bottom of Nemesis One Quarter the way up Nemesis About Half Way up Nemesis

Don’t let the pictures fool you here, yes it’s long and yes it goes up but i don’t think you can appreciate it unless you are at the bottom and looking up and then try to run it..

There are four waves of despair to this hill, the first lulls me into a false sense of belief in my ability as I start the climb with a modest 5m climb over 130m up to a farm road junction. Here I am still feeling quite confident that this is the day, this time I am actually going to do it… I can reach the top… The Mantra starts… I can do it, I CAN DO IT!

The next 165m is a 15m climb up to a passing place sign.. This climb kick starts the self doubt in the mind as I try to remember every piece of advice on hill climbing I have ever read in those glossy magazines with that picture of the effortless runner on the front (who i always imagine have never been running in their life, I mean have you ever seen a glamorous runner? – but I digress). It doesn’t help, by the time I’m half way up that evil hill my legs are starting to burn.

I start to look towards the next bit which looks like it’s a lesser climb which takes me to the long driveway of a house. However the next 165m is still a deceptive 10m climb over this distance and that last bit knackered me enough so it feels twice as hard to get through it. The lungs at this point submit a request for more air. That request is declined, manage on the resources you have (bit like work really).

Here’s the worst bit, the last bit goes round a corner and just when you think you are at the top, IT CARRIES ON!!! it’s just not fair I tell you and it’s the longest part of the hill, 229m with a (modest) 9m height climb. This is the bit that gets me every single time and where I fail and never get to the top at run. I’ve done all this climbing, I’ve done my bit and now you want me to do more? Well no, not this time it would seem.

Next time i’ll get you Nemesis, Next time….

Summary of the climb

Bottom of the hill: 55m above sea level
Climb part 1: 0.1262km 5m climb to 60m
Climb part 2: 0.1656km 15m climb to 75m
Climb part 3: 0.1645km 10m climb to 85m
Final part: 0.2295km 9m climb to 94m

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