Ramblings of this guy you know!

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

Tag Archives: Running

Run to Stuartfield via a roundabout route


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.

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


Next, clear your flash cookies:

– In your browser, navigate to:


– 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

Repost: My Running Life

20110326-070603.jpgI love running… There, I’ve said it, happy now? It hasn’t always been that way though. I have been running for years now and in the past its been a bit more “Go out to eat out..” rather than a love of running that has pushed me out. Theres also be a bit of social embarrassment mixed in there too after all I’m not exactly running shaped… I feel like I am a bit like a Bumble Bee, almost seeming to defy the laws of physics but exists anyway. On the positive side, I have always loved the feeling you get when you’ve battled to get to the top of a challenging hill and pause to catch your breath and view the vista below.

Then last summer, after a rather silly experience involving an axe and some rotten decking, I kicked off a chest inflammation that led to a diagnosis of Asthma. During this time I was totally unable to get out running and the longer I was out of it, the more I missed going out; I actually wanted to be back out running. So, asthma or no asthma I had to get back out there.

Since then it has been a hard slog to get back on the road. It started with short walk/runs which were slowly extended to be longer until I got back to my old distances again. I have slowed my pace down to around 10 minutes for the mile and I guess that it’s what i am going to have to accept if I want to keep running… It’s worth the sacrifice.

So now I am left even more determined than ever to keep running. By the end of last year to date i’ve just made it to the 700 mile mark and this year I am on target to hope to make it to 1,000. Until then, it’s back to slogging up those hills and pausing at the top to catch my breath and look over the countryside.

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