j4: (running)
So I did the Town & Gown 10k this morning in 54:44 -- it felt like I was pushing myself a lot harder than usual so it was disappointing to end up with a slower time than last year (though admittedly only 24 seconds slower). I think I probably ran faster than usual for the first half, and peaked too soon -- I certainly didn't feel like I had much sprint left for the final stretch, it was more like I was just trying to fall forwards a bit faster. I also kept pace with S (who is normally much faster than me but was running with a hangover, ha ha) for seven kilometres, including actually slowing a bit around the 6k mark to encourage him when he said that he wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep going... then around 7k he got some kind of second wind & began to pull ahead of me, & at first I thought "I'll let him get a little bit ahead, I'll be able to catch up again" & then at 8k I started feeling like my legs were made of lead & I knew I couldn't catch him. (His time was 53:42, so there wasn't that much in it.) So if I hadn't been so sociable, then I might have beaten my time, but I'd've felt like an utter cad.

On the plus side, I did raise more sponsorship money this time than last time, which is a far more useful record to beat - so thank you to everybody who sponsored me despite the sponsorship angst! Or even because of the angst!

There are now three people who want me to run in a badger costume next year. I am ... not dismissing the idea completely.
j4: (running)
This Sunday I'm running in the Town & Gown 10k again, in aid of Muscular Dystrophy. About 5 of my colleagues are running too, and I don't think any of them are trying to raise sponsorship at all -- for them it's purely about the running. I found this surprising, but perhaps I'm just naive and lots of people take that attitude -- if so, how do these events actually make any money for the charities? (Do some people raise so much sponsorship that it makes up for it?) I can sympathise with a certain degree of embarrassment in asking people to sponsor you -- I don't find it easy, and certainly when it's a regular thing there's a sense that people are probably rolling their eyes and thinking oh no, here we go again. But if I really couldn't bear it, I wouldn't enter charity events! Or I'd just sponsor myself to the tune of £50 or so and accept that as the price of taking part. :-} I just worry that the whole thing is a really inefficient way of raising money for anything, and it's just a sop to middle-class guilt, and I'd be better writing a cheque to the charity and not wasting other people's time by asking them for money. The more I think about the whole "get sponsored to do things" model, the more absurd it seems. Mind you, the more I think about anything the more I just unravel it. Perhaps I should do a sponsored not-thinking-about-anything-for-a-day in aid of an Existentialist society or something.

But I am weary, weary, weary of being constantly made fun of by colleagues for trying to do the right thing, for trying to think about what the right thing is in situations, for trying not to be selfish; I am tired of getting snide comments like "oh you're so virtuous" and "I'm just not such a good person as you" in response to anything I say about anything I do. I don't want to preach and I try not to come across as preaching (though I do question and debate rather than just pretending to agree with things that I don't agree with), I don't think I'm particularly "good", I certainly don't think I'm "better" than other people as a person, in fact most of the time I think I'm a big heap of fail and I struggle to stay motivated to do anything. I don't think people are innately "good" or "evil", I think it's all about actions and patterns of action and choices, and you can't necessarily infer anything from the information you have about one person's choice in one situation. Obviously I think some choices are 'better' (which is almost always a relative judgement rather than an absolute) than others, otherwise how would I ever decide to do anything? But I don't even think I make relatively-good decisions more than average (how the heck would anybody measure that anyway?), I think I try hard but (as in most things) I feel as though I work harder than some to compensate for finding things harder.

But there's a whole nother blog post in there (a book, really) about trying to get things right, about guilt and blame, about fail and win, about the unfashionability of morals and the mess we've replaced them with, which I'm probably never going to have the time or energy to write.

Anyway ... in the unlikely event that you still want to sponsor me after all that angst, my online sponsorship form is here (they're officially endorsing online sponsorship this time, which is definitely progress!), & I will be very grateful indeed (because, at the risk of sounding cheesy, it does make the running seem more worthwhile, even though these days everybody's given the money before the run, so the original model sort of doesn't work any more). And if you don't, that's fine, & I promise I'm not judging you for it in any way! (Saying that makes me feel like people will think I'm saying it because I am judging and want to deny it, but honestly, no, just no. Let me at least be the owner of my own thoughts.)


May. 12th, 2009 08:46 pm
j4: (running)
On Sunday I will be running the Oxford Town & Gown 10K, again. This lunchtime we did a trial run of the different-but-still-a-bit-silly route round town, minus about a quarter of a kilometre because we wanted to end up back at work, and managed it in 55 minutes without trying particularly hard and while fighting our way round the zombie hordes tourists. rambling about running )

Some of you kind people sponsored me on paper at the weekend; if anybody else feels moved to motivate me and help the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, I have made my first ever justgiving.com page and will be trying to convince the people who organise the sponsorship from their seekrit volcano lair house in Witney that the internets is a viable alternative to pen and paper. (If this doesn't work, the charity will still get the money, but I might be saved from acquiring the mrs joyful prize for rafia work commemorative spoon for getting lots of sponsorship.)

Just to be clear, there is absolutely no obligation to sponsor me. Really. I will not think any the less of you if you don't (though of course I will be grateful if you do!). There is even less obligation to come and wave from the sidelines, since I will probably be going huff-huff-huff like a badger with a bellows, and may not even see you. :-} Also, I know lots of you sponsored me for the Red Nose Run not long ago, & I have been shamefully remiss in not emailing everybody to thank them -- so a belated thank you to all of you now! (I should also have linked to the photos of running/silliness and photos of colleges from the event, too.) I won't be dressed up for the Town & Gown, I'm afraid; but maybe one day I will walk a charity race in the boots I wore on Saturday night, though it may take as long as it took the guy in the diving suit to run a marathon.

Now to go and bathe my slightly-achey legs, assuming the man-who-does managed to fix the hot water...
j4: (rednose)
Tomorrow (Friday) is Red Nose Day, which means it's the day of the Record-breaking Red Nose Day Run. (We're probably not actually breaking any records, largely because as far as we know nobody's ever set any relevant ones, but alliteration totally beats facts, every time.) Lots of you lovely people have sponsored me (if you haven't and still want to, there's still time!) and a couple of you have even written a press release for me. You're all awesome! Now all I have to do is keep my little badger legs moving for a couple of hours...

So, the route has been revised and refined and generally buggered-about-with, and now looks like this. It's 8.7 miles (or, in metric, really quite a lot of kilometres) and takes us past every single one of the Colleges (and PPHs) of Oxford University. We are very, very glad that this no longer includes Templeton.

I mentioned that we were hoping to be able to let people track our progress LIVE! on teh intarwebs. If all goes well, you should be able to see our little red line scrawling its way around a map on this page here:


from about 10am tomorrow. (Any weird locations you can see on the map before then are probably just test data.)

If you're in Oxford tomorrow morning, look out for us! Wave something red at us! Say hello! We'll be the ones wearing lots of red and moving slightly faster than walking pace. Unless you're watching on the web, in which case, we'll be a small red line. :o)

X miles

Nov. 25th, 2008 11:25 pm
j4: (running)
I ran this route at lunchtime and then spent the afternoon feeling all sleepy. We'd planned a 3-and-a-bit mile run, but our running guru changed the route really near the beginning (to avoid flooded paths, apparently) and from that point on nobody had a clue exactly how far we were running. I think that was deliberate on his part, actually, because if he'd told us he was increasing it to a nearly-4-mile run then we'd have whinged. Okay, I'd have whinged.

running on about running )
j4: (running)
I suppose it's like a peculiarly Oxford kind of triathlon: 2 miles' cycle from suburb to town; a 10K run around town; 3 hours' singing in chapel; 2 miles' cycle home...

Yesterday's Town & Gown 10K Fun Run was, as the Oxford Mail says, a big success. It certainly was for me: I raised nearly £300 in sponsorship money (or will have done when I've collected it all!); beat my previous best time by over 2 minutes; and had fun.

rambling about the race )

So anyway, in fact my official time was 56:13 (only just over 9-minute miles). I couldn't believe it!

Then after the race there was plenty of space between the town and and and and and gown, as we went for a leisurely lunch in the Jericho Café and then an even more leisurely sitting around in the St Giles churchyard, before I had to head to Pembroke for rehearsal and a rousing choral evensong (Howells' Coll. Reg. and Elgar's Light out of Darkness) to stave off the post-running sleepiness.

Of course now I can't help wondering what the Oxford Decathlon would involve: running, cycling, punting, singing, essay-writing.... come on, LiveJournal, help me out here!

Running on

May. 14th, 2008 10:07 pm
j4: (running)
3 miles in 29 minutes, not far or fast but fairly respectable given a) not being used to running at night, b) new insoles which still feel a bit weird, and c) persistent stomach cramps which I was kinda hoping the running would cure, but eh, never mind. At the end I was still thinking "hmmm, actually, I could happily run a bit further" and decided against, which was probably the right decision. I'm doing the Town & Gown 10K on Sunday, and various lovely people have between them already pledged £210 in sponsorship money which doesn't depend on how fast I run, though gives me an incentive to keep going. Would be nice to do it in under an hour, but the only thing I have promised myself I will do is finish.

I never thought I'd prefer to go running than go to a gig with [livejournal.com profile] addedentry, but given how muggy it is outside at the moment I can think of quite a few places I'd rather be than in the Cellar Bar... In the bath, maybe, with a mug of peppermint tea and a good book. Yes. I grow old, I grow old.

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