New Server

[Warning: this post does not contain running]

Just a quick administrative heads-up: I’m moving this blog to a different server. It should be a transparent process1. If you see anything odd going on — broken links, pages not displaying correctly, anything like that, please let me know in the comments here (assuming you can!)



  1. Well, apart from the sub-title up at the top of the page being “…On a new server.” for a little while, so I can tell what’s where. []


You may have noticed a short hiatus on the blog. That’s related to the short hiatus in my running.

As I mentioned last time, I’ve been feeling a bit tired and run down this month. As a result, I’ve not really been looking forward to going out for a run, especially on the dark weekday evenings. And at the weekends, I’ve either been feeling a bit poorly or been a little too busy to get out.

Plus, it’s been absolutely bloody freezing. It’s not easy to get out the door when it’s dark and2C outside.

As Arline said in the comments here a couple of posts ago, “There seems to be a fine line between not doing some thing because you really need a break, and not doing it because your motivation just isn’t there.”

And I think I’m on the other side of that line now — I really need a break.

Generally, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person. Which I why, I think, I’ve been a little scared to take some time off running. There’s always that worry in the back of my mind that I might not start again. But the build-up of stuff this month — the lack of motivation, the aches and pains, the general Christmas not-enough-time syndrome, the cold snap — have maybe been pointing towards the conclusion that yes, it would probably be good for me to take a few weeks off running.

When I finally had that thought, on the walk home from work a few days ago, my brain did a little happy backflip as it changed from it’s “oh my God I haven’t been running for nearly two weeks argh” guilt-trip to a new, serene, “maybe it’s actually okay to give myself a break and start again in the new year” mode of thinking.

And I reckon that’s what decided me, in the end. It’s an especially good time to take a break, not just because I need it, but because there’s a new year coming up soon, and that will be a great re-starting point. Especially as I’ve signed up for the Bath Half in March, so I’ll have something to train for…

So, I am officially giving myself the rest of the month off. I’m tired, I’m achey, it’s cold, it’s dark, I have less free time than usual, and, fundamentally, I just plain feel like it. I’ve been running for eighteen months or so now, and I’ve not really had even a week off in all that time. Even when I’ve been on holidays I’ve done miles of hiking.

So, I’m taking a short holiday from running. I’m keeping up some exercise; I’m walking to work and back, which is about 5km a day. And just because I’m officially giving myself the rest of the month off doesn’t mean I won’t nip out for a sneaky run if I suddenly feel like it on a sunny weekend day…

Mostly, in fact, it’s not running I’m giving up for the month, but the guilt about not running. Which seems like a good thing to skip for a few weeks.

So, hopefully that explains the hiatus. I shall probably find something to blog about between now and Christmas, but if not, then have a happy holiday, everyone!

Sad Santas

I was a Sad Santa on Sunday.

Sad Santas
As were these other people. We’d all made our way to the Lloyds Amphitheatre to take part in Santas on the Run, a 2K charity fun run for the South West Children’s Hospice. As you’ll have worked out, the idea is for everyone to dress as Santa for the run, and apparently more than 500 people had signed up for the event. Some kind people had already contributed on my Just Giving page, I’d collected some sponsorship at work, and I’d tipped off the local paparazzi. Well, I’d mentioned it on the Bristol Flickr group’s discussion board, anyway…

I did have some reservations on the walk down to the start, though. And yes, I did walk a mile down the Hotwell Road at 10am on a Sunday morning dressed in a Santa costume. There was hooting involved. And some occasional pointing. Not to mention half the police in the South West driving past on their way to their afternoon’s student demo (my pics of that here) crowd control duties. That was a bit odd.

But my reservations were mainly about traction. It had been a bloody cold night after quite a rainy Saturday, and the ground was icy everywhere. It was also so foggy you could barely see the other side of the harbour. “On way down to register for #santasontherun,” I tweeted. “Hope they’ve gritted the route, or it’ll be Santas on their backside instead.”

The lack of Santas when I got to the Amphitheatre was a clue, and my suspicions were confirmed by a couple of the organisers greeting me with disappointed faces and the news that the route was just too icy to be safe. The Amphitheatre itself had pretty much been a skating rink when they arrived to set up, and the rest of the route — especially Pero’s Bridge, often a curve of slippery metal in Winter — were still un-runnable.

So, I and the other Santas who’d not heard the cancellation announcements on local radio headed off across Millennium Square, pictured above, to the kind, warm interior of The Living Room, a fashionable and lovely bar who gave a free hot drink to anyone in a Santa suit that morning — thank you!

After a commiseration drink with my friend José, who’d come along to support me, I drifted back home, still be-Santa-suited, and still garnering the odd confused look and occasional cheery hoot.

There is some good news, though — I heard from Children’s Hospice yesterday, and they’re rearranging the run for January 23rd! So, odd though it will be to be dressed as a Santa nearly a month after Christmas, I’ll at least get the chance to do something surreal and, more to the point, give my various sponsors the run that I owe them 🙂

So, thank you, kind sponsors, for sponsoring me, and rest assured I still intend to run 2K as Santa, no matter what time of year it is when it’s finally safe to run!