25 January 2009

Kocen at 3,275m

Didn't run this weekend due to my company's ski weekend in Chamonix. Amongst the lunacy, some exercise was done in place of running and this morning's skiing involved some of the best, lightest powder I've ever seen, thankfully making up for Thursday and Friday's weather-restricted efforts. The pic to the left was at the top of the Grand Montets just before we ignored the "do not enter" barrier and had one of the most glee-inducing skis of my life.

19 January 2009


I only had a little time to spare on Sunday morning, as I had to trek out to Oxshott to see my friend Dom, who I was taking to see Jimmy Carr in the evening with another friend Nick. Dom's had the shitty misfortune to have a stroke and getting around is on the tricky side for him, but we had a good night. I always feel guilty at not seeing Dom often enough and it was great to get him out and about. He retains his ability to combine an incredibly acerbic wit with an amazing disarming boyish charm and is one of the best people I know, though obviously life can be understandably trying for him post-stroke. He's definitely going to be one of the beneficiaries of MdS sponsorship when the time comes...

Anyway - the pic of Sunday's quick 8-miler is this building (left) just to the West of the Tate Modern, as seen from the wobbly bridge. Nothing as grand as a cathedral, but I find it quite striking - it reminds me so much of Brueghel's "Tower of Babel" (right) every time I see it.

Pretentious, moi? Hopefully there won't be too many posts like this one. Not sure I could keep up this kind of highbrow effort all year...

11 January 2009

Frozen London

Having spent the latter portions of last night in the York and Albany trying to decide whether my favorite cocktail was a Sazerac, an Old Fashioned or some kind of modified Negroni, I wasn't in much of a mood to run this morning. However, I only had a limited time before I had to head off for a great lunch with Gus, Ali and 3-week-old Jess, so I had to get my skates on...

The Regent's Canal was looking especially cool, still frozen although this probably won't last much longer. I really love running along the canal. It's like you're no longer in London - the view above really doesn't look like you're in Zone 1. I wish I'd known about the canal when I was training for the marathon three years ago, rather than running endless laps of Regent's Park. And I also enjoyed the prancing dog at the top of Primrose Hill (below), with the amazing skyline behind. Worth clicking on for the full image I reckon.

I got a few other good shots but I think I'm going to save some of the views for later in the year - I don't want to run out of interesting things to post.

Finally, I discussed this blog with my friend Refik last night and apparently blogs are neither required to be neither interesting nor relevant (if anything, the opposite is true), so I'm going to open up access to it for everyone. I bet the world can't wait.

10 January 2009

The first (money) shot

I've already got the feeling that it's going to be hard to take enough good snaps to keep this blog really interesting, but I did manage to take a few on a cold and hazy night on Thursday. It was a quick run along the South Bank of the Thames to Westminster Bridge and back along the North. I stopped for pics quite a few times and must have looked pretty odd to the passers-by - a jogger in shorts, probably steaming a bit with sweat, stopping occasionally and taking photos of London. It proved tough to hold the camera steady for long enough to get decent shots given that it was night-time, but I did manage this one after running across the Wobbly Bridge to get to the Tate Modern.

There were about 10x as many runners out as usual, presumably because of resolutions for 2009. Poor guys, to have started just as the weather turned properly nippy...

Bumped into Julia M when I was about 5 mins from home and had a quick chat - nice to see her!

06 January 2009

Wow what is this "blogging" thing?

2009. And I now have a blog. Not late to the party at all.

This idea has been spawned from a variety of thoughts of mine, mainly the desire to chronicle the time between now and the Marathon des Sables in March/April 2010. It's partly a product of a run I went on at the weekend, when the Regent's Canal was frozen and beautiful, and the crisp January view from the top of Primrose Hill was pretty cool. And also my long-standing desire (hopefully to be fulfilled soon) to get round to taking a photo of the East of St Paul's cathedral before a new building goes up in the way. Finally, I thought it would be a way to keep me entertained on the multiple training runs etc that I'm going to have to undertake this year - I'll take my camera, and try to get a photo each time. Or something. We'll see how it works out, and whether I end up making the site public rather than just being my diary...

To get things off to an undoubtedly unpleasant start, a slight cheat of a pic of me from the Bedford half-marathon - cheating because it was in December 08. Good fun - 1h34m was better than I expected and 5m faster than my only other half-marathon a whole decade ago. Thanks to Al W and Han M for the idea of running it, and to my sister for the early full Xmas lunch afterwards.

Enough for now. Hopefully the next post will feature my first "action shot".