Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Recipes That Should Have Your Children Taken By The Authorities #3 - Iced Cheese and Pear Salad
3 level tablespoons mayonnaise
4 ozs crumbled Cheshire cheese
1 red pepper (canned)
1 pint double cream
2 large pears
4 lettuce leaves
To garnish
Watercress sprigs

Mix mayonnaise with grated cheese, chopped red pepper and the cream, and spread in prepared ice tray. Place in freezing compartment of refrigerator, and stir every half hour until mixture is frozen ie. in about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Wipe the pears (peel if skins are tough), cut in half and remove core. Place each pear half on a lettuce leaf, pile iced cheese mixture on pear and garnish with water cress sprigs. Serve immediately.

JESUS GODDAMN CHRIST. It's... frozen mayonnaise. With cheese. :: sobs ::
"Call Me!"
For some reason, discovery that my song is a Blondie song makes me feel special. What's your song?

Throwing paper and getting it into the bin on the first throw also makes me feel special. Can you do it?

BTW, still running. Slowly and for not very long periods at a time but still running. Update to come.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Okay, by kind sugestion of porn*, I am compiling a Music to Run To list, which will eventually be recorded onto minidisc (alas! no iPod!) and listened to as training goes on. I'm also hoping to invest in a pedometer so I can measure more accurately how far I am running, my speed etc - all to be recorded lovingly, frankly and neurotically in my running log. I've looked up the different models out there and will be steering clear of the body fat checkers and calorie counters - I'm not doing this running with any of those concerns and I don't intend to take on any either.

So, the music list so far, with an emphasis on boosting my energy and keeping me upbeat as I run:

Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix
This Is Love - PJ Harvey
Good Fortune - PJ Harvey
Waiting for the Man - Lou Reed
Venus in Fears - Velvet Underground
Children of the Revolution - Marc Bolan and T-Rex
Paranoid - Garbage
Cherry Lips - Garbage
Hey Ya - Outkast (this one is for the Londonist lads - go Andre 3000!)
Fortress Europe - Asian Dub Foundation
Nadia - Nitin Sawnhey
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Little Red Corvette - Prince

There are loads more I can think of but why should I do all the hard work when I can sit back and rake in recommendations from all of you? Any ideas? What songs would you run to?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Running Log: Week #1, commencing Saturday 13th August
Second run today and it felt better than the first on Saturday. I set out at 7.50pm and it was cooler and the light was softer than it was on my walk home. I remembered to stretch before I set out - just a few cursory stretches but it helped psyche me up and the walk home had been a good warm-up so I left the house feeling quite determined to keep going and not stop or slow down as often as I did on Saturday.

I walked to John Islip Street. I don't know why. I just couldn't bring myself to run out of my front door so I walked to the end of my street. Then I carried on, right up to the corner of John Islip Street and then started running. Silly really, but it felt necessary at the time to start off with a walk. I draw comfort from the fact this was my second run and I quite literally started slowly.

When I started running, it felt different straight away. I might have panicked the last time I started running ("whoah! too fast! this ain't natural, slow down to a stroll, goddammit!") because my breathing was ragged and uneven within seconds, and really painful, and I couldn't go any faster or focus on what I was doing. If I had been any less aware of the traffic, I would quite literally have been all over the place. Today felt much better and I was controlling my breathing to a point where I could look at the scenery as I jogged past. It was still hard work but not as hard as it had been before. I was either feeling no pain due to the stretches I had managed earlier or I was mentally prepared enough to work through any discomfort in my shrunken lungs and sluggish muscles.

My left eye seemed to lose vision as I turned the corner onto Lambeth Bridge. I was beginning to lose interest in the scenery anyway. I got to the other side of Lambeth Bridge after no more than ten minutes slow, steady running and once I got down the stairs, I had to walk. I had to. I was determined not to stop and kept up a steady pace walking but I felt like I had really let myself down. My lungs just couldn't bear it.

Since I took up swimming regularly about three months ago, my muscle tone is not the best but coped better than I had hoped with all this running - but my lungs! My poor, blackened, shrivelled, Marlboro Light polluted lungs! I quit smoking on New Year's Day this year so have been clean for over eight months but that has clearly not undone eight years' worth of cigarettes. My lungs really, really, really hated having to work this hard. And so I walked a third of the way between Lambeth Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge, trying to get some vision back into my left eye and resisting the urge to hawk up the fluid that seemed to be collecting in the back of my throat.

I did run again - the middle third section between the bridges, and at quite a steady pace. If I had stopped completely once over Lambeth Bridge I probably wouldn't have run at all after that but the walking meant I picked up running at a reasonable pace quite easily and I made it (very slowly, veeeeerrrry slowly) to the water feature outside MI6 where I started walking again. This is where the quandary of "spit or not to spit" came about. I'm not sure how wise it is to bring up a massive ball of spit just below all the surveillance cameras of MI6 - I didn't risk it. It passed.

I walked from the start of MI6, through the underpass of Vauxhall Bridge and up the stairs onto the bridge itself. Then I started running again and went right over to the other side, past Pimlico tube and turned onto Tachbrook Street. I pushed and pushed at myself, in particular my lungs but had to walk again for half the length of Tachbrook Street - my legs, feet, arms, back and chest were all fine and in fact, it felt good to be working all those muscles, it felt great. My lungs and my heartrate just weren't keeping up and it was beginning to hurt to breathe so... I walked that penulitmate stretch.

Then I saw the turning for my street up ahead and put on a burst of speed. I ran a strong and steady final stretch, past my street corner to the next and then doubled back on myself to get to my door. That last push was the best - it was further in terms of distance than I had intended to go and psychologically felt fantastic to take myself off my original path and go a little further, even if I had walked parts of my route.

So: I walked three parts of my route and was on the road for 40 minutes. This is the same route and same time I managed on Saturday but with the extra few metres along Tachbrook Street so even with the walking I've improved my time and stamina by a microdot.

Early days but I'll stick with this route and see if I can get the walking breaks down to zero after another two weeks. Then I'll have to set a new challenge - run the route twice? Extend it to the next bridge? Run with weights?

Hmmmm. We'll see. Next run: Saturday, week #2 commencing Saturday 20th August
"Are you completely insane?"
I've been walking home from work most evenings; I was even walking to work for a while but realised I would have to spend the day surreptitiously massaging my calves under my desk and in need of a second, clean outfit each day if I did. It got easier and easier to walk the hour long route and I had a new pair of trainers bought dead-cheap from the perpetually-closing-down Lilliwhites and I thought... "well, let's step this up and have a run every now and then."

Once I got this idea in my head and tried out a 40 minute walking / running burst of activity, I then saw an advert for this.

Then I mentioned it to the guys who work with me on this.

And then, that afternoon, as I walked home, I realised that I had registered for the Nike 10k run in October.

Scared and slightly sweaty already about the whole thing. But at least I get a free t-shirt and a microchip.

Updates on my training, preparation, procrastination and increasingly elaborate whining will be available in detail here but also in less frequent and slightly edited guise over here. First post here.

Oh bollocks.

And bollocks again.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

"Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure"
The Ping Pong Club
Snow Fairy Sugar
The Adventures of Mini Goddess
El Hazard Alternative World
Spirit Warrior Peacock King
Comic Party
Blue Gender
Trouble Chocolate
I My Me Strawberry Eggs
Fancy Lala
801 TTS Airbats
Boogiepop Phantom

These are all real anime releases. I'm giving up on my Films I Would Like to See Made strand as of now.

But to cheer myself up: The biggest sandwich in the world! It sadly couldn't be made but in spirit, it lives on in my "hollow legs" fantasies.