A Fast Mile #3

Third attempt at a fast mile on the usual mile loop.

Today: 6.45

The fastest yet – knocks 10 secs off my first run.

No warm-up today just walked outside the house and went for it. Turns out I started way too fast, I was at 5.40 min/mile at one stage, so was really feeling it in my legs on the last bit up the hill. Also, as I got to the final bit I had a dog walker ahead so had to ease up a bit as I didn’t want to scare the life out of her and the dogs!!

  • Attempt 1 – 6.55
  • Attempt 2 – 6.48
  • Attempt 3 – 6.45

Hoping to give it another go tomorrow.


Book 10 of 2023

‘The Devil’s Advocate’ by Steve Cavanagh

Cavanagh is a great thriller writer. It’s good to get back to a fast paced thriller. Really enjoyed this book. Great characters, solid plot – a tense page turner.

Would definitely recommend.


A Fast Mile #2

May’s Challenge: A Fast Mile Update

The second effort at a fast mile happened yesterday. The same one mile loop.

Last time I attempted it, I had run a gentle mile warm-up beforehand which seemed to work fine. This time it was on the back of a 10 mile bike ride – far from ideal – but no other time to fit it in.

I have now also created segments on Strava so I can compare the different sections of the run, yes I know, slightly geeky!

Anyway, the mile was slightly quicker than last week: 6.48 (compared to 6.55). By looking at the different sections of the run, I was running the beginning and end quicker, but the middle section – actually along the trail bit – was slower. Although this can be partly explained by the fact I wasn’t wearing trail shoes, I was in my old trainers, and the trail part was also really overgrown. Need to get round there with my shears for next time!

Hoping to get at least six attempts at the mile over the course of the month:

Attempt 1 – 6.55

Attempt 2 – 6.48

7 second improvement. We go again in the week!


May’s Challenge: A Fast Mile

After the disaster that was April’s Challenge, I’ve decided on something more me: A Fast Mile.

I used today’s Strike Day to be productive. So did a recce of a lovely mile loop as a warm up.

Be It can be divided up into three sections:

  • The first third of a mile is slightly downhill and on the road through the twisty country lanes. Possible car encounters but a pretty good opening.
  • The second third is a sharp left off the road and along a footpath that runs between two fields. Pretty overgrown and uneven under foot
  • The final third is a left off the footpath and back on the country lanes, uphill this time and again danger of car encounters.

The footpath bit is slightly overgrown and despite my recce still lost valuable time trying to find the actual path.

Today I did it anti-clockwise and wore my trail trainers, but I’ve a feeling it may be slightly faster doing it in the other direction.

Today’s time: 6.55

Not sure how often I can get an attempt in, but will see how it goes. Is 6.30 as a target too much to ask?


April’s Challenge: Fail

Tarot card reading. What was I thinking?

The plan during April was to learn to read people’s past and future using tarot cards. I’ve never been a great ‘fan’ of tarot cards, nor was it my real wish to use them on a regular basis, the only reason for this challenge was that I wanted something more relaxing to follow March’s the daily plank challenge.

It became pretty clear at the start of April that tarot reading is not really my ‘bag’. A deck is made up of 78 cards. That is a lot of cards to remember their meaning. You have 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana.

A quick read of ‘The Key to the Tarot’ – the small instruction booklet that came with the cards – and the confirmation it is a load of twaddle soon is clear to see.

The Major Arcana represents life and its primary stages. Readers will usually pick a card from the Major Arcana that best describes the Querent. The Minor Arcana represents the people, events and feelings that every person encounters in life. The Querent has full control over these characteristics.

The Key to the Tarot

‘The Key to the Tarot’ also gives you some handy tips:

  • Get familiar with your deck. Look for trends, similarities and differences. Didn’t really have time for all this.
  • Look at the pictures. Use everything on the card to draw meaning. I read this as make anything up that vaguely fits in with the pictures.
  • If a card is presented upside-down, the reader may interpret that as contrary to the typical meaning of the card. Again, make up anything you want.
  • Look for Jewish, Christian, Egyptian, Astrological, and other symbols. They can give deeper meaning to the card. Again, just make stuff up.
  • The future is never set in stone. The Querent can always alter their future by changing their current course of action. I read this as, so it can all change anyway, so what was the point.

Take the Queen of Wands for instance.

Now the Suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire, representing passion, energy, willpower and strength. But look at all the other stuff on the card: flower, cat, lions, stick, little weeds growing out the stick, crown, cape, weird big cat and lion fighting or dancing, thrown, yellow dress, hills, mountains, etc, etc, etc.

I’d imagine I can say absolutely anything I like and fit it to the card.

I rest my case.

Having said all that, if you would like your Tarot read please send £50 and I will happily sort it for you!!!!


Book 9 of 2023

‘Oranges are not the only fruit’ by Jeanette Winterson

A recommended book. I didn’t like it.

I knew what to expect in that it was a coming-of-age novel about a lesbian growing up in a deeply religious family.

I was expecting it to be more lesbian that religious, but it wasn’t, it was very religious. It also had far too many seemingly unrelated stories that had some sort of metaphorical message – well I assume they did – I didn’t really get most of them.

Overall, not particularly impressed.


Book 8 of 2023

‘Suicide Thursday’ by Will Carver

I think Will Carver is a great writer – read a couple of brilliant thrillers in the past – this is another dark thriller that is well worth a read.

It follows a fella called Eli Hagen who struggles to finish anything – his friend’s suicide changes everything. Eli struggles with everything, even knowing what is fact and what is fiction. His relationship with his girlfriend Jackie is desperate, tragic and hilarious. In fact, that describes the book perfectly: desperate, tragic and hilarious.

Will Carver has once again managed to put the crazy into reality. You can use that on the poster!!


March’s Challenge

If you remember, March’s challenge was a daily plank.

As you can see it didn’t go particularly well…

Started off absolutely fine, made great progress. Then things started to get in the way: Ofsted, weekend away, nights out and tiredness.

Also, breaking the 5 min barrier gave me a sort of ‘done it’ mindset.

All I can say is we move on and go again.

April’s challenge: Tarot Card Reading


Book 7 of 2023

‘You Can’t Run Away From This’ by Damian Hall

A book that explores the impact of running in our climate and ecological emergency.

Definitely a book that makes you think. Full of lots of research and insights from experts from all fields.

It is impossible to read this book and not make changes to your life.