Happy Birthday to me!

The ‘Queen Beech’ Tree in St. Catherine’s Park

Let’s start this running blog with some running news. Really break with tradition. I think the new watch is probably to blame. Yesterday was my birthday, and so I had a luxurious day of breakfast in bed, multitudinous gifts, and then a dirty take-out meal with the family, beer and a film. More on that shortly.

And I tested out the watch with a dog walk in the park earlier in the morning, and then returned with runners and (as it turned out) not enough clothing to give it a go at a more normal pace. It performs very well. Firstly, I can see the damn face. It behaves more like a smart phone, so when you turn your wrist to look at the watch, it senses it and lights up. Clever. It also buzzes quite often because it’s connected to the phone via Bluetooth and any alerts to the phone are mirrored on the watch. That may have to be toned down a bit, to be honest…

But it’s quick to find satellites; remarkably so. And no sooner had I returned home and saved the activity than it was available to view on Garmin Connect. Seamless. No faffing about with USB ANT+ dongles, no dodgy cradles, no rebooting to make things talk to each other… it’s pure luxury, I tell ya!

It’s a Forerunner 55 from Garmin, and I admit to being stuck on this brand in the same way I am wedded to Apple products. No doubt there are other companies out there making excellent kit; I’m just comfortable with the Connect site, and all my data is there. And now it looks like I have finally paired with a decent watch (that’s a tech in-joke, and you can have it for free).

This morning, despite the previous night’s festivities, Gary and I met up across the road at the station for an early run. We headed off at 7am into the park. Still cold, though not as bitter as yesterday, when I damn near froze to death on a relatively short run. Out onto the Clonee Road and on towards the inevitable canal. We mooched on at a modest pace and safely navigated our way through the Deep Sinking. The sun was making equally slow and steady progress into the morning gloom, and it was just about clear of the horizon when we reached our turning point, beyond the M50 aqueduct. There was nothing for it now but make it home, and this we did, with a half marathon to show for our troubles.

11th Lock, Royal Canal

As I begin to add the mileage, I am checking in on the legs to make sure there are no problems. I appreciate they will let me know in any case, but I am conscious of the recent months’ exertions and subsequent injuries, so I want to arrive at Lock Up The Year with two good pegs to get me around what will probably be another half-marathon. This slingshots me into the new year and another shot at Donadea 50k, which is a ’10 laps of a park’ gig. As a woods, it’s quite pretty. After 10 laps, it’s more like a backdrop for the Blair Witch Project

So last night, we watched what I believe is the last instalment of the Star Wars saga (Rise of Skywalker). I say that, but of course, these things have a habit of reappearing in all sorts of guises and spin-offs, so perhaps we’ll see more of Rey and her ongoing Jedi story. Or perhaps Kylo Ren will not really have died at all and come back as an Ewok. Or we could have ‘Chewie Cooks At Home’ with interesting recipes from Kashyyyk. There are endless possibilities. Which is a bit worrying if I’m honest.

You have to remember, Star Wars first appeared in 1977! That’s 44 years ago. Sure, the old films haven’t aged gracefully, but when A New Hope arrived, it was really quite ground-breaking. For an eleven-year old me, it was mind-blowing. Those crazy kids with their 5G have NO IDEA! And don’t even get me started about the Alien bursting out of Kane’s chest…

Speaking of a new hope, a new buff arrived during the week (really? ed.). This is courtesy of OMIL. I can’t tell you his name, as he clearly works for one of the UK’s secret services. But I know, so I am definitely in an exclusive club. And to prove I am ‘in the know’, I can wear (judiciously) this new buff. Indeed, it had its very first outing on Saturday. There are pink pigeons. On bicycles. And there is a back story here, of course, but if I told you that, I’d have to kill you. So there.

It’s a fab piece of fabric, and an altogether smart design, and a real conversation-starter (albeit one that’s bound to to have a grisly and unfortunate end: see above). Many thanks to the OMIL. And look; I’m sorry of this has made the rest of you feel a little left out. Dems de breaks!

And so I leave you with an axe. This was a present from my darling daughter. And knowing that I had the Garmin watch to open, she cunningly wrapped it in a design of her own making. And it will come in handy throughout the winter as I chop up firewood out the back.

Stay safe out there, lovely people.


11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to me!

  1. Happy Birthday (extended version)! I can just see you out in the yard now — stunningly attired in your pigeon buff, chopping wood with your high-end axe, your Garmin periodically buzzing for your attention … that’s the good life right there, it is. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

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