Weekly roundup - John C. Kirk
Aug. 10th, 2003
12:30 am - Weekly roundup
Right, time for a quick roundup of what I've been up to in the last week. As many of you will have noticed, it's been rather warm :)
On Monday, I went for another training run in Hyde Park. I wanted to prove that I could run the whole way again, i.e. that it wasn't just a fluke last week. I had to stop a few times to drink some water (just a couple of seconds each time), but aside from that I didn't have to walk, which is good. I did something to my left ankle near the start, but I carried on with the rest of the run ok. After that, I gave blood in Shepherd's Bush.
On Tuesday, I skipped my regular climbing, for a combination of reasons. In particular, my ankle was still hurting, I wanted to take it easy for 24 hours after giving blood, and I needed to spend some more time on my project. In the evening, I met up with some Durham friends, which was fun.
On Wednesday, I went off to buy some new trainers, since my old ones (now ten years old) have definitely seen better days. Nike are kindly sponsoring some physio assessments around London - the idea is that you run on a treadmill, they film you (camera at the height of the conveyor belt), then they play the video back in slow motion to analyse your running style and make recommendations. It was actually quite scary seeing that video - I'd been told that I was putting too much weight on the inside of my feet (being pro-natal), but I didn't realise what that looked like until I saw it. Basically, every time I put my foot down, my ankle was pretty much buckling inwards - not good! Anyway, I bought some new shoes, and the physio guy gave me his card, and recommended that I go along to see him for a more detailed analysis later, which I'll probably do. I then went on the next Nike run later in the day, but I had to give up half-way through, as my ankle was just hurting too much to carry on running. Looks like I may have made it worse in the process, which is unfortunate.
On Thursday, I submitted my second progress report on my project. My supervisor agreed to sign it, but he wasn't happy about my lack of progress. It's entirely my own fault for not spending enough time on it so far. I am now motivated to get going on it (I have four weeks left), so hopefully that's enough time to salvage it. I can definitely sympathise with Buffy's study montage quote... (Incidentally, I've been working on it all week, but it's not something I'll explicitly mention here unless I have something interesting to say about it.)
On Friday, I was due to do another training run, but I cancelled it, in the interest of giving my ankle a chance to get better, rather than putting more strain on it. A bunch of us then went off to Hyde Park in the evening. We were hoping to go on rowing boats/pedalos on the Serpentine, but unfortunately we got there too late for that. So, we played rounders instead. Well, I say rounders, although it arguably had more in common with CalvinBall... There were no teams, so it was a case of "pick someone who hasn't batted recently, and they can have a turn", while the former batter becomes a fielder. Sadly, I dismally failed to hit the ball with the bat on any of my attempts. I was hoping that I'd be ok running over short distances (even if I couldn't manage a full 5km), but I still wound up limping everywhere.
Today, it was my final swimming lesson. But I decided not to go - I would have liked to (since I've pre-paid for the course, and swimming sounds quite nice in this weather), but I didn't want to put my ankle under any more strain. So, I watched a film while I held an ice-pack (i.e. ice cubes in a tea-towel) round my ankle instead. It felt nice at the time, but I'm not sure whether it made any difference. I've got two more training runs scheduled this week (Tuesday and Thursday), but I may need to cancel them too.
On a general note, it's odd how much I take things for granted when they work properly. E.g. when I had laser surgery on my eyes a few years ago (which I've written a web page about), it was amazing to be able to see unaided afterwards. But now it's not something I really think about. With my anosmia, I often think about how great it would be to be able to smell, but I suspect that I'd probably get blase about that too, if I did ever get my nose working. One thing that motivated me to start running again was reading the "Birds of Prey" comic. This features Oracle (Barbara Gordon), who used to be Batgirl until the Joker shot her in the spine, which left her paralysed from the waist down. While I recognise that she is fictional, I can imagine why it would be frustrating for someone who used to be very active to have to spend all day sitting down in front of a computer. So, in a way, I'm wasting my potential if I do that by choice. And it was a good feeling, when I was able to run flat-out. Which makes it irritating that I'm now limping around the house (for some reason, it's easier to walk in boots, presumably because of ankle support). If this doesn't sort itself out, I suppose I may have to go to a doctor, but I'll save that as a last resort...
This evening, I went off to see Pirates of the Caribbean at the cinema, which I really enjoyed - it was a lot better than I'd expected it to be. When I saw the trailer for it, I thought "I like the music, not sure about the rest of it." But I thought it was entertaining, and very well cast. And I didn't notice how long it was until it was over. So, now I probably ought to get round to watching "Bend it like Beckham" (which also stars the lead actress from this film) - I avoided it when it first came out, since I'm not a football fan, but I've heard good things about it since. Incidentally, this film does have a brief extra scene after the end credits, so you may want to stay for that if you go to see it. One thing I liked about this film was that Commodore Norrington was actually portrayed as a pretty decent guy. Normally, the trend seems to be that if you have the "crowd-pleasing" love interest (Will Turner in this film), then the rival is made to look as bad as possible. E.g. the fiance in "Titanic". However, in this film, Norrington is brave (willing to fight unkillable pirates), intelligent, articulate, and loyal - he puts his duty before his own desires (which probably explains how he got promoted to such a high rank), without being an emotionless robot. Actually, that's another thing I liked about the film - the eloquence of most of the characters. There's a quote from "Speed", where the villain says "Oh! In two hundred years we've gone from 'I regret but I have one life to give for my country' to 'Fuck you!'?" In this film, I think they did a lot better, although I can't give any specific examples off the top of my head.