Wednesday 15 March 2017

Hey guys, remember me?

Dear diary,

It's been a long time since I wrote anything. You're probably wondering what the hell happened to me! 

No? Anyone? 

Well, okay, probably nobody really cares, but it has indeed been a really long time since I blogged anything. There's two main reasons for this silence: 1) I've been busy, and 2) I haven't done anything worth blogging about.

The last year has kind of sucked in terms of running. I injured my foot over a year ago, and still haven't got to the bottom of what it is or how to get rid of it. The most annoying part is that it wasn't  even running related - it happened while walking around the Natural History Museum. It's manageable, I can still run, I just can't train like I used to. I've seen various people, had a rather useless few months going through the NHS, and still don't really know what it is. So I'm just cracking on, and it's okay - it's just not right. I miss just going for a run and not having to think about things.

Anyway, the point is it sort of put a damper on last year. I was still able to run, and managed the first two races of the Centurion Running Grand Slam; the South Downs Way 100 which was great fun (unlike the year before), and the Thames Path 100 which I finally finished after 2 botched attempts. But the week before the North Downs Way 100 I developed some worrying symptoms that freaked my doctor out and led to a whole barrage of tests (all negative thankfully). I could barely stand up straight, never mind run and things were still a bit iffy for the Autumn 100. So another year, another failed Grand Slam. Sigh.

On the brighter side, things in the rest of my life are pretty great. My girls are all keeping me on my toes as always: my daughter Lottie is getting smarter and smarter every single day, and continues to enrich my life and keep me beaming like a loon; my wife Jen continues to not take any of my shit, and reminds me constantly why I love her; and my dog Saphie is as nuts as ever, although I've got pretty good at judging her sudden lurches whenever she sees a squirrel, so I haven't fallen over for a while while out running with her.

Work last year was pretty hectic, but I've recently made a big leap and have accepted a new position which will be a huge change to all of our lives. So in a few weeks we are moving back to my home town for the first time in 15 years, where I will be starting my own bioinformatics research group at the University of Portsmouth.

This is a huge change and an amazing opportunity. It's clearly a big step up job wise for me, and the idea of being in charge terrifies and excites me in equal measure. Never mind that I will be teaching at Masters and PhD level - poor kids... But for our home life it will also be a huge opportunity as we have a lot of family in the area, in particular Lottie's cousin who is basically a little sister to her. It's a big change, and a bloody scary one, and I hope that Jen forgives me for dragging her around the country for my job again.

Another benefit to this move is that I will have the South Downs on my doorstep. Yay hills! If only I could run properly. I really need to get my foot sorted, so once we are settled I am going to just pay whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this problem and get it sorted. I mean, the huge pay cheque is what got me into science in the first place. Well, that and the poontang. But I really want to go and run up some hills! I'm supposed to be running UTMB in August, so I really should get some running in at some point I suppose.

I also plan on pulling my finger out and getting back into blogging. I have even started a new blog, This blog is a much more technical affair, where I will be looking at various data analysis techniques in detail, but given my enjoyment of playing with running data there will most likely be plenty of running related posts there too. But expect more stats and programming mumbo jumbo, so if that's not your bag then I would avoid it like the plague.

Anyway, I'm super positive about the year ahead. It may not be particularly pretty running wise, but it's going to be exciting in many other respects. And let's be honest, there's no way this year can be any worse than 2016. Right?

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