Thursday, 29 October 2009


So yesterday a colleague and I were heading out to the store to pick up something to nibble on during afternoon break. Before leaving the building we stopped at the toilets to do our respective business.

So I entered the bathroom, locked the door and reached for the pull on my zipper. It was at this point that all hell broke loose.

Three of the teeth on the left side of the zipper decided to liberate themselves from my jeans. As I pulled the tab down, I heard a rapid fire ‘ping, ping, ping’. With sinking dread I looked down at my now derailed and totally unfixable zipper.

Feck. In fact, double feck.

Thankfully I was wearing a long, loose top that covered the damage. After finishing my intended business, I exited the bathroom and met back up with my colleague. I told her my embarrassing predicament. Good friend that she is, she laughed at me outright and then dragged me to the store anyway where I proceeded to purchase a small bag of crisps and some Rolos. Because the obvious thing to do after busting out of your jeans is to consume 400 unhealthy calories in one sitting.

Fatty don’t like logic.

To be fair to myself, those jeans were over six years old and at the end of their life anyway. Still, it doesn’t make me feel any better. The last time I exercised was Monday night when I went for another seriously slow three miler. Perhaps my jeans were trying to tell me something. Like stop working so long at the office and MOVE YOUR FAT ASS.

That’s just a guess though.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Looking ahead

You know when I said I might not run the Rome marathon in the spring?

Yeah. Well, I’ve changed my mind.

Yesterday I was chatting with the smartest person I know (my mother, natch) and she helped me to see the light. I explained I was afraid that I would obsess about marathon training which would in turn distract me from finishing my dissertation. This is a valid concern as this is exactly what is happening with a friend of mine. Either that or it’s his mid-life crisis. Hard to tell sometimes.

My mother’s response to this? “Then don’t obsess about it.”

Word, ma. Word.

She proceeded to point out that this was obviously something I really wanted to do and the only thing holding me back from doing it was me.

See, she’s a smart lady.

This is pretty encouraging talk from a person who REALLY wants me to finish up my degree and soon. And no, it’s not because she wants a grandchild.

Because my mother understands that if I wanted to play Russian roulette with an explosive colon on a daily basis, I’d just move in with my grandmother.

The plan now is to spend the next five weeks building up a base and then officially start marathon training on.....yup, my birthday. I like the symmetry of that—complete my first marathon on my birthday, start training for #2 on the same day a year later.

So I’ve been taking a look at potential training plans. I kinda like Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II plan, mostly because I like the idea of running half the distance of my long run the day before. My major weakness in running is not pushing myself enough. Since I don’t expect to be experiencing the same zen-like I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-my-time-is-hey-look-at-that-pretty-cloud attitude I had in my first marathon, I need to better prepare myself this time around. Enduring extra difficult slug-fest long runs during training should better prepare me mentally for the pain of race day. I like that. Well, at least in theory.

However I like to cross train so I’m worried about burning out with running too many miles each week. So I think I’m going to limit myself to running three or four days a week. What type of runs all those are going to be yet is still to be determined.

I guess things will become clearer once I figure out what my race goal should be. My ultimate marathon goal is 4:30. But that’s gonna take a hell of a lot of work over the next five months to accomplishment as well as needing a big whopping miracle. Me thinks I need to get realistic and lower my goal.

How does 4:50 sound? It would be a 26 minute PR and shave exactly a minute per mile off my time. It may sound like a cop-out not going for 4:30 but I’m all about keeping my expectations low with running. And men.

Speaking of men underperforming (mildly awkward segue but I’ll take it)....gentlemen, have you seen this affront to your collective marathoning machismo?

Yeah. Why does that not surprise me.

All right, folks, that’s it for me. Have a great week ahead. I’ll catch up with you when I can.

Later gators.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

About time

Upon my return to England I walked right into Deadline Central and have been bogged down with more stuff than I was prepared for so the first two things to go were exercise and blogging. It’s been a craptacular almost two weeks, let me tell you.

But finally on Wednesday, sick of everything but most especially my expanding waistline and perpetual lack of energy, I left the office at a reasonable hour and went for a three mile run. It’s been a month since my last run. Let me repeat that: ONE MONTH. I couldn’t believe it either until I looked at my running log. Holy moley.

The run was fan-freaking-tastic. Until after when I looked at the numbers. I took it easy during the run but pushed myself a little bit here and there to stretch out my muscles. I thought I was running 10:45 to 11 minute miles.

Um, no. Make that 11:43 per mile.

Fuck a duck.

Yeah, I should have anticipated this. You can’t walk away from running for a month and then come back as if nothing has happened. Dues must be paid, retribution exacted.

Today my quads are sore but, oddly enough, in an almost pleasant way. I’m hitting the gym this evening for Body Combat class and then on Friday I plan on getting in another three miler.

My plan right now is to take things easy and slowly get back into a decent fitness routine. Currently there are no races on my schedule for the rest of the year, though I’m eyeing a 10K in late November. Need to suss out logistics first though.

As for marathon training....well, I don’t know. Like Kristina and everybody else in my real life who submitted a ballot, I didn’t make the cut for the London Marathon. (Damn you, Branson!) There’s still Rome, but I also have a dissertation to finish in a year, so marathon training may be put on the back burner until that’s mostly completed. We’ll see. I’m still debating.

Okay, so that’s what’s up with me. If there are long periods of blog silence here at Diggin’ It, it’s because my dissertation is keeping me busy. But I promise always to re-surface to update, support, chide and heckle you all. I do so enjoy it afterall.

All right, folks, that’s it from me. I’ll wish you all an early happy weekend now. See you next week. (Hopefully!)

Later gators.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Paint by numbers

My kickin' headgear. Admit it, you're jealous.

I’m back!

Frightening, isn’t it?

Okay, so here’s the rundown of my last two-ish months. And to make it marginally less onerous for you all, I’m doing it bullet point style. (Hi, Razz!)
  • Number of weeks spent in the field: 6.5
  • Number of different nationalities amongst the excavation crew: 14
  • Number of languages I learned to swear in: 5
  • Number of times I swam in the Tyrrhenian Sea: 1
  • Number of times I visited Rome: 4
  • Number of Popeners I came back with: 9
  • Number of said Popeners I will be giving to Diggin’ It readers in one fashion or another: TBA
  • Number of days it took me to catch the Mega Cold from one of the many dirty, germ-ridden people on site: 4
  • Number of WEEKS I spent with the worst head cold ever: 2.5
  • Number of times people shrieked ‘SWINE FLU!’ at me when I coughed or sneezed: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of days I had off from work because of said cold: 0
  • Number of times I was reminded never to taunt karma ever again: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of sunburns acquired: 1
  • Number of kickin’ farmers’ tans acquired: 1
  • Number of mosquito bites acquired: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of times I cursed Mother Nature for creating those stupid useless pests in the first place: total exceeds calculation
  • Depth of the hole I dug: 2.5 meters
  • Number of times the hole needed to be enlarged and/or stepped in order to comply with Italian safety regulations: 4
  • Depth of building rubble that needed to be pick-axed through to get to something representing occupation debris: 1 meter
  • Number of late antique burials uncovered on the site that impeded work towards original research objectives: 14
  • Amount of cool shit uncovered on site: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of ancient shitters uncovered on site: 1
  • Number of times I ran: 2
  • Number of times I wanted to run but was unable to because of Mega Cold, exhaustion and/or late working schedule: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of times I became concerned about potentially beginning marathon training next month with sod all for a base: total exceeds calculation
  • Number of pounds I lost anyway: 5
  • Number of times I thought about you all: a fair few
There endeth the bullet points.

Basically I had a fantastic time minus the no-running bit—met some great people, dug some super archaeology and learned more than I could ever have imagined. Now I’m back and ready to get things back on track with my running.

I have to be completely honest with you though. I took a look at my Google Reader today and the number of unread posts was astonishing so I pressed Mark All As Read to save myself the trouble. So if anything life changing happened to you in the last two months let me know about it in the comments because there’s no way in hell I’m trudging into all of your archives now. Nuh-uh! I need to hang on to the little sanity I have remaining. Forgive me.

All right, folks, that’s it for me. I hope all of you are doing well. I’ll try to catch up with you all soon.

Later gators.