Running, Trains, Lemons and Lemonade

So I’m still running – albeit 3km once a week. I must say I’m still really enjoying it – the challenge of pushing myself to my physical limit while being alone with my thoughts still gives me a big rush.

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I have been able to explore all the streets around where I live (mostly by getting lost 😉 ) and have found loads of cool ‘Easter Eggs’ – for example a hidden wood with a duck pond and some lovely streets with some houses I wouldn’t mind living in – and some cool cars too.

So Wednesday is ‘Run Day’ (which will be expanded to twice a week this week) and I have managed to go for a run without fail. Whether it has rained, been cold, or dark, I have gone for a run. The cold does not even bother me because once you find a rhythm you can keep yourself warm.

Today was the biggest test though. I walked to the local tube/subway station to find out that all trains to Copenhagen Central Station were cancelled. As I needed to get there to catch my Intercity train home, this presented a problem. The only solution that DSB offered was to provide a replacement bus – which meant that I would have to wait for an hour in the cold and rain only to be packed like a sardine in a hot damp bus for another hour.

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So I thought to myself: “Well it’s not too far to Central Station, I’ve walked it before, so why not do my run now?” I laughed in a crazy manner – it was both a stroke of genius and madness in one idea, because I was carrying a bag full of books and wearing a heavy ski jacket. But what the heck, I could just stop running and walk if it went wrong, so I had to try it. It sounded like lots of fun. I certainly wouldn’t let the incompetent fools at DSB spoil my day because they were too cheap to maintain the lines properly!  Right then, the only thing I could think of was the phrase “When life deals you lemons, then you make lemonade out of them…”

I packed my scarf and gloves into my bag, put on my iPod and started the timer. I had started another challenge. Surprisingly, I was able to run with a good rhythm, and I mentally thought out my route. There were lots of people to dodge and I did get some funny looks, but I was determined to make it. I passed the royal palace, around a large public space called ‘Kongens Nytorv’, I was making good progress, but the biggest challenge still lay ahead. I had to run the majority of the route down the busiest, pedestrian-only shopping street called ‘Strøget’.

So I pressed on – but things suddenly got a lot more difficult. I guess it’s my fault for running down there, but it was the quickest and most familiar route I could think of. However, there were so many people that it was difficult to find a way to run around them. This wasn’t helped by the fact that people seem to have problems walking in a straight line – the extreme cut across in front of you was a speciality! So I had to keep my wits about me and be careful when avoiding people.

At this point, my legs are burning and my feet are hurting. It started to get harder to run, and there seemed to be more people around. But my goal was getting closer and I didn’t want to stop now… I wanted to get home! Finally I got to Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall) and there was just too many people -and besides, I was almost at the railway station. So I warmed down by walking the last block to the railway station. I had made it!

Naturally the railway station was packed full of commuters who were also keen to get home – but I got a train quite quickly and was only an hour late getting home. I was a little hot and sweaty, but I felt great in the knowledge that after all the challenges, I had run 4km instead of 3, and I had done it in about 30 minutes, which was quicker than usual.

Sometimes when life serves you lemons, you have to make lemonade out of them 😀

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Pick a Pizza for Pete’s Sake!

The following is an actual conversation from the Lair of the Goat:

Mrs Goat: “What Topping do you want on your Pizza? We got ham, pepperoni, capsicum, onions and tomatoes”

Me: “sounds good”

Mrs Goat: “All of them? are you sure?”

Me: “Well, just pepperoni then…”

Mrs Goat: “No ham? you can’t have a pizza without ham…”

Me: “Well… ok, some ham then”

Mrs Goat: “Some onions too?  I thought you liked onions?  They would be nice too”

Me: “Eh?  Hang on, you just said that I can’t have everything, so I chose one thing and now you want me to have more toppings?”

Mrs Goat: “Yeah go on…it’ll be nice!”

Me: “Oh alright then!”

Mrs. Goat: “And you should have some capsicums too – it will be really nice!”

Me: “Hang on, that’s all of the toppings isn’t it? “

Mrs. Goat: “Nah, you don’t want tomatoes, they’d make the pizza all soggy!”

So I ended up having a home-made ham, pepperoni, capsicum, onions and chillies (found later) pizza – and it was lovely.  We actually spent more time discussing the toppings than making the pizzas though! 😀

Are you rubbish at deciding what to have on your pizza?  What’s your favourite toppings and what would be your dream pizza?  What’s your funniest pizza story?  Let me know in the comments, as I think there are some stories out there just waiting to be told… 😉

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Running Diary – The Race!!!

So, Raceday finally came… and I was excited and nervous as heck about it… Andy (who is evil) made me stay off coffee and Red Bull for 24 hours before the race, which did not help matters! 🙂

Anyway, we went over to Faelledparken and found our tent, collected our goodies, got into our gear etc…  I was running last in the fun team – ‘Deeper and Cheaper’, while the other team was called ‘Faster and Longer’.  While these names sound rude, they are innuendo based on the work I do – honest 😉  Everybody had a funny name anyway…

Here is a pic of most of the guys in the two teams we entered – for some reason my size shirt was only available in Dark Blue, but that’s cool because it’s WilliamsF1 colours 🙂


Here is a picture of the starting gate, taken from an overbridge:


Yeah.  Lots of people – thousands of them!

Here is a pic of Andy running – with the corporate tents nearby:


He’s just run 4.5km and he is still smiling.  B*stard!

So I waited and waited for what seemed like forever, while  everyone else went running.  We cheered and took pictures of those who came before us, we hid in the tent when the rain came down (really hard) and we congratulated the runners when they returned.  Finally, after waiting at the starting gate and repeatedly stretching and warming up, it came around to 8 o’clock and Katrine (my colleague) jogged into view and handed the baton over to me.

So now it was finally happening… a journey that started 3 weeks ago was finally getting to the point… and I set off into my rhythm and started running.  I knew that I would be slow, but I was surprised at how slow I was compared to the others.  But hey, I’ve gone from nothing to this in 3 weeks and all I wanted to do was complete the course.

The thing is, we were running around a public park, so the course was very tight and kept doubling back on itself and seemingly went around in circles.  Here is a map of the route:


Here I am about a kilometre in – you can tell because I am still smiling!


It felt like I was running for ages when I saw the 2km board – and it was really starting to hurt – I hit the dreaded wall.  So I stopped for a quick stretch and set off again, running past Parken, by the Triangle, and turning back into the Park near Rigshospitalet.  I had set off at sunset and by now it had gotten dark, so it was also a little hard to see.  But although I was starting to hurt, I was getting a good rhythm, that is until some idiot walking and talking on his mobile (not in the race) kept blocking my path.  I got really annoyed with him and hit him on the arm with my baton shouting “GET THE F**K OFF THE COURSE YOU IDIOT!” to which he looked around and just said “wot???” to me.  I was so consumed with the run I got the ‘red mist’ and got angry at him, but it just sounds funny now 🙂

Next thing I know, I’m running into the final kilometre which means I am running around all the corporate tents.  Andy was really good at cheering me on at this point, but because of the backwards and forwards nature of the course it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere – not helped by Andy constantly appearing to take a photo 😉


And yes, it hurts as much as my facial expression says it does 😦


Getting closer though – even though it didn’t feel like it! 😛


Andy messed up this shot – he’s got one of those proper bulky SLR cameras (very nice though!), but I kinda like the effect it gives – when you are running, you see clearly, but the information is sorta processed like this because you concentrate on your motion rather than what is around you.  So in a weird way this pic is kinda symbolic of my run 😀

Andy called out 500m to go, and by this time I really wanted it to finish – my feet were numb and I was really tired.  But I had to finish – I owed it to myself to do it after all the effort!  Every corner I hoped was the last, but it seemed to go on forever until at last – the finish line!  I ran under the DHL bridge screaming like Mark Webber that I HAD ACTUALLY DONE IT!  I could not believe it!  I handed in my time chip and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – I was so full of so many different feelings it was unbelievable!

As I drank from a cup of water – the bestest tasting water in the world ever, I realised that I had achieved my goal.  I had gone from nothing to running a 5km run in 3 weeks – from a guy that used to hate running!  I walked back to our tent with a grin on my face and I felt so proud.

The rest of the night was spent eating BBQ, toasting each other and had a good few drinks before I crashed at Andy’s for the night.


Today?  Well, I slept like a log last night – and I’m not so sore today, just a little bit tired.  But I feel great about it and all the runners spent the day looking at the pictures and telling everyone the stories.  It turns out the other team (the serious one) was fastest in the company and fourth fastest in the group that our company is in – well done guys! 😀

So far, the running has been a great journey and I am so happy I started this.  I think I will take a week off before my next run – Do you think I have earned it? 😉

Have any of you guys done this sort of thing before?  How did you find it and did you keep it up after the event?  Should my next challenge be a 2km swim like Andy suggested? 😀

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10 Types Of People You Will Find On The Trains

So I take the Intercity train to and from work every day so I spend a lot of time on them – it’s amazing what kinds of people you see!  I think though, you can probably put most people into one of these categories:

1. The Gollum

This person will not let their bag out of their sight – not even putting it under the seat or on the parcel shelf.  They absolutely have to have their bag on the seat next to them, or by their feet (meaning you have no legroom if you sit opposite them) or failing that, they have their bag on their lap.  Nobody gets to go near their “Precioussss”.  YESSSSS…

2. The Hog

This person will take all the legroom or the armrest, ensuring that they are comfortable totally at your expense – no amount of nudging or pushing will make them move, either.  Be prepared for an uncomfortable ride 😦

3. The Chatterbox

This person seems normal until the train sets off and they pull out their mobile phone.  They spend the whole journey talking about nothing and when they finally finish, they spend the rest of the time texting and fiddling with it.  Try to avoid, they are so addicted that any suggestion to stop may result in a violent reaction!

4. The Barfly

This person can always be found with a drink in their hand … no matter what time of day it is!  Normally reeks with beer and very loud.  Avoid.

5. The Sleeping Beauty

Otherwise known as “the seat blocker” this person cannot cope with the morning train ride and must lie across two seats to sleep.  Often they have their own pillow and smelly socks as you are not allowed to put shoes on the seats!

6. The Laptop Guy

This guy takes up all the table space with his precious laptop and seemingly has a 5-minute battery – because he has to snake his power cord around 3 seats to plug into the mains!  Do not attempt to share with this man while he writes pointless emails or updates a random looking spreadsheet…

7. The Traveller

This person is easily identifiable by the very large suitcase in tow.  This means that if they get in front of you when boarding the train, a large queue forms behind them as they attempt to get their impossibly large suitcase down an impossibly narrow aisle, then when they finally find their seat, they try and lift their impossibly heavy suitcase onto the parcel shelf, fail, and then try and stuff it in the impossibly small gap between the seats.  The process is repeated when they leave the train (and block the doors as they get out).  You will be delayed!

8. The First Place Finisher

This person absolutely and totally has to be the first person on and off the train – they will push in, barge past and be generally very rude just to save precious seconds that would otherwise been spent standing around…

9. The Shore Leave

These people often appear in groups, because they all get sent on leave at the same time.  You can spot them by their green canvas bags, masses of testosterone and over-exuberance.  Don’t sit near them if you plan to have a quiet trip!

10. The Cookie Monster

This person cannot take a train journey without eating.  So while you sit next to them trying not to feel incredibly hungry as you won’t eat dinner until you get home, they sit there stuffing their faces full of food and seemingly fighting very loudly with a plastic wrapper.  As an added bonus, they will cop a feel as they grab the plastic bin bag next to your leg rather than asking for it first.  Eurgh!

So there you have it – some of the lovely people you can find on the trains every day.  Look out for them and see how many you can spot on your journey 🙂

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Running Diary – Week 3, Run #2

As per Andy’s training plan, Sunday’s run was to be the last training run before the big race on Thursday.  He suggested that I run a 5km run and then wait until raceday to run again.  So I carefully planned out a new route around my house, using my favourite roads and extending them a little.  I was nervous and excited all week waiting for run day!

After I had watched the Belgian Grand Prix and posted my usual Fantasy Racers post on my F1 blog, it was crunch time.  After a bit of messing about with my gear because it was raining, I finally set off.  Surprisingly, I felt really good and kept a good rhythm going.  Because it was a new route and because I don’t really know the roads around where I live, I was following blindly the street names in the hope that I was going the right way.  But as I rounded a corner I was at the gas station, which was unexpected…  I kept on running and didn’t care much for it as I knew where I was and followed the rest of the planned course.

The pain in my back has gone (apparently caused by my office chair, which has been adjusted 😉 ) and the calf pain is much less now – I still get pins and needles in my feet but this is all manageable.  Anyway, I had to stop at the lights to wait for my time to cross, so I used this time to stretch, which did wonders.

So I ran and ran for what seemed like a while – when I got home I discovered I had been running for an hour!  This surprised me, because I was going at a decent speed but had not set the time I had expected for 5km (I was hoping for 45 minutes)…  But I felt good and relatively pain-free.

So I got inside and told my wife where I had run, and she didn’t say much, but I was puzzled by my unfamiliarity with the route and apparent slow time so I checked Google Maps again.

Then it became obvious – because of a wonky street sign I had turned the wrong way at an intersection of a road I planned to run down!  The effect of this was that I doubled back on myself, coming out at the petrol station and effectively adding another block to the run!  When I tallied up the distance, I had run SEVEN KILOMETRES!

I was in shock – it all became clear and made perfect sense now – I did run about 45 minutes for the 5km, just by accident I had run another 2km!  I was speechless, but very happy with myself because 3 weeks ago I could not even run around the block!

So now I am SO READY for the DHL run on Thursday – I really feel like I can do it!  This week, Andy has handed out the team shirts (and because XL is available in Dark blue and the other sizes in light blue, I get the special shirt 😉 ) and the starting numbers – I am last in my team which means I get to finish the race!  That sounds really cool, I just hope there’s some beers and steaks left over by the time I finish 😉

Wish me luck on Thursday, if you are near Fælledparken in Copenhagen around 7:30-8pm come and support me – it’s going to be a lot of fun 😀

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Running Diary – Week 3, Run #1

So today was crunch time – how would I feel after an extra day’s rest?  Would I be able to run OK?  This run was very important, because had I been unable to do it, I would have been forced to pull out of the race…

So with some trepidation, nervousness and a lot of stretching, I set off on the same route as last week (as it’s so nice to run!).  I did have a bit of pain at the start, but a quick stretch at the traffic lights worked wonders and I felt like I was really getting into the rhythm at the end – I hardly had to stop and I felt great!

Two things though:

  1. I have to run very slowly, which is very demoralising because everyone else running is much faster than me.  Still, I’ve just started out so it can’t be that bad – at least I can run a fair distance!
  2. I am still experiencing calf pain, lower back pain and numb feet.  However, it’s a lot better than it was last time, so I must be overdoing it.

The plan from here has also changed slightly – my colleague who just ran a marathon recommended that I do one more training run at the weekend – a 5km run.  This he says, will ensure my body has enough time to recover for the race.  Sounds like a smart plan, so I will next run after the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

We will then see if all the hard work has started to pay off.  Fingers crossed eh? 😉

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Running Diary, Week 2, Run #3…

So today was run #3… and I found the going very tough today. I did the same route as Thursday but it was quite painful. I think I am overdoing it so I will wait until Tuesday before trying again. If anyone has any tips (other than stretching) on how to alleviate calf pain, lower back pain and numb feet then that would be greatly appreciated…

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