#GetBexRunning: 1

OK, so I said I was going to start running again, and I tried to put it off tonight (even scoffing Haribos on the way home :-(), but then decided to look through the App store for more ideas. Sara Batts had suggested http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml, but I in trying to find the app that went it, saw there were loads that talk to you whilst running (whilst allowing you to play music), keep a record, and then Tweet at the end of it. Sounded about right!

I went for: http://splendid-things.co.uk/getrunning/, as it had a huge number of positive reviews on the iTunes store. Also a forum you can join:

OK, so the first run starts off with a 5 minute warm up, at which they recommend that you walk at a brisk pace (there’s various settings you can set up on the phone for age, weight, connect to Twitter, etc.), with a pleasantly voiced woman (I detect a tang of Aus in there!) giving calm instructions, and letting you know what comes next:

The app then sends you off on your first 1 minute run, indicating that you have 8 of these, and that you will walk for 1.5 minutes in between each:

This is how I was looking just before the half-way mark … hadn’t realised that it gave an instruction to turn round at the exact halfway, and had turned round a minute beforehand, ho hum…

If desired, you can check the phone to see how you’re going on, otherwise leave the music going, and I found my body responding almost automatically to the instructions (tired, feel a bit like a robot!), although by the 5th run my calf muscles were aching a bit (they’ve only just recovered from snapping 3 times in 4 weeks earlier in the summer… but have been building up with shuttle runs at the gym… those are a minute each too… but I guess the body gets stretched in between…): 

“She” congratulates you at the end of those runs, having kept you going, and calls for a 5 minute walk down … she let’s you know when the warm down is done, and recommends that you stretch (but no particular stretches – I know lots from the gym, but I’d be a little worried that complete coachers would not know what to do):

As I had linked the app to Twitter (or could have done Facebook), and asked it to pre-write the message – that’s what happened, and here goes this message (it puts your next run in too, but short of running at James/Holly’s… I’d rather run again Thurs!):

Feeling quite tired at the end of that… more the psychology of getting myself running again … have been in this flat for 1.5 years and not run from here… used to run from previous lodgings (the joy of Winchester, it’s not FLAT!):

So, how are you going to cheer me on? Ensure that I run again (Thursday, I think!)… or join my ‘Secret’ Facebook group!

Academic working hours

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1267744

Recognising that I’m incredibly fortunate to be doing work that I (mostly) enjoy, I’m also seeking to find a better balance, ensuring I have time for friends, etc… The truism is true: nobody on their deathbed wishes they had spent more time at the office.

What was once vaguely containable in a 9-to-5 regime has expanded, so we must work evenings and weekends. We are trapped in a structurally embedded “long hours culture”, where hours in excess of the 48 stipulated in the European Union Working Time Directive have become normalised. Yet, while everybody grumbles and deplores, nobody seriously tries to do anything about it. A young female lecturer of my acquaintance who tried to keep her weekends free was told by her dean that she could not expect promotion if she took that attitude. And it is a sad truth that many academics are workaholics, literally addicted, as managers trying to remove some tasks from them have witnessed.

As Pete Phillips recently told us at #cnmac11, we need to take time out to think creatively:

These thoughts are echoed in this article:

We need to turn our backs on what feminist scholar Cynthia Cockburn has called “heroic masculinity”, admitting that as human beings we need time “to stand and stare”. We need to raise the value of part-time work and job-sharing and, as T.S. Eliot said, “redeem the time”.

Read full story, and let’s remind ourselves of what Henry Ford said:

“It’s that man down the corridor,” he explained.

“Every time I go by his office he’s just sitting there with his feet on his desk. He’s wasting your money.”

“That man,” replied Ford, “once had an idea that saved us millions of dollars. At the time, I believe his feet were planted right where they are now.”

I’m signed up for the @Great_Run (South)

At this point, I’ve just signed up for the Great South Run, 28th October 2012.

In 2006, I was on a ski trip in January, and said that I would run the Manchester 10k (May) .. thinking it didn’t sound that far… but after 1 minute on the treadmill, I was slightly dying, so joined the running club. My aim was to get it done in 1 hour 30 minutes, but I did it in 1 hour 8 minutes 26 seconds…

Later that year, after sharing a bottle of wine with a friend, we signed up for the Winchester 10k, which was a WEEK later (and I was still running, but definitely not at the same level), but I completed that in 1 hour 6 minutes! I’m sure it’s more hilly also…

In the time since, I’ve been travelling around the world (where I got a chest infection), partaken in a number of computer based jobs, and I felt the need for something to inspire me to get my ‘get up and go back’ (I’ve been back at the gym for over a year, and love the classes there)… and know that running before, though I don’t particularly “enjoy” it, I really reap the benefits from it… and seeing @batty_towers talking about her runs, a friend running today in the Great South Run, and seeing the apps that show how far you’ve run (seen those Tweets about #runkeeper?). Also see:

I’ll be running on behalf of the NSPCC, so at some point there will be an appeal for sponsorship, but encouragement & support will be greatly appreciated!

Chatting on @bbcmerseyside this morning #flashevensong

After blogging about @flashevensong on this blog the other day, and subsequent conversations on Facebook/Twitter, Wayne Clarke invited me to speak (at 7.40am!) on BBC Radio Merseyside about my experiences of being there.

  • Listen again, from around 1.32, to the stories about St Paul’s (around 1.37 for my stuff)
  • And I’ve collected a version for posterity…
If you want to read more about The Big Bible Project, just click in… and we’d love it if you join the conversation! And if you want to comment on what I said, be interested…

Winchester's Zombosium

“No one would want to be a shambling, rotting corpse,” said Marcus Leaning, senior lecturer in media studies at the University of Winchester. “Yet since the early 2000s, there has been a proliferation of zombies expanding out of traditional media. I am interested in the meaning of zombies to producers and fans.”  (Times Higher Education)

‘You should study popular culture if you want to understand society. Zombies reflect the anxieties and concerns people have. One idea is that it’s due to austerity, another that it stems from the ‘‘climate of fear’’ after al-Qaeda. No-one really believes in zombies but it’s a way of thinking about big scary things such as a terrorist attack. It’s cathartic.’  (Metro)

“We’re living through the hardest economic times in most young people’s memories,” Dr Leaning said. “Maybe zombies speak to austerity Britain in a way other monsters don’t.” (BBC)

Much of this has worked via contacting traditional media outlets, but also caught a bit of a chat on Twitter (and it’s been fascinating knowing the people involved, and seeing how the story has spread):

Where have you seen Zombies in popular culture? I’m thinking of the Mini Cooper advert…

#Giveanhour asks @stephenfry

This morning, Stephen Fry asked us to #giveanhour to help someone else get online:

Stephen Fry give an hour

Earlier today, bearing in mind that we gain an hour’s sleep tonight, Stephen Fry has asked us to consider giving an hour of our time to help one of the many people’s who not online, help in the first steps. I’ve already been involved in Social Media Surgeries, and these run on a more organised principle, but still  require free space/volunteer provision to help people engage with social media. So, check out http://champions.go-on.co.uk/giveanhour:

Give an Hour

P.S. First post I’ve created using my Mac & Pixelator… getting used to different key combinations.