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Marx has a saying about clubs

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We live in a very strange and petty world at times.

With my mojo on a sabbatical, and Jiminy Cricket's neck and back still suffering from whiplash we've not been running as much as normal.  Throw in the charity stuff I've been up to and that thing called life we've not been as active in a running club as we like to be (we've both previously volunteered to support club runs etc).

I'm not sure if its been our absence, but it hasn't made the heart grow fonder.  All I want from a running club is fun, and the rules to be followed consistently (and linked to that there being some rules).

I'm a simple soul; and I've run too many clubs, been a trustee of too many things, organised too much and sat in too many damn committees to know that everything runs swimmingly all the time.  The hardest thing is sometimes to walk away from something that has gone a little bit rancid.

Which is where my old club has made things easy... It is not wrong to ask how an offer …

It's Grim up North (West) - please share...

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This is an article written by the four North-West England Adult Congenital Heart Patient Reps...

Please share so people know what's been going on, and where to go if their in our area and haven't had an appointment for a while...

[This was written for a national charity, and they've given us permission to share it ahead of publication]

The closed facebook group for the adult patients in the NW is

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MACHnetwork/

The Helpline Number is 0161 276 7959 (please leave a message with a number for a return call).



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Being a patient rep often sounds like a fun job, you get to spend more time with the clinical teams that support and look after us, help improve services and generally make sure that the patient voice is heard.For us in the North West that’s been done through the patient reps who were chosen by the regional focus group; principally Anna Burns and Paul Willgoss. We’ve worked closely with the regional congenital heart charity (the Chi…

Stepping out - A question of algorithms

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I have two devices and three algorithms that count my daily steps...

(The fitbit died)...

An Apple Watch...

The iPhone health app...

The Fitbit app on the phone...

Never do the three agree.

I can understand the watch being different from the other two, I don't normally leave it on the desk when I get a coffee, I rarely wander off leaving it on the side.

The other two are using the same hardware - the phone, with its accelerometer and inbuilt gizmos...

How much of a difference?  Well, I've had an interesting day at work, where I've been shackled to the desk, have been feeling rough and headachy - so a good wish test, no runs or gym sessions...

The watch - 8315
Health App - 7713
Fitbit - 7106

That's 10% difference between the two on the same hardware.

The next question is should I be bothered?  The scientist in me is, I want to unpick what the difference is and why it's so stark on the same hardware.  But there is a bigger question, how accurate are step trackers any…

Getting Chilly, Going Large

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As regular readers may have noticed I often follow my own advice and take things easy, slowly build up my distance and speed and generally just add 10% a week to my mileage...

Those of you not choking on your cornflakes may not realise that this is cobblers... Upon occasion, especially on a run where I know the time cut offs are generous, I will take a punt and start the exercise regime for a year with something fun...

So, Jiminy Cricket and I headed north, to the wilds of Lancashire for the Fylde Coast Runners Central Lancs New Year Half Marathon - my simple target get around and have some fun while I did... And to try and make sure Jiminy wasn't sat around in basecamp (the local primary school) for too long while I trundled along.

Unlike most runs I do, this was on open roads so there were cars on the roads with the runners - which wasn't the problem I feared as the run was on quiet lanes, and most runners were sensible and tucked in when cars went past.  Did mean that the …

Running Review 2017

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Its been a year... a complete desertion of the mojo, a niggling hip injury and a tad of achilles tendonitis has meant that the training has gone for a long walk... even that didn't run away, just gently sauntered into the sunset...

However, I am and will always be a medal whore, so whilst I've not run consistently I have got my sorry arse out of bed for runs and events.  The inaugural Wirral trail half marathon started the year, a gentle cold slog along the Wirral Way, flat with squelchy bits... The glory of the MadDog 10k - with its awesome goody bag - containing a bag, well rucksack.  The National Trust run around around the grounds and deserted airfield near a Tudor mansion - Speke Hall.  The horror of the BTR half marathon... BTR Half, guess what, still no explanation... let alone an apology!

The double header of the Spring 5 & 10K in Sefton Park showed how cock-ups should be dealt with - a shortage of t-shirts meant that names were taken and a little while later a ver…

It’s been awhile…

Oppsy – the blog has been unwritten for many a month.  There has been a series of very good reasons, but still the blog has been unwritten.

However, I’ve said I write the blog best when I’m running well – and I’m not running well, the hip injury from months ago is still lurking, mainly hurting when I’ve sat down for far too long.  Which given I have a sitting down job and spend significant hours sat on a train getting around the country is a bit of a bugger…

So as I’ve started groping towards getting back into the running its time for a catch-up montage blog…

The degree is over; I’ve submitted my last Tutor Marked Assessment and passed the last module and now have a silly amount of letters to add after the other letters after my name – BA (Hons) Open (Open) – so I stand astride CP Snow’s two worlds, a scientist who loves science and a student of the Arts (as in Art History) with large dollops of Religious Studies and Heritage Studies.  The Open University is a curates egg – at its be…

The end of an era...

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The time has almost come to say goodbye to a good friend, one that has been mistreated by those who should know better and which despite everything I still love...

Yes, I'm talking about my mobile phone.

I'm normally a sticker, if I start with something I stay with it... And so my first phones, with almost no exceptions were Nokia's... The sporty ones, the business ones (oh E71 what a phone you were), the N78... my first phone which had a camera worthy of the name.

The came a mild flirtation with Android... a HTC Desire... and the realisation that not all phone companies bothered keeping phones up to date... and that Android was a buggy, laggy mess with lousy cameras.

And so I fled back to Nokia... this time with windows phone... Seamless integration with social media, excellent camera, useable versions of word and powerpoint that helped with charity and OU stuff.  It just worked, where there was an app gap nokia provided good or excellent alternatives - nokia music for na…