Running 4.9 kilometres

Today I ran 5k. Well… not quite. But that’s for later.

For a while now me, my sister and my dad having been going for a long run once every week. Our original plan was to do a 5k by the end of the year, but we may have to rethink that. :P We weren’t entirely sure that I could do it (ahem, asthma), so on Thursday we did a 5k run on our own. Luckily I did OK, so I was all good to go for the actual run.

When we arrived I saw loads of people I knew – mainly old teachers and various people who I’m no longer in touch with, but one or two classmates. I thought it would be really awkward, but I didn’t have much time to reflect. The organiser gave a quick talk and then we were off. My (younger) sister quickly rushed ahead.

On Thursday I paced myself quite well, but here I burned myself out on the first lap. You feel this pressure in the beginning to get ahead, so it’s almost inevitable. I was vaguely aware I was going too fast, but I kept going regardless. I have to admit, I got a bit of schadenfreude (how do you pronounce that?) from overtaking other people, so that may have contributed.

By the second lap, I was exhausted. I slowed down considerably, so the people I overtook got their own back. Eventually I settled at a pace just faster than walking. Even still, I made some progress. At the end of the third and final lap, I sprinted to the finish. Well… I didn’t really sprint – more jogged. But it sounds more poetic if you say sprint.

Unfortunately my sister, who had been ahead of me the whole time, someh0w finished a minute or so after me. We suspected something fishy happened, and we were right. Turns out I missed a bit of the course. Whoops. :P I can’t tell how much of a detour I took, because the pedometers me and my sister were wearing turned out to be pretty inaccurate. She did the whole distance and it said she’d done 3.11 kilometres. IT LIES!

On that 5 kilometre run on Thursday, guess what we were using to measure the distance? The pedometers. I guess in a way there is a silver lining, because it means I ran more than 5k on Thursday – so if I hadn’t missed that bit of the course, I still could have done it. It’s like that scene in Harry Potter where Ron does more than he’s expecting because he thinks he’s had Felix Felicis, but in reality it’s just him. :3 That’s nice isn’t it. Unfortunately I can’t find a gif for this (I am for pronouncing it ‘gif’ not ‘jif’, but it’s not really a big deal).

I will keep you updated on future events. I realise that this whole post seems in contradiction to the incredibly unsporty me that I have presented to you. Running is actually one of my better points, as it contains little hand-eye (or hand-foot) co-ordination. So fear not – I will not turn into some crazy sports-loving guy anytime soon. *shudders*

Coming soon… an in-depth look at a map. No. Seriously. It’s not even going to be an OT post. If not, something on the teaching profession. Or possibly something mathematical. I’m finding it quite hard to stick to a topic nowadays – I have tons of drafts. We’ll see which one comes first.

Joe. ;)

P.S. I suppose this fits in with my Lenten promise (bulking up) but I think it’s more ‘be healthy and exercise’. The latter is more appealing as it doesn’t include many sit-ups.


Important… things.


A week and a half ago, it was  Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is basically the 40 days in the lead up to Easter, where you’re meant to be generous, pray, and fast. Most people (try) to give up at least one thing to fulfil the fasting obligation. Easter, but it seems sort of lazy to me, like being a vegetarian, but only on weekdays. Even still, I suppose 40 days without chocolate would drive someone insane. ;)

I don’t really have anything I can give up, due to my raft of allergies, and even if I wanted to, my mum would expressly forbid me from becoming a vegetarian (you’re a growing boy!) so my sisters have set me the challenge of ‘bulking up’. -_- In previous years I gave up sweets (which I never eat anyway) and gaming (which I never do), so it’s better than nothing. We’ll see how it goes. If anyone is actually giving something up, feel free to discuss below!

There was also World Book Day! I assume this is celebrated internationally for obvious reasons, so hopefully I won’t need to explain.

Wait… turns out we celebrate it at a different date to everyone else. XD Us British are funny like that aren’t we? I was going to say something like, ‘what did you dress up as?’, but I guess that’s useless if you don’t live in the UK. Unfortunately our school doesn’t celebrate World Book Day, but I have fond memories of dressing up in primary school. In memory, I went as Harry Potter, Tintin and Half-Moon. One of them proba0zbly twice.

Ukraine has also been… happening. But you’ve probably heard enough of that. If I’m honest, I haven’t really been following it. My friend helpfully explained, but I’m still unsure on some points, so I don’t want to mess things up. :P

WWIII press here to start

From CGP Grey’s video, ‘How Many Countries Are There?’

It was also Pi Day yesterday – at least, it was for some people. Most people were meh about it, but as one of those weird people who likes maths, I think it’s a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, here it was 14/3, rather than 3/14, so I didn’t get to celebrate, but there’s always next year. :)

Most of these things are pretty normal. They happen every year, and will continue to happen every year – although hopefully not the Ukraine conflict. I hope that doesn’t become an annual thing.

But probably one of the most interesting things for me, because it happened to me, was that I graded in karate to brown belt with one white stripe. *victory dance*


I am now two belts from black belt. As in, the belt after the next belt is black. I therefore predict that I will be a black belt by at most 2016. This might sound pessimistic, but some people in my group have been on the belt before black for more than 2 years. Although they’re not really meant to be – it’s analogous to those 40-year olds who are living with their parents – hence the at most.

The grading was scarier than usual as this time we had two examiners. Once seemed to be superior to the other, as he took the class. The sidekick sensei (for want of a better phrase) was in my opinion scarier. At first glance, he looked like a bit of a lumberjack – the grey beard, almost bald head… until you realised he had a braided ponytail the thickness of a string! Somewhere between the hair strands in Avatar and the hair-styles in Prince of Egypt.

Most of the grading we were mucking around. We spent two hours in the changing rooms waiting for the first few belts to be graded. Though it sounds pretty boring, it was nice to get to know people better. I mean, once you’re trapped in a small enclosed space with people you haven’t really talked to before, you kind of have to be social. ;) When I actually got to it, I was terrified, even though I’ve been through it before. They only put you through if they no you’re good enough – so our club has never seen anyone fail a non-black grading. I know that should be reassuring, but you don’t want to be the one who changes that statistic. Obviously I passed, so it all ended out fine.

Umm… yeah. Sorry I haven’t been posting as much. I just haven’t had the time. :/ I had another post in the wings, but I accidentally deleted a lot, so I’ve had to start again from the middle. If I can, I’ll get it out on Sunday, but this may not be possible.

Joe. :)

OT: Pens

From the person who brought you essay-length posts such as ‘CHOICE OF BEVERAGE’, ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE ALLERGIC KIND’, and ‘TOOTHPASTE: ORIGINS’ comes an excitingly mundane stream-of-consciousness post called…


OK, I think the whole concept of OT posts was to take the extremely run of the mill and make it vaguely interesting. Recently they’ve gotten a bit generic, talking about my hobbies and quirks – they’ve gotten away from their original intent… So I thought I would spice things up a little. Or rather, make things a little blander. :P Prepare yourself for the most melodramatic piece you have read for a while. And it’s on pens.


If I had the choice, I would always use pencils. They’re better in almost every way… they a) have erasability, b) don’t smudge in water (much), c) won’t run out of ink and d) have a bigger, and therefore better, range of colours. Alas, society frowns on extremists who hold such views.

I remember in primary school (elementary school for y’all Americans) it was a massive deal to be allowed to write with a pen. Until around Yr 3, you could only write in pencil as your handwriting wasn’t neat enough to use a Biro. I think the logic was that little kids used pencils so they could rub out their mistakes. I was one of the first in my year to move up to a pen, which will surprise many people, as… well, you’ll see.

Though in the beginning, I loved the sense of superiority using a pen gave me, my work did become a lot scruffier when I couldn’t just rub things out. I write things down without stopping to think, which is why typing is great because I can cross things out without you knowing. The only vestige of my pencil using days was Maths lessons. One of the weirdest things when starting secondary school was discovering they used pens for their maths work. Madness. Absolute madness.

I recently started using new-fangled erasable pens, and they were really great… but also really expensive, and slightly addictive. My neatness improved dramatically, but they don’t last long and are really inefficient for the price, so I gave them up a month ago. I would be lying if I said I haven’t looked back, but it’s been worth it. Today, I am officially erasable pen free for… well I used one today, so a few hours. But I’m improving.

My handwriting has been the subject of much debate. It has been variously described as ‘massive’ and ‘illegible’ by classmates, ‘unique’ and ‘flowing’ by some of my teachers (this is not a lie and I have the reports to prove it) and ‘a chicken’s scrawl’ by my sister. It may have been ‘a dead chicken’s scrawl’, but I can’t really remember. Personally, I think I have two styles of writing, which I will call ‘unique and flowing’, for my homework when I’m being obsessive,  and ‘a dead chicken’s scrawl’ for rough notes. My general style is somewhere between the two, but tending towards the dead chicken’s scrawl, even more so in timed tests. I am unaware of teaching qualifications, but I am sure that somewhere there’s a course on reading handwriting.

This will be wrapped up quickly as it is very late. I hope you enjoyed the post. :3