Stroud Half Marathon

I’ve had a pretty active summer so far. Learning to rock-climb is the activity that has given me the most pleasure, and continues to interest and challenge me. I am near the end of a lead-climbing course, and within a couple of weeks I should be “signed off” as lead-climbing competent. A good friend of mine, James Boosey, will be taking me sport climbing soon which will make a good blog post when it happens.

By far the most physically demanding challenge I have ever undertaken happened to me last week, when I tackled 100 miles off-road cycling. The route, which took us 14 hours, from Windsor to Bath, for the largest part followed an old Roman road called “The Ridgeway”. I’d heard the it was pretty flat and dull, at least that’s what the hardcore mountain bikers had told me previously. Well, unfortunately, the Ridgeway is no gentle cyclepath, but endless farmtracks rolling across the English landscape. I just couldn’t believe the pain we had to endure, and how raw my bum was feeling by the end of it.

In the wake of the torture that was this cycling event, I pondered how much punishment my body could take. Could I re-invent myself as one of those super-healthy middle aged blokes, who, as they get older seem to get fitter and fitter? Well, only one way to find out… I’ve signed up for the Stroud Half Marathon 2012. I have 30 days until the big event, and having previously never run before, this may be a bit of an undertaking!

I jogged for 40 minutes today and found that I averaged about 6 mph, so if I can keep the same pace through my training then an event time of 2 hours 10 minutes isn’t out of the question, I just need to practice running that long. Next training Sunday.

Russian Word Of The Day

I’m in Courchevel 1850 this week, ski teaching in pigeon-Russian for this Eastern-Orthodox Christmas Week and to celebrate I thought I’d treat you to this Russian ‘Word Of The Day’ generator (below). I encountered the Polish version of this while browsing a source of great ‘Learn-Polish’ podcasts and other learning materials. I’d love to give the Russian podcasts a go too, but I’m pretty busy at the mo and will have to make do with what I know.

By the way, if you are interested in learning Polish, I have really enjoyed Pimsleur Basic Polish and it’s worth a look too. The Pimsleur method really focuses on the pronunciation by repetition which can seem a bit pedantic at times but it all sinks in. My Mum also tried the CDs and picked up a smattering of Polish very quickly.

If you are a ski teacher struggling with any Russian children this week, I have found Wait – ждать (zhdatʹ)* and Slowly – медленно – (medlenno)* very useful.


* Google Translate’s phonetics

Get the rockhoppers out!

Get the old skis out and build a kicker? Well, that’s not really my thing, and if it was it’d still be a bit ambitious! As you can see from the photo, it’s been snowing and things are looking a bit more like winter in Tignes. Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to ski yet. The glacier has been closed for the last few days due to high winds, but with more snow forecast for tomorrow, it looks like the Grand Motte is getting a much needed top-up.