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slabbenchpress
17 August 2010 @ 02:41 pm
Then man who talked me into barefoot running has got himself an LJ. Adam's quite a remarkable guy in that he seems to have time for absolutely everything, writing a few blogs here, designing some websites there and still cooking dinner, going for a run and having some free time in the evening. I don't know how he does it.

Anyway, go check out his LJ. It's obviously a bit sparse at the moment, but knowing him, it'll be updated daily with loads of good stuff.
 
 
slabbenchpress
02 July 2010 @ 11:11 am
Went for my first walk and run in my Vibram Five Fingers.
Walking was quite hard going. As someone who's always plodded along, heel striking, moving to the midfoot was quite tough -especially when I'm used to running on my forefoot.

After 5 minutes I was off the pavement and onto the grass, which made a massive difference, despite the ground being as hard as the tarmac.
I did a 15 minute walk around the block (our industrial estate is huge), then ran on my forefoot for the last quarter.
Maybe it's because I'm used to forefoot running already, but this was much easier and the impact on my forefoot didn't seem as hard. Probably due to natural springiness when running.

Right foot is now very comfy having worn in my Vibrams. The left foot isn't.
Where the fit cuts across the first metatarsal it used to rub on the right foot, but the skin has toughened up.
On the left foot, the same bit seems to be pressing down on a nerve -owch!

I plan to keep wearing them a little bit every day. Hopefully the nerve pain will go away. Otherwise it's going pretty well.
 
 
slabbenchpress
11 June 2010 @ 10:01 am
With my motivation flagging and my goals unclear as I'm once more struck down by injury, then illness, them emergency overtime in my workplace, my exercise routine has tripped over and died.

You'd be amazed (horrified even) at how quickly things can go from bad to worse when regular gym trips go out the window. Those little after dinner treats that used to be quickly burned off start to grow into love handles and a generally wobbly coating.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but the impact is noticeable for me, even if it isn't abdunantly clear for anyone else.

So I've decided to start a blog to track my progress, connect with friends online with similar passions and generally champion the traditional British sense of 'keep fit'. After all, in the pre World War years we thrived on a diet of kippers for breakfast and didn't need to develop bulging muscles to be fit and healthy.

I just feel it's interesting how our concepts of 'fit and healthy' have changed, probably due to influence from the US. So not only do I aim to improve myself and get back into my routine, but see if I can inspire others to do the same and in doing so become a champion of the British keep fit.

Right now Keep Fit Blog is being worked on, but from a tiny acorn shall grow a mighty oak! Or that's what my PE teacher used to say -ooer :S
 
 
slabbenchpress
16 March 2010 @ 03:21 pm
Trippy. I've never been a man for 1 word reviews, but this movie deserves one.

It's a stunning visual feast, but there isn't a tasty morsel of plot anywhere to be found. Rahter, it's a whacky opportunity for Tim Burton, Helen Botham Carter and Johnny Depp to be strange and wonderfully entertaining as always. The gothic trio are certainly on form, the supporting cast a director's dream come true and the budget suitably enormous.

The movie starts well, entertains throughout and wraps up nicely. So what's not to like?

The randomness. I know we're talking about Alice in Wonderland, but this film is not only a sequel to the original (which should have been clearly advertised), it's also quite dark and involved.

The Mad Hatter puts on a thick Scottish accent to foretell prophecies of doom and insanity in once instance. Brilliant for adults with a taste for Shakespeare, but wasted on the kiddies and dilinquents who will be bored, puzzled and waiting for more CGI magic to unfurl before their eyes.

But, if Alice in Wonderland have one thing going for it, it's the little details and quotations you remember days after watching it.

Overall it's well worth a watch, but not a DVD purchase.
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slabbenchpress
23 February 2010 @ 09:38 am
Despite my dislike of FitFlops and Bex' love of them, the world is conspiring against me. My company has just ordered the new FitFlop SuperBoot, so guess who's going to be pestering me for a pair to add to her already enormous FitFlop collection?

As someone who runs regularly for a mixture of fun and exercise, the concept of FitFlops is obvious, but the whole point of real exercise is that it produces real results. So when Bex is telling me about a blog she's been reading online that points to one of our new competitors who have a preview of FitFlop Super Boots up on their site, I was amazed that the new FitFlop has almost nothing to do with exercise. Quite the opposite in fact, because it's a trashy ladies fashion boot.

So how does a high cut woman's boot offer exercise? Something about the sole that mimics the barefoot walking gait to work the muscles more. Haven't these women ever heard of walking about the house barefoot or even on the beach at the very least?

You're probably sick of me complaining about FitFlop, because I'm sick of Bex telling me how amazing they are. But on the flip side, what if there was a t-shirt for me that works the pecs and abs while you...drink lager and eat curry?

Not a bad question and even I have to admit that it sounds like a fantastic idea. But would it work? I guess that it doesn't matter if people by them by the bucket load.

The again those electro-tone machines have been around for years and never really had any serious commercial success. You don't see any well toned celebrities electrocuting their muscles into perfectly sculpted forms.

Maybe I should go and patent the tone-up-t-shirt before someone beats me to it?
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Current Location: at home
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Garbage "Til The Day I Die"
 
 
 
slabbenchpress
22 February 2010 @ 10:32 am
This weekend was fantastic. Saw some friends on Saturday, sat around talking 'bloke' and playing video games before eating pie and chips, then spent the rest of the evening doing more of the same.

Sunday I saw the folks, tucked into an incredibly roast dinner, sponge in custard to follow and watched down with a beer, then spent the evening doing my accounts.

It was good to have a relaxing weekend and with my accounts in order, I can start to think about redecorating the bathroom and even invest in a classy power shower. The dribble of scalding water from the current one doesn't quite cut it.
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Current Music: Incubus "Drive"
 
 
slabbenchpress
18 February 2010 @ 03:09 pm
I swear that Bex must now own every pair of FitFlops under the sun. But has the amazing microwobble board technology actually helped her to get in shape? No, probably not. I think eating less cake and being more active has done that. But what do I know about the revolutionay FitFlop when I'm just an ignorant man. Still seems like an excuse to whack a pair of cheap ten quid sandals up by another twenty quid to me. So now there's fitflop super trainers in production and surprise, surprise, Bex wants a pair. Well, that's just 'super'...apparently.

I'm longing for the summer. Not just for the warm weather, but so we can recoup a small fortune with another epic Car Boot Sale where I'll flog a metric ton of her old shoes (most of which have probably never been worn) to the immigrant workers who scour car boot sales for shoes, clothing, hand bags -you name it, they'll have it.

Our yearly car boot sale is a nice guilt trip for the missus when she sees so many people who have escaped to come with in this country. And thankfully all of them speak english and are perfectly friendly. A far cry from the image of 'ruffian' asylum seekers we're often sold. They're just people like anyone else looking to get work and make a better living for themselves. If they can buy up all our old shoes and clothes that would otherwise end up in a skip, then more power to them. I bet they'd laugh their arses off if they knew about half the crap Bex buys (like FitFlops). Actually, they probably wouldn't. They'd with THEY had that kind of money and would probably put it to much better use.

Speaking of which, I'd better stop ranting and get back to work.
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Current Location: on lunchbreak
Current Music: Pink Floyd "Dogs"
 
 
slabbenchpress
18 February 2010 @ 02:40 pm
Running and general fitness has taken a turn for the better this year as I've conceded to the gym fees and taken up tread mill running.

With a new job has come a new location and a swanky new gym with tv screens, USB sticks, funky lighting and even tasteful workout music. Best of all, it's clean, friendly and there are plenty of staff on hand to help. There's even a bar serving tea, coffee and healthy sandwiches.

The greatest thing of all though, is a plasma screen console built into pretty much every machine in the gym. So now when I'm running on the treadmill, I can enjoy 20 minutes of Top Gear re-runs on DAVE all thanks to the tv screen while my speed, time, calories burned, etc are displayed around the edges.

Remarkable! If gyms advertised themselves to be this amazing I'm sure that obesity would be a thing of the past.

Then again, I am paying £50 on a corporate discount for all this. Not cheap, but well worth it.
Can't wait to get out of work and go running again. Best of all, I'm neither cold, wet nor miserable!
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Current Location: on lunchbreak
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Shadows Fall "Enlightened by the Cold"
 
 
slabbenchpress
07 January 2010 @ 01:49 pm
Over the weekend a friend of a friend introduced me to absinthe. Normally I'm a whiskey drinker, but having been a student, they were amazed that I'd never tried absinthe before.

Apparently you're meant to get totally wasted on the stuff quite quickly, but it seemed to have a slower effect on me. Perhaps this is because I seem to get drunk from sheer quantity of liquid opposed to the potency of alcohol?

Anyway, after a few glasses, it wasn't half bad. It turns out that if you want to buy absinthe, there is quite a variety of different tastes to try, much like whiskey.

So I could be hanging up my whiskey drinking boots for a bit as I explore the world of absinthe.

Good times!
 
 
slabbenchpress
23 December 2009 @ 03:10 pm
Having slipped over on the ice and smashed my face in, I felt it was time I bought some proper walking boots, especially now the weather's taken a turn for the worse.

Rebecca didn't know what to get me for Christmas, so I aked her to pay for my boots instead. It's not a surprise, but it's better than deodorant and the usual assorted bathroom crap you get for Crimbo.

No doubt you've all heard that the UK has ground to a halt under a light sprinkling of snow and ice? Honestly, it's embarassing that a country with such a grand legacy can fall foul of mild weather while other countries are fitting winter tyres on their cars well in advance of the cold front.

Fortunately the roads where I live had been thoroughly gritted, but that doesn't stop people driving at 5 mph in fear of skidding wildly out of control and exploding in a huge ball of festive Christmas flame.

So anyway, back to my walking boots. I bought myself a pair of the cheaper Hi-Tec boots having read a guide to the top 5 walking boots. I'm not a hardcore hiker, so something that just offers good grip will suffice.

None of my trail running shoes were really up to the task, which was surprising, because I thought they would be. But it seems you need the chunky treads of a good pair of walking boots to get you safely through the snow and ice. Some of these walking boots cost more than £140! That's a bit excessive for me, but I'm sure there are people out there that need the higher levels of performance for trekking up snowdon in double time. Or they've just got more money than sense. More money than me at least.

But the chunky treads on my walking boots have made me think about what I'm running in for off-road races. I'm tempted to try a pair of outdoor trainers with thicker treads for the upcoming Merrell Iceman race. If I can get more grip than the other guys in their regular trail running shoes, I'll have no trouble getting up the steep slopes.