Weeknotes #11

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This might be a more succinct weeknotes as I’m writing on the train home after leaving work early feeling sick 🤒

It’s been an exhausting week, both mentally and physically - no doubt contributing to whatever this is. I’ve probably overdone it and this is my body saying ‘woah there’.

I’ve never really been one for exercise, but a couple of things have changed these past two months. I started playing squash with my siblings. Nothing too intense or competitive, but a lot of fun. I listened to Bella Mackie’s ‘Jog On’, and it began to spark a little thought that maybe running would be a good idea. My sister; who recommended I read the aforementioned book, started ‘Couch to 5k’, and subsequently attending Parkruns.

After two jogs/shuffles around the village, my sister, Dad and I headed to Seaford Parkrun on Saturday. I’ve never run 5k, nor attended such a large community sporting event, but I was astonished with how it went. The first km was spent getting my bearings; 180 people setting off down the seafront, trying to get into some form or order, is quite an ordeal. We started at the back and in hindsight, should’ve pushed forward a little more at the startline. The next km was a case of up’ing the pace and getting behind a few strong runners. As we headed towards the Martello tower, the race leader was on his way back (to a staggering 15.11!). But I got to the halfway point and was feeling pretty good. My breathing is currently my achilles heel, and it got progressively harder as the run went on. I found a few good runners to pace with for the final 2.5km and brought it home in 28 minutes 47 seconds! I was so happy with that time, but particularly happy with the splits:

  1. 5.59 mins
  2. 5.49 mins
  3. 5.34 mins
  4. 5.36 mins
  5. 5.35 mins

It felt like I was slowing for the final three kms, but it was in fact quicker and more consistent than the first two. Pacing seemed to make quite a difference, but it’s so hard to know whether you’re following someone who’s consistent, and at a similar pace to you.

I’ve been saying I’ll go swimming again for at least a year now, but I’ve put it off till now. On Monday morning, I was feeling fired up from the running success, and arrogantly & naïvely thought the same would apply in the pool. I used to be a really strong swimmer, and even trained to be a lifeguard! So I presumed it would all come flooding back, like riding a duck bicycle to water.

It did not.

Six 25m lengths was all I could manage, and it was not fun. My arms were like jelly, I could hardly breath, and my legs felt stupid and useless in the water. I got out and sat in the changing room catching my breathe and contemplating what had just happened. It was a proper slap in the face wake up call. I used to be good at something, I squandered it, and now I’m not good at it. Logically, it makes total sense. But I’d kidded myself that I could just get back in and carry on where I left off many years ago.

There’s now a pretty clear choice: ignore that pretty blatent warning sign and don’t go back, knowing that 4, or 2 lengths would be the likely outcome in a couple of years. Or head back soon, and push through this. The answer isn’t difficult in theory, but in practise it’ll take more willpower.

Being a beginner runner is fun, I’m breaking PB’s, and exceeding expectations. Being a beginner swimmer again is tough, There’s damaged pride, and the physical exhaustion is teemed with guilt and regret. But I must push on.

Work wise, this week has been pretty productive. It’s the end of this round of work on the project, but the next round starts on Thursday. Working with Andy, Cassie and Danielle on this has been great fun, and we’ve done a very good job. But it’s only me who progresses to the next phase. I’ve spent some time thinking ahead to how it’ll be tackled and there’s quite a lot of divergent rabbit warrens I find myself in. It’ll be good to get some hard facts and heavy planning involved next week.

We’ve spent a bit of time composing pages from our presentational components. It’s been so useful to stress test and refine before delivery. It’s led to a fair bit of refactoring, but we’re all really happy with how it’s all working now. It’s been quite stressful getting this all done before the end of the week, and it did get a bit panicky on Thursday, but I’m surrounded my a wonderfully supportive team! 😊

Tuesday night was Codebar at 68 Middle Street. After talking at my last one (gosh that feels a long time ago), this week was significantly less stresful. The actual coaching part of the night was really good, and we covered a lot: DOM querying, Events, classList and some modally things.

But being totally honest, I still find the social parts of meetups paralysing. I’m sincerely hoping it’ll improve in time with practise, as it feels quite limiting right now.

My sister and I played squash on Wednesday evening. Thursday night was another Codebar event, this time: Codebar talks. After a short session of homebrewing, we headed over to The Skiff for a evening of three fantastic talks. Jo, Richard & Oliver were all amazing - I went along feeling pretty worn out from a long day of refactoring, and left feeling refreshed, inspired and encouraged. Top night.

I heard from the inner sanctums of Daisie that #snacking is gone, partially thanks to my post 🎉

Today (Friday) was a gruelling day of UX London manual labour and project wrap-up. I didn’t come as prepared as I should’ve for a day of moving many, many boxes around, but we got the work done in record time! I did have to escape for some air and a milkshake though!

I’ve not published any blog posts in the last week, although I went ham the last week so it evens out. I’m writing a long post on the commute back and forth, but it’s taking a while to form itself.

As it turns out, it’s been quite a long weeknotes, but good to get some things off my chest. Thanks for reading if you got this far!

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