2014 is going to be my bitch

Bah - I've overwritten the old one by accident...

With a pounding head (I've got some sort of nasty cold with a temperature and headache), it's time to look at my year... I set up a bunch of stuff to do, let's see what I wanted to achieve...

Family - Win

  • Arrange weekend activities to do with Felix as he's old enough to do cool stuff (we have a list now)
  • We did the Natural History museum, Oxford and a camping trip etc. We didn't get to LEGO Land because we felt he was still too young. That's bounced over to next year.

  • Buy a tag along bike extension (spring)
  • Done! He's still just a bit small for it.

  • Ride to Aldermaston with the tag along (spring)
  • Scotland Holiday (summer, not confirmed yet, need to talk to some peeps)

Money fucked this one, my teeth needing a lot of work. Managed to blag a cheapo family camping trip.

Chums - Fail

Started well seeing people but failed on the others. Balls.

  • See chums once a week, every week even if we're not roleplaying
  • Organise at least one party
  • Organise a camping trip


I was on track before I started studying for my application to the Big G. I feel like I succeeded in this one.

  • Get Icar into print on demand (this is more about reminding/coaxing proof readers rather than a lot of writing)
  • Failed on the that one. Mrs has not been able to proof read nearly fast enough.

  • Finish Icar novel
  • I am at 73K words and 2/3 through, which will make a 70k novel in the end.

  • Finish Icar fleet setting (30%)
  • Nope. Done a lot of rendering, though. Now at 50%.

  • Write at least 200 words a day
  • Do NaNoWriMo (November)
  • Back to weekly blogging on FRPGB
  • Read 4 books

Done! Game of Thrones, The Odyssey, Catch 22, Life of Pie

Technical - Win

Done for all of these. I was ready to buy a Rift but it became obvious that it wasn't going to be around for a while.

  • Update lack of to drupal v7, 50% complete
  • Get Harness refactored and have more blocks
  • Save up for Occulus Rift

Gaming - Win

Done these. The Vertical Slum is still going upwards but I've not started anything. The UberStore is done.

  • Complete all outstanding MC projects, not start new ones
  • Put in a regular show at Planetside 2 (it's a much better game now)


Done both of these... although work on my teeth means that it will take a few more months to finally kill off the overdraft.

  • Clear rest of debt (should be doable with current budget)
  • Secure pay rise and (hopefully) promotion



  • Buy a weighing scales
  • Find ideal target weight
  • Adjust diet to get to target weight
  • Start running, aiming to do Reading half in 2015


I ran Icar for most of the year, stopping only to apply to the Big G. I've not done the others due to the time they take.

  • Run Icar regularly
  • Have regular web chats with free RPG authors
  • Run an RPG over Google Hangouts

Things I didn't account for

A few of my teeth fell apart, so they needed to be rebuilt. I applied to the Big G, which has been an eye opener. That put a lot of things on the back burner but has been fun too.

Next year? That's another post.


Great stuff in there! Gill and I are definitely up for the camping trip.

Regarding the running, I think Reading Half is a fantastic goal. Running is not my strong point, but if you want any training advice, I'm happy to help!

babychaos's picture

Thanks Pete. I need to get some scales. I know I'm not yet at my pre-hospital weight and my diet is not dreadful (it can't be, my body rejects it) but I'd rather like to run and the 2015 Reading Half seems like a good goal.

As for training, what I've read so far is:

  • Start small, rest every other day
  • 10% increase every couple of runs
  • Once the mileage clocks up (by naturally adding 10%), do short runs during the week and long one at the weekend
  • Wear a hat.
  • Listen to music

Does that look about right?

Most half plans are 3/4 month based. I've got 14 months. Already got me some Sweatshop-approved trainers (did the rolling foot thing) and will start with some old trackie bottoms and a t-shirt and see how they fair.

The big one on there is that I don't "see" (or game) enough with my mates. I do have spare time, I can make better use of it.

brainwipe's picture

When I say "start small" I read somewhere to run for time, not distance. I'll try with 20 minutes and see how far I go.

brainwipe's picture

As you have lots of time, I'd say every 3rd day may be better to start (or 3 times a week...). What running is _really_ good at doing is highlighting any weaknesses or joint issues you have. You'll need to give your body time to adapt to the impacts (bone density increases...this is why runners have "heavy legs" and are fairly bad swimmers...at least that's my excuse).

20 minutes is an excellent starting point...I'd even go so far as to say for the first 3-4 months you don't need to do much more than that...again, let the body adapt. Spend a bit of time working on some core exercises (planks, crunches etc) as well, as this will limit injuries.

One thing I didn't do when I started out, and thoroughly regret (as it probably caused a lot of my issues) is drills


As you're just starting this is an absolutely excellent opportunity for you to get some good habits in your running technique now. I can absolutely, 100% promise you that these are not just for serious runners, they are definitely for everyone...these, and a good stretching routine, will do more than anything else to keep you injury free. Reading Roadrunners did these...you only need to do about 100 metres of each about once a week, but focus on technique, and think about how it applies to when you run (I run with low knees, which causes me to stamp the floor, which puts loads of stress up through the upper leg, causing all sorts of issues...if I'd done high-knee drills early on running, I could well have avoided it).

Once you're through the first 3-4 months, and (hopefully) are comfortable running 20 minutes, I'll explain the absolute fun and joy that is HIIT...aka the most effective training you can do for your time. I did it with a lass at work, and we hacked 20 minutes off her 10k time in 2 months.

babychaos's picture

Thanks mate! What is the 3rd one like? is it like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UsGK17Ti0I

brainwipe's picture
brainwipe's picture

hmm...not really, that's more high knees.

The best description I can come up with is "Ministry of Silly Walks" high kick, then down to the ground and drive through to move yourself forward. You're working on getting a strong drive phase, and getting your contact point under you (rather than in front, which leads to stamping).

An alternate is high skipping, but the high leg helps get your hamstrings engaged. Also, if you're bounding through a park skipping your manliness may be questioned. Nazi frog-marching if far more acceptable.

It's probably the trickiest of the 3...I used to visualise an actual hurdle, then focus on one leg for ~50 metres, then swap and do the other leg.

babychaos's picture

Ahhh! Like goose stepping. Gotcha. I'll give it a go.

brainwipe's picture

Second one...Goose Steps! That's the one (aka Nazi Frog-Marching). Your focus on that one is the drive once the foot has made contact.

That second video has a good array of drills, and he's demoing them very well.

babychaos's picture

Shit. Did drills, jogged .25 mile and got cramp in right calf. Fuck it. Hobbling home.

brainwipe's picture

Cramp is a diet thing. Hydrate well, and I find bananas help me as well (good source of potassium). Also worth checking your laces are not too tight, which can restrict the tendons on top of the foot, causing the ankle to be too tight (I've done that... F'ing painful)

babychaos's picture

Thanks mate, I'll try again Saturday (read somewhere that it's best to give cramp a day).

brainwipe's picture

So, I still have "cramp". It's not cramp, is it? I've injured myself. I'll wait until I can actually stretch the calf and then try again. Perhaps I'll do the warm up a bit less enthusiastically.

Still, my writing is going well (I'm well in word credit) and I'm banging out most of the Icar Fleet setting. The novel is mostly planned out now, so I can bang out everything up to the end of part 1 and share.

I did a bit more on the Uberstore in MC and have worked a bit more on the L-O skin. Got Felix out on his little bike-with-trainer wheels in prep for the tag-along.

I'm going to be organising Icar for Tuesday and an FNG, I'll be doing a 1KM1KT Monkeys Hangout at the weekend.

So, other things are on track!

brainwipe's picture

If it lasts past Tuesday/Wednesday it might be worth finding a sports physio to give you a once over (consider it an MOT for your body). They'll be able to identify any issues, and also recommend ways to resolve it long term.

Don't bother with a GP, they are a waste of time for physical injury in my experience. They are only good for handing out prescriptions, referrals to Private, and pregnant people.

babychaos's picture

Ta mate, good shout. It's pretty much gone now, so I'll wait one more day and try again.

brainwipe's picture

Ouch! Well done for sticking with it mate, its so easy to lose momentum with that sort of thing...

byrn's picture

Melissa uses WriteWay for NaNoWriMo http://www.writewaypro.com/
She managed 50K words in 11 days with planning each chapter out using WriteWay

Sparky Marky's picture