Jogger's Log

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About this blog...

I started this blog in May 2012 because I was fed up with being overweight and unfit, and wanted to get back into running. I reasoned that treating it as an experiment, and writing a blog about it, might help keep me motivated to carry on. The blog might also be of interest to others but that's not the main point.

The main point is that when I make commitments to myself alone I find I am less likely to stick to them than when I make commitments to other people. So, Dear Reader, you are the 'other people' to whom I am making this commitment. I may never hear from you - and indeed you may be entirely imaginary! - but still, your potential presence makes a difference.

The commitment is simply to go for a run every day, and immediately after each run to sit and write about it. The experiment is to see what happens if I do that for a year. Once I am outside my house in my running gear it is entirely up to me how far or how fast I run. It could be five paces, or just to the end of the road and back, or I could be gone for an hour and run 10km. So far (July 2012) I haven't been completely sticking to that daily commitment, but I've been doing quite well. When I have missed a day or two I have always come back to it soon enough.

I stopped running in the Autumn of 2010 because of a problem with sciatica which seemed to flair up every time I went for a run, but eventually of course I just got out of the running habit and got into the habit of sitting around eating tasty food instead. It took a while for my general level of fitness to drop but eventually I became quite unfit and went from about 12.5 stone (175lb/80kg) to about 14.5 stone (203lb/92kg) in weight. Just so you can put that in perspective, I am male, 5 feet 10 inches (1.79m) tall and 52 years old.

About the blog site itself: I contemplated using a ready-made blog environment like Wordpress, but decided against that. Most standard blog sites seem to organise posts in a way which makes it difficult to read them all sequentially from beginning to end. I can see the advantage of being able to read the most recent posts first, but I wanted to retain the ability to read - or skip-read at least - the whole blog as a narrative, so that you can see what progress has been made month by month. Also, I was not too interested in having readers' comments on the site, and Wordpress is very oriented towards the exchange of comments. I would love to hear from readers, and have included an email link on this page for that purpose, but I don't want to turn the site into a forum. I would prefer to keep it simple.

So I have hand-coded the site in good old HTML. Mainly that's because HTML is all I know, but I also appreciate HTML's simplicity and the fact that the pages I create are fast to load, whether the reader has a broadband connection, a dial-up modem connection or is reading the blog on a mobile phone over a slow 2G connection. Wordpress also has a significant security risk associated with it, and it is much more difficult to keep a track of all the files involved. The one big advantage of Wordpress is that it enables the blogger to update the content from any computer via a web browser. I 'blog' directly into the HTML source file on my own computer and upload the modified files to the server every day. I reason that almost all my runs will be from home, so that presents no problem in this case. And if I am away from home I can always email each entry to myself from my mobile phone and upload it when I get back home. (In fact, I have just discovered how to ftp from an Android phone so it is possible to blog directly from the phone.)

I would be very glad to hear any comments you might have about the content of the blog, or about how the site works for you.

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