Mostly walking the dogs

Making do, mending, getting by (redux)

Of sorts, although things aren’t that bad.

I somewhat recently dropped my (now old) new old phone and cracked the screen. It was still usable, but I’d been toying with getting the battery replaced via a third party since it was at 45% battery health, but with the screen broken I’d have to replace that first and at that price might I might as well get a second hand SE 2020 instead. If I had that much money. Which I don’t. So I switched back to my original iPhone SE (85% battery health). I was amazed at how much better and brighter the screen is. I can use Apple Pay without it freezing the screen. It’s so light and small I don’t even notice it in my pocket. The A9 processor is still fast enough. This was the peak of phone technology.

In hindsight I would have not bothered with the iPhone 8, I got that because I anticipated the iPhone SE going out of support, but it actually took a year longer than I thought it would until the latest iOS wouldn’t run on the SE, plus Apple pretty much do support the previous iOS for another year anyway (iOS 15 just got an update so really it’s only going to be right about now as iOS 17 is released that it is unsupported). I’ve decided it can last a little bit longer still and then maybe I’ll have to get something on contract - I’m paying £10 a month anyway for data/minutes/sms, if I got a contract at around £20 a month then that seems really quite reasonable.

My plan for one pair of running shoes a year is not going to work out. I’m not even at six months and I’ve had to re-glue the sole on one shoe and stitch a tear in the upper in the other (to be fair, the tear is exactly where I’ve removed the internal reinforcement cage, because it gave me a blister). I had not factored in all the dog walking, and what’s more the shoes getting constantly soaked from dewy grass which I’m sure has weakened the uppers. I hope they can keep going a bit longer (more glue, more sewing) and then I think I’m going to try some cheapish Decathlon trail shoes (£40 for the Evadict Easytrail to £60 for the Evadict TR2) which can do the combo of road, trail and dog walking; I slipped over at the weekend on a muddy trail run in my “road” shoes so it’s time for something with more grip.

And this was going to be a separate post, but actually there isn’t that much to say so it makes sense to be part three here. I’ve sadly given up using Teuxdeux (again) and have switched back to Taskwarrior. It’s going to save me a bit of cash and I wasn’t thrilled with the direction the preview was going in: Function over fashion, whereas I really appreciated the fashion of Teuxdeux, if I want pure functionality… well, there’s Taskwarrior. Since I last used Taskwarrior the bugs that impacted my reports have gone so I don’t need any wrapper scripts, etc and I can have simple reports like so:

#Custom report - Teuxdeux
report.teuxdeux.description=TeuxDeux style
report.teuxdeux.filter=(status:completed or status:pending) and due.after:sow-1min and due.before:eow and -BLOCKED

#Custom report - Teuxdeux
report.roll.description=TeuxDeux rolling
report.roll.filter=(status:completed or status:pending) and due.after:-2days and due.before:5days and -BLOCKED

I am trying to use it mostly like Teuxdeux, but with:

  • annotations for links, etc instead of markdown in Teuxdeux
  • sometimes using tags instead of short prefixes like I would in Teuxdeux

I.e. just keeping it as simple as possible. I also resurrected my crontab entry for rolling over incomplete todos.

I never finished off updating Haskerdeux for the new Teuxdeux API, but using Taskwarrior means I could easily update my Apple Watch shortcuts so I can once again see and complete todos from my watch. I thought about setting up a sync server, but I might as well just have my home todos on my server and my work todos on my work laptop and separate things that way. Simple.

[EDIT: 2023-10-30] Turns out the daylight saving bug is still there in Taskwarrior. Almost nine years since I provided a patch. For now I’m not going to update my patch and rebuild from source because I’m using on my work macOS machine and my NetBSD server so it’s easier just to use the binary. I’ll just modify tasks after daylight savings occur using task $(task +TEMPLATE uuids) modify due:'due + 1 hours', etc; At least I just use recurrence.limit=1 now; I did think about just setting my recurring tasks to midday, but this other old bug screws up my report grouping.

LINK: Big Issue E-Bikes Aberdeen

Belatedly writing this, as usual, but “recently” I finally had an excuse to give these a whirl.

I got sent on an errand to the other side of town and in an effort to take as little time as possible (just quite how much “Can you just…” interferes with my supposed workday can be a topic for another post elsewhere) I hired a bike to do it.

They are a doddle to hire. Find one in the nearest parking zone (can check in the app before hand), scan the QR code in the app, the bike is unlocked and off you go - a little too quickly, the electric assistance kicked in sooner than I thought and nearly sent me straight into a post.

Despite not having been on a bike for a few years riding a bike is like riding a bike.

I did a ten minute journey to a parking zone near my destination and ended the ride there. Ending the ride can be a bit fiddly, because you can have the bike parked in zone, but you also need to make sure you (your phone) are in zone as well when taking the photo to prove you’ve parked it up. I thought it’d make sense to do my errand as two separate journeys as I didn’t know how long I’d be, but if you know you are just nipping in somewhere it might be cheaper to leave the bike directly outside and pause it. This is because the fees are £1 every seven minutes, but if you hit eight minutes then that’s going to cost you £2. So for my errand I did ten minutes out and eight back, costing me £4, but £3 gets you twenty-one minutes so if I’d been quick in-between I could have just kept one hire and saved myself a whole £1.

On a related note it makes sense to semi-plan journeys to be efficient. It doesn’t always make sense to hire the nearest bike if road routes mean you’ll get stuck in multiple traffic lights. Sometimes it makes sense to walk a bit further so you get a more direct cycling route.

These bikes are pretty cool though. I hope they stay around. And I hope I have an excuse to use them again - they are fun!

LINK: Glastonbury From Tent To 5k Fun Run

In a “planets aligning” moment, I stumbled across mention of a run at Glastonbury. I’m not on Instagram, but tracked down the running club and from there the sign-up form so I didn’t miss out.

I’ve never actually done any organised run before and this was an utter blast. So much fun. Was definitely a Glastonbury highlight.

There are some photos now up and I am actually in the back of one of them.

The main link above is for the sponsorship page. I’ve sponsored myself and big M sponsored me too, but I would appreciate any sponsorship any random internet wanderers can offer. It’s open until the end of July. Thanks.

Last of the Glastonbury spam, but after twenty years that’s fair enough.

Use Guided Access For Running

Not in the literal sense of the title - I use the brilliant WorkOutDoors for that, but rather I got fed up of my phone thinking it was being touched when I was running and going crazy - mostly skipping songs in Spotify, etc - although I’ve also had it lock me out of my own phone or randomly ring my emergency contact or 999, etc. It’s frustrating that there is no way to remove the Spotify controls from the lock screen, which would at least solve the skipping music side of things. As to the general issue, it’s definitely not a sweat thing - it’s in my fetching pink bumbag. Plus I’ve also had my camera randomly activate with my phone just in my jeans pocket which drained my battery. Technology is shockingly shit.

Anyway, I’m very late in discovering this trick, but it turns out you can solve all of this by using Guided Access. So what I do now is start playing something through my headphones, use them to pause it, start guided access (I have it on triple click since I have a ye-olde home button iPhone) and then disable everything apart from the sleep/wake button (so volume buttons can’t get knocked either). Then I can use the sleep/wake button to turn the screen off, but it doesn’t matter if it comes back on as no touch works AT ALL. I just control music through my headphones (not with Siri - ha) and then unlock guided access at the end. Works so, so well.

Strava Streak

Strava Streak

A bit delayed posting this as these screenshots are from the end of March, but wanted to mention I’ve managed to build up a new streak again using my 75+75 approach. This really is giving me the flexibility I need (I will forever miss my long countryside runs though) and (according to Apple Health) it’s been enough to get my VO2 max almost back up to the levels it was at when I was doing marathons. So that’s nice.

The peaks in running are extra runs with A, otherwise I’m pretty level. Although my VO2 max is back up, my Strava fitness level is way down, but I don’t ever track any of my walking on there and there is a fair bit.

Hylo Light Long Term Review

Hylo Light Long Term Review

I’ve had these so long they’ve renamed them from Hylo Run to Hylo Light and the Hylo Run name is now being used for a much fancier shoe that delivers on one of my main complaints and seems to be less firm. If I was still doing a lot of running I would be all in on the new Hylo Runs, but seeing as how I’m only doing about 15km a week now and doing faster runs (so a firmer shoe is better) and the fact I did a marathon and lots of other long runs in the Hylo Light it’s impossible to justify spending £140 on the new Hylo Runs. Instead I will be getting some more Hylo Lights in the sale for £79.

The Hylo Light though are a hard wearing shoe. These have done over 750km of running and hundreds of kilometres of walking. I didn’t track the walking, but in the months I was injured last year I started wearing them for my walking recovery rather than just letting them sit there and then when I had recovered I carried on wearing them for dog walking. I know you aren’t meant to walk in your running shoes, but that is my life*. Anyway, all that walking explains the heel wear.

At this stage I have replaced the laces and the insoles (I’ve worn through both). Replacing the laces is actually not a bad idea - the supplied ones have no give in them whatsoever - as using ones with a bit of stretch means you can lace them up, leave them done up and slip them on and off.

I did have to cut out two bits of the internal cage on the medial side which you can just make out on the photo (right-hand image, circled in red) compared to the lateral side left intact (middle image). Those gave me the worst blister ever. Asides from that they are a really good shoe.

* I was genuinely excited when A got me a pair of converse for Christmas, since I needed some new shoes, only to be told they were for “best” only and not for waking to the dogs; back to the running shoes then.


First month of the year done and so far so good for my plan of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise plus 75 minutes of strength a week. Managing to build up a streak again.

This mostly works out as:

  • Monday: 15 to 30 minutes of strength
  • Tuesday: ~37.5 minutes of running
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes of yoga
  • Thursday: Whatever is leftover to get to 75 minutes of running
  • Friday: Whatever is left from Monday to add up to 45 minutes strength

For the running I aim to keep my average pace under five minutes per km. Which is fast enough for me to be putting some effort in.

This routine is minimal enough that if I miss a day I could squeeze a couple of activities into one day or use the weekend. And swop things around if the weather is bad - I’m not running when it’s icy as I don’t want to injure myself. I could also split up the running into three runs instead of two if pushed for time (I am frequently pushed for time).

It’s a lot, LOT less in hours than I used to do, but achievable given changes in life and I am at least really trying when running. Also, the strength training is novel and so interesting. I’m using the Nike Training Club app for that like I do for yoga, it really is a superb free resource. I’m improvising with a couple of Brewdog growlers filled with water as dumbbells which works out at about 2kg each which is the light end of dumbbells, but enough for my weedy arms for the time being.

If I can keep this routine/plan going I’ll be happy enough.

Compromising On My Compromise

Colour me unsurprised, but my plan to cut my running from a minimum of 40km a week (~4 hours) to 25km (~2.5 hours) and my yoga from 1 hour a week to 30 mins failed in its first week. A first week where I was still on holiday and so didn’t even have work to fit in as well.

On the plus side (and I guess I am really lucky in this) at least I know it’s not injury or lack of motivation on my side that’s the issue. Just the rest of life getting in the way.

Anyway, fine, I’ll compromise further. My new plan is 75 minutes of running (if I put in some effort it’ll count as vigorous and still meet the NHS/WHO guidelines) and then I’ll try the same (75 minutes) of a mix of strength and yoga. It is probably about time I did some proper strength exercises (yoga is technically, but all the yoga I’ve done did not prepare for Yoga Pushup reps and so maybe yoga also isn’t).

This works out as 1.5% of my week. So I’ll also drop my allowance down to 1.5% of my income; That won’t be too bad since I’ll only need one pair of running shoes a year with this much running.

So far I have managed to meet this goal two weeks in a row.


This year has been really bad for running:

  • Storms / powercuts
  • Fake Covid
  • Real Covid
  • Knee injury
  • Broken ribs
  • Moving home

Moving home has sucked from a running point of view. The obvious one was losing all my beautiful country running routes, which I knew was going to happen and so I’m glad I made the most of things over the last few years. But less obviously the whole process took so long and so much of my “spare” time I kind of had two months off running. There were bits of running during that time, but not like I used to. Completely unanticipated by me (I will be naïve until I die) was how moving would change the dynamic of family life and how that would affect running: In the new house it just isn’t possible for me to get up early and sneak out running without disturbing anyone (or, more importantly, the dog). And early morning, especially Sunday, runs was how I got my distance in and how I stayed sane and happy.

Anyway, with moving finally finished and us settled in I looked to find a new running routine now early mornings were out. I have about an hour each morning on school days I could use, so second day back at school (was too busy the first day) I went out for a really nice 10k. It was raining, but it was still great. A really nice route with long stretches away from traffic and a bit of woodland as well. It seemed to go perfectly. When A got back from doing the school-run (now much longer, another story, but hence the time to get out for 10k) I’d been back a short-while and was ready to go out with her. We did a shorter run and I could feel that my knee felt a bit iffy, but it was a nice steady run and also seemed to go ok.

Not long afterwards though my knee started feeling bad and then proceeded to get worse and worse. I quickly went from thinking “I’ll have tomorrow off running”, to “I’m having at least a month off running”. I was gutted - it just felt so unfair. I think I’ve screwed it the worse I have ever done and I thought it was bad enough when I knackered it at the start of the year. On the day of the injury I couldn’t walk across the room and had to hop across. For the first couple of days I couldn’t help walk the dogs. That went down well. Two weeks later I could walk with a hobble/limp and my knee was still a bit swollen. Three weeks later I managed to walk 10k, which was pretty cool, but with a bit of limp by the end of it and it felt sore afterwards - although was no worse the next day. Into week four and I’m now trying waking without a knee support on. So far so good.

I decided to not even risk yoga (knee bending or twisting - yikes!) during this first month and just focus on walking. Somehow I have mostly stayed sane during the past four weeks. Hopefully I can at least start getting back into some kind of yoga soon though. And maybe I’ll then try a little run with A to see what happens. Although I think perhaps I should admit defeat on running, but on the other hand what else can I do?

An Apathetic Review of the Hylo Run 2

Apathetic because my running has taken a huge hit after injuring my ribs skateboarding and because, sadly, from first impressions it seems they no longer suit my feet.

The only things I didn’t “love” on the first model were the sole and midsole: The only thing they’ve not changed is the sole and midsole.

I liked the uppers. Yes, on my second pair (I intentionally got the exact same model as my first ones), I did have the uppers begin to tear away from the sole after around 400 to 500km - I guess due to the lightweight perforated nature of the upper, perhaps I was lucky with my first pair - but I just did a bit of sewing and kept them going to 800km.

On this third pair the new uppers just don’t fit me. These are called Hylo Run 2s, but technically are version 3 based on the serial numbers used. Along with a weirdly placed eyelet (I’ve not really figured out how to make use of it, but no big deal) and a heel counter that some how makes them less snug (but is still collapsable and works “ok”), they’ve added some internal reinforcement (presumably to prevent any tearing in the uppers), but although it’s an incredibly thin laminated layer (like tape) the extra hardness and stiffness it creates in certain areas gave me my worst blister ever. In fact not so much a blister, but an open wound on the midfoot medial side of my left foot. It’s taken about a month and a half to fully heal.

Just 71km in them so far. 15km was the longest I managed (and the run that did all the damage). I was hoping they’d ease up after a bit, but no; However, I did just manage to pry under, then peel off and remove the two worst bits of the reinforcement running up from the sole to the eyelets. I haven’t run in them yet like this, but hopefully that’s enough and I don’t have to tackle the reinforcement running around the sole to upper join.

Fingers crossed that means my long-term review of them will be better.

These are the ten most recent posts, for older posts see the Archive.