Sunday, August 09, 2015


Just wanted to write a post about how good fitbit customer support are. After buying my surge I absolutely loved it. Not only does it track steps, stairs climbs, and calories burned but it also has GPS to accurately track runs. I sync it with strava to get distance speed, terrain and maps, along with time.

Anyway I have been super happy with my surge, right upto unto Friday morning when after cycling the 10 miles to work I found that my surge had condensation behind the screen.  Given Surge is supposed to be waterproof up to 5 atmospheres I was more than a little surprised.

I contacted fitbit via there web support, and after a short conversation the agent arranged for a new unit to be sent out to me in 10-14 days. It was so simple, I cannot recommend fitbit enough right now.

In contrast, I ordered a TrackR from expansys. A trackR is a GPS locator which is suppose to let you tag something and track it so stop it getting lost. It arrived and basically is useless. It wont sync with either my One Plus One android phone nor with Kaths Iphone 6. I tried to contact expansys for an RMA, no response as yet other than a stock your message will be answered email. Very disappointing.

Woodbank running

Yesterday Kath and I met up with Helen for a parkrun in Woodley. It was a lovely sunny morning, though a little on the warm side for putting in a personal best so I settled for 25:59 64th place. Its quite a good parkrun, starting off from the athletics track going round Woodbank park then into Vernon Park, then looping round once more before finishing back at the track. The drop then climb in Vernon Park is very challenging.

My car was in for some work at Nissan nearby so it was a convenient parkrun, but also a good one with nice views of Stockport on the run downhill in Vernon Park.

I had the rear brakes and bushes changes along with a new Xenon bulb, all told an expensive morning, made better thanks to the running.

Kath and I spent the evening playing some games, I tried to teach her how to play Mario Kart.

Play it: Manchester

On Friday evening Kath and I headed into Manchester to visit Play it. An exhibition of computer gaming over the last 30 years. With everything from Classic systems, like the BBC micro including Atari, Commodore and Spectrum, Megadrive, SNES and Nintendo 64 through to PC, PlayStation and Xbox. To the ultra modern demos using Oculus rift.

I got to relive my childhood playing Mario Kart, PacMan, and Goldeneye amongst others.

Kath had never seen some of the computers and games before, a legacy of growing up behind the iron curtain. It was great watching her playing Sonic the hedgehog, collecting rings and blazing round at hyperspeed.

Kath also enjoyed the classic BBC Micro, as shown in the picture.

After the exhibition we went for a Byron burger in Piccadilly Gardens. Before running to catch the train home, an exciting evening!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A run in the park

This morning I did my twelve parkrun, at Woodbank in Stockport. parkrun is a great concept, every week at 9am on a Saturday there are free timed 5KM runs in parks all over England. Everything is done by volunteers using free public spaces. Since I started I have visited several in the local area including Bramhall, Wilmslow, and Wythenshaw. We even managed a leisurely jog in Edinburgh. Any ability level can take part in a parkrun even, from a super fast 16 minutes to simply walking the course in 50 minutes.

My first parkrun was Cheadle Hulme back in September 2014. I managed 5km in just under 30 minutes, 29:43. Todays effort my second best parkrun to date was 25:37. I suppose 4 minutes isn't a bad improvement in just under a year.

I got Kath into it too she has run 11, catching me up by one when I volunteered as a Marshal at Wilmslow.

Since starting parkrun I have done several other runs including the excellent Great Manchester Run. With an excellent atmosphere I and 39,999 other runners took to the streets of Manchester for  a 10km race. My time was 54.58 which for a 35 year old who spends most of his life sat behind a screen isn't too bad at all. Hopefully with a bit a of practise I can improve next year. I certainly find that I run faster in a group of people than when I am on my own. I guess I just havent learned to pace myself nor push myself hard enough.