Sunday, April 17, 2011

Garmin Connect

I was given a Garmin Forerunner 305 for Christmas, replacing and updating my Garmin 205. I love it. Always have loved my Garmin and have the spreadsheets full of run and cycling data to prove it.
 With the 305 and Garmin Connect stats are now taken to the next level! Not only can i use the TC software i can also upload to the web with Garmin Connect and then embed session onto the web and link them from my twitter feed. Geek heaven!

This is today's run. A 10mile loop that i have done a few times and used to, when running for ultra training, do a couple laps of plus a bit extra. It feels good to be in double figures though and like i tweeted earlier this week i feel fixed. My ACL was in November and i am running 25'ish miles a week without issue. The knee feels solid and my shin issues have gone. 

I watched the London Marathon today with a mix of envy and disappointment that i wasn't there. It was the first race i did 13 years ago in April 1998. I completed it then in a time of 00:04:20. Avg. 10min miles for the distance. 

13years on i'm still a runner.

Monday, April 11, 2011

for the avoidance of doubt.....

Role Models...
Footballers are not role models. They should not be role models. They are skilled young men and can be considered heroes to emulate in playing skill but not to base your life on. The reason for this is actually quite simple. These guys, and I'm referring to the very top of the pile here the stars of the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A etc, are so far removed from the 'man in the street' that how can they be? This is also the counter argument that you hear on talk radio whenever they drag up this dreadful debate. Just because someone earns upwards of £80k a week does not guarantee any behavior standards and really why should it? There are people in all walks of life that earn allsorts of salaries and who should all conduct themselves with control and sensitivity to their surrounds, treating people and those surrounds with respect. Simple? Without making excuses people with certain income move in circles and have issues that most of us cannot understand.
How's this for a scenario - a very young man, say 21, plays Premier League football for a living. He earns phenomenal sums of money for playing sport, is sponsored by a boot manufacturer, a soft drink maker and a razor manufacturer. He's young, gifted, fit and wealthy. He's, seemingly, got it all. Transpose that with 21 year old who works in a garage and earns £14k a year. They both go out on a Saturday night with their mates and get drunk. On the way home they both stop to relieve themselves in a bush. The following morning one is in the NOTW the other just has a hangover. The one that is in the NOTW is then the subject of debate about how footballers earn all this money and have no respect. The reality is that both behaved wrongly but one is invisible and one isn't. The are no better or worse than each other but because one earns a lot of money he's supposed to be better behaved?
That is why footballers should never be role models because ultimately they are no different from young men up and down the country they just earn more. Why should a 21 year old footballer behave better/differently to a 21 year old at University? They should actually behave the same and you would hope that as they grow up and mature they will both show maturity and respect that generally comes with age.
Huge generalisation now but largely footballers are not particularly well educated.
Graeme Le Saux was ridiculed and accused of being gay because he had the temerity to enjoy art galleries and read The Guardian. An educated man in an uneducated profession. It stands to reason really, players have grown up playing football and naturally neglecting their studies (again a generalisation). Steven Gerrard is a fine player and seems a good guy. He had an indiscretion last year that came to nothing. Perhaps more interestingly in this context is that when asked what his favorite cheese was he (according to legend) responded "...melted cheese..." As a hero in football undoubtedly, I have seen probably hundreds of shirts with his name on. He seems a good guy. But would you want him as your kids role model?
John Terry...
Last year JT had the England Captaincy taken away from him because of off the field actions. It centered on an, alleged affair, with a team mates girlfriend. This was plashed across the tabloids after a super injunction had been removed. The super injunction prevented the story being published as it was not felt to be in the common interest. That JT then sold himself and was profiting from portraying himself as a family man meant that the judge overturned this ruling.
Now my position on this has (I believe) always been consistent. Whilst accepting that JT behaved incorrectly the only people that should have been involved are him and his wife and the other parties involved. In daily life people do not lose their positions/jobs for that reason. If you have an affair your career will not be affected. Your home life will but that will probably be the end of it. So why should JT lose the captaincy?
Because he's a role model. Because kids can read papers and see headlines.
My son saw the story and we talked about it. He knows, actually he knew, that what JT had done was wrong because he knows his parents are together and that that is how it should be. Did that stop him thinking that JT is a great player? No. Did that stop him thinking that JT is a great leader? No.
Are those judging really living so morally correct that they can be so outraged that a millionaire footballer behaves like them? (See the reference to money again - apparently if you are a millionaire you are not subject to the same emotions as those without it).
The captaincy was given to Rio Ferdinand. Another decent guy but one with a conviction for drink driving......
Rooney and Drogba...
Wayne Rooney has been banned recently for swearing into a camera. His defence is that players on the pitch swear all the time and if they all get banned then where will the game be. The difference here, and Man Utd are being a little bit ridiculous in peddling that statement, is that Rooney rather than shouting/swearing to the heavens actually sought the camera and full of rage and anger swore into it. This was Saturday afternoon, a home audience of thousands and due to the time a, probable, large audience of kids. He gets banned for 2 games.
Take another scenario - a presented on the One Show does a cracking interview and runs to the camera and swears into it. What happens? Even simpler, if that presenter swears inadvertently, what happens? A two show ban on full pay? Unlikely. Make it more relevant, you walk into your office and swear like Rooney did. What happens?
Apparently what Rooney did is no worse that Drogba in the Champions League a season or so ago when having been sent off he was followed by the camera where he was complaining into it and swore.
Same bottom line, they both swore into the camera taking that into millions of homes. There are differences in the circumstances. Mainly that Rooney sought the camera and demonstrated pure aggression and hate. Drogba was being followed by the camera, he never sought it. Rooney went looking for it. Drogba was in a negative situation having been sent off in a Champions League match, Rooney had just scored a hat-trick. I'm not trying to justify either but there are some subtle differences. That aside they both behaved unprofessionally and both have been punished within the game. As a scenario again if you are in work and swear under your breath or to yourself you will not get too much attention. Stand in the atrium and swear aggressively and it will be different. That's the difference in game and in camera. Players need to accept a responsibility on the pitch and swearing into a camera is really not acceptable however you dress it up, it's also different to being caught swearing on camera.