Hiding Lunchboxes

I think I’d get more traffic on this site it I used post titles like ‘steady 10k tempo’ or ‘aerobic base versus lactic threshold’ but then I’d be lying as I’d be making up even more of this than normal.

On the actual running front I am surprised at how quickly the speed is coming back. I am currently running comfortably in the sub-8:15/mile territory. Obviously the ‘speed’ is a relative thing so hold the inner voice of criticism. I have been knocking out slightly more than maintenance mileage with a 12 miler, a 4 miler, a 10 miler & a 6 miler in the last 5 days (I took Monday off as I was in Dublin).

My spine/pelvis (iliosacaral) joint is a bit stiff but a good week of stretching or a trip to the physio would sort it out. I have found that I am doing a bit more mid-foot running and I can only base this on the fact that the heels of my shoes are not wearing down as fast as they normally do. If you had a video camera you’d probably realise that I am still pure heel striker but I think that (relatively) tall non-biomechanically efficient northern European runners are designed to heel strike to some extent.

I’m still not sure what to do next. I had a vague fantasy about running a race called the Glen Ogle 33 in 3 weeks time but the logistics of getting my family to Scotland to go running around the time of my wife’s birthday might not be the smartest move I’ve ever considered.

Then there is the Clonakilty Marathon in December which might be cold enough to stop me over heating but having spoken to Grellan yesterday on the fringes of a very dull conference (he ran the race last year) the course profile might require a fair bit of fitness and ability to run up hills.

So nothing is decided and I think I’ll let the running continue for the rest of October and try to stretch the Sunday run north of 16 miles so I have a bit of endurance and then decide what to do.

There are a few off-road ultras in Ireland in 2012 – the Art O’Neill Challenge and the Wicklow Way Ultra but I haven’t done enough research (i.e. no research) on them to decide whether they are steep fell running events or just getting lost in the hills events (which I think I’d prefer).

Here endth the ‘bit about running’.

Now, the blog post title. What’s that all about?

It has nothing to do with school bullying or dieting.

However, If you fall into the overlapping  area of the following Venn diagram sets then hiding lunch boxes (and finding them) might just be what the doctor ordered.

Lost?

Read on.

Are you somebody who owns a computer?

Do you own a ‘smart’ phone or some sort of GPS device (Garmin running watches don’t count here I’m afraid)?

Do you like the outdoors?

Do you often have to go for ‘spins’ in the car with the kids on Sunday afternoons or long trips  for work?

Do you like finding out about obscure places of interest and beautiful views that the guide books don’t show you when you visit some place new?

Do you like hiding stuff? If in doubt, ask yourself, do I still know where my teenage porn stash is in my mother’s house? (There is a similar question for the lady-readers but I can’t think of it right now – probably something to do with handbags).

Do you like finding stuff?

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a spy?

If you answered yes to most of these (I’ll allow a fail on the porn stash question) then congratulations – you are still alive and your brain is still working.

And you’d love my latest waste of time:

Geocaching.

The official Wikipedia page on it is here but I’d strongly advise you not to read it as it is full of nerdlinger advice about ‘locking-onto’ satellites and calculating your co-ordinates.

Instead you should log onto http://www.geocaching.com and set yourself up with a user name and go out and find a geocache near your house. If you bring the kids you’ll never go for a pointless spin in the car again.

If you’re still reading you probably want to know what a geocache is. Which is good.

Well, it’s something hidden somewhere that you have to find, retrieve without being caught by the public, sign the paper log in it and then re-hide it. The thing that’s hidden (the geocache) can be a tiny hollow magnet the size of your thumb nail stuck to the back of a road sign or an ammunition box hidden in a forest. Depending on the size it will be filled with little trinkets and toys that the kids (big and small) can swap.

Where I live the geocaches are either small magnetic containers hidden in the urban environment or lunch boxes hidden in the countryside.

Hence the blog post title.

I know it sounds completely nerdy and it is a bit geeky but if you have any morsel of natural curiosity in your body you’ll enjoy it.

If you’re still completely sceptical (if you’re cynical I expect you’ve given up reading ages ago) I’ll give you an example of one I hid recently (for others to find):

Near where I live there is a small Victorian (19th C) church and graveyard that has long since been swallowed up by the progress of suburbia. In the graveyard there is the grave of a famous Victorian mathematician who died from homoeopathy (his wife plunged him into cold water to get rid of his cold and turned it into pneumonia and turned him into a dead person).

His name was George Boole and he invented the ‘sums’ that make computers work.

So, in order to get people to visit his grave and realise what we owe his genius I have set up a geocache on the street near the graveyard.

Should have had a Lemsip

If you read the recent post about my adventures running beside the river Ayr in Scotland you’ll be delighted to know that some good soul (or souls)  has placed no less than 33 separate geocaches along the route of the River Ayr Way. That means that if you get bored of staring at the beauty of nature you are generally no more that a mile or two from a hidden surprise.

There are about 5 million of these lunchboxes hidden around the world.

So, hiding lunchboxes – the sweet spot of treasure hunting, history, hidden landscapes, technology and spending time with your children.

A great waste of time!

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6 responses to “Hiding Lunchboxes

  1. One of our speedygeese runners is a mad-keen geocacher. She’ll often look for a cache between a race and some other sporting event. She told me about one that was hidden under a footbridge under the lake – needed a canoe to find it.

  2. Fascinating. Not the stuff about geocaching (even my nerdiness has its limits), but the fact that I never knew George Boole was buried anywhere accessible. I’ve been fascinated by Boolean algebra for at least 30 years (which, admittedly, contradicts the other sentence in brackets earlier on).

  3. Drat….I thought the Glen Ogle might tempt you to risk divorce…..nevermiind. Remain happily married and prove my theory that all real men undergo at least one mariral break up 😉

    Geocaching….I’m on the case now. Looks interesting. are there any porn geocaches??

    • I think a porn geocache would be called a ‘stash’. It is an interesting idea. Not for kids though.

      The nearest ones to Este Road for you would be the one under battersea rail bridge or the 8 in battersea park or the 10 on Clapham Common.

      Laters

  4. …and here was me thinking Waterfairy came up with this idea all on his own!! We had fun none the less…..once he sorted out the settings on the gasfired gps he’s had since back in the days of being a state trained killer 😉
    I’m off to findout how many caches I have neer me.
    I still think Finola and the kids would have a ball at GO33, I’ll keep them entertained. Promise xx

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