Category Archives: Family

Star Wars Episodes 7, 8 and 9 – can it get any better than this?

Quite simply put – no.  This is a whole other level in excitement.  Episodes 7, 8 and 9 from 2015 every 2 years and after then there could be even more!  My little boy will be 6 when episode 7 comes out, virtually the same age I was when my dad took me to see the original episode 4 (“A New Hope”) back in 1977, in Hong Kong with my friend and his dad.  We’re now a generation on, 2 more movies plus 3 prequels down, a bucket load of Star Wars Lego to the play with, the original 3 movies re-mastered and more, and everyone knows who Darth Vader is!  We had no idea 35 years ago what an amazing story this was going to be…

Even better the great Disney is buying LucasFilm and Star Wars – what better home for it.  And with George Lucas as a consultant.  Rumours are that Darth Vader is coming back from the dead – somehow.  And that they won’t be following the stories in any of the Expanded Universe books or games.  Interesting to see how it pans out.

Director apparently lined up – not sure who.  Writers ready.  Actors soon.  3 years of mega-marketing hype but it’s going to be the Star War fans here already who create the biggest buzz.

For some of this buzz, check out this blog by a fellow excited Star Wars fan…

I can’t wait.  Me, my little ones and my dad all to go and see it.  Need to figure out where though – dad’s over in Sydney with mum and my sister and her family so no cinemas anywhere close to us all!

And in 2015 we also have the NASA spacecraft New Horizons reaching Pluto – the now demoted planet.  But also a Disney dog.  Just a coincidence?

What a great time to be alive…!

Yes dad does know everything – Happy Fathers’ Day

As a little boy you grow up convinced dad knows everything there is to know.  He answers all the questions you have, with what seem plausible answers and nothing throws him.  Nothing.

As you grow up and perhaps study more specialist subjects – e.g. physics like me – dad knows the bits around the edges but less of the details, but still a lot.

Then as you start working and start a family of your own, you begin putting all the stuff that dad taught you to good use and hey it works!  And yes when you have your own little ones, dad still knows a lot – he brought you into this world – but he’s letting you have a go now and taking a back seat and watching (no doubt with a smile).

Then as your little ones grow up and they ask you the same questions – and yes they are tricky – you suddenly become the dad that knows everything.  That’s part of the job.  And if you don’t know something straight way you find out – now a whole lot easier with Google and team.  How did my dad figure out things he didn’t know?

Recently my dad’s blown me away with answers to things that I’ve been pondering.  Some major stuff and thought provoking and others facts that I needed to know and didn’t.

Infinity

The major stuff – the size of the universe.  Having studied physics at one of the best colleges there is (Imperial College) and being fascinated by the subject, probably even more since college, I like to think I have a good all round understanding of it.  But infinity throws me – and the ideas that the universe isn’t infinite or is infinite.  Neither answer makes sense.  And either answer leads to more questions and mind blowing thinking.  How can the universe have an edge?  What’s on the other side?  And if there’s no edge and it goes on forever that can’t be right, can it?

In steps dad – now retired and enjoying life to the full but still the font of all knowledge.  A chat with dad about all sorts and we started talking about this, as you do.  Not an issue for dad, it’s simply our lack of understanding of what an infinite universe is.  We don’t yet understand the answers properly.  Genius.  That actually makes sense.  We’re just not there yet in how we think about this.  I’m happy with this explanation – time to move on.

1500m

The race. Why do we run this distance?  It doesn’t make sense – why not 1600m which is pretty much a mile?  Why this odd distance?  A call to dad… 19th century international politics is the answer.  100m we understand, ok it’s Metric, the British weren’t, but it’s a nice number.  200m is just 2 x 100m, 400m is 2 x 200m and 800m is 2 x 400m – logical steps.  So the next one would be 1600m yes?  No. 1600m is just under an official Imperial mile at 1609m, so pretty much a mile!  And a mile is an Imperial (British) measurement – and there was a need for an international compromise on something close – so 1500m was picked.  Not too dissimilar from why some countries drive on the left – like the UK – and others on the right.  But that’s for another post!

So yes dads do know everything and then soon after you discover that grandad’s know just as much if not more!

Happy Fathers’ Day dad and to all dad’s everywhere!

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms even when his hands are empty.”

A bit of a Star Wars theme going on…

Mrs. Noble has done it again and at very short notice. The planet Hoth on a cake. Love it. A link to running? Don’t need one – it’s Star Wars…

Snowballs in Summer: A bit of a Star Wars theme going on …

But it is day one of the 8 week 10k training plan today, so will need energy tonight from the cake, after a great hill run earlier!

The best training plan for 10k?

A good question.  Having done a fair few 1/2 marathons and now 2 full marathons over the last few years, I know the sort of training you should do for those distances.  And yes how important the long runs are.  But 10k?  That’s just over 6 miles.  Do you need to train for that?  Obviously the answer is yes!  And more so if you want to push yourself and do as well as you can, PB’s and the rest.

8 weeks looks to be a standard training programme length for 10k, so not as long as for the longer distances but a good few months and with some intensive runs in – assuming you want to push yourself.

And all the normal types of training runs should be in there:

  • Long runs – up to say 90 minutes
  • Tempo and interval runs – for speed work
  • Hill runs – I didn’t do too much of this last time so one to add for me
  • Actual 10k runs – the real distance of the race
  • Speed work – just speed work

3-4 runs per week with some cross training thrown in – karate again for me (with a real focus on core work and stretching).  And I’ll get the Swiss Ball out as well to do some more core work at home (and try again to keep up the regular stretching – daily would be good).

Since the London Marathon – just over 2 weeks ago – I’ve done 5 runs:

  • Nice slow and easy one with Nic (Mrs. Noble) – about 4 miles 4 days after
  • 10k – and at a nice pace (managed just under 45 minutes)
  • 8 miles – also at a nice pace (just over 59 minutes)
  • 5.5 miles interval training
  • 5 miles – ok pace (today’s run – struggled for some reason)

Next week the official plan starts and will do 2 more runs this week around 10 miles each.

On a side note, for the interval training I did last week, I ran 1.5 miles warm up, then 6 sets of 1/4 mile fast and 1/4 slow and finished with a mile cool down.  On the 1/4 mile fast section – one of them – I managed a pace of 5 minutes 7 seconds per mile for short distance (just).  And that was hard.  The elite marathon runners – let’s call them supermen from now on – run 26.2 miles at a pace of 4 minutes 35 seconds per mile.  That’s nothing short of super human awesomeness.

I love having a training plan to follow and focus on.  Really does something for me and pushes me on.  For me it’s important to have the plan with the goal to run the race.  Need to get some goals outside of running in place now with Mrs. Noble.  Goals are good!

Do you set goals for yourself outside of any sport activities?  And if you do, how do you do it?  Any tips and tools you have to share?

 

Why dad needs the new iPad for his 70th birthday

Mum and dad set off for their new life down under 2 weeks ago now and it was dad’s 70th birthday just after they arrived.

Dad’s an Apple fan at home – with a nice big shiny iMac but he’s never made the move to a tablet, preferring his little netbooks for trips away.  But with his 70th on the cards an iPad was looking a nice option – so he can keep up with the technology the grandchildren are using (not that he needs an excuse).  But the recommendation from me was to wait until they’d announced the new one before ordering – and even then we’d have to wait.

So the new iPad is here and it looks good.  One’s definitely on the cards for me as well, to upgrade the original iPad we’ve got.  What problem does it solve for me (to quote Stu)?  None that I know of but I’m a fan-boy and I know I need one.  And it looks great for dad’s 70th present.

What makes it even better for dad is a new app (iBGStar) that our neighbour Gray showed me a link to, that plugs into the iPhone or iPad and takes a real blood reading and then the app measures your blood sugar levels, to help keep tabs on diabetes.  Very very clever – assuming it all works as good as it says on the tin.

Now just need to wait until the shipping times come down a bit for the new iPads!

And this will officially be my first non-running blog entry – a major breakthrough.

Fast, sad, slow and long

Fast – 10 miles on Tuesday just over 1 hour 15 minutes, a whole minute quicker than my previous recent best.  And in the Adizero shoes again – these babies rock!  Still slowed down on the turn around to come back.  Advice from my dad this week is why not do a loop instead, so you don’t lose the rhythm?  Good point.

Sad – my mum and dad emigrated this week (yesterday) all the way to Australia.  They’re on-route now – about 3 hours away I think.  Very sad goodbye – as it will be a while before we see them next.  Sad for the little guys as well, particularly Sophie who’s old enough to grasp what it means a bit more.  She wrote a lovely but sad card for them – with a little note saying she wanted them to stay.  But very very exciting for them – off to sunnier shores, walks by the beach, chilling and enjoying life and retirement.  And being close to my “little” sister and her gang.

Slow – a second 10 mile run today, not in the Adizero shoes and trying a loop (sort of).  But my time was way off Tuesday’s – over 20 seconds per mile slower.  Very strange.  Started off ok but after about 3 miles the pace dropped off.  You’ve got to get the starting pace right or else!  Great sign though…

Long – and then tomorrow’s my first 20 mile run in this marathon training programme and for 3 years now.  Looking forward to it.  Need to pick a route still – Richmond Park looking the likely option.  Slow and long again.  Planning on doing it early so back for late morning and then chilling the rest of the day.  No karate tonight – need to rest the legs a little bit ready for tomorrow.

And a few photos of mum and dad yesterday before they set off on their next journey.  Miss you guys like mad already!