It’s very cold, frosty and icy here today. I couldn’t get enough motivation to go out on the bike. The road bike was a non starter and the MTB seemed too much like hard work!
The weather was bright and sunny though so I decided to head for the Five Crossroads forest with Rosie for a walk and to mess around with the “good” camera. I wanted to see if I could take better photos compared to using my phone camera.
We bought the camera approximately 6 years ago. It’s a Fujifilm Finepix S4800 and you can read a full review here. Essentially it’s a mid range camera with auto and manual features and a decent 30x zoom capability.
My phone is a Samsung A50 running Android v10 and it’s about 1 year old. Like the camera it’s also a mid range model with a decent camera and a full review can be found here.
Virtually all my photos are taken using the phone. The camera is bulky and delicate and requires planning and effort to have it with me and to get access to the photos afterwards. The phone is always on hand, photos are instantly accessible, backed up and easy to share. I decided to find out today if the extra effort is worth it.
These photos are samples of those taken using the camera.
The two below were taken using the phone.
A lot of the photos taken on the camera were blurry or over exposed due to the direct sunlight. Many of the long view shots were disappointing compared to what I could see. I was impressed by the close up shots and the zoomed ones though. The phone is obviously much better for the all important selfie shot and the software seemed better able to cope with the sun. The software also seems to add an extra warmth to the photos making them more appealing. I didn’t test the camera in low light but both the linked review above and my own experience confirm that the phone is poor in low light conditions.
My conclusion is that the phone will still be my go to option but the camera is worth the extra effort for family occasions, shots requiring zoom or close ups. If I was trained to use the camera properly I would probably get more use from it.
It was also a nice walk and close to the end I met my sister and husband out for a walk with their kids and dog. It was nice to see them as we’ve seen very little of each other due to various lockdowns and good to catch up.
In the last couple of weeks Conor’s gaelic training has changed from Saturday afternoon to Sunday. It has put a real spanner in my cycling. His training starts at 1130am and finishes at 1245pm. It doesn’t give me enough time before unless I get up really early and afterwards I only have a couple of hours before darkness. I’ve found it difficult to get motivated to go out in the cold and wet afternoons. However, both of the last two Sundays I’ve made it out for a run.
Today my legs were feeling tired and heavy but the bright winter sunshine was nice to be out in. I did underestimate how cold the strong breeze was though and was glad to finish the warm up walk and start running.
There is a local 5K running event scheduled for Boxing Day. I’m still in two minds whether to enter or not. I’m not sure I can run the 5K without walking and I don’t see the point of doing it otherwise. I plan to run Tuesday and Thursday and then decide.
I’ve been cycling for almost 7 years now and I’ve always enjoyed hiking and walking but I’ve never been a runner! Up to now this image has described me perfectly:
I’ve tried running a few times but it was always a case of too much, too soon due to lack of understanding how to start running. I’ve tried Couch25K a couple of times but gave up after a couple of runs due to lack of motivation. I also have a really bad running style that combined with a poor training strategy has resulted in a tendency towards shin splints.
I was researching C25K again last week and came across NoneToRun (N2R) which is for pure beginners. C25K is distance based with the ultimate aim of running 5km at the end of 9 weeks. N2R is time based with the aim of running 25min non-stop at the end of 12 weeks. It’s also walk/run based but incorporates some basic strength training to build endurance and avoid injury. It also has a very active and very supportive Facebook Group.
I had planned to cycle this morning but was suffering from a complete lack of motivation to get on the bike. Eventually I was that pissed off I decided to give N2R Week 1 a go 😱
To make things that bit easier I decided to go to Monellan Woods so I could run on the trails. I know Monellan well from walking the dog and MTBing and figured it would be less public and easier on the joints as well as a more enjoyable environment.
The first couple of run/walk intervals felt quite easy but I could feel the effects increasing towards the end. I did feel pretty comfortable throughout and could see the temptation to do more but stuck to the plan.
I ended up at 35min as my 25min finished and I was still 10min from the car but left the watch recording to the end.
I did have a few niggles with my shins but nothing bad so hopefully that doesn’t get any worse and with time my legs will get stronger and my gait and form will improve so that I avoid injury.
I had Rosie with me for company. She loves Monellan but her reaction to my running sections was so funny. Totally confused and over excited the first couple of times. Only issue was having to stop twice to put her on the lead when we met other walkers. If I go early or later in the evening then I won’t have that issue.
Rosie has been ill since Wednesday evening. She was very subdued going to bed that night, lethargic and very shuffly. Yesterday morning she was in very poor shape, having difficulty walking, not eating or drinking and unable to stand for long. I was convinced she was dying. I went to work in terrible form, convinced she wasn’t going to make it through the day. I was that convinced I didn’t want to take her to the vet, that she would simply be put to sleep. She was showing no signs of pain or distress so I wanted her made comfortable and be allowed to die at home. I was convinced she had either cancer or heart failure and that nothing could be done.
All through the day she was no worse nor better and yesterday evening she was showing some small signs of improvement. This morning she was still with us but showing signs of a discharge from her rear end. I contacted the vet who thought it sounded like a womb infection. This was confirmed by scan and after antibiotics and fluids she had emergency neuter surgery this afternoon.
She’s still not out of the woods, she has a lot of toxins in her system and she may yet succumb to shock from the surgery as she’s no longer a young dog. However, the vet was reasonably positive this evening and will decide in the morning if she is well enough to come home or if she needs further observation over the weekend.
Here the house feels very empty. She’s a big part of our family and constantly with us about the house. Tonight she’s missing and it’s painfully noticeable. Hopefully she has a good night and strong enough to come home tomorrow and we will be a full family again 🤞