Sunday, 11 March 2018

A little behind and the TGO Challenge 2018

Let's start this post with an aside. Unusual, I know, but let's live on the edge.

Look, I know the title of this piece is grammatical grunge (..the The Great Outdoors Challenge...) but omitting the 'the' just makes it look plain daft. You can complain all you like in the comments section. I won't read it. Ah. But there's the thing. I will, and every barbed sentence will slice away my already bludgeoned confidence blow by tiny blow.

Walkers, or perhaps it's just this blog's readers, have a high proportion of fastidiousness when it comes to written English amongst their number. With my complete lack of education in all things grammatical at my Comprehensive school in the sixties and seventies, this should make reading the scribblings in this place an exquisite torture. Think of this as my way of proving those right-on metropolitan elite tossers who promoted this ghastly system (whilst sending their own offspring to Grammar and public schools) to be deluded virtue-signalling fools. 

Hmm. That 'aside' took up two lengthy paragraphs.

Right then! (Is that better than starting a sentence with 'So.'? Or 'Look'? To the meat of this evening's post. Just under a year ago I wrote of my regime for Challenge Fitness, in the post Getting Organised: Limbering up. which told of the benefits of walking just three miles a day, starting on New Years Day and continuing until setting off on the TGO Challenge


This evening I tested the ageing brain-cell by performing a little arithmetic and came up with a disappointing result. (Christ! This blog is a bit negative tonight!) I've often been described as a Huge Arse, but it transpires that I am in fact a Little Behind. 

This chart should provide some help with an explanation:


The straight-as-an-arrow red line is the cumulative progress of three miles a day: The target. 
The dark brown line is last year's walking, recorded in weekly chunks.
The pale brown line is this year's walking, to date.

Last year's exertions started in a moderately sedate fashion, up until Week Eight, when there was a either a burst of enthusiasm, or more probably increasing guilt at falling well-short of the set target. You will perhaps be surprised to learn then, that this year there was also a similar spate of guilt about this place at more-or-less exactly the same point in the year, but that there has been no corresponding acceleration.

Of  course, I could put it down to crappy cold northerlies followed by the 'Beast from the East.' Note to self in the future, when re-reading this drivel: The Beast from the East: Google it, as you will have forgotten what on earth that was. Who made up this ridiculous name? It was far more likely to be simple lethargy, with an added twist of sloth and slobbery.

Because of the prevailing ground conditions on my muddy Northern Patch, most walks have been to the sandy delights of the Eastern Provinces. The earlier picture in this piece was of the fine trees there, taken yesterday evening.

So! Right then! Look you, Boyo! Things had better improve, sharpish. That graph deserves better results than the meagre efforts so dismally displayed so far this year.

And for those of you who were expecting a picture of a little behind, you'll just have to dig around on the internet. I'm sure you won't need any instructions.

As you were. Stand Easy.


  1. So, look, but you're 1.3 miles ahead of me and about 246 behind LTD (LTD is not taking part in the the TGO Challenge this year though) You need to slow down a bit, young man and try to relax. This is the the the ter ter TGO. Calm down,have a drink, chill.....

    1. Apologies for only posting this today, but it was in the spam folder and marked as incredibly dangerous and from a highly dubious source.

      Whilst both descriptors might be seen as fair game by Liverpudlians, I thought it wasn't up to Google to decide who I could and could not publish, so I published and now am sure to be damned for eternity.

  2. Don’t worry Alan, you’ll be fine, you’ve done it often enough and know the score! All these stats are just a bit of indulgent fun....

    1. The stats (Great fun. I used to love mucking about with Excel) are there to goad Miss Whiplash into prodding Lord Elpus with a walking pole to get off his comfortable settee and plod round the Lincolnshire Fen carrying two kilos of fen mud around on each boot.

      Hopefully Mad'n'Bad won't see this post as the blighter runs six miles a day with his Labradors.

    2. Too late sir.
      That said, I haven't run anywhere this year, having returned from NZ on 20th Jan with a hamstring pull, that is still not fully fixed.
      I have done 3 to 5 miles walk with the dogs most days. Serious 1st session is this weekend with Mr Rye. Fri to Sun, hopefully Langdales. Then it's back to daily walks / gentle runs, as Lucy is away in NZ for 3 weeks. So my only training after this will be the Daunder.
      I may start carrying my pack half full on dog walks, to get used to carrying stuff. Sadly, this will be my least pre -trips for 6 years.
      I'll just return to old school technique of days 1 to 3 as being training.

    3. Gammy Leg? That would be handy. I walked with Lord E back in 2005 when he damaged his leg on the disability ramp at the entrance to Sainsburys in Glasgow buying some carry-outs. He also had a dreadful cold that lasted most of the walk. It made for an delightfully enjoyable pace.

      I prescribe a good hard run with the dogs Sir!

  3. Language is the art of communication, as long the message is received who gives a ****! Grammatical accuracy is over-rated. I used to work with a guy who went into a fit if you used an apostrophe in the wrong way in a document. He was an oddball.
    Oh, and best of the luck with the TGO challenge prep by the way :)

    1. You're very kind, Andy.

      Now - this apostrophe thing... Even I know about those, and it does drive me nuts. Perhaps it's the Inner Stickler in me.

    2. The problem is that how you punctuate a sentence can sometimes affect the meaning. We all know 'Eats,shoots and leaves' but there are numerous other examples. -:)

    3. You'd have to be a real pedant to complain about 'the TGO' Alan. I wish I had a pound for every time I've had to revisit a post to correct some sort of grammatical error. Even better, a fiver for every time I don't know I've made a mistake.

    4. I found myself re-reading great chunks of my LEJOG the other night. Deary me! Leaving aside the daily scribblings (usually done at the end of a long day when I was dog-tired) even I recognise some dreadful howlers. It appears then, that I have improved. But, as you say Gibson, a fiver for the mistakes I am unable to see would I'm sure make us both very rich men!

  4. I think the grammar thing may have more to do with trends in education than the comprehensive system. Like you I was taught almost no grammar at school in the 70's comprehensive I attended, a fact which I find intensely annoying. Mind you, I'm almost equally annoyed by the fact that my children are being overburdened with an absolute mass of information about grammar at primary school, having been taught to read phonetically, which seems to have rendered them all unable to spell. (Sorry, kids. I perhaps should add that they are all very bright and wonderful in lots of other ways!) There must be a middle ground somewhere.
    I absolutely remember your post last year about three miles a day, because it struck me at the time as a brilliant idea. Sadly, having started well, I have also fallen behind this year, which I shall blame on Other Things getting in the way - work, weather, illness - although I'm not sure that's really the whole story. (Probably, somebody with no grasp of grammar should avoid embarking on a sentence with as many clauses as that last one!)
    We'll both have to pull our finger out!


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