The Road to Half–One Week to Go

Back in July I posted here in a post entitled The Road to Half discussing my progress towards the Run to the Beat Half Marathon. Well time has flown by and before I’ve known it, the race is next weekend.

Since July, my longest run is no longer 15.5km but just shy of 22km, where 21km is the distance for the half marathon, and I’ve run a total of 451km since getting my Nike+ Sportsband at Christmas and after Run to the Beat and a 10km or two, I will breach 500km which I think for someone who couldn’t run to the shops and back a year ago is a big achievement.

Covering the final part of the distance, 15km onwards was actually relatively harmless, except perhaps to my knees. Having finished the build of my mountain bike, lovingly named Mr Pink I’ve been getting some cross-training in which I think has helped my overall speed and stamina, however after a day at Whites Level in Afan Forest with a couple of friends, I was worried that I may have overdone the cycling leaving my muscles aching for days and days afterwards. Thankfully I went out earlier this week and managed to cover the distance one last time before calming things down ahead of next week.

I was reminded of the cause I’m running for this week when all of the information and kit for the race came in the post – I’ve got my race number and my pen details for the start, and I’m going to be meeting the NSPCC teamGO team before the race for a chat and a team photo, so I’m really looking forward to meeting the other people. It would be nice to meet some people there who have actually been helped by the NSPCC.

Over the course of the next week, I’m going to be sleeping and eating well and ensuring that I’m in prime condition for the race.

I today updated my Virgin Money Giving page at to include my offline donations which people have so kindly pledged. This brings my donation total up to £505 so far, which is £5 over my target donation, so a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to help NSPCC, but that doesn’t mean that the work it done. Just because my target was £500 doesn’t mean I can rest and stop trying.

With one week to go before Run to the Beat, and with my donation page open for a few weeks after the  event also there is still plenty of time to help support NSPCC and all the work they do to help children around the UK and protect them from cruelty, so if you haven’t already been able to sponsor me for them in person or via Virgin Money Giving then please do spare a few pounds for them as every penny helps a child somewhere so it’s a totally worthy cause.

Email Addresses an Social Media

I touched briefly on this subject in my post on April 27th entitled LinkedIn Outlook Social Connector for Outlook 2010 however, as more social connectors are available for Outlook now I figured I should rehash the subject.

Of late, new social connectors for Outlook 2010 have appeared: Facebook is the biggest and is freely available, but lastly and somewhat stealthy is the release of a Windows Live Messenger connector. This connector automatically installs when you install the Beta version of Windows Live Essentials on your PC, so watch our for it.

All of these social connectors rely on two things:

  1. An account with that social network such as Facebook, LinkedIn or a Windows Live ID.
  2. Email addresses to bind to.

In point number two, what I’m getting at, is how the connectors are able to identify your peers or friends. The connectors use the email address from the persons online profile to match against the addresses used in Outlook emails to make matches and display social feeds and photos.

The problem arises when you mix personal and professional email addresses. At this moment in time, I use three email addresses, none of which I am going to hand out here because the spam clan will get hold of them, but they consist of a professional business address, my professional personal address and my personal address.

If I have a friend on Facebook called Steve, and he is registered on Facebook with his personal Hotmail address, then the social connectors in Outlook are able to associate emails from his Hotmail account with his Facebook profile because the email addresses match up. What happens though, if Steve emails me from work? The answer is that by default I get nothing – I don’t get a social match for Steve. The reason is that the connectors don’t know who that address belongs to.

There are two solutions to the problem – One requires work on the part of the people sending the message, and one requires work on the end of the person receiving the message, and I guess the outcome is a mixture of both and it also depends on personal privacy requirements.

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