I think I’m finally starting to feel like a runner, not just someone pretending to be a runner. It’s pretty much the first time in my life that I’ve felt committed to a sport. A few weeks ago I set myself the target of being able to run 5km comfortably by Sun Dec 4th. I’m happy to say I’ve got that milestone under my belt. The 5.5km Johnsonville loop is my standard training run now and I’ve done it many times. It was only a few weeks ago that I was unable to run the whole distance, but by staying well hydrated and with some good new shoes I’m running it in under 28 minutes now, including a little sprint at the end. The shin splints are completely gone too, thank heavens! One time last week I had to resort to the treadmill because of rain and that was a boring, unpleasant experience. The difference in running style made my legs ache and it was very dull, even with music to listen to. Give me fresh air and winding roads over the whine of a treadmill any day!
So having got myself into condition, and with less than 12 weeks to go, I figure it’s time to start increasing the amount of training I do. Most of the training schedules I’ve looked at recommend doing one long run a week, and slowly increasing the length of that long run over time (by about 10% a week), so that’s my plan for the coming weeks. I’m up to 6km so far and that wasn’t any harder than my usual loop run. I’m aiming to do 7km this Friday and if that goes okay then 8km the following week. The wonderful MapMyRun website is really coming into its own here, making it easy to figure out new routes with exactly the distance I want. I’ll carry on doing my usual J’Ville loop run on the other days I go running, and push it a bit to try and keep improving my times.
At the moment my vague schedule involves running 3 or 4 times a week (roughly every other day), plus swimming once or twice a week too. It’s a vague schedule because it has to fit around shift work and small children, neither of which leave a great deal of spare time. Night shifts are turning out to be a real drag. Missing lots of sleep means that it takes longer to recover from training, and I’m seriously down on energy for a day or two afterwards. Ho hum. There’s no way to avoid it though, I just need to plan around it. Caffeine is something I avoid before running though, despite being tired. It’s natual to reach for the coffee pot when in need of a boost, but I’ve found it makes me feel weird and buzzed out and then prematurely tired when out when I go running, not to mention worsening the dehydration.
My next milestone? I’d like to get 8km under my belt by Christmas. There’s still some fuel in the tank at the end of my regular runs, so I reckon this is doable. One thing I still need to learn is how to stay hydrated over longer runs. The half hour runs I’ve been doing so far haven’t been long enough to need a drink half way through, but if I’m on the go for an hour or more I’m going to need to re-hydrate. What’s the best thing to do? Carry a bottle in a backpack? Go home halfway through then go out again? Hide bottles of water at strategic places along the route? As a complete noob I’m keen to hear suggestions. Oh, I also found out that I was one of the first 500 to register for the Round the Bays 2012 so I get some free socks and a towel. Woo!
Musicwise, here’s a mix to knock your socks off. Laica (aka Dave Fleet) is a Dj/producer with a regular show on Future Music radio called the Numbers Broadcast (and yes there’s more to it than just reading out lists of numbers, although that would be kinda trippy). This one really blew me away. It effortlessly drifts between deep techno, not so deep techno, “gothno” and electronica with a shoegazy, fuzzy feel to the whole thing. I love music that feels evocative and gets the imagination going. This mix is like closing your eyes and watching a vivid daydream unfold. You might want to keep your eyes open if you’re out running with it on though! Perfect, interesting soundtrack for a long trip.
Laica – Numbers Broadcast #8
Recorded on Future Music radio 14th Nov 2011
Full tracklist is available on MixCloud. Music by Andy Stott, Xhin, Falty DL, Cristian Vogel, Sweet Exorcist, Planetary Assault Systems, Surgeon, Black Dog, The Knife, Andrea Parker, Sawf, Martyn,Winterlight, Port Royal and more.