Happy new year and welcome to 2012! I’m guessing there were lots of new year’s resolutions to take up running made on January 1st because there seem to be more runners out and about than there were before Christmas. A few months ago I made my resolution to take part in the Wellington Round the Bays 2012 and so far the training’s been going well. I’m beginning to wonder what sort of time I can do it in. Maybe two hours? Apparently that was the average time for last year’s race (the winner finished in 72 minutes!). I also wondered if I was going to get through the whole period of training without falling ill, and it turns out that the blehs finally caught up with me last week, partly through my own fault.
Despite the blehs there have been a couple of really good experiences over the last two weeks. In my last post I set myself the target of a 10km run and I managed that no problem. On the day the weather happened to be sunny but cool, and I was well rested from being on a morning shift (I am always early to bed when I have mornings). It felt like a long way – 55 minutes running – but I guess at that time I was totally on form and it was no trouble. The waterfront is an awesome place to run and the flat terrain makes a welcome change from my usual hilly runs around Johnsonville. No shin pain at all either!
The other high point was something I really wasn’t expecting. I was planning to hit the treadmill one evening, but it broke down (in a puff of smoke) just as I was getting going. Feeling rather frustrated and still up for a run I decided to head out to do 6km around J’Ville instead, just as it was starting to get dark. I was also part way through listening to a new mix by Ancient Methods and wanted to keep listening, so I took my mp3 player along. If you don’t know Ancient Methods they’re a Berlin-based techno outfit that have forged a very heavy, visceral and emotive sound which they describe as “pitch black techno war funk”. It’s the sound of medieval armies throwing themselves into battle, capturing all the panic, fear, fury and elation. Invigorating stuff. And running around in the dark felt like just the right thing to do while listening to it. Years ago I might have been jumping up and down at the House of God in Birmingham to music like this. Now, I get the physical kick of running. I got home after a sprint (!) up the hill absolutely high and energised, shot through with excitement. My partner recalls I looked “jubilant”. It felt like a total mind-body experience: running my arse off to intense, visceral techno. Exhilarating, almost cosmic. Try it!
After that I made the mistake of heading out running three days in a row, including between night shifts when I was actually in need of rest (there was some bad weather on the way, so I thought I would squeeze in just one more run). Then I made the mistake of staying up late the next night when I should have gone to bed and BAM, my throat swelled up and I started feeling really bleh. Not exactly sure what I got – I’ve had it before when I’ve been run down. Lethargic, headachey, a swollen throat, over-tired. Basically feeling worn out and being forced to rest the whole time. So instead of thinking about when I could try for a 12km run, I overdid it and was left wondering when I would get back to training at all. Almighty bleh.
I took it easy, didn’t go running, went to bed early etc and thankfully it went away after a few days. All in all I had 4 days off training, though it feels like longer. I had built up a lot of enthusiasm and motivation before I got sick and that took a hit too. Today I was feeling better and had a good opportunity to go out running, but I found myself making excuses not to go out! It was drizzling a bit. I was still a bit tired. I could do some weeding instead (weeding?!). Happily I didn’t fall for it – I pulled on my running shoes, did some stretches and shot out the door. I did my usual 5km loop run and finished it okay, although I was hot and tired and slow. I’m getting back on track, but I probably need a couple more runs til I’m back to where I was (10km, on a high!). My next milestone is 12km. So my aim is to complete a 12km run by the end of next week (Sat 21st January).
After that it’s only about 5 weeks to the big day! I can’t wait.
Musicwise, I can’t help but share that Ancient Methods mix with you. It’s intense, stygian techno but also truly beautiful and inspiring. Hope you get the same kick out of it that I did. The mix was recorded specially for the Mnml ssgs blog. Here’s what they had to say about it:
“Occasionally a mix comes along which re-defines what you think is possible within a style of music. In my view, what you are about to hear is that mix for techno in 2011. It makes almost everything ‘techno’ I’ve heard this year sound a bit lame, emaciated, and rote. It’s many times more powerful than their previous mixes for us … It’s also more subtle: this mix totally hammers, but it never pummels or resorts to ‘bangin’ it out’. There’s a beauty in the power.”
Ancient Methods – Some Strings Attached (Ssg special)
64 mins. 320kbps MP3 (148 MB)
Full info, and online listening link on the Mnml ssgs blog
• Reformed Faction – Hollerei (Soleilmoon)
• Northern Structures – Powertools (Sonic Groove)
• Gigi Galaxy – Interview with an alien (Teknotika vs. Eye Q UK edit)
• Orphx vs. Ancient Methods – unreleased
• Pan Sonic – Lähetys/Transmission (Blast First Petite)
• NHK – Entire Set (Raster-Noton)
• Sawf – Zelo Radial Rmx (Perc Trax)
• Karl O’Connor & Peter Sutton – Under Skin (Tresor)
• Silent Servant – El Mar Svreca Remix Two (Semantica)
• Carl Michael von Hausswolff – The North is protected (Sähkö)
• Edge of Motion – Del Motimiento (Djax Up)
• Monolith – Tribal Globe (Daft)
• Waldteufel – Das wilde Heer vom Hörselberg (Percht)
• Space DJ’s – Statistical Mechanics (Perc Trax)
• Robert Hood – Minus (Tresor)
• Mike Parker – Untitled (Geophone)
• Instincts – The Mystery Visions track 2 (Cyclic Law)
• Ugandan Methods – unreleased
• Frown – Untitled (Clip)
• Trans Am – I’m coming down (Thrill Jockey)
• Go Hiyama – Quibble (HueHelix)
• Regis – Blinding Horses (Blackest Ever Black)
• Makai – Beneath the mask (Prescription)
• Rory St. John – Noughtsmith (Singularity)
• Back Pack Poets – Objective G (Electric Deluxe)
• Siamgda – Andrumeda/Caravan Celebration Loop (Mind Plug)
• Surgeon – Radiance (Dynamic Tension)
• Mordant Music – Symptoms (Mordant Music)
• Forward Strategy Group – Code 02 (Perc Trax)
• Hecate & Kareem – Medusal (Zhark)
• Steve Stoll – Machine Riot (Earwiggle)
• Death in June/Iesope Drift – Fields/People Drift Loop (Leprosy Discs/E-Com)