Thursday, April 02, 2009


Running is such a pure sport, isn't it? All you need is a pair of shoes and you're good to go.

Well, except that you also need an iPod loaded with the sort of podcast that gives you music to pace yourself to and reminders to change from run to walk and back to run at appropriate intervals to match the Couch-to-5k training program.

And at least once you need the old Garmin GPS receiver so that you can work out your distances along your route. Because how will you know when you've reached your 5k goal if you don't know where 2.5 km is on your out-and-back route?

And then you'll buy yourself a new toy, because all those miles you're putting on must surely entitle you to something fancy and new. The Polar heart rate monitor that arrived in the mail today will help you pace yourself properly, something that's a little tougher to do when your route is part of a mountain pass than if you were running city blocks.

And then you'll need new shoes, because you're now using duct tape on both your shoes and your right foot in order to avoid blisters in the spot where the uppers on your seven-year-old shoes are all caved in. But keep the duct tape handy -- that purchase will have to wait until the next big-city trip when you can try things on. And keep the credit card handy, because there's no telling what might happen once you get inside a real running store.

Gear-lust aside, I'm having fun. I'm in Week 3 (of 9) in the C25k program now and I know I've gone out hard sooner than I was supposed to but no problem so far. I'm following the program pretty much, but I didn't really give due consideration to the fact that I'm running part of what is essentially a mountain pass. That means, for instance, that what the program intends to be a simple starting 3-minute jog interval on the level ends up being for me a lactic-acid generating grunt up a long steep hill. After about 1.5 km my route flattens out a bit except for one very small hill; I can (and typically do) run the remainder of the distance, the flat stuff and all the downhill, without any walking. No shin splints yet, though.

Sophie came part of the way with me today. Fiona "ran" with me last weekend on an in-between day, and we had fun building rock cairns at 0.5 km points along the way, measuring things out with the GPS. The dog is always my eager companion. She is great on the leash and enjoys the excursions immensely. It drives me crazy though that she trots rather than loping. As if she's determined to point out to me how slow I am. Yeah, well, if I had four legs I'd be twice as fast, I know I would. But I have two, and I'm slow. Big deal, you rude mutt.


  1. Fun post - reminded me of those 'If You Give a Moose a Muffin' books.

  2. The gear is addictive...I think it´s something in the shiny reflection!

  3. This is so true, gone are the days of needing just a pair of running shoes! Enjoy the running, I really miss it. Good luck with your training.

  4. this is how i feel about kayaking. all you *really* need is the kayak and a paddle .. but ..

  5. I know a mailing list of guys where the motto seems to be "The one who dies with the most toys, wins!"


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