Another 10km today. When I woke up (and this is gross, so if you’re easily grossed out skip to the next paragraph) my injured thighs had stuck together and as I pulled them apart I tore the scab off the nasty welt on my right leg. I couldn’t find a plaster to cover it for the run, so basically I had to run while one of my legs rubbed an open wound for 55 minutes. I’m so hardcore, I know. Grrr!
(If it’s any consolation if I see a wasp or a spider I shriek and run about flapping my arms and begging my girlfriend to save me, so I’m not 100% masculine).
Anyway the leg is very, very painful tonight, and normally I wouldn’t run for a couple of days to let it heal up, but seeing as it’s Janathon I’ll risk septicaemia and a possible amputation. No pain, no gain people.
Couple of photos from out and about. I shaved off my beard, or at least dropped it to a stubble effect that was fashionable in the early 90s.
Looking at the headphones there I thought I’d waffle on about the art of running while listening to something. What to listen to when you run is an intensely personal choice. It’s also something best kept private. But in true blog style I’m going to share some personal information about myself on this subject! Hooray!
I have always favoured cheap mp3 players. I once owned an iPod and I hated it. So much so I threw it off a garden shed onto the lawn and never found it again. Actually getting music onto it from a PC was so tortuous and long winded it would have been easier to port a 1920’s gramophone around with me instead. In the intervening years I became quite a connoisseur of the cheaper music device. Creative was my brand of choice. I don’t know how they gained my brand loyalty as nearly all their devices lasted 5 or 6 months before breaking. After something like 4 consecutive Creative Zens I settled on buying very, very cheap French manufactured mp3 players instead. Now, while the French have a fairly decent reputation for manufacturing, I do imagine the French mp3 factory to consist of line after line of robot arms holding cigarettes, dressed in stripy T-shirts, arguing about politics and clocking off for two hours every lunchtime.
My current French designed music device is a camera, video recorder, music player, voice recorder, video player and eReader. It also cost less than 30 euros. You do the math. Something has to give there, surely? Indeed, what gives is the fact they saved money on buttons, using the bare minimum to make even simple operations like changing the volume feel like solving a Rubik’s Cube. They also fitted a backlit LCD screen that would be embarrassed by the original Gameboy Advance. As a running mp3 player it’s hopeless. To change tracks I have to pull it out of my pocket (yes, pocket, I don’t agree with the current trend of strapping an iDevice to your arm, it looks stupid, stop it) move it to within 2cm of my face, try to shield it from the sun and then contort my fingers like I’m playing a Mandolin to change a track. It’s really, really dumb. I look stupid when doing it, and if I’m trying to manipulate it while it’s still in my pocket nearby mothers shriek and pull their daughters in close and shield their eyes. “Don’t look at the nasty man Charlotte!”
When I started running I figured the time I spent out on the road would be perfect to fill my cheap mp3 player with politics, history and science podcasts. After a few weeks I’d not only be buffer than Mr Sheen, I’d have Stephen Fry levels of knowledge and wit with which to dazzle family and friends at dinner parties. The problem I found, pretty quickly, was that the more interesting the podcast was, the slower I’d run. I’d also lose a lot of spatial awareness and come out of a daze and find myself heading onto a motorway, or about to be totalled by a passing truck. So I tried music instead. The frustrating thing was that the better the music was the worse I ran, for very similar reasons as the podcasts. I found myself gradually letting my taste and decency barriers down until, and I can’t belive I’m putting this into print, I ran my fastest ever 10km while listening to….
Scouting For Girls.
Now, I have friends who actually physically hiss and retract like a vampire exposed to a crucifix at the mere mention of a band like Scouting For Girls and I can’t but help feel embarrassment that my greatest performance was saved for a band that only have 2 song variants ( 1 – she left me, I’m sad 2 – I’m with her, she’s great!). Even more startling is the fact my fastest ever time for the half marathon came to the Take That comeback album. I’d love to run fast to the Pixies or Mogwai, but it just doesn’t work. Gary Barlow makes me run faster. I can’t explain this, and I can only offer myself to the mercy of the audience and beg forgiveness.
It’s really one of the reasons I refuse to ever buy a pair of full length lycra leggins. I think I’m teetering on the edge of something, and if I let myself go I’ll be in a place no self-respecting tractor owning farmer in rural France wants to be.
See you tomorrow darlings!
Jan 4, 2012 11:44 AM
119 m / 175 m
61 m ↑ / 51 m ↓