I’ve never liked running. That’s why I drive a car.
On the other hand, I do believe the hype that running might actually be good for me… though when we left school and decided to keep fit by running in the mornings, I fell on the first time out and broke my arm. Split a bone from elbow to wrist. All of the years between then and now has not dimmed this memory. Most notable perhaps is that I had to cycle five miles back home afterwards.
Anyway… eight weeks ago (I know this to be true because an app tells me so) I started running again using the Couch to 5K app. I tried it earlier this year but blew my knee but this time… so far, so good. Week eight is upon me and ends in week nine. Two weeks to go. I ran tonight, so that means five more runs to the end.
My goal was to run the 5k by the end of the year, so even though I’m finding it tough as hell (probably not helped by running about 9pm in the dark with the wind and the rain whooping my ass in the bargain) I’m getting there. So, with two weeks to go and two more weeks in the back pocket to train some more, I should make it… though I guess a little snow and ice any moment now will make it even more of an adventure at some point.
Maybe I should strap my arms up before we get to that point.
It’s a great app if you ever think you’ve sat on the sofa for quite long enough… and I’ve been helped along the way by a running buddy (Mr Cole) who, even though we live 200 miles apart and he runs in the morning, just having somebody else telling you they have run today is enough to keep you from slacking off.
But to answer the question of what I think about when I think about running:
The first few weeks, I mostly thought about how nobody at Apple - despite their best intentions, health apps etc - ever actually did any running at all (or even any walking quite fast) because trying to keep those slippery ear-buds in your ears (and my ears are a pretty regular size) is impossible. Apple say they are all about the design but when you find the best solution is using masking tape to stick them to your head, they are wrong.
Sometime later, I got my work phone upgraded from the 6S (a loyal soldier) to the XR. I don’t know what I would have gone for if it had been mine to choose but this is what I have. With no headphone jack and a slight rash from the masking tape, I figured I would go bluetooth… surely any old bluetooth ear-phones would do.. but alas… I tried a couple of pairs and they suck diesel. Plan C needed…
Then I discovered these things called earskinz - little silicon sleeves that go over your slippy Apple earbuds to secure them in your ear. They suck too. They did last about five minutes before they started falling out but by then I was too far away from home to launch my back up plan of:
Using the adapter thing Eleanor got with her 7 from a couple of years back to bypass the lightning port issue, I went back to a £6 pair of Betron things that do what they are supposed to - stay in my ear and deliver music. The only downfall is, they don’t work the volume with their on-board controls because of that adapter thing. Trying to find the volume button through my pocket last week, I somehow placed a call to 211 or 112 (one of those) which is an emergency service I didn’t know existed. The guy was pretty cool about it when I told him I was just trying to turn up the latest Shinedown album. Maybe he was a fan. Maybe it’s not the first time it’s happened.
Trying my best not to call an Air Ambulance while running, I fished it out of my pocket to go into manual mode but in the dark, the new face i.d. security feature has some problems too. I’m not sure in what world an individual thumb print scan was not secure enough but such is progress in 2018.
Tonight was a good run though. I adjusted all these things before I left, made a new playlist and it was perhaps the first time I ran without thinking about technology and how the people that make it really should do some of the things that make up their USP’s.
For my last few weeks of running, I hope to think about more positive things, but if I break my arm again - or anything else for that matter - I’m going to hand that time back to Gretsch.