Saturday, 9 February 2013

Fivefingers and Zombies Run!

How time flies. Though I have been running these last couple of months, there are all sorts of excellent excuses for not posting updates on my blog. Stuff such as work, study, social obligations, London trips with the Missus and much, MUCH procrastination, are the cause of my absence on this blog. Much has happened since November 2012. Some is related to running, some has to do with barefoot shoes and some has to do with - and I promise to limit myself to two sentences on the subject - tech (nerd-stuff).

-= Tech =-

Almost a year ago, the British charity Raspberry Pi, started sale of their $25.00 computer that became in instant hit among tech-folk (myself included), who willingly and calmly waited 6 months to receive the credit-card-sized PC and use them for all kinds of geeky projects. I now have the - to my wife incomprehensible - great pleasure of running two in my home-infrastructure and I cannot promise that I will not find a use for a third one somewhere in the future - after all, it is for a good cause.

-= Vibram Five Fingers =-
Just after my painful ending of the last run I did last year, my friend brought back a pair of Bikila's and a pair of KSO Treks from a trip he was on. The Bikila's are excellent running shoes that were to replace my Speeds (that were rapidly disintegrating after many runs). They are excellent and they run better than the shoes they replace.

I wanted a pair of KSO Treks because they looked So Comfortable in the pictures I saw. It turned out that they are every bit as comfortable as I thought, so I decided to bring them to a London trip at the end of last year and to wear them throughout the training I went there to do. Though my preference for the toe-shoes are still a mystery to the Missus, I did not embarrass her as much as I feared by wearing them to our favorite breakfast place in the mornings (Pret) and the restaurants we went to in the evenings. In fact, not one single person I met (including co-students) seemed to notice my footwear. This helped me to overcome my initial self-consciousness about my shoes.

-= Running=-
Over the previous couple of months, I have been able to resist the urge to remain on the couch on cold, wet and windy evenings. Only when I felt that going on a run would seriously injure my recovery - or when work made running impossible - did I not go out. With a modest 66 K year2date I am - remembering that I could barely walk in September 2012 - totally not unhappy with how things are going. My build-up is slow, but the pain seems to have gone.

-----------+----------+--------
Date       | Distance | Pace  
(yyyymmdd) | (K)      | (Min/K)
-----------+----------+--------
20130209   | 6.66     | 5:39
20130207   | 5.28     | 5:28
20130204   | 6.59     | 5:37
20130201   | 5.01     | 5:45
20130128   | 6.6      | 5:57
20130125   | 6.44     | 5:48
20130119   | 5.01     | 5:44
20130117   | 4.99     | 5:52
20130113   | 6.6      | 6:05
20130109   | 4.53     | 5:45
20130106   | 4.5      | 5:45
20130103   | 4.02     | 6:01
-----------+----------+--------

Recently - about three weeks ago - I added a new element to my running. In October 2012 I mentioned the Zombies Run! game in a post. Though I am not into running with my smart-phone (too large and clunky), I was intrigued with the augmented reality aspect of the running game and as soon as I saw the New Year's Resolution Sale 50% off offer, I decided to give it a try.

After the first mission, I was not instantly convinced. The story, including the zombie-moans in the dark street with no-one around was fun. The run would have been better, if I there had been some music - it took my lazy bottom a while to get my "Powerrrrr" playlist imported into my phone. As soon as I started the second mission, I was into the game. The story-line unfolding while you run with several people talking to you is excellent fun. Hearing Sam calling you Runner 5 and urging you out into the danger-zone seriously raises my adrenaline level. Where I had some difficulty to out-run zombies during the first mission, the tunes of Pink, the Clash, the Fratelli's and Iron Maiden made the chases easy and fun. The game is absolutely motivational.

There are only two dangers involved in running from zombies. One - should you care about such things - is that it is very easy to make a fool of yourself, getting caught up in the game and singing out loud in the moment of victory. The other is that the virtual zombie-chase might make you oblivious of the rest of the world. A non-existent zombie might get what he wants as soon as you inattentively cross the street and get hit by a very real car.