02 January 2012

Black night

Just  as knowing that there's someone waiting at the corner to run with you is guaranteed to get you out of bed on a grim Sunday morning (thanks, Alex, David, John, Louis and others over the years) so too joining a scheme to run every day in January and blog about it demands that you get out there and run. Other exercise is allowable, and I toyed with the idea of claiming that feeding the horses counted, but in the end it had to be a run. Ideally it should have been a Murakami 10K, my goal for a daily run (a goal which, I must admit, led to plantar fasciitis by about day 4 of my last attempt to maintain such a routine), but I was worried how Achilles would cope after yesterday's ultra-minimalist ten-miler and kept the distance down - to 6.07 rather than 6.25 ...

It was pitch dark by the time I convinced myself that I had to be running, and cold. Fleece top, hat and gloves cold, though I knew I wasn't going to be getting up to normal operating temperature today - not with yesterday's miles in my legs, Achilles grumbling, and a general feeling of lethargy. But I did have the pleasure of trying out my new headlight, an impulse purchase at Scats the other day (on special offer, 20 per cent off) pending the arrival of a pair of Knucklights - which I am looking forward to reviewing here. The headlight - an Energiser product, like this but without the red trim - has a  mere three white LEDs (plus a red one which I don't think I am going to use much), giving 28 lumens (I refrained from buying a much brighter one because it didn't have 20 per cent off), and a strap that goes only round the head not over it too, which reviews I'd read suggested was a must-have in a running headlight. The batteries (three AAA) go in the lamp unit, unlike some other lights which have a separate battery compartment which sits at the back of the user's head, so I was concerned about weight and balance. But it was fine for me, quite bright enough for light-polluted south Oxfordshire, well-balanced and secure although I did put the strap over my hat which I dare say helped. A very good buy.

I turned back at the roundabout instead of continuing to the Harwell junction (which makes a clear 10K), swinging round the lamppost, and climbed the hill that I'd just come down deliberately on my heels to give Achilles a break - then continued for most of the way home in the same way. Garmin told me that I was quite a long way short of a Murakami, so I did three laps of the playing field - a fourth was ruled out by a sudden and pressing need to get home, which I cannot (surely?) still blame on Saturday evening's curry.

A sedate run, but all the more satisfying because it might never have happened. Now for a spot of RICE (and perhaps even a dab of ibuprofen gel) so I might be ready for tomorrow evening's club run - an easy way to deal with day 3.

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