Sock it to me

SocksRunning is pretty simple, as sports go. There’s not a lot of sexy equipment. So far, I’ve got away with some good shoes, some socks, some shorts, and a top or two.

But I added a complication at the weekend. My cheap Puma sport socks were a bit rubbish, especially if it had been raining and they got a bit damp. So I went into Moti and splashed out on a few pairs of technical running socks.

And here’s the complication: first time I put them on, I got it wrong. Up until now, I’ve had very limited ways of putting socks on wrong. Now, as well as mis-matching the pairs, or putting them on inside out, I can put the socks on the wrong feet. It wasn’t until I stood up, and looked at the little “L” on my right foot, and the little “R” on the left, that I figured this out.

Still, they seem to work fine, as far as socks go. I can’t say they’ve improved my speed. In fact, I didn’t notice any difference at all on the simple little 5K I just did. But maybe on the longer, and drizzlier runs, they won’t end up absorbing rainwater like sponges or rubbing on the soles of my feet like my cheap, simple socks did.

I hope so. Because the list of odd things I have to check before I get out of the door is getting steadily longer.

Misty Morning

I did something unusual today: got out first thing in the morning for a run.

I managed it — just a standard 5K along my old towpath route — but I wasn’t really feeling the love. I don’t know whether that’s because I’m not used to jogging at 9am, or whether it’s just because I was cold and not watching my pace too well at the beginning. Certainly the RunKeeper log shows that my pace was a complete mess.

Apart from the actual running itself, though, everything went well. That sounds weird, but I felt pretty good when I’d finished, I got an awesome photo with the new camera just past the halfway point, and I’ve felt pretty energetic and cheerful all day. Also, it looks like the run, while it felt crap, may have been my fastest 5K yet, at under 34 minutes.

So, hoping it was just because it was bloody freezing when I set off, I’ve now bought myself a couple of winter running tops from TK Maxx. That’s a good tip for the fat runner, by the way: running shops only seem to stock stuff for skinny, fit people. TK Maxx has plenty of good stuff in lardy sizes, too!

Anyway. I’ll leave you today with a photo of the Clifton Suspension Bridge an hour or so after sunrise. This one was definitely worth the jogging.



I’ve decided what my reward’s going to be for getting to the end of the C25K. I’ve been needing a new compact camera for a while now. My venerable Konica-Minolta DiMage X‑60 was a good first digital camera, but it’s now battered, bruised and lacking in battery staying-power.

Not only that, but at 5 megapixels with a not-so-hot lens, pictures from it are looking pretty rubbish compared to many modern compacts.

I’ve seen a few good views while I’ve been out running that the rubbish camera on the iPhone couldn’t do justice. And while I have got a much better camera, it’s an SLR (a Canon EOS 400D), and not the kind of thing I want to take jogging with me.

So, a shiny new camera that takes good pictures and is light and small enough to take along in a pocket or a bumbag seems like an appropriate reward for getting running. And maybe it’ll help spice up the pictures on this blog a bit…

Aye, there’s the rub

Today’s update is brought to you by Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel. In my 28-minute road-test this evening, it did exactly what it says on the tube. I recommend it to any other runners out there whose thighs (or anything else, for that matter) tend to rub together a bit too much…

Anyway, with that bit of too-much-information out of the way, today’s run was fine. I had an extra rest-day in between weeks this time, not because of my extra-long run at the end of Week 7, but because I went to Bristol’s Organic Food Festival yesterday.

That didn’t leave me with the energy for a run; I’d spent too much time on my feet by the evening, and the unseasonally lovely, sunny weather was just too much for me. Give me a bit of drizzle any day 😉

So, I skipped a day and ran today, instead. As you’d expect, after Wednesday’s half-hour effort, I coped fine with the 28 minutes of Week 8, Run 1. I ran the towpath again, and got just a little bit further down it than I have done before.

The leading lights, strategically placed down the side of the Avon to mark the deepest part of the channel, guiding large boats away from the shallows, have replaced the Suspension Bridge as my halfway landmark, so that’s today’s picture.

New Shoes

IMG_0170.jpgToday I bought new running shoes. I figured it was about time.

I went into Moti on Whiteladies Road, because they seemed quite friendly the last time I went in, and they were great. I basically told them I was a beginner and threw myself on their mercy.

Helpful sales guy checked out my feet and my old shoes, spotted slightly fallen arches and a tendency to over-pronate (which I’ve previously been told was a problem by a podiatrist, too.)

Then I got to go on a treadmill for the first time, which was a bit odd. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once I’d got my head around running without the rest of the world moving backwards, it was okay. And at least I didn’t fly off it into the shoe display at any point.

After that, it was quite fun. Basically we watched video of me running on the treadmill (just my legs and feet, luckily!), and he pointed out the angles that might be causing me a problem. Then he went to get four different sets of shoes that should each fix the problem, and I ran on the treadmill in all of them to see which were best.

As well as checking them for comfort, we watched them all side-by-side on the video thingy after each bit of jogging, so he could make sure they were working okay for me.

They were all pretty comfy. In the end I narrowed it down to a pair of Nikes or a pair of Mizunos, and finally chose the Mizunos because they were just a touch lighter.

And I’m just back in from road-testing them with Week 6, Run 1! That felt easier than last time, but I don’t know whether that’s because this was three separate runs (5 mins, 8 mins, 5 mins) or because of the shoes, which should be helping with my form, as well as feeling more cushioned.

Either way, tomorrow will tell more than today, as it’s normally the day after that my feet are sore. We’ll see. For now, I’ll just be happy that today’s 23 minutes of running got me further down the towpath than I’ve ever been on the C25K


Today I took a quick trip to Moti, a running shop on Whiteladies Road, not too far away from me. It seemed like a nice place, full of helpful people, and with a lot of customers, considering it was a Sunday. They also seemed well geared-up for the runner, with a treadmill in the middle of the little shop so you could try out shoes properly.

I picked up the thing I’d been looking for — one of those runner’s water bottles, the ones like a big elongated doughnut with a hole in the middle to put your hand through.

Then I spotted something I’d also been looking for, when I was searching for bumbags on t’internet all those weeks ago. Turned out what I should have been looking for was an “audio waist pack”, if I’d only known.

So, I now have a different water bottle that I can forget to take with me, and a bumbag which isn’t going to knock my iPhone around quite so much when I’m running. And I now know where there’s a good running shop for future reference.

Now for an afternoon of catching up with all the work I’ve been putting off all weekend…