Saturday, November 17, 2012

Running essentials

Today we bought a new Garmin 210 to replace the old one that had died. The difference is amazing, in lots of little, slightly worrying ways. The buttons have a proper clicking feeling when you press them; the beep as it moves through menus is much louder, and I'm left with the sinking feeling that Garmin haven't improved their design since I bought a 210 last year. What has happened is that my brand new 2011 Garmin has rotted in the sweat I've produced over the last year, and come this time in 2013, my new Garmin will be just as cruddy and sick as my old one was.

Still, at least the strap hasn't exploded and flung the unit into the darkness, like last night.

A GPS isn't as essential for running as, say, arms and legs and lungs, but it's pretty damn useful. We bought it from a hilarious running shop in the Peninsula Plaza: it's about a thousand shoes piled up in a big mound, with a very happy man standing next to them and offering advice. Not quite the minimal, fashionable approach in the Nike shop, but it feels a bit more honest somehow. I'll be back there next time I need a mound of shoes.

They're having a sale in the Running Lab in the Funan Digital Mall, so I bought some compression tights as an experiment. They serve two purposes: the compression should aid recovery from runs (and possible stave off sausage-legs on long plane flights) and they also allow my wife to laugh at me when I put them on.

These are incredibly tight. They feel more like a wetsuit than tights. It takes me minutes to pull on one leg, and there's a lot of adjustment to pull them up to the right position, and then finally strip hairs from around my ankles as I do up the zips. The sales assistant wears them while running, which is a bit beyond the call of duty in Singapore. But maybe she likes sweating her guts out on every run. I'd post a video of me putting the tights on, but it would be considered obscene. And that's just from the swearing belching from my mouth. Tonight I'm going to sleep in them and see if that affects how strong I feel on tomorrow's long run.

Finally, as well as tight, tight tights and a high-tech stop watch, I bought some disgusting carbohydrate chews, to fill myself with energy as I run tomorrow morning. These are the things you need to go fast.

Well, these and some arms and legs and a bit of determination. Less than eight days till the marathon is over...


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