Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Predator

This is my current running bottle. It says Predator on it. This makes me feel awesome and manly.

Until the exact moment I’m running past a primary school.

I may need to buy another bottle.

As a fully functional boy, I love running gear, and am accumulating ever more of it. While a lot of it isn’t strictly necessary (the only thing you must invest in if you’re running regularly is a pair of proper running shoes, preferably from a dedicated running store with staff who can look at your feet and gait and make an informed recommendation), it all achieves something.

My list of stuff I wouldn’t be without:

• Wicking running clothes. The material pulls sweat away from your body to the outside of the garment, where it evaporates away. It means you’re not running in heavy, soggy clothes, which is great whether it’s hot or cold.

• Blister socks. A new discovery for me, and they’re brilliant. I was sure these were going to be a rip off, but was desperate enough to try anyway. They’re basically double-layered. The two layers rub against each other instead of your foot. Doesn’t sound like much, but my feet no longer look as though I’ve wandered the desert barefoot for forty days and forty nights and am returning to preach the good word. Even my healing blisters from last week haven’t been aggravated. A Christmas miracle.

• GPS watch and heart rate monitor. A luxury, this, but a cool one. It tracks where you are and how hard you’re working, all for later upload. I use Garmin, and their website stores all the data for me to feel smug about later, including a map of the run. Pace, heart rate, calories burned… these can all be difficult to estimate, so having your watch take care if it all is a blessing, if you’re training for a purpose.

I’ve two more purchases to make, I think. Although I’ve got a questionable water bottle, I’m envious of the Steph-fiend’s running belt. She carries her water on her hip, while I struggle not to let mine slip from my grip. I’d also love to take a camera with me on longer runs, if I’ve somewhere to put it. As well as that, I’m feeling the need for decent sunglasses, especially as I do a lot of morning running, when the Indian sun is at a low angle. £100 Ray-Bans don’t seem quite the tool for the job.

Anyway, six miles done this morning, though I suffered with the heat. The promised monsoon has been pitiful this year, and it’s hot, bright, and dry too often for my liking. I’m sure it’s good for me, though. Somehow.

Add today’s six to yesterday’s four, and I’ve done a ten mile running weekend, which means I can definitely have a day off.

 

Currently reading: London Macabre by Steven Savile

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