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Today I went off for my second Nike training run. This was the 5k… - John C. Kirk

Jul. 24th, 2003

12:47 am

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Today I went off for my second Nike training run. This was the 5k route around Hyde Park again, and as with my last attempt I alternated between running and walking. I did get further this time on my initial run, which was good. However, when I finished, it had taken me 40 minutes, as opposed to 30 minutes last time. I then had a word to one of the trainers there, as I'd noticed that the route was different today, and it seemed longer. It turns out that it was longer, since they made a mistake on Monday - that route was only 4k, and today's was the official 5k route. So, that's good, in that I've been able to sustain more or less the same speed over a longer distance (7.5 minutes/km average on Monday, 8 minutes/km average today). On the other hand, that only works out at about 4.7 miles/hour, which isn't amazingly fast. But it's early days yet. It should in fact get easier with time, as I lose weight and strengthen my leg muscles.

One odd paradox about this is that although I was tired afterwards, I also felt more energetic. (I get this effect after most exercise, not just running.) I'm not saying that I could go and run the route again, since I was pretty much ready to collapse by the time I'd walked home, but I felt a lot more alert. I think this has something to do with metabolic rates - people who do regular exercise have a faster metabolism. That's good from a dieting point of view, since I burn more calories just while I'm watching TV. It also means that I have more "get up and go", rather than being slumped somewhere, thinking "I could turn the TV off and read a book. But that would involve moving. Meh." There's the old Latin phrase "mens sana in corpore sano" (a healthy mind in a healthy body), and I do believe that the two things are connected. So, hopefully this will have a knock-on effect for my project work. More generally, I want to live up to my full potential, both mentally and physically.

The only real downside to these runs is that they take a lot of time - it's about 45 minutes travelling time to Hyde Park (each way), with another hour for the run itself (since I need to arrive early to register/warm-up). But I think it's worth it, and once I get back into decent condition it will be easier to motivate myself (without needing a group of other people), so I may be able to find a better way of doing it.

Once I got home, I spent a couple of hours watching Drop Dead Gorgeous on TV, which is far more entertaining than I'd expected. When I saw the trailer for it in the cinema a few years ago, I just thought "Beauty pageants - blech". However, the film isn't exactly an endorsement of them :) I think it works because it's played straight. For instance, at one point someone says "We're quite busy in the funeral home at the moment - hunting season". Rather than being a one-liner that Chandler (from "Friends" would say), the character is being completely serious, which is what makes it funny. Then again, I may just have a slightly warped sense of humour...