Isolation, dirt roads, cold head winds, undulations, reluctance. I needed to jog 10 kms three times. The first was tough but satisfying: 6:12 mins/km. The second had twice the elevation gains of my hilly route back home: 6:25. The third was marvellous, involving an inexplicable desire to run faster towards the end: 6:05
Over 2016’s 1,500 kilometers, I’ve hankered to “improve” at the mechanical task of jogging. I’m so slow that I struggle to overtake walkers (a slight exaggeration). In January and February, my 10-kilometer pace was between 6:12 and 6:22 mins/km, depending on route hilliness and traffic. By mid-year it had improved to 6:05 to 6:15 mins/km. That’s an improvement of about 7 secs/km or 2%. In October, for a brief fast week, I fantasized about a week in which I’d beat 6 mins/km on all four of my routes. I’ve done 6:00 on three of the four routes, but randomly, almost as flukes – might I not be able to try harder for one week and prove to myself I’m not a sub-six-minuter?
Well, it’s not to be. With the end of this Big Year approaching, my motivation dims. I’m enjoying running quite fast but with a sense of control, not as much puffing as was the case in January. Let me be satisfied with steadiness.
90% drafted. The last 10% is tricky but I can see how to do it. Back from birding in Tasmania in a couple of days. Push it!
Seth Godin discusses the naysayer and its opposite. Does signing up for a silly Big Year make one a yeasayer? By itself, probably not, but we’re all entitled to caress our egos.
Practising listening to rock music albums, surely that’s not needed! I’ve ears, I listen, done, right? Well, with just over a month to go until New Year’s Day, my practising reveals problems. Listening – deep enough listening – aint easy while writing and I’m not a headphones-on-train kind of person and I hate being antisocial at home. What do I listen to? I subscribe to Kindle versions of Uncut and Q magazines, but although they’re terrific, I have the sense they’d lead me to old-person music that isn’t fresh enough. But I can’t spend hours trawling the Internet for cutting-edge indie music. Those two problems are not the only ones. How do I keep track of the complex mix of stuff I might listen to, how do I choose between this or that, how do I record my aim of listening to each album three times, how do I record that I’ve actually done so, etc., etc., etc.?
Confusion abounds. And this is meant to be the “oh so easy, on the sidelines” Big Year, ranking well behind writing and cycling! The answer right now? Keep practising. (Image modified from Mink Mingle’s photo on Unsplash)