Getting close to the end of the year

Various unrelated things have happened in the last couple of days, although I suppose they’re related by virtue of all happening to me. Nothing is ever truly arbitrary.

First, I lost my Fitbit. I know I had it while at Horniman’s, but at some point between then and the afternoon, the bracelet snagged on something, the clasp broke and it fell off my wrist, so now it’s somewhere in South London but nobody can say where. I have been less excited by my Fitbit than when I first had it, because they seem such fragile things, incapable of withstanding sweat or rough use, which seems quite inappropriate for a device intended to track exertion. Maybe I need to buy less gadgets. Or tougher gadgets. Or sweat less.

I bought a set of track spikes, because they were super cheap at the local running shop, and I’m planning another crack at the Singapore Masters 1500m next year. Nobody buys track spikes in winter, which makes them the perfect thing to buy if you’re going back to a country that doesn’t believe in winter. Track spikes are tight, thinly padded running shoes for the track, and as the name suggests, you fit spikes into the soles so you have better grip to accelerate harder. Whether this makes any difference to my track times remains to be seen, and they’re possibly verboten for normal training due to the risk of slicing somebody else’s ligaments with those spikes. We shall see.

La Serpiente was a real struggle to get down last night. Especially as, after four weeks of sleeping on it, she suddenly decided she was freaked out by the picture of a princess on her pillow case. “No see the lady” was her plaintive cry, until I took the offending pillow case off, and even then she flopped and whimpered for a long while before going to sleep. And then she woke up at midnight calling for her mother, and again at 4 this morning, and after we’d calmed her down I couldn’t get back to sleep and ended up on the sofa downstairs, reading Tim Powers’ Declare.

Today, deprived of sleep, I struggled, although we managed to get La Serpiente to the library, had several visitors (my old chum Toby from Kent, who I managed to palm off an old Nintendo games console on, and later my uncle, my cousin and his wife) and I fitted a new set of tyres to the stroller, making it that bit more blinged out than before.

Finally, this evening I went through some more cupboards, finding a stash of old letters from university days, an original copy of Space Hulk, and a piece of maths homework from when I was at Sixth Form where I got 59 out of 60 and my teacher, Mr Winter had (facetiously?) written “Could do better” at the top. So quite a productive day, I think…

It’s the 31st of December in Singapore already. I think I’m going to put off reviewing 2015’s resolutions until New Year’s Eve, local time. Putting off the inevitable?

5 responses to “Getting close to the end of the year”

  1. I thought spikes were for mainly sprinting? Cos of them only have spikes in the toe part. That’s what my running daughter thought, anyway. Her coach told her to try spikes for the 300m to fix the fact that she was “running clumpy” (her words not mine or the coach’s). Anyway, I am thinking about getting a gadget for telling me how fast I am running – is there something good that will do that? I’d go down the gym for it, as I do like the soft treadmill as opposed to the hard track, but it’s expensive.
    Sorry to hear about your Fitbit.

    • There are spikes and there are spikes, apparently. Or at least the guy in the running shop said these ones were good up to 5,000 metres. That said, these ones only have spikes at the front as well – let’s see how it works out.

      Gadgets to tell you how fast you’re going – oh, there’s more than I could name. How much do you want to spend on finding out how fast you’re going?

      • Hmmm – is £60 too laughably small budget a for a speed measuring gadget? I’m justifying it to myself in that it is equal to 90 days of access to the treadmill.

        • I thought that was too cheap, but then I realised that there’s now a lot of cheaper GPS watches on the market.

          Amazon have the TomTom at £70, marked down from £100.

          It does look a bit big in the photos, but if you can look at one in a shop, it may be reasonable (and I think there are options to get a smaller strap). It also has some kind of pedometer sensors built in there, so it would work indoors on a treadmill too (which if you only want to run outdoors, is less important, but handy if you find yourself somewhere where you can only run inside…). Downside is there’s no heart rate monitor, but the need for that is debateable.

          Bit more expensive is the Garmin 15 – £90 with a heart rate monitor (but that is an extra strap to wear around your chest, rather than built into the watch itself – I’m fine with those things, but that’s the consequence of 16 years of dressing up like some kind of BDSM aficionado whenever I workout – I know some people don’t get along with chest straps). The Garmin comes in lots of bright colours (I assume because somebody in Garmin’s marketing department decided that “ladies love bright things” – why not make everything pink?!) which isn’t why I’m recommending it – more because it looks like it’s smaller, and therefore fits a woman’s wrist better than the gargantuan looking TomTom.

          Aside from Garmin, TomTom and Polar (and there’s bound to be bargains as they’ve all brought out new models recently so there’s old stock to shift) I’m less sure about other brands. There are some really cheap GPS watches out there from other manufacturers, but I don’t hear anything good. (I am very loyal to Garmin, although I managed to destroy a couple of Forerunner 210s by sweating over them). Fitbit – well, I think I’ve given up on them after sweating two to death and losing a third…

          • Thanks for that! It’s taken me these 15 days to get back to the stage where I’m no longer just concentrating on not dying on my run, never mind thinking about how fast I am going. The Tomtom looks good – some of the reviews of the Garmin grumble about the GPS and as Lewes/Eastbourne and the surroundings have all sorts of hills and phone dead spots, this might be an issue.

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