Off from work, I headed out for a short run today. After loading my iPod and Garmin, I opted at the last minute to grab a camera as I headed out the door.
And I’m glad I did. I ended up taking close to a hundred photos over the 50 or so minutes it took to run the 5.25 miles.
Photos are on Flickr, here — only a couple of them are restricted to family / friends. I also fired up Google Earth and made a file about the run — and embedded links to some of the photos. That file is here.
In actuality, I like the Google Earth file better. I think it’s a neat, neat way to show photos and tell a story. For me, I run with my Garmin Forerunner 305, and then load the record of the run into my Mac. The Garmin software gets the data from the GPS, but then I use Trail Runner to convert it quickly to the Google Earth format. (Trail Runner is nice, but the repeated requests to donate ($35!) is annoying). After I’ve uploaded the photos to Flickr, I then go back into Google Earth and manually add in icons for the photos. In the comments section for each icon, I add <> and between those img src=””, with the URL for the actual image (not the page) from Flickr where I have the photos. Works like a charm.
The run was just a couple of minutes short of the length of the American Edit album I was listening to. Perfect timing. American Edit — fantastic album. I’ve got the 2008 version loaded these days (torrent), and I told iTunes to play it as a gapless album, which works ideally.
When I run, I really benefit form music with some energy. Lately, it’s been Feed the Animals by Girl Talk — which is awesome, but entirely not appropriate for kids. It, too, is best listened to in a gapless form, which you can get by downloading the whole album as a single track. I ran across Girl Talk when I saw the movie Good Copy Bad Copy, but it’s really in a style similar to stuff I already like — Go Home Productions, DJ Riko, Miss Frenchie, McSleazy, etc.
For a run that lasts an hour, I can deal with music. I’m not sure about you, but at some point, music isn’t enough. I think this is one of the reasons why I favor 6 or 7 mile runs — after that, I need something more. I need audio books after that. And that means longer runs more often, to get through the book — like two or three a week. And I’m not ready to go back to that level of running. I loved the time in Germany when was running the K?nigstuhl all the time. That was awesome. But you need something special to do that, that often. If I can find a way to run west, across the Kunia Highway, I could go back to that.
Without music, my mind wanders. Shoot, with music my mind wanders. Today I was listening to music and working through the hardware and software configuration options for a touch-screen music server for Iraq, while comparing a Windows solution to a Unix solution. Not planned — my mind just wandered there. Later I caught myself debating the merits of a strong court system in Iraq, vs. autonomy for the Kurds. I wonder what I could get accomplished if I could run and take notes / make sketches.
Two last comments about the run today.
1. There is nothing flat on this island. It was always up or down. Which can be great, and which can suck. Sometimes, at the same time.
2. This place is glorious. I could retire here, and spend every day watching just the clouds.
I’ll run when in Iraq — of that I have no doubt. I really, really doubt the scenery will compare.