Monday, April 27, 2009

Git on the good foot

Get on down like a...

Whoo that was a good run for just the second one! It started bad though. I was in a hurried state of mind realizing it was getting dark, it looked like it would rain soon, I had no route still and I needed to fix my iPod/nike+ issue. Google maps showed me a possible track around the 'Peace Palace'. The 'palace' looks more like a church, is dedicated to peace and houses the International Crime Court and some other institutions dedicated to law. Unfortunately there seemed to be no nice way to run around it. So I decided to opt for a forest run in the nearby forest.

First I ran parallel to the forest for a while. After a long straight run I started feeling a bit of discomfort in my left shin. It was something like a cramp that was building up. Maybe it was caused by the tree trunks running under the tarmac causing uncomfortable bumps. Somehow I noticed that I started running unnatural, using my other leg more. I figured a bit stretching might help. Though Evy from the mp3 did not mention stretching. I always see many runners doing it so I figured it would not hurt to do it just a little bit. That helped!

After that I also needed a change of scenery and I took a turn into the 'woods'. It had been a long while since I was in a forest or anything that resembled it. When you have an allergy of trees, plants, flowers and such that does not seem inviting. However, it was great a green oasis. There was not a soul and no sign of my allergy. The run was good, I was eating trees so to speak. Though I felt my pace was slow making my muscles work extra hard. Maybe my next run will be a bit faster.

My training was announced to over just when my bike was in sight. Excellent, it looks like I've found my running grounds. There are many 'forks' in the road as well, so It seems there is enough variation for a while.

Speaking of trees, trunks and forks. Time to get geek. Last week I have been playing with Git. Git is an open source version tracking system. Basically it lets you track the contents of files. You get to see what changed, who changed it, change it back, label it with a version number and fork or branch it. I always felt I needed to know at least one version tracking system. And I recommend everybody who needs to track changes to files to give Git a chance.

I started out by first reading 'Pragmatic version control using Git, by Travis Swicegood'. This was a fine read, explained everything, nicely written, high value. recommend it. After that I found a few screencasts about git and git/hub. Github is a website where you can manage your git repositories and share and track code with from others. You can find me on github as well, it seems pretty cool and handy. But one thing to remember is that all your stuff will be shared publicly, unless you go for a paid account. The github screencast is from Pragmatic as well, but it's free. Then I found even more Git screencasts on gitcast.

Now I'm off to do some reading in my new-2nd hand 'Practical Ruby Gems' book which I stumbled upon and got for 10 euro's and get some sleep after that.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


False start!
I was all ready to go: shoes, pants, shirt, charged iPod nano and the nike+ sensor on my shoes.
My first run was somewhat postponed thanks to some copyright barons in Belgium. See, one Belgian lady made some really nice mp3 series with the appropriate name 'start to run'. Seems to me people wanted it to be found. Anyway, I was planing to start running with the aid of this program since I heard and read much good about it. However some copyright club had tried to make these mp3's disappear from the web exactly now. On any other day I would have found it amusing how these naive and ignorant people keep trying to make information disappear from a global network that was designed to be able to share information even during an all out nuclear war. They must have gotten high from the news of the verdict on the Pirate Bay people.

But, ha-ha, the pirates have got the wind back in their sails with the not so surprising news that the judge was waist deep in the industry himself. So mateys find ye treasure here, harrrrrrr...

When I thought I had everything, I walked to my battlegrounds for my first run. A nice calm area with huge manors, embassies and stretches of parks leading to dunes and beaches. Meanwhile I was fiddling on the iPod to start both a new training on my nike+ and listen to the mp3. Unfortunately, it turned out that I need to make a playlist since it did not allow me to select the mp3 file which has been branded by iTunes as a podcast. Great. So my first run was one without statistics, but maybe thats actually a good thing...

The first few minutes were obviously too hard. I ran out of breath rather quickly and feared the side pains and all other discomforts I associated with running would follow up soon. But then another runner came jogging by, she looked experienced in running for some reason, probably the flashy stretch clothes. But she was going way slower. So I decided I'd better turn it down a bit. After that, while still being a good workout, the run was smooth.

Because I had no idea what distance I would cover during the first run, I did not plan out a route. It became a somewhat ad-hoc run with twists and turns. Sometimes I would need to backtrack a bit because I reached a dead end or would wind up on a sand track and stuff like that. I had no idea when I would be half-way and what would be a good time to head back. This all resulted in me being finished with the first exercise in somewhat unknown territories. I was a bit lost, and needed to walk quite a bit to get back home. Maybe that's actually good for cooling down, or maybe I should just pick one of the many other parks which are within reach, or just bike to one of them...
All in all, it was a good first run but much, much progress can and will be made!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ready, set...

And off I was, running through the crowded streets. Somewhat misplaced, one man against the hordes of shop-melody-induced consumers. But the discomfort was not caused my going in against the mindless zombies. Noo, it was the sheer fact of way too fast bodily movement accompanied by a slight breathlessness and sluggishly carried by way too shiny new shoes.
Not too long before, the nervous spasms of my ankles and feet had been recorded, replayed, thourogly studied and commented. Normally I would have declared insanity on the pour soul who volunteered to put himself to such a drag and horrid display. The sheer horror of what was to come soon was unbearable to even think about.

I was in the running shop, long believed to be occupied by earths minions of Satan, to buy the things one needs to start running. What would drive such a big geek to do such a thing? Well first, offcourse, he is indeed a big geek. Second, it seems there is an interresting tech factor to running. Tech is fun, so I could make myself believe that running could be fun too. In any case I would get to buy some new gear. Since I had allready mostly ran out of toys on my wish list, I could use running as an excuse to buy some geeky running stuff!
So, reminding myself of all the gear one really must have and all the tech it would unlock, I dragged myself through the process.

The result was a bit of an expense stretch but let's just say thats a positive start ;-)

My footgear of choice was a pair of Saucony Progrid Omni 7's. The Omni's had a marking on their sole spelling 'SSL', at first sight that was appealing. SSL, in the geek world at least, stands for 'secure sockets layer', and is a technology used mostly in web technology. For example to provide secure communication with websites. A good sign, but things are not always what they seem to be. There is enough reason to not even just blindly trust even this technology. Fun yes, trust no. Remember that.

Anyway, though pretty advanced for a pair of shoes, the geek in me was not yet satisfied.

So I bought myself one of those Nike+ Ipod thingies and a clip to hook the sensor on to my shoes. It's amazing how each of my new toys provides ways for others to put me under surveillance. Anyway, it will most probably provide some more fun, maybe it is actually usefull in running and if not, there are other interresting uses for it like it and such and so.

Well, that provided a nice 'carrot' for the running. One last thing, I needed some bag to carry my things runner style. Since I always seem to cary some gear with me I always need some bag to put it in. So I bought a tiny nike shoe wallet as well, you know for keys or if I happen to possibly need some usb stick or swiss knife with me for the mc guyver factor.

So with this first blogpost on my new blog. I am ready and set for my first run!