Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Show me the light

I don't want to tempt fate, especially as I have 8km on the schedule for tonight but I may finally be relaxing into this marathon training a little.

After a pleasant 17km on Saturday, I think partly due to the company of my Mum on a bike for half of it and partly due to be running on roads I've rarely been on therefore being less mundane, I then had a very successful interval session where I hit 9 out of the 10 times I needed to and the one I missed was only missed by 1.5 seconds! Mind you, this has massive potential for me to fall flat on my face on Saturday morning as I will be running the longest distance I have ever done. 23km. A shade over 14 miles. 21km has been my limit so far and I've only got there sometimes due to the big sign that says finish and the knowledge that I can stop.

In fact, for the next 3 Saturdays in a row, I'll be running longer each time than I've ever done before! This is where the worry kicks in a little. Fear of the unknown for me. Can I cope with just me for company while pounding the pavement?? I'm really not that interesting so wondering if it's time to change my 'no ipod' policy that I self imposed after the dreadful Lisbon Half Marathon in 2010. It's a thought....

On another note, I was recently asked if I would like to review a product from the The choice of product was mine so on I went, looking through the vast selection of products available in order to find something that a)would be useful and b)that I needed. This caused a little bit of a problem due to the fact that marathon training is pretty much dominating my thoughts right now and from a clothing/equipment point of view, I have everything I need to get me to Berlin. So therefore I had to look at other options. Then it hit me, as Dunwich Dynamo was just round the corner and wanting a little extra light for the trip, how about a new head torch being as mine is old and not very bright. I started hunting through and found a couple. One in particular caught my eye but mainly due to the price. £45 for a head torch seemed a bit steep. This had to be a special head torch.

The PETZL PG TIKKA XP 2 was chosen despite having a name that sounds like the bastard child of a snack and a computer program. So what does this torch have? Firstly and surprisingly, there's a whistle to attract attention built into the clasp and head strap. Genius! I would never have though of it but when running and cycling in the dark, you never know when you're going to need to attract attention. The torch has a number of modes. Very bright, bright and strobe. Then on each of these, you have the option of a long distance bright spot or a dispersed light that avoids a hot spot. Then... if you push and hold the button, it switches to a little but bright red LED that could come in really useful for other road users to see when running or if needing an emergency bike light. For a headtorch, it really is full of features!

I gave it a proper test during Dunwich Dynamo where it was my long distance light source while the bike light concentrated on the bit just in front of my wheel. It really is extremely bright and lit up the dark country lanes with ease which made the down hills a lot easier to deal with. Now I know this is 'just a headtorch' and you can buy a reasonable headtorch that does the job a lot cheaper, it's the little extras like the whistle and red light option that really got me all geeky about it. Sad I know but hey, you're used to it by now right??

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