Although our days remain nearly twelve hours long year round, the equation of time shifts sunrise and sunset during the year. Sitting at nearly seven degrees north latitude, October and November bring earlier sunsets. Here near the equator, there is no dusk, just a sudden shutting off of the light of day. While in June there is light until almost seven in the evening, by November dark falls on a rainy evening by six. The difference is just enough to impact my evening running. Due to primarily to dogs, I tend to avoid running after dark.

Thus in the northern hemisphere fall my evening running is usually negatively impacted, and this fall was no exception. My goal is to attain 200 minutes of running during any sevey day period. I track this with an OpenOffice.org Calc spreadsheet.

In August and September I was averaging 189 minutes of running over any seven day span. With the darkness effect impacting my evening running habit, October and November collapsed to 116 minutes over any seven day period, well under the CDC guideline recommendations for a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

The end of the school term and final examinations slammed early December. Working until dark shut down running many evenings and my seven day running sum crashed to 64 minutes. A few evenings of end-of-term sakau usually led to a couple lethargic days off afterward, contributing to the crash.

In running the rule is to not increase one's time or distance by more than 10% per week. Of course, that presumes one is running at all. With my pace having slid to a seven minute kilometer, one could hardly call what I am doing running. Trudging at best. Thirty-one years of slow slogging have taught me that when my running collapses, I can ramp back up fairly quickly. Maybe that is an advantage to having legs with thirty-one years of running in them.

With graduation over and winter break having begun in earnest, I put in a 77 minute effort followed the next day by a 60 minute run. On the third day I ran up around past PICS, out to Palipowe, thence to the airport, and home. 16.7 kilometers in a rather appalling 124 minutes. Over the next three days I put in 40 minute, 58 minute, and 66 minute efforts. That put me at 426 minutes in six days.

426 minutes put me within 31 minutes of my maximum seven day time, 457 minutes, set on 22 November 2008. I was also 38 minutes from having put in 200 minutes after my 124 minutes. And just over an hour from 500 minutes. The latter had the appeal of being a centade.

I ran a familiar route, GPS in hand, heading up around past PICS, out to Koahn market in Nett, and then back to Mesenieng and the Spanish Wall at Santiago de la Ascension. I was slow at a 7'18" kilometer, and clocked 84 minutes to attain 510 total minutes for the seven day period.

With no aches or pains for the effort, and another week of tropical winter break ahead, I hope to continue to put in runs with a goal of about an hour each evening. When I joggle I tend to drop back to around a 40 minute run, and I often do a last joggle/first joggle of the year around New Year.

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