Thursday, November 1, 2012

Judge / Like You

Just like you I chose a path and fought to make it work,
thought I found what I was looking for, oh god I'm fucking lost.
Like you I face rejection, like you I look for acceptance.
Like you I don't always do right, 
now I'm trying to find the things I fought to hide when I was young.

I've got to find the things I left behind,
but now all I see is the damage I'm causing me.
I've found things aren't black and white,
I've lost things that were right in sight.
You see I've had my share of discouragement,
I tried to forget, like you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Into The Future

I don't care what y'all think: the Bad Brains have recorded a new album and I'm excited about that. Who cares if it's not gonna sound like 'ROIR' or 'Rock For Light', we all know better than to hope for that in 2012.  Who cares if HR doesn't move on stage and wears crazy shit, if you want to see a 56-year old do frontflips go to Cirque Du Soleil. Fact is that anything the Bad Brains will ever do will be more important than anything you've ever done, and that includes singing to an empty birdcage.
You can listen to the title track of their new record 'Into The Future' here. I like it, HR's singing is way better that it was on 'Build A Nation' - it doesn't sound like soundbites of vocals pasted onto the music this time. 'Into The Future' will be released on November 20th 2012. In the meantime, take a dive into the past with earlier Bad Brains content on this blog.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rhythm To The Madness interview for HIHIF Zine

Here's a Rhythm To The Madness interview that I did for a new music/lifestyle magazine called Hungry Is How I Feel, pick up your copy through @hungryzine on Twitter. This interview was done early May 2012.

Klaas, what's up? How's life?
I'm good, thanks. I’ve been touring, roadtripping and working a lot during the last two months so this is the first Saturday in nine weeks that I’m spending at home which is nice for a change. I'm listening to Agnostic Front 'Live At CBGB' and have been doing so for the last few weeks. I generally don’t care for live albums or live recordings and hardly ever listen to them, but ‘Live At CBGB’s is my shit! Great sound, perfect setlist, Rogers’ voice is on point (not a big fan of the way he started using his voice on later recordings), so many classic quotes in between songs. The rumor that it is supposedly not completely recorded live only adds to its greatness.

It's been two years since Rhythm To The Madness played a show. What have you guys been doing in the meantime?
We indeed haven't played a live show in over two years. I guess we just didn't feel the need to get up on a stage to play music: Rhythm To The Madness has never been much more than a project so we just laid low for a while. We did however write and record the first and second part of a rock opera called ‘Challenging The Heavens’ for a compilation album on Six Feet Under Records in 2010. Other than that Stief and Sike recorded a Joshua’s Song LP, a Filler demo and a Not Afraid EP. Gert drums in Filler and Not Afraid too. Lennart still plays in Oathbreaker (check out their full-length on Deathwish Inc!) and Amen Ra. Cedric just released the ‘Faith’ LP with Rise And Fall, which is one of the best Hardcore albums to ever come out of Europe if you ask me. Daan drums in Sex Drive and they have an EP out too. As for me, I guess I’ve mainly been working, I’ve ran a couple of marathons, I’ve been riding bikes a lot and I’ve been on tour with Rise And Fall whenever they hit the road.
When our friend Filip recently asked Rhythm To The Madness to play a show he’s putting on, we agreed to do it. Not only because Filip has always toured with us and supported us from day one, but also because it is a show with a bunch of great bands that we can fully back up and we would all be there anyway.

Life is always evolving, and a lot can happen in two years. How do you now relate to the lyrics you wrote for Rhythm To The Madness?
I think I can say I have grown and changed a lot in the last two years, but I can still easily relate to the lyrics I wrote for Rhythm To The Madness and they still mean a lot to me. I've been asked whether personal lyrics won't lose their momentum as time passes, but I always considered my lyrics rather socio-critical than personal: they may be personal in the sense that they deal with the search for the Self and the constant struggle to find balance in an unbalanced world, but I guess if people can't relate to these topics they are not asking themselves the right questions and must be content to live life and nothing more.

How did the marathons go?
I ran four marathons in the last few years, but only one of them I actually took seriously and trained for: at the end of June I decided to run the Brussels Marathon on October 1st so I had only three months to prepare, which as everybody warned me was too short to prepare properly. However with the help of experienced track & field coach Johan Baerts I started following a tight training schedule and gave it a shot. 
The marathon itself went pretty well: I was hoping to finish under 4 hours and I clocked out at 3 hours 24 minutes and 56 seconds, which is generally considered a pretty good result - especially for the Brussels Marathon which is known as a rather though marathon because it has a lot of climbing and descending.

And how did the preparation part go?  
I would train 5 days out of 7, running an average of 100 kilometers a week, sometimes focusing on distance, sometimes focusing on speed. I followed my schedule exactly as instructed, no matter the weather or the injuries that set me back (shin splints, achilles tendonitis, and minor stress fractures). It was not always easy and there was definitely a challenging aspect to the preparation.

Was it mentally challenging too?
It sure can be mentally challenging to force yourself to get up at 6am on a Sunday morning to go for that 35 kilometer run before a scheduled brunch with friends, or to push yourself to go out for a 15km speed-run in the pouring rain, or to give it all in that final sprint of a Fartlek training even though you literally threw up after the previous sprint… It takes a lot of persistence and willpower to just do what you gotta do, no matter the circumstances.
Let me add that I ride my bike to work every day (50km back and forth) and that my average workday is from 7.30am to 7.30pm and you can see how it's hard and at times mind-wrecking to squeeze in a daily run. It's not just time consuming but it weighs on your social life as well: even if I had the time left to hang out with friends, often I just didn't have to energy to go out or I'd prefer to just stay home and sit in an ice-bath allowing my legs to recover from running.
In the grand scheme of things all this is no big deal obviously, but training for that marathon took over my life for three months and when I had finally finished it, when I had accomplished the goal that I worked and lived towards: it felt like I just fell into a big empty hole and hit rock bottom - mentally and physically too. I guess I just burned out. I had adjusted my life to a training schedule that told me what to do, what to eat, when to visit the physiotherapist and when to sleep and when that schedule ended on October 1st, it felt like I didn't know what to do with my life anymore. I had to take the time to heal the injuries I had ignored so I couldn't run anymore and I felt like I had alienated from a lot of my friends because I had shut them out to focus on my training. Basically I just put my life on hold for three months and it took me a long time to pick it back up.
I know this all sounds overly dramatic because lesser men have done far greater things, but the mental challenge is the part I underestimated the most. Still, it does feel good to have reached that goal and to know that I am part of the small percentage of this world population that can finish a marathon in under 3,5 hours.

Why did you do it? Was running a marathon something you just wanted to do, or did you specifically set this goal with a reason?  
It was indeed something I just wanted to do… I had been running on and off for a couple of years and that's all fine and dandy but I just wanted to work towards something: I wanted to test my limits and push them.
So many people are just happy to live their lives stuck in their safe little routines, and I'm not judging anybody but I think life should be about growing as a person and as a human. One way of growing - or at least one way of measuring your growth - is to set goals for yourself and trying to accomplish them. Running this marathon ties in perfectly with the outlook on life that I tried to bring across with Rhythm To The Madness from day one. "I see so many people close to me prioritize what lays so far from me, they pulverize what they could be: satisfied with potential unreached". 

Did you set a new challenge now?
Sports-wise I did indeed set a couple of new challenges for myself for 2012: I will climb the Mont Ventoux in France with a race bike one day and try to run up that mountain the next day. I will ride 5000 kilometers in total on my bike, which I'm already well on my way towards. I will try to up my maximum bench press to my body weight. As for running: my shin splints and achilles tendonitis still haven't healed but if my body lets me I will give the Brussels Marathon another shot and try to better my finish time.
I have a bunch of personal and professional goals too, but I guess I'd rather not share those in a magazine.

You also used to work out with weights a lot. Did running a marathon have a big impact on this?
In the early stages of my training I just kept on lifting weights and squeezing in the occasional crossfit training. However when you spend as many hours running as I did, you need to allow your body to rest and recover. I learned that the hard way when I kept getting injury after injury so I completely stopped lifting weights and focused on my running. Besides, lifting weights means building muscle tissue and thus gaining body weight, and obviously the less body weight you have to carry along for long distance running the better.

Rhythm To The Madness is selling shirts for the good cause. What's up with that?
I was at a show in East-Germany a while ago when I saw someone rocking a Rhythm To The Madness shirt that I knew we never printed: I figured it’d probably be a Six Feet Under Records design and didn’t think much of it. However later on word got to me that someone in Poland was bootlegging Rhythm To The Madness shirts. Now let me tell you that I am quite the control freak when it comes to lay-out and designs for Rhythm To The Madness: I have a clear vision of what I want to get across with this band so I did not like that there was a shirt design that I hadn't okayed. If the guy had asked me beforehand and the design fit my vision (it does!), I would've told them to go ahead and print it if they'd send us a couple of shirts.
But he never asked me, so when me and some friends flew out to Poland a couple of weeks later to see a Sheer Terror show, I asked around and found out the guy who supposedly bootlegged the shirts lived in a city nearby. We had rented a car to drive to the show, so we decided pay the guy a visit. Without going too much into detail, let’s just say we didn’t find the guy but we did find his house and I just confiscated the remainder of the shirts. So Tomasz Konieczny if you’re reading this: a curse upon your house until the day comes that my blade is on your throat.
Anyhow, I was stuck with those shirts and as it turns out we are playing a show. Both Lennart and Cedric are playing shows abroad with Amen Ra and Rise And Fall respectively, so we asked our friend Jan of State Of Mind to fill in on second guitar for this show. Jan is heavily involved in a benefit project to raise money for cancer-research: he is climbing the Mont Huez with his bicycle six times in a day and people can donate money per kilometer, as I'm sure he explained when you interviewed him. So we will be selling these shirts at our show, and any profit will be donated to the Dutch foundation for cancer-research because it seemed the right thing to do.

What's the plan with Rhythm To The Madness now? Any other shows or recordings planned?
Rhythm To The Madness has always had a vision but never a plan. We initially just wanted to record two songs we had written on a Justice tour in 2006 and things snowballed from there to the point where we ended up touring on a full-length album. As for now, except for that one show we don't anything planned or scheduled. I do however have two EP's worth of lyrics, concept and lay-out finished, and some of us have home-recorded a bunch of roughly finished songs so we'll see what lies ahead. We don't think about the future, it comes soon enough.

Klaas, thanks for the interview. Any last words?
Thank you for the interview, it was good to reflect on that marathon. We hardly ever take the time to look back in life and use our past experiences to guide on us in the future, so it was cool to take a moment and process that. 

TOP/BOTTOM The Get Up Kids live in Hasselt

- Great setlist! They definitely did play more songs of 'Four Minute Mile' and 'Something To Write Home About' than I expected them to. Ofcourse a 'first two full-lengths'-setlist would've been better, but considering they are touring to promote their new record (which they jokingly called 'possibly the best record of 2011' in between songs) they still played a lot of old songs and that's cool. They even played 'woodson' off their first EP, didn't see that coming.
- They weren't so tight, but who cares it's The Get Up Kids: they are young and spontanious and energetic and they play sloppy and that's cute right?? Well, they were all this ten years ago, but they still easily get away with it in my book.

- Awkward vibe in the venue. There's something about those government-funded venues that makes me too uncomfortable to fully enjoy a concert: they're all so neat and clean and are decorated by interior design companies, they have drink tickets with their logo and staff wearing their T-shirts like a uniform.  I have to admit these are the clubs that are nice to arrive at as a touring band, but as a show-attendee I still prefer the gritty
- That song called 'on the wire'. Such a disgrace. I mean, I'm relatively open-minded and whatnot, but that song is horrible.
- Lose the keyboards. It's cool that you want to bring your friend on tour with you, and I understand that he still wants to be on stage reliving his days as a frontman in Coalesce, but let him roadie or do merch. Maybe let him do some guestvocals or play a part on a song, but having him dance around and play the keyboards now and then  doesn't add anything to the set. Except for someone annoyingly trying to draw attention to himself. Just a thought.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eindejaarspoll 2011

Made up my 2011 Yearlist for Soul Slayer Forum and figured I may as well post it here. It's in Dutch though, so bear with me.

Beste muziek-releases nationaal. Top 5 of Top 10 lijkt me cool.
Rise And Fall ‘deceiver’ EP (Dat nummer & die coversong, die lay-out, die release shows, de merch rond deze release: alles klopt aan en rond deze EP. DCVR!)
Van de Joshua’s Song LP heb ik enkel nog maar de 3-song promo gehoord (ATTN: WRRB!) en officieel heeft deze band niets gereleased in 2011, dus zij kunnen helaas niet vermeld worden in deze poll, maar ik denk niet dat die gasten zouden geloven hoeveel ik naar hun EP en demos luister. Peter Muurimäki, wat een held om deze plaat binnenkort toch uit te brengen!

Beste muziek-releases internationaal. Idem.

In no particular order:
- The Devil's Blood ‘the thousandfold epicentre’ LP & ‘fire burning’ EP (Zie ook mijn recente appreciation post, ongelofelijk fel into die plaat! De drie live-nummers op de EP zijn perfectie.)
- Bon Iver ‘bon iver’ (Perfecte plaat van begin tot einde, wel in selecte setting te beluisteren.)
- Arctic Monkeys ‘suck it and see’ (Die band blijft zich ontwikkelen op hun platen, maar slaagt er tegelijkertijd toch in om niet te vervreemden van hun fanbase door overdreven muzikale afdwalingen.)
- Lil Wayne ‘tha carter IV’ (Weezy heeft duidelijk 9 maanden tijd gehad om in de cel af te kicken van de sizzurp en na te denken over het leven en de wereld, en hiervoor de nodige metaforen te schrijven. In de context gezien erg goede teksten en niet eens zo veel nummers die ik skip tijdens het luisteren. Niet zo into T-Pain in 2011 maar deze obligatoire guestspot daargelaten klopt alles aan deze plaat.)
- Drake ‘take care’ (Drizzy komt eventjes met een meer dan geslaagde opvolger van ‘thank me later’ die nog toegankelijker is, maar die ik gerust op repeat kan laten staan.)
- Jay-Z & Kanye West ‘watch the throne’ ('niggas in Paris': ik fistpump! Zoveel bangers! "Coke on her black skin make a stripe like a zebra: I call that jungle fever.")
- The Vaccines ‘what did you expect from the vaccines’ (Ik vind niet alle nummers even goed maar zeker wel een aangename plaat!)
- Mother Of Mercy ‘IV: symptoms of existence’ (Ik weet dat ik hier niet zoveel backup moet verwachten, maar ik vind dit zeker een van de betere Hardcore-ish platen van 2011.)
- Trapped Under Ice ‘big kiss goodnight’ (Goede doorsnee hardcore plaat die toch nog verrast bij momenten door iets extra op de tafel te brengen en een goede groove heeft. Goed productie, mooi artwork.)
- Stic.Man 'the workout' (playlist maken op de iPod met deze plaat minus een 3-tal nummers, 1 Dead Prez nummer en 1 Stic nummer van zijn vorige plaat toevoegen: je gooit gegarandeerd 2 schijven van 20 meer op die leg-press!)
- Dry The River 'no rest' EP (Meer bepaald het nummer 'no rest' was een zomerhitje op mijn headphones tijdens verscheidene ochtendlijke boslopen in juli.)
- Patrick Wolf 'lupercalia' (Behalve dat hij er belachelijk uitziet weet ik niets over deze gast maar deze plaat heb ik wel veel geluisterd.)
- Kurt Vile 'smoke ring for my halo' (Niets aan toe te voegen. Perfecte plaat.)
- Feist 'metals' (Op repeat.)

Beste live show(s) gezien dit jaar?

- Verschillende Rise And Fall shows, maar in het bijzonder Moscow, Mol, Eindhoven,...
- Ghost in Tilburg en Brussel (Kippenvel, krop in de keel.)
- Arctic Monkeys in Keulen (Perfecte setlist, mooie zaal, goed geluid, en vooral: geen aanstellerij. Geen belachelijke backdrops, Marshall-muren of video-projecties, geen handjesklapperij: gewoon wit licht en grijs gordijn achter hen. Die mannekes zijn de hemel ingeprezen door iedereen die hip is en door hun eigen helden, hebben op die jonge leeftijd toegang tot alle geld/drugs/drank/wijven die ze zich kunnen wensen en blijven toch met hun voetjes relatief op de grond. Sike, ssdshirt, Hingie en ik daarentegen bleven tijdens deze show allesbehalve met onze voetjes op de grond en startten een goeie pushpit.) 
- Brandon Flowers op Werchter (Een solo-tour is een beetje dwaas als je halve setlist vol nummers van je echte band steekt, maar enorm veel charisme en presence op dat podium)

Beste boek gelezen dit jaar?

Ik moet terugblikkend concluderen dat ik dit jaar maar weinig boeken gelezen heb, eigenlijk bijna uitsluitend gelezen op het vliegtuig of op de trein. Ik geloof dat ik twee boeken van Murakami gelezen heb, 'huid en haar' van Grunberg (meh!), 'trager dan de snelheid' van Brusselmans (meh!) en over 'wie is er bang van de islam' van Selahattin Koçak ga ik me op een forum niet uitspreken. Ik nomineer als beste gelezen boek dan 'what I talk about when I talk about running' van Haruki Murakami: ook al ben ik geen fan van zijn sobere schrijfstijl, toch erg genoten en bijgeleerd van dit boek.

Coolste film van het jaar? 

De enige films die ik in de andere eindejaarslijstjes tegenkwam en die ik gezien heb waren Rundskop en True Grit. Rundskop vond ik wel cool, waarschijnlijk ook wel ten dele omdat ik enkele jaren vlakbij Sint-Truiden op internaat gezeten heb en de omgeving en dialect dus heel vertrouwd in de oren klinken. True Grit heb ik gedubt in het Spaans met Engelse ondertitels gezien dus die film heb ik natuurlijk niet echt kunnen ervaren zoals hij bedoeld was. Ik veronderstel dat ik nog wel verschillende keren naar de cinema geweest ben, maar ik kan op geen enkele titel komen dus ik zal niet echt iets noemenswaardig gezien hebben.

Favoriete TV show van het jaar?

Ik kijk zelden tot nooit televisie, of het moesten films zijn die ik opneem op de digicorder en achteraf hoogstwaarschijnlijk toch weer wis zonder te kijken. Ik heb wel The Wire en Mad Men bekeken/herbekeken en blijf fan.
Dieptepunt is zeker 'superfans', ik ben oprecht een beetje bummed dat mensen die ik ten zeerste waardeer en respecteer hiernaar kunnen kijken zonder kwaad of op z'n minst hopeloos te worden. 

Website van het jaar?

Tandem van het jaar? 

Peers en Geert: op hun goede momenten een geoliede standup comedy act en op hun minder goede momenten een kibbelend getrouwd koppel.

Beste posters op het Soul Slayer board?

Bjorn, WRRB, Vincent, Spoiler, Backtrack, The Hardway: je ziet die usernames en je weet dat je ofwel iets interessants ofwel iets grappigs gaat lezen, je weet dat je ofwel een goede nieuwe band gaat leren kennen ofwel siked gaat worden om een goede oude band/plaat op te zetten, EN je weet dat je gaat kunnen genieten van een mooie zinsbouw en taalgebruik en je niet hoeft te ergeren aan slordig gebruik van hoofdletters en leestekens.

Coolste topic op het Soul Slayer board?
In het algemeen ben ik wel aanhanger van het TOP/BOTTOM concept: je kan veel informatie over uiteenlopende onderwerpen weergeven, zonder dat je je te veel zorgen moet maken over logische overgangen en bruggetjes. Het opsommingsformaat maakt ook dat er niet altijd volzinnen gebruikt moeten worden.
Meer specifiek zijn vooral de Iron Age appreciation post, Spoiler zijn Montreal-topic, en verschillende topics gestart door Pit mij bijgebleven.

Beste hangout van 2011, al dan niet show-related.

- Deceiver EP release weekend
- Rise And Fall Rusland weekend
- fietstochten met Fixed Gear Hasselt
- verschillende dinners met Bjorn, Esther en de heer Vandamme
- de NYHC dinner in Antwerpen
- de hangouts voor en na crossfit-trainingen in Antwerpen met de twee NYHC-fanaten naar wie niet toevallig de eerste twee nummers van de Skarhead cover-LP vernoemd zijn.
- BBQ langs het kanaal.

Roadtrip/vakantie/tour van het jaar?
- al de weekends Barcelona tussen januari en juli.
- Hasselt Straight Edge vs London riots weekend

- Deceiver EP release weekend
- Rise And Fall Rusland weekend

YouTube filmpje van het jaar.

Ik kijk zelden tot nooit filmpjes op Youtube, maar als ik dat dan toch eens doe is het de 'we gotta know' video of 'Bad Brains op den Hollandse televisie'. Op Edge Day en Geert zijn verjaardagsavond werden wel respectievelijk de In My Eyes documentaire en Youth Of Today in Aalst bekeken, weliswaar op TV-scherm maar gestreamed via YouTube.
Ik ben wel een keer op de officiële Roadrunner Records YouTube channel terecht gekomen, waar behalve een hoop rommel ook wel clips van hun jaren '90 catalogus opstonden: dat was cool!

Revelatie/ontdekking van het jaar? 

- Fietsen
- Lopen in het bos

Welke show zou je willen gezien hebben maar heb je gemist?

Ik kan niet echt op een voorbeeld komen.

Wat vond je begin 2011 uncool maar tegen eind 2011 wel al cool?

Fietsen met remmen en versnellingen.

Wat heb je de afgelopen tijd gemist en hoop je dat er in 2012 terugkomt?

‘t Lintfabriek

Meest bevreemdende ervaring van 2011?

- De Pukkelpop-storm. Tijdens het hele gebeuren zelf drong het niet allemaal door maar toen ik de volgende ochtend de beelden zag en een en ander begon te dagen wist ik toch een tijdje geen blijf met mezelf. Niet om belachelijk te doen want in bepaalde hoeken van de wereld is wat ik daar gezien en meegemaakt heb natuurlijk een peulschil maar ik zal het toch niet rap vergeten. Wel enorm veel geluk gehad en beseft dat ik toch niet zoveel slechte karma verzameld had als ik dacht.
- Aangereden worden door een hert.
- Fietstochten op de pikdonkere jaagpaden langs het kanaal zonder verlichting en remmen.

Beste artwork van het jaar?

The Devil's Blood LP: een schilderij voor ieder nummer, waarin de tekst verwerkt is. Mooi.
De hoes van 'big kiss goodnight' vind ik ook wel mooi. Het DCVR oog.

Welk woord heb je in 2011 aan je vocabularium toegevoegd en gebruik je nu vol enthousiasme?

Geen waarvan ik mij bewust ben.

Goede/slechte voornemens voor 2012?

- de Mont Ventoux op fietsen
- de Mont Ventoux op lopen

- 5000 kilometer fietsen in 2012
- Mijn appartement verder afwerken en inrichten tot mijn eigen kleine wereld.
- mijn ecologische voetafdruk nog meer verkleinen

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 11: 15km

Did a 15 kilometre run this morning. My headphones and iPhone seem to have recovered from yesterday's run in the rain and were fully operational again this morning. I ran to the golf course and I'm starting to know my way around there: I mapped out a 2 kilometre tour and did a few rounds there. During the last kilometres it started to rain again, so I headed home and ran a couple more kilometres around the block to complete my 15 kilometres.
Afterwards I went on a 24 kilometre bikeride to check on my parents' house while they're on vacation. Listened to the new Lil Wayne mixtape, can't wait for 'Tha Carter IV'.

Distance: 15.01 kilometres.
Duration: 1 hour 13 minutes and 5 seconds.
Pace: 4:52 per kilometre.
Date: Friday 22/07/11 at 09:56am

Day 10: 17km Fartlek training

I did a 17 kilometre Fartlek training today. I ran my usual 4 km warm-up to the channel and started doing my 2000 metre sprints there. According to Johan's schedule I had to run these 2 km in under 7 minutes and 40 seconds. That meant I had to run at a pace of 3:50 min/km. If you have been reading my blog you know that I consider anything under 5:00 min/km as alright. After all, if I would run a marathon at this pace I'd finish in 3,5 hours, which would be good enough for me.
But if Johan tells me to run 2000 metres in 7 mins 40 sec, I'll try so. And my first sprint today I made it under 7:40. I think I started out too fast but somewhat managed to stick to this pace and finished in 7 mins 35 sec. While I was enjoying my 10 minutes of "rest" (read: jogging) it started raining very hard and by the time I had to start my second sprint, I was literally soaking wet. I swear I might as well have jumped in the channel, crawled back out and continued running: I'd be equally wet. I figured I'd just continue my training: I was six kilometres away from home anyway, and I can't take shelter from the rain on marathon day either, so I'd just stick it out.
I did my second sprint in 7 minutes and 53 seconds. I was bummed I didn't make the 7:40, but I blame it on the weather and on the heaviness of my soaking wet shoes and clothes. My third sprint I finished in 7 minutes 51 seconds. Midway into this sprint my headphones started sounding bad and then just stopped working. Also the speakers of my iPhone didn't produce any sound anymore: no ringtone, no music, no text message notifications. Bummer, but I guess even Sennheiser and Apple technology isn't resistant to this kind of rain.

- 4 km warm-up: 4:58 min/km
- 2 km sprint: 7min35 - pace 3:46 min/km
- 2 km jogging: 5:50 min/km
- 2 km sprint: 7min53 - pace 3:53 min/km
- 2 km jogging: 5:40 min/km
- 2 km sprint: 7min 51 - pace: 3:51 min/km
- 3 km cool-down: 5:32 min/km

At night we had the very first gathering of Fixed Gear Hasselt and went on a 2 hour bikeride, something my quadriceps weren't too happy about.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day Nine: Resting Day

Today was a resting day again. I had scheduled an appointment with my physiologist to have my knees and shins checked out. Apparantly I'm rather prone to injury, and I'm pretty worried about this. Several years ago I had shin splint in both my legs and it had me down for months. I started feeling similar pains in my shins during the last couple of days, but luckily my physiologist assured my that it wasn't a shin splint yet, but it would become one if not threated properly.
I rode my bike there and back (20 kilometres in total) and on the way back I stopped at a specialized running store to check for new shoes. Johan advised me to get an extra pair so I could switch between pairs. They had me running barefoot on a treadmill and filmed my feet while I was doing so. Afterwards they analysed my movements and recommended me the Nike Lunarglide+3. The salesman obviously wasn't aware of the fact that I know my sneaker-stuff because he told me they were all out of Lunarglides 3 and had them on backorder. I know however that the Lunarglide 3 is set to be released on August 1st.
It seemed kinda odd to me that they would recommend me a running shoe that hasn't even been released yet. I mean, that shoe seems perfectly good to me, but when a stores that uses its running-experience as a main selling point recommends me a shoe that they possibly can't have experience with, I'll think twice. I will try to pay a visit to the Running Centre in Leuven in the near future and ask for a second opinion there.
When I got home from my bikeride, I took the train to Antwerp for a crossfit training.
Apart from the usual warmup, we did:
- pistols
- shoulder presses up to the maximum weight you could do 5 reps with.
- 5 sets of 5 shoulder presses with 40kg and 5 pull-ups, 90 seconds of rest in-between sets.
- waiter's walk with 16kg kettlebell
- farmer's walk with 16kg kettlebell
- tabata's: 4x 40 seconds of ropejumping, 20 seconds of rest in-between.
At night I chilled in a sauna centre for a couple of hours. It is a resting day after all...

Here is an interview with the designer of the Nike Lunarglide+ 3:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day Eight: 19km

Had to run 18 kilometres today. Last weekend Johan advised me to try and run in the woods or park or on anything softer than the concrete I usually run on. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of changing my routes: I like to run to the channel, run next to it until I'm halfway and then turn around and run back home. I don't have to worry about the distance (I hate when I arrive back in my street and my run is still a couple kilometres short so I have to run around the block like an idiot), I don't have to plan my route and worry about where I'm gonna end up.
Anyway, fact is that I will do whatever Johan tells me to do, so I started out in a different direction and ran past the movie theatre, to the Hasselt University, turned around and ran a couple of kilometres back to the golf course. When I entered the golf course I had about 11 kilometres done so I just ran tours until I had to head back home. However I didn't know my way around there, so I had to turn back several times when I'd be on a dead end path and I had to find my way back. I don't like runing like this at all: when I need to think about finding my way, it's harder to focus on my pace and my breathing. But I have to admit the scenery was beautiful and the trail felt better than running on concrete. I also ended up running 19 kilometres instead of the 18 I was supposed to do, because I couldn't calculate my distance.
Other than all this however, my run felt fairly good. I think I maintained a steady pace throughout the 19 kilometres and afterwards I barely had to catch my breath. If my knees and shins wouldn't hurt, I felt like I could easily run 10 more kilometres.

Distance: 19.1 kilometres.
Duration: 1 hour 36 minutes and 5 seconds.
Pace: 5:01 per kilometre.
Date: Tuesday 19/07/11 at 08:13am

I listened to the recordings for the upcoming Gypsy LP and to the War Hungry LP twice. I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for that Gypsy LP to be released! The songs and vocal patterns are really catchy, but the music is suprisingly heavy at times. I have no idea when this LP is going to be released or who is gonna put it out though. I'd think it'd be on Six Feet Under, but then again these recordings have been finished for a while now and SFU is not the kind of label to sit a great record and wait with releasing it.
The War Hungry LP is definitely something else. I thought after their 'Return To Earth' EP it was pretty clear where they were taking their sound, but still they surprised me with some of the songs. I am definitely into this record though, and I have been listening to this on a very regular basis for the last week. Unlike a lot of people I've been hearing, I don't think this is the best record ever (sic), but it definitely appeals to me and I often want to listen to it.

In the afternoon today, I took a trip to Antwerp for a crossfit training. Today's session consisted out of a test that everyone in the club took: we had to as many circuits of 3 different exercises as we possibly could in 15 minutes. Every circuit consisted out of:
- 10 push-ups with hand-release
- 15 wall-balls with an 8kg medicine-ball (throwing out of squat position)
- 20 ketllebell swings with an 16kg kettlebell
I kinda underestimated the heaviness of these excercises and started out rather fast, but after a couple of rounds I had to slow down. I ended up finishing 7 circuits and made it 2/3 into the last circuit. Considering that the club-record was 9 rounds, I guess I did kinda alright but I was exhausted and I feel like my heartbeat still hasn't found its normal pace as I type this.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day Seven: Resting Day

Even though I worked for 12 hours straight, today was a rest day and I feel like I needed it a lot. However, my fixed gear bike that's been in the works for a couple of months was finally finished over the weekend, so when I got home I just had go for a ride.
I wanted to see if in the future I would be able to go to work by bike, so I decided to try out part of the way to the city I work in. According to Google Maps it would be a good 21 kilometres from Hasselt to Beringen, if I'd ride next to the channel, and as I wrote on here before, I love running next to the channel so cycling next to it would be cool too, but I didn't know whether you can follow it all the way up to Beringen by bike. So just to check it out I rode the first 12 kilometres and then I turned around because it was getting dark. I did the entire 24 kilometres in little over an hour. I have no idea what a decent time is when riding a bike, but considering it's a fixed gear I guess that's alright.
Listened to Helmet 'in the meantime' on repeat for the entire ride. Such a good record.