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Showing posts from February, 2012

From Adorno to Iten, Some Scattered Thoughts

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I can't seem to settle on a topic today, so here are four quick things I've been thinking about.

1) I ran a really nice workout today. For the first time in a while, I didn't run it solo. I ran 800s with a buddy, and we traded the lead on each interval. After the 800s, we ran some 200s, and I surprised myself by finding some speed in these older legs, hitting 28s on a couple. The track is public, and there were some kids out playing soccer watching us old guys hammer around the track. One of them, a 16 year old, jumped in and tried to hang for one lap of one of the 800s, and he only kept contact for about 100 meters. I guess that made me appreciate the gift of being fast and strong.


2) I have been reading some Adorno, just snatches here and there from Negative Dialectics. He's good for a pragmatist like me to read, because he reminds us that the task of a philosopher is not always to connect with culture; sometimes we have a duty to be misunderstood--especially when do…

Running as Intimacy

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"Modern man is well aware of the obvious forms of repression and social affliction. Poverty, prejudice, and violence take their daily toll. We are less aware, however, of more subtle forms of dehumanization, namely, those brought on by the erosion of a genuinely human environment in aesthetic terms. ... We refer here not to the world of art but to the drama of our doing, undoing, celebrating, and suffering that comprises the rhythm of everyday ordinary living. Too often this rhythm is submerged in a bland environment, rendering us insensitive to differences, horizons, and crises. In time, we drift through life without variety or intimacy."
--John McDermott, "Feeling as Insight"

McDermott wrote these words in 1973, three years before I was born. There are aspects of the expression of his idea that seem dated now. The notion of repression has fallen out of favor. We are perhaps more skeptical now of appeals to the "genuinely human," and it is even hard to im…

Confidence

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Last October, I promised that I would be smarter. Tired of feeling somewhat stagnant in my training and racing, with nothing much to lose since I hadn't been improving much, I decided to move away from the concentration on loads of easy mileage and tempos. You can read the linked post for details, but basically instead of thinking of my training in terms of maximizing work, I decided to think of it in terms of maximizing the right kinds of stimuli.

I also have been working with a coach to get some distance from my own training and basically give me the confidence I needed to trust my training, to back off at times and to push harder at the right moment.

Since then, I've been running less (50-60mpw, no runs longer than 10-12 miles) and doing different sorts of workouts, with an emphasis on practicing fast paces rather than the kind of heavy aerobic tempoing that I'd been doing in the past.

This training has worked well for me. I feel sharper and more race-ready when I get t…

Run hard, turn left.

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Sometimes it's simple. 




















Running as Romanticism

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"Many is the mirage I chased. Always I was overreaching myself. The oftener I touched reality, the harder I bounced back to the world of illusion, which is the name for everyday life. 'Experience! More experience!' I clamored.

"In a frantic effort to arrive at some kind of order, some tentative working program, I would sit down quietly now and then and spend long, long hours mapping out a plan of procedure. Plans, such as architects and engineers sweat over, were never my forte. But I could always visualize my dreams in a cosmogonic pattern. Though I could never formulate a plot I could balance and weigh opposing forces, characters, situations, events, distribute them in a sort of heavenly lay-out, always with plenty of space between, always with the certitude that there is no end, only worlds within worlds ad infinitum, and that wherever one left off one had created a world, a world finite, total, complete."
--Henry Miller, The Rosy Crucifixion II
Runners, in g…