Showing posts from December, 2012

Suzy Favor Hamilton -- An Attempt to Understand

It's with more than a bit of hesitation that I offer some thoughts on the news of the day in the running world. The tendency to analyze the lives of people we do not know seems to me to be one of the most odious tendencies in contemporary culture -- it reduces lives which are always more complex than they seem and usually more incomprehensible than we would like to admit to simple and usually quite stupid narratives.

But I guess at a certain point, famous people are reduced to simple narratives. This is the price of fame.

Before you read this, I'd encourage you to read this piece written by Brooks Johnson, "But for the gRACE OF GOD." He actually knew Suzy as a person and athlete.

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"Fear? If I have gained anything at all by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear."
--J. P. Sartre

Can you imagine what it takes to be the top runner in the country? To stand on the line and beat all comers? To not just be good, but to be the best? What…

Hansons' Marathon Method and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning -- the two aspects of marathon training

On the message boards at RunningAhead, there have been a ton of recent threads about the new Hanson's Marathon Method, most of them comparing it with Pfitz' "old reliable" Advanced Marathoning. One of the smartest posters on the board (the guy solves Rubik's Cubes while marathoning) bhearn put together a comparison of the different marathon approaches that is truly excellent. If you are looking to get more intelligent about your marathon training, bhearn's summary of the similarities and differences in these two fundamentally sound approaches wouldn't be the worst place to start.

The most interesting aspect of bhearn's analysis is his comparison of the total mileage done at various intensities in the two plans over the course of a training cycle. He breaks it down in terms of the classic physiological moments of VO2max, Lactic Threshold, and MP (sometimes called Aerobic Threshold.) I am stealing his chart and pasting it below:


Two Takes on the Newtown Tragedy

It seems to me that there have been two primary types of reactions to this week's school shooting in Newtown as people struggle to make sense of this awful event. The first is a secular reaction: many people look to make sense of it in terms of certain social, cultural, or psychological problems. The cause of the massacre is our access to and infatuation with guns. Or perhaps it was a case of a mental illness inappropriately diagnosed and dealt with. This sort of explanation of the event turns us to re-examine our failures as a society and leads us to political debates about how to restructure society or certain policies in order to eliminate or reduce the chance of this happening again.

The second sort of reaction is a religious reaction. I have seen just as many people speaking about this event as an instance of pure evil, as evidence of our fallen condition, and of the original sin that will always plague humanity. The cause of the massacre is explained as a consequence of huma…

Baby News, and Some Reflections on Equality

First off, apologies for the delay in posting. I have a good excuse, maybe the best excuse, as my daughter was born a little over two weeks ago. Since then I've been too caught up in life to reflect on it. I have been able to get out for a few runs, and man is it nice.

 One of my philosophical friends who is a mother herself, sent me this John Dewey quote when she heard of our good news, which I thought was nice:

"A baby in the family is equal with others, not because of some antecedent and structural quality which is the same as that of others, but in so far as his needs for care and development are attended to without being sacrificed to the superior strength, possessions and matured abilities of others. Equality does not signify that kind of mathematical or physical equivalence in virtue of which any one element may be substituted for another. It denotes effective regard for whatever is distinctive and unique in each, irrespective of physical and psychological inequalities…