Lo, He Comes with Run and Walking

Not as cold as last week (somewhat to my surprise, since yesterday was freezing). This week my breathing held me back; my legs — though by no means very strong — held up pretty well, but I was gasping throughout.

By the way, both of the last two weeks I made it to the bus stop past Henley St before I broke stride.

Fortnight, Two Weeks’ Results

Last week I neglected to post my result — I was in a bit of a rush to get to Morning Prayer, and I was frustrated by how the run felt (my breath was shallow, still, and my legs were leaden). Last week I ran my mile in 11:42, at about the best I have done in this experiment.

This week I didn’t break stride until I’d run four blocks (by far the best I’ve done — last week I barely made it three blocks) and didn’t feel too bad all along, and I managed the last block on the run without breaking stride. In the end I ran my mile in 11:22, a very encouraging time indeed.

What, Fifth? Fourth?

This morning was a neat 12:00 mile. Since I started at thirteen minutes a few weeks ago, I figure that by next October I’ll be running three-minute miles.

My wind is improving, but is still a big obstacle to really running. This morning, my knees were stiff, a bit sore, and generally reluctant to help me move along. Still, I’m making progress.

Another Week, Another Mile

I didn’t start the timer on my phone correctly, so I don’t know how long I took this morning, but I’ll call it 12:15 ’cos I’m moderately sure I did better than last week.

As I went, I pondered how my various components were handling this experience. I was looking for a body part to blame — as if it would be most interesting if I were generally fit, with the exception of this or that bit). I thought ‘Well, I’m easily winded, so limited lung functioning might be the problem’; but then I observed that my quads were not doing a great job of lifting my legs, and my right hamstring started sending me gentle warning messages, and even my calves and feet were not jolly contributors to the overall running experience. After thinking it over for a few seconds, I reached the startling conclusion that I am just plain out of shape. Which is, after all, the reason I started run-walking a few weeks ago in the first place.

Historicising

One of the cliches of twentieth-century theological reading of Scripture was that radical critics ween’t critical enough. I’ve seen that most often as an interrogation of the critics’ historical discernment — ‘You can’t say that miracles are impossible, because miracles are reported even today. You need to criticise your own modernist presumption that miracles can’t be historically true.’

I’m generally ready to poke biblical modernism, but i would take the ‘not critical enough’ gesture in a different direction. That is, the prevalent historical interpretive discourse persists in treating the most recent historical interpretations as self-evidently ‘true’ or ‘correct’. But if we have any historical awareness at all, we recognise that today’s self-evidently true conclusions are tomorrow’s risibly out-dated error. The biblical interpretation industry invests contemporary historical discernment with an authority incommensurate with its inevitable transience. Miracle stories may be accurate or not, but the restless necessity that interpretive judgement keep changing is a matter that any casual observer can verify.

Week Three

Same mile, same run/walk, same 12:35 as last week.
My thigh muscles felt weaker than last week, and my legs were leaden. I actually felt like running on Wednesday morning, but gave it a miss; this morning I was less motivated, and the run was hard.

Another Step

(A) I am not a runner. This is why I regularly begin my morning by skipping rope for ten minutes or so — to get my blood circulating, keep my breath capacity at least marginally satisfactory, and so on.

(B) This morning I ran/walked a mile in thirteen minutes. Not exactly Roger Bannister, but it’s a start.