All posts by AKMA


It was the breathing this morning — ragged and desperate — partly (I expect) because it’s colder this morning, and partly because I set a more demanding pace for myself. This reminded me how little I like running. Still, it had a positive result, as I pushed my mile (without break) time back down to 10:39. I don’t think I’ve combined a full-mile run with that good a time, and I don’t care to look back at previous times to check. However you slice it, it’s a favourable sign about increasing fitness, and as much as I dislike running, being more fit balances that out.

First Day of Vac

I think I ought to be able to publish my annotations to other people’s works as [non-]independent works. I imagine the posthumous publication of The Collected Post-It Notes of A. K. M. Adam, in thirteen volumes.

On a more serious note, it’s only 14:30 on the first day of the Easter vac, and I’ve already done more academic thinking than in the whole term up to now. I so crave this liberty, this range of possibility; and it’s so exciting to resuscitate my capacity to do it.

Truth, Falsity, and Making Oneself Understood

In Rowan Williams’s The Edge of Words, he cites George Steiner to the effect that modern accounts of truth provide little insight into falsity (p 45). I’m open guard when I see scholars expressing themselves about language and truth and falsity for a variety of reasons (very greatly as I respect Williams, and much as I acknowledge Steiner to be respected by people wiser than I). Perhaps the most important such reason involves my scepticism that we can know enough about ‘truth’ to credential us to deploy it as an analytic implement, but that goes hand-in-hand with scepticism that ‘falsehood’ itself illuminates much about the workings of language.

But here’s another basis for doubting the usefulness of this line of reasoning: the vast preponderance of the ways we use language don’t engage the binary of ‘truth or falsity’ in any but the most angential ways, and studying the was that language typically works in the overwhelming majority of uses based on the ways it works in certain unusual puzzling cases gets the cart so far ahead of the horse that they’re barely connected. Moreover, and especially, foregrounding forced binaries such as ‘truth vs falsity’ distracts us from giving an account of the ways people use language to get on among one another, wherein ontological problems simply don’t (in the idiom) signify.

Against the Wind

Most aspects of this morning’s run were agreeable enough — no part of my body felt achy or unresponsive, my breathing was OK — but it’s very windy this morning, and at times the head wind practically stopped me in my tracks. I kept my stride for the whole run, though, which makes six in a row, and the time was 11:04 (could well have been under eleven minutes on a calm day).

It looks as though I havenb’t updated for several runs, though I thought I had. Just for the record, I ran about an 11:10 on Sunday, and we had a spell of bad weather for the previous three running days. On the whole, the strictly-winter days have been better for running than the transition-to-spring rainy, chilly mornings we’ve been having.


I missed several days’ running due to weather, health, and general wear and tear on my well-being. This was Eighth Week, and a variety of academic debts came due at the same time that I had particular errands and teaching obligations.

But most of those have passed, and this morning arrived grey and rainy, and a morning run had to happen. I made the whole mile run again without breaking stride — that’s five in a row — though my relative inaction (only, what? three runs in the last month or so) showed in my short stride and slow pace. No desperate physiological or pulmonary problems, though, so my 11:17 was predictable and not an especially bad sign. Anyone who’s been reading here will know that improvement should come moderately soon once my timetable settles in. Moreover…

(Had been left unfinished last week.)


Back to the mile. My legs were a little stiff, a little weak, but I made the whole mile (that’s three in a row, something that will quickly become routine, but for now still feels like a miracle). My time was just 11:10, but it was an uninterrupted mile and that’s my pride.


I felt queasy and aches yesterday, so I took things easy and went to bed early. When I woke up this morning, I felt better but not great; still, I didn’t want to lose ground after my triumphant mile on Wednesday, so before I could begin perseverating and eventually just giving up, I started out for my morning run.

I made it all the way ‘round the mile again, but (as it turns out) had not hit the ‘Start’ button effectively, so I don’t have a time. I’ll call it 11:03, ten seconds slower than Wednesday, since it’s hard for me to imagine I went any faster.


It didn’t feel like much of anything, but this morning I set out to run my mile, and (as it turns out) I just didn’t stop. I mean, I stopped after a mile — I’m not crazy — but I didn’t break stride for the whole mile.

My knees gave grudging cooperation; my breathing was the usual, not greater, not gasping; but I didn’t hit a point such that I felt I had to leave running in favour of a few steps walking forward. I noticed, after I got to Bullingdon Street, that I was almost home, and there e=was really no need to stop before I got there. Amazing.

This has been one of my goals since I started running these many months ago: to set out, run a mile, and be done with it. I have reached my goal. Now,m to make sure I can do it more than just this time, and to begin whittling down my time — which was 10:53 this morning, nothing special, but I didn’t break stride once. The whole way.


As (relatively) easy as Wednesday’s mile was, this morning’s was unpleasant. My legs and torso were heavy, my breathing was desperate, and it was sheer bloody-mindedness that enabled me to get as far as Leopold Street for my break-stride (still only one, though). Time was 11:03, which may suggest that I set too ambitious a stride early and burned out — so that my final time wasn’t that much worse than usual, but the experience of running was more frustrating.


The weather cooperated this morning, so I made my circuit as usual, with the same time as my last mile (10:51). The encouraging news came as I pushed my break-stride point to Henley Street — getting closer and closer to making the complete circuit without stopping. Breathing and body felt all right, which was reassuring.