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I set a brisk pace this morning, and that was okay for almost a half mile, but my calves began to resist as I turned off the Iffley Road, so I dialled my pace down for the rest of the mile. Overall, it was a good morning, and my time was 10:30 (my timer will say 10:33, but I was having a hard time finding and hitting the Stop button). (Parenthetically, isn’t it odd that the very, very short interval that it takes you to find and hit the Stop button feels twice or three times as along as it actually takes?

Ok, make it 10:31.

Back At It

This morning’s run went fine. My breathing was rough, but I was pushing my pace, so I have to expect to get winded. The run took 10:33, which gets me back squarely at the sort of pace I ran when I was going all out and taking two or three breaks, so that’s definitely progress.

Endorsement, No Declared Interest

Adele E. Goldberg’s Explain Me This provides further evidence that scholars in biblical interpretation, especially but not exclusively those who pay attention to hermeneutics, should keep at least one toe in the waters of linguistics and semantics. Her index includes only passing reference to names that a few biblicists would recognise as pertinent to their work (Austin, Wittgenstein, Halliday, et al.), so most of my colleagues would have no immediate reason to acquaint themselves with her work — but practically every page touches on aspects of the actual work that biblical specialists conduct.

My strongest recommendation (no specific interest, though the Amazon link would give me a kickback).

Grief, Behaviour, Criticism

In the aftermath of the cataclysmic massacre in Christchurch, several reports have called attention to groups of people performing a haka to express sorrow, solidarity, frustration, and various other powerful affects. This raises a variety of noteworthy topics for reflection (cultural appropriation and exoticising/affect tourism, for starters), but this morning I’m moved to raise the question of the ways a haka appears in British (and American?) journalism to the ways other expressions of ritualised affect might be reported. A procession and requiem Mass, for instance, is a marginal phenomenon in neoliberal, post-Christendom England — not unheard of, not exotic, but nonetheless something most of the audience would perceive to be done by a them rather than an us. What other social constructions of ritualised affect (public wailing) might appear in such contexts, and how are these reported and received? What sorts of derision, appreciation, curiosity, dismissal emerge from which social constituencies?


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.

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.