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Really, I Do Hate It

In case anyone has forgotten, I hate running. This morning was cold (4°) and I would much rather have been doing one of a thousand other things. No special impediments (except the air temperature, I suppose), and another mile in 10:13. This begins to look like a plateau.


Not quite as chilly as Wednesday, but my breathing was ragged and my quads were reluctant. I got off to a brisk pace that I had to ratchet down as I ran, to the point that my last quarter mile was largely just a slow jog (aopart from picking up my pace at the corner of Hurst and James). Overall, another day at 10:13 — indeed, a few hundredths of a second faster than Wednesday.

Mieux Encore

The weather outside was foggy, chilly (0°), and quiet, apart from my wheezing and the jingle of my keys in my pocket. I wasn’t expecting much, but when I staggered home I had shaved another ten seconds off my morning run; this morning’s mile was 10:13. Three weeks ago I was pushing to break eleven minutes.

The other day I noticed someone who was starting over at running, who was pleased for their first mile to come in at 13 minutes. I note this (a) to congratulate them for the discipline of running, and (b) to note that when I started I was running about thirteen-minute miles. I won’t say running gets better, but the times do.

Mieux Sauter

This morning I was (as usual) casting about for excuses to avoid running, and the best I could come up with was a generally unsettled feeling in my stomach, and of course my general disinclination to run.

At about two-thirds of my mile, though, my legs were feeling limber and I wasn’t entirely winded, so I shook loose and took two or three actual running steps*, the kind I see other people doing and have not yet myself been able to accomplish. Not, that is, till this morning! Now, that used up so much energy and oxygen that I couldn’t keep up my usual pace thereafter, much less the springy running pace I had just attained — but a few real running steps is more than I had been able to reach up to now. And taking even just a few running steps improved my overall time to 10:24, a nice step forward.

Still plenty of work to do on my breathing/oxygenation — I’m the world’s gasping-est runner — but I do see progress, and that’s enough for me to continue running despite my deep visceral repulsion from this exercise.

* By ‘running’ here I mean that sort of step wherein your thigh rises above my typical jogging-y angle (just a little different from a walking step, only taken a bit faster).

No ‘Re-’ Title

The weather this morning was more chilly than Sunday; I rolled my ankle slightly at the elbow of James Street, and my breathing was laboured, my legs felt heavy. I felt more like breaking stride at some point than I have in weeks. Thus I expected that my time today would turn sharply to the worse. As it turned out, my time was 10:36, so only a few seconds longer than last go.


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.