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December 30, 2006

days

Last night while flipping channels on TV, we stumbled upon a program about Ray Davies featuring conversations with various muscians and with Ray Davies himself. I usually have little patience for these shows, even when they're about people I really, really like (like Ray Davies), but this was very good. It sounds funny but I was struck by how well he's aged. In the interviews he came off not as a burntout artiste or wouldabeen/aintnomore hero or inarticulate musical flake, but as a lovely, lovely grownup man who had - and still has - the ability to write great songs. He talked a little about "Days," which I hadn't thought about in a very long time. What a gorgeous song. How paralyzingly sad those lyrics are. One of my old bands used to try cover it, and thinking back I wonder how we could sing it without crying ourselves. I guess we were too young, or not enough bad stuff ahd happened to us yet. Of the three of us, one is dead, one's very ill, and the third has been haunted by that song since last night. All the way to bed, driving to the race this morning an hour away (in between the cracks of very loud Tall Dwarfs music), all the way back home, even after a nap. The trouble with good melodies is that they stay in your head. They're supposed to. I suspect this'll be with me a little while.

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December 24, 2006

oh yes, I also run

Things you might not know about me from reading this blog lately:

1) I have a blog
2) I also run

I've been on school vacation the past two glorious school-vacation weeks, and I still have a bit over one more glorious school-vacation week left. I've spent this glorious time doing some small household projects, cooking, reading, running, and lots and lots of nothing. I love it. All my old IT jobs (well, most of them) offered a couple weeks off per year, but you could never use big chunks of it because of changing deadlines, or hurricane season, or the fact that there was no one to cover for you or you didn't trust the person who could, and anyway you'd have such a big backlog of crap waiting for you after vacation that it just wasn't worth it. This here is just guilt-free vacation, like (I imagine) Europeans and Australians and New Zealanders and many other non-Americans get. Wow.

So after the nothing, and after the reading, there's been running. McMarathon is two weeks away. I'm not doing much of a taper because I'd like to run another marathon in February. So here's this past week:

M: 8mi (8:40)
T: 12mi (7:42) incl 5mi tempo interrupted by careless drivers
W: 10.27 (8:05)
R: 15mi (7:41) progression, last 4@6:57
F: 9.73mi (8:44) incl 14x30s strides
Sa: 7.6mi (8:44)
Su: 17mi (7:48)

total: 79.6 miles

Winter still hasn't arrived yet in west central Florida. For that matter, autumn hasn't either. Early-morning temperatures have been hovering around 68F, and RH is usually around 85, except when it's raining.

Tuesday's tempo was interrupted twice by drivers who were either oblivious to me or very surprised to discover me directly in front of the car, about to become roadkill. After 4 miles and the second near-miss, I got rattled and jogged a half-mile, then tried to resume tempo pace and really struggled with it. Bleh.

Thursday's progression run was 3 warmup, 4@8:05 avg, 4@7:22 avg, 4@6:57 avg. Very happy with that.

For Sunday I'd planned (solo) 18 w/13 @ MP, but at the last minute someone requested I join her group's Sunday run in St Pete, about 25 miles away. The person is doing me a big favor (pacing me in a race) so I felt I couldn't refuse. As it turned out, the person didn't show up, so I spent the run between packs, drifting away from people, then regrouping at water stops, not really hitting any useful pace at all. Oh well, maybe I didn't really need an MP run 2 weeks out from the race. Yeah, that's it. Bleh.

Still, I feel a lot better than I usually do a couple weeks out from a race.

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December 14, 2006

Make it unforgettably great.

(the following spam was accompanied by an image named pushoutemasculate.JPG):

Trust The Computer. The Computer is your friend. Tubes, transistors, and transistors on integrated circuits can be used as the "storage" component of the stored-program architecture, using a circuit design known as a flip-flop, and indeed flip-flops are used for small amounts of very high-speed storage. However, few computer designs have used flip-flops for the bulk of their storage needs. Dare to be gorgeous and unique. But don't ever be cryptic or otherwise unfathomable. Make it unforgettably great.

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December 12, 2006

in search of Duncan Larkin

Again with the hiatus, but this time it was for a worthy cause: approximately a month ago, Duncan Larkin's RSS feed suddenly stopped showing new entries. I knew something had to be horribly wrong, and vowed to do whatever it took to find him. I'd pull out all the stops, spare no expense, follow every lead no matter where it took me. So today I was reading Chelle's latest blog entry and there it was, Duncan's new RSS feed address, yay! The search is over. I can live my life again.

That's mostly a load of shit, of course. I did wonder what happened to Duncan, and I did just finally stumble upon his new blog address today, but the reason it took me so long to do it (and the reason I haven't posted anything here in a while) is because school has been a lot like work! The past 4 weeks have been a blur of anatomy & physiology (how it's spozed to work) and pathology (what happens when it doesn't). The term ended last Friday and I made it out with very good grades, which ultimately don't matter at all. And now I have a very lovely 3 whole weeks of vacation, something which grownups rarely get and which I haven't had since, um, grad school.

Running has been slowly improving; the mileage is finally coming up and the workouts are going a bit better. I'm still Johnny (Janey) one-pace, but the one pace is coming down. I'm gradually shedding my race-phobia, and to prove it I ran a mediocre 10K Thanksgiving and a so-so half-marathon a couple of days ago and did not panic or die of shame or anxiety. I'm still planning on McMarathon in about 4 weeks, and against all logic I'm going to try for the same 3:10 I've tried for the past 3 marathons, when I was in better shape. What's the worst that could happen?

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