Archive for July, 2008

Week 9 – Competitive postmodernism

July 25, 2008

This week:

Weight: Finally broken the 80kg barrier (hurrah!) at 79kg (target: 73kg); Miles run so far this week: 19.23
Total funds raised now over £100 – hurrah and thanks: £128.21 (including Gift Aid) Only £871.79 to go.
Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 99

No, the title of this post is is not a new Olympic event. Although now i’ve written it down… I can see the possibilities.

Competitive Postmodernism could run parallel to the actual events and at the end of the Olympic Games medals would be given for the most postmodern, or meta narrative, performance. A clear favourite for the 2008 Gold is obviously Paula Radcliffe because she may not even start a running event at the 2008 games, let alone fail to finish or lose! Kelly Sotherton, British Heptathlon “medal hope” could give herself a better chance of a competitive postmodernism medal by pulling out of the heptathlon altogether and taking part in the javelin, historically her worst event. She could lose the javelin spectacularly, but give a knowing shrug to the cameras and storm the competitive postmodernism event. Or maybe a synchronised swimming team could do a routine which is about what it is like to be a synchronised swimmer in a team at the Olympics, somehow representing this through the medium of underwater dance/mime.

However, I digress as this is not what I originally meant by Competitive Postmodernism. It was meant to be a witty and clever (postmodern) synthesis of my last two posts. The reason being that my run yesterday (5.49 am; 5.02 miles; Time: 50:14.31; pace: 10.00/mile) was slower than my previous five mile run. And I thought, “Oh no, how disappointing that I will have to write in my blog that I have slowed down. How embarrassing to share this with my seven loyal readers”. Then I found out that last week’s posting had only five views, so my loyal readership has dropped as well!

So on this morning’s run (5.50 am; 4.90 miles; time: 47:28.56; pace 9.41/mile) I deliberately tried to go faster so that I could write something which looked better on the blog – and I did run faster! And maybe there will be more readers this week because… err …I ran faster.

However, I am in danger of disappearing up my own blog as it were, and making the blog more important than the running/marathon. This could then lead to some serious self analysis about why am I running this marathon? Am I running it to show off in my blog? Well, no. But maybe I should write more about running and the NCT, since that is sort of what this is about, rather than posting about posting. Hmm. I shall have to think about this.

As an additional postscript to the postmodernism thing. I was struck by the fact that all the platform signs on the London Overground (formerly Silverlink (formerly North London Line)) via which I travel to work, have got the words “temporary sign” written on them. (If you follow the link from “temporary sign” back there you will find a whole document of guidance for temporary signage on the overground from The Mayor of London but it doesn’t seem to explain why.) The signs look good to me. Pretty sturdy. I could imagine getting used to them. And I wouldn’t have thought about them being only temporary unless they pointed it out themselves.

This poses many interesting questions about the signs themselves and indeed the nature of signs. How temporary are they? Will the permanent signs indicate that they are “permanent signs”? Aren’t all signs temporary (in the long term) when it comes down to it? So is it pointless to call any sign anything other than temporary? Discuss.

Today’s haiku:

I can only write
a temporary haiku
this week. Like the signs…


Week 8 – Postmodernism

July 18, 2008

This week:

Weight: Up one kilo! (What?) at 81kg (target: 73kg); Miles run so far this week: 17.63
Total funds raised: £89.74 (including Gift Aid) Only £910.26 to go.
Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 106

One of the many strands of what I understand to be the theories/non-theories of postmodernism is that of the self-referential work or art. Art or literature which is essentially about itself as a work of art. Stories about authors struggling to write a story. TV shows about actors and writers working on TV shows with real actors playing “themselves”. So, probably not strictly speaking postmodern but interesting and linked, a neatly constructed pile of bricks becomes a work of art when an artist arranges the bricks and says they are art and the bricks are shown as art in an art gallery.

And this week my running blog is heavily influenced by this concept.

Last week my blog was very positive and upbeat about my running and prospects for a successful marathon in November. So while I was out doing my run on Sunday (8.15 am, 9.40 miles in 1 hour, 35 minutes and 42 seconds at 10.11 minutes per mile and an average heart rate of 148 bpm burning approximately 1060 calories – or a whopping 1091g of turtle meat! (look at that – a reference to those in the know to an earlier posting in this blog about the calorific values of various kinds of meat)) I found myself thinking about my positive blog last week and it helped me to run further than I have for some time. My blog inspired me. So this week my blog is about how great it is to be writing a blog which helps me to run which gives me material to write my blog.

And i have some very exciting statistics about my blog as well. For example:

Top Posts are:

  1. About Allan, 51 views
  2. Weeks 6 and 7 (already!) – competitiveness, 7 views
  3. Weeks 4 and 5 – pain, 5 views

so between weeks 4&5 and weeks 6&7 I had a 40% increase in readership (possibly). A readership uplift figure that The Guardian would kill for, I think you will agree.

And Monday 14 July, Bastille Day, was the busiest day on my blog so far with an amazing 47 views! I don’t think that the blog traffic and Bastille Day are related but I could be wrong.

So to sum up. My blog is helping me to be better at running which will I hope make the blog better and maintain your interest for 106 days more to see whether I run this marathon thing!

Todays poem will come as no surprise:

haikus are poems
of seventeen syllables
as is this haiku.

Thanks for reading.

Weeks 6 and 7 (already!) – competitiveness

July 11, 2008

This week:

Weight: stuck at 80kg (target: 73kg); Miles run so far this week: 15.01

Total funds raised: £76.92 (including Gift Aid!) Hurrah! Only £923.08 to go.

Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.

Days to go to the New York Marathon: 114 (which is a lot less than it looks)

On my run this morning (5,47 am; 4.93 miles; 47minutes 31.33 seconds; 9 minutes & 39 seconds per mile – sorry still no maps and graphs for you because i am just plain lazy) I overtook a man who was running with his dog. He was taller and thinner than me, and looked like he could have been younger than me. As Dr Seuss said, “This may not seem very important, I know. But it is, and that’s why I’m bothering telling you so.”

I know there has been some impatience among my extensive cult following of four avid readers because it has taken so long for me to write this posting. But I was finding it difficult to know what to write. I was feeling a bit stuck, as it were. I am the same weight, still running the same distances in my “long” runs, still in pain!

But overtaking that man this morning (I know: he might be recovering from injury or he might have been running 15 miles this morning or his dog may be old and he run’s at the fastest pace his dog can do or because it was so blinking early in the morning) has changed that. Because I might just be faster than him because I overtook him.

What he saw!

What he saw!

So this is how I looked to him! Ha ha, eat my dust you young whippersnapper as TJ Hooker (probably) said to his young rookie partner at least once per episode!

And the only people I have overtaken while I’ve been running recently have been out for a gentle stroll. So this marks a change.

I have been feeling less pain in my thigh in the last few days and had another very good (and this time less painful) session with Chris at BodyLab. And I have had a few more of those moments while running when I have thought I can actually do this marathon, and it doesn’t matter if it takes me a long time. And I am actually starting to enjoy my running again. Hurrah!

And I got a second sponsor on my justgiving page. Hurrah!

And I got my first comment on my blog from a fellow first time NY marathon runner and NCT Student Antenatal Teacher. Hurrah!

So it is all feeling like it is going in the right direction. Hurrah!

In honour of this change, although I do like the discipline of the haiku’s poetic form, I will write today’s poem in the style of Dr Seuss

The news just came in from the heath at hampstead
That RunAllanRun,
has a very big head.
RunAllanRun runs all puffed up with pride

For a runner who is younger and much, much less wide
Is slower, so much slower, he (probably) ran home and cried!
While RunAllanRun has a prideful run stride!