Posts Tagged ‘Postmodernism’

4 days to go – the (welcome?) return of postmodernism

October 27, 2009

Only four days until I run the New York Marathon.

I’ll just leave you with that thought for a second or two.

And here is a link to a map of the course so you can see where I will be running on Sunday.

Last week I wrote a couple of blogs about blogging. Which was , as I am sure will bring a tear to many of my long suffering readers’ eyes, in a way a return to last year’s interminable RunAllanRun topic of postmodernism and its relation amongst other things, to my blogging and running. “Interestingly” this was the most successful day of blogging this year (ever in fact) on my blog with an unprecedented 53% rise in traffic to the blog over the previous “busiest day”.

But if last week’s posts were postmodernist blogs, ie, “blogs about blogging”, then what does that make this  one which is “a blog about blogs about blogging”. Post-postmodernism already exists I think. So it would have to be “metapostmodernism” or “superpostmodernism” or “intrapostmodernism”, perhaps. (Or “pointless waste of space”, I hear you cry.)

I would also like to point out that there has been a bit of a flurry of activity in the sponsorship area too. Some of this is down to it being pay day yesterday, I am sure. But I would like to say a big thank you to the small and very generous group of people who have sponsored me so far. If you would like to join this elite, happy and much loved gang, then just visit my just giving page here.

Running: well I did 35 miles in the last week – including home from work twice and a 15 mile run on Sunday. None of it what I could call “easy” but not hell either. So I am feeling quite perky about the marathon if a little terrified as well.

And there have been so many good wishes from people about the running which is great – thank you. 

It is interesting that the world is split into those who run and those who don’t. (There are also many sub groups within each and it is possible to switch between the two main groups as well.) So I have had people who have said, “How far is the New York Marathon?” with people from the “those who don’t” group. And very detailed conversations about training and mileage with people from the “those who do” group.  In fact I recently had a meeting with a potential client where I spent a very pleasant half hour over lunch talking about marathon training with the client (one of “those who do”) – who is also running their first marathon next year – while the rest of the people there (“those who don’t”) chatted amongst themsleves about ice cream or fishing or something.

But what has been wonderful is that everyone from both groups and whatever their running experience and achievements has been very supportive to what I am doing. Which is really helpful for me. So thank you all. 

And lucky me. I am going to run the flipping New York Marathon on Sunday!

So I am off to New York tomorrow. Yikes! I will keep blogging, if I can, so keep watching.

Today’s haiku:

Four days till the race
I am very nervous now
But also smiling.

Weeks 12, 13 & 14 – Holiday

August 31, 2008

This week:
Weight:down 2kg at 76kg! (target: 73kg); Miles run since I last wrote: 101.41!
Total funds raised exactly the same: £217.82 (including Gift Aid) Only £782.18 to go.  Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 62 (frighteningly few!).

Apologies to my loyal readership (which if the facebook group is to be believed, numbers 24 people!) for the long delay since my last posting but I have been on holiday.  And I had a lovely time despite the weather, thank you for asking. I was in Cornwall (or Kernow, as  it is spelled in Cornish) and decided not to spend any time in the interweb cafe in Bude. I was too busy enjoying myself to write about enjoying myself (not very postmodern of me, I know!).

Anyway, three weeks is a long time. Importantly I have done a lot of running. As you can see above, in the three weeks I have done 101 miles (162.554km)! That is 33.803 miles (54.3958km) per week on average. Which is a lot more than I was doing.  The reason is I have been following “The Murakami Method” as I call it. Which is to run six days a week, with a longer and longer run once a week (up to 14 miles/22.503 km today). And while I was away I was running up some pretty steep Cornish (Kernowish?) hills!  I imagined that running up these hills would help me run faster and longer when I got back to the flatter running routes of north London. (But it seems not!)

And thanks to the fantastically seasonal rainfall, they were slippery hills too.  Here is me (left) on one of the slippery hills (walking rather than running that day)

Summer 2008 in Cornwall!

Summer 2008 in Cornwall!

Note wooly hat and rainwear!  So I think there are two questions for Kernow (Cornwall): why so hilly, Kernow? why so wet this year, Kernow?
Here is another picture of me with a giant mushroom. Or is it a toadstool?
Me with big mushroom

Me (left) with big mushroom

I will leave you to make up your own fun guy joke.
Anyway, this is all very interesting, I’m sure. But I have been away for three weeks and run and run and there has been absolutely no increase in funds raised which is pretty poor.  This is, I assume, because I have not been putting in the hours blogging, so readership loses interest, finds another blog about training for a marathon, gives money to different fundraiser! I think it goes back to the marketing thing again: I have to keep the blog posts flowing to keep people’s interest. No pressure then, given that I also have to run 26.2 miles (42km) in two months!
Oh, and by the way, I didn’t see a single minute of the Olympics.  But from what I heard and read there was plenty to fill a competitive postmodernism event (see earlier post). Russia & Georgia kept on meeting each other in competition while being simultaneously at war. Paula and Kelly both did me proud by losing splendidly and as one would have scripted it. But Team GB overall seemed to surprise everyone by being genuinely quite good without the need for any irony at all! So in honour of them an irony free haiku:
I had fun running
on holiday in Kernow
but did no blogging!
Back to work tomorrow, and more regular blogging.

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.