Showing posts from December, 2016

wounds, talent

When it was 10F last week, I was really careful to avoid the ice. My hair froze. I could not feel my face. But just as I was almost home, I fell, and not because I wasn't looking but because I was tripped. At first, it seemed too bizarre to be true, but what can I say. Moving on.
Though my knees are still oozing, one still swelling up at will; though there's nothing like being seen by colleagues limping down a set of stairs, or managing the scab-related litany (it's no longer Halloween to parade it!), it seems like I am beginning to get something out of this experience. Like, use out of my Mueller jumper's knee strap as of my return to running yesterday. But, seriously: I gained some time.
And now I sit at this computer and write, as fireworks are already going off - and will do so through the second new year in January. I am rarely a fan, but with my newly found time as I read a poem by Pindar, I found the fireworks perfect accompaniment to his paeans of physical glor…

till I should jump peninsulas

Could I but ride indefinite  (...) And dwell a little everywhere, (...) Or better run away With no police to follow, Or chase me if they do,
Till I should jump peninsulas — Emily Dickinson, XX
Today it snowed. Tomorrow I begin marathon training, and thanks to help from kind folks at the Runner's World forum, picked a plan. It sounds so competent to write that: "pick a plan".
I remember this time last year, jumping into a Higdon plan late, amping up its miles, and all the winter runs with the funny encounters typical of where I live now: the most frequent being misted greetings exchanged with a certain kind of pensioner who goes out in inclement weather, usually so glad to see someone else outside. Then, at the tip of spring, the marathon came, and although no Pheidippides, on completing it I felt like all those miles actually built a distance between me and what was ailing me. Like I'd loosened a noose.
All those constricting, suffocating situations have nothing on me when…


Was how I felt when I watched Jamil Coury's footage of Zach Miller (NF SF Endurance 2016). And also interested that it reflected how life can feel like sometimes: the sheer effort of will that is pushing through; the amount of effort that can be required just to make that "extra minute", or, in life terms, to make it to that next stepping stone.
I admit that watching Zach, it occurred to me that this was not an example of sprezzatura, which I guess I am aware of because that is something I am always wishing for (and also as a former asthmatic, kind of aware of my own heavy breathing which especially seems to last well into the first 10k of my runs). I wonder if I am fascinated by the breathing because I realise that even at the elite level, there are runners whose expressiveness betrays the earnestness of their endeavours. I learned from a Ginger Runner interview with Zach that he is a heavy breather - and find that I am rethinking my understanding of running style, even…


Not even a few days ago, my feet were tracing the (cement) path I used to run in the 1990's, up to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. I was only back for a tiny number of days, but the first evening in, jet-lagged to the core (swollen ankles, punchy outlook), my body took me up to the Peak. It had been almost two decades since I'd been back, and though I could not visualise the entire road I needed to follow to get to the Peak, it was like my body did remember it - what a bizarre feeling that was. And though I was not dressed to run, I sped-hiked it up the 550-some meter elevation until suddenly, along the way, views of the loud-fairy-light-city sprang up between the trees, getting more and more panoramic. Also, I remembered so clearly some turns of that path, and where the little temples were - and the smell of the greenery surprised my mind with its familiarity. It seemed like the only way to truly be back in the city where I grew up was for me to sweat onto it, to be reunited in t…