Not quite the blizzard of 19-whatever, but interesting

My latest "Workout of the Week" for Podium Runner is similar to this one, but I think it's the tougher tougher of the two for most people even though it includes less hard (and easy) running overall, because the greater number of reps and quicker relative paces make it easy to blow up sometime during the 600 rep. This kind of workout is almost pointless unless you know your track capabilities to within at most about five seconds a mile. If you undershoot, the workout will be hard but not memorable in that way, while if you credit yourself with fitness you lack, you'll discover this without having to think too hard. It's been a while since I rattled anything like this off myself, but I just had two of my advisees bang it out, and one of those efforts was followed in short order by an 8:54 3,000-meter solo time trial that seemed to validate the parameters of the session.

I'm working on two other articles at the moment, one for Runner's World about an apparently popular breathing-modulation technique that is nothing more than (insert trite pun phrase, e.g., "hot air") and the other for Podium Runner about the wise interpretation of running data. For most of this week, I have been kind of waiting for these to finish themselves and occupying myself with other behavioral spasms and modest atrocities, such as setting up a Substack

I'm not intent so much on making meaningful amounts of money (I'm realistic) as on giving myself a more tangible reason to continue doing this, especially considering that most of my content related to the present is critical or analytical rather than personal (quick, give a rough description of my best track session in the last ten years). No outlet I can think of would run most of what I intend to dig into at the new spot even if the writing passed muster and was on-point; there are lots of reasons for this, but one is the presence of advertisers, although that probably pales in comparison to the general reactions editors would have to queries pertaining to dutiful hit pieces, especially when these hit at the editor's own publication. Anyway, if you don't know what Substack is and want to know more about my mission there, check it out. I'll still be blogging here about in-joke nonsense and things about New Hampshire only seven people get, and will be adding those as freebies to the Substack.

  • The title is a reference to the 5 or 6 inches of snow we got on Tuesday, two days after temps were in the mid-90s here. I seem to remember watching a baseball game in the mid-1990s not involving the then-new Colorado Rockies, and ESPN cut away to show snow sprinkling on Coors Field at around this time of year. "That looks like a whimsical, fucked-up place to live," I thought (or now can say I think that I thought), and set about making my way out here in a very indirect way.

  • Rather than comment on the images below, I'll let you unravel the mystery of this Strava offering all by yourself. If it has familiar echoes, that's no accident. The purple line in the last one represents cadence, but if you even need that as a hint, you're a gomer.

  • Life is unpleasant more often than is easily managed for most people I know right now. I have no more of an idea than anyone else about the  effects of COVID-19 on individual people's psychology, but I already mentioned losing a college friend in late June to suicide. More recently, guy I "got sober with" four years ago out here wound up taking a trip to Arizona with someone he just met, and he knew no one in Tuscon, and they were drunk, and it was going to go very badly from the outset, and when his companion decided to dump him on the streets or something, he wound up in a psychiatric floor, then somehow made it back here to die on a ventilator. He was diabetic, and he was intent on making things as nasty and painful for himself as he could. For some gruesome reason, his "ex," or whatever the right characterization is, decided to spread Zoom pictures from his last day alive to a number of people. All of this was some of the most upsetting stuff of its kind that I have seen, and I've been exposed to lots of "its kind." He was a devoted weightlifter in times of health, and at the end his face was mottled black and some teeth had fallen out. I don't know why exactly I sometimes share this stuff here except for the obvious. It's almost trendy to say "There but for the grace of," etc., but it has a lot of strength in this case. 

    I'm doing this because I still can. I get regular reminders that I'd rather wince and find out a little more about myself and the world through writing than numb myself and wander off a cliff.