November 24, 2016

I ran 18 flat, and I suspect tweaked whatever is happening with my foot a little more. Trying to run a 5K without landing on the outside of your forefoot is weird, turns out.

Anyway, a cool thing happened. I suspect you'll recognize first and third overall.

November 22, 2016

I'm typing this on my phone, so please excuse any poor penmanship. I wrote something needlessly verbose this morning, but then deleted it. It was pretty terrible, so that's a good thing.

Which is, sort of, what I was getting at. Maybe. A little. Some things are good and some things are bad and there is great beauty and horror and love and pain and, well, you know.

My sprained ankle recovered, and I raced well for a bit, which is good. Now there's a pretty large and tender bruise on the outside of my left foot*, though, which is bad. I will tell myself it's not really bad, of course, because I'm stubborn and frankly unwilling to confront the reality that I seem to get hurt quite a bit, and I don't know why. Three stress fractures and two sprained ankles in the last four years is a bad record by any objective standard, though, I do know that. But it's a thing I consciously ignore despite that knowledge, because I don't have enough other hobbies, maybe, and I do genuinely like this jogging thing. Also, bikes are expensive and racing them looks like a literal pain in the ass.

Anyway I'm 28 years old and maybe have the tendon integrity and bone density of someone thrice my age, I don't know. But I'm a bit grouchy about it at the moment, of that I'm certain.

But all runners are hurt all the time, and most don't ever get a fist bump from Billy Mills after a 10K run on the college cross country course named for him, a genuinely grassy, hilly affair, which snaked around Haskell Indian Nations University, the college in Lawrence you perhaps haven't heard of. This was a lovely race, and he said something nice, that I ran well or something, and I felt that I did okay after all, 38 minutes and thirteen seconds on a real course, but still soundly thrashed by three guys, all of whom would have been dusted by Mills himself, who was--on one day at the very least--the fastest man in the world at that distance. This is to say, we all accepted our awards gratefully, if a bit sheepishly.

Anyway. That was a good day.

Of course, good and bad in running is relative, because the real world has real problems and really profound moments of hope in that choking miasma. You know this already, though. And of course, though emotional energy is finite, we can care about several things. I can be mad at my foot, and also at literal goddamn Nazis delighting in their ascendancy in 2016 America, a Native protestor losing her arm on a night when her compatriots were hosed with water, the very subsatance Flint still doesn't have. To say etc would seem flippant--and I know even the remarks I did make are cursory, lacking detail--but of course I could go on forever. It has always been tbus, though. Which is not a cry for complacency--Sisyphus pushes the boulder, even though he must never make progress. So too, I would suggest, ought progress towards an equitable and just society be pursued, because it's right, not because it's promised to work. What does that goal look like? And what is needed to get there? I won't presume to tell you that--which is not to say I know myself. But I know, while we're talking about Sisyphus, that Camus ultimately concluded he must be happy. At least he never had any stress fractures.

*Morning update: I'm pretty certain the foot actually is ok. Good thing I wrote about it anyway, though.

October 11, 2016

A very useful review of a shoe I own. I'd add that I find the heel counter a bit high and a bit abrasive, and the upper is warmer than I'd like. But otherwise I'm pleased with it. People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

October 2, 2016

I'd expected my first ever self-powered 100-miler to be a few weeks ago--or if not then, some other footrace. But I did 100 on a bike yesterday, which, considering I'd never done 20, isn't so bad. Also kept all my toenails.

Then I ran for an hour today, which sounds less impressive, but matters way more to me.

September 29, 2016

While I'm being positive, and because nominally running blogs do this sort of thing from time to time, here is some music I am presently enjoying. Most of it is screaming. 

Tolkien nomenclature is omnipresent in the black metal scene, which is odd, because the man himself was emphatically Catholic, insisted his most famous work was "essentially Catholic", and black metal... isn't. Most famously, Burzum and Gorgoroth borrow their names from his canon, then scream about satan. Barrow Wight, thus, is something of an overcorrection: A band that takes its name from Tolkien, then writes songs almost wholly in-universe. If that sounds silly--and fun!--that's because it is. It's black metal in the style of proto-black 80's giants like Venom, Celtic Frost, and Bathory. Which is to say, it rocks. 

Black Fast is a bit of a throwback also, insofar as thrash metal basically always is. 

I didn't set out with a theme of "bands that sound like they could maybe be 20-30 years old", but here we are. Venom Prison are death metal without any tech/prog wankery, and a bit of hardcore edge. 

I saw Cloud Rat open for Wolves in the Throne Room last week, which is a bit odd, in that WITTR is one of the more famous (and famously overserious) atmospheric black acts out there, and Cloud Rat is just a ripping grindcore three-piece. I also mistakenly always assume they're a straight edge band, because they are vegan, and those things are weirdly intertwined in my head--at least, when it comes to bands whose genre ends in -core.

Elder is nominally doom, but like many in the genre, take a lot of cues from older psych rock. The opening guitar noodling gives away that much. 

Mgla is impossible to pronounce, less hard to describe. It's modern black metal, that has no interest in gazing back towards Helvete, or playing with other genre's toys. 

Here's an acoustic thing, with clean vocals. I know, right?

September 28, 2016

Worth remembering--and noting--after spending a few thousand words angsting over a bad race: This jogging thing is actually pretty fun. There are worse things than traipsing towards a horizon that looks like a crumpled up white tablecloth soaked with pink lemonade.