^zhurnal posts haven't been as frequent as perhaps they should have been for the past few months. Sorry! I have plenty of explanations to offer, though perhaps they don't quite add up to one excuse. Office hours have lengthened, for good reasons. Correspondence (with several excellent and deserving individuals) has become heavier, and thus time and creative energy have been taken away from public writing. Family duties have called; I have answered. Moreover, I've found myself doing longer-than-usual essays ... often working on delicately crafted ^zhurnal items that have hours of thought and polishing hidden inside them. (I hope that the quality improvement is worth the investment, at least in some cases. Has anyone noticed? Will I be able to see a difference myself, a few years from now?)

But an eagle-eyed auditor of my time sheet might note another, bigger change which has occurred since January: I'm exercising more, a lot more, than hitherto. To be explicit, I've been jogging around neighborhood trails and pathways, pacing off roughly 300 furlongs per fortnight (I've always wanted to measure something in those units!). At my sluggardly ~10 minute/mile pace that comes to over 3 hours of potential journalizing time burned every week. It's an order of magnitude increase over what I was doing last year, and a significant step up even since I last wrote about running. (see GlobalPositioningSystemRuns, 16 Feb 2002)

Why this sudden swing to fitness? Well, the prime mover was my physician, who in January 2002 put her foot down about my marginally high blood pressure and prescribed some medication to attack the problem. I am not enjoying the side effects of those pills, sad to say, and hope that by exercise I can lose some weight, improve my cardiovascular health, and get off the drug. Coincidentally I discovered that two close colleagues at work (CM and SA) are stealthy marathon men, training for the First DC Marathon (24 March 2002). My conversations with them provided further motivation: they're not proselytizers for distance racing, but the gentle example that they set helped get me moving. So did correspondence with my brother (another experienced marathon runner) and other fit friends.

And a surprising development to report: running has started to become fun again, as it was in my youth when I first read Kenneth Cooper's classic book Aerobics and could dash off a string of sub-eight-minute miles without breathing (very) hard or breaking into (much of) a sweat. We'll see how long this new ^z lifestyle lasts. I'm likely to get overenthusiastic and injure a knee, or become slovenly and slack off when the weather becomes hot and humid, or come to my senses when I turn 50 years old in September. Watch this space for further developments....

TopicRunning - TopicZhurnal - TopicWriting - TopicPersonalHistory - 2002-03-23

(correlates: SoulNumbingTedium, ManyWorlds, OnStickiness, ...)