Ninth run of 2016

This was a very good run, in contrast. It was quite cool out, and I felt pretty good through the whole run. I was keeping my heart rate considerably lower than usual -- I usually target to 160, and this time I aimed for 150. So I expected to be slower than usual, but instead it was my best run of the year, 28 laps in 89:59.

Venus sighted!

At last I spotted Venus in the evening sky, where in theory it has been lurking for about three months already. I was in Lafayette Square, Cambridge (which people think of as part of the Central Square area, but is really its own thing) and the skyline was low enough on the Western side of Mass Ave that I could see it glinting above the buildings. It was 7 pm, and Venus was about a hand and a half above the horizon.

Eighth run of 2016

I ran last weekend, I think on Sunday. For some reason I had a really hard time finishing the run, and wound up with a time of 96:29 for seven miles. It was weird, because the first four miles or so were very smooth and nice.

Seventh run of 2016

On Labor Day, last Monday, I went running again, just to celebrate having a new monitor and an extra day off. I only ran four miles, though, because I didn't want to hurt myself; having slacked off a lot lately I know better than to overdo it. So that run doesn't officially count as bloggable. But this morning I did my real Seventh Run, seven miles in 95:28, which is slower than last week by a couple of minutes. I think it was because it was hot. The Watertown track team came out and ran past me a few times.

Recent reading: Hume and Banks

I am still making slow but steady progress through Hume's late-18th-century History of England; now I am in volume 5, just after the death of James I (and VI), and reading a digression about What England Was Like during his reign. This is OK in small doses; it's what modern historians have given themselves over completely to, at the expense of the storytelling that I have always considered to be the soul and center of the historian's craft. Thankfully, Hume spends most of his time doing just what I want him to do: telling me what happened. That gives a motivating context to the little What England Was Like interludes, and the interludes become fascinating in their own right.

At some point in the last twenty or thirty years I have become pretty much completely comfortable with English prose back as far as about 1550. Before then I do have to squint, and to read Chaucer I have to squint hard, though it's worth it. I can't read true Old English (before about 1100) at all. I find Hume very lucid, and sometimes forget for many pages that he isn't a modern writer.

I'm still reading Consider Phlebas aloud with Dr. Wife; GK, yes, this is the one with the trains, and we are in that part now. It's still a rather grim slog, but it's not quite so episodic as it was before they got where they were going.

Still waiting for Venus

I know that Venus has been visible, in principle, for half an hour or so after sunset. But I haven't seen it yet. At this time of year (I think this is right) the ecliptic lies rather flat to the horizon around sunset, so by the time it gets dark enough Venus is very low, and I don't have convenient places around here with a clear view to the West. It's too bad, because I missed a nice conjunction with Jupiter. Anyway I should make a more serious effort soon.

Sixth run of 2016

Yeah, this is just not a very runny summer for me. I guess it's been three weeks since my last go. I decided that I really really needed a new heart rate monitor, and after fruitlessly banging around various stores (Best Buy, mostly) the nice overworked guy at Greater Boston Running Company sold me exactly the right thing, and I am happy. It's nice to see my actual heart rate again instead of my footfall cadence. But I am going to have to work into it a little gently -- maybe use a lower target my first few times.

Seven miles in 93:59, five seconds slower than three weeks ago. But all earlier runs this year are not good performance data, since I was trying to center my effort using a failing heart monitor.

I got home from the run, showered, and went out to dinner with Dr. Wife and a friend, but right around when we pulled up at the restaurant I had a wave of nausea and dizziness that I recognized right away as a vasovagal episode, and realized with chagrin that I had neglected to hydrate at all after running. So I lay on the back seat of the car and felt crummy while the ladies fetched liquid for me, which I sipped until I felt better, and then we all went and had dinner. I probably wasted half an hour of everybody's time that way. Idiot.

Fifth run of 2016

I had a slow start, but it was an OK run; 7 miles in 93:54. I still haven't managed to get out regularly during the week, and I'm pretty convinced that my heart monitor is counting my footsteps, not my heartbeats. I think I need a new one.

Fourth run of 2016

Yesterday I finally managed to get out to the track for the first time in, I think, about three weeks. My performance had suffered from the furlough, and I did my seven miles in 97:36.

While I was there, the running track was invaded by a pre-teen playing Pokemon Go. On a bike. On the track. Not looking where he was going. Yes, I understand that biking is a tempting way to incubate your eggs, but actually just getting in the habit of walking a lot will serve you a lot better as you level up, and biking blindly through a bunch of people trying to walk and run is not a good idea. He didn't stay long, though -- maybe somebody yelled at him.

New computer

Just before we went to England, Microsoft's free upgrade to Windows 10 was about to expire, so I bit the bullet and started the upgrade. The effort cost my four-year-old Gateway its motherboard, so yesterday I went to Micro Center and got a new machine, an HP. I have mostly got it doing what I want it to do, but have yet to figure out how to import Chrome's bookmarks from the backup I took before trying the upgrade. So I have none of my old bookmarks, and in particular I am falling further and further behind on my webcomics. The new machine seems zippy and capable, and Windows 10 has not been too annoying yet. If anybody knows about importing bookmarks from a backup drive, let me know.