Log in

No account? Create an account

The Won't to Power

Just got back from another lonely jog - gluing concepts together:I don't usually manage the previously-mentioned long loop without stopping to walk some parts ("don't usually" actually means "not yet this year"). Usually I stop a bit over halfway through to catch my breath, and once I've managed that I jog much of the rest of the way. The end of the trail part usually sees me walking a bit too - not because I'm having trouble breathing like the first time, but rather because I'm getting tired. Uninteresting so far, but.. what is interesting is the psychology of stopping. My body doesn't pull the full-stop YOU WILL STOP RIGHT NOW NO ARGUMENTS kind of thing (it has done that very few times in life), it's rather that it saps my will to run. It kind of does this the whole time I'm running, but it saps more rapidly at that point. Today there was a bit of struggle over that, and my legs reached a weird happy place when I kept going a bit further. I eventually stopped and walked most of the rest of the way straight home rather than going into the lazy loop.

That tendency to externalise the parts of ourself our longer-term self struggles against is fascinating - just as morality is a conspiracy against impulse, and the struggle to self-improve is usually a struggle by the longer-term self to earn its claim to be who we really are. Strictly speaking, it's a bluff - one of those kinds of bluffs that aims to become true.

I also learned that attempting to channel anger/pain to inspire running is one of those things that doesn't work so well, at least for me. Pity. I had hoped to either use it to run better or work it out somehow - Woke up in another really lousy mood and it's not much better now. Another one of those "nothing ever happens nothing to look forward to you will never be loved or liked or included here's another empty weekend" kind of things.

Been working my way through a smallish book I picked up at the last SEP meeting I went to many months ago - 「Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party」, which traces their philosophical ancestry back to Trotsky, providing historical analysis on the way. It offends (largely, its more philosophical elements with inappropriate claims to objectivity and truth on matters where objectivity and truth are either impossible or take different meanings - and anything built on that foundation). Its historical analyses are also off in the sense that they ascribe grandiose and dramatic reasons for ever failure of a philosophical/political movement - while such reasons are no doubt sometimes, perhaps even often true, when one always uses those reasons and never admits mundane or non-moral reasons (e.g. "They failed to devote enough efforts to fundraising", or "They made a non-theory-relevant error in ..", it looks about as kneejerk as Ron Paul's claim that the modern census has gone radically beyond what the founding fathers intended. I do like that they mention a number of intellectuals who stepped outside of mainstream Trotskyite Communism - I might be interested to read James Burnham's transitional works (although, as with many post-Trotskyites, he went on to become a Neoconservative, and I imagine in his best known work, 「The Managerial Revolution」, he already had begun to angle heavily for their "strong/global markets plus weak/global democracy" formula. I haven't read anything of his yet though, so I may misunderstand. Eduward Bernstein also might be interesting to read.

On topic of gender from a few posts back, I find it fascinating how much gender skew there is in Unix (although it's not necessarily a straight read on the topic (maybe males are more likely to mention it), Unix geeks on OkC are almost entirely male).

Unless I can think of anything more interesting to do I imagine I'll be cleaning my apartment today and maybe heading out for fondue or indian for dinner. As usual, company or other ideas would be welcome.


The key with running is to set a goal and then pace yourself. Set the goal that you will finish your loop without stopping. For pacing, you want to run "negative splits," or run the second half of your course faster than the first half. Use your heartrate as a good proxy for effort. You can look up maximum heart rate charts easily, and if you see your HR going to 65 percent of your max rate in your first split, you're going too fast. Leg cramps happen when your muscles are producing lactic acid (well, technically a lactate ion, but who cares :) faster than your cells can clear it. In other words, you're at your anaerobic threshold. Even though running's aerobic, there is still a fair amount of anearobic metabolism involved, especially at the shallow end of the fitness spectrum. Anyhow, you use HR as a proxy for anaerobic and aerobic intensity. 65 percent is roughly your aerobic threshold, so if you've got severe burning cramps, you're well past that threshold and should moderate your pace so as to avoid injury. As you improve your fitness, your HR will be slower both at rest and in activity and your lactate threshold will also increase. But really, 70 percent of running in my experience is mental. Which is why goal setting is key.