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This page is just random stuff from Ed.
Shoes - it's all getting a bit silly and a bit like the Emperor's new clothes.
I was reading a trade magazine recently and was a little surprised to see Inov-8 described as the natural running company. I have nothing against Inov-8, I have owned quite a few pairs of their shoes, but they ain't natural. We don't pop out of the womb with a mini pair of Rocklites on our feet.
I then saw an article about Merrell; I've never worn Merrel shoes, but people tell me they are good. Now this is the Emperor's new clothes, bit but sort of in reverse. Merrell said "it has seen strong growth in its barefoot collection". Now to me you either wear shoes or you go barefoot. How can you have a barefoot collection? Perhaps this is the modern day equivalent of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Unbelievably it gets worse, Jonathan Pennington, Merrell's UK marketing manager, when talking about their children's range said "Children love to take off their shoes and run barefoot, so they are an obvious market to target when it comes to barefoot shoes". Now that guy is away with the fairies.
Keen to keep up with developments in running I read on and found that the land of the cuckoo clocks was into footwear. "GnL a Swiss footwear firm is targeting its new 3D cushioning system at the UK." Well why not we'll buy anything judging by what I've just written above. Apparently the 3D cushioning system "alleviates stress issues not covered by conventional footwear". Reading further I learnt that these were "shearing motion issues" I was developing some issues of my own so had a little lie down before reading on. "The GnL 360 features patented 3D cushioning technology that utilises multidirectional lugs embedded in the sole to provide support to the wearer in all directions." I am going to need plenty of support, because I am going to have some awful nightmares worrying about how they are going to fit all that lot into a barefoot shoe.
Fortunately the next few pages of the magazine were fairly bland and my pulse rate and blood pressure returned to near their normal level. Thank you for those articles on merchandising, buying groups and exploiting the Olympics. Titanium flexible and HRM compression bra technology did cause a bit of a blip.
An advert got me thinking about shoes again. "Fly Enigma - A new class of running comfort and luxury" It's a new shoe from Mizuno that "will give you a running experience like you've never felt before. It's indulgent, it's sumptuous and available in store from July." (I was reading the August edition of the trade magazine.) If Inov-8 are natural running shoes then what are un-natural running shoes? Mizuno perhaps?
NO check out this baby the Tramp-it jump shoe.
I need a very long lie down in a dark room now.
The potent effect of words, the power of non-verbal communication and superpowers.
I ran the Devon Coastal Half-Marathon, rather than the full marathon on, 26th June 2011 because I had been unwell in the two weeks before the race. It was my first half marathon for a long, long time. Ultra marathons are my diet of choice although I do occasionally snack on marathons. (see www.getultrarunning.eu for information about the weird & wonderful world of ultrarunning). I enjoyed the experience and learnt some interesting lessons.
I went fairly steadily for the first two thirds of the race, admiring the fantastic scenery and soaking up the good weather. I then decided to pick the pace up, but nothing happened; I was stuck in a slow plod. To get myself out of low gear I started to try to catch up the rather attractive looking girl I could see ahead. She slowed significantly on a hill and I could see her head drop and her shoulders droop. I caught her up then slowed to walk with her and have a chat. She was disheartened, she said "I thought I was fit, but I am finding this really hard". I discovered that this was her first half-marathon and that she has run a few 5 and 10k on roads and on fairly flat courses. She also took part in triathlons, but I forgave her that.
"You are fit" I said "You are just not used to running on hills and this course is probably the hilliest you will encounter. Also you probably went too fast early on and are paying for it now." She said she had tried hard over the first few miles, but could not keep it up. "The people passing us now are experienced runners" I told her "they will have started slowly and are now finishing strongly" She seemed a little less disheartened. I suggested that we continue walking to the top of the hill then run down it. Walk up all the hills then run strongly on the down hills and the flat and that will get you to the end.
At the top of the hill she started running and left me behind. She was running with her head up and her shoulders back. That spoke volumes to me. As I reflected on the power that my words had had and the big message her body language was giving out I thought to myself 'I will have to find another attractive lady to catch up, to maintain my motivation and get to the end.'
Well that deals with the potent effect of words and the power of non-verbal communication, but what about superpowers I hear you say. (or I would hear you say if it were not for the fact that you are miles away reading this at some time in the future). Well I have always thought that super-heroes have a lonely time. They fly in, usually in disguise, perform their act of daring, then fly out to anonymity again. Well I'm not a super-hero, but I did feel that sense of loneliness on my run.
Running changes time.
When I say running changes time I do not mean that getting some good training runs in will reduce the time it takes to run a specific race. What I posit is more fundamental than that, although getting some good training runs in is pretty much a prerequisite for reducing race times. No what I am saying is that running affects the currency of the Grim Reaper; it changes time itself.
He’s mad I hear you say, or would do were it not for the fact that due to the wonders of modern technology you are probably reading this hundreds of miles outside my hearing range. I might be mad, that is a different debate, but I do have evidence that running changes time.
I was running along a familiar route, through a wood, which is apt in light of what I am going to say later. There was snow on the ground and it was hard to run in it. It seemed to take a lot longer to get through this section than usual even though it was probably only a couple of minutes. It certainly felt like about ten minutes or even more. Originally I put this down to the frustration of running slowly, but then I remembered another time when it seemed to take ages to get through this section. Then I was running fast, I was trying to keep up with a much faster friend. The amount of time it took seemed to be the same as the run in the snow, however, it could not been because I set a personal best for that route that day.
Distance covered is a function of time and pace. The distance covered was the same and the time it took seemed to be the same so the pace could not have been different, but it was. What was going on? I was about to concluded that it was my perception of time that was different when, in amongst some distant memories of ‘pay attention boy’, ‘you will never amount to much’ and ‘sit up straight when I am berating you’ (I went to a grammar school) drifted a picture of Wittgenstein wandering through an orchard touching a tree and saying ‘I know that this is a tree’ before passing on to the next one. Also mixed in there was something about dining-room tables disappearing when you close the door.
From this soup of strange ideas in my mind, which seemed to relate to philosophy principles taught in general studies at school, I concluded that things can only be said to exist if you perceive them.
Reality is what you perceive and perception is therefore reality. My perceptions of time were the same and were real, therefore it must have been time itself that changed.
Even if I have the logic slightly wrong runners still get a good deal from the Grim Reaper. There is strong scientific evidence that runners live longer, healthier lives than sedentary folk.