Thursday, May 04, 2006


Too busy. Since last post ...
Tuesday: Elliptical, 61 minutes
Wednesday: Elliptical, 62 minutes
Friday: Elliptical, 32 minutes
Saturday: Elliptical, 77 minutes
Sunday: 7.1 miles, around the lake, ~7:00 average
Tuesday: 4.5 miles, office dread, ~7:00
Wednesday: 5.2 miles, office dread, ~7:15 average
Today: Elliptical, 65 minutes
Right quad/adductor/whatever slowly slowly getting better. Sunday's run hardly felt it, so nice to get back to it, outside, beautiful spring day. Yesterday's run set it back a bit, back to elliptical, two steps forward, one back. VCM is almost certainly a no go, unless the thigh recovery accelerates significantly. Whatever, to quote Elliott Smith — oh well, okay — just want to run injury free. If I still want to qualify for Boston '07, it'll have to wait till October — Hartford or BayState Marathon. There don't seem to any summer marathons anywhere around here, at least not acceptable as Boston qualifiers -- there is the Around the Lake Marathon around my lake Lake Quannapowitt, that's insane, eight-plus times around, though I've have done five around.

So I went out and bought a Garmin Forerunner 205, my first GPS toy. It's awesome, it works, I'm free, no more measuring and sticking to routes. Used it on my Sunday 7 miler. Looking at the post run data, I was shocked to see the variation in my pace, I'm now pretty convinced that that's what makes outdoor running seem so much easier for me than treadmill. On treadmill, I stay at the same pace a mile at a time, 7:30, 7:15, 7:00, etc. Outdoors my pace is all over the place, 7:15, 8:10, 6:35, 7:05, 6:45, 7:30, etc. within a couple minutes. Definitely recommend this gadget, it's big and ugly, but it's not heavy, wish I got one a long time ago.

Started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. Excellent so far, I read part of his other book, The Botany of Desire, never finished for some reason, not because it wasn't good, just got busy and never got back to it. But, this one is riveting, if you're a geek anyway I guess.

Corn is amazing and bizzare and extremely ubiquitous. We are the people of the corn, it is in our flesh. Carbon from corn is contains an unusually large amount of carbon isotopes which have seven rather than six neutrons, to match the six electrons which make carbon carbon. This heavier carbon is actually detectable in the flesh/hair of humans. And large quantities are in all of us — corn is everywhere !!!!!!!! (Like God, and motorcycles — I wonder every time I see one of those Motorcycles Are Everywhere !!!!!!! bumper stickers — is that a statement of fact or a cry of exasperation?)

And corn sex is incredibly intricate. The male organ at the top of the plant, a tassel containing hundreds of anthers resembling tiny flowers, releases tens of millions of grains of pollen over the course of a few summer days — adhering to the familiar "more is more" philosophy of male reproduction. The female organ, containing hundreds of tiny flowers arranged in familiar rows on a cob, resembling a phallus, is a few feet below. The corn silk turns out to be the conduit through which falling pollen from the top travels through to the awaiting flowers within the cob. The fertilized flowers become the carbohydrate rich kernels we eat and which get stuck in between our teeth so we need to floss immediately after.

Corn exists only because humans exist; its bizzare arrangement of parts, seeds within a husk, are naturally maladaptive, it couldn't survive without intervention of a semi-intelligent being with an opposable thumb to rip open the husk. A random genetic mutation of a grass called teosinte in Central America resulted in something vaguely resembling corn, and caught the eye of a hungry ancient human who peeled open the husk to free the seeds.

Man, evolution f-ing rocks. Intelligent Design (Creationism Lite) people f-ing piss me off. Sure, I believe in Intelligent Design. God, infinitely intelligent, created the universe, and he designed an incredibly elegent mechanism which allowed the evolution, from sub-atomic particles (!), of seemingly arbitrarily complex forms of life. One of those forms of life evolved to a point where their own intelligence allowed them to discover and appreciate this intelligently designed system we call evolution.

The ID folks seem to not appreciate the fact that evolution does not preclude the existence of God, isn't this nearly obvious. It's a failure to understand what science is — it can explain the how but not the why — even if every aspect of existence were fully understood by science, there would still be the most fundamental question there is: Why is there existence instead of nothingness? It's the one truly unanswerable question, it is the realm of religion.

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide." — Albert Camus


At 7:32 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I've often wondered about those Garmin GPS devices. I'll have to check it out.

Great update...keep up the great work. You're an inspiration to me and my modest 10 min/mile. :)


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Scooter said...

A post like this, talking about sex and especially corn sex will doubtless draw the wrong element to your blog. You're about to have some angry visitors!

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Susan said...

oh, oh, oh. I love evolution books. Have you read the Ancestor's Tale? oh so good.

I agree with you on your Outdoor Running/Treadmill theory - outdoor running is so much easier. You'll love the Garmin.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Nice purchase on the Garmin. They are great for maintaining pace during a Marathon. It will help you in the early stages when you would typically head out of the gate too fast and in the latter stages when you would typically slow down. It definitely helped me hit that Q time.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger David said...

Susan, I am having been reading the Ancestor's Tale for almost a year! I'm famous for getting halfway through books quickly then taking a year to get through the rest, easily distracted. Dawkin's is an awesome writer. Gould is also great. Pinker is my favorite.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Very interesting post. I especially like the Camus quotation.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger bluepaul said...

hey runners,

(FREE-TUNES):w/o a credit-card

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!


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