Music/Video of the Week:

I've been a pretty big fan of The Avalanches original album for a while now. While I was happy for the release of their 16 years too late sophomore album last year, I still like to go to the original album for pure listening enjoyment. I have also been a huge fan of the radio station Triple J ever since I spent 2 weeks living out of my car in Tasmania with nothing to do but listen to the radio and read. The artists they bring in usually do a good job of creating genuinely new pieces that are respectful of the old work.

The rapping is definitely a new approach and I dig it. Of course, I also like the Beastie Boys, so my music taste isn't always pristine.

8/6: Recovery. 8 miles on typically bumpy trails. Everything was a little wet from the downpour the day before, but no heavy mud. The rain cleared out any typical humidity and so the morning offered a nice little break on body and mind.

8/7: Easy. 6.4 miles on the same hills.  started feeling a slight knee twinge on the first small climb of the day and felt it get worse on the second. Decided to switch off the hills and into the prairie, but 1 mile of flat running subtly informed me that I wasn't going to start feeling any better. Broke off and ambled up to the car. A little disappointed to waste the good weather this morning, but I was hopeful for a quick recovery.

8/8: 0.

8/9: Easy. 3.15 miles. Still struggling with the knee.

8/10: 0

8/11: Testing out the knee. Made it 1 mile before feeling some stress. Not pain, but enough to keep me from trying to push it.

8/12: Easy. 4 miles. Exceptionally frustrated. I made sure to start my run with a descent and follow it up with a 120 foot climb to see where the knee was and I found everything firing perfectly. Then, just another mile into the run the stress came back. This is how my runs used to be in 2015 when I was going through some more serious issues with the knee.

Because of the reduced mileage of the day, I was able to get a little bit of writing done on some fiction pieces that I have been working on. This has been a pretty consistent struggle. The difficulty of writing a piece with a longer story arc has shocked me and has quite vigorously pointed out my own personal weaknesses in attention span. Shockingly though, I do not feel as though I am bleeding out of my eyes for a point while I write; the process is quite enjoyable. Writing truly is like any other pursuit that matters, it takes practice.

8/13: Took a complete rest day today just to make sure I was good to go for the next week. I would really appreciate not missing any more time on the trails, especially while I have been feeling relatively strong otherwise. I sat down with my coffee and "Farewell to Arms", which is my first real Hemingway since High School. I have gobbled up most of his short stories, which typically leave me relatively satisfied, but I have hesitated on reading anything longer due to the slightly ridiculous notion of keeping his literary reputation clean in my head. I dove in, expecting to find insight through terse composure, and was surprised to find this passage which seems to fit a sort of Beat Generation sensibility:

I had gone to no such place but to the smoke of cafes and nights when the room whirled and you needed to look at the wall to make it stop, nights in bed, drunk, when you knew that that was all there was, and the strange excitement of waking and not knowing who it was with you, and the world all unreal in the dark and so exciting that you must resume again unknowing and not caring in the night, sure that this was all and all and all and not caring. Suddenly to care very much and to sleep to wake with it sometimes hard and clear and sometimes a dispute about the cost. Sometimes still pleasant and fond and warm and breakfast and lunch. Sometimes all niceness gone and glad to get out on the street but always another day starting and then another night. I tried to tell about the night and the difference between the night and the day and how the night was better unless the day was very clean and cold and I could not tell it; as I cannot tell it now. But if you have had it you know. He had not had it but he understood that I had really wanted to go to the Abruzzi but had not gone and we were still friends, with many tastes alike, but with the difference between us. He had always known what I did not know and what, when I learned it, I was always able to forget. But I did not know that then, although I learned it later.

But this style is not common. Most of the writing and storytelling has been exactly what I would expect from Hemingway: A mystically caveman-like approach to dialogue and the plain descriptions he has become famous for. The writing makes everything quite intelligible, but also gives me the feeling that the characters are dispassionate observers of their own lives. 


That is all for this week.