Just been watching the London marathon and it started me thinking…
My personal best time over 10K (running) is 34’57”, which requires holding sub 6-minute-mile pace for 6 miles. All I can remember of that particular run (on a sandy surface I might add) was that I started by running flat out and basically spent the rest of the time attempting to run as fast as I possibly could without dropping dead. It was extremely hard and required a lot of concentration, pushing myself damn hard. It doesn’t surprise me at all that people at the top of sports say that winning is something like 70% mental and 30% physical. It also made me realise that no matter how hard you train, you can only go so far. We all have a limit or “terminal mediocrity”.
That’s not a bad thing. For many years now I’ve enjoyed keeping fit. Not to compete with others, but just to push myself that little bit harder every time. When I moved to England I cut my training regime to almost zero (I’d been swimming, running and biking 6 days a week). I discovered instead the delights of eating curry and of not spending all my waking hours fatigued and in pain (when you train real hard it’s the day off that’s the worst, your body spends the time trying to repair itself – and that hurts too). Laziness was nice.
So after maybe 18 months of being comparatively unfit – playing a bit of football and tennis – I decided to get back in shape (up until my layoff I’d always taken my fitness for granted but discovered after a hard mountain biking session that I’d lost it somewhat). I bought some free weights and dusted off my running shoes. Swimming was out because I’d pretty much burned out of doing that – I can still taste the chlorine. So running and weight training would be my way back to full-on self-respect!
It’s been 14 months now and I’ve been doing pretty well. Picked up a few injuries here and there but I’m almost in the shape I was a few years ago. It’s all relative of course, because there’s always someone better, fitter and stronger than you – my rationale is that I’m only competing against myself (at least I have a chance of winning then). I won’t bore you with how much weight I can bench press or squat because it doesn’t matter. The point is that I’ve been pushing myself and I’ve improved. And I feel much better for it. I’m not close to beating my p.b. for 10K and I may never do it. But I’ll try for what it’s worth.
I suppose my thought for today is that nothing worth doing is easy. I probably need to think less. Especially on a Monday.
On a techie note, I was reading that Microsoft has decided to axe it’s Hailstorm project. If you use Hotmail or MSN Messenger you’ll have come across Passport. The idea is that instead of having separate logins for every site you go to, you login to Passport and it logs into all the other sites for you. Hailstorm, or as it was later called “My .NET Services” was to take this to another level. You could access your e-mail, contacts, store your interests and preferences, track online orders and do all sorts of other neat things from any device, be it a PC or a mobile phone. You could browse to the Blockbuster Video website, it could read your preferences for sleazy porno movies and automatically send you a notification message when the next big hit comes in, if you know what I mean. (Note: this doesn’t actually happen at the moment, it’s a purely hypothetical situation, no need to worry about your porno fixation getting out).
It all sounded like a neat idea. Apart from the fact that one monolithic corporation would hold all your information in one place. All sounds a little bit Big Brother to me… Anyway, it seems that Microsoft couldn’t get any partners to use the technology. Apparently the big players didn’t want to have someone between themselves and their customers. Not surprising really. But don’t count them out just yet…