Marathon training (and something to tell my grandkids)

Runner

It’s dangerous to say you’re thinking about doing something, because then you may actually have to do it.  Where I work, people are really big on goal setting, so this is the time of year we begin to look ahead for what we would like to accomplish next year.  There’s a distinction between goals and resolutions, and I’m honestly not quite into the groove of yearly goal-setting yet.  This is mostly because I can’t decide what I want out of life, and partially because I think we can get caught up in our own plans and ignore God’s leading.

That said, as I look at where I currently stand, and what I would like to look back upon when I’m old, I think 2013 may be the year for me to run a marathon – a full marathon.  I’ve done the half marathon a couple of times, and while it was tough, I did alright.  It just so happens that right now I am young, single, and live in a location perfect for long-distance runs.  I can’t imagine training for a marathon while having a wife and kids, so maybe this is my shot to really push myself.

My reasons for wanting to complete the race are varied and somewhat contrived.  Honestly, if I don’t have a reason to be physically active, I live sedentarily.  Considering that I sit at a desk for eight hours or more per day, this is a bad situation.  So I will at a minimum get back in shape, exercise discipline, and be able to check something off of my list – something to tell my grandkids about along with explaining my tattoos.

I say all that to say that if I want to do it, I need a plan.  I found this cool site that generates a training schedule for you to import to your Google Calendar.  It was dead simple, which I really appreciated compared to entering dozens of items on my calendar.  What I’m not so sure about is the training methodologies.  I’ve never had to run back-to-back days in my prior training, but I suppose this is a very different thing than I’ve done before.  I may post more about the process once I get into it.  Until then, I’m very open to training schedules that don’t include back-to-back run days.

Why are almost all futuristic novels dystopian?

Farenheit 451

 

I’m not usually a big fan of fiction, but long drives can turn me into a fan of almost any audio entertainment.  Since the Nashville library has a decent audio book selection, I downloaded Farenheit 451 for a recent road trip.  I didn’t know much about the novel, other than it dealt with burning books.

As I got into the plot, it turned out to be a bleak society in the future of Western civilization.  In this case, the government mandates burning all unapproved literature as a means to keep the populace ignorant and happy.  For as many futuristic stories as I can think of, virtually all of them reveal a dark, pessimistic view of mankind down the road.  1984Atlas ShruggedBrave New World, and even The Hunger Games adorn the lengthy Wikipedia page for dystopian novels.  I’m not personally aware of any utopian novels about the future of mankind, though Wikpedia does list some.

Virtually all well-known literature supposes that we, as humans, will spiral into darkness. Sometimes it’s our penchant for consumption, other times it’s complete faith in government, but at its root, I think it points to a timeless truth:  man is hopelessly messed up.  This is something Western man seems to grasp regardless of worldview.  Many struggle against it in their own ways. Some concede to a Hedonist worldview in light of it.  Others, like the majority in the Ray Bradbury novel, want to remain ignorant at all costs.  At our best, we seem to think the same broken people and tendencies that created the mess can turn it around.  At our worst, we eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die (at our own hands).

For me, that’s something to ponder.  How is it that the general consensus in literature and culture is that man is dark and broken, yet we flail helplessly with the same Enlightenment and Modernist constructs which began our perceived downward spiral?  Why does Western man increasingly shun timeless truths and wisdom and pursue destruction our own authors and poets foresee we will bring upon ourselves?