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Monday, February 25, 2013

21K

I went for 21K this morning. Completed in 2 hours flat. I have lost lotsa fitness. But I am working my way back.
A

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This is Muthafuckin War, Bro. You read me?

This is Feb 2013. I have already had an injury and yet we just got started. No matter, I am past the injury now and my sights are set on my goals.
Last year, I respected the distance, gradually pushed up the mileage and did recovery runs and I followed the advice that if you are training for a 21K, your long run need not be more than 21K.
Total garbage. I have realized that the internet is full of crap. 99% of marathon-related articles are aimed at people who want to finnish, not to race.
Now I know so I am stepping away from that puerile crap.
Yes, I didn't get injured much: I got an ITBL and then a PF that lasted more than seven months which I was able to run through.
But I didn't lose much weight, I didn't meet my goals and I never got as fast as I could have. This is comfort zone crap for sissies.

So this year, it is a muthafuckin war, no cutie-pie-crap. We strap on our shoes, pick the water bottle and go the muthafuckin distance. As fast as I can. No recovery runs. No nothin.
So I went for a scheduled 32K run on Sato. I was supposed to have it done in 3 hours. I was on target up to 20K. Then I started tiring, which was not surprising because I am just coming back from and injury and haven't ran long distance for a while. In fact, that fatigued state is the target of the long run because it teaches you to fight past that fatigue and it freaking pushes your muscles. The result is mental toughness, stronger muscles and overall strength and speed. So as much as I was getting my soul destroyed and baked in the open sun, I appreciated that there is no act of creation without destruction. So I drained my energy reserves and moved on. By 24K, I was an empty shell and I started walking. Then I combined walking and running up to 27K. At which point, It took all the years of discipline and hard work I have ingrained in myself to stop me from just placing my ass on the nearest flat surface and letting the fatigue ease away. My energy was gone, my legs were shot. Every stone or brick that lay on the roadside looked like a soft leather seat just begging me to sit on it, even just for a few seconds. My legs wanted to sleep. I had to stop a few times and shake my head for the stars to go away and to get a grip on my consciousness lest I pass out. I looked around desperately for a boda boda and surprisingly, there was none. I walked with the 50/= clutched in my hand, ready to pump money into the economy. But like they say, when a monkeys day to die arrives, every tree becomes slippery. I usually use the 50/= to buy the sunday paper but this time, I didnt even want to look at the headlines. Fuck the politicians. I just wanted to reach home before I become part of the local news .
I didn't stretch. For the first time, I had no energy to stretch. I just wanted to reach home.
My muscles ached like hell for several hours and I felt exactly how I felt the first time I ran 21K more than six years ago - like I have ran into something bigger than me. Like I have reached outside my comfort zone. And its a delightful, exciting feeling. Beautiful pain. Painful reward.

This is my rebirth. Blood, sweat and tears.

I feel challenged and now I must devote my faculties toward meeting that challenge. I have lost my fitness. I must get it back, and move past it. This is war motherfocker. I am telling ya.







Thursday, February 21, 2013

I am sluggish - and in Pain

My hammies are sore. And after some speed runs yesterday, the calves too. I was averaging 4:25, which is slow as ef.
I step back today and tomorrow. Then Sato, I sink my teeth in.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I am now okay - lets refocus. Shall we?

I ran for an hour yesterday - did about 11.5K. Then I walked for 11.5K.
My leg is fine now. At least I know one more weakness is sorted. So going forward, I should always ensure my knees, calves (ankles), shins and back are strong and flexible. Hamstrings are covered by running itself and the stretches. The quads will be covered by the squats and the quads cover the knees.
I have decided that since I was getting stomach cramps even when I quit the roller, I will be using the roller anyway. No looking back.
This is the year of going the distance. Weight loss, speed, strength, discipline. You name it. This is it.
Cheers.
J


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I will Always Run Where I want to

This is a Brilliant Post from Saltyrunning.com
I Will Always Run Where I want To

Yet I will run where I want to run, damn it. I will run early in the morning like Sarah and I will run alone on trails like Chelsea. I won’t be stupid, but I also will not become a paranoid mess trying to avoid something that is so rare and unlikely and so so out of my control. I doubt either Sarah or Chelsea did anything wrong or could have avoided their fate. To think otherwise is blaming the victim and and in a way pointing the finger at her running. I refuse to do that. You see women are attacked, raped and murdered when going shopping, yet no one seems to have a call to arms that women stop shopping alone or stop shopping at night or only go to stores with their dog.
It is very unlikely that a crazed maniac will ever be waiting for me out on those trails. It is also unlikely that a crazed maniac will ever be waiting for me in the parking lot of the grocery store as I make a quick stop for milk for my kids or a crazed maniac will find a way into my home and wait for me when I get there. Living my life assuming there is a crazed maniac lurking around every corner is not living, at least in my mind. Of course I will be alert and try to avoid shopping at 2:00 a.m. and I will lock my doors and take reasonable safety precautions. But, damn it, I will always run where I want to.
I will not wear headphones and I will be alert. I’ll always know where I am and know how to get to other people. I will trust my instincts and I will do whatever I need to do to protect myself should I be confronted by a threat. I will frequently switch up my routes and the time of day that I run. These are all precautions that make sense for me. But I won’t be scared and, damn it, I won’t quit doing what I love.
I am by no means advocating ignoring safety experts in any way. What I am suggesting is that we look at these guides and do what is reasonable to do in our lives. If a woman runner is murdered it IS NOT HER FAULT even if she wore headphones or ran alone or didn’t bring pepper spray or ran at night or ran naked by herself on the trails at night wearing headphones. We have to be sensible and protect ourselves the best we can, but  we also must continue living despite the possibility that awful things might happen.
So run where you want to run, because I will. Damn it.

I wish my wife could read this.



Injury Persists...

Yes. I went and ran jana. After 35mins. It started aching. By night time, it was sore.
This really sucks. I now miss running. Gotta stay away from it for a while now. Damn.
No matter. Its a soft tssue injury and will be fine soon. For now, I just need to keep walking and watch my diet.
Cheers.
A

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To incorporate...

  1. One-legged squats
  2. Jump squats
  3. Front and back lunges
  4. Hip rotation
  5. ITBL stretch squats.

Looking For a Writing Job: Test Essay

So I want to start getting paid for writing. I met a crowdsourcer and he told me the client has a test and he would gauge my quality of writing based on how I perform on the test.
Bring it on I say. Bring the motherfocker on bro.
So whats the test?
You have 2 days to complete this assignment.
Task requirements:
    Sources: 2 (mandatory!)
    Number of Pages: 2-3
    Topic: There is no hope of doing perfect research (griffiths, 1998, p97). Do you agree?
    Description: Discuss with detailed reference to at least two examples of research done.
    MLA style.
    Any kind of plagiarism or copyright violation is restricted.

It turns out this is a standard test for writers and there are several takes on it  see here and here and here and here and here and so on and so forth. At any rate, I got tied up in meetings on Monday and had a crowded weekend so I only had three hours to research, put my thoughts together and write up a coherent response to the question.

My Response:



Jacob Aliet
11 February 2013

Perfect Research: Is there Hope for One?


In addressing the question about whether there is hope of doing perfect research, we must first begin by understanding the clear meaning of the key terms. We can then seek to answer it based on the information available on the question. Research is an original contribution to the existing knowledge (Kothari 2) and can also be described as a diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories or applications. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word perfect as the quality of being entirely without fault or defect, or as satisfying all requirements.
The question itself is a subject of inquiry and it would be interesting to find out how many researchers have set out to do research with the objective of carrying out a perfect research and what their findings were. Researchers generally undertake research in order to answer specific questions. Usually, when the research yields the answers to the questions, the research is regarded as a success. But depending on the meaning of the word perfection being applied, even success may not be perfect. A satisfactory outcome may still be imperfect. If we use the word perfect to refer to something exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose, then yes, there is hope of doing a perfect research. And that would end the discussion.
However, in this paper, the word perfect is used to refer to the quality of being excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement. Since the judgement for perfection or otherwise must be made in time, perfection as a concept is forever doomed to uncertainty about its true quality because we don’t know what the future holds. Perfection also has an arbitrary nature among men because what is perfect for a poet may not be perfect for a chemist or a lover whose flaming love is unrequited.
We must also note that it is a question formulated by flawed beings whose ability to understand perfection is itself not established. As such, from a philosophical perspective, it may be deemed as an unanswerable question because the seeker of the answer may not be fully capable of understanding the true answer to the question they are grappling with themselves. For our purposes, we will set aside the philosophical challenges and examine the question strictly in the context of research.
A perfect research may never be carried out because research as a method of arriving at knowledge is itself not perfect and relies on imperfect instruments. The process of research entails tasks that are subject to human judgement and other variables. These include data collection, sampling design, measurement tools and interpretation of data. These variables mean that when we have the same research conducted by different people, we may still get different results. This is with the exception of empirical or controlled research, but even in such cases, the degree of accuracy is often adjusted to simplify the results and make the ineluctable differences insignificant.  In historical research, where hearsay, second-hand testimony and secondary sources are used, a perfect research is impossible and historians resort to argument to the best explanation to explain certain historical events (McCullagh).
Another challenge in the way of carrying out a perfect research comes about because of the problem of induction. Induction is a form of reasoning that makes general propositions from specific examples. For example, when we see white swans all the time and then conclude that all swans are white, that is inductive reasoning. The problem with inductive reasoning is that we lack a mechanism for verifying that, in the whole universe for example, there is no black swan. In qualitative and social research, induction is employed when we derive empirical generalisations and theoretical statements from the data. Using the white swan example, research that is based on inductive reasoning suffers from the unfounded assumption that swans are white in all worlds. As such, such research cannot be guaranteed to be perfect.
Another problem is the finite and imperfect nature of resources at any researcher’s disposal. This includes time available for the research, the researcher’s knowledge of the subject and related subjects, the test subjects, the technology used, the scope of the research and the research objectives which are often specific. Because of their specific nature, they can only meet specific needs and therefore cannot meet other needs and thus, cannot be considered perfect. For example, social research may not be the perfect research for determining the size of a neutrino. Biblical research is an example of a field of inquiry that is rife with disagreements and paucity of data. Indeed, even determining the authorship and dating of the New Testament gospels can be so vexatious (Carrier).
Lastly, research entails discovery of new knowledge or revision of existing knowledge. So a perfect research would yield knowledge that is beyond improvement and would discover everything that is left to be discovered. But discovery never stops because of the vast nature of our universe, the unfathomable quality of what is unknown and what can be invented and the limitless nature of questions that can be asked. A perfect research would therefore close all lines of inquiry and that would go against the very spirit of inquiry, which is what research is all about. So going by this point, a perfect research is a contradiction in terms and is unachievable.
Based on the above reasons, I agree with Griffiths and conclude that there is no hope of conducting a perfect research. We also note that perfection is an unnecessary and unachievable goal to erect when conducting research because we are imperfect beings in an imperfect world carrying out imperfect tasks. Indeed, it is because of the imperfect nature of research work that we endeavour to have clear research objectives and lay out research assumptions and rely on experts during literature review to minimize the imperfections inherent in research work.

Works Cited


Carrier Richard. Ignatian Vexation. Sept 17, 2008. Web. 11 Feb 2013.
Kothari C.R. Research Methodology Methods & Techniques. Second Edition. New Delhi: New Age International Publisher, 2004. 
McCullagh C. Behan. Justifying Historical Descriptions. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
"Perfect." Merriam-Webster.com. Web. 11 Feb 2013.



Whaddya think? Well, the client agreed and I should get started soon. I have been walking and now I think my calf has healed. I will go for a trial run tadey.
Cheers guys

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Week 1: Injury

I picked up a calf injury on Saturday when I went for a 32K run. I picked it slightly after 600m and it got very bad by 16K but I clenched my teeth, sucked it up and completed the run. But it was tough as hell. At any rate, cramps also fucked me up pretty bad so I took three hours and some change. Which is not so bad. But I was pretty wasted after that run.
So much that Sunday, I slept through the morning.
Monday I walked. Tuesday I went for a tempo run, clearing 6K in 29mins. I had to stop when the pain became unbearable.
I walked yesterday and will walk today and tomorrow. Hopefully, I can run again on Saturday. I walk for quick recovery and to keep my weight in check.
I have decided that every day I will not be running, I will be walking the 8K home
So for now, no running today. Let me give my leg some time to heal before I fuck it up permanently.
 So this week its 32+6=38K. Am behind schedule.

Keep working!

Monday, February 4, 2013

EXECUTION

EXECUTION – The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.
Yes, I knew the subject title would get your attention. It got mine too. Execution is a book about leadership. I thought this book was about how to marshal your faculties towards ensuring you carry out your plans and not become a talk shop or a procrastinator. But it is more about leadership, about being effective and about getting things done. It is an excellent book. I did some quote-mining so I will just share the quotes I gleaned as I soaked up book’s contents. Of course, reading the quotes by themselves don't have as much value as the book itself but they are still useful. Here goes:
  • A leader should be where the action is and should not get reports filtered by perceptions.
  • If your followers suffer ignorance-based fear when you are executing a new strategy, it is your fault as the leader.
  • A leader must be self-aware. Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing.
  • Behaviours are beliefs turned into action. Behaviours deliver the results.
  • We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting; we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.
  • If you reward performers and high-potential people, people will work harder at differentiating themselves.
  • Leaders get back the behaviour they exhibit and tolerate.
  • Be more what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it oriented.
  • Decisiveness is the ability to make difficult decisions swiftly and well, and act on them.
  • Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill.
  • Micromanagers are insecure leaders who cannot trust others to get it right because they (the leaders) don’t know how to calibrate them and monitor their performance.
  • The fact that a strategy of good or right does not mean you can execute it. I.e. A good idea is not necessarily good for you. Know your capabilities and shortcomings.
  • A leader must be able to replace an excellent performer with one who can take the business to the next level. A leader must have emotional fortitude to make tough decisions.
  • Everyone has unforeseen events that come along, and the people who ultimately succeed are those who overcome them.
  • If you cannot describe your strategy in twenty minutes, simply and in plain language, you haven’t got a plan. Every strategy boils down ultimately to a few simple building blocks.
  • No matter how well you execute, the risk of failure increases markedly when your ideas don’t fit your existing capabilities.