Easter run and Seneca

Today I can say I don’t envy California weather! It was perfect (for me, anyways): probably in the 40s/50s when I was out. I do envy the fact that you guys in CA have hills. Though I just found a place near by that apparently has something resembling a hill…

Ran 6.5 on campus today, though I had to run the last mile when I got home since I was playing the route by ear (I either get bored on routes that I map out before going or else just forget where to go). The bulk of the running today was at an easy pace with 1 minute walk breaks every 10 minutes.

Vaguely running related: if this whole academia thing doesn’t work out, I think I’m going to write a book or two on exercising (on the exercise habits of thinkers and characters in literature) even though I’m sure there are a ton of books already out on the subject. Anyways, here’s a random bit from Seneca, which shows why he’s my role model:

. . . Today has been unbroken. No one has robbed me of any part of it. It has been wholly divided between my bed and my reading. A very small part of it has been given over to physical exercise — and on this account I’m grateful for old age, for the exercise costs me little trouble. I only have to stir and I’m weary, and that after all is the end of exercise even for the strongest. Interested in having my trainers? One’s enough for me — Pharius, a likeable young fellow, as you know, but he’s due for a change. I’m looking now for someone rather more youthful. He in fact declares that we’re both at the same climacteric since we’re both losing our teeth. But I’ve reached the stage where I can only keep up with him with difficulty when we’re out for a run, and before many days are out I won’t be able to keep up with him at all. See what daily exercise does for one. When two people are going in opposite directions there’s soon a big distance between them: he’s coming up at the same time as I’m going downwards, and you know how much quicker travels is in the second of these directions. But I’m wrong: the age I’m at isn’t one that is ‘going downwards’ — it’s one that’s in headlong descent.

However, you’d like to hear how today’s race ended? Well, we made it a tie, something that doesn’t often happen with runners. After this, more a spell of exhaustion than of exercise, I had a cold plunge — cold, with me, meaning just short of warm! [If you had an undergrad’s lightly used edition of Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic, Penguin 2004, “FORESHADOWING” would be written in the margin here.] Here I am, once celebrated as a devotee of cold baths, regularly paying my respects to the Canal on the first of January and jumping into the Maiden Pool in just the same way as I read, wrote and spoke some sentence or other ever New Year in order to ensure good luck in the coming year; and now I’ve shifted my scene of operations, first to the Tiber, then to my own pool here, which, even when I’m feeling my heartiest and don’t cheat, has had the chill taken off it by the sun; it’s a short step to a hot bath! The next thing is breakfast, which consists of some dry bread; no table laid, and no need to wash the hands after such a meal. I then have the briefest of naps. . .


2 responses to “Easter run and Seneca

  1. Good job on the run, Rachel. Is that a new mileage PR for you?? I’m soooo sore from yesterday.

  2. Haha that sucks (where’s The Stick!?). 15 on a whim and on hills is definitely going above and beyond the call of duty.

    Actually it wasn’t a mileage PR today. I ran about 7 back in December which caused my right shin to be engulfed in flames for like a week after haha. I think I can hit a mileage PR when I go for 7 and change mid-week (since there’s a 5K on Saturday, and I’m sure that a long run will be a good substitute for vodka before or after my oral exam on Wednesday).

    Hope you had a great birthday!

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