Saturday, August 29, 2009

Music, language and the brain

I very rarely run while listening to music. For me, running is very much a meditative activity, and listening to music only distracts me. And yet I am one of those people who, on some level, always has some music playing in the back of his brain, and this is especially true of running. So I guess in some sense, I do "listen" to music while I run. 

The idea that music is part of what makes us human is fascinating to me. And so I found this link to a series of videos from the World Science Festival very interesting. It features a panel of neuroscientists who study music and the brain, with special guest Bobby McFerrin. If you're at all interested in the science of music, or if you just want to hear some very cool performances by a very, very talented musician, I highly recommend clicking through.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back on the trails

So after two months off healing my foot, which included a two-week vacation to Switzerland, which itself included several days' hiking in the Alps, I am running again. Yippee!

My first run was actually only a few hours after stepping off the plane. A great way to loosen up after a 9-hour flight, but perhaps not the ideal start to a training program. It was only 5k, and it was exhausting, but it was also exhilarating.

Ten days later and I'm up to 12k, though at the (for me) pretty leisurely pace of about 5'35"/k. My body's still adapting to the stress of running, but I think it's time to incorporate some speed work, at least over the shorter distances.

I'm pretty sure that barring any further injuries, I'll be able to run the half of the Montreal Marathon in three weeks. As for the full marathon in Toronto a month after that, well, time will tell, but I've pretty much given up hope of qualifying for Boston. I need to just enjoy running again after so long a period off. Trying to BQ would be too much pressure. So at this point, my goal is simply to run a marathon this year. BQing will have to wait.

But MAN is it great to be back!