Month: July 2019

GCR #2 – RYS-AWM-RYS

Calf muscles seize into fits of tightness over five days. Time to rest. The short sprints to catch trains after work don’t help. A short run on Saturday over softer ground is a test, with new, chunkier shoes to protect against the impact of hard roads in the months ahead. Thibaut Pinot, a favourite on the Tour de France is forced to give up. He weeps. He wants it too much, perhaps. Expectation becomes a weight, magnified internally. The root of suffering is attachment. Murakami cites a mantra snatched from a feature on running in the International Herald Tribune: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Is that so? To keep on going you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects… The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed—and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage. Haruki Murakami I’ve bought a running vest to carry water and a telephone. Light rain drizzles. Perfect weather. The plan was …

GCR #1 – AWM to RYS

An FT article about running⁠—part of a series called “Rise of the Runners”⁠—activates a latent will to run longer distances. An idea forms: could I run the morning commute from Royston to King’s Cross? Along quiet roads, the distance is about seventy kilometers. In building up to it I could explore the route around the line, run between stations. Glossy videos from an earphone manufacturer capture aspects of the attraction to running. The cost of the Annual Gold Card for a year of train travel between Royston and London was £4936. It will allow me to shuttle between new running tracks. Today marks the start of the Gold Card Running project: Runs between stations on the Royston to London line(s). On Saturday morning I had managed only 3km. A perfunctory restart. Travel and then a cough sapped momentum. A reduction in fitness feels like a gradual loosening of the body. The mind too is less sharp. Long-distance running has appeal: a slice of freedom carved out from the normal flow of events. Murakami wrote about …

XXXII. Extrusion and involution

On Line 6 from Gangcheng Road, a man moves nut beads around a string. The diameter’s length is about half a meter. The man rotates the nut husks quickly. They look like miniature walnuts. They are polished and gleam a bit. He wears garishly coloured training shoes and a golden bracelet and a golden necklace with a jade-like pendant. His head is shaved, he has thick lips and his black shirt features a tiger. M50 is a “creative park” in Shanghai. There are shops and studios. There’s a small coffee shop. Inside hangs a punching bag with a sign asking its viewer not to punch it. A stuffed rhinoceros toy looks out at the punching bag. It’s a coffee shop less than it is a tattoo parlour. The business model is tattoos and coffee. A fat cat lolls about. It needs its owner to feed it water through a syringe because it lacks volition to consume water. There is a tattoo in progress. An outline of activity is visible through a frosted glass screen. The target …