Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

Daily Chase: Vol. 30

Variety is indeed the spice of life, and I’m always on the lookout for ways to mix up my daily runs and workouts. I have a great deal of respect for folks who can run the same route or hop on the treadmill day after day and be content with their experience. In part, I suppose it’s the result of different motives for running in the first place. Whatever the reason, I need variety to keep me interested. I use running as not only a means to test my own limits and abilities, but also to explore the world around me in new and interesting ways. Where have you gone exploring lately?

Chasing42 Log: 20160222

Run: Now that I am back in a university environment, I figured it was time that I familiarize myself with the workout facilities at my disposal as a way to mix up my training. I brought my running clothes along so I could change in my office, and I headed over to the university fitness center. They happen to have a faculty/staff fitness facility in addition to the full student facility so I had no shortage of options. Vertical gain is the name of the game as of late so I actually found myself on the treadmill for a few miles after setting it at a 15% grade. It still boggles my mind how folks can spend any significant amount of time on a moving belt, but the climbing definitely made for a great workout. I then spent some time on a stair stepper and a climbing machine to really push things, before taking a run outside around campus to cool down. It made for a delightfully varied workout!

Thought: University course registration policies baffle me! I’m currently at an institution where students can register for a new course up to three weeks into the semester. I understand the need for flexibility, and I certainly acknowledge that there are any of a number of scenarios that may require someone to pick up an additional class after the start of the semester. However, at the point at which three weeks (or 20%) of the course has already passed, why would someone think registering would make sense. You have presumably missed so much content at that point that, and any course curriculum worth a darn certainly shouldn’t make it possible to simply skip 20% of the course and still reach any of the learning outcomes. At the end of the day, however, many students don’t see it that way, and simply need the credits. Many faculty members don’t see it that way either, and water down their courses to allow for this absurd level of flexibility. I can’t help but wonder, though, how much actual learning is sacrificed in the process of providing such extreme flexibility.

This makes for an interesting parallel when thinking about running and training plans. For many folks, each race begins 12 to 18 weeks earlier with a detailed training plan. Sure, you might miss a workout here and there, and you might need to adjust your schedule. However, you wouldn’t consider simply skipping 1/5 of the workouts and still expect to live up to anyone’s expectations. If you are truly #chasing42 in any aspect of your life, you are hopefully doing so at 100%. I’m now stepping down- my soapbox is available for rent!

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