Archive for the 'heart rate' Category

If you are a parent of a state school pupil in the UK, it is sports day across the country this week. Even though it is already Wednesday, tardily I’ve decided that we’ll focus on sports this week; coming first is not important, it’s the taking part that counts.

Sports day itself presents a variety of hazards for the modern parent. On average you can expect to lose two afternoons of work. Worse still you may get caught in an on-again, off-again spiral caused by the British weather. There is also the obligation to join what can be the life-threatening race between parents that normally concludes proceedings.

It’s no joke. A friend of ours once broke an achilles tendon in the fathers’ sack race. As far as I can recall, it took a good year to heal properly. And there’s worse when you consider the headline on the front page of Peak Performance sports science newsletter that dropped through the mailbox this morning screaming “Why fit athletes suddenly drop dead, and how to stop it happening“. Continue reading ’42 and the meaning of life’

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Tweet Sport is usually about expanding one’s aerobic capacity. Knackered Downunder spots a story where that logic gets turned upside down A 15-year-old who was born with a rare congenital heart defect, or “functional single ventricle” — which means she is missing one of the four chambers of the heart, and the blood vessels are […]

Nassim Taleb, author of the New York Times bestseller The Black Swan, was the first person ever to email me here at the Knackered Hack.

No, honestly, it’s true. In the annals of this blog, that was seen as something of a red-letter day (if not a black swan event). But its relative importance on the part of the sender was naturally quite insignificant. Let’s say, our relationship was perfectly asymmetrical. So, when I turned up to meet Taleb at his London hotel recently, without the more imposing affiliation of a national media title with which to introduce myself, it took a while for it to sink in just who in publicity hell I was.

Finally, after 10 minutes, the author exclaimed in his soft Levantine accent: “Ah, I remember! You’re the marathon guy with the picture!”

Rarely have I been so pleased to be recognised for so little. It was nice to know that I registered with Taleb less as a total “unknown, unknown” and more as just faintly forgettable. Taleb had been researching blogs with a view to publicising his latest book, and had hit on this humble site. “I saw you writing about my book Fooled by Randomness on a marathon blog. I said to myself, this guy’s interesting!”

Even better! It’s a rare journalist who gets an actual compliment from the The Black Swan author.

As we exchanged initial small talk about exercise, I explained that I was a bit annoyed by all this complexity stuff of his, because his work has devalued most of my post-graduate business studies. Moreover, after leaving business school I moved on to devote a lot of my spare time to marathon training. But lately, having suffered repeated illness and injury and read the blog of another student of complexity, Art De Vany, I’d been led to the conclusion that this marathon malarkey might be injurious to health as well.

At this point a jet-lagged, publicity-dazed Taleb came alive: Continue reading ‘Caveman lunch with taleb’

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Tweet Five weeks ago, I was set to run the London Marathon. Training was back on track, my near-term target was last week’s Bath Half. Apart from a tentative run last Thursday, I did not train at all in the intervening period because of the most persistent virus I’ve encountered. As of now, the London […]

It may be a punishment for being rude about economists on the Marginal Revolution blog. These people have supernatural power, you know. But for 24 hours I’ve been feeling a bit ropey again. It’s definitely the man-flu feeling. Heart rate was up this morning after a rest day Monday. Looks like it might pass in a day though, fingers crossed.

I don’t think I overdid it with the long run. There was no pre-indicator I was ailing, but the previous few days involved some significant stress. Twice in eight weeks I’ve been in situations where elderly relatives have been critically, disturbingly ill, including a New Year’s Eve near-death vigil, followed by a miraculous recovery.

They say stress weakens the immune system. Given that the running, certainly in the short period after each exercise, causes a redistribution of white blood cells away from the upper respiratory tract, it should not be a surprise that I might be more vulnerable to virus than usual. Mild weather also seems to be spreading more around this year than I remember. But even a week out now will seriously jeopardise my position come April 22.

I will aim to do some light exercise Wednesday, come what may, and avoid taking potshots at the economics profession until I’m better.

Resting heart rate 49

Weight 70.5 kg

Mood :-(

Unscheduled rest day

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