Monday, April 27, 2015

Am I Nuts?

So I seem to finally be injury free.  I've had a good couple of training weeks, including an epic 15 miler in San Francisco last weekend.  This weekend I got in a couple of long workouts including some swimming, biking and running, and this morning I had a nice run in East Rock Park, the last of my New Haven runs, as the semester winds down.  The crazy part, though is that I'm signed up for a sprint tri this weekend in South Jersey.  I'm not going to be fast, but I'm comfortable with being able to complete the distance (1/2 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 4 mile run).  The part that has me nervous is the swim.  It has been cold, cold, cold here all April.  I'm expecting 50 degree water, and even with a wetsuit that's going to be unpleasant . . . Wish me luck!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Bloomberg Podcast on Google-EU

I think they offer a shortened version one day after, so if 20' is too long the 5' version should be up today.   Had the fun of meeting Professor Waxman for the first time in this interview.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Maltese Cross (winds)

Apologies - this report is about the 22/2 (February) Malta sorry for delay!    I drafted it, then thought I'd 'published'.    Hope your interest doesn't 'perish'...

A February marathon?    yes some sun at that time is nice, but how to train for such a thing?    Well it helps living only on a rain-soaked (rather than snow bound)  island, but still it was hard to get quality miles in!    I tried out some new shoes too!   Altras, and love em - here they are after a demoralising Yasso 800s sesh at Oxford's Iffley Track  -->

Anyway, our wee family holiday started well before race day with gorgeous views:

Our pool at the very reasonable Grand Excelsior.

The City Gate, right by our hotel - shades of a certain Ned Stark scene in GoT
 We pottered around Valetta and went to the Hypogeum nearby, a 6000 year old burial chamber with amazing cave art: 

Then warmed ourselves up for dinner with some stair reps:

Evening Wall Stair sesh anyone?

Dinner by the way was amazing every night; and their rabbit and veal specialties and pasta hit the spot.  I highly recommend Ambrosia, for slow cooked food but served super fast for hungry carb loaders!   

That was good because the 'expo' didn't exist, - or consisted of a long queue and then being handed a rubbish bag as a kit bag and a running treats!!   Boo.   I think the 1900 foreign runners were a bit non-plussed.

Race day dawned early, with the race starting at 730 in a lovely hill town, and Game of Thrones set.       

My only goal for this Malta Marathon was to get back into marathoning.   The 100 k last year involved slowing slowing slowing sllloooooowing down; now it was time to speed up again, but not really very much.  The plan this year is for gradual improvement, and the first goal was to get back to Rome and Amsterdam pace: spoiler alert, I was thrilled to finish Malta in 3.57.58 - so I did it!. 

Thrilled also because training was low and the course was very hilly, a lot more than the course profile showed, and because I met my race strategy goal perfectly which was PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE FOR 10, then FOCUS for 10, and the DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE up and down the hills for the last 6.2 and a negative split.    

My main weakness is usually too much speed at the start and then a falling apart at then end, and since the first ten miles were largely downhill I was worried I'd succumb, especially since the first few miles we were also all treated to low altitude drone coverage right above our heads, even mid pack - which made us feel special and faaaaaaaaaaaaast.  

The one problem in the last half of the race though, besides the hills and a Mediterranean gale blowing, was the fact that the half marathoners were sent off two hours after us on one loop that we were doubling, and so when we caught them the much-expected negative split feeling of passing slowing runners didn't happen, and if anything we had aggressive half'ers to deal with, pressing us on, when we were doing the best we could!! 

Supporting daughter (and sister of Half Marathoning son)
All in all though, I DO recommend the Malta marathon.   It is gorgeous, and a real treat to run amid such history, and usually, perfect conditions - the gale we had was very unusual.    Ans Spencer, yes, the socks you left in Oxford held up, and while drenched, still padded me to the race plan I wanted!! 

Your correspondent notices a camera.  

Dad and son at finish, en route to gelato....weighed down by some serious BLING.

Pigeon unaffected by heavy guns.

Little man wuz here.  
PS.    apologies again for the late post....since the run, work has been busy, and we also have been to a training camp (rowing) in Seville - gorgeous....and the next marathon (of 3 this year) is actually coming up soon, on 4 May in Milton Keynes in the UK, and I promise a more timely race report after that!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Production Possibilities Frontier of Clever Writing

I have a theory that clever turns of phrase in writing are inherently imprecise.  Why?  The theory goes that clever writing requires effort, as does accurate writing, and you necessarily pick one over the other.  Thus, a production possibilities frontier -- the more of one (cleverness) the less of the other (accuracy) and vice versa. 

Thanks to  K=accuracy and C=cleverness, in my example.
For that reason alliteration and rhyming, both reasonably common in legal writing, should be looked upon with suspicion.

An example: I've spent more time with Brown Shoe in recent weeks than I care to recount.  Brown Shoe contains two statements of a possible rule.  One:  " It is competition, not competitors, which the Act protects."  Another:  "[W]e cannot fail to recognize Congress' desire to promote competition through the protection of viable, small, locally owned business."  The first is pure dicta.  The second is the rule of law.  Which gets the most airplay?  The pleasingly alliterative phrase "competition, not competitors."  

Might Brown Shoe be better understood by history if Chief Justice Warren had written instead, "The Clayton Act does not exist to keep individual firms in business unless doing so works to the benefit of the competitive process."  First, it would be more accurate.  (Contrary to the implication of Warren's clever phrase, competition and competitors are not antonyms.)  Second, it would not be nearly as quotable.

What if we made an effort to write what is accurate and not what sounds nice?  We would be more likely to get it right and less likely to spin clever but inaccurate turns of phrase that get abused going forward.