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Great post Martin. With regard to running, I think I was verging on being one of those runners you refer to but I discovered it well in my 30's so my potential was a little bit limited and, when I could have pushed to become 'fast' life got in the way and I took a big break. Now I am middling and dealing with recurring and seemingly chronic injuries. My PB's were all several years ago and now I'm nowhere near a 38 minute 10k, 1:26 half marathon or 3:06 marathon. At the time I ran those I think I could have easily gotten faster still by 10-15%. My last two marathons were 3:19 and 3:41 respectively.

1000 miles in a year is still a good average because you're going to have weeks where you don't get 20 miles in and, so, you'll have weeks where you'll need to do 30 or more to hit your goal. The speed you run at has nothing to with classifying you. The fact that you're thinking about it the way you do makes you a runner.

With regard to comparing running to education, you could compare it to anything. I'm more of an interactive designer than an educational professional and yet I feel much the way you do. I'm not Eric Meyer or Jeffrey Zeldman and never will be. However, I'm always trying to make myself better and think of things from new perspectives. With regard to design, there are still not even necessarily programs that address the core of good design completely because it's so multi-faceted. The only way I can recognize informal learning is if my work seems to be improving. I don't know how else it could be recognized. Then again, I'm presently doing an MA in learning and technology so I'm not sure what that says about my design background, because I'm looking to change things up a little and move in other directions with my career.

Anne Marie Cunningham

You are inspiring me. Still, I dare not add a widget to my blog until my last 5 runs are at least in the last two months:)

Alan Levine

Well, shoot I dream of numbers as good as yours ;-) I did one full marathon and it will be my first and last, but can see maybe. maybe. maybe doing some 10ks and 1/2 marathons.

If you want my flavor on titles, my passion is spelled out at http://dommy.com/ihaterunning

Mark Curcher

Great post that resonates with both the runner and educator in me. That desire to improve and as you say - about identity. I enjoyed Murakami's book because I could connect to some of his experiences and was surprised when my dad read it while staying with me as he normally does not enjoy running books - although he is still banging out 2:06 half marathons at 71 years old - I think he prefers to get out and do it more than read about it!


I run with various women friends at lunchtimes. It's a real mix and match affair - different paces & distances, so we adapt to each other. I think the reasons we do it are to get a break from work, to chat, to have friends to 'unload' troubles onto, and to get help and ideas on things (at home or work). So if we're looking for learning links, for me it's around community (and it also keeps us fit ...)

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