mississippi river road path
Was only supposed to run 3 miles today, but decided to run a little extra. Wanted to do the Franklin hill one more time before my 10 mile race on Saturday, which, due to a recent course change, will include the monster hills that I’ve been running 3-4 times per week this winter. A few months ago, this course route would have freaked me out, but now it doesn’t bother me at all.
Ran without headphones again. So beautiful. Heard lots of birds. Thinking of trying to learn to identify different bird calls. While running and listening, tried to come up with words that could properly mimic the calls I was hearing. Now, writing this hours after the run, can’t remember the sounds or the words.
The river road is peaceful, but never completely quiet. It’s in the middle of Minneapolis and just across the river from St. Paul, so there’s a constant, underlying hum of city noise that you don’t so much hear as you feel deep in your core. I don’t mind that hum, but I miss my family’s farm in the remote UP Michigan, where it was always quiet and still. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to run up there, where there are few off-road paths, only dangerous shoulders, too close to recklessly fast drivers and to the edge of the woods, where black bears, stray dogs, foxes, cougars and who knows what else might lie in wait, ready to lunge at me as I run by. Though I would like to go back up there and sit in a field, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the silence.
Just read an essay applying Foucault’s theories on dominant discourses to self-narratives about long distance running. The author of the essay writes and then analyzes her own race report for The Big Sur Marathon. In her analysis, she discusses how she reinforces and subverts dominant discourses about femininity, the “ideal” body and running. I’m wondering: what are the dominant discourses in this story project?
What dominant discourses are present in my running?
- time/speed, desire to achieve a PR, motivated by success as faster time
- “true” running = no walking, walking = failure
- self-surveillance and monitoring (bpm, pace, total miles in training)
- run training = complicated combination of long runs, tempo runs, hill work, speed work, Yasso 800s, tapering, “core” work
- running = overachieving + highly motivated and “Sucessful” person
- value of running is being the fastest, or faster than most people, or the fastest you can possibly be
- races are about PRs
- excellent runners are disciplined
- running = fancy and expensive gear
I am attempting to challenge, transform, unlearn, disrupt, rework and play with these dominant discourses. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.