you can’t be a prophet in your homeland

Last week, before they dashed off around Cliffe Castle, and shortly before the dead body was found on the other side of the park, I helped the kids in Keighley warm-up. Minutes before the race the meet organizer, John Dennis, said, “We’re just waiting until it starts raining and then we’ll get going.”

Despite the horror stories of constant rain and dreary days, I’ve been doing fine without my daily dose of vitamin D. In fact, this is the first Autumn I haven’t been ill. I usually get a little cough; last year I got the flu. This year, nothing. I don’t believe in knocking on wood so I’ll just continue drinking my grapefruit juice.

Maybe it is the grapefruit juice, which led to the climax of yesterday’s events.

I slept in until 8 am and went down to the kitchen to make some French Toast… I mean “Eggy Bread”. The word “French” is a bit of a taboo. Particularly after the friendly  the other night between England and France.

Je suis très désolé pour votre perte…

After eating my Fre… Eggy Bread, I checked my email and saw that Brian was headed to Manchester City Stadium to do a session on the track. I got the message at 8:56 and he told me to call him before 9 if I fancied going. I rang him up, met him 30 minutes later at the Mill and drove with him to Manchester City Stadium: the home of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Beautiful Facilities.

It was neat to see the likes of Tom Lancashire (3:33 for 1500) and some of the other top British athletes floating around the facilities. I warmed up outside and then came inside to do some drills and strides. I was putting on my lighter training flats and asked Brian, “So what’s the session? You know I’m racing the 10K in Leeds on Sunday?”
“Yes. Let’s do something a bit faster today. 10×400 with 90 seconds rest. 15 seconds each 100.”
“10×400 in 60 seconds?”
“Give or take.”

I didn’t say a word…

This would be a fairly standard workout if I was in the middle of track season, but the last workout I did was 2 weeks before this and the last time I was on the track was 1 week before that!

I was working out with one of Brian’s top Olympic hopefuls. David. He’s 18, visually impaired and runs 1:54 for the 800. 250-1 says he breaks the world record for his category (1:52) in the next 8 months… He’s racing at the World Championship in Christchurch, NZ in January so I was glad to help him out.

It was a cool 6-7 degrees and windy. After a delayed start due to reasons which cannot be mentioned, we got going.

First one was 63. Slow.

It felt hard, really hard.  The wind on the backstretch was tough and I was use to running at 6 minute mile pace, not 4 minute mile pace.

I knew I had a new pair of legs under me so I tried to push it a bit. Next one was 62. Better.

The next three were 61’s. Good.

We got to 5 and David was struggling so Brian gave us a few extra minutes to jog around. I then ran the next five in 61’s with a little zip added to the last one (David did 300’s instead of the full 400’s).

Not bad.

Good to know that all these mindless miles are paying off and that the grapefruit juice is working.

Along with running and coaching, there have been two visits to Leeds University this week: twice as many as the previous 12-weeks combined. Steps are being taken. And if one of my grandparents retained his or her Italian citizenship when either my mother or father were born in Canada then I’ll be starting my PhD (as an EU citizen) sooner than I thought.

Time to start digging for some evidence.

I’m not sure what sort of emotion one ought to have when thinking about getting into a PhD but my current emotion can best be described as anxious. Anxious to begin researching and anxious to begin writing.

I’m considering doing my PhD in the UK for 3 reasons:
1. It is a full research degree
2. It is 3 (instead of 4-6) years
3. You can’t be a prophet in your homeland

ps. don’t be afraid to comment. I’d like to know who reads these…

Categories: bleak and beautiful, Existential Ideas, Running


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7 Comments on “you can’t be a prophet in your homeland”

  1. Layla
    November 20, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Your metaphor is both blashphemous and inept.

    • November 20, 2010 at 8:15 am #

      Good thing that it is only a metaphor then… 🙂

  2. Larissa
    November 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Best wishes in England! Love reading your blog. Especially since you’ve been in the UK! And I totally understand your third reason for staying-many pioneers feel that way.

  3. Ebineezer
    November 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Great read Mike.

  4. November 21, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Wise words and a slew of choices if your grandparent does take back citizenship. Road to cross when it occurs?
    I love that you are in the North, and that you have endured all that rain. Keep up the training.

  5. Eric
    November 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Just want to correct #3, “You can’t be a prophet in your homeland.” Jesus was! Of course, we know what happened to Him as a result!!

  6. Kyle Desormeaux
    November 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Yeah, I feel the same way about my blog, especially when you look at the number of hits to your blog and there are no comments, even negatives ones.

    Props to your old man cheering for me at AO XC race in Guelph on the 14th. Has he even aged? He always looks the same when I see him at races.

    That’s a solid workout, keep that ball rolling


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