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An Eventful Weekend.

12 June 2017

This weekend had a couple of big events that were fun. Sunday morning BB and I ran our 13th half-marathon together. It was a deliberately slow run, because it was a planning race for the half-Ironman in September. I expect the conditions in September to be hot and miserable and humid, and that’s what yesterday was. It was about 75 at the start, and rose to about 85 by 9:30 am when we finished.

We decided on a run/walk plan, where we ran 0.8 miles and walked 0.2. That’s likely to be how I do the run portion of the half-Iron. I don’t expect to be able to run the whole way in heat after that long bike ride. So we did our interval plan and it was harder than I anticipated. Our first several intervals were fast, down around 8:30/8:45 pace. But as the day wore on, they slowed. Our last couple were up around 11.

Overall, we finished in 2:30:26, and got a medal and a t-shirt and a pint glass and that was fun. But I’m definitely not happy with where my fitness is at the moment. I’m overweight, under-trained, and ill conditioned for running in hot weather. I have to make some serious changes if I’m going to be able to achieve my goals this summer. the next big one is an Olympic triathlon in two weeks. I think I’m fit for that, for a slow one, but I am going to push hard this week to get ready.

The other thing that happened this weekend was that I got to hear my own music performed! By real live people. MECMC had a small benefit concert (and I do mean small, there were about 30 people there), and I had volunteered to write a little piece for it. One of our music therapists who plays the flute and a pianist from temple collaborated to perform it. It was a really wonderful experience.

Afterwards they asked me to say a few words, which I was totally unprepared for, and I mumbled out something like, “It’s very humbling to be able to contribute something to such a worthy cause, and a real honor to hear my own music performed so well.” But I think I used the word “flabbergasted” in there and so I’m kind of embarrassed.

I’ve never gotten to hear my own music performed in public, or by people other than me. I really felt like a composer, for a moment, in that setting. I had written a piece for people to hear, and musicians learned it and practiced it, and performed it for an audience, from a stage. It was really special.

Composing is another one of those things that I pretend to do. I know just enough to make things come together, but I don’t have much of an actual gift. Much of my composition is achieved through trial and error, or by improvising and deciding to explore themes I stumbled on quite by accident. I can’t hear symphonies in my head. I have to layer them together voice by voice.

If it weren’t for software that allows me to experiment and hear what I’m doing, I could never write music at all except for piano. I don’t have any special gift. Just a love of music and a willingness to occasionally bash some things together that never sound quite as good as I wish they did. I learned the basic theory behind chords and modulation and such, and that’s the best I can do.

But I’m ok at being mediocre at things. Sure I wish I were gifted. But I am glad to be able to do little things that make me happy, and this time it seemed to make some other people happy too. And I got to share the whole experience with BB. Which made it doubly wonderful.

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