Trying out sprint and recap of 2017

 
2017 was a slow year, even though I have been running fast. In April I wrote about how have i shortened my training runs and this is pretty much what I kept to for the rest of the year. Overall, I went for 126 runs and ran 1035 km, much less than the 2048 km in 2016.

It seems like a step back, but I have greatly enjoyed the tempo of 4 min/km (15 km/h). Another thing I tried was sprinting, and I am going to share my experience here: I was surprised, just how different discipline it is!

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My journey to Star Wars

 

There are many people like me, who have had their lives greatly influenced by fictional worlds like Star Wars, Star Trek, StarGate, Lord of the Rings and others.  Still, I don’t feel like a typical “geek”. For example, I am not interested in superheroes, I also don’t watch zombie TV series.

And while I have seen the 300+ episodes of StarGate multiple times, I was unable to follow Game of Thrones for very long. There are way too many characters for me to keep up with. In general, I try every Sci-Fi/Fantasy IP/universe that comes out and I like some of them more, some less.

However, my favorite fantastic world is without any doubt Star Wars.

The original Star Wars are archetypical, ancient stories of people, their zeal for power and their love in a rich world with inspiring environments and retro sci-fi technology. It is sort of a “second world war in space”. It is not supposed to be a rational vision of future technology, it’s more like an alternative history, a well known epic tale, just in space.

But, throughout the decades, Star Wars have established their own world with its own history, philosophy and style. The Star Wars phenomenon has also been for a long time about the devoted fan culture and our own experiences and friendships. Myself, I have had so many memories associated with it, that it is really a part of my life.

And today, I am here to start my Star Wars series with a story, how did I discover them and how they fascinated me…

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The second halfmarathon didn’t go so well (2017)

Last year I ran my first halfmarathon, as I wrote. I woudn’t be interested in it on my own. It is on Saturday, in the morning, a lot of people, 11 thousand runners. I dislike when during the weekend, I have to do something at a precise hour. And you even have to pay for it. But since we were running as a team from our company, I did it.

Last year it went quite well, since I used to train 2-3 times a week on a 18 km route, so 21 km wasn’t any different. And when you add the dinosaur dosage of adrenaline from the crowd around and well composed playlist in my music player, it is easy to perform much better. And so I ended around the 180th place. This year, I ended up around 550th. How so?

Life is a change and by the end of the last year I reduced my training to merely 8 km route. For several reasons. The long run without any extra motivation wasn’t entertaining anymore, you run out of adrenaline after some time and life is simply too short for that. Then I discovered, I get the same endorphines and joy out of running a shorter rub. When it is more intensive, you constantly push the limits and never get bored. I speak for myself, some people prefer longer routes, hats down to Derfel, Mirek.

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Heaven belongs to the happy people

For being from Prague, I know a bit about religion. I am actually baptized, for one year I have attended a Catholic elementary school in Germany, later on I have studied for two years on a Jewish high-school.

Yet, I am a very rational person.

Every single day, my thoughts somehow wander to the ideas of god, faith, good and evil, how happiness, what to do with life and so on.

Already some time ago I have logically concluded the following.

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Porn versus Games

No, I am not going to theorize about these two forms of entertainment and their differences. Instead, I will share one experience from my teen years, which, when we think about it, does actually cover this topic quite well.

It happened in the year 2002, I was 14 years old and we lived in Prague in a historic house on the river bank. I had my own room with a view of the Prague castle and of course, in front of the window I had a big table with back then still a huge CRT screen. No need to mention that it was here, where I have spent my free time playing Quake 3, Ultima Online or Counter Strike, unless we have went with friends to play over LAN or in a game cafe.

The view of the river Vltava, Petřín and the castle behind my monitor nicely underlined the fantasy atmosphere, when I was choping wood, practicing archery or other nice things in Ultima Online. However, this idyllic environment was soon to be disturbed…

Right next to the window was a balcony of the neighboring apartment, at which I had a clear view from my chair at the desk, but since they almost never used it, I never cared. Until the day, when they started shooting porn there.

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Pompous and scary Hermann Göring

I respect those who fought for their country. Among them, D. D. Eisenhower for leading the conquest of the western Europe. On high school, I have also had some toasts in honor of Soviet Marshal Zhukov. And I am proud of the determined Czechoslovaks who helped us restore our independence.

But among all the important figures of the Second World War, one has caught my attention as something really unique. All the stories from books and documentaries about the Reichsmarschall, founder of the Gestapo and commander of the air force Hermann Göring put together a picture of a strange man.

Man known for his charm, piloting prowess, drug addiction, organizational skills and close friendship with Hitler, for his fondness of luxury, food and extravagance. The defeats of his Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, at Stalingrad and during the defense of Germany have however left stronger mark in the history than all his strange habits. After doing some research, I would say, Göring had even scarier life and fate, than most of his fellow Nazis.

Today I will change my usual theme, to share the most intriguing about the pompous and scary Hermann Göring.

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Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear and more on Obzor 6

It has not been long… actually, it has, since I was celebrating the announcement of the new expansion for Baldur’s Gate. Since then, I have finished other “classic” RPGs like Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity, including the expansion, along with Fallout 4, and now I have spent a month with Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

Just how good is this new expansion for a 18 years old game? How did it even come to realization? All that and much more in my videoreview (in Czech) on Obzor 6…

Meanwhile our space station Obzor 6 continues its exploration of the Star Citizen universe. With Blowik, we have just released the 16th episode, dedicated to the patch notes of the newest update 2.4 released to the closed alpha Player Test Universe. Update 2.4 adds persistence to this persistent MMO game – your actions will finally carry over when you leave the server. It also adds a new currency to the “Universe” to obtain and spend, a shopping system, rewards and missions for both defenders of justice and criminals, and it adds the so far biggest flyable ship – the Starfarer. But more on all of that on Obzor 6!

 



About half marathon, talents, natural selection

Every single of us, we are the results of natural selection, every of our characteristics, every our gene had to win it’s place in our DNA by succeeding. It is the genetic variety, differentiation and the so called mutations, what allows us to adapt and develop. Individual from individual, generation from generation, we have different abilities and these clash in a competitive fight, for the stronger ones to survive.

I would go so far as to say, life is survival by improvement.

And it is not just about open competition, about the clearly visible talents, and most definitely it is not about an individual. But let’s take a look at something specific.

Mass events are not my favorite, but even I have to say, Sportisimo Prague Half marathon 2016 was quite inspiring. While I have been running 20km routes for years, only now thanks to my colleagues did I run in an official race (team motivation > individual). With the time of 1h 25m (4:01 min/km) I have surpassed my goal and managed to finish 339th out of 11 thousand. What helped was the adrenaline from the crowds, but also the sports watches, which just a year ago I was not sure whether to buy.

Back then, I was afraid these will change my relaxed running routine into a more performance oriented one, and they sure did. When you can see detailed statistics of your tempo and heartbeat, you just won’t settle with mediocre performance. It is not only about your position in a race, it is also about the effort. You want to stay as close as possible to your limits, because if you don’t push them, they deteriorate. Sounds smart? It sure is. But it is not enough.

Even more important is to choose well, which limits you want to push. What is worth the energy and time?

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Star Wars and Star Citizen are belowed visions of alternative history

Even if unoriginal, the new episode, which we have reviewed with Blowik shortly after the release, is great. Why? The video (learn Czech, btw). And it is Star Wars. It is true, even if it isn’t.

Did I say unoriginal? Don’t they copy themselves? But even the old episodes didn’t bring any new, original visions. Even Star Trek is a more meaningful vision of the future, one of the reasons, why it is less understood and loved.

Simply said, Star Wars are a great adaptation of the second world war in space, classical family drama, plus evil wizards and good knights.

If you didn’t know, space combat in SW is based on dogfighting in the second world war, cockpit of the Millenium Falcon is from an American bomber, Imperial Star Destroyers are aircraft carriers, The Empire is the Third Reich and so on. Star Citizen is the same, just more inspire by the antiquity (the Roman Empire versus vandals/Vanduuls, the Xian – China…).

The idea of humans so simply traveling on board of space vessels over galactic distances comes from our persistent passion for naval travel and exploration of exotic lands, new continents, distant cities, naval and later aerial battles. The oceans and lands of Earth have all been explored, now we want the same in space, in the same, romantic way. Is it wrong? I want is as well.

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