As of yesterday, September 30, I passed the 3000-mile mark here in Iraq. I also cut 2 minutes from my 5k run time the previous week. It is much easier to improve when one is slow. Last week I ran it in 30 minutes and 20 seconds. This week I was down to 28:22. The civilian who runs the race gave me a medal for finishing 3rd in 50-plus (out of three guys who signed up). It was really a close race between the first two guys--they finished in 23:14 and 23:20. I was most of a half mile back in third.
The bike mileage means I have also made more than 200 laps of Tallil Ali's Perimeter Road. Katharine Sanderson, a friend from the UK, wrote recently. I replied to her something about the war. She said, "Somehow I forget that you're fighting a war at all. Weird. It must be your witty blog posts about books and PR!"
Along the same lines, my wife said, "I'm enjoying the other-personal glimpses on your blog. Since I've been wrestling so intently with my students over verbs, I think your "fights" (as in "Who fights this war?") catches my eye . . . especially because there's not really any traditional fighting going on in your stories. I know that "Who prosecutes this war?" doesn't have the same cachet, so I'm not suggesting you change this at all."
But they are right. Who would know from most of my blog posts or my current bike mileage that I am serving in a war?
I have more "Who Fights This War?" stories and will post another one tomorrow. Whether fight is the right word or not, we are here, there is a war and so I'll keep the word fight.