Saturday, July 11, 2015

Decent Performance

All I know is that I know nothing-- Socrates

My first mile today may have been my best ever opening mile of a race. The Atlanta Beltline SW 5k was good to me. I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard. It was a little choppy in the beginning because of congestion. I couldn't open up until the first quarter. I still managed to cruise to a solid first mile. Then the hills kicked in. For those that have been following my progress down here, you know that I've been struggling with the hills of Atlanta. The sounds sort of like a reality show. Certainly a show that I would never watch. In any event, the hills slowed me down but only by 23 seconds and 19 seconds respectively, per mile, for miles one and two.

Right now I am listening to a Jazz piece by the Dave Brubeck Quartet called "Take 5". Oddly enough, I probably didn't need to give the name of the song because he was apparently a one hit wonder back in 1961 or so. It's really smooth and calming. If you listen to it, I am sure you would recognize it. I did slow down on two of the three miles I ran this morning but I am pleased with the comfort in which I ran. I didn't push too hard to maintain decent speed. In the book, "Born to Run", one of the people, Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco, spoke to the author about running, "easy, light, and smooth..." That has become my goal.

Of course I want to be faster but at what cost? I am not willing to sacrifice the joy of running so I can cross a threshold of time that is a microcosm of what running actually means to me. My shuffle list has moved on to John Coltrane's "Love Supreme- Part One: Acknowledgement". His piece, isn't as smooth as the aforementioned music but it is equally, if not more beautiful. Sometimes I wish I could design a playlist to pick up right when I need it and bring me down when I need it. Faster paced music on those rolling hills might have made a difference in my speed. I believe on the longest climb I listened to ASAP Rocky "1 Train". That song is great for a steady part of the race. 

I am willing to sacrifice comfort for speed. I am willing to look into ways to increase my speed through a number of means. I would change my diet some. I have already adjusted my stride a little. I would change the amount of work I do in a week to have fresher legs but I don't want to trade the beautiful runs on the trails. Running to landmarks at five in the morning is one of my greatest delights. I've done Fartleks without losing the joy of the run but some other methods are less attractive.

My search begins now. How do I get faster without turning running into a chore? Ironically, as I wrote that line, Miles Davis' "All Blues" blared into my ears. The irony is, I entered into the realm of retrospection and I feel as though this song can be both retrospective and introspective. 

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