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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bricklaying in An Age of Aluminum Siding

Today, yesterday afternoon achieved mediocre workouts. My race this weekend gives no indication of being much better. I don't like that I have much more work to do to break 2007's PR of 22:00. It is no great help that I used to scoff at any time in that ballpark. I'm sorry about that. Really, I am.

Jim keeps reminding me to run slower. What's with that? Slower? That's from a guy who made his living trying to run faster, not slower.

Slower. That's for my workouts. Last week, I averaged just under 100 seconds per 400m. I think that's plenty slow. Apparently not slow enough.

My 5K pace should be no faster than 105. I'm angry I ran five seconds faster. It should be no faster than 105.6, to be exact. That is my PR pace. If I honestly audit my current fitness, 110.4 (23:00 pace) might be better, or even 115.2 (24:00) . No matter what I should have done, 100 is too fast.

There's method to his madness. It involves learning to tolerate lactic acid build-up, build a better VO2 max, and other concerns. Can't do this the same when running faster. I can't claim to know the science behind this, but this is his expertise. He had a serious career running until he was 37.

Part of his mantra: patience. He knows I am itching to run fast, and also knows I haven't done so in a long time. But he also knows things will not be easy.

Another part of the mantra: bricks in the wall (the video connection should be clear). Nothing overly zen here (since zen isn't really his thing). Just good, smart sense. What are the bricks? I take it as each workout, each race, and each time I stretch. It all adds up.

Saturday's race will come and go. I'll run hard. I'll be exhausted. My watch will say something slower than I like, but that's what it'll be. Can't speed up bricklaying.

unrelated: A story I wrote involving two runners who see sheep with hooves on backwards.

Pink Floyd: Another Brick in the Wall

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