five point five


Running through…


Running well below the profile of average runners, staying slow on purpose, I opened up to the ruddy and wheat hued fragments of crushed pebble and granite meeting my feet; the leafy spring air; the man pulling the bass from the water below me; the odd gait of a man ahead on the trail as he looked up into a tree; the approaching sound waves from the woodpecker he was looking at; then the sight of the downy- feathered, juvenile, white and black woodpecker drumming for breakfast on a dead arm of a great lakeside tree. I later saw the same man on the second pass, walking away from the area, and I got a profound sense of his solitude.

A husband and wife walked their dog around the lake, and on the third pass, we exchanged pleasantries. On my last lap, someone’s feet crunched on the pathway behind me. The first other-runner of the morning, a woman, ran past. For a moment, I almost protested this by boosting my pace. Instead of focusing on her, I looked inside at the impulse to do that, and laughed. I also felt the forces of her passage, and how her presence ahead created a wake in an athletic dimension inviting me to keep pace behind her. I could feel the impulsion to lock onto her pace, keeping a static distance. It was something dynamic in the atmosphere, unique to human beings training in proximity. I resisted this pace-setting force in order to better feel it’s pull, and I have to say, there’s more to it than me, the other-runner, and our minds. The other runner’s effort, whatever pains, feedback, and adjustments were happening, were happening because of her spirit pushing herself through the air and light.

I arrived at the end of this passage of this morning run energized that the goal of re-acclimating and toughening my feet, ankles, knees, hips, lungs, and circulatory system with the simple act of running, had begun again. The first part of my weekend mileage day was complete. I am grateful for another run.

7 thoughts on “five point five

  1. I love how running invokes the senses. In a lot of ways I am glad I am not a fast runner as I get to enjoy my surroundings a lot more than I would if I were always flying everywhere at top speed. Glad you had a good run Mike.

    • Your comment about running invoking the senses made me think of a list of things slow runs can do. To me, these slower runs can accommodate:

      1. preparation for higher intensity, volume, or interval runs to come;
      2. the sensory invocation as you put it so well;
      3. a mode for thinking through, meditating on something important;
      4. exercising the imagination about alternatives to judgments we prefer ripe for our investigation;
      5. remembering and rehearsing one’s top priorities in the mind;
      6. breathing;
      7. monitoring what thoughts and feelings we generate inside and consciously trace, evaluate, and reshape them to do good, or be better;
      8. to completely quiet the thinking as much as possible, and let the rhythm of the run flow through;
      9. to listen to an audio book (LOL);
      10. to work on best running form considering one’s own body, shoes, etc.

      Other ideas for the slow, longer runs?

      • Great list Mike. I would add sport specific visualisation to it also. Often when I am on a long run I’ll drift off and visualise I’m in the Ironman and everything is happening as it should, the swim, the bike and the run, I am strong, steady and enjoying the experience.

    • thank you for your valuable readership and input…if you ever see anything here you believe I could improve I welcome your experience and wisdom.

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