the pencil runs

posts on running

Running slower now

Friday, November 25, 2005
Why is it that though my weekly mileage is at an all-time high, I am actually running slower than before? :(

I just finished the 7.2km benchmark in 44 minutes. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and felt like crap most of the second loop. Why?

The fastest time clocked for the 7.2km benchmark was after a week's training in the gym. Somehow I think access to a gym helps a lot.

Meanwhile, after the half marathon, I think I will work on increasing my speed for middle distances, and putting back some oomph into those triceps.

Craving regular breathing

I need to run this evening.

I am a bundle of nervous energy. I wrote an email to the boss-man to tell him that the lack of advancement in my current position did not sit well with me, and now they've come back to me with a few proposals, all of which involve a lot more work and a lot more responsibility that I'm used to.

I need to run to rub that edge off my thoughts so I can think this through. Do I really want what they are proposing?

I need to run until the regular rhythmic breathing gives me comfort.

There are as many reasons to run as there are days in a year, hours in a decade, minutes in a life.

Over the hill

Thursday, November 24, 2005
Day Distance
Monday 7.4 km
Thursday 1.82 km
Saturday 13.8 km
Sunday 18.4 km
Weekly Total 41.4 km

First week over 40km. To celebrate, here is a quote from the blog of Track & Field Olympian, Joan Nesbit Mabe, Songs of Experience.

On Monday I was invited to speak to the local middle school cross-country team. When I give talks to kids, I usually try to use props … like one time when I brought an old phone book and tore out individual sheets to give to each runner. “Here,” I said, “Rip this in half.” Everone ripped with a vengence until there were 50 torn sheets of phone book paper fluttering in the air. “Okay,” I said, “That was easy, right? Try tearing this in half.” I then passed around the thick phone book. Several of the older boys gave it a good effort, grunting and turning red, trying - trrryyyyyiing - with all their 8th grade might to rip the thing. Impossible.

SO, my point was, if you run as a bunch of individuals, it’s easy for a team to beat you in cross-country (like ripping the one sheet in half)… but if you run as a pack, your strength multiplies exponentially. You can’t beat the phonebook. “Be the phonebook,” I urged. I heard, later, that the team still chants, “Be the phonebook!” (perhaps in jest?) and I gave that talk several years ago.

My most recent talk was about moving from “I love to run” … to “I love to race” … to ” I love to win.” How do you get from point A to point C? Training. I quoted Mihaly Igloi, “Every day hard training must make.” And then, to illustrate this point, I brought in a tupperware container with a pint of cream. “The cream is you as someone who, simply, loves to run,” I said as I poured the cream into the tupperware and then sealed it shut. The container had the words, “Every day hard training must make,” written on it. I passed the tupperware around and had everyone on the team shake it for all it was worth! After 5-7 minutes of vigorous, non-stop shaking [”hard training”] we opened the container to find the cream totally transformed into butter. “You, too, will be completely transformed into racers and winners if you train hard,” I concluded.

Inside the container, the solid yellow butter was separated from the skim whey milk and one of kids yelled out, “Hey, that’s our sweat!”

They GOT it.

by Joan Nesbit Mabe


Sunday, November 20, 2005
My Sundays have settled into a very pleasurable pattern.

After attending morning church service, I amble to the library to pick up the week’s supply of books. Then I hop onto a bus back home to read and rest until evening when I go for the long jog of the week.

I am strangely content.

This is the proposed route for this evening's run. If we manage to finish this route, I would say our training for the half marathon is complete!


Thursday, November 17, 2005

What if it rains on 4 Dec, 2005?

I feel like crap

Friday, November 11, 2005
And no wonder. This is my first run this week.

I was supposed to run 7.2km but after the first loop, I felt like dying. It was only 3.5km! The race is less than a month away!

Sigh. I think I'll run really really really slowly tomorrow and try to get some distance in.

I'm just glad this tiring and busy week at work is over. I think the bosses think that presentations are made by magic. Next week will still be busy, but not in that if-you-don't-do-this-right-now-you're-gonna-be-so-screwed way.

NB: Why have all my friends suddenly jumped on the blogging bandwagon?