On a side note, I did a google search this morning for "the need for speed." I ended up getting several results for "the need for speed run cheat." Since Google can pretty much read all of our minds at this point, I thought I was being implicated with a targeted message. Turns out that there's actually some Xbox 360 video game entitled "Need For Speed: The Run" with various cheat codes, i.e. codes that trigger a favorable event or effect for yourself as a player. (I'll have to ask my nephew Reid or my niece Blair about this game since I'm too old to know about these things anymore.)
|This is more along the lines of my video game familiarity.|
One of the changes I've made to my training over the past year is to slow down my training pace. I've read from many sources that you should train at a comfortable pace that allows you to converse while running. From a numbers perspective, this is anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds per mile slower than your marathon pace, but that when in doubt you should run more slowly. I've even heard that it's impossible to train at a pace that is too slow. (Never fear, folks, if there's anyone that can train at too slow of a pace, I'm sure I can.)
Training at this slow of a pace feels very counterintuitive to me, especially because I'm so slow to begin with. My fear is that my body will get used to running so slowly and that when it comes to race time, it will be that much harder for me to kick it into gear. I know that this is what speed training is for, and I have been good about consistently doing my weekly fartlek workouts. But building speed has proved to be extremely difficult. I find it much tougher than building distance, and one of the most mentally-frustrating areas of my training.
|Flashback to high school physics, put into direct application.|
I am amazed at the number of runners I read about that place at races, whether overall or within their age groups, as well as those that are so disappointed when they don't place. Are you kidding me? Do you know how thrilled I would be to even be entertaining the thought of contending for a race placement? I would consider it a personal victory to even qualify for a starting corral at a race. I read about folks working towards getting into start corral A, B, C, D, etc. Maybe someday if I continue to work really, really hard I can qualify for this one:
I've also read a lot of derogatorily-toned articles, blogs, or comments about those 11- or 12-minute-per-mile "power walkers." Certainly there are plenty of folks that can run much faster than that - and they deserve to be proud of themselves! I also know that in today's world, it's difficult to say almost anything without offending someone. But from someone who would love an 11-minute-per-mile marathon pace, it can be discouraging to read these things.
Are there any other penguin/slow runner bloggers out there?
A lot of people forget what a gift it is to be able to run, period. There are thousands of people that physically cannot run or even walk, and thousands of other people that cannot afford shoes. Similarly, my hope is that I never take myself for granted, either.
I am slow and I have been nagged by injuries throughout my running career, but I am privileged to be able to run at all. These are little things to some. But I believe that all achievements in life are worth celebrating.