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logic. life. learner.

Pace Setter

Posted by jbharp on April 22, 2008

I met a friend yesterday evening for a slow paced easy run. I’ve given her on a plan for a 10k run on Memorial Day, so I met her in the middle of my weekly long run to offer some running companionship and keep her at a beneficial pace. She’s into the second week and has experienced all three types of training runs: long, tempo and speed. We were discussing the first week of runs when she confessed that inside of her existed a ‘sprinter that wants to come out on every run.’ But when running a 10k (not to mention a marathon), sprinting isn’t the best strategy. It makes sense to distribute your energy evenly throughout the entire race and settle in for the long haul.

Fortunately, I don’t suffer from the sprinter syndrome. I prefer setting aside most of a summer Saturday morning and spending a few hours hitting the trails. A methodical, rhythmic crunching of gravel and dirt under my shoes for hours gives me delight. I realize that others have to fight the urge to truck through a slow, steady pace. But there are other urges within me that I have to fight.

There are times when nearing the end of a run, I get the urge to keep on running past my determined distance. And some days when I don’t even plan on running, I’ll crave to lace up my shoes. On the contrary, and a more frequent occurrence, I’ll be tempted to cut a run short or cut out a run completely. Although I sometimes give in, I do my best to adhere to the plan I have in place.

After we parted ways and I continued on the second half of my run, I was reminded of a line in the Jewish Passover Seder (since it was fresh on my mind from the night before – more on this later). It says ‘The key to freedom is to anticipate the future and make it real. The definition of maturity is the ability to trade a lower pleasure now for a higher pleasure later.’

This applies for all areas of life not just running. Freedom is often displayed in the ability to say ‘no.’ Freedom does not mean we can indulge in anything and everything we want, as our culure would sometimes lead us to believe. But it proves to be challenging (at least for me) to keep our lives on a daily course we have planned.

At times I try to go through life alone. I think I can do it better or I don’t want to bother anyone with my choppy pace and heavy breathing (sticking to the running metaphore). When I help someone out with their running (the few requests I’ve had) I am thrilled and not burdened in any way. Without a doubt, I have greatly benefited from people who run along with me in life to keep me at an appropriate pace. Afterall, life is a marathon and includes various types of training runs.

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5 Responses to “Pace Setter”

  1. Kelsey said

    You still considering the Chicago Marathon?

  2. Kelsey said

    You still considering the Chicago Marathon?

  3. Suzanne said

    “But there are other urges within me that I have to fight.

    There are times when nearing the end of a run, I get the urge to keep on running past my determined distance.”

    Poor baby. But seriously, this is a great blog. I especially liked the last paragraph. It’s a good analogy.

  4. Suzanne said

    “But there are other urges within me that I have to fight.

    There are times when nearing the end of a run, I get the urge to keep on running past my determined distance.”

    Poor baby. But seriously, this is a great blog. I especially liked the last paragraph. It’s a good analogy.

  5. Becky said

    I agree with Suzanne, Jared.
    The last paragraph is a good one!

    P.S. I never get the “keep running” urge! Huh.

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