Edit: Thought maybe I’d add a title.
MadMayoite Dena and I decided a tempo run on the (relatively) flat greenway was in order this morning. Normally, a tempo run for me means completing my local loop as quickly as I can without suffering too much. “Consistent effort” is a little tough with all the steep hills in my neighborhood, so it’s really more of a less-extreme fartlek, I suppose; always either preparing for the next hill, climbing the hill, managing the descents, etc. So a flatter route can be a nice change of pace.
I have a theory about speed. Or Maybe it’s wishful thinking. You know how effortless fast runners make their pace look? I would be flailing around like a desperate maniac trying and failing to keep up. Common sense would say that it looks effortless because they’re in such good shape. In my continuing efforts to think more sense than common, I wonder if that’s backwards. What if the fast ones make speed look effortless not because they’re in great shape, but rather speed is not generated by all that extraneous effort? Maybe they’re fast because they’re smooth and efficient. So today, on a flat, I tried to hold on to a fast (for me) pace and figure out how to make it less effort-full.
I think I’m starting to get it. It seems like a little extra leg swing, faster cadence, and my nemesis, rhythm, are enough to pick up the pace considerably. No giant steps or intense arm swing needed. But why should such a little extra umph be so tiring? Or is it not that tiring, and I’m just being a baby who needs to suck it up? Anyway, after a mile warmup at about 9 minutes, I managed between 7-7:15 for another six miles. I don’t know how long I could hang on to that; I finished tired but not beat. I just kept telling myself “this isn’t that fast. This isn’t that fast,” trying to be as efficient as possible.
Oh, right. My feet. The whole point of this blog. I obviously have more to learn about avoiding extraneous movement, as I have a bit of a hot spot on my left footsole between the big toe and second toe. Since that’s the first and second metatarsal, I’m now coining the phrase, the “One-Two Hot Pad.” No blister or anything, just a reminder that I’ll (nor you, probably) never really master the basics, and need to check in now and then. Other foot issues, all the right: I re-broke my Art Class second toe kicking a root. I was wearing aqua socks, FWIW. Aside from bruising and an inability to crumple a newspaper with my toes, it hasn’t been an issue. I also think I might have had a mild case of sesamoiditis. I consulted Dr. Groucho, asking, “Doc, it hurts when I do this, what should I do?” “Stop doing that,” he replied. This being landing with more pressure on the ball of my foot. I stopped, rested, it went away. At any rate, the feet are in fine shape, especially considering the pace increase.
OK, next up, what? Cranky, counter-intuitive, alienating post? A limerick? Flowery prose extolling the beauty of running? Fart jokes? I do it all, folks.