Ask yourself: “Can I give more?”. The answer is usually: “Yes”. – Paul Tergat
Lately I’ve been running simply based on the fuzzy notion of reaching close to my maximum velocity, which is to me the definition of a speed run [when not considered too precisely]. That is I neither plan nor record, either distance or time [not any more]. The point is to just run close to what feels like my personal present limit. A reasonable guess is that the duration would clock in between 30min and 45min. As to distance, I am clueless. And the motivation, base as it is and primitive as I put it into practice, is to become faster. It feels good to be crude about a matter for a change, instinctive.
I have a bible of running sitting on my something-something-table in my thingamajig-room but, despite the copious reading I do otherwise, I can’t get myself to peruse this particular volume. It seems like a piece of work and, more to the point, it will be useless if not assiduously applied to my own running workouts. This would involve coming to grips with the numerous timetables and faithfully writing up my times. Even just writing this, thinking about this, I know it all to be incredibly ancient. There is NikePlus and Adidas miCoach so why the hell even begin to fret about all that old-school practice scheduling. I don’t.
I stick with the rudimentary [most likely false] premise if I run as fast as I can every time, I will then eventually become faster. Maybe stronger too because I push the hills as we were taught. I couldn’t think of a more elementary regimen. Running for troglodytes. The constantly incorrect distances on NikePlus were cognitive self-immolation; they made me bother with figures in a way that was urgent and pointless at the same time. That French watch with GPS is too expensive or I’d probably go for it. Then, for a while, I could be a numeral fetishist again and map the run and the territory.
So why try to get faster anyway? A guy I know has become significantly, vastly, slightly greenness-inducing faster. I have no similar ambitions as I am not interested in that particular flavor of running [long, 20plus, super fast] but the basic idea struck a chord: become faster again. There are many fabulous reasons for running but this is a bloodily glowing jewel at the motivational heart of the matter: fast, faster, fasterer, fastastic.
There’s a rush, a blind, animal exhilaration of increased velocity, in the long trans-savannah lope that ranks tophole among human physical activities. And thus far it’s been achieving the projected purpose. I’ve been becoming faster, no number to it, only increased leg frequency and a rush of acceleration out of the gates, up the hill from the National to St. Anna’s and then shallowly descending via Utenberg, Unterloechli and Wesemlin to Maihof.
There is always a mild to rather intermediate burn to it, an undeniable aspect of inexplicably enjoyable self-flagellation: ragged breathing, hurting arches, acidic thighs and an obscure, persistent, madly-flapping murder of Ys giving chase. And in running without an answer you escape not necessarily from it, the metaphor doesn’t work that way, I believe, but from giving it. That old Nike line appears in a coruscating effulgence of significance: You’ve either run today or you haven’t. [Y / N / d.n.a.]
I have. And the very moment you stop running the clock towards your next run starts counting down. There is a raw brutality within the flesh of running: the last run, no matter how excruciating, doesn’t count anything towards the next. Physically, psychologically, etc. it can be relevant, yes but at a pure level of being, in the depths of the runner’s consciousness, the two exist as distinct events, never to be connected. Your last run could always be your last run but the next one is the one that signifies because if you look back what most you can see is the specter of an empty distance. But when you look forward, attaboy, you see that thing, meaning ex επίθ, the road ahead, an A to B, a C to G, a L to U to T to M, remaining in place to be ruffled once again by the kinetic poetry of one’s run.
To run or not. Again.
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