Perimeter meaning the 6 mile patrol road inside the fence of the military installation on which I work, where some half a dozen of us comprise a pool of running “talent” and strive to show up for a noontime run a couple times a week if we can escape our desks. We share a lot and these guys are one of the core pillars of my sanity.
Monday during our 6-mile run around the base perimeter, everyone seemed a bit slow and devoid of energy. Our pace typically hovers near the 10 minute per mile mark and even that seemed fast.
I had had not run on Sunday and should have been fresh, but instead felt logy (I love that word!).
Mike mentioned how his legs felt absolutely trashed from an 8 mile training run the day before. He had run a couple laps around Wildwood Lake, which is part of the Harrisburg Marathon course. A pleasant asphalt path encircles the lake and goes through the woods, including a couple decent hills. Mike had run a strong first lap and decided to try to put the hammer down for the second lap.
A check of his watch revealed that putting the hammer down = 8:05 miles. I appreciate the irony. Everything is relative nowadays.
Actually (and I'm not rationalizing, am I?) I'm glad that I not only am old and slow, but that I recognize and accept the fact that I am old and slow. Road racing PRs are a distant and painful memory. I no longer enjoy running fast and love the freedom to be slow that Ultrarunning provides. Footing rough? You walk. Uphill? You walk. Just feel like taking a walking break? You walk. Otherwise, you run the flats and the downhills and savor the sheer joy of running in the woods.
I embrace and honor the word trudge. Speed kills, as they told us in the 70s. A slog is a pleasant pace.