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Day Fourteen: Cancer Hope Foundation 5k

January 14, 2012

Miles: 3.1

Total Mileage: 96.5 (155 kilometers)

I heard the distant sound of my wife’s alarm at 5 something in the morning. Having stayed up all night, I was in the other room watching tv on my computer with a blanket around me to warm my tired body. I’m a natural born insomniac, but right when I thought I’d grab a few hours I realized I had more than one bug bite on my neck and scalp.

After the worlds most amazing shower I felt more myself. No bugs, freshly buzzed hair (it was getting shaggy) and my sore muscles warm and relaxed. I abandoned all hopes of running a fast 5k, since sleep is essential to recuperation. But as I had hoped, I ran it faster than 25 minutes.

22:54 was my official time, 3rd best in my age group (for which I earned a coffee cup.) It was a relatively small event with a few hundred participants, maybe half of which were running. Generally speaking my time was not competitive or “fast” by professional standards. I was running about 7:30 minutes per mile, the record holders do this with roughly 4 minute miles.

Lately I’ve enjoyed googling the fastest time in a distance and trying to run in less than double that time. It isn’t as easy as you might hope.  Your marathon needs to be less than 4:06 or Makau can do it twice as fast as you. Your 10k needs to be faster than 53 minutes or Bekele can run it twice as fast as you. You would think anyone

My eye is on the long ball, this was the shortest race I have ever run. I hope to use my every day training to prepare my body to run marathons, 50k, and maybe even as far as 100 miles one day. I don’t intend to do it quickly, but work up to it. My goal is to minimize shock to the body and make the distance as safe and sustainable as possible. Running very fast is not really useful to this goal.

There are many good arguments to be made for which is the more normal running, sprints or long distances. It isn’t hard to imagine why a human might need to run fast, but why might one need to run slow? We all have ancestors who ran very fast over short distances to do things like catch prey or escape predators.  We also have ancestors that used their feet to carry them over 25 miles every day in search of food. Both are “natural” things to do. I personally enjoy long distance and think it can be enjoyed for many decades longer than sprinting.


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