Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wyld white boy of the savannah

I was doing some speed work today. I've been doing this with my mouth closed, trying to push the speed at which I can run without mouth breathing. I'm certain this has made me faster although I haven't been timing anything lately the way I used to.

On a day like today I am pushing as hard as I can such that I desperately want to open my mouth to get that big gusting breath, but then I just back off a touch and get it back under control. Although this could be a really nice technique article all about how you can push up your anaerobic threshold by doing this and get more efficient at oxygen delivery, it's not really what I'm excited about today.

While I was running I had a pretty good near PBS experience. I was running along pinching my lips tight, fighting the urge to open up and pant, when I had a thought. I decided I would try to put my 'suffering' in context by observing my run from the moon. That is to say I was going to try to put it into visual perspective to cue corresponding spiritual perspective.

As I rose from my body and tried to distract my relentlessly busy mind, the image that came to me was one out a nature show. It occurred to me that I have never once looked at one of those beautiful aerial shots of wildebeests and antelope galloping across the plains, escaping from the deadly predator, and spent even a moment correcting their running form or wondering whether they were pushing close to anaerobic threshold, or whether they were putting their feet down too hard. Obviously they are running like that from the day they're born and don't have to worry about unlearning good form or computer desk posture, but the point remains I think, that my aerial view experiment had its intended effect and gave me a different perspective.

The view from up there was of a funny looking two legger hobbling toward something or away from something and just trying to get his body to do it right. From the moon a 5 mile speed run, a 16 mile distance run, or a 100 mile ultra all look about the same. They are a tiny scratch on the surface of the pretty blue and green ball. I'm not going to try and get too deep about it, but it did help me to come back to my body and just get back to pushing. I did it three or four times during the run when I was feeling the pain and it helped.

1. Pretend you have moved just a foot or two above your body. Spend a few moments there floating above you thinking about how it looks to stare at the top of your head.

2. Start to withdraw and picture the area around you as it falls away. Keep falling away from yourself and watch you shrink into the distance.

3. Go as far as you want. I went to PBS helicopter altitude first and hung there. Later in the run I did space man at moon distance.

"Dust in the wind Dudes"
Good Running!

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