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It is quiet.  The air is still. I hear a soft pounding in my chest and my feet on the asphalt.  My heart reminds me of the task at hand: kee...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Short and Sweet ...and Slow

I am really starting to like the short route through the ASU Polytechnic Campus.  There is a certain charm about the modest 2.5 mile loop from South Desert Village following Innovative Drive around the main buildings and malls.  It's short enough to leave me wanting more, but easy to get to.  However, if I cut up through campus, I'm treated to shaded pathways, towering cacti, and arching Palo Verde, not to mention a little distance extension, depending on how I take it.  Another find within the oasis of campus are the cooled water fountains.  Cha ching! These are within shaded alcoves and offer refreshing (tastes like filtered) water for the parched and weary.  Look for the vending machines, as these drinking fountains are not out in plain view.

Today was a warm run through the dry, desert air.  I saw mocking birds and quail as I ran.  I suspect it was already too hot for the lizards to be out and about because they were absent.  I ran slower than normal, pacing a staggering (literally) 12 minute pace.  I did this for 2 reasons: 1) I am no friend to heat so if I am to survive as a runner here in the desert, I'd better take it easy, and 2) I am still recovering from my terrible cold.  I was still congested, even.  In fact, I was concerned that I might get cited for spitting on the sidewalk today (honestly, I could not wait).

There is no shame in taking it easy.  Today, I take great pride in my ability to slow down and give myself a break.  If there is one thing that I have learned from Coach Joe Henderson (and there is much, much more than just one thing) it's that running slow can be an amazing tool to successful running. So often I find myself caught up in thoughts of PRs and time improvements.  This is silly, if I really think about it.  I mean, the fact that I can run at all is nothing short of amazing.  So, do I hesitate to blog about pacing 12 minutes today?  Sure.  Did I see birds and find drinking fountains and appreciate trees along my run?  You bet! And am I a healthier runner because I set my ego aside and took it easy?  I'm pretty sure I am.

Early Morning on ASU Polytechnic Campus

Don't get me wrong; I still intend to challenge myself.  I just know a little bit more about me and how I recover from working too hard.  I also know how I can actually make myself sick or sicker if I push it.  I don't need to do that today.  No, today, what I need is to feel the sun on my legs and shoulders and the feel my breath working with my heart, easy. Short and sweet and slow.  

I can sprint tomorrow.

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