Five is Feasible

Friday, February 11, 2011

I stood there on my favorite strip of BGC contemplating the run ahead. There was I, about 20 lbs still above my race weight, apprehensive and excited about my speed interval. Six hundred meter warm-up and then I come upon the spot where my dreams of speed begin. Stretch, and stretch some more. Open up your muscles - your hip flexors and glutes - I would remember Kettlebell instructor Nico some sessions back.

I reset my watch and clicked start. I surge ahead, lengthened my stride, pushed until my breath almost ran out. I was almost dying, but four hundred meters after, I pressed my watch and looked in amazement! Two minutes flat. Was that good or bad? I did a slow math in my shortness of breath. That translated to 5min/km! Really, as in really? Great, a window of hope opened.

But that was 400m of gasping run. Speed has to be a glorious, exhilirating thing. It should be minutes-long, continuous, happiness ride. Or maybe cycles of orgasmic nirvana. Certainly not a juvenile, pre-mature expression of delight. Ergo, I have to last more than 400m of speed!

Experience and maturity should have given me endurance, control and some mastery of technique. If I have to last, speed up through technique, not brute force or pawning of your legs and lungs.

I gingerly jogged to my starting spot. Technique, technique. Breathe deeply in regular cycles, use the bigger muscles. Run from the core of your being. And I did. Four hundred meters after and I clocked 1:57. Yahoo!

I came back. In my excitement and I powered through the run again. I exceed two minutes by a second! Blah! I came back once more. Still above two minutes. Darn! My cumulative average is still above two minutes.

I went back bargaining with myself. I could leave that spot that night doubting my speed, or I can claim what is rightfully mine. I took a sip and cleared my mind. Think comfortably fast. And I did. Run in the moment. Revel in that delicate balance of power, speed and self-control. Speed need not be excruciating. It can be the most marvelous of things.

Marvelous indeed. 1:54 for my last lap without passing out nor breaking my shins. 9:55 for 2kms of trysts with speed. 1:59 average per lap.

Five minutes per kilometer is feasible. Maybe even better. I don't know when I could use that in a race, but in my mind it was a done deal already. Dozen, hundred, thousand more laps and my race pace of choice shall drop too. By sheer will, with God's grace, Yeah, five is feasible!


Sam TheRunningNinja February 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM  

Yeah its possible. Hope to see you racing one of these days.. I hope to be back on the road soon..see you!

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