Elementary Lesson

Last Wednesday I learned something basic about running. That is, I already knew it in theory — but in a year of trying to run weekly, then twice weekly, my experience had been so variable and so rough that I hadn’t had the occasion to observe in practice the importance of pacing.

Wednesday I set out and felt all right, kept going, thought I could keep going steadily, and wound up pushing my not-break-stride point to Ashton Street. Then I only paused again once before finishing my mile, and I thought ‘Wow, this is bound to be a good time because I spent so little time walking.’ IOn fact, though, my time was 11:04 — a long way off my best time. I was able to keep running/jogging because I set a very leisurely pace.

So I thought that this week I would push my pace a little, but I didn’t want to lose ground on my not-break-stride progress. I did manage to get to AShton Street again, and I only paused once more, but my time again was disappointing — 10:59.

This is interesting to me, but all beside the point. My primary goal is to get the whole mile without breaking stride, at which point I can begin trying to improve the time. I still gasp and wheeze through most of the run, unlike the Spandex-clad real runners who breeze past me on the pavements of Oxford; someday, I hope, I’ll be able to run a mile in a decent time without gasping. Then I might — oh, I don’t know — I might think about a mile and a half!

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