Speed Work

As I continue to lose weight, my running pace gets faster. This is a bit of a surprise at my advanced age. I am starting to creep into a range that enables me to “place” in my age group in some distance races; a gift for me always. I cannot express my amazement and questions as to why I am able to keep running but grateful for every step.

I talked my coach into letting me begin to increase my mileage at this time. I love to run and enjoy every step along the way. My running, as I have stated in previous posts, is my time to meditate, clear my head, pray and express my gratitude for friends, health and just life in general. My running allows me to be satisfied with most aspects of my life and work.

My speed work, along with my slow increase in distance will allow me to challenge myself, something that I find I need almost constantly. As I ramp down some of my surgical practice, I need the constant challenges in my life. I focus on precision and increased quality rather than case after case to increase my awareness of every step for teaching purposes. As I teach myself a bit, I become a better teacher for my residents and students.

My speed work allows me to be more conscious of the changes in my body as I move along my running paths. In the early morning darkness, I am most comfortable with being alone on the streets of my little village. I am happy to know the darkness better than I know the light these days. I can let my brain go where it will and keep the constant push physically and mentally.

My speed work gives me instant feedback on my progression. As I progress physically, I am working on increasing my flexibility. With being away from home for the past month, I haven’t been able to participate in my ballet work. Right now, I scheduled a class on Sunday evening; dreading how much flexibility and timing I may have lost over my absence from class. It may take a few sessions to get my “sea legs” back.

My speed work forces me to confront my spirituality with every step. As I push myself physically, I challenge my fears. I fear injury but so far I have no injuries. I fear doing too much work in to short a time. My goal for today’s speed drills is to pay close attention to my physical feelings after my next workout.

Finally, I have a short (4-mile) prep race in a neighboring town tomorrow morning. I have no goals for this race other than to get out in the cold weather and have some fellowship with other runners. I miss contact with my marathoner friend but I know that he doesn’t want contact with me. Still, I have infinite gratitude for what he has shared with me and how he forced me to grow as a runner. I will always honor this and hope that he forgives me for being grateful for honoring what he has given me.

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