Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Difference Between a Jogger and a Runner

It's been said--and I'm pretty sure that it was by Dr. George Sheehan, the so-called "running philosopher" that I grew up reading as a young runner back in the early 1980s--that the difference between a jogger (a term I despise, by the way) and a runner is an application form.

As in a race application, which separates the sheep from the goats and the "serious" runners from the, well, not so serious.

I just entered the Fire on the Mountain 50K, to be held later this month in western MD on 27 Oct 2013.  I am ashamed to admit this, but this will be my first Ultra in 2013.  Events, calendars, but mostly a lack of motivation have conspired to make this so.

But...having sent in my app (although in today's world, I entered online), I feel strangely liberated, excited, pick the adjective.  The words of Goethe come to mind, about whom I blogged here:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Although my training has been fairly low mileage, I have a secret weapon, because I'm an old guy: the advantage of "muscle memory."

That is, I have always had the almost uncanny ability to train little, yet still be able to pull out a decent enough performance on race day.  That's why I call it muscle memory--decades of running have apparently instilled a deep measure of fitness into my body such that I can go long--VERY long--on any particular day without any particular preparation.

That said, I did crank out an easy 10 on Wed (and Friday's post will reflect some meditations about a local cemetery that I routinely stop at) that went quite well.  This weekend or next I will log a 20 miler, and voila!  I will be sufficiently prepared for the 50K.

Such is the beauty of muscle memory.


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