Run 2015-03-23

“Feels like 4º” outside so I ran indoors.

Did at 7:24 mile, then jog-walked the second mile.

I was pretty pleased by my mile time, even though it wasn’t a PR. So it still shocks me a bit that 7:30 is not really considered a fast time. Indeed, 7:30 is “average for someone who is not in shape.

As someone who has worked out pretty consistently for the last 4 years, and has gotten fit enough to run long distances (like the half- and full-marathon), I feel like I somehow couldn’t have avoided getting into better-than-average shape. But I guess not. Either my pain threshold is too low, or I just don’t respond to training well.

In high school gym class, I had to run a 7:30 mile for “satisfactory” performance. I considered this a reasonable standard; based on what I had heard, only fat people ran 10-minute miles. That said, I doubted my ability to do the run that fast (perhaps I would do it in 8 minutes?) and I felt relieved when I was unexpectedly taken out of class for a doctor’s appointment on the day of the run.

Later that week, the gym teacher remembered that I hadn’t taken the test. One of the course assistants took me out to the track. On the walk over, I couldn’t help myself from blathering one excuse after another for reasons why I was so out of shape and why the course assistant would, sadly, have to observe a disastrous performance.

When the clock started, I ran like a madman. I knew I was being judged. I ran my poor teenage butt off. The distance got longer and longer — only 1 lap down of four? Only 1.5 laps?

Finally, I finished.

7:30 exactly!

I had crushed it, in style, because I did exactly what I had needed to do and no more.

Many years later, upon discovering that it was quite difficult for me to run even a 10 minute mile on the treadmill, I concluded that the assistant, being merciful, had simply lied to me about my time. It had been no coincidence that my time was exactly that required to pass the exam. Well — after many years of practice — I guess I’m finally ready for that test.

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