Monday, September 3, 2007

Neighborhood Run in Lieu of Kenyan Way Hills

6.65 Miles, 55:02, 8:16 pace, Avg HR = 141, Max HR = 155

A combination of the rain and Labor Day all but cancelled Kenyan Way today, so naturally Julie and I went for some ice cream instead. If you're ever in Houston (or Austin), you should visit Amy's Ice Cream. Hank's Ice Cream is a very close second in my book.

After a cup of Maple Sugar Bourbon Walnut I was on my way to run an errand of sorts. I took a leisurely bike ride to drop off Julie's bicycle at MD Anderson so she can be a bit more mobile during her lunch breaks. After I locked up the bike I ran from the hospital down Holcombe Boulevard with no particular route in mind. These aimless jaunts can be liberating, as it gives me a chance to view my neighborhood at a slower pace than the breakneck speed that I normally drive.

I ended up on what is conventionally considered the "wrong side of the tracks", but you could have fooled me based on the pocket of really nice houses I found along Macgregor. If anyone has a few hundred thousand dollars extra to swing my direction, I certainly wouldn't mind living in that neighborhood.

I didn't intend to run so far, but that's the unintended consequence of not mapping out a route beforehand. I didn't get "lost", but I certainly didn't have a good concept between what would be a four mile run versus what would be a six mile run. All in all it was a great experience, though, because I felt great the entire run as evidenced by my low heart rate. But I need to keep a close eye on my calves, because they are sore after 25 miles in three days.

I feel compelled to discuss another casual observation that I never would have understood before I started running. There is a physiological and psychological gulf between the 8:16 pace I ran today and the sub-8 pace I ran yesterday. Taking an extra half minute to complete each mile frees my mind to observe my surroundings, contemplate current events in my life, and reflect upon how well things are for me. At faster paces my mind narrows to animal instincts of survival and competition. Both mentalities have their place in our lives . . . in proper doses.

My selfless wife offered to drive back to Houston today while I read a book about the life of George Sheehan. The name of the book was Did I Win?: A Farewell to George Sheehan. Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend this particular book ABOUT Dr. Sheehan, I'm certainly excited about reading some of the books he wrote. Dr. Sheehan was an early adopter of distance running, and wrote extensively on the subject of understanding your body, mind and soul through running. Perhaps he would have been proud of my elementary revelation today regarding the different mindsets at different paces.

8:43, 8:26, 8:22, 8:14, 8:16, 8:01, 4:54 (7:54 pace)

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I know you are not much of a fan of Phedippidations ( but episode 109 is about Dr. George Sheehan.

Your running is looking very impressive and the blog is good also.