Notes on Running #3: Aîka

Aïka is five months old. A border collie, and new to our family. Rambunctious. Fast. She loves her walks. This morning, I took her for a run. We went slow, but it was quickly clear that running with a puppy forces one’s attention to her rhythms, her pace, and her speed. I took my full presence and attention. Feeling the leash, plating it, never letting it tighten because we got out of rhythm. Quickening as she did. Slowing with her. I’m sure she made my run better.

Aïka at five months.

Notes on Running #2: Slow and Steady

I ran down and then up the hill today. It was straight forward: a kilometre down, descending 150 m, a kilometre on the flat, and then gong up 150 m over a a kilometre and a half. Today, like yesterday, I held back, kept a steady pace, never pushed myself, and did it in about 35 minutes. I remember doing the same run in in January, but this time, I don’t feel totally spent and exhausted by the end, as as I did in January. In running, as in writing, slow and steady?

Notes on Running #1: Hold Back

Where we are living for the next few months is in Santander, Colombia, halfway up the hill, at about 1550m. Any direction, out the door, means either going up or down 500 m. Every run is a hill trail run. Today, I went for an accidental long run.

For the first time, in months, I seriously held back. I ran up the hill, focused on form. Any time I felt myself going hard, I consciously went easy. I held back, up and down the hill. I never went beyond easy. As a consequence of deliberate restraint, today felt like I ran further and more steadily than I have before.

My run turned into an hour of easy running, I took the time to walk for five minutes. Then I spent ten minutes stretching. The result? Holding back made for an enjoyable run. It wasn’t my fastest or my most intense, but it was one of the more pleasant runs.

Hold back, who knew.