Friday, August 17, 2007

Just Wave and say "Hello"

Why even think about it? As Jason Alexander's George Costanza once famously said, "We're living in a SOCIETY here!!!!"

The long run today featured several two and three mile loops through an old, sprawling neighborhood across Sabino Canyon Road from our stucco-box development. I typically wave and say hi to everyone I pass, as it seems like the polite thing to do and it only takes a second. I don't take offense when some people just stare straight ahead and ignore me, but it does get a little humorous when I end up passing them two more times during my loops as they walk in the opposite direction. You see, there's a need to be consistent, so they often feel compelled to ignore me again and again. I'll say hi a second time, then leave them alone if I see them again.

This pattern often repeats itself every few days when I find myself in that neighborhood again. Dogs need walking, I need my runs, so invariably our paths cross fairly frequently. I start fresh each time, and sometimes a person who has ignored me for weeks finally breaks down. Pink lady with Yoko Ono shades and three chihuahuas is one of those folks who have finally broken down and started to say hello. She walks most mornings while pushing a stroller. There's no child in the stroller, but occasionally one of the canines hops in for a rest break. Heck, she even said hi to Lucas yesterday.

The lack of common courtesy I find on the roads is often balanced out by some of the friendly faces I pass, but today the scale was tipped in the wrong direction. This made me think of a clipping a favorite client mailed me yesterday. He's 86 years old, sharp as a tack, and I enjoy talking to him when I get the chance.

What's Your Hurry

Slack up brother, what's your hurry,
That so recklessly you scurry,
With your elbows crowding sideways
And your eyes fixed straight ahead?
Is a minute's time so precious,
That you need to be so ungracious,
And go tramping on your fellows,
As on the way you speed?
Can't you spare a nod of greeting,
Pass the time of day in meeting,
Swap a joke or smile a little
When a neighbor comes along?
Is the dollar so enticing-
Is success so all-sufficing
That you can't devote a second
To a brother in the throng?
Do you know your destination?
It's a quiet little station,
Where ambition never troubles
And the dollar jingles not;
Where riches are not enduring,
Where your note has passed maturing,

And the richest man's possession
Is a little grassy spot.
Why be over keen in speeding,
On a trail so surely leading

To that lonely little city, where
We all must land at last?
Slack up, brother! What's your hurry,
That so recklessly you scurry?
You may lead a slow procession
E'er another year is past.

-By Samuel Ullman, "From a Summit of Years Fourscore"

Today's long run went fairly well, but I did start to feel a bit of fatigue after 14 miles or so. At mile 16 I almost pulled into the driveway for a quick drink, but the fear of breaking my rhythm so close to the end of the run found me just throwing my shirt into the driveway instead. I know better than to leave it on the road. By mile 18 I was past whatever dragging feeling it was that dogged me for a few miles, and the last two miles passed without incident.

I don't like admitting this, but I would like to feel stronger and more relaxed when I get past 15 miles or so during my long runs. I think part of it is probably marathon-withdrawal amnesia, as I can't concretely say that 20 and 22 milers were ever all that comfortable when I was training for the marathon last December. Another thing I need to keep in mind is the increased training load, especially on the day before each long run. Still, I think I might be a bit light on the "time on feet" aspect of the long run. Luckily there's still time for several more long runs.

Training: 20 miles, 2:14:25, 6:43 pace. Tired for miles 15-18, progressed down from 7:20 pace early

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