Word of the Week – Pace

tortoise

pace

noun

  1. Pace is the rate of speed or a single step taken when walking.
    1. An example of pace is when change comes slowly.
    2. An example of pace is one step taken.

verb

  1. To pace is defined as to repeatedly walk the same path over and over or to regulate the progress of something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my pace recently.   Probably because if you remember, I’ve recently had to slow it down.   Not really by my choice and not really because I’m Speedy Gonzales.   It’s just something I was told to do by running coach.  I’m getting better at it and I’ve been spending a chunk of my runs making sure to stay on pace.  I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’ve seen some improvement in just the few runs I’ve done already.

Runner’s spend A LOT of time thinking, talking, and trying to improve our pace.    That being said, very rarely do we try to master our pace (or maybe it’s just me) and usually never spend time trying to slow it down.    It’s always about going faster, faster, faster.   Now it’s about putting on the breaks a bit.   Strange.

Often when talking to another runner and sometimes even a non runner, the question of our pace usually comes up.   What’s your normal pace?   Do you want to run your pace or mine?  I think all our focus on improving our pace sometimes makes us forget that faster isn’t always better.    Also faster is all relative.   What is lightening fast to me, would be a snails pace to a front of the Pack runner.  And what is slow to me is fast to another runner.   We need to remember the story of the Tortoise and the hare to remind ourselves that it’s ok not to run fast all the time.

I’m learning to embrace my inner tortoise.   We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.   We all know that sometimes taking your time is the best way to get to the finish line.   Yet, we all want to be the hare.     We forget that the hare lost the race and that sometimes slow and steady is all that is needed to win the race.
On my now slower runs, I’ve really been thinking about my pace.   I’ve realized that in order to be able to do the things that I want to do with my running that some days I will need to be the tortoise.   I need to do that so that on the days that I will be the hare, I am prepared.   I need to learn to control my pace, so that when I do finally get to the Marine Corps Marathon I will not have negative reverse splits like in Philly.    Although, I kept a steady and decent pace my time per mile kept creeping up and not down.   Case in point, my first mile was 10:06 and my last was 11:16.   I even had a 12:30 at mile 22.    I would like to get control of my pace, so that when I start in DC, I will be the one able to hold it back in the beginning and have the energy to push it at the end.
One of the things that I had an Aha moment about was that I need to control my pace and not let m pace control me.   It is also a good idea to have in your running arsenal.    There will be days, runs, hills, and everything in between that will benefit.   Maybe, just maybe if I get a handle on it, I will be able to see the right kind of splits in DC.   Luckily, I’ve got months to work on it!
Do you control your pace or does your pace control you?

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