The Patience and Valor of Running
“A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.” The Twin Towers
What chance of valor do most of us have on any given day? I suppose there are small acts of kindness for most. Others are in some great personal struggle which requires them to make daily heroic acts just to keep themselves or their family unit intact. I watched the movie Argo recently and the quote from The Twin Towers above connected me with the feeling of joy the actors in Argo portrayed over accomplishing the mission of that hit movie.
I’m a runner and more than that I am a racer. I started running nine years ago to get in shape. One of the reasons I keep running is definitely the thrill of competition against myself and others. It’s not the only reason, but it’s one of the big ones.
I am trying to get faster. At age 47 I am approaching that time, may already be in it when the body begins to lose strength. Stamina stays with you thankfully, but the ability to go fast has a lot to do with muscle power and you just don’t keep that fully as you age. My goal right now is to run a 5K in 19:30 which is a 6:16 mile pace. I’ve run a 6:25 pace, so it’s within site, but it typically feels to me like it takes too much work to get faster. I’m inpatient. I just want to train hard, every day and see my race time get faster, but that’s just not the way it works.
Racing teaches patience.
I don’t think I am a very courageous running competitor. How do I know if what I am feeling is a level of effort comparable to faster competitors my age and older? Valor. Race with valor.