Schooling Happens

Today’s Run

Time – 1:00:47
Distance – 5.6 miles
Pace – 10:45 min/mi
Elevation – 0 ft.


Treadmill run today as the temperature took a swift dive and the wind picked up. I went as long as my brain would allow, but, in the end, I cut a little bit off the end to get the run over with. It was very easy to do the treadmill; I kept the pace at 5.8 or 5.9 MPH the whole time, shifting it between the two to change up the speed just a little for my legs. All in all, a normal run. Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials.

The First of Many to Come

Today’s run was the first of many that will look and sound the same. “x.x miles on the treadmill…watched TV/listened to podcast or audiobook X…Trials of Miles…blah, blah, blah.” I’m going to do this a lot. I have to, because it’s the only way.

The way to get good at something is to practice it. You wouldn’t think that running takes practice. It’s why most runners call it “training.” They’re like Allen Iverson. Nobody wants to think about practice. This is why so many overtrain, or train at too fast of a speed. Runners think that they have to work hard every time or it’s not worth it.

The Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials comes from the book Once a Runner by John L. Parker. This is probably the greatest fictional book on running ever written. Or, at least, that’s what runners say. The literary critics have other ideas.

Nonetheless, in the story, the lead character, Cassidy, discusses and lives out the ideal of “Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials.” This concept is that, throughtout the time of “training” as a runner, they must continually do the “good work” until they are strong enough to race and win. They suffer through the miles of running, the weather, the time-suck that is spending time on your feet going from one place to another at speed. It’s about just moving onward, despite everything else, in order to be the best.

That’s what practice is. It’s the work of learning the skill. The mind doesn’t have to be told how to run, however. The legs don’t have to taught. But the muscles, the fibers, the tendons and bones, the heart, the lungs, the capillaries and the blood need to build the skills necessary to be successful. They haven’t done this before. They haven’t run that next mile yet. They haven’t run tomorrow before. So they need to be taught how. That’s why I practice running.

I know that it sounds silly, and is a bit of splitting hairs, but it’s important for my mindset personally. I need to think about how every run is necessary to make my body learn how to do something it hasn’t done before. I wasn’t a runner before, so I’m going to learn how.

Back to school!


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