Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When Slow is Hard

"Our job is to help folks slow their lives down to less than 120 mph so that they can really take a look around and make change." - Colleague at a local homeless shelter

After three very busy work and high volume training weeks, I've been enjoying this week of rest. As has become a rest week tradition, I ran an Aerobic Time Trial (ATT) on Wednesday morning. During this type of run, we control the distance and heart rate and see what happens to time. Ideally, my aerobic capacity is increasing, which means that I can run the same distance at the same level of exertion in less time.

For my regular ATTs, I've been doing a ~1.2 mile loop at my high zone 2 heart rate. This week, I really struggled to run slowly - to not push the pace and therefore my heart rate above where I was trying to keep it. For a gal who before last year was quite content to simply plod along slow and steady, this was a shocking - and frustrating - experience.

I've been working so hard on teaching my body how to red-line and hold, that backing off has actually become a real challenge. Perhaps not a more difficult challenge, but a very different challenge none the less. Just as a colleague who works at a homeless shelter in Raleigh said in the quote above, when I slow down I have no choice but to REALLY pay attention. I notice the effort, I notice my form (or lack there of), I get bored.

Just like the families at Genesis Home, I know that it's by going slow that we get faster - that slowing down and taking a hard look at our lives is the first step toward change. But KNOWING and DOING are very different things.