Day #33: Are You Afraid to Jog?

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Are You Afraid to Jog?

Are you too fast – and quite sure of it – to be caught jogging in broad daylight – slinking along just a smidgin less slowly than a walk in broad daylight? Are you terrified of entering the mystical in-between world in which only the NFL’s “eye in the sky” camera can truly distinguish whether both of your feet are in contact with the ground simultaneously or not?? Many of us runners are literally frightened to be caught jogging in public, much less uttering ‘that word’. (In fact, just by titling this post the way I did, I opened myself up to all kinds of condemnation.) Bottom line is, we pride ourselves on being runners.

Truthfully, though, jogging is running.

Sad to say, I have to confess that I am among those ranks who shake in their shoes at the thought of the “shameful shuffle.” In my heart of hearts, Jeff Galloway’s methods make me squeamish, and I am wired to believe that the only way to train is flat out – 100% effort. And just between you and me, I have to confess that for years I even prided myself on never having been passed in my training runs. If somebody dared to run up unannounced and uninvited and ran next to me, as far as I was concerned they had just thrown down the gauntlet — and the race was on!

Thankfully, I am in recovery these days – seeing the benefits of both slow recovery runs and of humility. Some time ago – over two weeks now, at least – I matured above such silly defensiveness and competitiveness, and “let” a young bloke cruise right on by during my daily run. He turned onto my path when he shouldn’t have, I noticed when I happened to look back, and before I could rationalize any response, it was done. I had been passed – and humility claimed me.

The truth is that we should all just go ahead and swallow our collective pride right now. We would be much the better for it. First off, if Ryan Hall, Matt Centrowitz, Deena Drossin Kastor or Mary Cain decided to rip any of us to shreds on a common training run, they could snap their fingers and we would each be toast. So, let’s drop the pretenses. Secondly, as I heard one coach remark a couple of days ago, training is what happens when you are not running – so maybe you can get some more quality into your legs by jjj–jj–jogging. There, I said it!

I could have stated my main point in this post with a different opening question: have you ever spent an entire workout just warming up for tomorrow’s run? Or warming down from yesterday’s workout?

Now’s the time to try. And while you’re at it, to digest your pride. I am – Burp…! – working on digesting mine.

Best!

~Your not so humble Coach Reed – but I am getting there:)

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