Saturday, April 30, 2005

The middle path

Decisions are not really my forte. Somehow the gene that enables you to weigh up your options, clearly see the best course and then act on it, has passed me by. I usually find the good and the bad in everything and end up doing something in the middle. This is not ideal, as you do neither one thing nor the other and the end result is a place in purgatory as described by Dante:

Who are these that seem so crushed beneath their plight?
And he to me: These miserable ways
The forlorn spirits endure of those who spent
Life without infamy and without praise.
They are mingled with that caitiff regiment
Of the angels, who rebelled not, yet avowed
to God no Loyalty, on themselves intent.
Heaven chased them forth, lest their allegiance cloud
Its beauty, and the deep Hell refused them,
For, beside such, the sinner would be proud.

Now this is might be a bit of a dramatic response to something as trivial as not tying your shoelaces properly, but such small things are indicators of your level of care and attention.

I have two pairs of trainers: Asics DS trainers and Mizuno Wave Rider and have been running in them for ages being fairly happy but feeling that the fit was not quite right. I tied the laces of both to my standard level of tightness and never thought much about it. However after some experimentation I now find that both shoes are really good and the Asics in particular are fantastic. All that was needed was to loosen the laces of the Asics and really tighten the laces of the Mizuno’s around the forefoot. Magic and stupid at the same time.

The moral is clear – the middle way is not the right way.

More importantly, this applies to my training as well, where I tend to do my long slow runs too fast and my faster runs too slow (I think this might be a common error). It means you end up doing miles that have no clear benefit. I think eventually it grinds you down a bit and you lack snap in the legs.

I am now trying really hard to be disciplined and today felt comfortable running at a nice easy pace. The result is I feel relaxed and refreshed and ready to take on other forms of purgatory.

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