Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tapered Legs

Machines suck, but our bodies are a wonderful thing.

One of life's frustrations is that stuff constantly breaks. Computers, cars, the house, TVs, DVRs, PDAs, MP3 players, phones, everything. It all breaks down and the more stuff you have the more time and frustration you have to deal with. I think the origins of asceticism can probably be traced to some ancient who just got fed up with fixing stuff.

I raced motorcycles for years and if things break down under normal usage you should see what happens when you push it. Stuff goes bang. Pistons become projectiles. Parts liberate themselves from their intended roles. Any time something broke I always ordered two replacements under the assumption that if it broke once it would break again.

So, I find it wonderful that our bodies, unlike machines are constantly repairing themselves. Not only that, but the harder we use them the stronger they become. It's as if we bought a Smartcar ForTwo, took it down to the track for a few hours of abuse, brought it home, parked it in the garage, and then woke up in the morning to find a Corvette sitting in its place.

For the last 6 months I've been abusing my body worse than I ever have in the past. I repeatedly wear it down and then let it rest and rebuild. I take it to the point of breakdown in the hope that after a little rest it will be stronger than before. On Sunday I'll once again see how successful I've been.

I feel really, really strange right now. I was still recovering from the Houston marathon and had only worked back up to 14 miles when it was time to taper for Sunday's Austin Marathon. This is the last week of a 3 week taper and I feel positively lazy. My legs feel fresh and it almost feels like I've forgotten how to run. I ran 7 miles last Saturday and since then I've only done one really slow 3 mile run. Today I'll do a short 3 miles speed session and then I'm pretty much done until Sunday. My only concern is that I've been working until 3 or 4 in the morning and am on pace for another 60 hour week and I have a scratchy throat which might be the start of a cold or just allergies.

I don't have high expectations for Sunday since it's only been 5 weeks since my last marathon. But if things go well I'll shoot for breaking my current PR of 4:17. Considering I started out with a season goal of breaking 4:00 that should be a pretty relaxed pace.

The weather forecast is for high 30s on Sunday morning which I think will be almost ideal conditions for me as long as it doesn't rain.

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