Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Art of Abstraction

Phase I - Week Nine
07/23/07 - 07/29/07
Week Total: 16.3 miles

About 30 years ago, I read the book "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", by Alan Sillitoe. I remember my fascination when the protagonist got lost in his thoughts during his solitary runs.

This week I knew that I was ready for more, and wanted to start running a little bit longer. By no means my actual runs are considered long runs, but I needed a process to jump from 7 miles done last week to 16 miles required for next week.

On Saturday,
when I hit the beach, with its delicious salty smell and the smooth ocean waves sound, I started to "write" in my mind, my running memoirs. I got totally lost in my thoughts and without noticing, I had past all my landmarks, turned around, and got back to my point of origin to complete 4 miles. On Sunday, I ran 5.8 miles, and beyond my expectations, I completed successfully over 16 miles for the week.

Certainly, Long Beach and running on its shore made a difference, but the big driver was the ability of applying the art of abstraction and reaching the loneliness of the long-distance runner.

Week 9 - Mileage: Tue: 2.5 / Wed: 2.2 / Thu: 1.8 / Sat: 4.0 / Sun: 5.8

Lessons Learned:
1) Abstract yourself. Write a story long enough to forget that you are even running. But, be aware: you don't want to be "abstracted' in a busy street or unsafe place.

2) Keep pushing.

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