Today wraps up my midwest trip that took me from California to Chicago, IL, Des Moines, IA, Indianapolis, IN and now Columbus, OH. Five states in five days. The good news is I still got around 4 hours of running in, albet mostly on bone crushing concrete and asphalt. It reminds me of the song by the 80's punk band Fear called "I love Living in The City." I don't mind running in far away places as long as there are funky and/or cool things to look at. This trip had a few.
One of my favorite runs is going slong. I walk out the front door with no particular route planned. No particular destination. Just my Nathan, GPS and heart rate monitor. I start running—really, really slow—with nothing to prove other than time on foot. Time to myself. Time to melt.
Today I did just that. Walked out the front door, and headed south. Toward my old stomping grounds as a kid. I passed through the baseball diamond where I pitched as a little leaguer. Along the coast highway past the place I worked as a buss boy as a young teenager (the Chinese restaurant is gone). Through the park where I take my girls. Then along back bay drive where I’ve run countless miles. Countless being a large number.
Slow, methodical, fat-burning bliss. That is what going slong is all about. Slow and long. Slong. Heart rate always under 140. Am I coming off an injury? No. Am I out of shape? Not really. Then why slong? Its simple. I’m building my base all over again. I’m shifting my protocol slightly by not focusing just on miles, but time. My goal as I enter the next year is to slong 20 hour weeks before I start to tighten the screws for racing. Its a hunch that I have. Focus on base today, recover better when tighten the screws tomorrow.
Coast Highway - Near the old 'Kams' Restaurant
One of the fringe benefits of going slong is that you notice things much more. Like an Osprey perched above your head. Have you ever seen an Osprey? I did today. It was pretty cool. I was taking a pit stop and heard a really loud noise. I looked up and saw it. Perched atop a utility pole. I found out that Ospreys migrate up to 430 kilometers per day. When they migrate, they have a tendency to fly at night. They usually mate for life, and they are unique in that they are found every continent except Antarctica.
Slonging. Try it some time. I think you’ll like it.
This is a heads up to the ultra community. Two women are in critical condition after competing in an ultra marathon last weekend that was engulfed by a raging out-of-control brush fire. The race was in a remote location in northwest Australia. It took 5 hours for rescue workers to reach them. Both suffered burns to 80% of their bodies and are fighting for their lives. Click here for more details.