Perception

An early season run up the steep woody slopes of nearby Smuggler’s Notch on Monday was a perfect solitary sojourn to balance the weekend’s racing with our team in southern New England sunshine.

Both were glorious.

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And each reminded me of why I run — to set aside the quotidian and revel in the rhythm of an ever changing perceptual present.

Like many runners, I love to pick through my running data, looking at averages, highs and lows. From the past year, for example — cadence: 155 strides per minute; heart rate: 139 beats per minute; stride length: 1.09 meters; ground contact time: 308 milliseconds — all of this has meaning for me, but mostly in hindsight — to see trends, explore anomalies, and set training goals for the future.

What these numbers do not show is what is actually happening —  when I am most focused in the moment — when there is nothing between me, the moment, and the syncopation of shoes on stone and snow and dirt.

A lifetime can happen in 308 ms, and I don’t want to miss any of it.

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