i make it a point to go on a ‘hot run’ at least once a week over the summer. generally it’s best to keep to before the sun comes up, or after the sun goes if you don’t want to wilt but i feel it’s important to experience the awful heat we seek to avoid. perhaps it’s all about being appreciative. anyhow…i was running the other afternoon and i realized that as i ran down the street there were parts that were shaded by a trees in my neighborhood and then spots where the sun assaulted you. it got me thinking about doing short pick-ups which is where you speed up and then slow down for different intervals of time. (i’m getting to the compacting, be patient). i wasn’t sure which would be the better plan – speed up in the sun and slow down in shade which would provide maximum recovery and smallest time of exposure to the sun, OR slow down in the sun and speed up in the shade which would give the more hospitable conditions for the extra effort. i’m still not sure which works best, but as many educators do, i started to think about how this related to teaching and learning. do we speed up when things get tough for do we up the pace when things are simple. the latter, clearly. that means when conditions get most difficult we should slow down and take our time. this being the case, then i should have slowed down in the sun and sped up in the shade. i guess it might work that way, but compacting theory doesn’t always serve runners in the same way.
just yesterday i went on a customary sundown run with full moon, bugs & bats on the bayou, etc. running in the dark poses it’s own paradox of sorts. when there is less to focus on one of two things happen, you either obsess about potential dangers (friends, you know who you are 🙂 or you allow your mind to wander due to the lack of visible distractions. the paradox is this – weather you are sharply considering what dangers might lie ahead or you are allowing your mind to wander with thoughts of dessert, tv, etc you end up in the same place > not thinking about your run. you don’t think as much about stride, pace, breathing, etc. it seems a bit odd to be the intent focus or complete unfocused blur produce the same result in this case. is there something to be said about removing distractions? as a teacher, if i ask my kids to think really, really hard about a particular topic or simply vamp and free flow can they both accomplish a task? not sure.