"...just going out for a run..." That's always the thought walking out the door. In reality, though, it often turns into something much more than a just another calorie burn. Some days an underlying current of immense proportions is propelling the run. It's undeniable. It's there when getting out of the bed that morning. Heading to the start line it is simply understood that something very powerful is going to happen...an act of violence so heinous that only grown men would dare speak of it, and even then only behind closed doors and in hushed tones in the private conversations between an individual and their creator.
8-10 minute miles are "fun", recreational things...good for staying in shape and general fitness. 6-8 minute miles imply a measure of competitiveness, perhaps only with ones self, or perhaps with the world at large...Breaking the 6's however, always adds an extra dimension. It makes it a rebellion against one's own body and limitations. It happens when it happens, and it can't be planned for more than about an hour in advance. Waking up, the energy is either there,... or it isn't.
Death sucks. Lost opportunity is the worst part. If it didn't get said or done in the living years, then the opportunity to do it, or say it, is gone..., no re-do's. I remember spending most of the summer of 2009 trying to break the 10 minute mile. At one point I thought "Damn! This is going to kill me!" Then, one morning, I just woke up with a crushing defiance and knew today was the day...it was going to happen. It did..., fueled in part by learning of a death, a classmate from the old school. I couldn't really even call her a friend, in fact we hardly spoke at all. She was just that neighborhood kid who ran past my house sometimes. I had thought I might see her around at a running event someday and strike up a conversation..., maybe mention what an incredible feeling it is to be inspired by everyone I ever knew who was into the whole endurance sports/running scene...Not gonna happen now...opportunity lost...score 1 for death.
Particularly bitter is when its someone my age or younger. I'm only 40, were not suppose to be dying yet..., are we? Actually, It could happen any minute of any day. Simply getting out of bed can be that fatal circumstance that puts a person in the morgue. Driving a car, or getting a cancer from cigarettes is probably the more likely scenario though. Driving a car puts a person at almost total mercy to the drivers around them. Its a humbling thought, but one false move, by anyone (usually a drunk) and WHAM...your gone! Cigarettes..., and other disease challenging behavior..., thats just folks saying "Hey! I'm gonna die anyway, may as well hasten it."
I digress. 6 minute miles..., that's as fast as I need to run for competitions sake. I kick it in the 5's from time to time and its usually a mistake on some level. I kicked a mile into the 5's just the other day..., walked away from it feeling like I had challenged death and won...again. Its inevitable...death will win one day. 6 minute miles are a strategy to keep death at bay. Breaking the 6's...? I think I found my limits. I think the speed that I just don't want or otherwise have no need for. Not that I think it would literally kill me, mind you...I'm just not that defiant!