Starting slowly and tapering off
Start slowly and taper off. That’s the slogan of the Dolphin South End Runners, the running club to which I belong. It seems that if I’m always starting, I’m always slow. I know I shouldn’t compare my times against the races I ran when I was six or seven years younger, but but it’s hard to look at a 13 min/mile pace and feel very good about it knowing that once upon a time I could do a short course like this at a 7:30/mile pace.
But start slowly and taper off tells me that I’m doing something right just by being out there. I know I need something to combat the crippling case of Winter doldrums I’ve found myself in. Running is probably the most effective natural antidepressant known. It’s even effective in small doses, but it needs to be administered regularly to be effective.
Today was hotter than I expected it to be. If I’d given it some thought I would have applied sunscreen before I went out. 64 degrees according to the weather widget but it felt like 80. Direct sunlight while running always feels hotter than it is, and San Francisco air has a habit of distorting temperatures to its whim. That’s why tourists go out during the day at 63 degrees in shorts and t‑shirt and end up buying sweatshirts in the afternoon when the temperature drops to a «freezing» 61º.
Today’s run also had a serendipitous encounter. As I crossed 16th Street on my way back home there was a man crossing Carolina Street. I didn’t recognize him at first but as I was running up Carolina, I heard what sounded like, «hey, DSE!»
I looked over my shoulder to see the fellow, who I now recognized from DSE races, waving at me. That’s definitely a benefit to wearing the club jersey — being visibly a member of the community and getting the support and recognition from other members. It doesn’t happen all that often, but once in a while is all it takes.
One Reply to “Starting slowly and tapering off”
Steve, You’re absolutely right on all counts. 1. Don’t compare today’s speeds to those six or seven years ago; 2. regularity helps a lot; 3 being out there at all is a good thing. I wish I could “beam” you here for a couple of days to enjoy snowshoeing in the woods behind our house. The snow is great this year, and the woods are quiet, beautiful and uplifting. The combination of the quiet, the beauty and the exercise would chase away your winter doldrums. Keep at it. But if you get a windfall and an opportunity to come share the snow, do it!!
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