"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Same, but Different

The Florence, SC Civic Center
The Minneapolis, MN Mall of America
Two really strong, mid-week runs this week. One on Tuesday, one on Thursday. Both early morning and both just shy of 6 miles at similar 8:45 paces.  Each burned close to 800 calories, and due to travel, both just happened to be what I call 'parking lot' routes. You know, the ones where the best trail is actually an empty parking lot with the opportunity to create your own Garmin tracking design! (Past post on parking lot runs : GPS Art)

Yet despite the similarities, they were 'ends of the spectrum' apart (or at least 1,300 miles apart) when it comes to run experience. In fact, I have to believe it was these drastic differences, in just over 48 hours of separation, that had me thinking about it in the final few miles on Thursday morning. Taking a look at each run:

1. Tuesday in Florence, SC - The Florence Civic Center is an excellent way to get in the mileage.  Without too much twisting and turning, it's possible to add miles across the lot and around the facility.  The bonus is that the lot is generally always empty, especially during the morning. The surface is flat and smoothly paved.  The temperature in Florence this week was in the 80 degree range.  Humidity must have been 90%.  Less than a mile in and my shirt was soaked.  By the final few steps, my shoes were squishy.  I couldn't get enough water (hello to summer). And for the truly analytical of runners out there, the most logical route around the civic center is right at .40 miles. 

2. Thursday in Minneapolis, MN - The Mall of America is also an excellent way to get in a different type of mileage. More about making laps around the mall, (which by way, is just over 1 mile at the shortest path), the M of A lot provides more rolling hills and the need to move across various surfaces.  It's also advisable to keep a head's up, as even at 6 in the morning, there is plenty of activity around the mall. In terms of weather conditions, Minneapolis in May was a chilly 38 degrees and 0% humidity.  Definitely more concern over frost bite than dehydration.  In fact, I can't recall a single drop of sweat (of course, I was still in my shorts and short sleeve that I brought from Florence).

Anyway, I think the moral to this post is that even as your training plan appears to have provided you with identical runs, it is the unexpected variation that helps to make them most memorable.

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