Last Saturday night, as I sat on the sofa ‘enjoying’ a family size tin of creamed rice pudding I was watching some sort of re-enactment of how Seal Team 6 (sounds like something from Sea World when you type it) got Osama Bin Laden.
The rice pudding was for the long run the next morning in case you think I really enjoy that sort of thing.
It was all pretty boring but they did have one guy on who is now a senator in the US and as they edited between the dramatisation of the whole thing and him he said: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
So, this got me thinking about Caesar Augustus’ motto: ‘Festina Lente‘ (or if you haven’t got either google translate or a classical education: make haste slowly.)
So, if two thousand years of crack fighters use this sort of adage to enter battle then maybe it world work for me and my running.Tenuous, I know but I’ll try anything once (except pegging – don’t google it)
The next morning (last Sunday) I dragged my ass out of the warm, warm bed and piss-assed around the house until 08:00. I caught the first half of the Ireland -v- USA match (rugby for anyone reading this blog who comes from a part of the world where all balls are round) and then headed out the door for a gentle 20 mile taper run.
I ran on with little enthusiasm for the run and I only kept myself going with the constant repeat of the mantra: Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
A combination of a dreary dull morning, a bad nights sleep (Osama Bin Laden was trying to drown me slowly in ambrosia creamed rice) and what the Americans would call ‘gastro problems’ meant I never really got into it despite my mantra chanting.
Well, as anyone who has ever repeated a mantra over and over again on an oxygen starved brain will tell you – a rare encounter, I’ll grant you that – the words start to become jumbled and some of them start to drop out of the mantra so by mile 16 I was chanting: Slow is fast.
And, while it might work for trained killers it doesn’t work if you are running a long way – slow is slow.
Still, I expect you knew that already. But there you go.
My ultra training is almost at an end. I have avoided any sort of ass-breaking injury and I think (fingers crossed) that I have mastered the going slow/eating junk/ignoring the pain/shitting in the woods combination that is ultra running.
Tapering will be for the next 8 or 9 days and then it’ll be running a long distance with walking breaks and flat coke and custard.
This is the sort of thing they don’t tell you if you’re about to do one of those ‘couch to 5k’ programs. Just so you know.