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"Race and enjoy it!" - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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"Race and enjoy it!" [Jan. 10th, 2011|12:48 pm]
Lindsey Kuper
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Last week was the first week of this year's marathon training. After climbing on Saturday and running twelve miles yesterday, today I feel like an old woman, with stiff legs and sore forearms. I had thought my arms were fine, but it turns out that ordinary tasks that involve twisting or squeezing motions, such as applying toothpaste to my toothbrush this morning, actually require effort. Also, considering that it's January in Indiana, I think I need to learn to start my long runs earlier than sunset. By the time I got done yesterday, it had been pitch dark and 28 degrees outside for over an hour, and my fingers were numb from the cold.

My pace for long solo runs is still nowhere near what it is in races. For instance, yesterday it took me nearly three hours to run 12.5 miles, whereas I raced 13.1 miles in November in just over two hours. The presence of other people who are moving along quickly makes all the difference. I know that I could go faster when I'm running alone, but it's hard to convince my body to do it; I'm content to just pad along and let my thoughts wander.

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From: simrob
2011-01-10 05:53 pm (UTC)
Depending on your goals, this could be an entirely reasonable thing to do. My sister, in particular, generally races significantly faster than any of her long runs.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-10 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't necessarily see it as unreasonable, but neither the fast nor the slow is a conscious decision; they just sort of happen. I'd like to be more mindful about my speed. Alex has observed that there have been times when we've been running together and he's pointed out that we're going pretty fast, after which I slow down. He's suggested that the realization that we're going fast causes some part of my brain to go, "We are?! Oh, crap! I can't do this! This is hard!" and tell my body that I need to slow down. So he believes that I could go faster if I wasn't afraid to. I think there's truth to what he says, but also think there might be something more to unpack. Have you ever been discouraged by well-meaning encouragement? Suppose you're in the middle of doing something, not thinking much of it, maybe, and then somebody expresses a "You can do it!" sentiment and you're like "Huh -- I didn't realize that whether I could do it was an open question", and then you start to wonder if maybe you can't do it, and then you fail. I think I'm susceptible to that.

I guess my goals include maintaining my ability to do athletic things socially. That is, I want to remain fit enough that, if some people are going running or biking or climbing and they invite me along, I can go with them without thinking twice about whether my fitness level will impede my ability to enjoy myself. The Barcelona trip is kind of an extreme case of that. Other goals include being ravishingly sexy. But mostly, I just enjoy running.

Edited at 2011-01-11 05:10 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: gwillen
2011-01-10 08:52 pm (UTC)
Unrelated to this post: Did I know that you had worked for iD Tech? I don't think I had, until I noticed the tag in the right-hand column just now. I worked there at Stanford in the summer of 2005, teaching VGC for a few weeks and Advanced Programming the rest of the time.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-10 09:08 pm (UTC)
Um, I don't know if you knew! I worked there during the summers of 2003 and 2004, at UT Austin and Northwestern, respectively. (The "2004-2006" on the tag is kind of inaccurate. I almost went to work for them again in 2006 after the startup I was working for tanked, but then I was offered another job and snapped it up.) I variously taught the Digital Music Editing course, which I believe they no longer offer, and the Web Design and Graphic Arts course.
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[User Picture]From: arcticfidelity
2011-01-10 09:05 pm (UTC)
I would just like to point out how impressive it is to me that your mind can wander while running.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-11 05:13 am (UTC)
Well, I think it only happens if I'm not going too fast. And therein lies the problem -- I really enjoy letting my mind wander, so I tend not to go very fast.
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[User Picture]From: arcticfidelity
2011-01-11 02:39 pm (UTC)
Do you ever have any of those epiphanies while running?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2011-01-12 12:23 am (UTC)
I'm sure I've had epiphanies while running, but I can't think of any particularly significant ones at the moment. Sometimes it doesn't get any more profound than "The snow is pretty" and "I like nachos!"
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