A lot of people don’t know that Winston Churchill was a failed collegiate steeplechaser before he went on to invent the cigarette. I always sort of admired him except I didn’t really know who he was and whoever he was I thought he had a funny accent and I never understood “we have nothing to fear but beer itself.” Although I once drove an ‘88 Honda with a keg tied to the back with Mark Lowe and myself roaring drunk driving down the freeway in San Angelo in the middle of the afternoon out to the lake for a frat party and I was pretty much terrified the entire way. But that’s not really the point here. The point is, I like beer. You and your Prickly Pear. harumph. And then, he said this:
I would have this quote tattooed on my butt if I weren’t a sissy and afraid of pain and didn’t realize I’d never actually be able to see it unless giving a goodbye kiss in an anatomically unlikely yoga position. But still. What better advice for running, other than “never apply duct tape to your nipples without shaving first.” With Churchill in mind, I switched gears today and tried speed walking. Spotify has this cool trick where you can play songs with a specific number of beats per minute. I know from experience that 140 bpm gives me about a 14:45 pace, which keeps me below the mythical 15:00 pace needed to qualify for the Olympic Synchronized Speed-Walking Pairs Event Nose Plugs Optional. So that’s what I did today. 6.8 miles (14:21). At the end of the day, it’s not that much closer than my plodding run. And I’m going to experiment with lengthening the stride while holding the strides per minute, allowing me to speed up a bit. Bottom line: I think I could do this all day, or at least till I get tired of “This American Life.” Oh, that Ira Glass. I’m feeling different tired muscles, which must be a good thing in the big picture. And learning to walk faster will be a good trick for the inevitable crash in races. To think I owe it all to a cigarette manufacturer who took one too many dives into the steeplechase water pit. On to the next failure!!!!