episode 70

Storytime: Slow Down

Since college I have enjoyed running.  I even ran a half and full marathon my senior year at Auburn.  But somewhere between college and having children my outdoor running sort of waned.  But that changed when the pandemic hit. My Orange Theory closed down like everything else and in order to maintain any sort of sanity I was forced back into an old school outdoor run.  Everyday I would go out there and run pretty much the same exact route but try to run at a faster pace.  It worked.  Sort of.  If I tried a different or a longer route my body wouldn’t know what to do with that and I’d Peter out. 


I decided this year I was going to sign up for a race – something I haven’t down for about 15 years.  My good friend Traci is a legit runner.  By the way my definition of legit runner is someone who ran the Boston Marathon in 3:01. Yes, 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 1 minute.  I’ll do the math for you.  That’s a 6.90/mile pace. Anyhow, I asked her if she would give me a training plan.  I had in my mind that she would send me all of these speedy goals.  What she sent was the exact opposite.  She told me that very few of my training runs are meant to be at full speed. 80% of my training should be easy paced miles.  I am sorry…What?  

My first day of training I hit the pavement running the slowest pace I have run in at least 3 years.  Honestly, it was hard.  It was boring.  It felt sort of like I was wasting my time.  I wanted to speed up and get it done.  I wanted to be more efficient. 

I got back and texted Traci… “that was weird and mentally hard.”  She responded with “It definitely takes some discipline to slow it down.”  

I am sure there is lots of research about why this works and why it’s what your body needs.  All I know is Traci ran her best marathon by doing this.  I’m going to follow her directions and see what it does. 

One day a few weeks later I was running slow and doing some good thinking.  I wonder if this is sort of like life.  In order to live our very, very best we need times in our life that we slow way down.  If we are always operating at full speed we will eventually Peter out.  As a family, we need times to slow way down. 

Slow doesn’t always feel fun.  It can be boring.  It can feel like a waste of time.  It can feel hard. 

So when and how have you slowed down?

We might immediately think of a vacation or time off of work.

But what about a surgery or sickness?

What about an ice day?  (Like I am recording this on an actual ice day…. My boys are home and let me tell you this day feels slooooow.)

What about a pandemic?

What about a time when you are waiting in a line or stuck somewhere with car trouble?

What about the few moments when your technology isn’t working?

 You know when your computer is updating or your wifi is out.


In those moments what if it’s life’s way of slowing you down so that your next stint of time will be very, very effective?  It takes a lot of discipline to slow it down and accept that, but it helps us run our very best race.