Long, Slow Distance, not lysergic acid diethyl-amide. Though a psychological study of a prolonged derangement of the senses from long, slow, distance runs might have some similarities to those produced by Albert Hoffman's acid. Today was the last long run in my training cycle. I was a little down this morning because I really enjoy the continuos hours on my feet, calm meditative state and sharpened perception of the world that these runs have provided over the last several months. I milked it for all it was worth, trying not to complete a mile in less than 11 minutes. There is a pace, a zone where just the right amount of effort can keep you moving without too much exertion. My goal was to find this zone, balance it with an extremely low rate of perceived effort and stay there for the duration of my run. While using my big wall mantra: slow is smooth, smooth is fast, taking deep breaths, maintaing a "yogic" posture and softening my vision I was able to tap into the zone. It was around mile 14 when things got a little weird. The blue sky, green pines and golden willows became more vibrant. The wind crisper, louder and more consistent . The mud and damp soil more pungent. My body lighter, smoother, stronger. Waves of pulsing energy roll through my body. I am a moving black hole, pulling my surroundings toward me, connected to everything I can see, feel, smell, hear and taste.
It's over. I'm at my car. What happened? Where'd the last thirty minutes go? I look at my watch, trying to make sense of running sub 9 minute miles for the last thirty minutes: slow is smooth, smooth is fast.