Low and slow

In "Illusions" by Richard Bach one of the characters, a man who is a retired messiah, flies a plane in to a paddock that is theoretically too small for it to land.  The protagonist of the novel, Richard, was concerned to see the plane coming in 'low and slow', an aeronautical phrase meaning just what it says, with the implication that going too slow will cause the plane to stall, and crash.

I've been thinking about pace, and speed a lot recently.   I like to run, to go fast.  I get so much out of doing this, it's thrilling, exciting, and extremely compelling. Maybe I do worry though that if I'm not constantly moving, I might miss something, or crash.  In times of difficulty motion is always what has saved me.

Over the last 3 years that I've been jogging in the morning, I've often seen a pair of women out walking.  Three years ago they were both quite overweight.  Almost imperceptably, day by day, they've both gotten leaner, fitter, and their hellos more cheerful.  When we first put our garden in six years ago, the plants were little, and fragile.  Some of them took three or four years before they even started growing in size.  Now many of them are tall, strong, and lush.  

I once heard that many people significantly overestimate what they can achieve in a year, and significantly underestimate what they can achieve in five years.

A couple of nights ago I was talking to my Dad about a half marathon I'm planning to do in the weekend.  It'll be my first half marathon, and Dad has run many, and a number of full marathons.  I pulled a calf muscle last week, so was unsure whether I was going to do it, but it's come right.  Dad suggested I plan to just take it slow, and finish the race.  The key he said, is to plan the race before hand, choose a pace, and stick to it.  In the hype and energy of the crowd at the beginning, there's a temptation to go out fast.  But if you go out 5% faster than you should, you'll finish the race 20% slower overall.  Kind of a tortoise and hare thing.

So I'm going to try to run the race slow.  It'll be hard to do, but I think there's a lesson here that I need to learn 


One Response to “Low and slow”

  1. kushibo Says:


    I am Nora. I admit it.

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