I feel about speedwork the way I felt about school as a kid. I know it’s hard and challenging; it will force me to face insecurities as well as real and –more likely– imagined limitations, even when I’m not particularly ready to be pushed hard on a Tuesday evening in Central Park. But in the end I love it, just like I did love school. The rush of running hard is incomparable. Doing as coach Toby says —have nothing left at the end, leaving nothing here— works wonders for mind and body.
It gives me such joy to be back: running speed, racing, doing a tempo on a hot Thursday night when only serious-looking runners are out. A cloud is lifting in my head and around me. To wit, my Dutch new column.
Running is like flying low, I’ve read. Like constantly falling. Embracing that idea, and gravity itself, feels like the most natural thing. I’ve missed it.