Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Pace of a Long Distance Runner

I just read Ed Ayre's piece in Grist, What Runner's Teach Us About Sustainability, and I have to agree with him about the need for us to take a long distance runner's pace. 

Just yesterday I ran my first 10 K race--which is not long in the way Ed Ayres decribes, but still long and challenging for me (the quite hilly Cow Harbor Race in Northport, NY).  I found myself going slowly, not pushing things, and pacing myself.  I ended up with pretty good time in the end, but that wasn't the point.  There was quiet and a sense of community with my fellow runners and the folks in the town at large.  People came out with water for us; they cheered us on with songs and signs and hand slaps.  

For the rest of the day, my internal pace changed. I felt peaceful, moved slowly, "accomplished" and consumed less.  The day ended with a hike in a local park, where I looked at clouds and watched egret and Canada Geese fly in the sky. 

If as a culture we could slow down to the long distance runner's pace, that would be a good thing for the planet, and for us. 

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