March 16, 2009

Temporary Like Achilles

The Tortoise and the Hare
Originally uploaded by un_owen
Yesterday I dined on a slow, slow roasted pork shoulder, cooked for a crowd of 12 by Dr. Mike for 24 hours, maybe more, I can't remember. What a wondrous, tender, savory thing it was. Lesson for athletes: slow and low works miracles on tough muscle fibers.

This morning, a lovely recovery run. In the mix of intense runs and easy runs, the recovery is the slowest. And I really have to force myself to run slowly. It took me two miles to stop trying to race the elderly and infirm speeding past me. But the last three miles, what bliss! My legs, slightly stiffened from yesterday's long run, warmed and softened, felt smooth and young. My mind stopped flitting around and just inhabited my well-basted limbs. After my stretch, incipient aches had vanished and been replaced by a rare morning energy burst.

In the old brain teaser, the one you probably heard in school, possibly while stoned, a Tortoise challenges Achilles to a race. Tortoise psyches out Achilles by saying how, as long as Tortoise gets a one-inch head start, Achilles will never catch up to him (first he has to close half the distance, then half of that, then half of that, ad nauseam). Achilles, never the brightest bulb, concedes the race. This of course is all bullshit. Slow and steady does not win the race, fast and steady does. But slow and steady does feel pretty great afterward, and might live past 100.


  1. Yum. Tough leg muscle fibers.

  2. Mmmm...with that ambrosial description, I could almost taste the pork myself!

    I can relate to the feeling of forcing yourself to slow down for a recovery run. My muscules have this amazing memory and they want to go fast and hard as much as possible.

    Good luck on the upcoming race!

  3. Pork. Yummy.

    All my runs now feel like recovery runs. Oy.