Run towards the danger

Hey Gang!


First up, huge congrats to our LES contingent at the St. Paddy’s Day 5K and 10K on Sunday! I love the fearlessness of jumping in a race, knowing you’re training through and it likely won’t be your fastest time but committing to the effort. Ingrid came under her goal time by over a minute, and Eleanor and Erin used it as part of their long runs, and even so, they came 1st and 2nd in their age groups with solid times! And Samantha volunteered as a guide runner for the 10K (and also happened to place 1st in her age group while doing that!) Way to go all.


I’m currently moved and inspired by Sarah Polley and her work. I watched Women Talking with a great group of women from this group (SO good!) and have just finished her book – Running Towards the Danger. There is much to take out of her book which is a collection of essays from different points in her life. One of the stories I’ve been thinking about is the one where she talks about her concussion. (Spoiler alert). Polley incurred a significant and debilitating concussion which put her life on pause for three years. After much searching for remedies and many different recommendations by various practitioners, she finally landed on a doctor who a few friends had told her had finally “cured” their concussion syndromes. What this doctor told her was counter to all of the advice she had received leading up to that point. Instead of pushing herself to the point where she would start to experience symptoms and then backing off, she should get herself to that threshold and then start leaning in more. That is where the improvement would happen. On the other side of the comfort line. Previously she had been told again and again to listen to her body, and back off and lie down and retreat if she became uncomfortable. She later realized that listening to her body, although always advised with the best of intentions, was not the best guide. Polley’s mind and body were caught in a repetitive loop, and the only way out was through. She should turn up the lights when she entered a room, do vigorous exercise when she felt a headache coming on, ask everyone around her if the T.V. was loud enough for them, socialize in a group setting when she started to feel anxious. Hence the title of her book – she was to run towards the danger. Since this was her last hope, she complied with the prescription completely – she had nothing to lose. And through that she found her symptoms diminished and she regained control of her life. Thank goodness because now we can all benefit from her great work!


I loved this message. I also sometimes think I should “back off” a hard pace or maybe walk up a hill because I’m getting older, and maybe my body isn’t as strong as it once was. Maybe I should just touch my threshold to know where it is, and then retreat back to comfortable. But that’s not where growth lies. Listening to your body (although important and I’m not saying shut it out completely because it has some valuable things to say!) – may not always be the path towards expansion, learning and growth. It’s the same old stoic message repackaged: The Obstacle is The Way. Run Towards the Danger. There is wisdom here. It’s not to be abused recklessly, but something to consider.


On to Wednesday’s workout! I’m away, and my trusty second, Tanis is also away. So two options: meet at Lakeshore and Leslie at the regular time (6:05 drills, 6:15 GO) – and someone can flag the 400 mark, OR go by time.


Workout details: sets of 800-600-400. 90 seconds between reps, 3 mins between sets. (you’ll have to do some jogging and figuring out the start for the next interval – you’re all smart ppl I think you can do it!)

I think 3 sets will be good. If feeling good then maybe pick any two distances of the 4th set and do those. Aim for 5k-ish pace. This is a faster, shorter workout and should complement your longer stuff on the other days.


If going by time: 3-4 sets of 3-2-1 with 1 min bw reps and 3 min bw sets. (little shorter rest bc you prob won’t be covering quite the same distance and you don’t tend to go quite as intensely by time as by measured distance. I find.)


That is all. I will do mine on the treadmill I promise!


Have a great week and see y’all next week!