TITLE: Living with Yesterday
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: October 13, 2009 9:31 AM
After my long run yesterday, I was both sorer and more
tired ('tireder'?) than after
big week and fast long run. Why? I cut my mileage
last week from 48 miles to 38, and my long run from
22 miles to 14. I pushed hard only during Wednesday's
track workout. Shouldn't last week have felt easy,
and shouldn't I be feeling relatively rested after
an easy long run yesterday?
No, I shouldn't. The expectation I should is a
mental illusion that running long ago taught me was
an impostor. It's hard to predict how I will feel
on any day, especially during training, but the best
predictor isn't what I did this week, but last; not
today, but yesterday.
Intellectually, this should not surprise us. The
whole reason we train today is to be better --
faster, strong, more durable -- tomorrow. My
reading of the running literature says that it
takes seven to ten days for the body to integrate
the effects of a specific workout. It makes sense
that the workout can be affecting our body in all
sorts of ways during that period.
This is good example of how running teaches us a
lesson that is true in all parts of life:
We are what and who are we are today because of
what we did yesterday.
This is true of athletic training. It is true
of learning and practice more generally. What
we practice is
what we become.
More remarkable than that this true in my running
is that I can know and write about habit of mind
as an intellectual idea without making an
immediate connection to my running. I often find
in writing this blog that I come back around on
the same ideas, sometimes in a slightly different
form and sometimes in much the same form as before.
My mind seems to need that repetition before it
can internalize these truths as universal.
When I say that I am living with yesterday, I am
not saying that I can live anywhere but in this
moment. That is all I have, really. But it is
wise to be mindful that tomorrow will find me a
product of what I do today.