Some years ago I frequented a nice blog RunsLikeAGirl. I even met its blogger once, although I’d see her now and then along a popular local path. Then one day it was gone. RacesLikeAGirl emerged as the butterfly from this metamorphosis.

I don’t recall whether she said why the change, although she likely did. But I thought of it as I walked home from the train tonight. Is it not the perfect way to describe the runner who steps back early in the year and maps to a greater or lesser extent a “program” for getting from the start to the finish of a specific race as fast as possible? Applying the periodization principle. Twenty-four weeks divided into 4. Races en route ends in themselves but more are the means to racing that one race as fast as possible.

Every run made a chance to shave seconds. Every run missed a foregone opportunity to shave seconds.

Nothing to do with speed in some absolute sense. As my friend Pascal noted in his wonderful 2008 marathon report (PDF), 2:20 is unreachable for us, but it’s a stroll in the park for Geb. It’s a state of mind. Jogger. Runner. Racer.

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