Monday, September 26, 2011

Racing and Selective Attention

This year's Ramsey 10k was best race of my life, so far, and not just because of the time on the clock.

I lined up near, but not at, the front. By the end of the first mile, two packs had emerged; top 12(?) and then maybe 4 of us in the next pack. I found myself in the front, with the leaders way ahead of us.

After about the second mile marker a guy jumped in front of me. He lead for a bit, then at about mile 4 1/2, he started to flake. I was thinking he'd race with me, but, as I found out later, his tendonitis got him (big bummer).

A little into the last mile, I passed a kid in a T-shirt. There's something about the competitive cotton-clad that I respect.

About 1k to go and I was *right* up on Hector of Clifton RR. I was giving everything I thought I had, and figured if this guy doesn't relent I'm just not going to beat him. Then, he looked back at me and I found something that surprised me and took off. 7:22 over the last 2k.

When I saw the time on the clock, I was very surprised. I was so consumed with the race, that I had forgotten what my time goal was. It was one of those races where I had to force my eyes open to find the finish mat.

I was so happy. I thank God for such an experience.

On a related noted, Jeff at the Logic of Long Distance blog has posted some very good thoughts on Toughness as an Act of Imagination. He writes,
The attention is the greatest tool of the human mind because it allows us to select from the world the stimuli to which we would like to respond. Intelligence, it seems to me, is a matter of selection; more about tuning things out than opening the mind. The great geniuses of history created a world that made some sense through acts of attention--selecting a single problem so that progress could be made, setting up the world as intelligible when apprehended along very particular lines. Great thinkers help us frame our vision--by telling us what to see or how to see, they also tell us what not to see.

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