Mach S

Today, I boldly rip off ideas from other people.

First, there’s Warren’s reconnection with running. What is better than really getting back to what is core, what is loved about a sport?

Then, there’s Jeff Mallett’s Frazz, who posits a question last week that I’m surprised hasn’t made a “Poll of the Day” – What is your “Mach-S”, the speed at which stress cannot keep up?

So, with all that in mind, I bugged out of the office after giving a good eight to the man, and, on my way home to finish disassembling the kitchen in preparation for cabinets and counters that are going to run more than any car I’ve ever driven on a regular basis (but that signify our happiness with the greater southeastern Connecticut thing), stopped for a quick ride on Jamestown. Had about 50 minutes of riding window, tempered by billowing black clouds bearing tidings of the end to three weeks of blowing off mowing a la Raymond. Missy’s been surprisingly understanding. Either that, or too sticky to notice.

Ride was good. Ride was quick. Ride was 12 miles in about 39 minutes. Billy was a happy boy, and made the rest of the drive home with that kind of scratch in the back of the throat from a combination of breathing really hard and trying even harder to hold down the bag of pretzel bits I gnoshed on while crunching numbers.

The ride – absolutely amazing. Not sure quite why, but I felt powerful. The hills that threw me for loops early this year seemed flatter. I don’t think I ever got near the big cog, except maybe coming into the parking lot at the end. But it was all there. Next year, I’m a riding fool. Maybe next year I’m stealing a page from this guy. Gears? We don’t need no stinkin’ gears. (although I might still want a freewheel…). Heh – we also don’t need no stinkin’ helmet – someone left that sitting on the futon in the basement this morning. I felt like Merckx. (“Yeah, old and soft around the middle” says Statler. “Heh, heh. Yeah, neither of you look like you’ve seen a bike in 20 years” says Waldorf. “Animal want woman” screams the drummer) – hair blowing, eyes fixed up the road – good stuff.

But I think I’m getting back in the groove. Yeah, I blew off this week in exchange for carrying the boys all over Sesame Place (and I’ll probably wear the Cookie Monster shirt for the 20K, assuming it’s not gawdawful humid). But it’s not so often that the kid starts kindergarten. But Thursday’s run was one for the ages, and today’s ride – bella.

How’s that for cribbing off a bunch of people smarter, faster, and more dedicated than me? Or, as I like to say in my resume – “small group facilitation”.

But to the poll question – What is your Mach-S?

While I’d like to live in the same world as Frazz, and have stress fade as soon as self-powered forward motion begins, I can’t. For stress to truly be left behind, I’ve got to be pressing pretty well. So I’d pin my “Mach-S” at about 9 minutes per mile. Yep, I’m still doing long runs at about 9:30, but that’s one of the reasons I’m sticking with 9 minute miles – long runs are really stressing me out.

9 minute miles translates to a little less than 7 miles per hour. Which, coincidentally, is about the speed at which bikes become controllable. And I have yet to feel stress while riding.

So how ’bout it – what is your Mach-S?

13 thoughts on “Mach S”

  1. i love a good muppets reference. and bonus points for quoting animal.

    my mach-s? forward motion, at this point. i’m stressed about my leg sidelining me, right now.

    but i’d say that typically, forward motion is all i need. i shed the stress pretty quick and my exercise is freedom to me, not a yoke.

  2. mach-s? are you kidding me? i’m always stressed about the pace – too fast? too slow? maybe that’s why i’m so bad at pacing.

    for real though: 9 min miles rock my world. set on cruise control and go.

  3. Okay, with the bum shoulder, I’ll agreee with the peanut gallery: any forward motion is a good thing at this point.

    When I’m actually able to ride, it depends on context. If it’s an easy ride with Sprite, then it’s just being out on the bike, with her, looking at the ducks, fish, turtles, dragonflies and deer. If it’s a training ride, it’s averaging over 19 mph on hilly terrain and feeling completely fresh after the effort.

  4. Hmmm, I have to say a comfortable 10 minute pace, when I can breathe and talk is my mach-s. I’m out there and lovin’ it.

  5. I haven’t been able to run fast enough to reach Mach-S. I think I’d need to be fired from a cannon.

    Funny thing, when I read that cartoon the other day, I thought of you. :D

  6. Mach-S occurs whenever I am in running shoes or barefoot. Either situation means I’m running or chilling and I have turned off the stress machine.

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