Speed Queen

I am not. A Speed Queen, that is. I’m not even a zippy lady-in-waiting.

Yesterday I cheered and quietly sobbed as our family watched the last liftoff of a NASA space shuttle. (Godspeed, Atlantis.) While I was struck by the power and wonder of those giant rockets, I was mesmerized by the counter at the bottom of the tv screen which indicated the ever increasing speed of the shuttle. Amazingly fast.  (on a side note – did you know they have treadmills in the International space station?  The newest is named for Stephen Colbert!)

Here on earth, bounded by gravity and the lack of a propulsion pack, I managed 6 miles at an average of 13 min/miles this morning. (Remember – I take walk breaks!).  I was proud of my 1 hour and 18 min trek until later when my husband ran 8 miles in ten minutes less than that.  Showoff.  🙂

But seriously –  I am slow. And I can live with that….for now. Sure I’ve hit the mark of an 8 min mile….for a few seconds here and there. But my pace is more what many “real runners” call “jogging” rather than running. Right now I’m trying to build my endurance more than anything. I know my limits.  But of course I sometimes wish I were faster. Often I think to myself, “If you were faster you’d be back home by now.” (Of course I sometimes pass this really nice house down the road from ours where I think, “If y’all were rich, you’d be home here right now.”)

Jeff Galloway recently tweeted that “Speed is mostly for the ego…but there’s nothing wrong with a weekly ego boost.” I’m not so sure that I go even fast enough for an ego blip now and again. But I would really enjoy that ego boost sometime. And the ability to outrun and zombies who are out before 7am is a handy skill I’d like to have.

I’d like to blame part of my pace on the Florida temps and humidity. Galloway has a prediction tool for races based on training and “magic miles” – but he includes a caveat that you “slow down by 30 sec a mile for every 5 degree temp increase above 60F.”  So if you move around the numbers and the decimal points…I could manage a 6 min mile if the temperature were 35F.  Or something like that….I’m bad at math.  😉

Nevertheless….I intend to get there…to a faster pace that is….not cause I want to win a race….but for the same reason our NASA space program was inspired all those years ago – because it is hard.  As then President Kennedy said in 1962, “…We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Godspeed fellow runners…..


(On an unrelated but connected point – there is a Speed Queen in our house….I love my Speed Queen washing machine. When our old machine died a few months back, I researched for a long time and found this brand. If you love the environment but really prefer to have a machine that cleans your running clothes well…..definitely check out these machines. Last forever and they don’t use front load tricks, mind-waves, and just a tablespoon of water to clean your clothes….they are very very efficient and keep up well with loads of stinky workout clothes. And American made!)