Monday, January 27, 2020

Pace of play

In baseball, pace of play refers to how long it takes for individual plays to happen and the overall length of the game.  It's also the thing that most people complain about when they complain about baseball.  In response MLB keeps tinkering with the game to try to speed things up and make it more palatable to a society that wants everything to be in warp speed at all times.  As far as I am concerned, they are ruining the best part of the game. I love that with baseball you never know how long a game will take.  Two hours?  Five hours?  No way to know!  So get a beer and a pretzel, and get comfy.

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You have to love a sport where it is totally acceptable to just stand around chatting while everyone watches. 

I have not always felt this way, believe me.  I also like fast, efficient things in life.  I don't want to waste minutes of my life watching the pitcher look around all the bases fifteen times, or some of the elaborate pre-batting rituals that have developed.  On average the length of a baseball game has increased about 30 minutes in the last 50 years, and I suspect that a significant amount of that added time is directly related to the insane amount of commercials that are part of watching professional sports these days.  But there are definitely a lot of player shenanigans that make the game drag on as well.  I used to get really annoyed watching games.  

Then I actually started to watch baseball.  Not just have it on in the background, but actually go to the park and sit in the sun (and rain and wind) to be a part of baseball.  It made me realize that I am just watching someone else's passion.  And I feel strongly that you can't rush passion in any context. 

The Ultimate Guide To RunningNot only that, but between baseball and getting older I have come to appreciate that there is beauty in things that take time.  Everything in life moves so fast, and it only seems to speed up as you get older.  As a kid, summer felt like it lasted forever but now it is over in a blink.  This is a real psychological phenomenon  that is related to the fact that our lives as adults become more and more routine.  The irony here is that the routine is often made up of time sensitive things (like getting to work or making deadlines) which give us the sense that we have less time in our lives.  It is a terrible confluence that warps our perception of time, which we then turn into an anxiety about how long things take - things that should be enjoyable, like watching baseball.  

And running.

I often get caught up in the daily grind and the need to "get in my workout" before going off to do a thousand other things.  I am irritated when my pace is slower than what is convenient for my schedule or for winning a race.  If I let it, that irritation will sucks the joy out of running and turn it into a "job."  I have been trying very hard to get over that irritation and give myself the space to let me pace match the work I am doing, rather than judging the value of that work on pace.  

Over the past year, I have been working towards running longer races, which means longer training runs.  It takes up a lot of time but I am working very hard to let go of the anxiety that brings.  As someone who is always worried about everything, that has not been an easy mindset to adopt.  But I know that it is helping me to be happier and healthier, and to truly enjoy more of my runs because they don't feel like something I have to fit into a specific window then move on with my day.  It is helping me to be more appreciative of the act of running and I do feel as if it is helping combat the increasing sense that time is moving more and more quickly each year. 

I run because it is my passion; it is my game.  Like baseball it's my time to be outside, in the sun, often with my friends.  Why would I want to rush that?  Of course, sometimes I feel compelled to get home to Matt who I know is waiting for me, wondering when I will be done.  But that's mostly because he has to wait for me to break into the pretzels and beer.  :) 

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Sneak peek of my future blog all about how to refuel after a long run.  Or short run.  Or a nap of any duration.  


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Pace of play

In baseball, pace of play refers to how long it takes for individual plays to happen and the overall length of the game.  It's also the...