It’s the run. Some of you know the run. Some of you may not. It’s the run that allows you to think about life, everything. It’s you, alone in the world. You are frustrated from the day, whether it’s work, a relationship or just life struggles, but you need to release the frustration so you go for a run. On this run, different from most days, nothing will stop you. You don’t have a distance in mind. There is not a time you are trying to beat. There’s no one to judge you on your speed or pace.
Some of you may have a voice in your head, that sounds similar to this…..
You begin with the warm-up followed by a stretch. It’s go time. You start with a solid pace and in mile one you start wondering if this is a good idea. The frustration flashes before you…press on. You run by Subway and Amigos. Haven’t eaten yet so that looks okay, but gotta keep going. You must earn your dinner tonight and you will not eat until the frustration is gone. Mile one is now behind you and the climb up the hill begins. Now to the top, that felt good. Keep going.
You reach mile three….straight or left? Go straight, more distance. The farther you get from your starting point, the farther you run to get back. But you aren’t turning back. There is no turning back. We are moving forward, putting the day behind us. You don’t like who the day made you to be….keep running…..press on. Car lights flash into your eyes as night fall begins. The air is chilly….low 50s. Sporting the long-sleeved shirt and jogging pants, add the red stocking hat with a white “N” and you are dressed boy. Keep running. Left will take you home, right will take you to the airport area. Go right. Cars are flying by, some people looking, others laughing….keep running. The sidewalk ended, where did it go? Run through the grass. Keep going.
You pass by the coca-cola plant. That’s sounds good. Cramps set in. Yes, they are fat cramps. No more soda. Keep running. Cross the street and get on the sidewalk. You run by McDonald’s. That doesn’t sound good at all right now. Your surgically repaired knee gets a little angry. It hasn’t been worked out like this for awhile….Keep running.
Mile four, want to slow down. Want to stop. Think about the day. Keep running. You have to run. RUN! NOW! As you turn the corner the chilled wind smacks you in the face. What wind? That’s all you got? Lower the head, keep running. At 4.5 miles the guy passing by rev’s his engine. The only running he has done recently was likely to avoid the cops. Jerk. Back to the bad attitude. You better run. Keep going. Release the anger. You aren’t an angry person, get back to normal. Keep running. Cute girl passes by in the car, she smiles. Pick it up now. Yep, that lasted until she was out of site. Back to the pace, which is just over nine minutes per mile. Not bad. Mile five, feeling better left will take you home….right takes you, that direction. Go right. Now you are passing by the lake. The water looks a little chilly, but it’s calm.
You pass by the baseball field and head into a neighborhood. Never been here before. Better run faster. Pick it up. Intersection, look to the right. The sign above Memorial Stadiums shines bright with five national championships. Work hard. They do. Turn left. Next street cars are blocking your path, people stare. Go around them. Don’t stop.
Just down the way a sign reads, “Sidewalk closed”. Who the fuck closes a sidewalk? Cross the street. Car is oncoming. Go now. Climb the hill and cross the bridge. Now a major intersection. Kid on a bike rides in front of you. Now stopped at the traffic light. Come on light. Can’t stop. Gotta go now. Green. GO!
Now into mile eight. The aforementioned knee is really pissed. It hurts. Run through the pain. Why does it hurt? Need to run more. Quit being a wuss. Keep running. The song “Remember the Name” blasts into your ears. “This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifteen percent pain and a hundred percent reason to remember the name”. Another dark neighborhood. People in hoods across the street. Eyes straight forward. Don’t look left. Another hill. Who put a hill right now? It’s mile eight, you’re tired. Beat this challenge. Top of the hill, now the pain in the knee shoots into the back. Gotta run through it. Okay, slow down. Stop and stretch. That’s better. Start again. Painful to get started. As you run the pain fades. Can’t stop now, just brings pain. Keep running. You’ve made it nine miles. The end is in sight. One more hill. Goodness I want to punch hill guy right in the face right now. What you got hill guy? Beat it. It’s the last stretch. Stride out. You can do this. You reach the top. You have considerably slowed down, but still going. Heart is racing faster than ever. Can’t stop.
Enter the apartment complex, almost there. Now walk. Relax. Cool Down. Congratulations you did it. You made it back to your start point. Pain shooting through the body. Muscles in the back ache. Pain in the knee. Now the other knee fusses up. Both have been surgically repaired. The left one and most painful an ACL, MCL and both meniscus. The right knee just a meniscus. Walk it out. Now stretch. Much better. Time to go inside. Get some chocolate milk and take a shower. You deserve it.
You just completed a personal best 9.59 miles. Yes, it is just shy of 10 but you had nothing in the tank. you burned over 1,500 calories. Not a bad workout. Probably not doing it again anytime soon.