rough notes

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Tuesday afternoon. Fifteen degrees. Light breeze. A few fluffy clouds in the sky.

It is into this world of pleasant springtime pleasures that I ventured today, ASICS on feet, keys in hand, and quadriceps on the go. That is to say, I went for a run this afternoon.

What news is this? Why should Mitch bother us with such boring tripe? Ahh, grasshopper, one cannot become wise unless he first climbs the mountain. Or something like that. You see, I used to be a runner. For about a year, I ran six days a week, from 5 to 20k a day. In my last routine, I took things easy and ran for a half-hour five times a week (just over 5k at my pace), and for about 75 minutes on the weekend, followed by a day of rest.

Running was a peace of mind. Pleasure found in pain, they say. It was my time alone with my thoughts and the world. By myself, I’d run here, there, everywhere – mostly whereever my mind told my feet to go. I’d come to a corner and say “left,” and just like that my legs would go there. Or, I’d see an old path, and suddenly I think, “sprint, now,” so I would. Those moments – rounding the corner, or sprinting to the end of my faux-finish line gave me opportunity to ponder all those great cliches of life, love and living. Ah, running.

At the end of the run, you feel wiped out. Your muscles ache, and your skin is slimy. Sometimes, on a really great trek, you will see a tendon protrude here or there. Your chest heaves and sometimes your vision becomes blurry. You want so much to FALL down, so you might catch your breath, but you know to just continue walking, to keep your airways open and to prevent your muscles from locking up. In the shower, you scrub down through the epidermis, to eliminate the ugly, ugly stink of sweat, until you realize its actually in your nose and what you really need is a tissue.

But then, you walk out, clean, refreshed, and lo and behold, you feel like you could do it again. Right NOW. You are as hungry as you have ever been, and you know you will never be hungry like this ever again. And you crave only the freshest, healthiest of foods. Nothing heavy, to weigh you down. You are light as air at this very moment, and you don’t want it to stop. Only water and veg for you. That’s it.

And the next day, you want to do it all over again. But this time, you’re ready to run twice as far, or three times as fast. Whatever, though, it doesn’t matter. Its not a battle against time or distance. Its a determination to outdo that glorious record you just set for yourself. You reached for the brass ring yesterday, and managed to get a firm hold. Today, you are chomping at the bit, ready to not only grasp the brass ring, but tear it down, conquer it, become its master.


Anyhow, so today was the first pleasant day since maybe last September, which gave me a chance to run for the first time since then. I ran for about forty minutes today, most of that time on Citadel Hill. I ran up (and down) the hill twice, and fartlek’d (windsprints, essentially) until the breeze turned cold. My legs are incredibly sore at the moment, and rightfully so, but, surprisingly, my stamina is still there. My lung capacity seems to be what it was last spring, which is a good thing. All in all a good day, but I’m waiting to see how my body will react after a night’s sleep.

It will not be another week or so before weather patterns will bring this region another day of blessed sunshine and warm temperatures, so I’m unsure when I might get back out there again. But I’m going to be ready..


Written by mitchellirons

April 16, 2003 at 2:54 am

Posted in 499869, memoirs, running

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