The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thirty 5Ks… #24-28 (Sometimes, You Just Gotta Believe)

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I have felt like shit lately.  Like shit shit.  Bad shit.  Dog shit.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Dirty Harry Callahan, it’s that a lot of things can happen to dog shit.  It can be scraped up with a shovel off the ground.  It can dry up and blow away in the wind.  Or it can get stepped on and squashed.  I have been preferring any of those this last month instead of running.  And it’s easy to see why.  I’m worn out from the school year, I’m fighting humidity some races, and I’m coming into the months when I traditionally run like shit because I’m out of my usual school-year workout discipline.  It’s not a good time to be trying to wrap up this challenge.

“So take my advice and be careful…”

Not that how I feel matters.  Anything short of an injury is an excuse.  So regardless of how slow I’ve run, how crappy I’ve felt, and how many times I’ve stopped for water, or just plain stopped in the case of last Saturday’s race (I think it was called Run For Humidity, or Humidityfest 5K), I’ve still gotten out there.  But why?  Why go out there when I don’t feel like running?  Why go out there when I’m slowly feeling my mortality?  Dunno, exactly.  It’s what runners do, and some of them do it to the point of injury.

I don’t want to be injured, of course, but I also don’t really want to run.  And I especially don’t really want to run a 5K that supports a church, though I have in the past.  That didn’t stop me from trekking up to Walworth, Wisconsin last night for a twilight 5K to benefit a church.  The only thing I was looking forward to was that it was going to be a “fun run,” so no number, no medals, and no exact timing.  I guess, too, I was interested in putting #28 behind me at whatever cost.

Things didn’t start well.  I’ve been fighting a stiff and inflamed shoulder tendon from paddle boarding, and then found that I was having back cramps when I stepped out of my car.  My warm-up felt like I was running underwater, and my attitude was crap.  Still, the gun sounded and I was off with a bunch of people who looked like they were a lot happier to be out there than I was.  One woman was so daring that she ran the race barefoot.

I felt like I was pretty deep into the run when I figured there wouldn’t be a water station.  That was okay with me because I didn’t want the temptation to stop.  Then I came around a corner and down a straight stretch, and there was a water station.  Why would they put it so deep into the course?  Well, they didn’t.  A sign next to the station designated that we were at the halfway point.  Crap.  Crappity-crap-crap.

I took water, which I almost never do, and I guess it was a baptism.  I resumed my pace like I hadn’t stopped at all, and suddenly felt…  better.  Almost good.  Was it the power of the Lord emanating from the church?  I don’t know.  I don’t care what it was, actually.  I only care that at long last I felt good late in a race.  Maybe it was a reserve of adrenaline that had been dammed up inside me and finally broke loose.  Maybe my brain was telling me that it’s time to stop moping about getting older and being tired and blah blah blah.  My breathing was steady, my head was up with my eyes focused far ahead of me, and I didn’t feel a lick of discomfort from my shoulder or back.  I crossed the finish line a full minute faster than I have for the last few races, and tried not to exacerbate my shoulder and back problems by patting myself on the back.  I was glad I stuck it out and kept going, and happy to remember what running does for your head.

I’ve got two more races before I wrap this up, one in just three more days.  I don’t know when #30 is going to happen because of other summer plans, but I’ve still got plenty of time to get it knocked out before the clock expires on this year-long quest.

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Written by seeker70

June 21, 2017 at 9:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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