from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

finite time

It wasn't any fun to run seven miles while I was having my period, but I am in my forties and won’t object to having a period.

Everything hurt, but the pain installed its headquarters somewhere between buttocks and thighs, where it bored through the flesh and made me want to simply keel over.

Then I did seven miles once again, and once more, and the pain extended its headquarters to the front of my thighs, where it felt like a metal blade wedged between muscles. My calves were swollen round the clock. I walked funny. Between work, running, writing, and sleep, I found no time for anything else. There was a definite cap on the day, as if time was an elastic band stretched to capacity.

Before running, lifetimes ago, I used to give up on sleep when I was in this situation, but that is not an option anymore. Since I could not afford to renounce work, running, writing, and sleep, I decided to take another look at time. Perhaps I could lengthen it somehow, by more intensity, better organizing, or other creative tricks of the mind.

I ended up instating naturally, without much thinking, a schedule I had anticipated, albeit with some reluctance: I stopped running each and every day the highest mileage I had achieved so far. Instead I ran a few miles each day, two or three, at most four, and reserved the big run for the week-end. I stopped using the substitute term of “miling.” I was running by now. It was running a bit the way a turtle runs, but to me it was running all right.


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