three out of four runs suck. keep going.
Posted on May 7, 2017
Saturday 6 May 2017
Start time: 4:34pm
Longer days and sunnier skies have given the city a facelift. Now that the state drought has been quenched, greenery pops up everywhere. Flowers bloom off stoops, bushes spill into parking spots, and playing fields are flush. Spring has also brought strong winds (a hint of what’s to come in summer). Running north takes particular determination.
Not a problem today. I took a one-way journey that was southbound, flat, and fun. It’s rare that a run is 100% enjoyable. Don’t let that discourage you from starting – see definition: joy. It’s a complicated thing. Like a good mood, a good run is spontaneous and ephemeral. You can’t plan it, but you have to set yourself up for it. I find that maybe three out of four runs are painful, boring, or both. I persevere for two reasons: 1) because of the way I feel after any run, regardless of what happens during, and 2) because the fourth run really is that great.
A great ordinary run is like a microcosm of a great race. You are solid and light, strong and delicate, able to cut through the air and disappear into it, a bundle of contradictions operating in unison. After a marathon, I try to explain to people what the experience is like, and I always end up saying something along the lines of, ‘it’s like, peak humanity, bro,’ followed with a long drag of a joint. But seriously, an endurance race will break your heart by proving just how limited your flesh is, and then give your mind a transcendent high. You are mortal and invincible in the same moment.