Runemployment

“31-Mississippi, 32-Mississippi, 33-Mississippi…”

I’ll give up after this cute girl runs past, I think to myself. Just a few more steps, and then we can stop.

She runs past. I keep running. This is the last five-minute interval, day two of the C25k Week 4 program I’m on. This is the one that kicked my ass earlier in the week. If Monday is any indication, should I slow down, I’ll be slowed for at least 30 seconds before I get my act back together and run some more.

“36-Mississippi, 37-Mississippi, 39-Mississippi…”

Keep going. We’re more than halfway there. We can give up at the four-minute mark.

I swallow a few seconds as a bug flies perilously near my mouth, which is inhaling and exhaling mechanically. I lose my count, but choose a rough estimate number and keep counting. 

Today is the first day of my unemployment. I was laid off from my previous job, which was work-from-home for the most part. The main difference in my running is that, instead of finishing my work and going for a jog, I built a coffee table and puttered around the house before heading out. So far, I’m not complaining. 

The job situation provides a few seconds of distraction, as I start thinking about the two retail opportunities I have open to me at the moment. I debate putting a few more emails out after I get home and shower. Somehow, I’m thinking of this all while still counting the seconds to myself. 

“59-Mississippi, 60-Mississippi, 1-Mississippi.”

I finish that 60-second-ish count, and start another. The counting isn’t accurate, but it’s keeping part of my mind occupied, and not thinking about the burning in my legs, or the aching in my shins. Or how much I just want to stop. However, I have figured that I really want to go for it. 

Revenge. The second 5-minute interval kicked my ass last time, and this time it’s going down.

I have been counting semi-aloud; each second half-whispered on my inhale and exhale. I notice several passing runners looking at me, and start to feel self-conscious. I spend a lot of time talking to myself when in the confines of my own home, and usually feel a little exposed when I start doing it in public. 

“52-Mississippi, 53-Mississippi, 54-Missisipp–“

Bzzzt. Bzzt.” My phone interjects, “Slow to an easy pace to cool down.”

I turn on my heel, and start back toward the exit; I ran past it about 90-seconds into the interval. As I’m walking back on myself, a group of 8 or 9 children pass me, running ahead of an adult. I start to wonder if my sudden heel-turn looks the way I intended it: I have run exactly as far as I need to, and will go no further. Here is where I drop the mic, but have fun.

 

On the walk back to my apartment, I stop to greet a dog who’s giving his handler a run for her money, and start thinking about what the point of this blog actually is. More on that later. 

 

Shin Status: Surprisingly okay. Better than on Monday, even.
T-Shirt of the Day: New England Webcomics Weekend 2 (from the time I volunteered at the second Webcomics Weekend in Easthampton, MA).

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One thought on “Runemployment

  1. Pingback: Why Am I Doing This? | The Unsure Runner

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