The laces felt tighter, my heels slipping less against the mouth of the shoes. Socks seemed to be staying put. Even the mid-afternoon wind was a cool, but not cold breeze. Everything seemed right for my third 28-minute run of the week. I stretched out, and wandered toward the starting point of the trail. The sun was starting its descent, the skies starting to fill with light oranges and pinks.
As the run progressed, the sky grew darker. Even at 4 p.m. Boston is in the midst of the Post-Daylight Savings Shift Period, a time period where New Englanders are still amazed by how dark early everything gets after daylight savings time. It happens every year, yet it still hits us anew.
The new shoes, not slipping, also seem to have improved my speed–as has realizing I am capable of it. Somewhere around two weeks ago, I went from a little over 13-minute miles to a little under 12.
The drive to give up hits less hard each time. If I could do 28 minutes twice this week, what’s one more? The evidence of my ability to do this is piling up, and the self-doubt seems to have less of a leg to contradict me with. I know I can do this. I am even starting to compete with myself–can I make it further than last time?
The counting is now a habit of the past. I judge my distance more by roughly quarters of the track. I try to map the track in my head–a la Mario Kart 64–and place checkpoints. I know my run will take me almost one and a half times around the track.
The sun is down by the time I complete my first lap. I check my watch. Almost 8 more minutes to go.
I still have three minutes when I hit the next nearest quarter. I also find I still have some energy to expend. I kick myself into a higher gear. I am no longer jogging. I am running. The wind is in my hair, I am leaving people behind me, and I am further than I made it on Monday by the time I stop. I wonder how fast I am going. And how much longer I have to run.
Next week, I must go faster.
Shin Status: That All You Got?
Shirt of the Day: Jake riding in a sewn-on breast pocket–Adventure Time!
- Clopening (unsurerunner.wordpress.com)