Control Group

Back at the reservoir, but running alone on a colder May Tuesday, I returned to my average time.

Perhaps I started off faster–I confess, I never looked at the statistics, in part because they bore me, and in part because I don’t know what they mean. But, at the end of the run, I heard my usual time in minutes-per-mile come through the headset as I completed essentially the same route I did last week with my girlfriend in tow.

The weather may have been a factor, and I was just as eager to go see her for dinner (we still had plans, and I briefly considered cutting my run short). But, I was on my own this time.

The other variable: my leg. I was starting to feel a growing pain in my right knee about halfway through the run, which eventually subsided–or perhaps numbed to a background ache. I thought of my friend Sam, who ran the marathon with cramps. He later told me that he only had running cramps twice: the two times he ran the Boston Marathon.

I dragged my way around the rest of the course, finishing at my usual time. I wandered through the trees again, back to my car before heading over to my girlfriend’s place for a shower and some dinner. The run somehow felt longer than last week’s did, likely a condition of being out on the nearly-deserted track by myself, but it still felt as good to be done.

Being done, in my view, is still the best part of the run.

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