The Day After

So, today’s run was balls. Yesterday I was all sobered and contemplative and namaste; today I was a narsty ball of ROUF with an I-hate-everything chaser.

My plan called for six miles: warm-up and cool-down singles with four miles of 400 repeats in the middle. Like a delicious sandwich, except painful. It was on a treadmill, so it tasted extra rotten from the first step. I could have done it outside, but I don’t work near a track and my workout was set for the witching hour (er, whenever I could get my sorry ass out of the office), and also, clocking quarters on a Garmin is for smart runners like, I don’t know, OUaL. Not Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

What is this, a center for ants?!

I digress.

Quarters are always hard, but I wasn’t in it mentally at all today, and after the first four I gave myself a longer jog break than planned. And by that I mean I walked.

My brain was a fiery hellhole of negativity (this is where I should have stopped switching between CNN and MSNBC and given the damn Boston coverage a rest — BREAKING NEWS: we have nothing new to report!), and it took every pitiful ounce of willpower I had to crank the speed up and hit the next 400. Sometimes the only solution to treadmill repeat fatigue is to go faster. I found my favorite kill-it running song and jumped from 8.5 to 9.5 and 10.0 for the last four or five quarters.

No seriously, this song: The Artist Then Known As Puff Daddy and JIMMY PAGE. For some reason the beat goes perfectly with the cadence of my feet when I’m running hard. Try it. I’ll wait.

(True story: that’s been one of my top 5 running songs for 10+ years, but I had never seen the music video until I searched for a link just now. HOLY 90s, that shit is lame. For the record, the iTunes version is sans the Absurdistan Godzilla sound effects.)

Anyway. I hit the 6.0 mile mark at 53:00, which is fast for Pokey, people. Especially when you consider that my first and last miles were at a 10-minute pace. Yow!

If you’re like me, you’re all linked out as far as words for Boston are concerned. But I want to share this one from Jezebel anyway.

Running can be a lonely sport — hours on the road solo at times so early people can still be seen stumbling out of bars and hailing cabs home, declined invitations to evening activities, neglected significant others, and truly disgusting feet. In fact, unless a runner trains with a group that doesn’t annoy the living daylights out of them, the months leading up to a long race can be profoundly antisocial. But on race day, all of that disappears when, as the marathon runner embarks along a path lined with people — all kinds of people, they’re bathed in the encouragement of thousands of people who cheer for them without knowing their names.

. . .

One of the many puzzling aspects of yesterday’s attacks was the question of what, exactly, the perpetrators thought they’d accomplish by targeting what basically amounts to a celebration of human tenacity. If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.



One thought on “The Day After

  1. Pingback: You’ve-got-to | Pokey McGee

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