Is it running away from something or running towards?

Sometimes I wonder which one I am. Putting one foot in front of the other in a robotic fashion, concentrating on landing mid-sole, scraping the mud off the foot and kicking up as the other foot does the same, keeping a straight line, tilting my body forward and keeping my back straight. This is the mechanics of running. But the limbic brain that tells the legs to piston and to keep firing even though there isn’t big game being pursued or a tiger chasing still requires stimulus. Some days I’m the hunter and some days I’m the hunted, the longer the run I wind up being all of the above.

Somewhere on every run is the mid-point. It may not be at the point you decided before you set out. I knew I was going to run for an hour, whatever the mileage would be. Run 1/2 hour out, turn around, come back. That first half was fine, easy even, smooth running on familiar ground. I hadn’t run the bike path in months and the day after heavy winds meant it was pretty clear of debris. I had finally gotten out on an uneventful 30 mile ride on Sunday, resetting what was a pretty rough week mentally and emotionally. I didn’t blog about it because it felt fine just to do it and not make a big deal out of it. But it was a big deal – nothing happened. I rode 30 miles and nothing happened. I needed it.

And today’s run also was uneventful, which was good. But around 3/4 of the way through it I had a Proust moment and memories of holding David’s neck in my hands while he was in shock, and the sight of my dog under the Jeep screaming in distress came up to my consciousness. My eyes were in the distance stare of the long run, not focusing on objects but on the horizon, allowing the periphery of my vision to defocus and vanish. That was my halfway point, my change from running towards something to running away from it. Chasing the wounded animal on the way out only to have it turn around and bare its fangs. I let it happen, used the memory to fuel the legs and let the surge of emotions do whatever they needed. I just kept running.

1 hr, 6.8 miles.


2 responses to “Is it running away from something or running towards?

  1. Since I can’t be there, reading these entries are the next best thing for a friend who misses you. Please keep writing. I need my fix. If you continue to write this well, so much the better.

  2. i just wanted to say great job on the TNStraining site. it looks awesome :)

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