“Today’s 5K”

06:18 Thu 03 Sep 2009
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Bouncing heels off butt
Shaking out the kinks
Am I ready to run?
Thumb on the button

Bird sanctuary to my left
I concentrate on my pace
Too fast? Too slow?
I prefer to run with others
To have their speeds to go by.
I find a reasonable groove
And breathe
And breathe
Lungs steady, I wonder about my stride
Am I tilting to the left?
Is the ground uneven?
Why is one foot brushing the other calf?
Look right, over my shoulder
Car check as I cross the street.
Onto the park path
My stride evens out.
Ankle pain—is it serious?
A one-off, and on we go.
A long steady stretch now
All about trying to keep to one pace.
Am I going too fast?
How much do I have in the tank?
How much will I have if I keep this speed?
How do I tell the difference between
Tiredness, laziness, temporary lulls?
Now, uphill.
Nothing like San Francisco
But uphill nonetheless.
Going up is fine
But at the top
I want to rest.
My mind thinks rest is warranted
Because, you know, we got to the top
My body embraces this notion.
I tell them both to suck it up.
Another steady stretch.
I lengthen my stride
Long steps
Not too fast
But long steps.
Airtime between the thuds
Of foot on ground.
At the turnaround
The timer says it’s not too bad.
Just turn around
Just keep going.
Trying to keep my strides long
My mind drifts.
(A friend once said that to run
She needed to follow a
Flatbed truck carrying
A live porn show
As her pace car.)
Downhill now.
Not too fast.
Rein it in, because
It’s easy but not as easy as it seems.
Sure enough
At hill bottom
My stomach complains.
I try to go back to long easy strides
But there is dissent.
My mind says keep going
My stomach makes its feelings known without words
My lungs are on board
My legs vacillate between yea and nay.
The Martello Tower
Squat and stolid
Doesn’t inspire speed.
Just one more solid stretch
Then the last section.
I try to speed it up
But my body says:
Low battery
Insufficient charge
You do not have enough will for this operation.
Onto the final approach
Bird sanctuary to my right.
Faster. Go faster.
Now I’ll find out how much I have left.
No slowdown.
No break.
No quit.
“Come on!”
A burst too far, it seems
And I flag.
Nausea wins out.
A slowdown.
Not too far to go
No break
No quit
Thumb on the button amid the gasps
A reasonable time
And a good run.
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One Response to ““Today’s 5K””

  1. Niall O'Higgins Says:

    Nice one – what was the route btw. I’m guessing somewhere past Blackrock and back?

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