I really didn’t want to go for a jog today. But I knew I needed to, because it’s been at least a week or more since my last jog, and my last jog before that had been a week earlier, and you remember how I dropped down to 219 pounds — dropped 11 pounds in one week just by running — back in August? Well now I’m still right around 220-225, depending on the week. Plus I’m kinda sorta unofficially trying to get down to my college time, when I could run a mile in 6 minutes flat, and I could run 3 miles in 22 minutes, and etcetera. But ain’t none of that gonna happen if I don’t do the running.
I don’t know why I dread running so much. I mean, it even seems like the more I dread it, the better I run, if that makes any sense. Like last week: It was cold and overcast and my legs were heavy and my lungs struggling from the start, and I nearly turned around and went home — I run a loop around our neighborhood — after just a minute, but I kept going, and I hit my best single-mile time in forever. Go figure.
Plus, I always feel guilty for not running or for being such a crybaby about it because once I get out there, inevitably, almost every time I run, I think of people I’ve written about and gotten to know very, very well, who can’t run, or at least, can’t run like me. Two in particular: Mike Williams and Ivan Castro. If I actually ran and worked out as much as those guys wish they could, I’d be a stud.
Mike is the giant former NBA player who got shot eight times and paralyzed from the waist down. Ivan is the Special Forces officer who got blown up in Iraq, should’ve died, survived but went completely blind, and now loves running but can only run if he has someone to guide him by tether.
Not that I always run for such noble or impressive reasons. Mostly I run because I don’t want to get fat, and because when I’m finished, I feel incredible, and if I feel like having a beer later, I feel less guilty about it. I’ve never gone for a run and regretted it, is my point.
It was a gorgeous day perfect for running — cool, in the 60s, not a cloud to be seen.
I thought about Mike and Ivan a lot more than usual today. Mike couldn’t run if he wanted to, and Ivan can run, but he can’t see how beautiful of a day it is.
But also, I felt better running than I have in a long, long time, which makes no sense to me, given the aforementioned lack of consistent running. I actually felt somewhat light on my feet. I breathed strong and easy. I broke an eight-minute mile for the first time in years, finishing in 7:58, and yeah, okay, if you’re a hardcore runner, that’s basically walking, but hey, I felt like a f—ing superhero. I’ll take it.
Of course, then I ate two White Castle cheeseburgers and a chicken-and-lots-of-cheese sandwich and potato chips for lunch, but my horrible diet’s a whole other topic.