There is surely some sort of life lesson here: If every other run is a half-marathon, the five-milers seem like nothing. I need to get a new pair of sneakers, though, for reals. The 2011 Nike Air Structure Triax I’ve been kicking have got to have over five hundred miles on them by now. I’ve logged 225 miles on them just since my birthday this year, which is when I started using the Nike Running iPhone app.
Every time I run it seems it takes me at least three miles before I can get into “the zone”, that sort of meditative state during which your brain isn’t deluged with thought. And, man, until I get there my mind is racing faster than my legs ever possibly could. I think about my mom, my son, my wife, my job, my goals, my youth, my heroes, college, high school, elementary school, the BCS, just about everything. But I also spend an absurd amount of that time thinking about running.
I have dozens of theories about running. Most of them have to do with how the act is a metaphor for this, that, or the other thing. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Run harder when you’re going uphill. Take shorter strides when you’re going downhill. Use your quads for distance. Use your calves for speed. Always contemplate every step. Never take your eyes off the road ahead. Beware distracted drivers. Go farther than you did last time. Go faster. Go faster. Go faster.
“Some day,” I always think, “I need to write about running.” Some day I need to record all these thoughts. Some day I need to remember to share this concept or that concept with my son. But what always happens is that I finish my run, exhausted, drink water, drink orange juice, eat protein, peel off my sweat-drenched clothes, shower, and continue living. So what do I know?
Another thing I always think is that I should detail why I’m listening to a certain song. Is Sweet Home Alabama seriously an appropriate song for running? Why do I listen to some songs that are terrible for pacing? What does this song mean to me when I’m slogging along? But I never do that, either. Oh, well.
Here is my soundtrack for this morning’s run:
- Hell — Squirrel Nut Zippers
- (Don’t Fear) The Reaper — Blue Öyster Cult
- Hit the Road Jack — Charles, Ray
- ‘Till I Collapse — Eminem
- Scott Farcas Takes It on the Chin — Less Than Jake
- Sweet Home Alabama — Skynyrd, Lynyrd
- Mr. Chainsaw — Alkaline Trio
- New Way Home — Foo Fighters
- Wonderful Night (featuring Lateef) — Fatboy Slim
- Fight for Your Right — Beastie Boys
- Woo Hoo — 18.104.22.168.’s, The
- Wake Up — Rage Against the Machine