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03 July 2012 @ 11:22 pm
Night run  
I can hear everything so clearly. The sound of my feet hitting the ground gives me feedback on my status. It’s definitely a recovery day but I’ve been louder, sloppier, more tired. I’m probably exactly where I should be. I try not to look at my watch on days like this, knowing it’s dangerous to care too much. A spot check tells me I’m at 8:15 which is surprising. Despite my stiffness I guess my cadence is robotic at this point.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes me on a day like this. Sometimes the point of run is to set yourself up to run well the next day. It’s actually a source of pride for me. Watching me prod along the East Drive you’d never think I’m a racer. A guy passes me breathing hard and probably happy to be the passer. That’s fine. I’m in no rush tonight.
It’s incredibly clear and quiet. I can hear cars driving up Central Park West but it could easily be confused with wind. It’s the type of sound that could be coming from a mile away or 100 meters. It’s definitely distant from the expected aggressive Manhattan.
I hear my breathing and glance at my watch. Three seconds to complete and in/out cycle. Then my science brain takes over. That’s twenty breaths per minute. 1200 breaths per hour. What’s the volume of my lungs? How much of that volume am I using? What percent of the air is carbon dioxide compared to my exhaled breath? How many extra tons of C02 have I generated by running versus sitting? Am I the cause of global warming? Maybe I’ll do the calculations later but for now I’m excited that something interesting occupied me for a few minutes.
I rarely look up. In Texas there is rarely anything to look up at. For some reason I do, and realize gigantic building surround me. I see the CNN tower off in front of me and it informs that it’s 9:29 and 82 degrees. The air feels good on my naked skin. A pair of guys are cruising towards me with runner bodies at probably low 7 pace. They make it look easy. For a moment, I feel like Adam and Eve realizing they are naked. There is too much separation in this sport. It’s just too quantifiable. I don’t care if I shouldn’t be shirtless.
I hear wheels behind me. It’s become a game: Name The Vehicle. I’m going to guess skateboard. Not a longboard but a good old skateboard. The guy passes on my right on a downhill and I’m correct. The next one I guess road bike with a guy in tights. I’m half right. The guy is clipped in and going hard but looks more like this is his routine to get home more so than a guy going prone with his aero-helmet.
In the glow and serenity of the evenly spaced streetlights, I plod on. Who knows what series of thoughts and events have strung through my head or how many unresolved scenarios pop in and out. But for now, I am content. I just want to soak up the cycle of the stretching and collapsing of my shadow every fifty meters as I pass under streetlights, giving me a quick visual of myself, reminding me that I am actually running.