Running Group No. 3 (of 22) was today.
In good news: I remembered by iPod for the first time, and it REALLY helped. We ran a mile warm up, a quarter-mile at 85% effort four times with a 60-90 second break in-between, and a mile to cool down. I averaged 8:05min/mile, which is approximately the speed of greased lightning as far as I’m concerned.
In not-so-good-news: I was dead last. Back there, all alone, I had an uninterrupted opportunity to cook up the following thoughts. I even had time to conjure them in poem form. Lucky you.
I am the last but not the least.
For in the back there hides a beast
without claws and without fangs,
but with a mighty heart that bangs
between two burning lungs aflame
for self-improvement, not for fame.
Through every little hard-won inch,
with calves in knots and sides that pinch,
and muscles tightening cripplingly
wringing hip and foot and knee
while stomach gurgles, flips, and turns,
and icy nostril leaks and burns.
I wheeze and curse each malady –
my only running company.
I squint through tears and hardly see
the runners out in front of me.
I strain to hear the sound of street
‘neath any wayward lagging feet.
They overtake me once again,
these faster runners, once my friends.
They grin and wave with empathy,
although it seems they’re mocking me.
That’s silly though, that childish thought,
for they can’t know of what I’m wrought.
I am forged of steel unseen,
not best, not worst, but in-between,
Honed by the strikes of my own pride,
competing with the one inside.
Out-running me(s) of yesterday(s)
and besting Old Me’s blobby ways.
It’s easier for them, you see,
to stick with what comes easily.
For me it’s tougher to return
with much unknown and more to learn.
But deep inside, a soul unleashed,
I may be last, but I’m not least.