On Running Everyday

Yesterday was a tough one.

Monday night, the little dude refused to sleep.  He woke up at midnight, and again at three, and again at four thirty.  Object permanence, they say. When my alarm went off at 5, instead of getting in a quick mile before heading out to travel to D.C., I hit snooze.

That was stupid.

Logically, I knew another ten minutes of sleep wasn’t going to make any difference in my day, but in that moment, my sleep deprived brain would accept nothing other than another ten minutes in bed.

So, 5:15. Up, shower, shave, coffee, suit, and out the door to catch the train to D.C.  All day in our nation’s capital in meeting after meeting. Ended up in a bar in Du Pont with an old friend watching the U.S. lose.

Back on the train.

Cold sandwich, beer, spy novel. If only I could sleep in public places. Into Penn Station at 10:40.  Fuck it, cab it home. Back in BK at 11:15.  Kiss the sleeping wife. Kiss the sleeping baby. Change and head back out.

“I’m going for a quick run” I tell a sleeping E.

“You’re insane” she replies.

Yes, maybe I am.

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What’s the point of dragging my exhausted ass to run a mile at 11:30 at night? There are no health benefits. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d be better off, physically, if I just went to sleep.

But this isn’t just about the physical, is it? It is about running as a refuge, as a thing you can control and do for yourself. It’s a place to reflect — even if its just for eight and a half minutes. Hell, you can do it everyday if you want to.

And its about more than that, too, right? Its about wanting something, and playing tricks with yourself to make sure to get there. Its about ensuring that because no excuse is good enough, the training always gets done.  The miles always get logged, and you get where you’re trying to go little by little, day by day.

Its obsessive, sure, and many runners better than me don’t need to run everyday. But here’s what I’ve discovered – to get what I want out of running, both psychologically and physically, I do.

So there I was, at nearly midnight, with the people leaving the bars, and the guys on delivery bikes, and black cars circling for fares.  There was no place I’d rather be.

One point four miles. Eleven minutes.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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5 Responses to On Running Everyday

  1. Gidon says:

    Breeders don’t get the luxury of sleep. That’s the price you pay for earth killing. We still love you for your other attributes.

    • seanv2 says:

      Gidon, come to New York and let my son destroy your radical tendencies with his blinding cuteness. You’ll be out looking for a baby within a week.

  2. smt says:

    Nice one! Or rather, nice 1.4 hahaha (sorry, that was terrible)

    Obviously I am MUCH MORE SANE than you since I only run six days a week, but I totally totally get it: if I’m supposed to run that day, I’m going to run that day. (Though I really recommend not doing it after a heavy and boozy meal if at all possible. But if not…I’ve done that too.)

    • seanv2 says:

      Thanks!

      I imagine you’re about making the runs be actual runs as opposed to really dumb affairs done soley for the purpose of keeping some dumb streak alive. Still, since I started doing this, I’m finally, really, putting together some decent training weeks. Unless injury gets in the way, I see no point in stopping!

      • smt says:

        You know, there is kind of nothing about running that is logical, whether it is six miles or one mile (WHY no one is writing about the turn toward physically difficult activities as leisure as a symptom of a certain phase of advanced capitalism is BEYOND me, truly…as is why I’m not in a history of science program so that I could do it myself in the context of historical attitudes toward health), so who cares if your running streak thing is crazy/totally illogical. If it works for you, it works!

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