The Runner’s Nod

The run. Making the commitment to get outside and go for another 5km personal best. Once the shoes go on, there’s no turning back. I turn to my wife as I step outside and let her know that she should see me in half an hour and if not, to come looking.

Focused, starting to breathe deeply without having yet even taken my first stride, I do the final checks. Shoes - yes. Matching shorts and t-shirt - check. Ipod on and volume is reasonable - yep. I take a glance at my reflection in the window. Hair seems to be in place - good stuff. Then I’m off.

At first it feels great. I’ve got a bounce that makes me feel like I’m barely touching the ground. Practically running on my toes, I fly down my street, feeling the neighbors’ stares of what I suspect is admiration of my effortless gliding. I’ll impress them even more - I’ll push harder until I’m out of site.

Around the first corner - the first bead of sweat begins forming on my forehead. The setting sun beats down and I notice the shadows of passing cars and assume that the drivers are also watching me as I blaze down the hill at top speed and they must also want to join me because I make it look so easy.

I’ve been running 15 minutes now. Starting to really feel it in my shins and ankles. Man… I shouldn’t have been bouncing and running on my toes so much at first. Should have kept it a little slower - paced myself a bit.

The sweat’s really dripping now. Have to wipe my brow with my t-shirt. I’m slowing down and the only thing left ahead of me is to go all the way back and all the way up the hill from where I came.

20 minutes pass. Really feeling it. Everyth