Every Run Takes a Promise

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March 15, 2015 by scratchtype1

I have only one gear this day. The slow one. The day before I ran 13.6 miles and I’m running into new territory now, up near 60 miles in a 7 day period. Rain spits down on me and passers by could think that I’m crying. Maybe I am. Wind slaps against me, I feel almost as insubstantial as the many promises that are made in life.

As insubstantial as the many that are broken.

The March fields are a lifeless brown of mud and water. The gray skies are a relentless shadow today.

Sometimes we promise to others because of love, sometimes because of desperation, sometimes fear, sometimes delusion, sometimes anger.

But here, today, here and running, the only promise I can fail is the one to myself, the ones that are counted with every stride, thousands of them over the 6 miles I’ve promised to myself.

Still shadows linger deep in the crevices of the mind, where the heavy rains dig out ditches into the mud, slowly tear away the substance of the ground, the solidness. Nothing springs forth this late in a cold winter, nothing is green, nothing is light and brilliant. The world today, my world, is brown and broken leaves, the empty branches waving in a hissing wind.

So I run.

What is this me? Long long ago, I made crazy promises, but not about running so much. Those promises disappeared and failed. Yes, I failed. Many times, more than can be counted. I still live. I still feel the heart twist sometimes, I can feel it land against something sharp. But it is mine, as horrible it may be, it is mine. And so’s this run, only this can be mine, the many many miles I’ve run now over the last 18 months have brought me to here and now, each one of those little promises along the way to form an imperfect man, a dilapidated human being who can some days hardly raise his eyes from his own shadow.

I run.

Oh my dear, do you even remember what I promised? Do you even remember what you sometimes seemed to promise? Yes, I understand that not all promises can live and not all promises should have been made and I understand that, that I understand, that I know, that I feel.

But at least an out and back run offers the chance to turn around. So now I do, so now I run to fulfill the promise of going home until time for the next run, the next promise whether to myself or to someone else.


For any who might be interested in other writing matters, I’ve been bugging Mortulo to write his story about Pheidippides, but so far, he says that all his drafts have been unsatisfactory. Strange guy, you’d think that he wouldn’t worry so much about how people might think of his writing. I guess we all need a little vanity if we’re going to write and try to tell stories.

I have been running, very well, pretty much. I’m running with speed like I’ve never had before. I still can’t say I’m fast, but even yesterday, I ran 6.1 miles at a very very easy recovery style pace and it was just under 9:40 per mile. The hospital’s Dash 4 Diabetes is in 3 weeks and I hope to show up there healthy and set a new 5K PR. I’m currently on pace to run about 1825 miles for the year.

Although I haven’t done much barefoot running because I’m a wimp some about road conditions in the winter. I don’t like the rock salt and how much pebblish material gets underfoot. So I’ve been using the Xeros up until this last Thursday, when things were pleasantly warm and dry and the road free of debris. Wow it felt amazing to run completely barefoot again. I was trying to run really easy that day, but that first barefoot mile was covered in 9 minutes flat before I choked the throttle down for the next two miles, then ran with some extra pace again, barefoot, for another three quarters of a mile.


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