October 8, 2015 by scratchtype1
Of course, since I’m completely a non-hero, my impossibles are less formidable than the impossibles conquered by heroes. And that’s okay, perhaps heroes are overrated some in our common cultural folklore and we forget about the importance of everyday people. The vast majority of humanity is like that and they still have importance and worth.
I wonder some though if running is further deepening my own particularly worthless madness. Often now if I’m driving somewhere, I find myself looking at the paths the roads take, the contours along the river and up along the hills and then down, and think how pleasant it could be run some of those roads if there weren’t so much traffic on them. That’s probably one of the big appeals of trail running to runners, that they don’t have to keep hugging a narrow balance beam along a crumbling road edge while cars go zooming by, sometimes at obviously unsafe speeds, sometimes conducted by drivers that don’t see the runner until very late because that driver has a cellphone pressed to their ear and they’re paying more attention to that call than to the fact that they are responsible for a potentially lethal object.
My running streak reached 178 days yesterday. Nothing too significant about that number, but along with that, running mileage during the streak crossed 1,000 miles. I almost started laughing when I knew I had ticked over 1,000 miles during the streak. My goal for the year 2014 was to run 1,000 miles. Now during a running streak of less than half a year, I had run that mileage. My feet have become thicker with muscle, the bones are stronger, the ligaments and tendons more resilient, thanks to running barefoot or minimalist.
Then later, after that run yesterday was done, as I walked to let my body and its systems cool down, I almost started to cry because maybe it’s all ridiculous and futile. There was a lovely warm sun yesterday but winter is coming. On Monday my run bumped up close to the darkness of nightfall and I found myself wondering where all the light goes and how much darker it’s going to get over these next 4 months.
I also almost started to cry because it seemed so unreal and real that I had run more than 1000 miles in a period of less than half a year. Impossible! No, it wasn’t. Not even Lyme disease for some time during it stopped it. I also almost started to cry because of how ordinary I am. Maybe a 1,000 miles in less than half a year makes me a big fish in a small pond, but the pond is very small and I’m really not so big. I’m just a skinny fellow, with short stubby legs, hair when short that sticks up, and possessing no great speed that’ll ever give cause to anyone else to write about for any reason. I have type 1 diabetes and sometimes I wonder if that weren’t the case, if the temptation to run ultra type of distances might seize me. Even now I find myself thinking some about how I would have to figure out fueling strategies, not just to keep me feeling energetic during a many hour run, but simply to make sure I don’t flicker out of consciousness.
What’s impossible? Sometimes it seems very clear. Other times it seems murky, especially when you conquer what once might have seemed impossible. Or murky because you get one of those charged but peaceful runs, where the rhythm of footfalls against the earth slowly drums mantras through you.
I went beyond a personal impossible yesterday. The world changed none in doing so.