Darkness at the edge

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May 14, 2016 by scratchtype1

Today was day 398 of the running streak. 6.6 miles in a pair of Xeros. It’s amazing sometimes how a good long sleep can make a huge difference between runs.


I finally spoke it aloud Wednesday evening to a member on my bowling team who does triathlons. It’s been tossing and turning over and over in my head a lot since the start of the year and I’ve been trying to sort out if it’s right. But I’m pretty settled that Monday evening I will put in my entry to run the marathon in Philly in November.

I first felt the really strong conviction to do it when I ran about 15.5 miles 2 weekends back, the weekend of the Broad Street Run. I ran those miles in a fairly steady chilly and wind-driven rain. I felt driven by darkness and frustration. I’ve been having some wicked and wild dreams the past month or so, dreams about loss, dreams about lost loved ones, dreams of doctors telling me that I’m dying. Darkness, lots of darkness. I was a dark blue blotch in rain that Sunday morning, cutting relentlessly through the slop, splashing through the 2 miles of mud and gravel on a barely-known country road, dancing the edge of asphalt on all the rest of the miles, running and running and running until I was finally so wet and seized by the idea that I could train for and run a marathon, for my own reasons, for myself, for desperation. For the darkness that is painted over the edges of every one of us, the darkness that slowly engulfs us until one day we die and go away forever.

Of course I didn’t say all that Wednesday night. It’s not polite and not for light conversation.

So it goes.


I’m getting back to doing some tai chi inspired drills and movements. After my mother died, I found trying to settle myself into those where I’m not moving over the world like I do when running, found them too despairing and too unsettling to do. But over the past week I’ve become aware that I’m losing some of the springiness and stretchiness that I’d been developing and I need that to improve my running. So every day again, trying to do those some and recover that springy sense that had been developing during February.


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