Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What are you running from?

Image result for running
She asked me what are you running from. I would rather think i am running towards something. But that question made me think. So i thought i would write about it. the “It” is running. A healthy addiction i have found myself addicted to. It’s not just the sensation of the endorphins cursing my blood, making me feel invincible. Its not even the accomplishment that i feel for keeping my running steady at 25-35 miles per week, now over 3 years at this writing. No. i am not too sure why except it feels right. And so few things actually feel right.

So back to running and back to the life of a runner. Its early about 3am, i am up getting ready to get on the metro to take me to run the LA Marathon. Its dark, cold, erie, the metro train smells like an open tube of ben gay. Lots of multi colored running shoe on runners  who also share this a slice of this mad pie. I am running toward them. Embracing the common purpose of a group of disparate people united. united in run. We get to the start all 20,000 of us, united in run. Running from what to what. The what is almost, now.  I look around in the pre-pubic darkness, i guesstimate that there is about 2 million dollars in running shoes - go think. Why do i? The pack of people is so tight I am warmed by bodies I do not know and some I would not want to know.

And you ask yourself what are you doing here, what are they doing here? Why are you running? What are you running from or towards or into or out of.


The loud music starts “i Love LA” but not at this hour.  The horn goes off. The movement toward the start line starts to snake forward. I love the pre-race pace. it’s a great pace, friendly, compassionate,  slow enough to talk, laugh and share. Maybe even ask the question. What are you running from, towards, how come.  But when you cross the starting line with its chip timer  padded electronic mat you shift into another gear. Now its about the pace. the speed, the time.  the slow, the fast. you are now running. Running towards or away. The question is the same.

So you start to melt miles. The first three, the next three, you are at six. Check your toes, legs arms everything is checking out ok. its now that time to ask what are you running from, towards is it the same? You read the handmade signs,  look at the running shoes, the socks, the shorts, legging and hats. You have the collective eye of the universe or at least the universe of running. And so it goes. then goes some more. You pass runners, you look for your first water station. No you are not going to come in first. You would not want to if you could because that would be winning. And what you want is to be running, running to or away. Maybe from something you do not want to know. Or are you? And the sooner its over the faster the question comes. Again.

So we have now run cross LA to where i grew up, the westside of Los Angeles, plenty of places to hide reasons why i run. It’s big here. Complicated. But the way now is down hill and the air more pleasant. And the landmarks are familiar. They point to reasons. But do they explain the real reason i am doing this. Miles melt again. Reasons curl up like hair on a rainy day. I am not sure but i am sure. I am tired but i am energized, I am afraid i will discover the pain. or the positive or the in-between of what i am running from or towards or am i just running.

In my next writing, i will finish this run. I am not sure i will figure out what its all about. I wonder when i see other runners what they feel, think, want. My daughter says we are the only animal besides a horse that can run distance. Why?  And that is the same question i ask myself. Why.



Part 2 - the finish or the beginning. 

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