On yesterday’s race

When it comes to running I have at least learned that I am running my own race.  This took a very long time!  Since last fall I have been in disagreement with one shin and how it should function in a pain free manner.  An MRI shows it’s not shin splints.  The doc blames it on age and years of prior running.  As I do not like that answer, I will work on proving him wrong.

So I have spent the winter logging miles on the treadmill in the basement.  Whatever is wrong with my leg does not show up on the treadmill no matter how long I am on it.  Yesterday was the Frosty 5K in Iron Mountain.  I was hopeful that after being pain free on the ‘mill that I would be similarly pain free during the race.  I was wrong.

After about a mile and a half, with a time I had set out for, my shin cramped again and I had to finish by alternating walking and running.  Major bummer!

Another runner shared that ever since she worried about time and progress less, she has had better runs more.  I am going to try to adopt some semblance of this positive attitude.  To do this I tried to think of other things about running that make it special.  It is not often I am determined to write in anything but prose, but since I am trying out a new attitude with running, I am also trying a new attitude with thinking about it.  So for better or for worse here is what I came up with:

Apology to a raptor

There’s this spot on the one side

of the lake,

where the hillside falls away from the trail

so quickly that

the treetops top branches are

eye level with the trail.

This winter morning, with the air

cold enough to see plumes of breath,

I jog that hillside trail

and there, in the tree limbs sits

the eagle.

He is staring at the pond down below,

where—until I crested trail above—

a winter’s flock of fat ducks had been floating,

in the not yet frozen pond center.

Upon my crunching laboriously along the trail

and coming into duck and eagle’s view,

the flock explodes into flight.

At eye level now with the eagle,

he turns to meet my gaze.

For just this moment I can read his thought,

“Dammit!”

and then he flies away.

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