stay with the run

By SOLO

As I run, it’s already dark, but the heat does not let go. It hangs in the air, lazily leans onto the buildings. As I recall similar runs, my mind heads across the border.

Bright midday jog in Belgium – paving stone, white bridges, yellow pints of beer hanging out on cafe tables. Pre-sunrise run in India – overlooking a cliff, and racing eagles. Smoldering midnight sprint in Israel – darkness, silent boardwalk and crashing waves.

India
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I stay with the run. As I settle into the discomfort, the street signs start flying by.

And for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself…

Coffee shop. Stop sign. Chinese restaurant. Korean restaurant. Japanese restaurant. Dry cleaners.

The music in my ear is like a mismatching soundtrack to a silent film. The strangers I pass move their lips, and gesticulate, but no sound escapes.

Israel
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At a turnaround point, I stop and pause my watch. The heat swallows me. I blink tears of sweat; cheeks pulsating into my skull. Every inch of my exposed skin is melting.

Seconds fly by. Resting is almost more uncomfortable than the run itself. I turn around and charge. The air instantly cools the face. I feel myself slowing down. I’m tired. I’m floating above the asphalt and my feet drag miles behind. Helplessly. Ineffectually. Radiohead’s Karma Police does nothing to improve my pace. The body is protesting.

Arrest this girl…

I speed up in sheer defiance. I stay with the run. Street signs are flying by in reverse order. Dry cleaners. Japanese restaurant. Korean restaurant. Chinese restaurant. Stop sign. Coffee shop.

A tiny valley breathes cool air as I pass, and I think of all things wet and cold. Water. Snow. Crisp apples- right out of the fridge. Ice cubes.

Faster.

My whole body is humming, pulsating.

She buzzes like a fridge…

My front door.

Ripping off the wet clothing, I rinse the night city off me. The lights, the sounds, the smells slide down my skin and down the drain.

But I still feel it inside.

The street signs firmly lodged in my chest. The stop sign is the vibrating tightness between my shoulder blades.

I stay with the run. Until the run stays with me.

I’ve given all I can…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBH97ma9YiI]

YOUR TURN: When was the last time a run stayed with you? What was it about the run? Tell me in the Comments section. 🙂

Signing off,
Solo

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Posted July 17, 2013

7 responses to “stay with the run”

  1. Jp says:

    el Paso, Texas, Jan 2009. I still go back there in my mind during some of my runs, running in the desert, hot breeze from above the mountains. Cactuses on each side of the trail, tumbleweeds rolling accrosss the trail, sun setting away, keep hearing “im a poor lonesome cowboy” from Lucky Luke in my head and viva la vida from coldplay (weird mix, maybe, good for a run? Hell yes!)

    Going to ottawa beast this week end, through suffering and discomfort, ill remember Texas…

  2. Doug says:

    Great writing! Great song! One run that stayed with me was running from Hanover, Ontario to our campsite on the Saugeen river.. I’d been dropped off by car.. I was unfamiliar with the route I was taking, knowing only the direction I was to run.. It was a hot day, sun blaring heat and light at me with few areas of shade along the way, I had no water, gels or any sort of relief other than my iPod. 17 grueling km of dirt road, hills and heat or so later I arrived at the site feeling as if I’d been through a war that was never going to end.. Even after I’d stopped running my body felt like it was still moving forward through a wall of thick, humid, wet air. Life at the campsite was going on as if nothing had happened. “How was your run?” I was asked. I waded into the river..

    • Solo says:

      Thank you, Doug. And thanks for sharing that run with me – it sounds incredibly tough, but beautiful at the same time. Something about running in the heat!

      Sincerely, Kate

      Ekaterina (Kate) Solovieva, MA

      Find me on the web: http://www.solovieva.com

  3. Amy says:

    Well… I can’t choose between three: 1. My very first 6 miler, Thanksgiving Day 2007. I cried because I couldn’t believe my legs could carry me that far. 2. A 4 miler in the Bahamas in 2011. Normally I run alone, but I was on a mission trip with my 8th grade students. Three of us ran together over and back across the bridge to Paradise Island, soaking in the contrast between opulence and poverty. 3. A snowy run through the streets of my hometown in Indiana. It was an emotional trip, very cathartic running though my past.

    • Solo says:

      Amy, I don’t think you have to choose! They all sound great!! And snowy run in your hometown sounds gorgeous. And somehow – almost sad in a way. Don’t know if that makes sense…

      Sincerely, Kate

      Ekaterina (Kate) Solovieva, MA

      Find me on the web: http://www.solovieva.com

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