NaPoWriMo – April 15 – “12.5 Kilometers”

It took a lot to get this far.
Shoes, pants, jacket.
Mitts and toque still required.
Playlist ready, headphones in.
I have a goal.

I step out the front door
Pressing “play” and
Pressing “run”.
Countdown.
9, 8, 7,…
I start up the muddy driveway.
My legs jangle
Ungainly
Tight
Each footfall hammering
Up my spine.

And it’s cold.
Why am I out here?
I could run on the elliptical
Inside where it’s
Warm.

The frigid wind
Blasts my cheeks
Shoves me sideways
Slows me down.
The wasted effort is
Frustrating.

I push on.

I crest the third small hill
The first marker
3.5 kilometres distant.

I start to think of excuses
Cold
Tired
Icy
Sore
Muddy
Don’t need this
Not fun
Was it ever?
It was last time, so

I push on.

The tinny voice
Congratulates me
I have a good pace.
Motivation

I push on.

3.74 kilometres.
That’s pretty good.
I could turn around right now.
A respectable 7.5 clicks.
But I could continue.
Get the 5 kilometres I want
And 5 more on the way back.

I push on.

I like this part.
No wind
No mud
No ice
No pain
I’m flying.

She reminds me again
Metallic
That my pace is slowing
So I show her what I can do.

And then the hill comes.
The one before the highway.
I hate that hill.

I push on.

It should be downhill now
But it’s not.
It’s uphill
Just a little
Almost imperceptible
And I’m tired again.

But now traffic hurtles by
And I have to check
Each driver
In case I know them.
Some move over
So I can run on the pavement
Not in the mud.

And the downhill starts
Sodden shoulder less taxing
The invincible
Airborne
Exhilaration
Returning.

I pound along until my 10K turn
And

I push on.

I just did it.
I just committed.
I will crush that record.
I will run further
Maybe faster
But definitely further.

I push on.

As I turn towards home
I start to hurt a bit.
Nothing I can’t handle.

10 kilometres passes.

I push on.

Uphill. Wow.
Longer than I remember.
Steeper.

I push on.

Stupid dog.

I push on.

Another stupid dog.
Bit me. Ridiculous.

I push on.

Could walk.
No one knows.
Didn’t tell anyone.
About my goal.
Could walk.

Push on.

Push on.

Keep going.
Shatter it.

Push.

Push.

Yes.

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