It’s a Friday evening. You find yourself without kids, without a car, without a care and without any semblance of a social life that allows you to take advantage of the circumstances. So you do what you try to do whenever you find yourself with nothing to do. You run.
In spite of wearing sunglasses, you continue running away from home as the Sun starts to freefall over the trees on the horizon. You pace out a consistent rhythm on the flats. You walk uphill. You let gravity do the work once you crest the apex. It’s an echo of the distance training you followed months ago.
At times, it feels like you could run for 12 hours straight. Good thing, too. Because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing five weeks from today.
You sign up for ultraruns. It always seems like a good idea at the time, especially when the race is wait-listed. Then a couple of months go by. You get slammed unexpectedly at work, cutting into your training regimen. You have a surgery which leaves you completely runless for a few weeks. Then you get a congratulatory email from the race promoters that your credit card has been charged and you’re in. Then you freak the fuck out, because you’ve eaten nothing but frozen pizza and the occasional Five Guys burger since you signed up. And you may have had a few beers during that time, too.
Originally, you wondered what it would feel like to run for 12 hours. Now, as you make the turn toward home—still wearing sunglasses, even though every car is burning its headlights—you know what it will feel like. It will suck. It will suck a whole fucking lot.
When you hit the trail on that Friday night, you revisit an old friend—an album you’d loved since the first listen, but an album that referenced running far more often than you remembered. Running. To stand still. Down streets with no names. Through God’s country and red hill mining towns. Up hills with one tree. The album itself had run on a loop since you left home.
But in spite of all of the running, it’s the song about falling that sums up your week. For months, you’ve been walking aimlessly. Three weeks ago, you write something. Two weeks ago, you have a good week thanks to it. Somehow, this week was even better. So you ran and you ran and you ran. Then you fell, calling out.
It’s been a pretty goddamn good week.