Monday, May 2, 2011

Run (sorta) like Pre

I had goose bumps yesterday as I ran through the iron gates and onto the track of Hayward Field for the last 200 yards of the Eugene Half-Marathon. There’s a mythic allure to the place—the most famous track facility in the world. Turning the house over for a few hours to thousands of long-distance wanna-be's was like opening Carnegie Hall to kazoo players. It was a thrill to run where Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, Mary Decker and other Oregon track stars used to burn rubber.

I didn’t set a PR, but just being able to run hard over a beautiful course on a sunny morning was reward enough. I never feel more alive than when I run. Perhaps it’s only the endorphins talking, but hard running always gives me a sense of well-being. I am clearly not master of my body, as my cancer keeps reminding me, yet it still responds to the discipline to which I subject it. Through perseverance, I’m able to see an arduous task through to completion--at least while I'm wearing my Nikes. It’s a curious thing at a time when I’m otherwise prone to bouts of pessimism. For me, running is a drug I can’t imagine living without. The 13.1 miles I logged yesterday brought me great joy—and the excuse to eat breakfast with reckless abandon.

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