Knob has been lifelessly dull lately, much like my run on Saturday morning. Let’s remedy that with a bit of pretentious ladder-building.
By all accounts, Saturday was a brutal day to do a long run, so it’s fitting that my long run was brutal. The idea was to trot off ten miles, a click up from the previous week. Like many of my other ideas, however, this one began with the best of intentions and ended on the scrap heap of the undone. Embarrassingly for me, my partner completed the ten, so I’ll forego my usual litany of excuses and Andre-bating and just mention that I did 6.5 miles in about 52 minutes, with the last mile at a respectable, though labored, 6.59 pace.
My confidence and inspiration were really shot after that run. Depressed I was, my young paduan learner. Do, or do not. There is no try. Maybe I should just wratchet the training down and accept my place as a jogger and stop trying to be a jedi. Am I just a wannabe? Do I even wanna be a wannabe? Truthfully, I don’t want for much. And after that run, I didn’t want to be a runner anymore.
And lo, on the Seventh Day Elijah appeared unto me and prophesied that I should build a ladder. A ladder, not unto the tree of knowledge, but unto a house in heaven. And so it was that on the Sabbath Day I did not rest, but worked, and lo, it was good.
Which begs the question … am I better than you? Ah gee, “better” is such a subjective judgment, but I built that ladder this weekend and I certainly felt better. Probably because said ladder-building was the most satisfying thing I’ve done in a long while. I’m no handyman. I don’t own any power tools. I can’t hammer straight, unless it’s a last repeat, and then I only drop the hammer. But I love this ladder. I keep looking at it. It feels sturdy. The cat uses it. It has flaws. It’s just a ladder. Making it an existential representation of something larger is just my nature. And to relate it to running, even when I accomplish some running goal, like achieving some sought-after time or completing some race, I never feel satisfied, only relief that it’s over and belief that I could have done better. But not so the ladder, ye steps to a higher self.
See, all I did was get a couple of 10 foot 2x4s, some weird saw and a bicycle wrench, doodle a little geometry, and start hacking and hammering. Throw in some screws, homemade chicken tenders and a dinosaur flashlight, and verily I say unto you, that four hours later you have yourself a ladder. And yay, not only a ladder, but a parable fit for the soul.
Funny then that Sunday night I felt ill. Fortunate too, that Monday I had a replenishing run: 4 miles around the ‘hood in 29.30. The weather was right and I was refreshed.
Today, Meriden. The last time I did Meriden was in the afternoon group and it was about 110 degrees. I remember feeling dizzy after each repeat and I think my fastest of the four was 4.02. This morning I ran 4.27, 4.06, 3.51, 3.49, 3.49. The first seemed a little slow, the other four I ran alone, and on the whole the workout invigorated me. The materialists among you will undoubtedly chalk it up to weather and rest. Andre remarked that I “must feel energetic,” and I will admit that my legs felt livelier than they have in a long while. But I believe that the physical is a result of the mental, and I prefer to look on the ladder as a symbol akin to a birdhouse in my soul. Pretentious explantion or not, it enlivened me considerably to get the residue of Saturday’s debacle fully out of my system.
Gilbert thinks I’m doing the marathon.