11: Bridge

June, 2018

A couple of days ago, my friend left her bike at our place with a flat tire and took the bus home. The tire’s been fixed now and she’ll need her bike shortly, so I decide to bring it to her and then run all the way back. I’ve checked, it’s 6.8 kilometres. About a week before, I’ve finally hit the 6.5k mark, which turned out to be the Magic Mark [more on that later]. I can do this one, too.

I park and lock my friend’s bike, throw the key in her mailbox, and run out of her street before I can change my mind. A quick glance on Google maps tells me to cross the bridge and keep following the canal. This side of the canal looks nicer though, so I don’t listen to the map. I run with the canal on my left hand and big, fancy apartment building to my right. Five minutes later, the road ends. I seem to be on a kind of peninsula. The thought of running the same stretch back is demoralising, so I head back into another road. It’s just a little detour, I tell myself as I try to find my way between the apartment blocks and off the peninsula; just keep going. But where the hell am I going? 

Another couple of wrong turns later, I give up and head back to the first bridge. I’m panting and red-faced, a twitch poking in my right side, and I’m virtually back at the point I started.
My inner monologue’s in full force now. It tells me I should get a bus and that if I insist on running all the way home, I will get a heart attack or diarrhoea or diarrhoea while having a heart attack.
I cross the bridge and focus on my music. Come on, now. I can do this. Some people run this distance times three-and-a-half. For funSome people even train for that shit. 
I hate myself. 
Twice, I actually do feel painful stitches in my intestines. Cramps. I have to walk them off. I walk a couple of hundred metres, then try and pick up my running again, but slower. A sudden realization comes to mind, a thought so obvious I scold myself for even thinking it: “Every step you walk brings you closer to home; every step you run gets you there faster.”

It sounds like one of those curly-lettered Instagram motivational quotes you apathetically scroll on by, but it works. Straight through the hardship I run home, without any heart attacks or diarrhoeas, and when I enter my street and take out my phone, I’m sure I’ve run at least 10k. A milestone! A more than personal best! An absolute turning point in my r-
It’s 8. 
I mean, it’s still 8. But it would be nice if my amount of suffering was lineair to the distance covered. 

At home, I intend do to some post-run YouTube-yoga, but instead I just lay on my yoga mat, and fall asleep on the floor.



The Meaty Vegan is chronologizing her attempts at not eating anything animal while undergoing the bestial challenge of training for a half-marathon. Read the introduction


I can and I will probably write about you. But I will name you differently. No correspondence will be entered in respect of this name-giving. You'll just have to deal with it.

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