THE MEATY VEGAN RAN
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 fun. Some 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-
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.