Week 3 Reflection: I'm a Runner because I'm a Writer.
On Sunday, I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon. Today, I can't feel my legs. Why do I even bother? Why do I subject my body to such torture?
Yesterday, I woke up at 5am. I took the 4 train to Bowling Green, and caught the Staten Island Ferry to my twelfth half marathon. On the way over, I saw other runners, many of them clutching plastic bags filled with energy bars, bottled water, and extra clothes. Together, we walked a silent procession to South Street.
The weather promised a rough day on an otherwise beautiful course. We filed into the ferry and crammed inside. We barely saw the Statue of Liberty waving at us through the misty, turbulent waters of the Hudson.
The beginning is always tough. I listen to soothing music to relax. I have 13 miles in front of me, waiting, beckoning. Starting is always the hardest part about writing. I mean running.
I felt some pain in my left leg during the second mile, so I slowed down until it felt better. I found my stride after the fourth mile, and felt invincible between the fifth and the eighth mile. Strong winds punched me; runners could not escape the cold, miserable drizzle. Nevertheless, we cheered each other on, and even laughed.
On the ninth mile, we faced a terrible hill. "It's just a hill," I said. "Get over it!" Many people stopped; I kept on climbing. We enjoyed a flat run through the tenth before running under the Verrazano Bridge. More hills assaulted us, followed by some flooding. Many runners ran single file through the shallow areas. I, on the other hand, rushed through the flood.
With less than two miles remaining, I picked up speed; my shoelaces on the left shoe came undone. I kept going - people cheering us on. Many runners already finished, and they came down to cheer us on. We entered the muddy baseball stadium and I made a mad dash for the finish line. I almost slipped, and the race was over.
I ate an apple, a cinnamon raisin bagel, and a bag of pretzels. I sat in the ferry with a goofy smile on my face. I sat on the M25 bus and stared at nothing.
Why do I run? I run because I write. I love to write. I understand that, when writing, the end is not always clear, the way is not always straight, and there's a storm in my mind similar to the storm during my race. The trick is to push through it. The trick is to keep moving, keep running, keep writing. When we hit a hill, the trick is to endure and persevere. And when the end is finally in sight, the trick is to finish strong.
Week 3 Reflection
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