Here it comes,
I’d rather it colder,

Here it comes,
A run,
I’d rather it than what’s next,

The combo is best,
Snow and work,
They don’t play well together,
Leaving nothing but a day to run.

Tonight, a little prehab while
Sitting in bed, hot pad blazing
After a cold shower
Where the water seemed
Straight from a river,
All in an effort to keep the motor running,
My motor,
The one my friends ran to empty this morning
When the scruffy gazelle
Found his stride
Which was more fluid than my ego was bold.
I kept with him due to his generosity in the form of
A short walk break so I could catch my breath and
A breezy conversation with questions easily answered
Without too much diverting of air
From my decade older lungs.
It was awesome cruising in the dark,
Pushing through October’s June-like feel,
Sweat pouring, muscles aching
Time ticking away,
Yet, afterwards nothing hurt.
Maybe this prehab thing works, after all,
Some quiet time,
Some breathing,
Some cold,
Some heat,
Lots of sleep,
It’s all good and it better keep working
Because the clock is ticking and soon
My friends will be charging around the corners
Pushing that pace again
And my old arse, or is it big ego,
Can’t stand giving in.

The second day
Brought new adjustments,
The wheels spun freely,
Balance returned to the challenges,
The end became clear.

Squats were finished,
The miles nearly run,
Only one month to go
Before the laps would become wet,
The fingers would ache in the cold,
And the adjustments would have to pay off
If all the hours on the bike
Would somehow get ridden.

The end became clear,
It was over,
The marathon, done,
If not physically, mentally finished,
Run the damn thing already,
Get out before the sun is up,
Before the crowds, before privacy is lost,
That all important alone time,
The hours of running without music,
Solo, only a partner to the thoughts
Coming and going
Like a quiet meditation
On a bench or in bed.

Soon the future will become foggy,
The hours of training,
Oh, those hours of training,
For what, for the challenge?
To see what is possible?
No, to know capabilities,
To get to another end,
So more fog can get in the way,
So more fog can be passed through,

So it is.

“Happy Fridaaayyy.”

Eff you,
I don’t want your BS cheerfulness,
Please know that this day is like all others,

Not that there is anything wrong with you,
I just prefer to celebrate all of the days, not just Friday,
Because I know I’m on the long course
To a hot after-life vocation,
Which kind of excites me.

Not like balls in the butt for some,
Because I don’t care for that,
Nor do I care if others do,
To each his, her, or it’s own
As it is with your Friday cheer, as well.

You can be as perky as you want,
I’ll be as grumpy as I want,
We’ll pass in the way people do,
You superficially giving well-wishes through a faux expression
Of happiness that masks some insecurity on your part.

You see, I just left a ten-miler
Where my hands nearly froze off,
My friends nearly got run over, and
I witnessed a fifty-year-old woman wearing gray spandex
From a Buck Rogers episode.

The beauty is that none of that was negative,
Sure my hands hurt,
Sure my friends and I got scared,
Sure the space cadet pushed my ability to be polite due to her
Jane Fonda era exercise gear, but

I loved it all
The pain, the fear, and
The subtle laugh my friend, who is fast-tracking
Her way to the same cauldron of eternity gave me
At the sight of Apollo 13 coming down the runway.

There were also human snakes in fogged up glasses,
Excited discussions of triathlon anatomy,
Inappropriate references to all that is sacred,
Lip reading of profane verbiage, and
Still more amazement at the way people dress to exercise.

After leaving my friends,
Who are all normal of course,
I was regaled by the awesomely incorrect musings of ZZ Top
Who put the icing on the cake and had the word deranged ringing in my soul.
With that, I knew the best part of the day was over.

So take your cheeriness, the kind that is so Hallmark,
And know that I appreciate the effort,
But your parking lot kindness will never rise to the level
Of Billy Gibbons’s expression of jewelry and passion
Or to the greatness that was this loud and wildly entertaining Friday 10.

How much will ten be?
Different for different people,
Routes, times, paces, clothes,
All diff…
Coordinating, triangulating, measuring,
Those are only controls.
show up, run freely,
Mix it up or
Stay the same.
Group or alone,
It doesnt matter,
It’ll be different for us all
And it will still be a ten.

waking up or just getting to bed?
a simple enough question,
but nothing is ever as easy
as it should be.

4:00 comes early,
I suppose a lot of people
are up this early,
so its nothing special,
just a necessary time to wake,
to run,
to run with friends,
making it most necessary
I suppose
the most important time of day.

for me…

then there’s the complexity
of waking up,
whatever it means to see things correctly,
the social issues,
the political shit,
the unfortunate terms for however people explain
what it means to sacrifice individualism
for being considered a team player,
goodness knows I hate that.

so, I voluntarily rise,
as often as the winds allow,
long after I’ve gone to bed,
simply because I can,
it makes me feel “woked up,” and
I like the people I run with so much.
it truly is that simple.

the right thing, though,
a work in progress I am,
as life gets a lot more complex
with each hashtag movement,
with each dumbass person not respecting others,
with all that happens after the sun rises.

I’ll keep waking there as well
for with the sun comes renewal.

Cold made its way into the morning. Finally. Two of us took to the roads in the dark. We talked training. We talked guy stuff. We shared our preferences for angrier music, the happy pop not fitting our slightly deranged view of the world. I found it comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one who still appreciated the Sex Pistols, although, my expertise paled in comparison to my running partner’s punk rock acumen. He did show his age, a few years ahead of my own, when he offered to let me borrow his copy of “Spunk.”

With that run done and the sun rising, we headed to the fields for a cross country-styled 5K organized by another friend and populated by a bunch of people we all mostly know. My plan was to chill, take it easy on the course, and simply enjoy the time. Like Goggins in Las Vegas and with “Anarchy” blaring on a loop in my head, I took off with a goal to catch the Mennonite woman running up ahead in their bonnets and dresses. Ego is a strange thing and mine was hooked to an adrenaline pump as I pushed harder than I have in many years. We caught the nattily clad runners and for the rest of the way, I ran scared of being passed from behind.

The community theme of the race was exhibited at the finish line. No egos, no trash talking, only the support for each runner as they finished. Times didn’t really matter. Places, either. Hanging with all my friends at the finish lines was awesome. The sun was out, the warmth everywhere, the angry music out of my head.

Thanks, y’all.

The mornings have lost the summer’s early rays. We ran through the humidity joking that the Suck Level was in full effect. Some in our group were out for the long haul, some going easy to protect against recurring injuries, and I was confused after a night of light sleep. Instead of sticking with the crew, I turned and headed off alone. The normal chatter that rages in my head must have stayed in bed because all I heard was the rhythm of my breathing, the softness of my feet hitting the ground, and the occasional walnut falling in the woods. The air was cool at the bottom of hills, a welcome relief from the humid mushroom soil infused air at the top of the hills.

I cruised letting gravity and friction cooperate to get me around the way. Every run should be so peaceful. Every day should have such a start.

They do.