distance running

It’s been some months since I’ve run like a runner, but I still remember certain things about that sequence of behaviors. I remember the early wake ups, the efficient preparation of clothes and balms and water and fruit, the drive in the dark to the track or the beach. And I remember the focus, my mind, moments before the first steps of my last in a series of runs before rest day. I have always planned my last run before rest day as a long run. Seven miles at the beach. Most weeks, that run fell on relentlessly sunny Sundays.

My Saturday runs are always joyful, filled with a sense of liberty (my springy limbs, my spirit abuzz with energy…) If I run seven miles on a Saturday, at the end, I’m exhilarated. That feeling has everything to do with the work week and reclaiming my time, my life. A Sunday long run, however, requires a different state of mind.

By Tuesday, we will know the result of Hurricane Irma in South Florida. I have spent the better part of my life in this part of the world. When I was a child in Grenada, I remember the electricity going out and the hurricane lamps my parents lit to light our home. I remember Gilbert and my family’s reports from Jamaica. I remember evacuating to REDACTED, the psychiatric hospital where my mother worked, for Andrew (and, later, surveying the unholy, unbelievable destruction throughout Miami visible from I95 on the way to visit REDACTED in Kendal). My father still lives with the damage caused by Ivan. I remember Katrina and Kanye’s correct analysis of the government’s response in the aftermath. I remember Wilma and our forced return to community and collaboration during weeks without power.

This storm is nothing like those storms. The only storm remotely like this that I know of is Harvey, and that was, what, two weeks, a week-and-a-half ago?

I love it here. I don’t want to live anywhere else. Hurricanes are a part of the deal. Climate change, however, is not. And in my admittedly unprofessional opinion but from my lifetime of experience, the currently unseasonably warm surface temperature of the Atlantic that feeds Hurricane Irma is a direct result of climate change.

We have to want different things.

Anyway, after I post this, I will set my mind the way I do in the moments before the first steps of the long run before rest day1.

It is a blazing Sunday morning, not a cloud in sight, but this is the run.
And I run the whole thing.

  1. Oh, I’ve decided that, henceforth, the run before rest day will be a simple 5k. So rest day will likely fall on Tuesday, not Monday, and the pressure will be off on Sundays. ↩︎