This morning I missed my three mile run time by 22 seconds. It’s not the end of the world but I wish I could’ve gone faster.
Each Wednesday I run three miles. Each Wednesday. Every Wednesday. Three Miles. For some, this sounds easy. For me it is not. I kill myself each and every Wednesday to get a better time than the previous week. I used to run a mile on Monday and a mile on Friday to kind of flank the big run on Wednesday, as a way of “keeping” myself fit. I think this somehow fooled myself into believing that running fast on Monday and again on Friday would somehow make me better and faster on Wednesday. Maybe that mindset helped out a little but I don’t do it anymore.
I just run on Wednesday. And it feels like I die each time. I know it’s good for me and with a family history with heart disease I appreciate the heart-healthy exercise; I just wish I could sit idle and get heart-healthy at the same time. I often hear people say that they get a natural high from running. That is so completely far from what I experience that I have to question whether I’m doing it right. Is it possible that there are different kinds of running? The kind that I’m stuck on isn’t enjoyable and it certainly doesn’t make me feel high.
My time today was slower than I wanted. One may think that it is easy to find 22 seconds over three miles. I mean, how hard could it possibly be to run just a touch faster over the entire course of three miles? I can answer that question with one word; hard. I run until I’m close to death. I can see the Grim Reaper on the horizon before I push the “warm down” button on the treadmill (and I do thoroughly enjoy that; it is my favorite part of the run – I can slow down to a walk and the Grim Reaper waves bye-bye again!)
Then I remember the value of time. I remember the old mantras, that if you want to know the value of a month, ask an expectant mother. If you want to know the value of a week, ask a soldier overseas. If you want know the value of a day, ask anyone who has Hospice living with them right now. If you want to know the value of an hour, ask my kids who wake up way to early on Christmas morning and are told to wait an hour before getting up to open presents. If you want to know the value of a minute, ask the holder of a plane ticket whose flight just left a minute ago. If you want to know the value of a second, ask the Nascar racer who lost a million bucks by being a single second slower than the first-place guy. If you want to know the value of a nano-second, don’t ask anyone because a nano-second is stupid. Did you know that a nano-second is one-millionth of a second? I daily look at useless trivia like this and wonder why things like nano-seconds exist. Who in the world finds value in measuring time that way? But put a million nano-seconds together, and you can ask the Nascar racer. And of course, if you want to know the value of 22 seconds you can ask me.
There’s a ton of value in 22 seconds. I really, really wish I could just find 22 seconds over the course of three long miles. But it seems so unacheivable, so hard, and definitely not within my reach. On the other hand, if the Grim Reaper had his way, I’d probably just forget about 22 stupid seconds and realize that it’s not that important. But today it is.