Ours is a life of constant reruns. We're always circling back to where we'd we started, then starting all over again. Even if we don't run extra laps that day, we surely will come back for more of the same another day soon.
The natural urge when running a distance is to push harder and finish sooner - to race against time. Every second behind a deadline is a little defeat.
When running to fill a time quota, however, the reverse happens. You can't make that time pass any faster by rushing, so you settle into a pace that feels right to you at the moment. Each minute above a quota is a little victory.
This act demonstrates graphically a turning away the past and moving ahead. You now get to refresh your time in a friendly way by running with the watch instead of against it or away from it.
These thieves defend themselves by saying, 'I was there all the time, and the officials missed me.' Favorite excuses for missing surveillance checkpoints: jacket covered the number took off the shirt with the number hidden in a crowd.
The hours, minutes and seconds stand as visible reminders that your effort put them all there. Preserve until your next run, when the watch lets you see how Impermanent your efforts are.
I've lived nearby since 1981 and probably have averaged one run a week there. That's more than 1,000 repetitions, and I have yet to tire of this course.
In fact, the bandits steal the drinks and assistance provided along the course. Worse, they cross the finish line and mess up the scoring of legitimate runners.
Speed eventually neared its peak. The records forced me to work ever harder to drop a less and less time. These time trials came to feel like races, which are fun to run sporadically but not daily.
A course never quite looks the same way twice. The combinations of weather, season, light, feelings and thoughts that you find there are ever-changing.
Our favorite: a former garbage dump converted into a riverside park. I first ran there more than 30 years ago when a marathon passed through this park that later became home to Pre's Trail.
Buzz has reduced my range. Running safely with him means using fewer and shorter routes, with multiple laps per day or multiple returns there per week. Neither of us minds repeating ourselves. This is what runners do.
A lesser but still fundamental rule of racing is that you properly enter the event. Anyone who doesn't but still insists on running interferes with the paying customers.
His name, Buzz, fits. He can buzz along at 40 miles an hour when his genetic memory moves him.
That time is important. It gives a comforting illusion of permanence not found in running by the mile.
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