Sunday, January 22, 2012


Cows, January 22, 2012

I used to find respite in sleep. As a medical resident, I could nap, in REM sleep the moment my head hit the pillow, and ready to take on the world when my pager went off 30 minutes later. That was then. Now I am a total insomniac. Sleep, a biologically essential escape, is freedom even for the imprisoned or the dying or the downhearted. It is no wonder sleep deprivation is a form of torture. 

Children sleep well, usually, and I imagine for them it is a tasty moment without parental guidance or interference. Other free moments sneak into the lives of our children, of course. Waking moments like school. Like relationships with people not ourselves. Like driving. This last one is especially on my mind, as my eldest baby is now permitted to drive. Not yet licensed, but she has tasted the open road from the only better seat than shotgun. 

I was chatting with my daughter's coach, a legendary local runner, about the confines of marathon training. Too many miles or too few? It is like the surgeon who chastises the medical student for cutting the suture too long or too short. I told Coach about my quest to understand the marathon, to be able to maintain my speed past mile 20, to find the perfect training regimen in a book or on line that will lead me to my own little version of greatness. He, in his usual no-BS manner, simply said "I never look at the internet. I just run." But maybe only a 2:29 marathoner can be so free?

Today, I decided to just run 14 miles, despite the cold rain. I kept startling cows. I used my GPS watch, so I cannot claim complete abandon. At one point, I looked down and the damn thing had stopped. I think it might've been complaining about the downpour. I smacked it once and it came back to life. GPS watches are highly over rated. 

A friend texted, wondering what I was up to, (trexting, i.e. running while texting, is extremely dangerous. Do this at your own risk) and I informed them I was running in the rain. There was a long pause, then their response: "Why?"

This person knows me fairly well, and I recognized the rhetorical, ironical quality of this text. Soon thereafter, though, I encountered:
 Run, January 22, 2012
Run, January 22, 2012

And so I trexted: "This is why."

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