It's a little too early and it's a little too sunny. I'm already sweating off my sunscreen. But I'm running. I ran to the track and now I'm pushing myself: 2 x 800 meters in 3:16 each, with 400 meter jogs to recover. As a group of surly girls run up and down the stadium steps, I run my first 800 meter repeat in 3:06 and my second in 3:11.
What am I running for?
I'm running for iced coffee. I've got $5 tucked in my shoe and a mental map of the nearest Dunkin' Donuts.
I'm running for breakfast. There's homemade muesli in the refrigerator at home.
I'm running for Saturday. Because today is the last training run. Because, in a few days, I'm getting on a train and heading to New York. And then I'm going to wake up and go for a run in Central Park. This run will be timed. And there will be, oh I don't know, about seven thousand other women running.
And you know what -- it's been about four years since I ran in a 10K race. I got distracted by half marathons and by just how good it felt to train for distance. And then I got distracted by Buenos Aires, and London, and Lisbon.
The last few years have been revealing: I'm strong. I've got endurance. I like discipline... and adventure too.
But my personal best is four years old. So that's what I'm running for: to prove I'm still just as fast. Who am I proving it to? Nobody but myself.
And I'm running for that iced coffee I was talking about. I really want iced coffee.