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Found 10 results

  1. onthebusrunning

    The Race

    It started as more of a heavy mist than a rain. But there was no mistaking the wind. It came in gusts, battering at our resolve before we had even begun. Each gust came without warning, or rhyme or reason, which made the situation somehow more unpredictable, more grim, like no matter what we did, there was no escaping it. We walked -- or trudged -- the .75 miles to the start, this misbegotten horde of rejects who seemed for better or worse (mostly worse) to be on the outs with society. Trash bags snapped around us, Mylar sheets pulled snug, mismatched sweat suits and tech vests starting to abs
  2. onthebusrunning

    ...to Boston

    I still remember. It was 2010. With every footfall up Hereford Street, my quads protested. But then I made one of running’s most famous left turns. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Boylston Street boiled over with noise. The sound compounded as the cheering reverberated off of the buildings. The pain remained but muted somewhat now by this sudden infusion of adrenaline. The finish arch materialized, and I knew it would not be much longer. In the throng of spectators lined four and five deep, I somehow managed to pick out my wife, dad, and father-in-law hanging over the barricade. I fl
  3. onthebusrunning

    The Sword

    It’s Tuesday morning. Steely, gray clouds lord over the sky and mute the dawn. Rain spatters my sunglasses, an optimistic addition to my attire. But none of that matters. I pull my hands from my knees and inhale deeply to slow my heart rate. Sixty seconds left, I whisper audibly to no one in particular. Hands on hips now, I ease over to what had been the finish line of my ninth 800-meter repeat, and now marks the start line of my tenth and final. Eight hundred meters. A half mile. That’s all that separates me from my taper. Since the half marathon roughly five weeks ago, I circled five ke
  4. My lungs heaved. My shoulders strained. My breath came in ragged gasps. I was wrung out but I churned on. When I cleared the stop sign, my watch buzzed marking the seventh mile repeat. “6:09.” Fuck. Rather than the exclamation point I had hoped for with this workout, I left it with more of a question mark – the questions being what happened? What was that? Why? You see, I was supposed to run 7x1 mile starting at 5:40 and working down to 5:30 (reference 6:09 above). The workout had been a bear from the start. And though I recognized the pile of adversities stacked against me (lack of
  5. onthebusrunning

    The First

    “Do you want to do this again in the fall?” I remember asking myself. I was closing in on the 20-mile marker of the 2009 Vermont City Marathon. I was ahead of pace. I was hurting. I chose Vermont as my first crack at a Boston qualifier thanks to a recommendation from a friend who achieved her first BQ there. In many ways, I had no business making such a leap. I came in with a marathon PR of 4:07 from the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon. I failed to crack the four-hour barrier in the infamous 2007 Chicago Marathon that shut down because of the heat (I finished in 4:45). But I spent the nex
  6. The morning light filtered softly into our room last Saturday. Wakefulness came slowly and I tried to convince myself that I still had plenty of time to sleep before lacing up for my long run, despite evidence to the contrary. Before committing to opening my eyes – the final nail in the coffin – I noticed that something felt off. I swallowed and experienced that, ahem, ill-fated rough and tender feeling in the back of my throat. The one that prophesizes heavy heads, leaky faces, and – perhaps far worse – blank calendar squares in the training log. At this, my eyes flew open. I swallowed a
  7. onthebusrunning

    The Base

    The floor felt good. I took a moment to just breathe. To feel each breath crash and recede like the tide upon the shore. To feel the warmth still in my muscles. To let my eyes go out of focus and wait for constellations to emerge from the stipple on our ceilings. To absorb the effort. To pause. You see, I’ve been at it for nine-and-a-half weeks now. I started slow, just a few easy miles every other day to get the feeling back. But once it started, the bus – as it were – hadn’t stopped. My coach piled on more miles each week, methodically and purposefully. He added in various hill rep
  8. onthebusrunning

    The Pit

    It’s Thursday night, somewhere around 9:00. I jerk awake when my Kindle thumps against my chest. The words on the screen have long since blurred together, and, in fact, the device has shut itself off. How long ago, I’m not sure…five minutes? Five days? My eyes are half open, my mouth wide open. I feel like I’ve just resurfaced from the depths of some dark sea. I roll over onto my side and try to blink the room into view. Ah, yes…the living room. I’m on the couch. And my bed… my bed is so, so far away. The dog lifts her head, and eyes me if to say, “Get it together, man.” I pitifully
  9. onthebusrunning

    The Why

    Two weeks ago, I walked outside with one of my colleagues after lunch, and we simultaneously hunched our shoulders to our ears to brace against the cutting wind. “You’re not actually running in this are you?” she asked, cinching her hood tight. At the time, the entirety of the East Coast was more or less frozen solid, and here in D.C., single and negative digits had become the norm. I thought about replying with a phrase one of my running buddies used to say, “The only weather is whether or not you ran.” Instead of sounding like a complete douche to her (though I love the quote), I gave a simp
  10. onthebusrunning

    On the bus...

    2:35. That’s the number in my head. Not long ago, it was 2:40. It used to be 2:50 and 3-flat, and 3:10, and even 4-flat at one point. But right now, it’s 2:35. I find myself square in the middle of that strange runner no man’s land. Somewhere in between the attainable Boston Qualifier and the unattainable (sadly) Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier. What I have is the relentless pursuit of racing against two things: the unforgiving clock and myself. Racking up miles and wearing down shoes – and at times nerves – to shave off seconds per mile, while being trapped in a never-ending, mostly as
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