I got my feet
On the ground
And I don’t go
To sleep to dream
— the prophet fiona
Mo always says dreams are supposed to mean something. I’m still trying to figure out last night’s.
I’m running on a treadmill. There’s a guy on the TM next to me also running. He stops, and there is much hoopla (note to self: must say “hoopla” more in casual conversation. In the unlikely event you ever have a casual conversation). A TV crew swoops in; confetti drops. He says he has broken the World Record For Going From 20 MPH To Zero on a Treadmill. Everyone seems to be quite excited about this.
I am befuddled, and I am not one drawn easily to befuddlement. How is this even a record? Had someone gone from 19 mph to zero previously, leaving this as the 4-minute mile of the treadmill set? The holy grail? Run away? It’s only a bunny! Why would this feat have not been apparent transpiring on the treadmill next to me? How the heck do you even get a TM up to 20 mph in the first place? This means the guy is capable of running at 3-minute mile pace? And if so, what’s the big deal? You unplug the machine and it stops. Why is there a world record for stopping? And what’s the deal with Guinness anyhow? It’s not even made in Texas. I, being a fearless investigative reporter at heart, stop to question him, but by that time he’s gone. And then I wake up.
Why did this dream randomly pop up in my brain? What am I trying to tell myself? I have no idea. Maybe my obsession with how slow I’ve become? I’m not sure how that would apply, but I suppose dreams do come from somewhere. Or Amazon. I assume Bezos has bought dreams by now.
Last night, I walked 3 miles in the dark around downtown Mesa. They kicked the homeless guys out of the Subway patio, forcing them to the next block over, so it felt a little safer. But there was one stretch next to the old Trib that is super dark. Too late, I saw a guy standing up in the shadows a few yards in front of me. Yikes. I felt the surge of adrenaline, veered left and shifted into high gear to get away, and … nothing. I STILL couldn’t run. I couldn’t run if my life depended on it. It isn’t just a saying; it’s a reality show coming this way Friday nights on cable access. Is cable access still a thing? Is it all in my head? If so, my head wants to be killed by a homeless guy on First Avenue. My head is weird.
That’s the goal of the Year of Fleshman. 40:13 is now the time to beat. I have this goal. 20 miles a week. Doesn’t have to be fast. Miles is miles. Push a little, recover a little, let things flow. Every few weeks, a $35 time trial to see if there’s any progress. Plus, I’ll never have to wash shirts again. Just wear a race shirt for a week and toss it. Genius.
One glimmer of hope: Last night’s course is near the Mormon Temple, so while I waited for Mo to finish off her pot (that Mo loves her pot), I wandered over to see the lights. They have an insanely spectacular light display. You basically walk through the massive grounds basking in the 80-degree winter wonderland while dodging well-meaning missionaries who have the joint staked out in search of lost souls. Speaking of lost souls, please let me know if you come across my left New Balance 1400v4. I found I still had enough in the tank after 3 miles to elude two earnest young men hot in my pursuit. So there’s that. (disclaimer: I’m not certain either was named Ernest. And I have only the utmost respect for the religion of the late Dave Schultz, may he rest in peace, or Michigan, whichever comes first.)
This week I leave behind the frivolity of the turkey trot for a Serious Race, the Jingle all the Way 5K. It rhymes AND offers jingle bells for your shoes. I’m almost certain this is how Prefontaine started out. AND as I recall, he suddenly went from 20 to zero. Hmmm ….
Will I get faster over the year? If I train consistently and push in races, science would say yes. If I stay the same, or get slower, then science would say I’m screwed. I guess I’ll find out.
I have never gone 20 mph. But I haven’t hit zero yet either. Here’s to something in between. Prefontaine, eh? I should really grow a mustache someday …