Tonight as I was running my normal 1.86K, I was about to slow it down to somewhere between a crawl and a scurry. My calves were burning and my head was throbbing. Time to take it to the house.
Then it happened. My randomly selected Ipod shuffle threw down the Rocky Theme song. The track I was running slowly morphed into a Medieval gantlet where it was my duty to endure to the end as champion. The guy running about ten feet in front of me was no longer a random schmo, but rather my brother in arms, a fellow warrior. My strides lengthened, my pace quickened, my heart pounded, and my imagination kicked into overdrive. Later, bystanders would recall that all they saw when I passed was a blur and a sudden gust of gritty energy.
The adrenaline from this initial boost wore off after about 38 seconds, but just as I was about to transgress back to my normal pace, the guitar solo ripped into the melody, and I took off again.
"getting strong now."
"won't be long now."
I was no longer politely passing pedestrians on the path. I was soaring by them with deft movement and remarkable agility.
I don't recall for sure when it was that I realized my fellow running mate seemed further and further ahead of me. I think it was about when the deep searing pain started bouncing back and forth between my ribs, and when my hamstrings decided to go into the fetal position. Yea, that sounds about right.
I will remember these moments when I'm walking off the charlie horse at the after party.