The Runner from Yesterday

Yesterday I went out for a quick run and floated along the road. My breathing a little labored, but the splits kept clicking by at a sub 7 pace. Lift the knees up the hills, hold on going down.

Yesterday I was running on the Reserve with my brother talking and laughing as we scampered past coyotes, up hills, over rocks, putting in a kick on the flat sections, and reserving just enough for that last climb. Sweaty high fives.

Yesterday I was lying in the grass outside my house, panting, sweating, aching, smiling. Another run. No tempo, no fartleks, no track work. Just running. Free.

Yesterday there were no internet points to earn, no likes, no kudos, no hashtags. Just a quick questions from a buddy at tea, did you run today? Often followed by another, Wanna run later?

Yesterday I got back from my run and my knees were aching, my ankle was a little sore, and I was thirsty. I was a little sweaty but had decided halfway through just to make it an easy effort. It was a nice day, I wanted to enjoy it longer…or did my calf start cramping up? Was it too cold? I’m sure my excuse was legitimate at the time. It was a good run though, ask the internet.

I am no longer the runner from Yesterday but I still celebrate his victories. His PRs, his CRs, his KOMs. A little bit of me cringes when I get a Strava email from a segment in my old home. If I was still there, I’d go get it back, I lie to myself only to check it and realize I had gotten it on a casual Tuesday. Given, I was never FAST, but I was fast for me, fast for a midpacker, fast for someone who despised “training”.

Recently I have been having deja vu moments; where I still think Yesterday and today are one and the same. I’m on a run and I decide to give it a go, but about halfway up a hill I realize that while I am here and the hill is here, the fourth dimension has altered our relationship to a new status quo. Relationship status: It’s complicated.

The last time I have proof (to myself) that I was fast was in winter 2012/2013. A 5k PR to end the year, a marathon PR two months later, followed by my first trail race two weeks after that. The Winter of Mike (given “winter’s” average temperature was probably about 60º). From there the trails took control and while my effort stayed high, the whims of life had changed and yesterday became Yesterday.

From then to now I have dabbled in training, but haven’t been able to wrap my effort around a real running goal. A move to a new state. Starting a new career. Meeting new friends. Meeting newer friends. Establishing a community and an appropriate tier system within. And a girl to gel it all together and make it feel like home. My training energy was more focused on the metaphysical (see more of the state, the country, the world; balance my mind and body) and the social (how long can I stay in a conversation without making it awkward). I have become a more well rounded person. I have seen more, I can talk about things, but often times, in my common company, the topic will turn to goals and times and splits and I begin talking about Yesterday.

So here I am. Perfectly aligned to start 2017 (just kidding, all of my metaphysical exploration just exhausted me). Older and achier and looking back on Yesterday and acknowledging my unrealized goals. All of the subs left of the table. Sub-18. Sub-3. Sub-24. I sit here having achieved all of the goals that I was pursuing while I was just running, which means, until I figure out what’s next, all that’s left is running. All that’s left is Sub-18. Sub-3. Sub-24.

Today I look to Tommorrow through the lens of Yesterday. Today I start the process of going back in time to get to the future. Goals. 2017 Edition.

Wait…You decided to make goals when it looks like this outside? This does NOT look like the Winter of Mike. This just looks like Winter…

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