Houston. H-town, Space City, Bayou City, Clutch City. Probably the most diverse city in Texas and the 4th largest city in the U.S. Home to Johnson Space Center, astronaut training, and historic Mission Control. Galveston Bay, Theatre District, Medical Center. Professional sports teams Texans, Rockets, Astros, Dynamo, and Dash.
I’m thrilled to once again run my hometown marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon,
on January 17th, and in honor of this, I give you “An Ode to the Long Run”
*Disclaimer for my literary friends:
The intent of an ode is to "praise people, natural scenes, and abstract ideas" (Literary Devices). I did this, but this is, by no means an ode that follows an ode that follows the proper structure.
An Ode to the Long Run
Early morning alarm clock buzz.
I stagger to the couch and turn on the lights.
The morning ritual begins.
Listen to the quiet.
Find my mojo.
Lace up and set out the door.
Kick pine cones and cans.
Jump over holes, puddles, and cracks.
Run-dance while lip synching and running to the beat of my earbud music.
Run under tree branches.
High five tree branches.
Pretend to be in a marathon.
Pretend to be in the Olympics.
Try to run to a certain point before the song finishes.
Feel the run.
Fantasize about eating leftover Mexican food.
Fantasize about drinking a cold seasonal beer.
Fantasize about eating ice cream.
Race the other passerby runners.
Plan my outfit, hairdo, day, life.
Wave hello to runners, cyclists, roller bladers, and walkers.
Pause to think about those other early morning runners. Those warriors.
When I wave and say good morning to them, I’m really saying, “Good job. Keep going. I know how tough it is, but don’t stop. We got this.”
For, I share a very special kinship with that runner.
Feel the fatigue.
Think about running.
Think about my family.
Think about friends.
Think about work.
Think about goals.
Think about upcoming events, activities, and races.
Think about how running has changed me.
Get confused. Rack my brain to try to remember if I ran that loop around the park.
Could it be that I was so in the zone I completely forgot a whole segment of my run? Yes, I did. According to my mileage I did. Weird.
Admire that sunrise that I wouldn’t be enjoying so completely if I weren’t running.
Admire my town in its sleepy state.
This early morning adventure is an honor.
I am honored to experience my town in this way.
I’m accessing a part of the day and a view that not many people have the pleasure of experiencing.
Pray for family, friends, coworkers, community, and myself.
Realize that I need to forgive others’ transgressions and be more patient and understanding altogether.
Realize that I need to work on maintaining my positivity.
Clean up and eat.