First things first: I think I ran my fastest quarter mile ever today. Maybe even faster than my high school 400-meter runs. My friend Patrick and I were about a quarter mile from railroad tracks and saw a train making its way down.
We’re a bit foolish. With huge egos. We took one look at each other, the train, each other, and said, “Let’s try it.”
The path veers, but there’s another one, that crosses the tracks about 10 feet farther up, that’s a bit straighter. Another look passed between us, and we darted over the grass to that path. And ran. A little faster.
A lot faster.
“I feel like we’re in ‘Stand By Me,'” I gasped. “Leeeches!”
I had a quick moment wondering if I would be better served heading straight, where the cement path went smoothly over the tracks, or giving myself a few extra seconds, veering a bit again, and trying to jump over the tracks themselves. I chose to stay on the path, knowing the few seconds I bought by veering would be lost by trying to prance my way over the uneven tracks. So did Patrick.
And we made it, with, we estimated, fewer than 10 feet between us and the front of that train.
Now, let’s be honest. It wasn’t SPEEDING. It was … ambling. But still. Up close, it was a little scary. And in the retelling, that train is going to go faster and faster, until in 20 years, when I tell Jack and Genevieve, I will tell them the wind from it blew my hair, and I almost burnt my hand pushing off the dirty face of it.
And it will end with the same thing: It was stupid. Really stupid. We should have waited. After all, what’s the hurry in going back to work?
But I’ll tell you, friends. I felt like for a moment, I went from a normal run, and then past that part where you’re sprinting and feeling kind of gangly (but maybe that’s just me — I always feel like I am lurching when I am running at top speed), and became fluid and fast.
“I was on my toes, there,” Patrick said.
“I think I hit gazelle-like grace,” I replied.
We patted each other on the back and immediately began over-dramatizing our little stint. And then jogged it back to work.
So, 5.1 miles, done, today. With a bit of an adrenaline rush in there. If I get my 20 in tomorrow, I’m at 50 for the week.
Here are some cute kid photos, taken by my friend Emily Spartz, to reward you for reading my boring train story:
Are they not both so delicious?