Just like that.

Did another almost-five-miler today, but it was rather rough on the return trip, and I had to walk a little to keep my lungs from doing seriously bad things. But I did it.

As an estimator of distance (and to confirm my labelling my runs five-milers), I noticed the quarter-mile markers today. In one direction, I run from marker 16 to some distance past marker 7, but not quite to 6, meaning it is in fact over 2.25 miles at the halfway mark. Meaning I can legitimately keep calling them five-milers. I mean, what’s a tenth of a mile when you’re doing five, right?

I jest. But I’m still not buying a GPS to carefully note the distance.

To put things in perspective, I run a route that is parallel to the distance from campus to Brown Ave (the far side of the ISU stadium) on Wabash and back.

I had an very strong moment of nostalgia today while running. Last October, when I was trying the interval thing and fighting with my lungs and body horrendously, there was this one really long fence along the way that I would try to run the distance of. On an absolute scale, it’s not really long, but it’s the longest fence along the bike path. I’m horrible with distances, but even now it seems to take about a minute to run, so maybe 140-ish yards? As you come up on it, it doesn’t seem long, but once you’re alongside it, feet pounding as you look forward to its end, it seems to go on forever.

I used to try to run slow and conservatively so I could hold out for the duration, but then time worked against me and I got tired. Then I tried going fairly fast, thinking that I could just get it over with quickly, but then the distance of my sprint caught up with me.

I feel kind of sad that I missed noting the day that I could run that distance.

It must have happened sometime in the winter, when I embarrassingly moved my struggles indoor to the treadmill. (Where everyone could see me…)

Every time I run the length of the fence now (even near the end of a five-mile run), I want to stop and laugh triumphantly when I get to the end. I feel like I’ve won a damn marathon now that I can make that distance with no trouble at all. I feel like whooping in relief that I have developed the control over my body and flighty mind enough to grab ahold of this one goal–initially, “run”, later refined to, “run far”–and to be able to do it.

Five miles isn’t a particularly long distance. I’m not going to be jumping into anyone’s marathons this year or next. It’s not even a 10 K, or cross-country distance. Nor do I do those miles quickly. But I can’t really shrug it off so easily when people go, “Wow, you do five miles, just like that?” and my answer is yes. By myself, no pressures from a team, not out of a desire to please anyone other than me, and despite an occassionally nasty Rose-Hulman workload.

Five miles. Just like that.