Half

22 Jul

Gun. It’s mostly cloudy with a chilly breeze, slight drizzle, fifty-four degrees. I breathe the spring air, in, out, in, out. I hit the first incline and settle into a rhythm. I smell the wet grass, I listen to the slap of my shoes against road. My knee feels strong. In the first mile, I barely touch the pavement. I’m high-school strong. My feet fly.

Four. It’s getting hotter. Very little shade on this part of the course. My knee feels a little stiff. But my feet are still fresh. I chew some jelly beans. I fly through the water stop.

Seven. No shade. Cloudless sky. The air is thick. Fingers are swollen. Gagging on gummy bears.

Eleven. Sticky tar. Clenched fists. Burning lungs. Orange slice. Throbbing knee. Steep hill. Wobbling ankles. Ice water.

Twelve. Sweat. Blister.

Finish. My lungs open, my fists uncurl, I fly, I float, I glide across the finish line, blood pooling in my left shoe.

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