Letters of Life

A Milestone in Running

The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky. The sky both exists and doesn’t exist. It has substance and at the same time doesn’t. And we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in.  Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2009)

Yesterday, I learned that, over the last three months, I had gone on 22 runs and clocked up more than 100 km (62 miles). It was the Nike+ running app that told me so, not that I’ve been counting.

I’ve never thought much about adding up my distances after a run; it’s always about how fast or how long I took to cover the distance. But seeing the three numbers 100 on my smartphone’s screen sent shivers down my back.

100. It’s a magical number.

For the past two years since I’ve started running regularly—mostly short distances of between 5 to 8 km (3 to 5 miles), I only measured how long I took to cover routes encircling the Botanic Gardens, or trails across the forests in MacRitchie Reservoir Park, and learned how to estimate the distances.

It’s cumulative, a short run two days ago, a longer one today. Over time, little drops make an ocean. But still, it feels good.

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