I've never been much of a long distance running...more like the asthmatic trying to keep up at the back.
Something told me to go out for a run in my neighbour hood tonight. I grabbed my watch, started the chrono timer and started running with thoughts of the 12 minute/2100m from back in grade 9 and 10 (I only complete it once on my last attempt--with only 14 seconds left to spare).
Running in the cool night felt nice. Prepared for the impromptu occasion with canvas cargo shorts, keys and phone in pockets, and casual walking shoes I ran with 3 goals: 1) to run non-stop, 2) to run for 10 minutes, 3) not to have an asthma attack and prevent myself from completing my other two goals. Without a decisive plan or path, I cleared my mind and created my route with each step. I ran an estimated 1300 metres on roads, sidewalks, in zigzags in the park, and in dark alleyways (not advisable to do in shadows of nearly absolute darkness, especially if you can't see the difference between gravel/pavement/pot-hole/etc).
There's an art to be discovered for me in running. It is a weird feeling--being focused, yet not having a single thought in my mind. I ran carefree, periodically checking my wristwatch to check the elapsed time, but was entirely focused on my body's movements and reactions, my breathing and wheezing (woo for asthma). The only three thoughts to have crept in my mind were: 1) where I am running towards next, 2) how dark and unsafe it was to run in an alley where I could not see the floor, and 3) the distraction I stumbled across in the shadow of a tree on the hill in the park where two couples (I could not see until I was 4 feet away from them) seemed to be star gazing--in the shadows of trees and bushes in the park at 12:00 am.
Other than that, the 10 minutes and 29 second non-stop run felt incredible (asthma makes non-stop running difficult somedays). Of course I was wheezing and barely breathing as I walked into the door of my house, and it did take a whole 10 minutes for my asthma to settle down to a stable condition (without drugs thank you very much) as I stood drenched in dripping sweat (my sister was not impressed, but I wasn't breathing so I definitely was not going to be moving), but I never imagined running to be such an easily achievable recreation for any time (12 am?) for any duration.
Freedom, refreshment, determination, and accomplishment--all to come back to me in the morning all at once.