Back To The Front

As the run began I was not particularly thinking about much of anything, besides the usual. That consists of thinking about the distance I am going to run, what kind of pace I want to run, how fast my foot strike rate should be to meet that pace… the usual.  I have a pace song when I run most days, and today was no different.  It’s normally something with a pretty fast beat, and loving metal it’s usually Metallica, Megadeth, something fast and heavy like that.

Went with Metallica today.  Disposable Heroes, a song from 1987, but this was an acoustic version I’d I first heard Friday, though the particular cut is several years old.  It was a real eye opener, sounded almost like an anti-war protest song from the 60’s.  But that is neither here nor there.

Oh, and I never wear headphones, don’t need them, wouldn’t wear them.  The pace song is something I have dancing through my cranium.  I know the pace song like the back of my hand, well enough to play the song in some instances.

Disposable heroes, even the acoustic version, is fast paced, and it guided my feet to a quick start.  Instantly found my stride, but almost as quickly there was a blockage on the path.  Baby carriages moving in one direction, dog walkers moving in the other, so I started moving faster, lengthened my stride and ducked in between the two groups.  The pace felt nice, even if diving between dog walkers and baby walkers didn’t, so I kept moving at the faster pace.

Maybe a minute or two later I started to sing the words quietly to myself as I ran.

“You coward, you servant, you blind man…”


Viddy of the day:  Metallica –  Disposable Heroes Live at The Bridge School benefit – 2008.  The name is in error, it was 2007 when this happened.  Ripping goodness regardless.  This is another of those picture only, non-video viddies.


My fingers started moving like I was playing along with the band.  My legs started moving like lightning.

There was a burst of speed when that happened.  It’s moments like these when there is no volition.  I’m not thinking, “OK, now I’m going to run reeeeeeeeal fast.”  It doesn’t work like that.  Speed is a product of mindset and emotion as much as it is a product of stamina and training.  The song got me going, and the emotion pushed me faster.

And faster.

And faster.  I hit a wall, speed wise sometimes.  There are moments when my heart and mind push me faster than my body is capable of going.  It felt like I was going to crash into that wall, hard.  I kind of liked that thought.  Push so hard I fall apart to test my limits, see how much I have in the tank.

So I cranked it up, got my feet moving as fast as I could, and tried to run til I fell apart. For over an hour I drove my body far beyond it’s regular limits.

I couldn’t do it.  My body would not break.  I ran fast for what felt like forever. I was flying.  And in my head I was barking the words of the song for everyone to hear, while almost inaudibly singing.

“You will do what I say when I say… You will die when I say you must die…”

The emotional intensity created by the music in my head made the run feel like an easy run, or at least an easier run.    It didn’t feel like I was out there for over an hour 20.  It didn’t feel like I ran around that particular chunk of Staten Island a half dozen times.  It felt like I was listening to Metallica, like I was playing with the band, like I was flying.


There were other thoughts rolling through my head as well.  Anger at human frailty, fighting the feeling of powerlessness brought on by pain and hardship landing on the shoulders of family, uncertainty about the future also danced through my head.   People I know are suffering, and there isn’t a goddamn thing I can do about it, and the anger over it pushed me harder.  The world is falling apart, and that got me raging.


Had fun out there, America.  G’night.


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