Monday, April 02, 2007

Only the pros play under the lights. The rest of us do what we can, at the mercy of the sun. Consider, for example, the Chicago Cubs, the loveable losers of the north side, who will today begin their 99th season since they last won a championship. The Cubs have long had a pathological aversion to evening games, preferring instead to play their home games under the sun at Wrigley Field.

A chance to play at night, accompanied by floodlights, is nothing to sneeze at. The closest I've come is this workout in October. The lights, however, were really just streetlights.

On Friday, however, I had a prodigal moment of the sort an ailing Robert Redford had when he actually destroyed those same lights during batting practice. Evening had given way to dusk and dusk itself had faded into night, but the streetlights along Bathurst illuminated the track enough to let me find my way. I was still running in circles at Central Tech. A rhythm develops after some time on the track, the sort which I can't describe except to say that turns feel smoother, laps feel shorter and, if you run fast enough, the entire track becomes your domain.

I had decided to sprint the last lap of six kilometre repeats. I don't remember much about the lap. I remember moving my legs as fast as I could and I remember gasping for air, but that's about all. At the end, my watch displayed 75 seconds, a shock that only exacerbated my own tortured breathing and mental haze. The only thing missing was a musical theme by Randy Newman.

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