Author: Steve Fales

Hello. My name is Steve Fales. I am an ordinary human being trying to make the best of this journey. My life is fairly simple – not boring by any means, but simple nonetheless. Here is the overview … • A great family consisting of a wife and two grown daughters. We manage to love one another despite our imperfections. • Employed in senior management at a marketing / advertising agency. • Avid distance runner. • Chess player. • Collector of people, including a handful of close friends who have likewise collected me. I’ve been a student of life management, productivity, personal effectiveness, business, and biblical spiritual growth for over 35 years. Currently, I’m actively engaged in building what I hope will be a positive legacy that will benefit someone’s life. Feel free to contact me any time. - stevefales@gmail.com.

I Gotta Be Me

I Gotta Be Me - Raw - ResizeAnyone who does regular physical activity has likely run across at least one modern hard-core guru. The most famous are:

— Jocko Willink, 20 years a Navy SEAL, New York Times #1 Best Selling Author, podcaster, and CEO of his company, Echelon Leadership.

— David Goggins, another retired Navy SEAL, author of “Can’t Hurt Me”. His two interviews with Joe Rogan have over six million views on YouTube.

These guys are tough. Super tough. A few of their quotes tell the story:

Goggins: “There is no better way to grow as a person than to do something you hate every day.” … “Suffering is the true test of life.”

Willink: “It’s not what you preach. It’s what you tolerate.” … “Don’t fight stress. Embrace it.”

I have tremendous respect for both gentlemen. Their military service is the reason I live free. Their athletic accomplishments are amazing. They’ve motivated thousands of folk to get off the couch (although Goggins says “Motivation is crap”). The principles they teach are valuable guides for much of life.

Still, I can’t allow myself to feel guilty for not emulating them.

News Flash – I’ve never been a Navy SEAL. I’m a slightly-older-than-middle age man who’d like to lose five pounds, who enjoys swimming, running, and riding a bike. Key word: “enjoys.” I don’t want to hate it every day. As for suffering … Yeah, it happens, but I avoid it when possible. And hitting the road is what I do to relieve – not increase – the stress level.

Not that I’m a slug. I work out six days a week, sometimes twice a day. There are pool sessions, track workouts, long runs, cycling, and strength training – by which I mean lifting moderate weights while watching Jeopardy.

And quotes? Here are a couple of mine: “Look. An inaugural 5K. Maybe none of the fast people will show up and I can place in my age group.” Or “Hurray! I only walked through the water stops this time.”

So, you’re right, David, I’m not that one in a hundred you talk about who’s a warrior. That would be Jocko, you, and many of your followers, some of whom I know personally and admire. I’m more of a fitness lover. And that’s OK. Because I gotta be me.

Just Add Water

It was a Saturday, a couple weeks after my first full marathon. Foolishly, I’d jumped right back into a significant running schedule. About three miles down the road it hit. Major pain. I began limping back to home base.Swimmer - Copy

Soon the Ford Explorer pulled up. My coach, Terri, opened the door and said, “Get in.” As we spoke about my situation, she added, “I want you to start cross training. Swimming.”

That afternoon I joined a gym with a lap pool. Today – several years later – there’s a swim coach, two or three workouts a week, and participation in all kinds of group events and competitions.

Swimming is amazing, in an ultimate paradoxical kind of way. It can be poetic, musical, artistic. As beautiful as ballet. It’s also frustrating as … well, you know. Because unlike running, which is a primal homo sapien activity, proper swimming must be learned. It’s purely about technique. Make that plural. There are so many actions to master.

But in those moments when it all comes together, few experiences are better. Arms and legs moving rhythmically, every muscle in harmony, water supporting you as you glide along feeling on top of it.

Some people say that swimming is a total body workout. I’d call it a total human workout, because it goes beyond the physical. Emotionally and spiritually, your whole being is focused inward (it’s hard to converse when you’re swimming), so it’s a perfect way to get to know yourself and explore whatever’s going on in there.

Feeling severe pain in my leg on the run that morning, and the time it took to get back to the streets, was disappointing in some ways. But I’m actually glad it happened, because through it I gained another highly enjoyable activity: Swimming.

All I had to do was add water.

Angel At Mile 22

There were 45,000 runners, including me, and an estimated one million spectators at the 2013 Bank Of America Chicago Marathon. Those numbers make this experience all the more amazing. The miracle happened at about mile 22 of the 26.2 mile course.

Mile 22 of a marathon is not a very pleasant place to be. At my level (think very amateur), you’ve already been exerting yourself for a few hours. Fatigue set in long ago. The energy-releasing glycogen that your cells had stored from days of what endurance runners call “carbo-loading” was used up a good while back, causing your body to search in every crevice of muscle for fuel. And speaking of muscles, all of them from the waist down are in various levels of pain.

Still, there are bigger challenges – the ones in your mind. Thoughts of “I can’t do this,” and “I’ll never make it” have replaced the confidence of the starting line. That morning, pre-dawn, standing in the start corrals waiting for the gun that would signal it was time to begin, you knew you were ready. Weeks of training, proper nutrition, advice from mentors and coaches, and countless sacrifices had brought you to that place. Now, however, at mile 22, a battle rages in the area between your own ears. It’s the logic of ability versus the emotion of intense struggle.

More than twenty miles are behind. That’s a significant distance for sure, but the more noteworthy number is the four plus miles that still lie ahead. Those last few can seem never ending.

On this particular day, something nearly unbelievable happened. Call it luck, inspiration, or a kind of divine prompting, but for some reason, as I was running the 2013 Bank Of America Chicago Marathon, at about the mile 22 mark, I looked over my left shoulder into the crowd of spectators. I could barely believe what – or who – I thought I saw.

In an instant, my eyes locked onto those of a friend from the running club of which I’m a member way back in my home town of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Or at least it looked like him. Could it really be?

“Craig?”, I shouted.

“Steve?”, he replied.

Yes, Craig from Ft. Lauderdale was visiting the Chicago area that day. He hadn’t planned to run the marathon, but being a fan of the sport he came out to watch. And in the midst of an enormous collection of humans, our gaze met – me a runner, and him a spectator – at mile 22 of the Bank Of America Chicago Marathon.

To my good fortune, Craig was wearing his running shoes. Off the sidewalk and onto the course he came, trotting alongside me. He chanted encouragements such as, “You can do it.” “You’ve got this,” and “If you don’t finish, Steve, I’ll tell everybody back at the club that you’re a baby.”

After a mile or so of keeping me company and lifting my spirits, Craig prodded me with “Come on, pick it up.” Incredibly, I somehow found the strength to do just that. The agony I battled not long before had been overcome by a new resolve to see this race through to a successful outcome.

Moments later, my running companion left me on my own once again. As Craig made his way back into the crowd, I went on to complete the race, collect my finisher’s medal and get some rest.

I think about that day often. It’s a great metaphor of life. There are times when we feel as though we’ve been trudging along forever. Our reserves are depleted and it seems that we just can’t go on. At that very moment, when we want so badly to quit, matters get even worse as new circumstances present themselves, more daunting than the ones before. The path ahead seems impossible to conquer.

Just when we think we’re about to give up, good fortune strikes. The breakthrough occurs. The situation brightens. Often this shift is the result of a fellow sojourner who steps in to lend a hand at just the right moment.

He or she may not intersect with our lives for long, but it’s long enough to make a difference, the way Craig’s support for just two or so miles out of an entire marathon was so very significant to me. Hope returns to our spirits at last, and on the wings of this new-found strength we are able to complete the course before us.

There’s another side to these scenarios, and it’s a very interesting one. The person doing the helping realizes a profound benefit as well. A sense of fulfillment comes with stepping out of the crowd to meet the needs of someone who’s going through tough times. This is a great paradox of human interaction – the giver is often equally the receiver.

The 2013 Bank Of America Chicago Marathon forever holds a special place in my heart. It was 26.2 miles of physical and emotional highs and lows. More importantly, it contained within it valuable lessons that touch the deepest inner places of humanity. I will always remember the miracle that occurred when I saw an angel at mile 22.

 

Will Run For Food

“As much as you run, you can eat anything you want.” I wish I had a celery stick for every time someone’s told me that. In truth, this assumption is only partially accurate.

Sure, runners burn a lot of calories. In theory, they can put back a lot. But this formula overlooks a much bigger reality that has to do with the running community’s very view of caloric consumption.

Food can be many things: A friend … a means of comfort … an indulgence … a reward. Most athletes, however, don’t think of it this way. Instead, it’s primarily nutrition. AKA “Fuel”.

In practicality, the scene plays out like this. The runner might want the cheeseburger and fries, but there’s an eight-mile tempo workout on the calendar tomorrow morning. Heavy, greasy stuff will lead to all kinds of complications, some of which are unmentionable, while others include normal consequences like feeling sluggish and the self-loathing that comes from lack of discipline. So it’s grilled chicken breast, a dry sweet potato, and broccoli. No butter please.

After a while, the body stops craving the tasty – I mean horrible – stuff. Clean eating becomes preferable. Mostly.

Granted, this formula doesn’t hold up 100% of the time. Now and then caution is tossed to the wind. Pizza, chicken wings, Philly steak sandwich, ice cream, and whatever make it to the table. But that’s OK. After all, as much as we run, we can eat anything we want.

How Long Is A Marathon?

As someone who runs a fair amount, I’m often asked “How long is a marathon?” Here are three answers to that question.

First, the strictly factual. A marathon is 26.2 miles. That’s 26 miles plus 385 yards, or just over 42 kilometers. And to dispel a couple misunderstandings …

— If it’s not called a marathon, aka “full marathon”, it’s not one. People sometimes say things like “My cousin ran a 5K marathon.” Nope. A 5K is 3.1 miles; a 10K, 6.2; half marathon, 13.1. While those are all respectable events, they’re not marathons.

— All official full marathons are the same length. Whether it’s world-famous Boston or one raising money for a local charity, they’re equal in mileage: 26.2.

A less literal reply to the question “How long is a marathon?”, is what I’ll call Response Two: A marathon is far. Really, really far. In fact it might be best not to think about it.

Out of curiosity, I once decided to clock the distance in my car. I reset the trip odometer and took off. The results haunt me to this day. Whether you’re prone to marathon running, or don’t think you ever will be, you might try this just for kicks. It will surely bring perspective to the sport.

(For those familiar with south Florida – Starting on Hollywood Boulevard, two blocks west of Dixie Highway, I went west on Hollywood Boulevard to I-95. North to 595. West to State Road 27. Then 3.1 miles further north before the odometer hit 26.2. Yikes!)

The third response is philosophical. How long is a marathon? It’s the figurative space between two intangible points: The degree to which a person is living life now; and the realization of that person’s potential. Let me explain:

To complete a full marathon, you must first sign up. That takes courage. Next come several months of discipline, usually involving getting out of bed way before you want to. Pre-dawn workouts, some glorious, others torturous. Denial of comfort foods. Sore muscles. Oh, and the actual act of running for quite some time – close to five hours for a mere mortal like me.

Crossing the finish line is euphoric. It’s also transformative, because according to statisticbrain.com, you’re now in the one half of one percent – that’s .005 – of the U.S. population who’ve ever done so. You feel like you can achieve anything to which you commit. And maybe you can. (This of course isn’t the only human feat with the same outcome. Many other pursuits will get you there as well.)

How long is a marathon? It’s 26.2 miles. It so far that it might be best not to think about it. And it’s a journey from mediocrity to a life without limits. That makes it long enough for me.

 

A Fisherman And A Runner Walk Into A Bar

Fishermen have a long reputation for being stretchers of the truth. They’ve been known to exaggerate the size of the epic catch years ago, or – even better – the one that got away. But here’s something that hasn’t made it to mainstream common knowledge: Runners lie as badly or worse than any angler in history.

When a running buddy asks you to join him or her for five miles at a 10-minute pace, be prepared for six and a half at 9:30. This principle applies across all levels of the athletic spectrum, from the super fast to the casual run / walker. Scientifically speaking, I’ve noticed a fib factor of around 20%, though it can certainly go higher.

I confess that I’m an offender myself. A few days ago, a friend and I set out for what I said would be six by 800-meter repeats. Finishing the fifth one, I announced “only two more.” She wasn’t even surprised. And just this morning I told my wife I was going out for six or seven miles. The final tally? 8.2.

Unlike fishermen, whose tales exceed reality, runners misrepresent themselves in the opposite direction. I’d like to believe that’s because we’re people of such high integrity. More probable it has to do with the ease in which our exploits can be fact checked. Apps like Strava, Garmin Connect, and Nike Fit keep us honest, and race results are posted online for anyone to see. Saying you ran a four-hour marathon doesn’t hold up to scrutiny when the official event website shows 4:35:19. Internet-connected surveillance cameras on deep sea charter boats might have the same effect.

The big question is “Why do runners say they’ll do less and then do more?” Perhaps because actually running is way more fun than thinking about running – at least up to a point. Six miles might sound daunting when you’re pondering it, but when you get to four, and your breathing is rhythmic, your legs are moving like a fluid machine, and you’re enjoying the scenery … well, heck, it’s just a little farther.

So if you’re ever in a bar and a fisherman and a runner walk in, there will no doubt be interesting conversations all around. But don’t believe a word either of them say.

 

Relatively Accepting

Runners come in all varieties. Some love the 5K, others the marathon, or even the Ultra, which can be 100 miles and more. Many take to the water and hop on a bike as well, tackling different lengths of triathlon. I met a guy recently who’s preparing for a Double Ironman – 4.8 mile swim, 224 miles cycling, then a 52.4 mile run. Yeah, that’s nuts.

People new to the sport might succumb to comparisons, which can be discouraging. But those emotions are unfounded. I speak from experience: Being a little older and slower than most of my buddies, I feel no judgment – just mutual respect. We wave, smile, and utter encouragements as we pass by.

The spectrum of ability and experience is broad. Athlete A’s distance workout is Athlete B’s warmup. Recovery day for this person is that one’s speed training. We’re all OK with that, understanding that we share the same road, the same groan when the alarm clock rings, and the same elation at the finish line.

So if you’re contemplating that first trip to the local store for a pair of real running shoes, stand tall. Be proud. Then join a club and you’ll soon be in good company.

Sure, you’ll meet a few true warriors who will leave you in their dust. And once you get past the initial fitness curve there will be folk who can only dream of staying on your shoulder. None of that will matter, though, because we’re just a big community.

Runners accept each other right where they are. We know it’s all relative.

 

Mile Zero

It’s been said that the hardest challenge a runner faces comes somewhere around mile 20 of a marathon. There’s truth to that. But in my experience, an equally tough spot is what I call Mile Zero. And even worse, the latter pops up several grueling times a week.

Mile Zero begins when the alarm goes off, usually between 4:30 and 5:00am. Various activities follow – Select clothes and shoes that match the outside conditions … Apply Body Glide … Choke down that banana, half a bagel and sport drink. Each action carries with it a decision: “Do I really want to do this, or can I go back to bed?”

Next comes the defining moment, the start of the actual run. Those first few stiff steps are going to hurt. Ugh.

Transitioning from half asleep stupor to fully alert athlete occurs gradually. Before long, mercifully, the good stuff kicks in. Like the familiar stride, the regular breathing, friendly conversation if the workout is being shared with others, and that wonderful euphoria that you just have to feel to understand.

Mile Zero was brutal, but worth it. I’ll try to remember that tomorrow.

Runner Down

NOTE: The full article, below the dotted line, will take about 8 minutes to read. Here’s the short version:

On Tuesday 10/18/16, I was hit by a motorized bicycle from behind as I was running on a sidewalk near my house. The bike had no light and the rider apparently didn’t see me. A passing motorist called 911. An ambulance took me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with four broken ribs, a punctured/collapsed lung, and a gash on my head requiring four staples. I spent a week in the hospital with a chest tube on suction, waiting for the lung to expand and seal.

For the whole story, see below.

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Runner Down

Tuesday October 18, 2016 started like so many mornings of my life. But after only a couple hours, things got interesting.

5:30am — Alarm clock rings, a little later than my regular time to rise. Being in the taper stage of a marathon training cycle, I slept in. After all, the day’s workout would be only four miles, not the six to eight I’d typically run mid week.

The route was familiar. Take a left from my driveway, exit the housing development, follow the road behind the shopping center, over the bridge, and around a loop. The sidewalk on the overpass is narrow, but it’s a sidewalk, which should be safe. I’ve run it dozens of times.

Traffic on the roadway was steady. I often play a car guy game with myself while running. I listen to engine sounds and try to guess the vehicle. Diesel pickup … European sedan … Small block V-8.

For a few seconds I heard something odd. “It must be a souped up Japanese pocket rocket,” I thought. Maybe a Honda Civic with special exhaust. But then it got loud. Too loud.

The thought “This isn’t right” hit me. In the same instant, the source of that sound hit me as well. It was a cruiser style bicycle with a gas engine, being ridden on the sidewalk, going against traffic, without a light. It got me from behind, so I never saw it coming. No chance of escape.

My vague recollection is of bike colliding with runner twice. The first blow knocked me forward and off my feet, while the second impact came on my way down. The rider fell off his saddle, then started to get back on. “You’d better not leave,” I somehow yelled. He stayed put.

Moaning and on the ground, I took inventory of my limbs, which fortunately were moving. I stood. A motorist stopped, lowered his window and said he had called 911. There was blood covering my shirt and pain from my head and core. The cyclist kept repeating “I’m sorry Sir”. I borrowed his cell phone and called my wife, Linda.

Two ambulances arrived, blocking traffic. An emergency technician ran over to speak with me. “I’m fine,” I said. “I’m just going to walk home. It’s only about a mile.” Adrenaline talking.

No doubt, the tech had heard that before. “Why don’t you just come sit in the truck and let us look at you?” Reluctantly, I agreed.

Surprisingly, the side door of the ambulance opened and one of my running friends appeared. She was driving to work on that very road, got held up behind the commotion, and recognized me. (Thanks, Madeline. There are no coincidences.)

As the medical staff took my vitals and asked basic questions, Linda showed up. We spoke briefly. Then the room began to swirl.

Whatever happened next took place outside my consciousness. I now know that I went under twice. Truth is that I have a history of fainting easily, but that didn’t matter. When someone passes out in the back of an ambulance, a certain protocol kicks in. The techs can’t take any chances in case the victim suffered a spinal or brain injury.

My next recollections are a handful of EMTs and Paramedics yelling “Wake up, Steve”, “Come back to me, Steve” as they strapped me onto one of those boards I’d only seen on TV and NFL games. Collar around my neck, tape across my forehead and every few inches down the length of my body, my arms secured by my sides.

“The collar is tight. It’s uncomfortable”, I uttered. To which the Paramedic replied “It’s better than being paralyzed.” That got my attention.

The ride to the hospital is a blur. I remember being asked questions, which I assume were meant to keep me engaged and conscious. “What day is it? What’s your middle name? Where were you born? Do you know where you are?” I could hear the chatter on the radio … “61 year old white male. Trauma Level 2. Severe abdominal pain. Laceration to the scalp.”

When you arrive at the Emergency Room in an ambulance — siren screaming, lights flashing — and you’re classified Trauma, you go to the front of the line. X-rays and CAT scans happened quickly. Fortunately, they revealed no spinal or neck injuries, so I was taken off the board.

Less fortunate was the rest of my diagnosis. Four fractured ribs, a punctured/collapsed lung. Various areas of road rash and the two-inch gash on my head requiring four staples are barely worth mentioning.

The official name for my lung situation is “pneumothorax.” A hole in my lung was allowing air to escape into the chest cavity with every breath, putting pressure on internal organs and causing the punctured lung to collapse further. It’s a downward spiral that can have a very unhappy ending. The CT Scan showed my lung 40% collapsed.

Treatment for said condition involves inserting a tube into the patient’s chest, with a suction device hooked up. Escaping air is sucked out, allowing the lung to re-expand and seal. Amazingly, God made it so that lungs heal pretty quickly. Within a few days, generally, the tube can be removed.

So, next stop, Operating Room. On my right was Doctor Hugo, whose acquaintance I made only moments before, and a young lady also in a white lab coat with a stethoscope. To my left was Marcy, the seasoned nurse who’d been working trauma 41 years and promised she’d never leave my side.

Dr. Hugo warned that the procedure would be painful, but that he’d tell me everything as it occurred. “No surprises,” he said. Just before giving me a shot of anesthetic from a needle that looked eight inches long, he addressed his female counterpart. “Do I make this injection above the rib or beneath the rib?” That concerned me a bit, which must have shown on my face. Nurse Marcy jumped right in “He knows. He’s quizzing Kelly. She’s a medical student.” It’s funny now.

I’m glad to say that Dr. Hugo oversold the pain. I felt a weird pressure from the tube going in, but that’s about it. They took me to a waiting area while a room was assigned.  Another running buddy called (apparently Madeline, who saw me in the ambulance, had spread the word), and a police officer came to take a statement.

Room 5025, bed 2 soon became my temporary home. The story gets tedious at this point. Here are a few items worth noting …

— People reaching out. So many people reaching out via text, phone, Facebook Private Message, and visits. Co-workers, friends, clients, and an unbelievable show of encouragement from the running community. I am blown away and deeply grateful to each of you.

— Medical staff. Doctors, students, x-ray techs, nutrition workers, various therapists, housekeeping people, nurses and Patient Care Associates (PCAs) assigned to me in 12-hour shifts. Some of them were not so great, and others were absolute angels. Simple kindnesses moved me to tears.

— The food wasn’t half bad. And I never lost my appetite.

— Time moved slowly, but I wasn’t up for much anyway. I got half way through David Copperfield, an 1100-page novel by Charles Dickens. Never even turned on the TV. Friends in need of prayer came to mind.

— Linda’s support was unwavering. Our marriage recently crossed the 37-year mark. In fact our anniversary was last week … while I was in the hospital.

— I’ll confess that there were some emotionally dark moments. A few special people helped me through, and I tapped on my long-time relationship with our Father in heaven.

Medical wisdom dictates that a pneumothorax patient can’t be released from the hospital until the lung is fully expanded or very nearly so. Each morning the portable x-ray crew came to take a picture of my chest. Sometime during the day a doctor would read that and send a resident to give me the news. As mentioned, I started at 40% collapsed. On later days it was 10%, 5%, 3%, and finally to a point where the chest tube could be taken out.

Removing the tube was a simple procedure. I did not say “easy.” Details will be spared. It took just a few seconds, but they were some of the most memorable seconds of my life. Ouch.

The quick moment of pain was followed by twelve hours of anxious anticipation. That’s how long it would be until my next chest x-ray which would determine future steps. If the x-ray showed that my lung remained expanded without the tube, I could be discharged. If not … well, we didn’t want to think about that.

An x-ray tech showed up at 4:20am, Tuesday, October 25. The restless wait began. Around 10:00am the resident (doctor) delivered the news. All was well, and he’d be putting in the order for my discharge. A few hours and several pieces of paperwork later, I was wheeled out the front door and into Linda’s car. A hospital stay of just over seven days had ended.

I write these words on October 29, 2016, more than 96 hours since my release. The ribs hurt like crazy when I move certain ways, and I wouldn’t dare lie flat on a bed, as it might not be possible to get back up. But I can walk, eat, sleep, etc., and have even been to the office. Sadly, I won’t be running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC tomorrow, despite the fact that I’m signed up, flights and hotel were booked, and I logged nearly 600 training miles in the past four months. It’s disappointing, but there are worse fates.

Since this article is posted on a blog about running, an important note is in order. Virtually every medical professional has remarked that I had a huge advantage in my fight to overcome significant injuries: the fact that I was very physically fit at the time of the accident. It might have even saved my life. (The combination of broken ribs and collapsed lung can lead to pneumonia, serious infection, and become fatal.)

Certainly one’s fitness level does not improve in a hospital bed. Someone who comes in as a 4 doesn’t leave as a 6 after lying in one position for days on a restricted calorie diet. So, fellow runners, here’s another way your crazy obsession prolongs life. And to those thinking of getting in shape, there’s no better time than now to begin.

Yes, I plan to run again. Just as soon as I’m able. And to sign up for another marathon. True, I was a runner down, but — God willing — not out.

 

Say What, Body?

Runners have a phrase they quote for a number of different situations. It goes like this: “Listen to your body.”

“Listen to your body” is supposedly a guiding principle that helps us know when to push, when to hold back, when to go a few extra miles or end the session early, etc. I’ve noticed, however, a deep flaw in that advice.

Living in south Florida, there are many days when temperatures are in the 80s with 90 percent humidity and higher – and that’s at 6:00am or earlier, before sunrise. Maybe it’s just me, but this body isn’t exactly sending messages like “Let’s go out and suffer for a couple hours. It’ll be fun.” Instead, I hear “Hit the snooze button,” and “Crossword puzzles might be a really nice alternative hobby.”

What’s a runner to do? In those situations, most of the athletes I know simply ignore the old adage and pay no attention to what the flesh is saying, at least the stuff that would have them pack it in. He or she hits the streets anyway. The sweat pours out in rivers. The body temperature and heart rate soar, even at moderate paces. There are moments of misery.

Then comes the end of the workout and the incredible feeling of accomplishment. Euphoria. The runner’s entire being is high-fiving itself with shouts of “That was great!” And now we’re listening.