Miles 1 through 4
I can feel myself suffocating
I run all the time, but the air is humid this time
and the winds are so strong. It feels like a storm
is going to erupt, and I feel like I am going to get caught inside of the tornado.
But I turn the music in my headphones up so loud
to drown the sounds of my heavy breathing.
I don’t want to hear myself gasping for air. I already know I’m dying inside.
Miles 4 through 7
My breathing is still heavy, but I am so in tune with the electronic music
swimming through my ear canals, I start to feel like I am tripping on LSD.
The path around me blurs into one luminescent, never-ending strip of land
and I feel like I am running through a dream,
because this can’t be real.
This is farther than I have run before, and by now,
I usually lose power in my knees to stand tall.
But I don’t care. I have to keep going because
I am stronger than my body.
Miles 7 through 10
I can’t feel my body anymore, and it is the most wonderful feeling in the whole world.
There is no more pain. The thought of you is no longer there, and my body feels like it
has been set free from all of the tension it has held captive inside,
all of these miles in the past have never compared to the miles I am
running now, because now I feel invincible.
I never felt this good with you,
and I keep running because I feel like I could spend the rest of my life running,
running towards the truth.
Miles 10 through 15
I can feel the humidity stripping my body apart,
it’s eating at the insides of my core,
and I am sweating everything I once was out of my body
and onto the earth around me. I take off my shirt, because I am so hot that I am
afraid that I might encounter a heat stroke. The sun is blazing on my shoulders,
and I feel them burn, but I don’t care. The burn from the sun is so much lighter
than the burns you scorched onto my skin.
He’s been running besides me for a while, and
when I take off my shirt, he asks to run alongside me. He wants to feel the high I am feeling,
he says he has seen me run this path so many times, but he has never seen me as happy as I am now.
Miles 15 through 20
He’s been running with me for so many miles, the sun has set. I’d like to say that watching the
sun set alongside him has been the most adventurous thing I have encountered since the night I met you,
but it’s not.
His small gestures remind me of you, every laugh, every glance. He is
so different, everything I could have wanted in a succeeding human being, but he has run the wrong set of miles with me. I think he knows why I am running so many miles.
He glides his hands along the sweat that drips across my stomach,
he says, you’re so strong,
and I respond, I am only strong when I am weak.
I want to love him the way I loved you, but he runs so much faster than I can, and
I don’t think he’s willing to wait around for my mile time to increase.
I am starting to slow down.
It’s late, it’s night, and we’ve crossed the state borders.
He says he is done, done running, and I say,
I’m so sorry, I can’t keep up with you.
I am not strong enough for this.
He turns around to go home,
But I keep running.
I refuse to run towards the past.
Miles 20 through 25
I am being eaten alive by mosquitos and flying spiders.
I can’t see anymore, because there is no light across the path.
I have to keep going
I have to keep going
The music has changed to women-demeaning rap music,
and I feel like I could fight anything that would try to attack me at this moment.
I can hear the crack of thunder in the sky
and my god, I hope it rains. I just want to be cleansed.
I want his sweat that his dripped onto my skin to be rinsed, and
I want the tears from the pain in my body, the tears from running all these miles
to break the memories of you, out of my body.
I just want this to be over,
I just want to feel the rain.
I just want to be caught in the storm.
Miles 25 through 26
It finally fucking rains.
It is through.
I collapse onto the ground,
there is a lake at the end of this path,
and I swim into the lake.
The sun is going to rise soon, and I am so out of control of my body
from exerting immense force onto my knees, that I
in the water. I don’t care if I drown,
it is over.
I don’t want to run anymore.
I am so over running, and I am so through with picking the wrong people to bring
on my marathons, just so I don’t feel alone.
After all these miles,
I realize that I am, was all I ever needed.
And in the morning, I lift weights,
because I refuse to let my body weaken,
just because it has been through hell to get through 26.2 miles.
I am determined to be stronger than I was at the beginning of these 26.2 miles
and in the morning,
I am free.
This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here.