Run faster, eat constantly; not too many carbs but just enough to be faster. Wake up every morning at 6am before the sun lights your skin on fire; light your muscles on fire with every step and thump.
Ignore your best friend’s suicide attempt when it makes your feet heavy; it doesn’t matter as long as you can run fast. Be light on your toes and pump your arms with the perfect swing; erase your father’s voicemails and repressed body memories with a compilation of treads.
Sprint the last 800 meters of your workout; let the endorphins save you from digging a razor into your skin so pretty red liquid can leak from your veins.
Walk for a few minutes home to let your heart rate slow down; make sure your heart has a fast recovery time so you can run fast tomorrow. Don’t miss any workout days; don’t get sick, but if you do, recover fast so you can run fast. Qualify for the Boston Marathon; run 80 miles a week to prepare; forget the woman that fucked you then left you and made you slow; just run fast. Run barefoot to protect your knees and strengthen your ankles; relax when you are running in the grass, but not for too long; elongate your legs during strides so you can run fast.
Stop thinking about God or hell or heaven; stretch out your legs by walking a few miles; avoid pavement and concrete. Fly to New England for your race; don’t get drunk with your friends and don’t smoke half a pack of cigarettes a day. Get enough sleep; don’t sleep too much to where you will feel groggy on race day.
Wake up next to your hungover friends and eat a bagel by yourself; think about how fast you will run up Heartbreak Hill; run fast up Heartbreak Hill. Ignore the stinging shin splints at mile 5; don’t cry at mile 21; just run fast. Finish your race like you finish your workouts; sprint the last 800 meters and run fast. Don’t cry at mile 26.2 because your friends are high off of cocaine and lost and you are alone; don’t think about your mother’s mistakes or your first heartbreak; just remember you ran fast.
Walk back to the hotel to stretch out your legs; take your time, but not too much time because your friends are waiting for you in the room. Don’t cry because you are sad no one was waiting to congratulate you; especially don’t cry when bombs go off three blocks away. Run fast down the stairs to call your family; don’t cry because people are blown up. Be calm and comfort the woman crying in the lobby; run fast back up the stairs to charge your dead phone.
Stand in the room and breathe calmly; don’t cry because people are hurt; don’t cry because you are happy that you re-qualified for Boston next year; especially don’t cry because you are sad you were not blown up. Stop thinking about the pretty puddles of red on the black street; drink some orange juice instead. Run to the bathroom and wash off the shame and success; don’t cry because you are sad to be alive; just keep running fast.