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Remember the Monopoly card that says “bank error in your favor”?

On Sunday I got a clock error in my favor, I think.

I ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Allentown …

felt slow and heavy throughout …

mustered absolutely no finishing kick (I am usually good for picking up two or three places in the last quarter-mile; this time I gave four or five away) …

and ended up running probably my fastest time in the past three or four years. I beat my time from this same race last year by a good minute-and-a-half.

No idea what the hell happened but I’ll take it.

(I should note that the race is very well organized, and I doubt they actually forgot to start the clock on time. And the course was the same as last year so it wasn’t any shorter. I must actually have run faster. Christ knows how.)

Here is me in action – I’m the fat guy in the bandana running up some poor woman’s back.

I started running in high school, more than 25 years ago. Haven’t been doing it continuously since, but I’ve been doing it more or less continuously for the past five or six years, with a few months off here or there for the odd nagging injury caused by my caveman-level running technique.

I don’t read Runners World or hang out on running websites. I don’t run with an iPod — I’m paranoid; I like to hear what’s going on around me. I still do most of my running in cotton T-shirts, not those fancy sweat-wicking fabrics that make up 95 percent of every other runner’s wardrobe. I don’t even own a watch.

Maybe that’s why I like it. Since I started running, I have graduated from high school, graduated from college, changed jobs probably a half-dozen times, changed addresses even more frequently, gotten married, had kids and gone gray.

I run the same way I did in 1986, though.

Slower and more ponderously, of course. But I haven’t had to learn or relearn a damn thing, really. I just lace ’em up; walk a little to warm up; and then start running. Sometimes it’s uplifting, and sometimes it’s slow and painful. But it’s pretty rare that I regret doing it, either way.

I will endeavour to keep on keepin’ it simple, stupid, for as long as I can.

Every once in a while, the fat man in the bandana surprises himself.


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