7 Seconds From Awesome

What can you do in 7 seconds?

I ask, because tonight was a night that was so close to Awesome, some math nerds might suggest that it was Awesome minus $\epsilon$, where $\epsilon$ is a tiny positive number. Okay, you all probably realize that by some math nerds I really mean me.

Tonight was awesome for two separate, but related reasons.

Reason the first: I had planned on running 10+ km this eve but found myself low on energy and motivation. As such, I opted to run a shorter 5 km. As punishment for slacking distance-wise, I told myself I had to step-it-up-Gillis. That is, I had to run the 5 kilometres as fast as I could. At first, I figured I’d run as fast as I had during my previous fast runs. But then my brain started yelling grow a pair you big suck bag, and that dear readers was the moment when I really punished myself – because as Jillian Michaels says:

Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.

Or as my friend Carolyn says in reply to Jillian Michaels:

“Unless you puke”? Naaah. Puke & rally.

So wise, that Carolyn.

Regardless, the result of said self-inflicted verbal abuse was a new personal best 5 km. My previous record was 4:10 per kilometre. Tonight’s run: 4:07 per kilometre. For those of you that want to check out all the gory details, you’ll find my previous best here, and my shiny new best here.

Anyway, 7 seconds is all I have left to conquer to finally break the 5 km in 20 minute barrier that I’ve been gunning for over the past 8 months. And while 7 seconds doesn’t seem like much – it’s almost an eternity when I’m pushing my limits. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to walk away from this challenge. Screw that. I’ve not come this close to throw my hands up in defeat. Nope. Quite the contrary. I’ve got a renewed sense of I’m going to crush this goal. And I will. Very soon.

Reason the second: Elliot often watches me as I run. Personally, I think he sits there and wonders why the hell I get onto this moving floor that takes me nowhere. Regardless, over the last number of runs he has been investigating the treadmill a little more closely. He sniffs around it (and by around it I mean about 8 inches away from it). The other day, clearly feeling adventurous, he lifted his paw as if to reach out and touch it but then decided against such an action. Given that he was 8 inches away, there was no risk to him actually touching the treadmill. Generally this is about the time during his investigation that he freaks himself out and goes running into the hall. Whenever he reappears, he perches himself at a safe distance and watches me for a while, possibly with contempt, disgust, confusion, or a mix of all of the above. Then he passes out. I think the sound of the treadmill, and the cadence of my running may lull him to sleep.

Tonight, given his ever closer and closer investigations, I decided to put him on the treadmill so that he might learn that it’s not going to hurt him. I put the machine at a very respectable cat-pace (0.3 mph) and held him so that his paws could touch the moving floor, but also so that I could whisk him away should he not like it. He seemed to enjoy it – at least initially. There was no panic, he moved his legs as one would expect a cat to move them. Then it happened.

He farted.

Let it be known that Elliot is not much of a farting cat. At least, I’ve never known him to be such. But tonight, either out of fear of the treadmill, or perhaps joy at conquering his fear, he let one rip.

My running room will never be the same.

Oh, and before I go – I started this post asking what can you do in 7 seconds? Clearly this is a question I’ll be considering during my next run as 7 seconds is all I need to hit my target pace. But I’ll also be remembering Elliot farting and what this guy in the following YouTube clip can do – because although I take running seriously and have a list of goals I want to achieve, it really is only running; if it isn’t fun then what’s the point?