I’m finally back on the roads after a commercial break sponsored by my left achilles. Very slow, very short, and begun with a careful warm-up walk of a quarter-mile or so, but back. And with my return to shuffling, I return also the the area of my life most affected by juju.

I’m a mostly rational person, but I operate as a runner within a cloud of dogmatic unreason. It’s never okay, for example, to cut a corner (speaking literally here) in a training run. Always square it off or run the longer way around rather than the shorter. On the other hand, it’s absolutely prohibited to do that little jog-in-place dance at corners waiting for traffic to pass or lights to change. Just stand there. Never use the stopwatch function of your wristwatch to time your aerobic runs. If you really have to know your splits and total, use the regular watch function and do the math in your head. Regardless of speed or oxygen requirements, sync inhaling with your left-foot strikes, never your right.

Along these lines, five miles is a meaningless distance. In my cosmology, four miles is the shortest distance that really counts. Six miles is the minimum distance that actually does you any good (this is personal voodoo, remember, not science). If I’ve been running a regular four mile loop, and want to increase the distance now and then, five miles would be the natural next step. But it’s existentially nonexistent. So I go to six.

This all may sound silly, but it’s nothing compared to my baseball fetishes. No, no, no! Don’t cross those bats!!

Stevie has his own take on this:

When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer.
Superstition ain’t the way.
No, no, no

Clearly, this won’t be my last dinged tendon.

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