Google maps, click. Washington, click. Seattle, click. Metropolitan area, zoom!
With the general area where to detour and extend a route, I zoom in to survey the streets in map and satellite modes. Exploring the streets, neighborhoods and calculating the miles through updated stills before ever setting foot on the ground has become this runner’s bff.
Shortly after I set out on a new route, my brain switches into a hyper observant and academic mode where my filing system absorbs everything from the crack in the road to traffic flow be it pedestrians or automobiles. One run on the new route is not enough to build a solid foundation for a familiar relationship. I have to learn not only the street and its surroundings but I have to read patterns in the various traffic classifications from daily to weekly flow.
A two mile stretch approached where the bus routes, times and awaiting riders are a mere habitual awareness. I took note of the bus as it stopped to unload and load and quickly passed all thought behind. In a heightened and pure trance my body was free, weightless and untethered to a pace with no limits. My focus was forward, my peripheral vision peeked at key checkpoints and I was in motion.
Upon entering the end of the stretch, I took mental pause to question my unthinkable. Did I beat the bus? Waiting for the green light’s permission to continue onto another stretch, the bus crossed over in stop motion as the driver, a few familiar faces and I exchanged a look of astonishment. I beat the bus!…
I beat the bus!
Since then, only a couple more times this accomplishment has occurred for I generally run a moderate pace to preserve energy to build my endurance for longer distances. By nature my competitiveness stands only within myself. Yet, the unthinkable of me beating the bus left a smile and a confidence never have I experienced before.
I beat the bus!