The track, around which you run endlessly only to have gone nowhere.
Seconds by which Usain Bolt lowered the world record at 100m.
The first-person: I. The will, the self, the subject of the experience of all those miles all those miles all those mornings all those trails all those routes all those repeats all those shoes all those blisters all those recoveries all those stretches all those runs. The experience of running is always private.
Legs. There’s not much else you need run.
The holy running trinity of body, mind, and soul—unified not in every run but in enough runs.
Minutes. Likely not for you.
Kilometers to measure yourself, to find out if you will ever run faster than you ran at seventeen. You haven’t yet.
The threshold in miles at which the possibility of a long run becomes imaginable.
Teammates on your Hood to Coast team (as long as your cousin Zach doesn’t drop out at the last minute for no good reason).
The bumper sticker you’re better off not putting on your car.
American records set by Steve Prefontaine.
Temperature (Fahrenheit) below which running isn’t worth it.
Ground miles (approximate) from Marathon to Athens.
42 – 50
The ideal length (in minutes) of a leisurely run on a nice day.
Age at which you hope to say, “I may not be as fast as I once was, but I’m sure glad my running days show no signs of being numbered.”
Age at which Harriette Thompson became the oldest person to run a half-marathon.
Chance (in percentage) that what it means for your favorite professional to run is not what it means for you to run.
(And counting) Boston Marathons.
Miles Patrycja Bereznowska ran in twenty-four hours.
300 – 500
Miles they say a pair of running shoes is good for. (If you’ve been running in the same pair since 2009 and feel fine, don’t sweat it.)
A cruel distance (in meters) to race. Masochistic, frankly.
Sometimes more than, sometimes less than, but never equal to, twice 5,000 (meters), depending on the day.
Average number of strides per marathon.
Finishers in the New York City Marathon.
The thing we’re all the time chasing with these miles we’re running.