A cloudy day with not a hint of rain. After much wrangling last night I assented to getting up at 6am to go on a ten-mile run with my sister. I don’t mean to make that sound too casual. I haven’t run that far in maybe four years. A couple of months ago I signed up for the half-marathon in Duluth on a whim and now I’m paying the price. My training method consists of nothing more than “just make sure you’re able to run thirteen miles by race day.”

So now I get up and drive with Paige over to the five-mile loop in Arden Hills and we run twice around it.

I have heard people bandy about some idea of a running “high,” some endorphin-induced euphoria supposedly felt by long-distance runners. The longest run I ever did was 16.3 miles and I did not feel a high. If it takes running more than sixteen miles to get a high than in my opinion it won’t be worth it when it comes.

I am, though, intimately familiar with a running “low,” a storm of roaring stomach pain, which visits me anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour after the run is over. Such was the case this morning, and after driving home and trying to eat some breakfast, I crashed on the couch and slept for three hours while my body rode out the worst of it.

I like to think that after this life and after Armageddon and just after the last judgment, all the souls in heaven will hit the sack for a few days; you know, to sleep off the effects of the whole long history of the world. Not a defensible idea maybe, but a pleasant thought. After all that terror and hardship and effort, it would be good to recover a bit before the big dinner.