Nine days ago I participated in the Running With The Wolves 5K, and I ran the fastest I’ve run in months: 5K in 0:30:17, for an average pace of 9:44 per mile.

The day was perfect: not too cold, sunny, no rain. There were very few people on the course; only 81 finishers total. But it was fun, and I am glad I did it.

Then I didn’t run until tonight.

I had a mildly-injured foot, a bruise or something on the ball of my left foot. Other than that, I really have no excuse. Maybe I needed the break, and maybe I just failed to motivate.

Mrs. McGinnis, my sophomore high school English teacher, once told me, “If anyone learns how to motivate you, you’ll be an unstoppable force for good!” She meant it kindly, I suppose; generally I liked her. But that fear of motivation has haunted me for over 20 years. To this day, I don’t know what motivates me.

I run because I want to be faster, although realistically I’m too old to ever be considered a fast runner. I run because I want to be thinner, and then I wipe out any gains from exercising with a single donut. I run because I want to meet other runners, and then I just run, solo, through my neighborhood and never join running groups. It’s like I’m working at cross purposes to myself.

The inner workings of my mind are as impenetrable as, well, other people’s minds.

But I ran tonight; I ran 15 minutes at 6 MPH, and then switched to run/walking, with about a minute break every half-mile. I finished 3 miles in 0:31:28 total.

My plan is to run again on Thursday. I’ll be sure to update if it happens.