7:00 AM – Ah! At last! Sunday. Our day of truest worship. The day that, many moons ago, our great leader decreed: “Ye shall run Long once a week and ye shall wait until the finalest day to do doth deed. Also, if ye run Long whilst enrolled in Academia, ye shall be hungest over.”
While my body is slowly waking up, my spirit lags behind. My corporeal existence craves its most basic needs: banana, peanut butter, coffee, and toilet.
7:30 AM – The service has officially begun! The foam roller has been placed on my molding yoga mat and I begin my elaborate, practiced routine of pretending to roll out calves, quads, and back.
I mainly just look at my phone.
7:45 AM – I grab my holy Maurten water bottle and a host of essential energy bars for the post-Church of the Sunday Long Run protein window before heading to my car to pick up fellow worshippers.
We listen to Chance the Rapper’s ‘Blessings’ for our short drive to the trailhead. We are – indeed – staying ready for our blessing.
7:56 AM – I begin to sync my Garmin, readying it for the hill and dale that lie ahead.
8:01 AM – THIS GOD DAMN THING WON’T SYNC
8:04 AM – Myself and six other disciples of the Church of the Sunday Long Run take our first steps towards salvation.
8:10 AM – Seeds of initial mistrust have been sewn in the group as Lucas has told us he plans on running 70 minutes.
70 minutes is no long run.
8:17 AM – Lucas’ fall from grace has been all but forgotten as Skylar begins to break the covenant with a sub 7-minute mile far too early in the service.
I cannot help but believe I am surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
8:25 AM – Sweet respite as we pause to toilet ourselves.
8:35 AM – It is usually around this part of the service where I unleash a demonic oath to never attend another gathering while denouncing this religion in whole. But, for whatever reason, today I was struck by epiphany.
“My friends. What if we honored Sunday as a day of rest?”
“But Sundays are not for rest.”
“But they could be.”
“No. No they could not be. Our great leader decreed it so.”
“What if he was wrong?”
I fear I have paved my path to martyrdom.
8:37 AM – My epiphany fails to create any sort of constructive discourse amongst my fellow disciples, instead they try their best to drop me from the group by increasing the pace.
I take each blow with grace, not speaking but answering with a surge of energy. I refuse for my heresy to die an easy death.
8:39 AM – Lucas turns and leaves the group.
There is no question in my mind our leader will smite the very earth he runs back to his car. We will never see Lucas again.
8:45 AM – I find Lucas’ decision to not run a true long run today, on our day of worship, particularly troubling. Not only for himself and his soul, but for myself and my epiphany.
Lucas’ actions, albeit vile, might give credence to my thoughts of conducting our weekly service on, for example, Saturday.
9:15 AM – After spending the last 30 minutes in deep thought, invoking our deepest beliefs, I speak:
“Next Saturday, I will be conducting my worship at the Church of the Saturday Long Run. You are all welcome to join, as is anyone from any other creed. I will be reaching out to our friends at the Church of the Saturday is an Off Day, at the Church of Friday is Speed Day, and, of course, our fellow believers at the Church of the Vaporfly 4%.”
“You can’t do that. That is illegal.”
“There is no way that is illegal.”
“I promise you I will call the police on you.”
Skylar is an idiot.
9:45 AM – I have decided to abscond the Church of the Sunday Long Run with a great hope to form the Church of the Long Run. A place where all distances can be run on all days without judgement, nor malice. We will not tack our existence to one day in the week, rather will find peace in our body of work throughout the week.
I deeply hope Lucas is alive. Lucas clearly understands. Lucas will be my first disciple.