I crest the hill and slow my cadence, just a little. Wind presses through my lungs rapidly and my heart thumps. It's eerily quiet, but I feel like I'm making a ruckus with only my breath and steps. Sweat beads and falls off the bill of my cap. My legs burn like 10,000 firecrackers just went off in my quads.
I continue on, but I drift and take mental pause. I think about other runners. The others that are doing the same thing; uncomfortable, breathing hard, and sweating with burning legs. We all experience the same feelings of this elated misery. From the runner who has been wearing the same pair of Nike Pegasus' since '08, to the runner sampling next years Brooks'. Your level of running doesn't matter; first time novice, to seasoned pro. We all hold that same fire.