Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024
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COURTESY OF JOSEPH BECUTIORTIZ

There is simply nothing better than wolfing down some diner food after a long run. 

After the onslaught of tests, quizzes, midterms, projects and whatever else our professors decided to throw at us, spring break was upon us. With most Hopkins students leaving as early as possible, it was like a great migration of birds, all leaving towards the south, where you would see them appear in instagram pictures of the warm sandy beaches of Florida, Puerto Rico or other tropical resorts. 

There is nothing better than a well-deserved vacation after putting in weeks of hard work; though my vacation wasn’t very fancy, it was filled with rest. Some might even say “bed rot”.

Yes, as you may believe, I was looking forward to sleeping in and finally catching up on months of sleep debt that desperately needed to be paid off. And with a restful break, I could finally catch up with some old friends who were hard to keep up with during the semester. Our preferred activity is running.

After a very scenic train ride to Boston, Massachusetts, I called an uber to my relatively small town and immediately got ready for my high school’s track and field practice. I couldn’t describe in words the feeling of finally being able to catch up with the day one friends again and discovering how they’d changed.

If I had to recount the best part of break to you, it would have to be Sunday — the last day of break. The day when the feeling of break is over, but you are determined to fight it to the bitter end. I had planned on running the longest distance I've done so far, and I was going to do it with my friend who I plan on running a marathon with. (Side note, my friend is down for anything, which includes a random 15 miles on a Sunday morning...) It was cold, and I could not have been feeling any worse than I was then. With nothing but half a water bottle and a granola bar later, I was ready to achieve something great with my friend. 

We started the watch and were off. Thankfully, we warmed up, and the few first miles rolled off the legs, as one might say. We were determined to finish it through, and we motivated ourselves by recording a short, inspiring clip at the end of each mile. By mile five, we had taken a detour alongside a river that flowed for miles. There were breaks here and there but especially at mile five, since the feelings in our feet had disappeared. Nothing a short break with shoes off couldn't fix. 

With a third of the run done, we ventured onward to the starting point of my house which ended up being the eight mile mark. This is where we realized the magnitude of the distance. It had taken us over an hour to reach this, and we were a little past halfway. Mile after mile, it didn't seem to get us closer. It was so bad by the ninth mile that I went completely on auto-pilot and had run straight into a metal sign. My friend had to grab me and push me away so I wouldn't hit the next one. But, I can tell you that I was definitely fully awake after that.

Now, the stretch from miles nine to 12 was probably the worst I've ever run in my career. With a cold wind pushing against us on a never-ending incline, I felt ready to toss in the towel and walk my way back home — if my legs could carry me. But if my friend wasn't wavering in faith, I could not afford to either. We made it to 10, then 11 and 12 — with a small crisis at mile 11, when we realized that even after running an hour and a half we still had 30 minutes at the very least. But onward, right? If Hopkins has taught me anything so far is that we suffer now so we can succeed later. 

That's what we did — we groaned and grimaced each mile in hopes for a new achievement. By mile 12, all hope that was lost was now back, and the thought of the end being close was enough to carry us to the finish line. Our vlogs ended at the half marathon mark since we could no longer muster the strength to speak, but we pressed on and found ourselves panting back at my house. The run ended perfectly at 15.0 miles in two hours and seven minutes. Faster than the nine minute pace that I thought we were going to do the entire time. 

You better believe that with the thousands of calories burnt we went to get breakfast at a diner, and we ate until we couldn’t. The best part was sipping water, something we nearly diminished over our run. With this new record of distance and time under my belt, I was fully satisfied, and there was only one thing left to do on our last day of break. Remember the rest I was looking forward to? Yeah, I passed out for the remainder of the day.  I hope my fellow Bluejays did the same sometime during the break because it's now time to stay locked in for the rest of the semester. 


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