Magically Increasing the Mileage

My body has been feeling stronger the last few weeks. My tingles have significantly been reduced, and my body no longer has to fight off massive amounts of B vitamins. I discovered that I was poisoning myself by taking a vegan multivitamin. My body would become exhausted and cold after eating breakfast in the morning, and sometimes, I would need to lie down just to push through. I still feel slight tingling in my feet, especially in certain positions, but my hands are almost 100%.

Another piece of the puzzle has been Magic: The Gathering. You can play Magic Arena on mobile, which means that I can play while I am running. I will run on the trails with the game in my hand, not just on the treadmill. Obviously, I only recommend doing this if there are bike trails free from traffic, but it is incredible.

I find myself running sub-8 minute mile paces for the first time in a long time. While playing the games, you become thoroughly engrossed in the action. You don’t have time to think about how much your legs hurt or how much further you have. All you can think about is whether your opponent is holding a counter or if you have enough damage to win the next turn. You can feel your body again when your event is over. You are reminded that you are hurdling your body forward against its will.

In September 2022, I ran my 12-mile route at 9:20.

A year later, I did the same route almost a full minute faster.

Recently, I was able to run 20 miles at an 8:26 pace.

I love playing limited in Magic the Gathering. You get a new deck every event, and you’re in control of how you make it. I draft a new set of cards for my run the next day. The drafts usually take around an hour, but if I do poorly, I have to switch to just playing my Standard Red Deck to finish the run, which takes less mental energy.

I have misplayed games because I need to focus my energy on breathing. I have been beaten because I don’t want to take the time to try to read what a card does. I’ve even screamed an obscenity when I got blindsided by a double trick for lethal. But I have not tripped or run into any objects and plan to continue gathering the magic while I gather the miles.

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