Last night I decided that I wouldn’t set an alarm, but whenever I woke up, I would get up and run. I woke up at 4.30. So I went back to sleep. When I woke up at a more reasonable time I managed a good 45 minutes of procrastination and planning before setting off. The problem was that my run didn’t have a shape or a soundtrack – Should I run far or near? Left or right? Loop or there and back? Tunes or words or Audiofuel or nothing? When did it all get this complicated?
In the end, I assembled sunglasses, shuffle, Garmin and self and set off down to the lodge for what is a standard but lovely route. It’s a mile there and back along the main road and a mile down a side road and round the lodge. I always listen to tunes on the boring bits, but then take out my earphones when I reach the lodge so I can hear the birds and bask in the loveliness of it all.
I didn’t really see anyone on the way down, but at 8 o’clock on a sunny Saturday morning, the park was busy with dog walkers and I got to do lots of one of my favourite things – saying a cheerful “Good morning!” to anyone and everyone. I’m generally happy when I run (although Ginge would dispute this when I’m having one of my “can you run back to the car and pick me up….?” runs) and like to share my sweaty happiness with the unsuspecting passers-by.
All told, I said hello to a grand total of 13 people. The only people who I didn’t say hello to were a woman was explaining to her young daughter why she couldn’t go in the water, a chap who was explaining to his terrier why he couldn’t go in the water and a man who was quite scary looking and was staring so determinedly at the ground that I didn’t want to interrupt his focus…
On the way back home, I have to run up what was once my nemesis hill (I now run up and down it for fun. Well I attempted some hill training on it. Once). It’s about half a mile of hill and does sometimes seem to be endless. As I set off, I spotted a woman who I’d seen running around the lodge. She was wearing teeny shorts and looked every inch the ‘proper runner’. And then she walked. I carried on with my steady plod, she ran a bit, walked, ran a bit, I carried on, catching her up and eventually overtaking her. There was a definite hint of smugness about me as I reached the top (I’m a bad person) – I wasn’t judging her running abilities, for all I know she might have been injured, hungover, doing intervals (although the walking bits did have an air of fed up and knackered about them), or had all sorts of reasons. What pleased me was that the hill makes me realise how much my running has improved and I’m proud that my wobbly bottom powered legs can get me up the damn thing.