Monday, 29 November 2010

Tread Carefully

The world is cold these days. There is no warmth to be got from these people carefully treading the ice covered streets. Their blank faces are sunk into tightly wound scarves and pulled up hoods. With the festive spirit on the edge of their quiet minds they worry about money and reality tv. No one seems very happy and I can't say that I blame them. The world is indeed a cold place.

These things pop into my head whilst I run past shuffling figures in the grim afternoon light. I am not running towards or from anything. Just a long 10 mile loop in the snow. Long runs are like mini lifetimes. The undulations of my mind are like waves in the solitude. The hard times match the good times. Through the cloud of every breath I am reminded why I love running.

This week has been difficult. The room where I live out most of my life is warm. Warm and forever comfortable. It contains the things that I need for my sanity. Most important of which is the peace and solitude that it contains. Safe in that room it is sometimes difficult to work up the courage to get out the door. My gps finds its satellites and leaves me shivering in the garden, waiting to set out. Once underway, my mind drifts from one thing to another. The hypnotic effect of every stride pounds my mind into submission. The miles slip by and with every passing minute it feels like I've been out in the cold for an age and yet no time at all.

I am held back by laziness. Sometimes it is just too hard to move my body and mind. Why is it easier to do nothing when moving feels so good? Not that it is all bad though. In this last week I have done all the important running; the long slow run and tempo work. I ran a 50 minute 10k on the treadmill in preparation for the race in a fortnight. I am running more strongly than ever and for the time being am not afflicted by the aches and pains of last months efforts.

As I run through the snow I am jolted back into reality as I slip on some ice. With my arms waving like a mad man I regain my balance and save myself the humiliation of sliding along the road on my arse. The ground continually warns me to tread carefully as, for some time now, my thoughts are strewn along these old grey roads. My time in these parts is drawing to a close and soon I must look to new roads to run down. I will miss these roads and their thoughts. I will miss the warmth from solitude that they have given.


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