Today was a lovely sunny day, as it was yesterday. Yesterday I was helping with a race, the Poets Path Potter, and although I loved the fact that I was helping other people have a great time I wanted to run. Today when I was free all day I didn’t feel like going out for a run. Isn’t that perverse? I tell other people that if they do not feel like running they should go anyway with the promise to themselves that if they are not enjoying it after 10 minutes they can turn back. They very seldom do turn back.
I followed my own advice and headed out. I should say at this point that running is not a game; it’s not played in teams like rugby or football nor is it a competition against someone else, with well laid down processes and rules like chess or tennis. Yes, you do get people competing against each other in things called games (E.g. the Olympic and Commonwealth Games), but for most of us running is not that sort of game. Nor is it an idle pastime like Trivial Pursuits. For me running is something that keeps me physically and mentally healthy and adds greatly to my quality of life. But, when I looked out of the window, saw the sunshine and realised that I did not want to run I did think ‘ Running is a strange old game’ and I have not been able to come up with a better title for this blog post.
After 10 minutes I was not feeling the joy, however I thought that for a lumbering ultra runner like me it would take a little longer so I kept on going. After half an hour, there was just a glimmer that things might turn out well so I kept on going and about fifteen minutes later I was heading up the path in the photograph above; then I felt the magic. I realised how lucky I am to be able to run and come across little gems in the countryside like this. I ran on with a lightness in my step (except on the up hills; they were still a struggle) wondering how often in life do we either not start or give up just before the magic happens.